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?

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Im sure you could give me 1000's of examples, & I can read 1000's of studies about child upbringing, but what you fail to see is that a child is an individual, you don't plan a child's upbringing before it's born just by your own militant way of thinking. & if you do, you may/will do more damage than good. 

My daughter is very wise for her age, she see's the world a little differently than other children, & if she wasn't like that (maybe) I would be a little more militant in my way of thinking, but im glad im not & I don't have to be. 

Im happy im not bringing her up in the house/school that I was brought up in. I wont allow it.

Obviously I think you are right, otherwise i would not be on here. But I would try to reason with her and use their own weapons against them. So try to convince her that since you both can not agree, you will leave it to her god. Not influence the child in any direction and leave it up to god to direct the child. So you will not stear him/her away from religion, she will not influence him/her with religion, and the almighty will call the child to him when he wants. She should agree to leave it up to god no ? And on the positive side, you will get a free thinking open minded kid, Since if we all would wait to get religious untill god/gods/upper beings would call upon us..we would all be atheists, and the world would be a better place.


| you will leave it to her god

She's that religious so it won't work on her, plus me just mentioning god would alerts her that i'm planning something.

Both my wife and I are atheists and while our daughters were young, we did not mind them going to church services, Sunday school etc - if they wished to. However, none of the teachings were reinforced at home. In fact we tried to be as balanced as we could with religious and rational ideas. When they got to their mid teens, they decided for themselves that religion was not for them - and now they appear to have balanced and happy secular lives - having survived, successfully, the dangers, that irrational belief peddlers have on the young impressionable mind.
Home non-reinforcement of religious beliefs was the key in our case. Perhaps something similar could be agreed with your fiancée?
Peter from London UK

That could be done, she isn't very religious so it could work.

Pressure from future grandparents and other family about sacraments and such could be intense. If that is not an issue, I agree that two people in love could work out some sort of agreement ahead of time. Since the child will be subjected to religious ideology fairly often, I would determine if you would be allowed to represent a counter point in the child's life.

...if you would be allowed to represent a counter point of view

That's what she fears the most, while she doesn't mind me being an atheist, she doesn't want her child to be one or a satanist. She believes that religion will teach her values that she couldn't be taught otherwise. She even believes that religion helps one to reason by discussing the different meaning of a verse, not far off but religion if far from open to discussing alternatives.

Now we're on to something here.  If she isn't very religious herself and she isn't currently practicing the faith, I think it would do you some good to let her talk while you listen.  Try to better understand what she feels religion has to offer your future children.  Once you have a good grasp of what values (besides the god is real thing) she wishes to instill in your children, you can start to offer and explain alternatives.  If you just tell her no and fight against religion, than to her there's nothing in its place, there's no structure, and that can be scary.

I went through this a bit with my boyfriend, but it seems that he was perhaps even less religious than your girlfriend at the time.  He was raised catholic, like me, but more so considered himself agnostic.  He didn't really believe in the whole god thing, but he respected the way he was brought up and wanted the same for his children.  It wasn't until I spoke to him about how I wanted to teach my kids kindness and respect and curiosity about the world (rather than just harping on how much I didn't want to raise them in the church) that he started to come around and even add ideas to it.  Since your girlfriends seems to buy into the whole god thing a bit more than my boyfriend, you may or may not get there, but a better understanding couldn't hurt.

 I was just in a very similar position. Someone suggested a book to me. "Raising Freethinkers".

 I will email it to you in pdf in you will give me an addy to send it to.

The book Jared recommended is in fact an excellent book. You would be hard-pressed to find an equal. It is a superb guide. Also, I have a blog on here on my parenting approach. It sucks. :P

Don't fall for it. They're going to do everything in their might to overpower you and indoctrinate that child into bullshit dogma. As soon as you leave the house for work they're gonna crack open a bible.

Just to clarify this is a genuine question. 

How could you get married to a strongly religious person? 

I struggle to be friends with the religious, let alone a relationship. 


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