Years ago, I had an employer that actually forbade us from discussing our personal beliefs/situations with patients or their visitors. At the time, I believed it was hopelessly archaic. Now I see the wisdom, and often tell people who pester me with personal questions that my employer forbids such discussions.
It's good policy.
People tend to run at the mouth when they start talking about personal issues or beliefs, and situations can easily get out of hand. It's best not to blur the professional lines and keep the relationship strictly about care. You never know what someone will do with the information they glean from you, after all!
Thank you for all of the responses, everyone.
Hopefully this can be a little social interaction toolbox for someone down the line. Anyone have any other suggestions?