Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Imaginary Friend

I sometimes hear my non-religious friends making jokes about Christians and mocking them for their “imaginary friend,” god. The implication is that Christians are foolish, weak, or childish for their beliefs.
I do not call myself a Christian. The idea of a Deity that human beings can understand seems impossible to me. But my spouse is a Christian, many of my close friends are Christians. To them, faith means the security of knowing they are loved and accepted by someone, even when their lives and their hearts are in chaos. Their faith isn't about politics or perfection, it's about purpose and inner peace.

Everybody needs to be loved.
So why should we mock somebody who chooses to believe that they are unconditionally and eternally loved by a higher power?
I am lucky enough to have a loving and supportive spouse, family, and community, but that doesn’t make it okay for me to ridicule those who choose to seek out love and support from a god and a church.
We live in a world full of questions; let’s not mock each other’s answers.


  1. I agree and thank you for saying this.

  2. I was going to say the same thing - thanks for writing this.

    I love your last line - " We live in a world full of questions; let’s not mock each other’s answers.".

  3. I'm glad more non-believers, agnostics, and atheists are expressing concerns like these. I've felt quite isolated.

  4. I have mixed feeling about this. Certainly the world could do with more kindness and less sneering. But tacitly encouraging someone to look for help where no help will come might not be such a loving thing.

    I think it partly depends a lot on what kind of religion your friend believes. If she spends her life in terror of hell, and is ruining her health with too many children they can't afford, I think it would be a kindness to try to talk her out of it. If she believes in a loving god who will provide a happy ending, that's very different.

  5. Thanks for saying this. As a liberal Jewish thiest, I get really frustrated at some of the sarcasm and insults about anybody who thinks there is more to life and existance than what can be scientifically measured. If I was doubting or needed help the last place I would turn to is where something important to me is only worth insults. And especially as a Jew, ignorant insults at that.

    I've had imaginary friends as a child. I've had a few very intense personal expriences that are nothing like that, which I can only describe as a sense of divine presence. It's just like you said, knowing that no matter how much I screw up, how much my heart or life may be in chaos, I have at least that one solid anchor of belief that the value of my life is more then what I do at work, how I make money, or whatever social mistakes I make.

    Political manipulation of religion for social control is different then personal belief. And personal belief that blinds you to another's humanity, even in your own family, is different than personal belief that uplifts you without denigrating anybody else.