What's amazing to me is just how RELIGIOUS most of them are. I certainly grew up a Bible-thumper myself and in that territory, but I guess I expected that, like me, they'd have mostly grown past it like I did as they got older. But no, many of them got married years and years ago and most have kids - and almost all of them are avid churchgoers.
I'm in a strange position because I care about them and would love to reconnect with a lot of them, but I worry that my personal beliefs and lifestyle may be too far away from anything they find acceptable. I've already had some lengthy discussions with a couple of my religious sisters and explained my perspective as a Secular Humanist and they've been pretty okay with things, though much like Dad they keep bringing up religious topics with me. I guess I can deal with that a little, I understand where they're coming from. But less and less I find myself willing to humor theological discussion since it's mythology to me and it hurts to see people taking it seriously and making poor decisions for themselves and their lives based on mythos.
I understand they are either from or still in the midwest, and there's not much MORE to do there than go to church twice or more each week to socialize and be around people who care about them. I just wonder if who I am these days can have any meaningful connection to their lives considering that I'm not able to be a part of that routine. And perhaps some of my loneliness these days stems from the fact that we Secular Humanists, Atheists and other non-believers don't have a community gathering system like Christian churches. We don't have like-minded, caring people who we congregate with and associate with and befriend for our basic human needs...
And that's sad.