I'm still new to TA, but really really appreciate the warm welcome I've had.


But I have a little trouble.

My fiancé is extremely Christian, pentacostal at that. And while we can have civilised conversations about most other aspects of religion and how it will effect our future, but there's just one thing that we cannot settle on; children. It's a long way off yet, but he is adamant that they WILL go to church from a young age until they are old enough to make their own decision...although, of course, by that time they'll be...I don't want to say indoctrinated, but that's what it'll be,won't it? I would much rather my future children wait until they are 5 or 6 and then decide what they want to do.


Have any of you had this problem? I don't really know any atheists, or even agnostics that have married someone religious.


Then there's the whole problem of him "marrying someone of a different faith" which of course the Bible doesn't allow. And his pastor father who seems to think I'll "come around" before we get married. But that's a completely different story.


I look forward to any help you can give.



Views: 60

Comment by Dr. del Toro on July 5, 2011 at 12:27am

I'm not sure I would take a chance with someone who is willing to disregard your opinion, especially in regards to the children you will have to carry and bear.


When I got married I was a Christian.  I was very adamant in my belief.  I have since become the polar opposite when it comes to religion and superstition in general, but my wife still believes.

My wife and I have both experienced having religion shoved down our throats and won't let that happen to our children.


I remember Sunday school as a kid.  I absolutely hated it.


Comment by William C. Walker on July 5, 2011 at 1:04am
Hannah, Drop him like a 500 pound anvil. Kids should not have ANY religion 'dumped on them' until they are 'of age'. Like 18 or never.
Comment by Rick on July 5, 2011 at 1:33am

I grew up going to churchand managed to find atheism on my own. Can’t say I was ever very religious,despite the influence of my folks. Logic and rational thought eventually won. I
didn’t have any help, but your children will have you to be the counterbalance.
I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Just give them a good education. Statistically
speaking, the more educated they are, the less likely they are to subscribe to
the inconsistencies and flaws of religion.

Comment by Doubting Thomas on July 5, 2011 at 3:21am
try reverse psychology
Comment by jorge tellez on July 5, 2011 at 4:33am
uhg... I'm gonna be "cruel" in my answer: date an atheist/secular/agnostic... the problem is that if you belive in something so different and both have an "activist" aproach on the subject the confrontation will be very common... I guess there are many atheist that can keep quiet even if the partner forces child into religion and live with that. But if you dont want to give an inch and so does he, well, I dont see a nice outcome...
Comment by Jimmy N. on July 5, 2011 at 5:17am
I believe there will be every effort to convert you before marriage. I successful, then the problem will solve itself. If not and if the marriage goes ahead, I predict that you will have a life of constant conflict. It will be difficult especially if you stand alone (as I do) against an army of zealous, self-righteous and sanctimonious Christians constantly on your case. Your children will be caught in the middle of numerous arguments between the both of you. Believe me, they have a very powerful movement capable of influencing your children against your views and they will use it.
Comment by Sin on July 5, 2011 at 5:31am
I'm going to assume that your commitment to your partner is not negotiable and that your partner will not change his faith and persist in wanting a religious education for your potential children.

The worst thing would be to give any child the sense that they are forbidden from doing something, such as having this disagreement as a sort of background tension where you keep them away from a church and religious indoctrination until they are a certain age. It could just make then desire it more. And if it is important to your partner, he will probably make attempts at indoctrinating them anyway, whether or not they actually attend a church.

The best approach would probably be a counter-indoctrination war.

If it is possible see if you can compromise on the church they do attend, and perhaps find one that is less aggressive in its evangelising. Going through the things they do learn at church with them, and encouraging them to think about those things critically (although take care to not seem like you are telling them what your answers are). Also it would not hurt to expose children to other religions and schools of thought.

Introduce them to critical thinking and critical analysis early. Your partner may not be a fan so those areas may be on your shoulders. But if you feel that you have no choice but to compromise on the church attendance, it would be fair to expect some compromise on his part in terms of broadening the children's education so that they are better able to make a choice when they are older.
Comment by Ron V on July 5, 2011 at 7:31am

This will be a troublesome relationship over the long term.

I am still married to a Christian but it has been extremely difficult, especially with respect to our kids- but there will be other issues - In God We Trust- one nation, under god - family members - prayer (public and private) - church - etc.

I would recommend avoiding marrying a Pentecostal Christian- I think your best bet with harmony and a Christian is an "evolved" Chritistian who doesn't take the Bible literally and understands Christianity is mythology but just can't give up Christianity- such people are in the minorty but I think they may be becoming more common.

Comment by Joe g on July 5, 2011 at 11:13am

I grew up catholic. I went to catholic schools for 14 years. The local population was 70% catholic. My mother was a seeker and eventually graduated college with a B.A in comparative religion.(age 64)  My father was educated by jesuits. I got basilians.


I rejected god and religion when I was 16 with no help from anyone, and that in 1968. What got me there was interest in math and science. A read through old and new testaments in high school religion class was also useful.


It was easier to be a closet homo than to be a closet atheist, still here I am half a century+ later.

I encouraged my brother to raise his kids with some sort of religion. ( I was already a long time non believer). Later on he and his wife became born again. His three kids all grown now, file all religions in pretty much the same way. They are all educated well read artists and intellectuals.


You can teach critical thinking, I would say you must teach it. Atheism is not religion, and religion is mythology, which like Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Mayan and all other mythologies, has had historical effects on the society(ies) we live in. Most atheists I come across are far more knowledgeable about religion(s) than the so called faithful.


You have plenty of options.


You can dump this guy. That might be wise as by his faith he has already demonstrated he is inferior mating material.


You can choose not to reproduce. The planet will thank you, as will all of the distribution systems in place to support destructive consumption by far too many humans.


You could just not marry him, have the kid(s) you crave, and leave if he doesn't smarten up.


You could expose the kid(s) to many religions.


You could teach the kid(s) all the things in the bible the pentacostals are not likely to expose. Start this early and be sure to focus on rape murder, slavery, butchery, genocide, mutilation, mass destruction etc. It is all in there. Make sure their xian education is complete.


You could simply fall in line. Convert, submit and do as you are told. That would be the easiest thing. You could avoid the fighting and bickering and everyone would live happily ever after.


Keep in mind that every guy comes with a penis, but not every guy is a Dick. There are plenty of Tom's and Harry's . You have not found a match. Keep looking.


Comment by Hannah Cutts on July 5, 2011 at 1:55pm
Oh my gosh guys! I never ever expected this many replies. Thank you so so much. I really am so thankful. I'm going to have to go read them all and then I'll comment again with a some replies.

I'm so glad I joined TA =)


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