I was going to comment on Nikki's latest post, but then came up with too much to say.
My two cents is (are?) this:
I was brought up in a Roman Catholic home and all my schooling bar two years at intermediate was at Catholic integrated schools. I can't remember the last time i went to mass, but walking into a church, no matter the denomination, it always seems like a great weight is lifted off my shoulders.
I can remember when i first realised that some people had no concept of the 'treat others as you would like to be treated' idea. While i have absolutely no claim on being saintly, this is one of my most fundamental rules of how i go about my daily business. It regularly surprises that people aren't quite sure how to take it. There have been people who have taken advantage of my generous nature, and times when i wonder why i bother.
What it comes down to is that while i don't go to church, and haven't picked up a bible in a very long time, the values i was brought up with are a central part of who i am. They aren't all unique to the Catholic faith, but in the argument of nature vs nurture, in this one nurture wins.
Something that really bothers me is all the conflicts caused by religion. War in the name of values and beliefs is in my mind completely contradictory. I would never force what i believe on anyone else, and resent those who try and force theirs on me.
So the simple answer to Nikki's question, i think, is yes. I know people from all backgrounds and beliefs and have no problem with it. Conversations around religion can be fascinating so long as the participants are prepared to look at the argument from all angles.
I have a friend who is a one-eyed National Party supporter. We had one conversation (read: argument) this year about politics and she refused to consider or even attempt to understand the left point of view. So I refused to argue with her, and we now have a rule to not talk politics.
What i'm trying to get at is that we need to be prepared to accept that people have differing opinions and perspectives. Religion, politics, it's all the same really. I have great respect for my Nat voting friend and actually think she'd make an amazing politician. We look at the world completely differently and yet we get on like a house on fire.
Not sure if that makes any sense whatsoever. It seems kind of simplistic and idealistic in the end - let's all just like each other even if we don't believe the same things. Just like Coke would like to.