I am an absolute atheist. However, unlike many of the atheists here, I was raised in an almost entirely atheist family. I am 16 now.

I knew nothing of any religion until I heard about it from other kids at school. I thought nothing of it. It sounded ridiculous. However, a couple of months ago, I became interested in learning about religion. I am entirely content without it. This learning was an endeavor of curiosity, since religion was such a foreign concept.

As part of this, I began attending a Bible study group, for learning purposes. It is a student-lead group that meets at lunch at my high school every Tuesday. A Pastor from a local church comes, and we discuss various things about religion and faith. The Pastor does not preach, and does not even lead the discussion. He puts his two-cents in like the rest of us, but is more respected.

I have been attending for a few weeks now. To my surprise, I mixed well with the Christians, and my presence was not only tolerated but encouraged. I have heard nothing that would lead me to convert, but it has helped me to understand Christians a lot better, which was a primary goal from the beginning. I have also made friends there.

At the end of each year school year, this group, and the church who sends its pastor, put on a Christian graduation party for graduating seniors on a Saturday after the graduation ceremony.

I am conflicted about this. I enjoy learning about Christian beliefs from a social science standpoint, and it helps me to understand them better. (The way Christians work is still a little mysterious to me.) I have also made friends there. They have happily answered my questions for a a couple months, even though they weren’t of much benefit to the Christians because they were somewhat basic. It seems like I would be a lazy jerk to ditch them when it comes time for this group to do some work setting up a graduation party. On the other hand, I am a strong believer in secularism, and I’m undecided at the moment as to whether or not it is acceptable for a public school to have a Christian graduation party, or anything else run by a church, take place on its campus. The group I have been in was tun by students, but this would be run by the church. I’m not sure if that is really secular or not. I’m afraid if I help set up a Christian event on a public school campus, I will be setting a bad example, and encouraging religion on campus. On the other hand, if it is secularly acceptable, I would hate to ditch those Christian friends of mine now that there is work to be done.

What does everyone think? Does it make me a “bad” atheist to want to help out with this party?

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