I don’t always expect much from nationally syndicated advice columnists… but Dear Abby gave a great response to a young atheist from Alabama surrounded by religious people (including the boy she likes) and unsure of what to do about it.
The girl wrote:
I am a 16-year-old girl who doesn’t believe in God. Frankly, I feel uncomfortable when religion is brought up. All my friends are firm believers of Christianity and attend Bible study, or help out with other things at their church.
I want to be a Christian because it would be nice to feel like I belong, and most Christians aren’t accepting of atheists — especially other girls my age. They might be polite, but they’re distant. It also doesn’t help that the boy I like comes from a religious family. What should I do?
The response was short and sweet:
I think you should continue being true to the person you really are. Let me point out that if you’re feeling isolated now, consider what a fraud you will feel like if you join a religion and must pray to a deity you don’t believe in in order to “fit in.”
Damn right, Abby. She went on to say that any boy who doesn’t respect her non-belief isn’t one worth pursuing.
It’s not exactly shocking advice — be yourself and don’t change for other people — but I appreciate the lack of casting judgment on the girl for not believing in a god.
At least it’s better than the advice she gave a self-proclaimed psychic a few years ago.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to everyone for the link)