February 06, 2006

A Dilemma

A while back (I can't remember how long) I broke up with a guy I'll call Mike* because after a year together, it was revealed to me that he was a theist. Now, let me explain. I didn't break up with him for being a theist. I broke up with hime because he lied to me for that entire year claiming to be an atheist. It turned out he just said he was an atheist because he thought I wouldn't date him unless he were. Apparently, lying about his faith was okay as long as he was getting a piece.

He wasn't an uninvolved theist - he goes to church several times a week, he is a Eucharist minister, he used to be in the choir. And lied to me about it the whole time.

I don't truck with liars. When I found out, we had a nice big fight about it and I haven't talked to him since. No real loss considering every word out of his mouth is a lie. And to continue on his path to righeousness, after we broke up he spread a bunch of lies about me to our mutual friends - just to cause as much damage as possible. Good to see religion is improving him. /sarcasm.

Cut to November of last year when I met my current boyfriend Jim**. I was into Jim the first time I saw him. He is direct and honest, though a little shy and oh-so-good-looking. Jim is also a theist.

Here is my dilemma.

I dumped Mike for lying to me about being a theist. But I have yet to tell Jim that I am an atheist. Why? Because right after I met him, his grandmother - who raised him and to whom he was very very close - had a stroke and died suddenly. Just before Thanksgiving and her 80th birthday. Obviously he was crushed. Even now, he is still greiving. When he talks about her, my heart breaks for him.

He's not overtly religious - but rather a twice a year xian (easter and xmas), though no church. But, he has mentioned his grandmother being in a "better place" and how there must be a life after this one. He loved her very much and still misses her.

I don't think my atheism would be a deal-breaker for Jim. Under normal circumstances, I doubt he'd care at all. But, how in the world am I supposed to tell him about the atheist aspect of myself without it looking like I'm just pissing on his grief? How can I tell him I don't believe in an afterlife when someone he loved very dearly has just died?

But, on the other hand, I feel like a fraud not telling him. I haven't claimed to be a theist (unlike mike) - I've simply said that I don't celebrate xmas and that I don't believe in hell. Come to think of it, he may have already guessed.

If anyone is out there - what would you do?

*- names have not been changed to protect the crappy ex's identity.
**- names of fabulous new boyfriends haven't been changed either.