This post is by Jesse Galef
Here’s an interesting twist on a common question. I’ve been asked several times whether I could date a religious girl. I can speak from experience (though with a sample size of one) that it didn’t work out well. She told me that her faith was a big part of who she was, and asked that if I didn’t respect her faith how could I respect her? (For the record, an uncomfortable silence ensued before I asked “Is it really that big a part of you?” We didn’t date long.)
Fortunately for me, it’s not an issue with Lisa, my current girlfriend. She’s a member of the Secular Student Alliance, helped found two secular clubs in college, and is generally amazing. Here’s an illustrative picture of her at the Maryland Renaissance Festival:
But today my sister, Julia, posed a slightly different version of the question: “Could you date someone who could date someone who is religious?”
Lisa rocking the heresy sign in the stocks
The question isn’t whether I could have a religious girlfriend, it’s whether I could date someone who has no problem dating religious guys.
I don’t think that I would immediately reject such a girl, but I don’t know if the relationship would last in my case. I consider certain traits central to my identity – my skepticism, my rationality, my willingness to accept what I think is true rather than what I wish were true. If a girl has no problem dating a religious person, how much could she value those traits in me?
I’m not talking about a girl who might take issue with religion but is willing to overlook it for other reasons. There’s a difference between a girl who is willing to date a religious person and a girl who has no problem with it. It becomes a matter of degree: how much does she value rationality?
What do you think? Of the question, not of Lisa, who I already know is great.