Last December if you had asked me about my friends, I would have told you they were all nonbelievers of some persuasion or another. But back then I ran into a fellow blogger who is a devout Catholic. Roxane wrote about me and I felt obliged to write back. Instead of getting into a "blog war" we decided to take our conversation privately to email and have been writing each other back and forth ever since.
Now I would call her a friend. Do I understand her worldview? Does it make sense to me? No, it really doesn't. But she seems like a good person, kind and compassionate. With Roxane, I've been learning to see that there are religious people who aren't like the media stereotypes that make me apoplectic with impotent indignation.
Interestingly, in this same time period I've also come to see several family members that are also moderately religious to seriously devout in a new light. I've engaged them as well, and it has really expanded my perspective of people who are so diametrically opposed to how I view the world. It's been eye-0pening to say the least.
Last week Roxane got a crazy idea that she and I should co-write a blog. Nothing intense, just a weekly joint post. She thought I'd say no, but I surprised her and said yes immediately. So we started AtheistCatholic.com and today was our first post.
In the past couple of days I've told a few of my friends about what I'm doing. I've gotten mixed responses. Some people said I'm wasting my time. Others thought it was a good idea. First I should probably explain the goal of this new experiment. Because that is most definitely what it is. It might not work out, but I'm willing to give it a good ol' college try.
We want to share some of our discussion publicly, and have people join our conversation, mainly about our worldviews. It's not a place for debate or attacking the opposing team. It's more about coming to hopefully understand each other, and maybe even learn more about ourselves in the process. I've done that with Roxane already so I want to share that insight and hopefully get even more from the interactions we have over there.
One more thing. I am not being an accommodationist here. This isn't about compromising and bending over backward to the religious worldview. As you know, I have very strong opinions about naturalism/atheism and religion. But, this is about people getting along, being friends despite opposite viewpoints, and learning about others and ourselves.
If you're interested in joining the conversation, head over there and say hi. Just please be courteous. This is about building bridges, not isolating ourselves.