I'm an atheist married to a conservative religious person(baptist). I
once was a religious nut myself. We have several children together. She is
very emphatic that they are in church every week, unless they are sick.
Being sick is literaly the only reason they will not go as she does not
want to spread germs.
My children know I do not believe in god or anything like that. I have
had some conversations with my older 2 sons, 10 and 8. The 8 year old is
like talking to a brick wall. He will flat out tell me I'm wrong. the
bible is right and that god wrote it so it is correct. However the 10 year
old will talk with me some.
The last 2 times I've talked to my 10 year old he has gotten upset and
started to cry. This last time I pressed him to understand why he was
crying. I found out he believes that I'm going to hell, and is very upset
by this. My 8 year old has also told me I'm going to hell but is not
emotional about it. To me this is unacceptable my children should not be
thinking this. They should not even know this is an issue or even a
possibility. I know I'm not convaying my thoughts here well but I hope you
can understand why this has me moderatly unhappy.
It is also apparent someone is coaching my 10 year old in his responses
to my statements. I do not like this either as whoever it is
doing it is bassicaly telling him that his father is wrong and does not
know what he is talking about. It is apparent one of the responses that
they have told him to give is to ask me for proof or to show him the
versus in the bible. I feel this is absolutly wrong and that this person
is undermining the relationship I have with my son.
I'm not sure how far I should take this issue in talking to my wife
but they are obvioulsy getting to much religion. I also know that
they pray for me at their church.
My children are also homeschooled, which I'm not a big fan of either.


So I had a conversation with my wife on all this. The conversation went so so. I first brought up the kids in church and them not having respect for me. her basic conclusion was she wants them to respect me but also feels it is mostly my fault. It is my fault because when they were younger 5,3,1 this was the point I "Turned from god" so they saw me as a Christian and I was very matter a fact when teaching the bible to them that it is the only answer. I pointed out to her there is no way the 1 year old got any of that from me and the 3 year got very little.
She also feels that this whole situation is my fault. Meaning if I still believed we would not be having this problem. I explained to her that all the religion is brainwashing the children. She does not see this and tells me I'm completely wrong here. Which is what I expected her to say.
To end our conversation we went on to Why I turned from god. This is a topic that her and I have been over countless times. I gave her the moral argument about salves. and the passage that talks about if you beat a salve and kill him you are guilty, but if he lives for 2-3 days and then dies you are off the hook. Her explanation was that the Israelites were held to a higher moral code as they were god's children and did not treat their slaves like this. She went on to say that she did not feel a salve would be beat to death for stealing a piece of gum, but for rape or murder this was an acceptable punishment. She also said just because the slaves in the 1700's and 1800's here in the US were treated badly does not mean they were treated badly in ancient times. I again told her this was bad response and that she was not being honest and she was being nieve.
We also got into how god would just punish the people of the earth for their sins. and I told her I did not agree with how god did this. Her response was to use the example of an Ant hill in my backyard and I pour poison on it or gas and light it on fire. I was doing the same thing to the ant hill as god would do.I explained to her the difference here is god is susposed to love his creation and should not do that to something or someone you love. However I do not Love the ant hill.
I would tell her thing that a loving god would and would not due. She explained to me that I could not say what god would or could not do because he is a god and we do not understand his ways. She has an Excuse for everything.

I have found that they are putting most of this together themselves from all the teaching they are getting. My oldest says there is no one Coaching him, but I am doubtful on this. Maybe no one is coaching him directly, but some of the things he has said just make it seem like he is learning responses somewhere.

So I requested her to Stop praying for me with the children, and also to stop having bible studies with them in the home. I asked if she felt she could do this, her response was that did not feel that she could. I also said that I would like it if we could limit some of there sunday school classes. I was told no.

It has now been 2 months since this conversation. She has concluded that she can not do as I have requested and nothing has changed.

So my question is what do I do? Should I press the issue with her. Or do I let this go and continue to be passive and let her impose her religious bullshit on our children?

WWYD? (what would you do)

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Dennis Thanks for all the Replies.

 

 

  I would say I have backed off on arguing with the kids. when they ask questions I answer them. May major goal is to teach them to think Criticaly.

 As for Divorce I have decided it is best for me to stay here. My best way to influence the children is here. In a divorce I will likely have less contact with them.

  So if a divorce happens it will be on her to request it.

  in your divorce who initiated it? you or her? I take it your ex was a nutter?

Yes, the spouse, the wife, was the nutter. Although I have to say I created the monster since I "converted" her in college before we were married over 34 years ago. She was the one who requested the divorce. Basically she gave me an ultimatum. Either we go to counseling and things got better in the relationship department or she should get a divorce.

We went to counseling, things didn't change and she filed for divorce without warning. In fact she asked me to meet here in the middle of the day at a bookstore to "talk about out relationship". She brought some guy from the church with her, and there was supposed to be another woman but she chickened out, She just matter of factly told me she had filed and gave me the paperwork and a packet of information.

She has previously said SHE would never end the relationship. Biblically I'm not sure how she justified it but that doesn't matter. Frankly, I was glad she did it. However, by that time (now about a year and a half ago) my kids were all grown. When I was were you are I made the same decision to stay and stick it out as long as I could. Although I was not really out in the open then the way you are.

Like you I had once been a believer, in fact a minister, so that made it even worse in her eyes. Disdain is, according to John Gottman, one of the four horsemen of the relationship apocalypse. Any relationship where one partner disdains the other will not last. Christians for all their noise to the contrary truly disdain unbelievers. Other than the religious aspect how is the relationship?

I'd say our relationship is just like your there really is nothing left. We may play games together, and do stuff with the kids but there really is nothing left.

The thought of sticking this out another 10 years until the kids are all grown and out kind of sucks. So much I would like to do but can't.

I agree with your un equaly yoked thing. 2 people with such oposites... there really can't be a relationship. At least not a meaningful one.

 I've said this previously but she is getting stronger and stronger with the kids and the religion.

  my 4 year old keeps telling me her god is the only true god that exists. I tell her that is fine she is allowed to believe that. But I do not. I tell her I do not see the evidence for her god. But that she is allowed to believe what ever she wants to. We generally have this convo 1-2 times a week. today she asked me what does "exists" mean. so I tried my best to explain it to her. I think she got it.

  It just pains me to see the kids getting brainwashed like this. But like everyone says when they get older they will start to ask questions and hopefully stop believing. As Long as I can be a pressence in their live this can happen. Divorced or not.

 

  Oh and the yoked thing shortly after my coming out I had asked her about that. and her response was that of a typical christian that it did not apply her. since we were equaly yoked. I love these christians have an excuse for everything that they do that contradicts the bible.

   I have come to the conclussion even when I said I was a nutter I really was not not. I remmeber looking back and hating to go to church and such. the only thing I enjoyed was the social aspect. So in essence we were never equally yoked to begin with.

Admittedly the relationship had been pretty dead for at least 17 years. She had said, when she found out I was no longer a believer, that she could live "unequally yoked" but frankly I don't see how two people with such divergent perspectives can live in an intimate relationship especially when the religious one is so conservative and fundamentalist. I keep coming back to II Corinthians 6 which I think I mentioned earlier. For the believer in an "unequal" relationship, is it black and white, light and dark, good and evil, God and Satan. You cannot have anything in common so stark is the contrast.

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