My girlfriend is Christian. She holds no judgements against me for not believing in god. Religion is never a topic of discussion, unless it’s in an academic sense or if it’s necessary to discuss a current event. She not only tolerates this blog; she laughs at some of the hidden jokes I sprinkle throughout my prose. But there’s a moderately large problem I see looming somewhere in the future.
I’ve never met her parents. Her father is a retired Southern Baptist minister, and he believes dating (or marriage) between Southern Baptists and non-Southern Baptists is forbidden. My girlfriend wants me to meet her family, but she guarantees me they will ask my religious beliefs very early on during our first dinner. I didn’t think this would be a problem because I can tell a whole truth that masks the whole truth. You see, I was born into a Southern Baptist family (but my parents never forced me to be religious).
The obvious solution to this problem would be to answer their questions about my religious beliefs with “I was raised in a Southern Baptist household” or “My family is Southern Baptist.” This is completely true, and there is no deception in that answer. But my girlfriend warns that this answer will not satisfy their inquest, so I have to either admit that I’m not Southern Baptist, or I must lie and say I am.
This presents a real conundrum to me: I personally feel it’s unethical and immoral to lie about my religious beliefs. But I also feel it’s wrong to throw my girlfriend under the bus by confessing to her parents that I do not believe the same things they believe. Without lying they will never sanction our relationship. But if I lie I will feel ashamed of myself.
There is no way to solve this problem without either harming my girlfriend, our relationship, or my own sense of pride.
So what should I do? I already know the answer: My pride must suffer for the sins of our love.
I suppose this is a sign of a much bigger problem about religion. Forget that I’m atheist! Pretend I’m a Christian for a second. A Pentecostal Christian. The mere fact that I’m not a Southern Baptist Christian is a death knell to parentally-sanctioned love. What fucking century do we live in again?!