(Closed) Mixing atheism and Christianity…?

posted 6 years ago in Relationships
Post # 18
403 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015


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I mostly want to make sure nobody tries to tell them crap like the world was created in 7 days

Believe it or not, most Christians who believe in this do not believe that 7 days is 7 24 hour periods. We believe “With God one day is a thousand years and a thousand years is one day.” 

Post # 20
46 posts
  • Wedding: July 2015

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svwedding:  I am a veterinary student. Both my parents are intellectual. I always was taught that the bible wasn’t directly literal even if our pastor said something else. If you are cultivating learning and allowing them to ask questions about the world and your Fiance is on board with things like evolution I think you’ll be ok. 

Post # 21
770 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

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svwedding:  My husband and I are pretty against organized religion and churches but we’re very spiritual. We have faith in God and Jesus, the core teachings of the bible, too. We believe it’s not to be taken literally and you can learn much from the book and the ways it can be interpreted.

We also believe in evolution, science, modern medicine, etc. We’re pro-choice (within limits), we support gay marriage, and we don’t condemn others for being different. We do consider ourselves Christian but these days that seems to have a bad rap.

I don’t mean to derail from the point of your thread but there are many different ways in which spirituality and faith can be practiced and adhered. You can’t just put us all in the same bible-beating box.

Post # 22
4235 posts
Honey bee


“I am kind of interested to know what sort of awkward conversations are in my future, though. I think (hopehopehope) that awkward conversations will be the extent of our issues.”


Just like you see in this thread, there will be various differing opinions about just about anything.

You’ve expressed that you’re okay with your adult family members (FI, Future Mother-In-Law, etc.) standing by their beliefs but you’re not okay about children doing so. Well, this brings the question, at what age are you comfortable for kids to do so? and/or, is it age or is it development?

You’ve said that you came to believe certain things at an early age yourself, so, will you let your little ones follow suit? (And your 8yo or 12yo or 16yo will seem “so little” to you when that age comes to them.)

You’ve expressed that you don’t want the kids to be taught that believing in god is the only way and you have no problem with them learning about it as an optional belief system if they choose to have one.

Meanwhile, you have also expressed an “only way” mindset: that god isn’t there, that creationism is crap, that there is no hell, etc., and all the while you recognize that the family (or church or community) would stick with their “only way” mindset: that god is there, that evolution is a scientific theory in school, that there is a heaven and hell, etc..

The dilemma is that it can’t be both. These things aren’t optional to either belief system. Somebody has to “be wrong” in the debate, and your family dinner table or backyard swingset will see countless conversations about something regarding creation, mankind, and how to commune with both.


Beyond child-rearing and golden rule lessons for any kids in your family, there is still the two of you to consider.

What are your beliefs on the household? the marriage relationship? the family authority structure? expectations for romance/intimacy/communication?

It’s fair to say that we all can agree that our core beliefs in morality and destiny guide so much of how we think and act.

When it comes to problem resolution for you two, how do you suppose you’ll feel if your husband asks you to openly follow his leadership about something that you privately oppose? and how would feel if he follows your leadership in something that he opposes? and you two don’t confide the truth to each other until after the fact?

iow, what do you think that could mean to you? would you rather truly agree most of the time? or just be agreeable “in action only” most of the time? can you openly follow and support what you privately despise or disregard?

Making little kids eat their vegetables is one thing. Making your spouse to eat the proverbial brussel sprouts is another. You know?

I’m certain that the arguments about which TV show to watch or how often to vacuum the rug will be relatively easy to tolerate. What about the bank account discussions? charitable giving decisions? medical intervention opinions? occupation or vocation pursuits?


Anyway, I know my $0.02 is just that: another Bee’s thoughts on stuff that is ultimately not up to anybody else’s consideration but yours. But you asked, so, there you go. I heartily encourage you to chat more and more with your Fiance about so much of what this thread has referenced, and see where the conversations lead.

Harmony in a marriage/family is a key component to a wonderful life, ime. Here’s hoping that you two are able to discuss things openly and completely, so that you can find the melody that works for you both.







Post # 23
1309 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: A very pretty church.

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I would quickly caution against the doom and gloom in this thread. Interfaith and intercultural relationships are not doomed to fail due to inevitable differences. There can be differences of opinion/values/beliefs/priorities in any relationship.

FWIW – My parents are Atheist and Christian. They divorced, but I don’t think that was down to religion. My mum has since remarried. She married another atheist. I have been ‘confused’ about religion in that I was finding my own way in faith (and finally out of it), many people do in their young adult life. I wasn’t confused as a child, my parents believed different things. I was taught about what they believed… Not confusing.

My partner and I are from different cultural backgrounds. We get on pretty well most of the time and when we don’t I don’t automatically think “Gosh golly, serves me right for thinking someone brought up Hindu could ever get on with someone brought up Christian.” 100% agreement 100% of the time is not something I expect or aspire to in a relationship. I am not marrying myself.

His family sound like a challenge, ILs often are (and they don’t need a difference of religion to be).

Post # 24
7976 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I think it can work. However, I have several points to make:

1. I don’t think you choose to have faith. You either do or you don’t. All you can do is to expose your kids to different systems. I’m sure you’ll find that by the time they’re teenagers, they will have minds of their own and will tell you what they think.

2. You will have to be respectful of each other’s beliefs. I’m also interfaith (well, sort of… Catholic/Methodist), but we are very open about it and have discussions about it all the time. We do joke with each other a lot, and I’m sure anyone who was an outside would think we mock each other, but we’re actually not doing that at all. It’s actually all very affectionate.

3. I would beware of any beliefs of yours which are in direct conflict… for example, if one of you believes that the other is going to hell, or if one of you is a Creationist. It is not at all inevitable that religious people hold these views, but some do, and where such uncompromising views are held by either party then this bodes less well for the future.

4. You’re doing the right thing by discussing how to raise children early on. I am very uncomfortable with the idea of my children being forced into any belief system before at least their mid-teens, and I don’t approve of infant baptism either. This is something DH and I have debated for a long time, because he believes in infant baptism.

Good luck. I know plenty of people who have managed just fine!

Post # 25
1132 posts
Bumble bee

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svwedding:  I disagree with comments about your children being raised one way or another. My parents have been happily married for 40 years. My Mum is Christian. My Dad is Hindu. When I was younger, I attended catholic scripture for 7 years and I attended a church group every Thursday however I never waS baptised. I also went to the temple and learnt about Hinduism. We never ate beef (Hinduism) and we celebrated lent, Easter and christmas. My mum accompanied us to the temple and my Dad accompanied us to church. My brother sister and I were free to choose our religions. My brother and I chose to practice Hinduism. My sister is agnostic. you and your partner can definitely share your beliefs with your children. You can live harmoniously under one roof. Good luck! 

Post # 26
9124 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

as a fellow atheist, I agree with you that your children should be exposed to a variety of beliefs and left to decide for themselves what they find to be true. ALL children should be raised that way…..I believe it’s irresponsible parenting to be so pedagogical that you don’t allow for any doubts or questioning or exploration of alternate beliefs. 

Neither my family nor my in-laws are particularly religious, so no advice on the Mother-In-Law issue. That kind of thing can be so tricky because while most atheists don’t really care what other people believe as long as it doesn’t affect us – fervant Christians believe that our literal eternal salvation is at stake so we need to be “saved”….. sigh….

Post # 27
4235 posts
Honey bee


taiki raises an excellent point about how we shouldn’t ever expect 100% agreement in everything and, yeah, we don’t marry ourselves. I certainly hope my musings don’t give the impression that I have that pipe dream, lol.

I just wanted to share what I thought would be some of the awkward discussions to be encountered in an interfaith relationship.

ime, faith isn’t something reduced to what’s inscribed on our tombstones but what we inscribe on the walls of our hearts and homes. How we view ourselves and the world around us are some of the “relationship biggies” and I’m sure that contributed to why OP started the thread in the first place, to see how we might view this particular situation.


Post # 30
3164 posts
Sugar bee

Having the same values is very different to ascribing to the same organised religion (or not). If you and your SO have the same values, and it sounds like you probably do because you both accept each others beliefs, than I think you’ll be fine. I enjoyed my Catholic school upbringing and was also encouraged to find my own truth and critically think. I’m sure you can enjoy a rewarding marriage and raising beautiful children than no matter what your beliefs or backgrounds will challenge you! 

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Beegritte.

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