This is an interesting question that I have always pondered to myself, do I have to marry an atheist? Although I have never dated an atheist (not many) I have always dated non-religious secular people - but none that would call themselves an atheist as they still had a vague belief in god at the minimum. I have always said to myself that I will probably want to marry a Persian - but someone like myself who was raised in America and who is not religious and who definitely does not identify themselves as a Muslim - but I would rather marry an atheist but I don't know how many of them are out there - and why Persian as I have dated mostly non-Persian? A lot of people I have dated have been non-Persian but maybe simply so that my children don't forget who their parents were and subsequently my grandchildren not forgetting who their parents were so that my eventual legacy is passed down through generations...but that is a negotiable point but not put in stone as of yet but it is more of an "ideal" I would like to have....
But to the main point - do you have to eventually marry an atheist or would you marry a non-religious secularist (as I would consider) or even someone more religious? Just interested as to what you would say..
I worked with a guy who was married to a woman who was raised xtian but seemed to be over it until she was diagnosed with a heart problem (two nerves going to her heart which increased her heart rate). It was treated with atenolol. That condition brought out her fear of death even though the medicine was working. She fell into her childhood christianity which was ok with the husband until she demanded him to follow the sect. It got so bad that he filed for divorce.
Ouch... Poor guy. :/
What happened to that guy shows atheists shouldn't marry a religious, or quazi-former religious person. Fortunately they didn't have children. They were married over ten years when this happened and were divorced after 12 years of marriage. The early indoctrination into religion and fear of eternal damnation my co-workers wife faced was was too much for her to cope with when facing a minor crisis. Imaging how much worse it would have been if he was ready to retire with a couple of kids and grandkids. He was in his mid 30's when this happened. I wonder what age born-again fundamentalism tends to occur. It seems to be the mid 20's to late 30's.
I have to "marry" my equal. My parents' marriage is a marriage of intellectual inequality and it's a bloody mess...I do consider the ability to think rationally about religion to be a mark of emotional maturity and general intellectual ability (influenced by your education, of course). So, I would be very hesitant to marry someone who wasn't a non-religious secularist, as you say, or an atheist. However, there are many other facets to consider when weighing intellect and emotional maturity--so it wouldn't be the deciding factor.
I wouldn't care if I marry someone who's religious but my children will be raised with no religion and will never go to any type of religious schooling.
Including any church service?
If I were to think of marrying anyone, their being an atheist would not be a requirement but if she were religious it would definitely be something we'd have to discuss and have worked out before the wedding. Probably before the engagement.