I second the people on here (such as deathbydesign) who say that it works both ways. Whenever I say I’m a Christian, I get loads of stick for it. Here are some of the comments I’ve had:
“But… you’re intelligent”
“Really? An educated girl like you? How can you betray your education like that?”
“How ridiculous. How can anyone believe in a God because [insert reason here]!”
I also remember my cousin saying that most of his friends were married. I said that this was unusual surely, as he was younger than me (in his early 20s at the time). No, he said. They’re mostly Christians. But so am I, I said. He replied “yeah, but you’re not a real Christian, are you?”, presumably meaning non-dogmatic, non-creationist, non-preachy. I gave him a wry smile and tried not to be hurt by this.
I think I should also say to the people here who are afraid of death that people who follow Christianity for the religious brownie points (cushy spot in heaven after death etc) are doing it entirely for the wrong reasons. I don’t know what will happen after I die, and quite frankly I don’t care. I have faith for two reasons. Firstly, because I believe in my heart that there is a God. You either believe this or you don’t, and nobody can teach you to believe or disbelieve. It’s just something you have/ someone you are. You shouldn’t be ashamed of that.
Secondly, I am religious because I feel that there was a guy long ago who went around basically preaching a message of social justice, being a great example to everyone, and fighting for the rights of the dispossessed. He was a nice guy, and a smart guy, and despite the fact he was killed horribly for basically protesting the status quo, I think he’s a great example to follow. I never think about the afterlife… Jesus was all about this life. If you concentrate your energies on living well, the rest will take care of itself.
So: don’t be afraid of death! No matter what you believe, the key is to focus on living! I also think you shouldn’t be afraid to follow your personal convictions, whatever they are (religious or non-religious).