How could i raise a child secular when my girlfriend wants him/her to be religious?

My girlfriend and i are planning getting married some time in the future, she consider herself christian while i'm a open atheist, but not vocal about it. Obviously, how we'll raise our children has been a topic of discussion; while we agree on the most part, she wants him/her to be a christian from day 1 while i want him/her to decide for him/her self when the time is right be it any religion or none at all.

I'm the only non-religious and anti-religious from both sides of the family, i sometimes think there will be a war over my children's mind and i don't want them to live through that or see their family waging over fables.

What would be the best course of action?

Tags: children, parenting, secularism

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Hey, mate. If I were you, in that situation, I would try to negotiate a truce plan with your would-be wife, and allow the child to be brought up in a secular fashion, until they're of age to decide for themselves what religion, or non-belief they would follow. This way, your children won't be imposed/indoctrinated from birth, and is allowed the freedom to think for themselves. 

Really, the big step is convincing your would-be wife, mate. Good luck.  

Hello,
This is my first post, & your question prompted me to sign up & try to help.
I agree with Fabio, agree a secular early upbringing is important for the child for one main reason, love. The love of the parents & family is all a child should know, as I strongly feel a chi,d has no room for understand the love of any god.
Both my wife & I are atheists, but we don't tell our daughter there is no god, influencing a child one way or another is wrong, they really need to make their own mind up, without influence.

I hope you can agree a stable foundation for your family.
All the best.

Hi there,

I read your reply, and sorry ii disagree.  Your statement for not influencing your daughter would be correct in a perfect world. But...well we do not live in a perfect world. If you as parents keep out of it, so your daughter can make up her own mind when the time is right, take into account that she will be influenced by religious zealots all around. So you should give her your point of view, then she can make a choice.

Just my humble opinion

Danielle

Well as a responsible parent who takes a very keen interest in the development of my daughter I think I know her well enough to know how she see's logic & understanding the world around her.
I can guide her to the best possible way for her own future & build her confidence & self esteem which is important in decision making.
She will ask our opinion about god/religion, but mi not telling her that there is no god, I will say its something I myself & her mother do not believe, I want her to realise herself, & I know she has that ability to do so.

As an example, last week her kindergarten class visited a local church for a nativity story telling. I was happy for her to go only if there was no influence that god or Jesus exists (I'm in Finland) & they don't if your not part of a church here. She came home that evening & I was expecting lots of questions, but she said she seen baby Jesus in the crib & it was nice story, but they had to be quiet :)

I want her to have an understanding of the world we live in, & I'm 100% sure she will question everything & not just accept it.
I want to teach her how to think, not what to think.

Also (sorry, this is long) when she goes to school, she will get religious education, but it will be about all faiths, but not taught by someone from any church, again, I want her to know about religions, & see them for what they really are. Oh, & she can tell a magician is not doing 'real' magic, she see's slight of hand, so I think she's going to be fine.

I disagree. Would you let your daughter believe evolution is wrong, would you let her believe the bible is right about homosexuals and slavery, would you let her believe 1+1 = 4?

If you let her go down that path and she chooses to believe in a god, you are also letting her reject logic. 

Dan, I dont think your understanding my point here. I will not tell her how to think, I will guide her to the best of my ability to allow her to be able to think for herself. An adult has the freedom of choice to do what they like, make decisions that onlya person 'of sound mind' is able to do. 

Im against religion & everything it stands for, & I was brought up in a Catholic home, but I was able to break from the mould & think for myself, unlike many of my old school friends. I was 'told' how to the world was created, not made to understand. I dont believe in brainwashing children for the benefit of our own belief, not matter what. Isn't that what a Freethinker is all about? 

Im not telling her there is a god, im telling her that there are people out there who believe something else, & I don't want to enforce negativity on it as it just instills prejudice in her mind. 

I understand my daughters personality & way of thinking, & I know she will be an atheist, but as a child she needs to know that only her family can give her love & support. 

So please read my reply again, this time from a point of view that this child WILL be an Atheist, from her own understanding, & not my brainwashing. I mean, lets face it, the more you talk about this matter in such a fashion, it is brainwashing. All they care about at their age is princesses :) & why not. 

What other way to think is there (that works) than logically? 

This isn't beliefe though. This is making decions with evidence, A.K.A facts. 

I understand but find it odd you would call sharing facts brainwashing. That's why I used the examples I did. I've never heard teaching mathematics brainwashing. 

We don't believe in god, but we have no proof that god doesn't exist. Our logic tells us there is no god, I want her to get that logic that we get. It comes from understanding & experience. 

There are facts, & those facts will be taught, the rest is up to her. 

"we have no proof that god doesn't exist" I hate when people use that line. Its insane to think that way. 

That which can be asserted with out evidence can be dismissed with out evidence.

The best thing I ever read about this topic, and regretfully I do not remember who wrote it, was, :" the best proof that god does not exist, is that atheists do."

You seem to have a very militant attitude to this, & this is exactly the kind of attitude I don't want my child to be exposed to. There is no need to take the smart arse attitude either, were talking about a child here, a child with a very sensitive & fragile mind. 

How many children do you have? Just a guess by your attitude, none. 

No offense, but its better to leave this discussion to people who are actually having to experience this day to day. 

Opinion is one thing, practice is another.

I have an honest attitude. Religion and the idea of a god deserves none of my respect or tolerance. It deserves quite the oposite. 

If it weren't for the "militant" atheists most of us would have found the clim out of the darkness a lot harder. 

That's a worthless comment. I could give you 1000's of examples of how having children means nothing to your ability to raising a children well. 

"its better to leave this discussion to people who are actually having to experience" This is a contradictive statement for someone arguing the importance of free thought. 

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