It is a tough realization to see friendships driven by nostalgia rather than shared values but that isn't the most startling thing I've discovered in my new atheism. The most startling thing is the willingness of the religious to shape their belief with a subjectivism that seems to put them in very close proximity to atheism.
The most common response to the assertion that I am an atheist is that others could never be because they just have to believe.
When I say that my perspective is driven by a lack of real evidence to the character the religious claim in god, the response is that a person doesn't need evidence because they "feel" god is real.
I can respect the psychological draw to the numinous but doubt that these devoted "feelers" deny the power of evidence in the rest of their lives. In fact, the evidence of my worth to them in my actions keeps me as a respected and moral person despite the doctrinal commitments their faith demands to see me guilty of eternal sin or, at least, as Matthew 10:14 says, covered in the dust from their feet.
But that isn't the case. Most believers still like and respect me (except for the aforementioned Catholic friends who see my honesty about my disbelief as a source of persecution).
It seems that the rule of evidence the Enlightnement gave us as a gift IS a respected value of god believers but isn't applied with my level of incredulity or skepticism. And that little application seems the only difference between their religiosity and my atheism.
So, I would like to call a truce and invite all subjective believers who want to believe in their feelings of god yet still respect my moral ground (in opposition of their religion's doctrinal commitments) to join my church of St. Evidence of the Numinous where we can all be Holy Evidentialists. I allow you to believe your god is real because you "feel" the need to believe that belief and as long as your need to "feel" this belief doesn't lead you to conclude that those who don't share your "feeling" will be tortured for eternity or are enemies of the imagined person you believe to be true or claim your "feeling" should apply to everyone then, you can join me in proclaiming your Holy Evidentialist nature.
For everyone else, your mother is a whore.