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.