Real friendship

Here’s something I wrote back in April of 2004 on my old blog. I find that it rings just as true today as it did then:

I’ve made lots of friends over the years, both with fundamentalist* Christians and otherwise, and I’ve noticed something interesting. It seems that my non-fundamentalist friends are the only ones that I can be completely myself with (this includes Christians who are not fundamentalists). I have begun to wonder if it is even possible to actually be true friends with a fundamentalist because if you admit to them that you might drink the occasional beer, that you might be pro-choice, that you might not be convinced that premarital sex is necessarily a sin, or that you might not be convinced of any number of doctrines their denomination believes in, you will quickly become a pariah among those you thought were your good friends, or at the very least you will find these “friends” looking down on you. I think that all of this is because, while the non-Christian relationships are based on actual friendship and the non-fundamentalist Christian relationships generally are too, the fundamentalist Christian relationships seem to be based more on having common doctrinal beliefs and religious rules, and on maintaining an appearance of piety with each other rather than on genuine friendship. I’m not sure what to do with these thoughts, though, unfortunately. I should also point out that these observations are not always strictly the case, I do have at least one or two fundamentalist friends who seem to accept me for who I am, although I do occasionally find myself curious about whether they are looking down on me behind my back and what they are saying to others about me when I’m not around (not that it matters, but I do get curious every now and then).

*By “fundamentalist” I am refering to the more conservative, often evangelical Christian who insists on living more by “the law” or flesh than by the Spirit.