Illustration/ Daniel Braverman
Illustration/ Daniel Braverman

I now have something to write about—something that affects anyone who has left the religion of his or her birth: namely, how to keep on good terms with loved ones still of that belief.


One evening while visiting my friends from high school I somehow got into a discussion about religion; I am now a Deist.


This angered many of my friends who soon moved to convert me back to Catholicism. Every time I hung out with them they attempted to convert me. But it’s my life; I’ll believe what I want.

In response to the line that people who reject Jesus go to hell, I said, “To be surrounded by people of that intellect—would be swell.” That line is not even clever, but it seemed to piss off people so it didn’t matter.


It wasn’t until I went to another suburban bash that I learned the simple reason why my friends were so keen on my religious beliefs. They were so intent on informing me that I’m going to hell because they honestly thought it is the case.

I learned as much first-hand when one of them came running up to me in a drunken haze crying her eyes out, saying that I was going to hell. I calmed her down and thanked her for her concern. I then gave her a smile, which lasted until she vomited on my shoes.


As I washed off my shoes, I realized these people legitimately cared about me. It probably had never occurred to them that I didn’t want to be harassed about my beliefs. I could go on saying not so clever things or I could change the subject, ignore what was being said, and remember the very odd rambles and bad arguments to recount to others instead. The second option is how you keep old friends from playing up their misconceptions.

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