Is anyone here in a mixed marriage -- atheist + theist? What kind of issues come up? How do you deal with raising the kids (if any)?
I'm an atheist but have not really been "out" or thinking much about it for a long time. My wife of 18 years considers herself Catholic, though she doesn't really think about it much either, doesn't go to church, and doesn't buy into any of the crazier Catholic-specific ideas (wine=blood, crackers=flesh, pope=infallible, birth control=bad, etc).
But she does want our 11-yr-old son to continue going to CCD, like he has for 2 years now. CCD (Confraternity of Catholic Doctrine) is like Sunday school on a weeknight. Until recently I was unsure what to do about this, but now I have decided I would rather he did not go.
Partly I think it is a good time because he seems to be coming into his own rationality and skepticism. He admitted he no longer believes in the trinity of Santa / Easter Bunny / Tooth Fairy. He has long shown interest and ability in science and math, and even an understanding of the scientific method, etc. (Good job local public school!)
So I started to ask him questions such as how someone determines what to believe and what not to. He is into Greek myths so I asked him what ever happened to all those gods. To these types of questions I was pleasantly surprised about how rational his responses were. Eventually he summed up the conversation by saying "Dad, if somebody tells me something and they can't prove it, I am not going to just believe them."
I like to think my sense of humor also had some good influence. We have sort of a running joke where I make up completely crazy stories and try to convince him. For example: "You are a martian that your mom and I adopted." "We used to have two kids, but you ate the other one when you were a baby." "I have a submarine parked in the basement, but I am not going to let you see it right now." ... etc. Usually I let him offer points about why a story isn't true, then respond with still crazier rationalizations, before finally letting him win and admitting that, yeah, fine, it was all made up!
So now I am thinking about how to discuss with my wife the fact that I don't think he should go back to CCD when it starts again in the fall. (He doesn't want to go either.)
Also, I have not talked with him specifically about being an atheist so far, but I know that at some point I will want to. And if he does identify as an atheist, I know he will eventually find out that this will not a very popular thing to claim -- within our extended family, or his Boy Scout troop, or maybe with some of the kids at school.
Anybody have similar experiences or relevant advice?