Why I’ll Never Date A Fella Who Believes In God

Oh religion. If you want to get people’s undies in a bunch and have them throwing verbal darts in your direction just bring up your belief, or lack thereof, in God. It’s a surefire way to ruffle more than a few feathers.

I’m the first to admit that when it comes to men, I’m very picky. I know that I’m overly superficial when it comes to things like how they dress and musical taste, but I also hold a standard on more important things like religion and politics. Although I would like to point out that Tattoo Guy will occasionally wear white socks to torture me and does not share my affinity for obscure indie pop, but it’s OK for the moment because he’s pretty fucking great. So in that regard, I’m easing up on those “standards,” but when it comes to religion and politics, I will not waver in the slightest. If you’re not a liberal who supports human rights in all their forms, we’re not even going to sleep together, let alone date. But this is about God, not about how I won’t fuck someone who thinks abortion is wrong, because I think we already covered that in a roundabout way.

I have never dated someone who believes in God, and to the best of my knowledge, I have never slept with one who does either. Granted, if I’m having a one night stand, I don’t usually ask whether or not the person in the equation is religious, but I have said “no, thank you” to two people in the past who voiced their belief somewhere over a shot of whiskey.

I realize this requirement would make a lot of sense if I were in a serious relationship that could possibly evolve into marriage and eventually kiddos, but even when it comes to casual dating, I need that person to be an atheist. I don’t want him questioning whether there “might” be a God or a fella who prays at night “just in case;” I want him to believe, or rather, know in his heart that God does not exist.

First of all, it’s about respect. While I do value that people are entitled to their own opinions and religious convictions, I would have a very hard time being intimate with someone who, in my mind, didn’t get the joke. I’m of the belief that God was invented by human beings because they needed to not only give their lives a purpose, but to explain their fear of the unknown. Because I think this way, I think the whole idea of God is really funny. I also find religion, in general, really entertaining. As I say to my mother all the time: “So you mean to tell me that you believe a virgin gave birth to Jesus?” Come on, that’s really funny when you think about it!

Secondly, it’s also about my disdain for religion as a whole. Yes, I think it’s entertaining and yes I find the traditions and history associated with each religion really fascinating; I, however, don’t like what it does to people. I don’t like how it divides human beings, has been the cause of way too many wars and all the lives that have been lost in the name of religion. I find all of this to be really abhorrent and heartbreaking; I want no part of it. I realize one could argue that my inability to date someone who believes in God is a division of people in itself, and you wouldn’t be totally wrong. But I’d never hate someone or even dislike them for what they do or don’t believe. I just don’t want the believing quality in someone I’m dating.

Lastly, I think it comes down to compatibility. I don’t wander the streets wearing a t-shirt that says “I don’t believe in God,” but it is a part of who I am and an important aspect. I do not attend atheist churches or any of that craziness, because then I feel like you’re just bordering on organized religion, but the intensity with which I hold this belief is pretty fucking strong.

As with when I wrote about how I won’t date someone who wears white socks, I’m sure there will be those who will not only call me an asshole for this, but also point out that I might be missing out on the potential for something great. I disagree, however. In not dating someone who believes in God, I’m not missing out on anything. As for me being an asshole, well… I think we’re all pretty sure of the answer on that one. I don’t even think that’s up for debate.

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    • jack

      You should wear a shirt that says as much. I do:

      http://i1234.photobucket.com/albums/ff413/jackshort/DSC_0913.jpg

      People need to know that many of the smart, normal, successful people around them are atheists. That way they’ll stop thinking we’re all depraved, violent, hedonist pederasts.

      Nice post, too. Amen.

    • MR

      I told you I’m and agnostic. My concept is somewhat like ‘The Force’. It’s a force in nature that balances things over time. It’s also feminine.

    • Sabrina

      “I would have a very hard time being intimate with someone who, in my mind, didn’t get the joke” This is perfection. And exactly right.

    • Lastango

      “I’m sure there will be those who will not only call me an asshole for this, but also point out that I might be missing out on the potential for something great.”

      No, they won’t. Calling someone that — or calling them a racist and a hater — is what people of your “progressivist” orientations do to people who don’t agree with you. Your gang is tolerant and openminded only in the Orwellian sense, as befits folk who think their intellectual lockstep is freedom.

      “I think the whole idea of God is really funny. I also find religion, in general, really entertaining.”

      That’s your lack of deep education and life experience talking. When you get older, you’ll discover that making your way through life by scoffing at others’ beliefs closes you off from rich experience. You still don’t have to believe in God, but you’ll be able to make room for people who do.

      • Tia

        I completely agree. I used to hold the same beliefs as the author of this post until I attended a rather conservative college. I became friends with people who hated the idea of religion, people who were occasional church goers and people who dedicated their entire existence to worshipping God and spreading the gospel. The latter group is one of the kindest, most tolerant and accepting group of people I’ve met in my life. I talked a lot to them about God and they helped me to understand the Bible and evangelism. I’m not saying I believe in God, because I have a hard time believing in something of which there is no proof. It just made me understand that religion can be enriching and life-changing for people who take it seriously. For example, one of my best friends grew up suicidal and depressed, and then she got to college and “found God” and found fellowship within a Christian community and now she is one of the happiest, most selfless people I know and any guy would be lucky to date her. I learned a hell of a lot from that young lady and I don’t know what I would have done if I had written her off just because of her beliefs. You can think whatever you want about religion, but you shouldn’t mock people or judge them.

      • Sabrina

        So you’re pointing out that she might be missing out on something great (aka “rich experience”) because she “lacks education and life experience”. Congrats, you just proved her point.

      • Sarah!

        If people keep calling you racist, it might be because you’re kind of a racist though.

    • BeccaTheCyborg

      Excellent post. I admit I wouldn’t date a religious person again because I really can’t get into the intellectual incuriosity it takes to ignore how amazing the universe is and then make shit up. Or to be with someone who doesn’t care of the things they believe are true.

    • Eileen

      Huh.

      Funny, my biggest problem with my boyfriend is that he’s an atheist. Not that I’m particularly religious, mind you – I’ve never been baptized, and I’m not sure if I believe in any kind of divine presence – but it just seems supremely arrogant to me for a human to claim to understand the universe enough to know that there isn’t a God.

      • Sophie

        I dont think the author claims to KNOW that God doesnt exist – they just dont BELIEVE that God exists. Do religious people KNOW God exists? Or do they BELIEVE God exists? Beliefs are not facts.

      • Aislinn

        right on, Sophie.

      • carrie

        “I want him to believe, or rather, know in his heart that God does not exist.”

        Sounds like exactly what she was saying, actually.

    • Lindsey

      I don’t even know what to say. Was this written just to get some comments? I kind of think so, and I’m sorry I’m falling for it.

      My mom is a minister. My older sister is a pastor. I’m currently a church secretary. And this website used to be in my bookmarks bar.

      It seems like you’re lumping all religious people into one group. It’s definitely not that way at all (I can say this confidently, because half of my friends are in divinity school or are pastors/ministers).

      Ah, you know what? It’s clear you’re not interested in what I have to say. You would refuse to date anyone “like me.”

      And it looks like I’m not really interested in what you have to say either. Maybe I would be if you wrote it differently, but there you have it.

      • mm

        Just to point out the irony of this: you’re coming down on her for “lumping all religious people into one group” yet saying things like “And this website used to be in my bookmarks bar”

        Aren’t you lumping an entire website written by a bunch of different authors into one group?

        ^^ this is why I dislike religious people. The proof is in the pudding. Just read all the ridiculous comments on Buzzfeed about anything involving gay rights – it’ll make you hate religion in negative 15 seconds if you’re an intelligent human being.

    • Lucy

      I wouldnt sleep with a God botherer because they’re naff.

    • Scarlett

      You know … this is a touchy subject for most people. I really don’t care what people do, accept beat people and doing drugs are immediate no nos. But, I kinda gotta agree when the author says its down to compatibility. I dated two guys who happened to have faith and neither worked out. I’m not saying that was the only reason things ended, but religion didn’t help. I also remember with my more recent religious ex saying that I was “going to hell,” “wasn’t good enough for him or God,” and how he wanted some “dirty sinner hell sex that night” one night when he was mean drunk.

    • Fabel

      Yeah, I feel like the disconnect between myself & someone who believes would be too great for a relationship. I also find religion fascinating, but it would be hard to objectively discuss if the other person actually feels themselves to be a part of it.

    • Aj

      Although I don’t personally like to make big statements like “I’ll never date any guy that….” (you never know what might happen) I see where you coming from. Most religious people will not date an atheist so there’s nothing wrong you doing the same. It makes sense for both sides, why would you want to set yourself up for years of theological debates that will eventually tear you apart anyway?

    • Nancy

      I could date someone who believes there’s a god, but not anyone who really believes their religion is fact. I think someone who believes there’s a god and believes in some good principles of their religion but doesn’t think everything their religion teaches is fact, might be a great boyfriend actually (depending on the person obviously)!

    • Sara

      I believe in God, I wouldn’t say I am “religious,” but I do believe in something greater then myself.

      But in the same respect I think this was a great post, and if that is how you feel then that is how you feel. I don’t see anything wrong with it at all, nor do I want to sit here and try to get you to “see my side of it,” or make you listen about why I think there is a God etc etc.

    • porkchop

      It seems like no matter what people believe, they get to feel condescending/contempt/”tolerance” for everybody else. I’ve lived on both sides, I’ve never had that feeling, and I don’t know why everyone else does.

      As far as I can tell, human beings are willing to destroy each other out of selfishness. This is a cornerstone of Christianity, and how most of our progress as a species is made. If that ultimately means we escape the Earth before it’s incinerated by the sun, then we will have scored 1 point in Man vs Mortality.

      At that point we can all talk about forgiving ourselves for letting other human beings starve to death for tens of thousands of years–believers and non-believers alike.

      Also, people cause wars to happen, not religion. People will march under any standard that’s convenient. We are ALL responsible for that. You can’t just unhitch yourself from millenia of human atrocities because you don’t believe in God.

      • Endn

        Amen!

        Atheist/laughing at religion as signifiers of intellect/superiority is so passé, like, so masturbatory and childish and boring. Nuance! Respect! All peoples have been terrible for all kinds of reasons! Patting yourself on the back for being atheist/anti religion doesnt exempt you!

      • Miss Meppy

        I gotta agree with the first part. I once was having dinner with a friend’s family when her dad began to tell a Jesus joke. He stopped himself and said, “Wait, you’re not religious are you?” I responded, “No, but I like to be respectful of religion.” That basically sums up my views. I’m pretty science-minded and kind of agree that people probably just invented a higher power to help them get through life. But I don’t see any reason to be a jerk about it. Yeah, some awful things have been done in the name of religion, but it also does a lot of good for people in really personal ways. If it’s helping someone, why be a dick about it?

        Personally I think that living and dying and decaying so that worms can eat you and you can help create new life is a pretty majestic thing in itself. I’m totally cool with there not being an afterlife. But at the same time, while I don’t necessarily believe in God or a higher power I like to thank “the universe” when things turn out really good because on the off-chance someone up there just did something nice I think it’s polite to thank them. :)

        Also, I totally don’t hate on Amanda Chatel for this article. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, and relationships are delicate things. I agree that with opinions like that, she probably wouldn’t be good with a religious dude. *shrug* No big deal.

    • jlee

      It is a widely known fact that religious people have no p*ssy eating skills; that’s my reason for not dating one.

    • Holly

      To the comment(s) about religion and comments about gay people –

      I attend a Christian church regularly. I have a strong belief in God. I also spend a lot of time and effort involved in activities that support and advocate for my many, many LGBT friends and family, some of which are leaders in my church. Not all “religious people” are closed-minded. I socialize with a very, very liberal group of people and the majority of them believe in God. I myself am a very liberal person. I’m open-minded enough to never single out a single group of people as being wrong or unintelligent or laughable in their beliefs.

      Generalizations of any group are very frustrating to me.

      Maybe some of you are just hanging around the wrong types of “religious” people for you.

      • Marissa

        Jlee apparently is hanging out with the wrong types!

        I agree with this article for the most part, and I agree with Holly that there are some fantastic people who consider themselves religious. For example, I met the most fantastic group of girls who happened to be extremely religious…like bible college religious. I adore them. They have great taste in music (indie) books (heavy on russian lit, classics and smart pop fiction), food (locally grown), fashion, and extracurricular activies. And even some political issues. But they also were virgins who attended church at least every Sunday.***Mental model of Christian virgin thrown out the window.***

        So, I still don’t think a real relationship would work between an atheist and a dogmatically religious person. Religion or lack there of, is apparent in all the moves you make in life. It’d be so difficult, and while relationships require work, they shouldn’t be THAT difficult.

    • Cassie

      You can exclude whomever you’d like from you dating pool, but do you really need to show them so much disrespect in the process?

      Yes, religion has harmed a lot of people. It has also helped a lot of people, though, and explaining to them how “entertaining” you find the whole concept is so condescending. Has anyone ever told you that feminism is “so cute?” Doesn’t that make you want to punch them in the face? You are pretty much doing the same thing here.

      • Marissa

        *Yo, Cassie, I’m really happy for you, and Imma let you finish, but Christians regularly tell atheists they’re going to hell. Which is the worst type of condescension. OF ALL TIME.

        *excuse dated reference. it’s friday, and i’m ready to leave.

      • Kj

        *Yo Marissa, being contemptuous towards religious people is not solution to pushy religious people. You know, and eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, etc.

        I’m with you, Cassie. More info upthread.

      • cassie

        I did not say that Christian people never do nasty shit. In fact, I said it harms a lot of people. Example – telling athiests that they’re going to hell. I’ve been told that myself and I did not like it. However, not all are guilty of that though, so not all should be treated with disrespect.

      • NotThumper

        Eh, being told to go to hell makes me giggle. It’s only insulting if you actually believe in a hell. I’ve been told where I could go a few times in my life and my outburst of laughter just pisses them off more. It’s like a game…lol

    • Amy

      As an athiest myself, I could never date a seriously religious person because I wouldn’t be able to get past knowing that he thinks I’m going to be tortured in hell for eternity and he is somehow okay with that. I just don’t see how a true believer and an atheist could find enough common ground in values and life goals to have a truly long-lasting relationship.

      Truth be told, nearly everyone I know (family, friends, neighbours, co-workers, etc.) identify as Catholic, but maybe only 2 are actual hard core believers. Most of ‘em seem to be fairly agnostic-ish in belief and Catholic out of tradition, comfort, and loyalty.

      • Sabrina

        Oh my god! I’m so glad you mentioned this, because I knew a couple where the wife was not religious and the husband was, and he used to tell her SHE WAS GOING TO HELL! He was married to someone who he would regularly tell her she was going to hell. Does anyone else see how fucked up this is?

    • Larissa

      I’m stuck in a conundrum. I wasn’t raised in a particular religion, but I do have faith in some higher power that I don’t claim to know because there’s so much out there and who the hell am I to guess that I have the correct answer…so I don’t have religious beliefs but I have an overall faith in a higher power. So I don’t like to date overly religious people, because I’m not down with the idea that ONE way is the ONLY right way, the only true answer, and much of religious doctrine still seems misogynistic and homophobic to me. And the whole Hell concept bugs me out. I’ve actually had an ex-boyfriend’s family tell me, “what a shame…you’re so sweet, yet you’re going to Hell because you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal savior.” Yet I was raised to treat others as you’d like to be treated, and be nice to old people and animals, and chew with my damn mouth closed, etc. Apparently being a good person isn’t enough to some religious folks, and I can’t date someone who thinks i’m going to hell no matter what my actions say. Yet I don’t like when people believe in NOTHING. That seems arrogant to me as well, to assume you know that there is nothing out there, and it also seems kind of negative, to ignore all the cool shit in the world that must be a result of something awesome and bigger then us. So….i’m stuck between the very religious and total non-believers. Just being a picky asshole, I guess?

      • Tania

        Honestly, after studying science for enough years to have a vague idea how the theory behind how everything is how it is works, the idea that all that cool shit came about *of its own accord* is waaaay cooler than believing that Divine Intervention shaped it that way.

        To each their own, I suppose.

      • Ellen

        Look for people who consider themselves “spiritual but not religious”. Then you won’t have either of those problems.

    • Jamie Peck

      I feel the exact same way! I don’t think I could ever date a religious dude. My boyfriend refers to God as “Sky Guy,” heh.

      • NotThumper

        LOL. My husband says “Sky Bully” :)
        Great minds…

      • Amanda Chatel

        I’m totally stealing that “Sky Guy.”

    • Kj

      OMG Congrats Chatel, you are sooooo much smarter than all us wacky, wacky Christians!

      I’m going to be generous and assume that this article wasn’t just written to get more pageviews. Anyone who reads Jezebel knows that ANYTHING to do with religion will get approximately 10 bajillion comments in three days.

      Anyways, you know what? Fair enough that she would never date a Christian, because I would never date an atheist. At least not marry one. Because most of them don’t get it. They don’t get how deeply offensive it is when they imply (or overtly say) that my deeply held, personal beliefs are a big fucking joke.

      I am tired of hearing about how all Christians/any religion are clearly brainwashed, irrational idiots whose only interest is in spreading bigotry. My beliefs are the result of a long journey of introspection. There are times when I myself have questioned whether or not I believe in God.

      I have struggled greatly with the knowledge of the horrible things done in the name of religion. But as of now, I choose to believe, and I don’t believe in forcing my beliefs on others, because I know how personal this issue is.

      And you know what? I can even laugh at Wookie Jesus (which really is hilarious)

      Anyways, I just have to agree with the other commenters who find the tone of this article offensive. I think what gets me is that they have to be a super confirmed mocking religion atheist, because if not, they are CLEARLY NOT WORTHY.

      Ultimately it doesn’t really affect me anyways. Me and my liberal somewhat Catholic BF will someday make our liberal somewhat Catholic bebes and I’m sure they will have the same argument with Chatel’s atheist bebes, so… meh.

    • len132

      It’s totally ridiculous for me to chime in here, because it’s not like you give a shit. However, I just felt like pointing out that the truly rational position on God is agnosticism. Looking at it from a truly rational, logical perspective, you neither prove nor disprove the existence of a higher power.

      I personally choose to believe in God, after long and difficult h. I can’t really explain it to someone who thinks it’s all a joke.

      To anyone who happens to be interested, I would recommend “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief,” by Francis Collins. I don’t agree with everything in it (and I think he really simplifies things at times) but it’s a good book. (Francis Collins was the director of the Human Genome Project, and kind of a scientist bad ass).

    • Catherine

      I’m not sure why this article is so controversial, other than I suppose it wouldn’t have been worth publishing if it hadn’t been a little snarky here and there. I think most people look for relationships with partners who more or less share their worldviews on the big issues, so it isn’t really newsworthy that this woman is part of the herd. If the author had been serious about having a respectful conversation, however, she wouldn’t have ended that same sentence with the phrase “I would have a very hard time being intimate with someone who, in my mind, didn’t get the joke.” Given that the tendency to seek similar partners is completely mainstream, I doubt there’s a line of devout Christian men outside her door, anyway, so I’m not sure why this perspective merits a public service announcement. Desperate for comments is my conclusion, and totally getting us all to chime in.

      Meh… moving on to a more interesting article.

    • Amanda Chatel

      I’m not going to get into any one on one arguments. I was just voicing my opinion on the matter. It’s something I’ve felt for a long time and after talking about the “God” thing with the person I’m seeing, I thought it might be an interesting topic.

      If anyone of you found it condescending, then you missed the tone. I’m allowed to think religion is a joke. I’m allowed to think reality TV is a joke or people who vote for Mitt Romney or people who wear hot pink sneakers or whatever… because guess what? And listen close: it’s my fucking OPINION.

      But thanks to the supporters in the comments! Love you!

      And @kj – I wasn’t suggesting I was smarter than anyone else!
      As for you, Cassie – if someone wants to think feminism is “so cute” that’s their problem and their opinion. Sure, I’ll think they’re a dick for it but that’s how it goes. You can think I’m a dick for my opinion… because again, that’s how it goes!

      I knew these comments were going to force me to drink tonight. I’m writing about bunnies going forward.

      • Kj

        No worries Chatel, I am drinking too… alone! The best way to drink. Yay! Anyways I love to argue for the sake of arguing, if you are to drink, do so to, uh, celebrate diversity of opinions and the joy of convivial discussion!

        …Woot!

      • Amanda Chatel

        Phew! I thought we were in a row, Kj! Now I’ll cheers that we’re OK again. Let’s see how we can piss each other off with my next post… if only to have an excuse to drink, then make-up drink again.

      • jack

        For those of you crying about respect, you should know that the disrespect is fully mutual. Here’s a brief account of one of my experiences with the disrespect atheists face all the time:

        http://jackshort.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/choosing-my-battles/

      • endn

        I’m totally behind the times on this but i don’t think anyone was saying you shouldn’t have your own opinion… but as a self-described asshole you seem to know when your posts are going to be controversial and cause arguments so I don’t really get why you are surprised by negative comments? Like, you are welcome to write about whatever, and everyone is entitled to respond here as well with their reactions so… feel free to continue writing whatever you want, please, but there’s nothing wrong with your audience having a genuine reaction… you can’t have it both ways, you know? i mean anyone talking about religion may get negative comments but you specifically talk a lot in your articles about how much of a jerk and asshole you are so why wouldn’t we all expect that asshole-ish tone to shine through when you discuss religion or other serious topics?

      • Amanda Chatel

        But I’m an asshole with a really big heart! Besides, I just didn’t want Kj and I to be in a fight. I love our regular commenters (like you, endn!), so I wanted to make sure all was right with the world with them.

      • endn

        :) keep writing the good write then!

    • Natalie

      I appreciate this article. I don’t think the author meant this as an attack on religion or religious people as a whole. My best friend, who is Christian and not at all pushing-her-beliefs-down-others’-throat, once told me that she couldn’t date anyone who didn’t believe in god.
      So what’s so offensive about atheists saying that they couldn’t date people who are religious?
      I could possibly date someone who believed in God but never someone who was really pushy or passionate about it. it’s just a conflict of interest. The same way how I couldn’t date a conservative. We’d just clash too much.

    • Amelia

      Excellent post. I myself have gone from religion to religion just to find that perfect” place”. I will say that I believe in a higher power, God to be exact. I’m actually talking to guy who doesn’t believe in God. I still like him, it doesn’t bother me that he isn’t a Christian. Matter of fact I can understand where he comes from. The terms “religion” “God” can be used as tools of mass destruction and can ruin lives on a massive level. Look at the last couple of republicans trying to run for president. They alone can ruin any belief system. He feels comfortable believing in himself, while I feel comfortable in having faith in God. I can’t understand why this post would get hate comments.

    • Juliana

      I heart this article so hard.

    • Lacy

      As a Christian, I give this article two big thumbs up. Because guess what? I would never date an atheist, or an agnostic, or a Jew, or a Muslim, etc . And for that matter I would never date a Christian who wields their faith as a weapon of hate. World views and religion are nonnegotiable when it comes to romantic companionship for me. And that is okay.

    • Ms.Amazon

      Praying, god and religion just strike me as a waste of time, energy and thought. I very well may date a religious man, so long as he cares about mentioning it as often as me. Belief doesn’t govern over me, and yes I feel quite free.
      Why a single soul ought take offense to this article must mean….Believing in god sheds of a decent sense of humor? But if you’re too serious to be unable to look past the comedic aspects, or attempt at them, you’ve got issues. Atheists are only one of the many people you’ll find yourself constantly pestering.

      Indeed, Its entertaining, only I don’t voice this due to predictable outcry. I do wonder where people’s arrogance comes from, afterall, how many times was it mentioned the author was only voicing her opinion? She’s as right as you the poster are in your own opinions, a fight shouldn’t possibly be able to stem from these two facts. But leave it to the world to have enough imagination to try so, anyway.

    • Anicca

      Thank you Amanda for your brutally honest article.
      It seems to me that atheists are the true minority in this country.
      Carl Sagan said: “For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” I support him 100 %

      • Amanda Chatel

        I’ve never heard that Sagan quote! I love it. Thank you!

    • constantine

      this ladies and gentlemen is an antichrist whore of satan pay her no rescpect god will rebuke her