How to be friends with religious people (when you're not)
I'm a rabbi. Most of my friends are not religious. Here's how this works.
- •As long as your friend doesn't actually belong to a cult, refrain from acting like itCults are very real. Very serious. Very dangerous. Potlucks in the church basement are not the same as cults. Make sure that you know the difference before judging
- •Understand that your friend has an interest that is not the same as yours and that that's OK
- •Think of it this way: some people love Star Wars and some people love Star TrekMaybe a little too much
- •Religion can sometimes work the same way. It's a kind of spiritual fandom.
- •Your religious friend is religious because religion works for them in a way that is different from youTo understand what that feeling is like, read a book called the power of myth by Joseph Campbell
- •Religion has the power to overwhelm us in a good way. For some people, being overwhelmed sounds like you are being trapped by space aliens.That's OK. The world doesn't need to be filled with mystics. Someone has to make sure that the ship doesn't steer in the wrong direction
- •But for others, that ability to lose yourself, The ability to transcend yourself, the ability to be at one with something that is greater is possibly the most beautiful thing in the worldYou have your own form of beauty. Art. Music. Theater. Sports. Your friend just happens to have a particular kind of beauty that is different than yours
- •Religious people need nonreligious people. Nonreligious people need religious people.
- •We are one great big human family. So let's just be friends and party like it's 1999