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Should I Pretend?

I have been a borderline atheist for a while now and even though my family does not have serious issues with it, I feel they see me as someone who is lost and will soon find myself. Today my sister called me and was begging me to make a change for 2009 and I can see my other sisters and parents want me to change.

The problem takes a twist because my girlfriend does not know about it and I really don't know how to tell her, so guys what do I do, I could go on pretending and its not going to make a difference for me.

Abeg make una no curse me oh.

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44 answers

God forbid. Am sure she would've just moved on with her life like the rest of the girls without questioning her beliefs. Religion blinds you from reality.

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@post

if your a nice guy and have loads of money then i don't think any babe will be bothered about you being an athiest

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Man up. So until something serious happens then you're just gonnak eep pretending? Why should it even go that far. To be honest you're just deceiving yourself, if they can't acept you for who you are then they can bounce. If she can go on and on about her faith then why can't you do the same about you're lack of it?

Why the Bleep does her ignorance, I MEAN FAITH deserve so much respect that can go as far as you, the MAN in the relationship, having to pretend.

Faith= |Belief without evidence.

Faith= IGNORANCE

Anyway, just do you

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Then ask your babe for her own opinion on how she would feel if she was in your friends babes position. Then come back and let us know wetin she talk.

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Be true to yourself. If they're not going to accept you for your non-belief then screw them. They're your family? SO WHAT?! You'll learn through situations like this that biological family is just a coincidental connection, so big up your chest and MAN UP!!!

You're only lying to yourself if you pretend, it aint like your a gay or you killed somebody, even if it is in Nigeria. Nigerian Christians are probably the most backwards, most silly, most gullible people I'll ever come across. Some of my family who I've told are cool with it, they obviously feel I'll ''find myself'' later in life but I really doubt it. My mum is alright with it I guess, my bro dont care, my sister actually respects it, for the fact that I aint blindly following and not fronting for anyone. One aunty doesnt really care either, same for some cousins. Although I wonder how some family members who I havent told will react to it, but f**k dem anyway, it aint their life its mines.

Some friends are still not cool with it though so I just told them if they cantacceptit then they can bounce, but we're still cool as before though.

Dont lie to yourself and others. Why should you pretend to believe, you're only lying to yourself, those around you, and ''God'' (even though he doesnt even exist to me lol).

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Olabowale,

Were you on crack or ganja like you brother killer thugs when you typed the highlighted words. The poster is making a true thorough soul searching and all you can come up with is try a god forced down the throat of you great-granparents at sword or gun point.

@SCYLLA,

See the monster Olabowale is calling on you to try, maybe you too will have the opportunity to kill off some guys and molest their girlfriends to you fill. Afterwards the monster will reward you 72 virgins.

More seriously you need to make a stand for what you believe in, if religious people can state their convictions unequivocally, pretenting will only negate the liberation you aim for by summoning courage to think critically.

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On the contrary I have done my home work, there is some principles I live my life by like relativism, humanism, treating others as they would like to be treated, and generally doing what makes the most people happy.

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@Poster

I would want to welcome you to the real world, being an atheist is not easy, especially in Nigeria. You will be ostracized by your family and the society at large. I have been an atheist for close to 30 years and my family up till date has not come to terms with it. My wife is a born again christian and insist i occasionally follow her to church, she sees me more as an unbeliever. But i make my views of christianity and religion known to her, and i show her the lies and fallacies of religion as a whole.

I think you have two problems here,

First you have not define your beliefs and world view, because when you stop believing in religion, a vacuum will be created in your world view. how will you fill that vacuum. Because if you do not fill it, you will be more confused than when you are religious.

I have to go now, will continue maybe tomorrow.

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So you think people that believe in some god are the only ones that are "highly principled".

At least he's trying to figure life out by THINKING for himself iinstead of swallowing some religious dogma like you.

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@Poster

Do you think you are an atheist because you don't believe in the Bible? Or do you see yourself as an atheist because you don't go to church? Or just because you doubt the existent of God or a god all together?

Secondly, why do you want to pretend? Even though I don't believe that there are human beings who are atheist, the so-called atheist I know or read about are highly principled. They stand their ground any day, any time and any where. Methinks you are not an atheist. I can only describe you as someone who does not understand himself not to talk about life-CONFUSED. I know you will soon come out of your confusion and redefine yourself one day. I wish you the Best of life.

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See you point, but I live in hope. After more that 15 years of trying, I have never managed to get a single member of my family to agree with me on the issue of god and christianity. The stranglehold is so strong, especially if you are in Africa, because the community at large held to bolster the community delusion.

I hear since Tai Solarin's death his school has adopted religion and Christianity, much to the disrespect of his memory. Is that true?

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bro you are being a bit too idealistic here. what you can wish for as an atheist in Nigeria is acceptance and not deconverting people. tai solarin try am, it no work.

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His lack of belief is not based on the atrocity committed by the Islamic goons, per se. According to his story, he stopped believing because the Christian God FAILED to save his VERY VERY strong Christian friends, who prayed and spoke in tongues and were so confident that Jesus would save them.

Here, he said: "I have never seen that kind of faith which my friend exhibited in my life. They refused to beg they just prayed and believed that God will miraculously save them." At the end, he was disappointed, hence, his unbelief.

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@Bindex: I feel for you man. You let yourself go away from Islam, because your mother went back to Christianity? Shouldn't you have been the one helping her to know that 3 gods concept truly say that no single one of them is a complete god!

It simply shows that that type of belief system is a farce. If you an hausa and read Qur'aan in Arabic, didn't you see that Allah says that from the collage and tapestry of His creations, you will definitely see the Proofs of His existence, if you reflect? Obviously, you did not reflect.

Unfortunately, you have Muslims by name only. Thats what you saw demostrated by those people who killed your friends. Those thugs should have known that life is to be cherished.

And people should be killed not because they are different from you, but if they were trying to kill you and also spreading evil in the land.

Peopl should be fought if they are preventing you from worshipping Allah. And such a person may die in the process, since his intention is to keep you from worshipping your LOrd God Allah the Almighty.

When I hear about these africans' epiphany away from belief in God because they meet Eurpopeans, etc, I often wonder if they did not have such a disbelief in their hearts, right from the jump start while in Africa?

I pray that my belief in One True God Allah the Almighty will die with me. Amin. So Bindex, all the Qur'aan must have disappeared from your tongue, uh? Subhanallah!

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I am not a christain but lets assume I am one. since I can not see God I try to see him through his words(the bible). This is what God said in the bible

I have already made the point that I used to lay my hand on friends or family that were sick and suffering but nothing happened. When the hausa killers came into the church to kill my friends do you know what one of my friends said? he said that Jesus is going to prove that he is alive today by sending his angels to blind the eyes of the bastard killers and slaves of that dangerous Allah he urged the rest to just go ahead and pray. He repeated the part of the verse I highlighted and smiled believing that God will save them. I have NEVER seen that kind of faith in my life I must confess. Dele was not scared at all. even when the guys were beating and maiming their body parts they were still praying. We have people like pastor adeboye lying that God told him to keep on driving his car for over 300km on an empty tank, we have pastors all over the world claiming to have healed and performed miracles behind close doors. If that is true(which is clearly a lie) do the miracle healers that we have all around the world worship a different God than my friends? or do they read a different bible? I have never seen that kind of faith which my friend exhibited in my life. They refused to beg they just prayed and believed that God will miraculously save them. I have so many reasons to believe that all religions are a farce. Do you know that there are hundred of millions of people that have never heard about Jesus, bible and Christianity? billions have died with out knowing that there is a religion called Christianity, same goes for Islam. They were all created by men. If only we will open our eyes and see, the truth is starring at us right in our faces. I must admit that it takes a very strong mind to do away with such beliefs. Those beliefs are people's lives thats why they kill others and themselves for their beliefs, Its not easy to tell a person to throw away his life.

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@Bindex,

Thanks for sharing your story. It is indeed sad that we humans use religion as a dress to cover the most heinious crimes. However it is important that you consider that all the experiences you went through both in Nigeria and europe are not enough reason(s) to convert from theism to atheism. What those experiences have done is to blast away the concepts of GOD that you learned from moslem and christian religions. Concepts of God are however not God itself. I think you should continue to search for God until you find indisputable evidence that he exists or does not exist. The search for God is personal. The questions you raised in your posts can be addressed at some point. To be an atheist, one must exhaust all possiblitiies of knowing and since it is impossible to know everything, the best one can do when one does not yet have enough evidence for the existence of God is to say he does not know and continue the search for God. Best wishes.

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@bindex, I'm not a sentimentsl person but DAMN, hope you don't have PTSD after that horror. I'm glad I didn't have to go through something like that in order to figure out god is a farce.

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@bindex

They're lives are in danger and all they can do is pray? You see what religious indoctrination dose too people. They shoud have should Allah Akbar {God Is Great} to appease their attackers or, plead with the killers that they will convert to Islam or better still they should never have hid in the church in the first place. But then see what you have to go through just discover that God dosen't exist. And the sad thing is those girls who got Molested despite everything they went through they will still cling on to their religious beliefs

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@bindex

I am speechless and so sorry for your loss. I just feel like a kid who found out santa was not real anymore but has to play along so I don't spoil the fun for the younger ones.

Funny thing this religion.

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@Bindex

That was some horror you had to pass through, and shows what evil people perpetuate in the name of religion. I was also caught in the 2002 crisis in Kaduna (the Miss World crisis) and had to drive through about 2Km of hostile people who were basically smashing our car all around us(I wish I could show you a picture of the car after our travails). I'm sure if the car had stopped, we would have been killed.

To cut a long story short, I was a reasonably strong beleiver at the time and the mob that surrounded us instructed us to shout (Allah Akbar) while we were in the car which I did with much energy (I was scared stiff staring death in the face).  Matthew my friend who was driving nudged me that it wasn't necessary shouting it but only to wave my hands showing solidarity with them (I didn't see any difference so I kept on shouting anyway).

Well, I got saved shouting Allah Akbar at the time and attributed it to God but I now attribute it to chance since I could either have been saved by God (who refused to save the people in your narrative who kept on calling his name even in the face of danger) or Allah who orchestrated the entire mass slaughter to begin with (and that is the God Olabowale is encouraging someone to try).

@Scylla

You are on a journey like Huxley rightly pointed out, life itself is a journey anyway, the only difference between us and the theists is that we are brave enough to acknowledge that we don't know the beginning of that journey (even though scientists are still studying and have come up with probable scenarios) nor the end of the journey while the theists are content in the psychological comfort of concoted stories that are turning out to be a blatant lies (which wouldn't be a big deal if not for the fanaticsm, hypocricy and all other vices with which they go about it and the attendant evil they perpetuate in the names of their various religions).

As someone rightly pointed out, they have chosen the blue pill.

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Ola, go answer these questions first before you come back here.

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@SCYLLA: « #25 on: Today at 02:17:57 PM »

But they can all be wrong. But there is no doubt that if they are not all wrong, and since they can not alll be right, only one must be right. Please, find that one, except that you can proof that they are all wrong! Huxley and company, thats also ajourney that has a destination. Take this journey instead of going about destinationless in a desert, with your mind closed!

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@Huxley: « #21 on: Today at 01:34:39 PM »  

I think you are a wonderer, man. How can you journey without a destination? Thats a perpetual journey. Even on earth you can do it. Forrrest Gump ran for as long as he can, and suddenly he stop. He uttered out "I think I will go home, now!" He was a slowpoke in the Movie. You Huxley, with all the African in you and your scholarship acquired in England (Note to self: Dont send your child to England, except to Visit, to know those who enslaved his people), you are even worse, because you enbark on a journey without destination! The worst thing you have ever said, yet, even though I find you wierd, many atime. But this is the rockbottom!

I have news for you man. Soon, hopefully this year or next, you will hit 50. At least you know by now that you are no more a teenager, any longer! In another 50 years, death will be knocking at your door. Your journey on earth will be winding down, to a destination; the after this earthly life. I know you will say "grave", but your atheist knowledge does not know what happens, for sure after death.

Your new journey will continue, just like the life of a newly born continues in outside, while it would have been an impossible in his mind, if he were asked, just moment before his mother begins to feel that he must be born and leaves the womb empty.

This is your problem, Huxley. have baked knowledge sometimes is worse than no knowledge at all. You lack "good knowledge; none whatsoever!"

Get a Qur'aan and read ma. Start from the first page and finish the Book! You should dare me on this. And am counting on the African in you. The British part I can't vouch for, because you people are far out, man.

]quote]

1)  Critical thinking skills

2)  Philosophy  and argumentation

3)  Science and scientific rationalism

4)  Philosophy of religion and mythology

5)  Your local family religion and their holy books

6)  History

This is the best thing you have ever said. Man you are weird. In the same post, you went from worst to good. I think there is still belief in your heart. Let me know when you begin to read the Qur'aan. I wanna know your reaction.

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@olabowale

Thank you for your pitch, I don't think there is an "answer".

@monicaa

I have come to realise that we are a function of our environment, like martian correctly pointed out to you, there are so many religions in this world all laying claim to the divine. They cannot all be right.

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@Toyosi20: « #9 on: Today at 01:13:39 AM »

He can pretend as long as he wants. And he will fool almost everyone, too. Except those who can smell a phony from long distance. Afterall, the religion of his girlfriend, and his people is Christianity. In christianity, the pretence is that Jesus is god! Yet he :knew not" the time of the Hour, except that the Knower is the One Who Sent him!

What kinda god, except a make believe god will have such a deficient knowledge of the end time that he is the only one that is supposed to be the beginner, by coming back to rapture, and the only one to judge!

Its interesting that the Bible reports that this make believe god said that he would be back before his audience dies off! This was 2000 years ago. Almost. Is any one from that pool of audience still alive, somewhere? If not, you will see that fake god as spoken fakery, unless he didn't claim to be God. Therefore everything is a sham. Now my man, try Islam. I know its going to hit you hard like a "pizza pie", but thats a process you have to go through, before you become a hardliner atheist like Huxley there!

Huxley is not thinking or he is just too stubborn to want to know the truth, because he can't handle it!

I though Love is a matter of the heart, where emotion is felt? What role do "knees" play? Like seriously?

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temptation. double life

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Although I am an atheist, I do not consider this as an end in itself. Atheism by itself is not a badge of honour. What matter most is the journey and not the destination. The journey is the most illuminating process you will have undergone in your life. On this journey, if done properly, you will learn;

1) Critical thinking skills

2) Philosophy and argumentation

3) Science and scientific rationalism

4) Philosophy of religion and mythology

5) Your local family religion and their holy books

6) History

If you are naturally disposed to learning and are of an intellectual bent, you will find this process stimulating, challenging and liberating. In fact, I consider this journey a journey without destination, for while you still have life in you, you will be going over many of these subjects daily.

At some point during this journey, you will be faced with having to decide whether you think the theistic narrative carries more explanatory power than the atheistic worldview. Whichever way you decide to go, you will have become a much better person.

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Example, you were probably born into a christian household in Nigeria and bombarded with jesus everyday. If you were born into an household in Saudi Arabia and bombarded with Mohammed everyday, you'll be a muslim and swear up and down that islam is the right path to god. So where and how you grew up is the deciding factor of what religion you adhere to, unless you look at religion objectively.

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@poster

Pls im really curious, I really wanna know

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Monica its a long story, but after examining everything, I just cannot say for sure if there is a God.

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@Poster

If I may ask, what is ur reason for being an atheist, just curious

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it would be worse should she find out on her own. Explain calmly to her, she may end up deciding to tough it out with you. the bible does not say to dump a man/husband should he decide he no longer prefers to believe. If the wife is willing to stay with the man and he is fine with her then go ahead . . . she can pray you back maybe.

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My pleasure Scylla, I know the situation yu're in very well cos I've been there and possibly still resolving some of the issues you've come up with for example how do I explain to my aged grannie that I'm not sure of God's existence again? the dear old soul would go to an early grave thinking I've gone mad so I just say Amen when she prays for me.

As Bawomolo pointed out, you're not really an Atheist going by the precise definition of the word. Agnostic would more likely define you and I would say that most of us referred to as Atheists on the forum tend more towards an Agnostic view even though we are usually considered to be in cahoots with the Atheists by the theists.

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your girlfriend deserves to know. you can't have a long term relationship keeping such secrets

take huxley's advice since it seems you are not full sure of your atheism. you could just be agnostic or anti-organized religon. personally, i doubt am coming out until am a little more older.

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@duduspace

I am not sure God exists, plus the bible just seems to be full of irregularities, I also wonder that I would have been a muslim if I was born into the sultan of sokoto's family and I feel it is all relative.

I loved your reply though, I will mull over it.

Thanks.

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@Scylla

Your post throws up some questions:

1. What do you mean by "borderline atheist"? is it

a. that you are not really sure if God exists or not?

b. that you have come to the conclusion that the bible is largely untrue but still beleive in the possibility that God exists?

You would need to resolve this within yourself and decide on a course of action. Resolving issues with your family and friends will be much easier after you have broken the ice and everyone understands how you have arrived at such a decision. Some of them would even see reasons with you and share their uncertainty in the truth of the bible with you.

Your girlfriend will only need to understand things from your point of view, a man always has to be able to take responsibility for his decisions. If you love her so much and don't want to lose her, you can for her sake still continue to go to church sporadically but make it clear to her why you choose to do this and if she loves you as much as you seem to love her she will definitely want to put you out of the misery of going against your convictions.

There is a lot of hypocrisy/tolerance I've noticed in many of these so called sisters anyway as I know quite a number who even have muslim boyfriends.

The greatest disservice you could do yourself however is to live a life of deception, you only end up hurting yourself and a lot of others in the process.

NB: You can see the bible as being predominantly a lie yet agree with a lot of its principles and precepts and live by them particularly those taught by Jesus, it is up to you to sift the wheat from the chaff.

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Hello SCYLLA,

I undertand.  These are delicate things that are capable of have breaking family up and I am not suggestion that you unnecessarily antagonise you family.  But I would really like to know how you think you family would react should you say something like;

Hey, brother (or Dad or Mum), by the way, which commandments are we meant to follow?  Those in Ex20 or those in Ex34?

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Hello manmustwac,

Must be really hard for you out there having to hide a core part of yourself from you family and friends.   Feel for you, man.   But how long have you been hiding this from your close ones?

I for one, could not hide such a fundamental aspect of my personality for any length of time, especially not to family and friends.  Of course, I don't know your family, so I cannot understand what it must be like for you.

You can get out of this predicament by slowing revealing doubts in the religions of your folks.   See my suggestion to the original poster above.

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Huxley its not that easy, I am trying not to raise spite, I know all the issues well but its not as easy as asking questions and getting off the hook.

@davidylan

I feel she will be shattered, she senses it though but I think I will only do it when the time is right, I changed while we were in the relationship not before we started.

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I understand you dilemma, especially living in a predominantly theistic community but this is not an impassable problem. Whatever you family religion is, why don't you sit back and think or write down 10 reasons why you find that this religion is untrue. Also write down why you think the atheist worldview better represents the true state of reality. This, hopefully, should help you gather and collect your thoughts in a way that you could skillfully present to an audience of your family and friends.

Now, the way to "come out", as it were, is by casting doubts of the traditional religious narratives with some members of the family. Typically, there is one or two members of the family who are really HOT about god and religions. Such members would claim to be good bible scholars or interpreters. Approach these members individually with some of the "difficults" questions. Two great questions are the following:

1) Which Ten Commandments. Why are the Commandments given in Exodus 20 different from those in Exodus 34 when Ex34 were suppose to replace those in Ex20?

2) The trial narrative of Jesus. If you were at the trial of Jesus, would you have convicted him or exonerated him?

I have raised threads on this subject here on NL, if you need further details, just ask and I shall bring them up again. Basically, once they see that you are approaching the bible with a rational and scientific mind, thus intellectually mature mind, they will have little ground to stand on to criticise you. This could be a long and drawn out process, each time throwing new questions to them. The more questions they are incapable to satisfactorily answering, the more intellectual distance you put between you and the rest. That way, when you eventually announce that you no longer believe in their god, it will not come as much of a surprise.

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scylla, at least tell your gf. she deserves to know the truth, you may be surprised maybe she's no different to you and only goes to church to please her family.

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I think you understand what I am saying, to me it really does not make any difference unless when I feel like I need to do something else.

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If it was me i would just continue to pretend. Because its not easy telling your people {especially in a country like Nigeria} that your am atheist. My parents bros sistas girlfriend etc don't know that am an atheist and i don't intend to tell them. Telling your girlfriend that your an athiest is just like telling her that your gay! So don't tell her. Unless she suspects herself thru your behaviour

Well thats just my opinion

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Who are you pretending for? For your self or for them?

They have their lives to live and you have yours. This is not a popularity contest. If you move to saudi arabia, there will be more less stress to be inclined to be a christian. If you move to china, there wont be this serious need to have jesus, rather buddah would be knocking on your door. But the bottom line is whether you have lived your own life happily or you lived their own lives to displease yourself because they would never change their beliefs to please you, so why please them?

When they die, you aint going with them to whatever destination they are headed to, so why bother? If you want to follow jesus, do it because you believe he exists and you want to follow his teachings, if you do not believe in it and you see the whole biblical stories as hog wash, you go on your own jejely and ignore their bloviates.

A pretender is worse than a coward to me!

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