Most of my friends are Christians, many quite devout, but not so that it is annoying thankfully. There are a couple Agnostics thrown in, but they are the exception to the rule. All of my friends know my stance and, much to my relief, have no problems with it. There are many times that we will get into debates (as we call them despite their good nature) and we all find it quite interesting and often enjoyable.
I got in with the crowd through my aiding the college theatre (why do so many people insist on spelling it theater, that bothers me so bloody much) by acting as a tech. As such most of my friends are either actors, singers or just hang arounds (or groupies as I like to call us).
There is however another group of friends who have nothing to do with the theatre or choir. These friends I have gained by being taken in by yet another group (you think they would know better then to take in one as crazy as I). This group are often found at the BCM. The BCM is the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. This was the absolute last group I expected to become associated.
Yet despite the name they do not follow what one often thinks when one conjures the word Baptist (a word often spoken with a cringe, especially considering I like in the Southern part of the Bible Belt. Many, if not most of them are actually non-denomination and are quite a bit less judgmental. Once again, they all know my stance on religion and have absolutely no problem, including the director of the establishment. In fact there have been many times when they have taken care of me in ways far past I would expect many to do.
But while some claim they do it because it is the Christian thing to do, I have seen the actual reason. This is because they are truly my friends. I have been accepted into a group in a way that can only be described as love and once again, their religion has nothing to do with it. If there was such a thing as a soul, I would not hesitate to consider many of them soul-kins.
Now many of those reading will not be surprised by hearing this as they are able to see people as people and not their belief system. The reason I make the effort to type this is two fold. One it is my blog and I can do what I like no matter how inane it may be (OK, that isn't a real reason). The second is because I have seen many of the other young Atheists recoiling at an individual when the word Christian is mentioned. To me this is such a sad thing as it is no different then when Theists cringe when the word Atheist is spoken.
Speaking from the standpoint of a Secular Humanist, we all need to work together if we ever hope to relieve the humane suffering and ignorance we encounter daily. Also, by allying ourselves with the more moderate of the Theists, we stand much more of a chance of silencing the extremists. I have already moved some of those I know to begin standing up to extremists in open defiance. There was a recent time when at the BCM's noonday (free food day, something no college student would be willing to pass up) when a pastor began spouting homophobic idiocies and those around me actively began to show open hostility to this man and made a motion to prevent his access in the future as well as boycotting his church. While I know I cannot take to much credit for this, I know I had a hand in these actions. Something that fills me with quite a bit of satisfaction.