I was invited to dinner at a friend's yesterday evening. It was a small group, just 4 of us: my friend - the host, and another couple. My friend S. is quite a character: has a big mouth, not exactly sensitive and often makes offensive comments, especially when it comes to religion. I've known her for about 9 years and have learned to deal with her and never took her too seriously. The religion issue has been addressed and we can have a civil conversation one on one. But when in company of more people she doesn't hold back and has the ability to get others to say rude things and behave in a similar manner. So yesterday she started discussing religious groups and tax exemption and the other two were more than happy to express their contempt for brainless people who believe such rubbish. At that point I heard myself say: "I have to say I'm very offended by these comments and I find them extremely prejudiced and ignorant". It was followed by dead silence. I never ever say things like this, am too shy and timid for that but I just had enough. S. wanted me to explain why exactly i felt offended so I gave them a little explanation about the bigotry of the modern liberal and their selective tolerance towards people they approve of in the first place. They didn't say anything to that and it was very awkward and the conversation was a bit difficult for a bit. I just wanted to go home after that scene but decided that would have made me look silly and childish. My friend was genuinely sorry afterwards and told me she'd like to talk about it because she didn't want to offend me. I'm not going to end this friendship but boundaries have to be made and it is my fault I didn't do that sooner.
I am so fed up with rabid atheists and secularists and their prejudice and hatred of people who have other beliefs. I simply can't take it anymore and evenings such as this are very rare in my life now. I try very hard to have Christians as my main social circle because that is where I feel comfortable these days.
I was just wondering how you deal with similar situations (if you get into them) because I have lost all patience with people who have no respect for my beliefs. I am absolutely disgusted by such behaviour.
Any advice on handling prejudiced comments would be most welcome. I am sure there is a better way to show people that their attitudes are disrespectful than saying that I'm offended. I'm sure I could have handled it better but I couldn't think clearly. I'm still amazed that i spoke up and told them off.