In Sarah Moon's review of my e-book In Praise of the Doubting Thomas, she said the only criticism she has was the way I portrayed atheists. And yes, I admit it, I probably shouldn't have lumped all atheists together with the Angry Atheist a la Richard Dawkins stereotype. Not every atheist I've met fit into that stereotype. However, I've met a lot of atheists that do fit into the Angry Atheist stereotype.
And my father is one of them.
My father never liked religion, but never identified himself as an atheist until about two years ago. One day he posted a video of the John Lennon song "God" on his Facebook wall and declared, "I don't believe and I never have!" I don't really care whether or not a person is an atheist, so I just thought, "Okay, that's fine. Whatever works." But soon, our conversations started being directed towards my faith. Dad isn't interested in asking why I believe in God; he was more interested in asking how the hell his intelligent son could possibly believe in an "imaginary friend," as he put it.
Dad knows I'm not a fundamentalist, so I don't have to worry about that. (Being bisexual pretty much ruins any possibility of me being a fundamentalist.) But I worry sometimes that he might think I'm some kind of idiot because I don't agree with him. Our relationship has always been far from perfect, so it's a miracle that we're even still talking! I don't want our beliefs to ruin that relationship.
I keep telling Dad that as long as we can still make fun of the whacked-out fundamentalists, we'll be fine. And maybe we will. But if he can't accept that my beliefs are different from his, then I guess that's it for us.