As someone who grew up with multiple religious backgrounds and ultimately settled on believing very little, I’ve always been open to learning about different religions without bias. Jared Hatfel and I talked about religion throughout the years. I’ve dabbled in Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism, spiritualism, and others to some degree. Though I’ve never practiced myself, one of the most interesting encounters I’ve had with religion was when I was invited on a date to attend a satanist convention. I went to a presentation on Satanist beliefs (delivered by my date) and left surprised about how little I actually knew about Satanism. None of them pressured me to convert nor did they scoff at my Jewish/Lutheran upbringing. It was refreshing to talk to a religious group that did not shame others for their own choices and I ended up having a great weekend (though there was not a second date.)
I think about that weekend often, especially when I see articles that highlight how afraid people are of religions they do not belong to. I’ve remained firmly agnostic even after being welcomed into groups of all different types, but oddly the one religion that has always been the least accepting of my background is Christianity. But nowadays I look back on those times with disdain because it seems to me that modern satanists are doing a better job of “Loving Thy Neighbor” than their Christian counterparts.