Atheists are not disrespectful "heathens." If you don't want to offend his family, try a google search? I don't know I'm not trying to be mean this all is just absurd to me. I think you should hang out and worry about it all later! I have anxiety too so I get it, I'm just saying let it happen.
And even if they felt like you were a "heathen" - they can stick it! Because the love between partners is the most important thing.
Actually, I wouldn't use google in this case. She doesn't know how her friend is religious so if she googles the wrong sect of Catholism or Catholism instead of a non-Catholic sect of Christianity she will just confuse herself more. Besides, a lot of sites are good and very welcoming and others can be a bit hell fire and pray or burn kind of feel to them. A lot of sites that pop up for religion in google searches can be very closed minded if the site isn't wiki style.
In fact, maybe looking up some info about your friends religion on Wiki would be better than random google searches. But it would help to ask what he practices and how properly. Hang out with him first like GreenTea suggests, then you'll know what to read about in perticular long before you would possibly meet his family.
I was gonna suggest doing a basic search on the web but I think a basic search on Christanity, Catholism on wikipedia might result in better results. I like to look up stuff about buddism and shintoism. I like the shrines and those funky white papers around sacred objects, ect. (I know, i'm a weirdo and watching too much anime like Inuyasha probably doesnt help).
Yes I was going to say, be careful what you search. There are some who have sites up about Catholics, but are hateful towards Catholics, or ones who are like Snowy said: the pray or burn type.
It's a bit easier to ask someone who practices the faith.... All I could do was ask my friend, when learning his religion. It not only showed I was interested, but I got his version rather than a different country's or family's version.
I can only approach Christianity from a Protestant view and what I know secondhand about Catholicism but if you have any questions you don't feel comfortable asking in a public setting, you can always PM me, Bahamut.
This is getting more interesting. I thought religious tolerance was high in your part of the globe. I guess I was wrong...... learning more every time.
I can understand bahamut's concern as I was once in her shoes (more cultural than religious). It does help to have general knowledge of people we want to be close to, whether it's cultural, religious, political, or what ever.
I've always been a straight forward - to the point kind of person so I ask anything and everything to anyone I feel have good knowledge of it - specially to the person/s involved. Friends have been my best teacher thus far, incl religious topics.
I think it's silly to not discuss religion because it's "too sensitive". How can we understand views or actions if we don't know the reasons behind them? (this applies to every aspect in life). As long as we respect differences. My best friends were Hindu's and Christians (both Catholic and Protestant). We respected and supported each religion/Philosophy - reminding each other whenever we strayed too far.
So I say ask your Catholic friend. It's his and his family's version that you really need to know. ALL religion (and Philosophy) have many personal versions - mainly because people of the faith often can't accept every single doctrine taught (?) in their religion. Besides, by asking him will show that you're seriously interested in him.
Good Luck on what ever you choose to do. Hope everything works out for you.
I guess you could say religious 'tolerance' is high as people do 'tolerate' each other, but in a lot of cases that's about it, lol! :) Acceptance is a little further off hehe. Of course it always depends on the person. Everyone is an individual. You can't force someone to accept others as they are, all you can do is teach and hope they are willing to learn and be kind to others.
I agree, asking him directly is big. Nathan is very spiritual and loving and feels very close to God, though he isn't very "Catholic". Although he believes in the bible and teachings, he doesn't much follow the worldly rules that have divided so many into different religions and denominations. So although he's catholic, he's far different from other Catholics.
Oh and not to mention the difference between reformed roman Catholics and then the eastern Catholics or unreformed Catholics.. Many many differences in each of those as well as levels of how much the family follows them or..well how KIND they are--which is unrelated to their religion. Intolerant people are intolerant be they athiest, christian, Catholic, Hindu, or anything else. We are encouraged to love and respect others no matter what we believe, but some people struggle with that always, and will fall into aggression. People may become aggressive against Christians, be it simply anger and frustration or all the way up to the shootings we have seen in highschools if a kid answered that they believed in God. People can become aggressive against Athiests be they simply rude and intolerant or downright awful and disrespectful like those dang westboro baptist church protestors. People who want to be intolerant will end up being intolerant. People who want to be loving--and try to be tolerant--WILL be..Be they athiest, agnostic, christian, Wiccan, etc. etc. etc.
Learn about his family and their tolerance and love. :) Learn about his tolerance and love. The rest will fall into place.
I myself am Catholic, and I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can.
Question #1: If we were to date, what am I to expect?
- I'm guessing that if he is strictly Catholic, physical intimacy is limited
- Are there certain foods one cannot eat?
- Things I should avoid talking about? (Science?)
Limited physical intimacy? Absolutely not! I've had my share of physically intimate moments, as have many Catholic friends of mine. Unless you're a priest, intimacy is not discouraged (intimacy with several different people is, but that's neither here nor there in this case).
Food - There's no certain food practices, aside from Lent; the 40 days before Easter, Catholics don't eat meat on Friday. The reasoning behind that is symbolism; in the Catholic faith, it's acknowledging Jesus' forty-day fast in the desert.
Despite what television says, Catholics are not opposed to science. I'd avoid Evolution as a topic, of course, since I have no idea what kind of people you'd be talking to. I'm perfectly okay with Evolution, myself. Personally, I've always believed that science justifies God's existence; if everything in the physical world can be explained by a mathematical equation, doesn't that imply some grand architect?
Question #2: Would his family be upset that I am not religious?
Hypothetically, if we were to end up dating (we are still just friends), would it cause tension/problems? I don't want to cause any problems between me and his family and ESPECIALLY between him and his family. Family is very important to me and the last thing I want to happen is that his gets torn up because of me
They might be or they might not be. I'm inclined to think the former, but if they are good family members, they will put his happiness above their discomfort. After all, it's his life and not theirs. My mom is Catholic and was upset that I was dating an atheist, but she never said a word about it while I was seeing the girl.
Most things depend on the personality rather than the belief system. I've known some awesome Christians who are very open to discussion. I've also encountered awful Christians who condemn you outright for even slightly mentioning something that doesn't mesh with their faith. My best advice is to treat them like you would any other person. You get a feel for them, they get a feel for you, and that's how you start getting along.
I grew up as a Mormon... Google, TV, and 'knowledge' from those with no clue has made my life living.. 'heck'. If you want to know about a religion, ask. And that's what she has done, so I applaud her. Do you know how many people say Mormons aren't Christian or think it is a cult? If everyone just asked for knowledge, the world would be a better place, IMO.
Do you feel you can accept Christianity? I am a Buddhist as well but I do believe that there is some 'higher power'. I feel I am Christian and Buddhist, and wouldn't change that. I just cannot accept when we die we go into this infinite state in heaven where we are judged by this man who is supposed to love us unconditionally and we only get one chance, ya know? I believe we go through various stages in our lives until we reach full enlightenment and understanding to allow us to be the best beings we can... and we're never stuck infinitely and have eternity to finally get things 'right'. It makes me peaceful believing this... and I wish people realized that's what religion is for!!! Bring peace, happiness, and answers to our lives.
With that being said, I think this is a great thing for you to pursue. I hope the answers Catholics gave you helped. Talk to him and decide if it's worth pursuing... you may find he's the perfect one!
As to previous comments... I always feel you should know someone well before dating. I have and I am proud to say I have only been with one man. You don't jump into a relationship to 'see how it goes'. IMO, dating is supposed to lead to marriage (or life long commitment) and should be treated as such. If you know this potential partner doesn't want to have kids ever, or cannot, and you want biological children FOR SURE, why would you set yourself up for heart ache? Same with political views, religion, how to raise children, etc... This is why so many relationships fall apart.