A Heathen And A Saint: Can Christian/Atheist Romances Work?
"Be not unequally yoked." That was a phrase I heard often growing up in church, particularly during those "True Love Waits" sex/relationship sessions when they separate the guys and girls from one another. While there we discussed the perils of pre-marital sex, masturbation, pornography and of course.....the evuuuls of homosexuality and lesbianism! *cues Psycho shower scene music* And forget about mentioning protection or STDs, cause every single teenager always remains abstinent until their wedding night with their equally inexperienced spouse.
If you've sat through one of these things, you know the deal: you basically sign a pledge/promise to take your libido out to pasture and shoot it until you find that virtuous man/woman and get married. Or slip up and have a prom night baby and beg forgiveness, whichever comes first. Unless you're gay, of course. Then it's time to get on those knees and pray the rainbow demon flees your spirit! I swear, sometimes I felt my inner Bea Arthur bubbling up inside, wanting to scream "Condoms Rose! Condoms, condoms, condoms!" But I digress.
While I've since discarded most of these teachings, I'll admit the aforementioned biblical quote does have a certain ring of practicality to it. A person's religious beliefs, or lack thereof, usually serve as the foundation for their entire worldview, affecting attitudes and perceptions toward birth, death, sickness, suffering, money, sex and love. Can two people form a lasting, genuine connection when they disagree about something that is often so central to who they are? Perhaps they could. While some atheists are militant, aggressive anti-theists ala Christopher Hitchens, most could be classified as secular humanists who have a live-and-let-live attitude towards religion. And for every Fred Phelps, there's a liberal believer who is open to different points of view.
So for my non-religious/atheist/agnostic readers, would you ever date someone who is religious or is it a faith-breaker? And for my religious folk, could you date someone that didn't believe in God? Or what if you both started out as non-religious/religious, both one of you deconverted/converted during the course of the relationship? How would you react?