I think in a way, they appreciate having a thinking, skeptically-minded theist (eh, I don't know if theist is the right way to describe me, but I'm not atheist. I have a philosophic explanation that I am seeking which reconciles both.) However, so much of that relies upon the freedom to question, to make a fool of yourself (so that you can learn from the Trickster!), to accept and then to deny after re-assessing the acceptance. Freedom to express, to blaspheme, to question, to mock, to celebrate, to exalt anything and everything which comes from your own connection with what you see as Divine (or if you're a non-theist, what you see as Pretty Awesome But Not Divinely Inspired Whatsoever.) - these are all as important to me and my seeking as they are to the atheist.
Atheists often only pick on Christians (and often Islam, for the same reason) because they seek to deny that freedom to everyone - their followers included. So with that, they're my best friends politically and socially speaking. I often invoke Dawkins' quote, "We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." I add, "and I just go a few gods less." I don't often see atheists griping about Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, or Sufis... or Pagans, or Witches, or Chaos Magicians, or Hermetics or Thelemites or even Satanists! That's because they typically don't cause any trouble... they're happy to live and let you live as you see fit. Again, I have a very moral fit. Like them, freedom is one of my most treasured virtues.
I often find myself thankful to the conversations I have with them because they keep me on my toes. They point out my nonsense. Sometimes I say, "Well, that's my mystical nonsense, and you just wouldn't get it because you don't accept the power of belief. So we have no common ground to speak on this matter." And the conversations go on, typically, to topics we can talk about (there are so many!). I realize that certain things I do will not ever be a part of a conversation we can have to any depth. That's fine. I do have theist friends too. Sometimes they point out my nonsense and I realize that what they are saying makes great sense and I grow as a result of it.
It's typically the hard-headed ones they don't care for - who start referencing some ancient text as the ultimate guide for truth, completely unwavering. I think that as a magician, it is very important to keep attacking my own beliefs. "If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him." To keep questioning and examining - that is the great work.
Suggested ebooks:Phil Hine - Aspects Of Evocation
Andrew Lang - Myth Ritual And Religion
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