Author Topic: Determining Someone's Religious Affiliation via Text, Without Direct Inquiry?  (Read 609 times)

Hello all!
So, I'm new here. Hi. Lovely to be with you all.

I'm a teenager without any friends. On the last day of school, I had a brief chat with a girl with whom I had had some rather brief  positive interactions prior. I managed to get her phone number, and we've been having an absolutely delightful text conversation getting to know each other better. It's going well to the extent that there appears to be a strong possibility of a relationship coming out of it. I'm definitely interested in what comes of it all either way, but I'd really like to know whether or not she's religious, so I know what kinds of topics to avoid. She seems to have ties with local church groups based off of photos from camps, but also strongly supports LGBTQ issues and follows accounts on social media like Planned Parenthood and Bill Nye that wouldn't necessarily be in allignment with a Christian worldview. Nothing is very clear one way or another. I don't want to transition from discussions about poetry to "in your opinion, is there a god?" As a closeted atheist, I find that to be one of those questions that makes me horribly uncomfortable, and I wouldn't want to do that to her. I'm wondering if anyone has any way of asking a question via text that would get someone to expose their Christian religious views or lack thereof in a indirect, non-confrontational manner. Thanks!

Offline Baruch

Relationships are mysterious ... what clicks, what doesn't click.  If asking about what she does at school, after school doesn't provide enough clues ... then just ask her straight ... "tell me about your god".  You don't have to be more specific like "tell me about your religion".  In the South it is common to ask casually "what is your religion" when it usually means "what church do you go to, we are all Baptists down here?".  But outside the South, that kind of talk is very rude.  Don't talk sex, politics or religion.  But I get that you are wary of getting into a relationship, having religion come up, and getting outed yourself.

Offline SGOS


Worst possible scenario:  You ask her if she believes in Jesus, God, or whatever.  She then assumes you're some religious nut and never talks to you again, although that's unlikely.  But then most dating attempts don't go anywhere.  That's why people go on so many dates.  Eventually, the topic is going to come up.  If she doesn't bring it up right away, it's a good bet she isn't a fanatic.  But it will come up. 

But I don't think rushing to lay all cards on the table, including the cards that are non-starters, is considered great dating etiquette.   It's not wrong to do that, but it starts the relationship off as some kind of rigid qualifications assessment done by a calculating judge with less than a third party interest in the matter.  Dating or talking on the phone should be more fun than that. 
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 01:59:08 PM by SGOS »

Offline aitm

 I would suggest that you just keep going slow. Most teens who go to a church group is not by their own choice but by their parents, this is not ti say they don't want to go, just that the original idea came from the parent. Most young teens are liberal and the "new" christianity is far more liberal than it was even 10 years ago. If you know she has a Bill Nyes account post some of his "milder" stuff and see how she reacts. Stick with the science and human rights and leave religion out of it. Remember many kids simply don't consider "atheism" as they have no reason to question the church that Mom and Dad go to. They probably use it more socially than religious. Keep religion out of it, or if she brings it up, just say you are still examining religions and not really convinced of anything yet. Keep the door open. Worse case maybe she tries to get you to come to her church, well, my friend, you can't get to know a person if you don't in the research.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Thanks tremendously to those of you who have taken the time to respond so far!

I wrote this late at night in some haste, so for the sake of clarification:
I used the term relationship because I'm not sure what kind of relationship. I'm more saying that we seem to be getting along, with similar interests in some respects. Could be a friend or it could be something else. We haven't chatted in person nearly enough to determine if there's any kind of connection beyond getting along. I'm just trying to determine the limits of what I can say, as to not make her at all uncomfortable. There's certain musings I might not share that I would otherwise.

Having never been in such a position, I can't pretend to know how to give you any advice.

That being said, though, you might try finding out what kinds of books she like to read. That may give you some idea where her head's at.
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"Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A, I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them."
Will Hurd

Offline Cavebear

Ask her out for a Sunday morning event and see where her priorities lie.  If she says yes, that's great.  If she says no, it could be her religious beliefs or you and it doesn't really matter. 

But I will tell you from experience, you don't want to date a religious girl if you are an atheist.  Been there, too much pain.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!


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