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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Ok,

I agree with the other posters. You should go on full atheist assault. When me and my GF started dating, I was just discovering my atheism. I have pretty much demolished her faith. She is just shy of admitting it to herself, even though she has admitted it to me.

Anyway, get her to read/listen to dawkins, hitchens, harris.

Do not give up. We can't have 4 more religious zealots blowing up buildings out there.
ye s
i use it all the time. I should them the Whole slavery thing. and how wrong it is and yada yada. They just said god was not like that and bunch of other crap. But i got them thinking that is what mattered. I have to pull the bear one out on them next.
Number one thing, remain calm. Don't let them see your anguish, show them only that you are patient and certain of your point of view. I would follow the Nerd's advice. Get online and brush up on your Bible hypocracy. I would go a step further and get into those home Bible studies. Focus on pointing out what individual pieces of information makes sense (we should love our neighbors, share, not kill people etc) and contrasting it with that which does not make sense (atrocity is acceptable against infidels for instance).

I wish you the best of luck my friend. You are fighting for the very sensabilities of your children and the future of your progeny. I cannot imagine how stressful this must be for you, but do not give up. No matter how uncomfortable, agonizing, or sorrowful the fight becomes you can't afford to quit. I wish I could help you more but I'm fighting for my family as well.
Two words: "Headship Principle" my friend.. You are the head of the household. That's biblical. It's not up to her to decide what, when and how much she wants to teach them, it's up to you. As long as you are a faithful husband...not faithful to the church, but faithful to your marriage vows, she has NO christian choice but to submit to your decisions.

In Ephesians 5.25 the model is: wives submit, husbands love. The example is Christ’s sacrifice for the church, his bride. Would the church, his bride rebel against him? In 1st Peter 3.1, the model is that of a believing wife submitting to a husband who does not follow the example of Christ; he is an unbeliever. Why would God recommend such a submission ? The husband may be actively antagonistic to the gospel. God’s desire is the salvation of that husband by means of the wife. She is to be a living witness to him of the grace of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 7.16 the Apostle exhorts "What knowest thou, O wife, whether thou wilt save thy husband ?

My advice is pretty much the same as everyone else's... get that religion away from them. Get your kids to a natural history museum, let them see you do nice things for others, (elderly neighbors, strangers at the store, etc.) and you stop talking about the god thing.

IMO, in your kids' minds you're making a connection between deep emotional distress and conversations with daddy. Let them ask questions if they have them, and answer them honestly and succinctly, but don't go out of your way to bring it up.

I'm a life long homeschooler...all my boys were/are homeschooled, and I think it's a good path for some folks...it worked for us. BUT, I agree with many of the others who say get your kids into school! Mama has WAY too much time and opportunity for indoctrination. Give her Sundays and 2-3 evenings a week. You get Saturdays and 2-3 evenings a week, and the kids get baseball, or karate, or playtime 1-2 nites a week.
Hi. I posted this in the "life-long atheist" group. I'll re-post it:

"
My life-long (well, about two decades long) atheism was held in check by my early appreciation for science. Being a scientist of any sort was (and is still) an aspiration for me.
I read many science books (Dorling Kindersley / Eyewitness) and watched PBS programs, including NOVA. From time to time, I exercised my imagination, and experimented with the thought of a god existing (wouldn't that be great... eternal life, knowledge of everything when you enter heaven).
I was exposed to my parent's native religion of ancestor worship, and was aware that the people of America adopt different religions (Christianity, Judaism, etc.). I compared religion to mythology, which I was also fascinated with for awhile, and That pretty much "vaccinated" me against the delusion and the illusory promises of theistic religions. While I could be vividly imaginative, at least I could tell fact from fiction. Unfortunately, not as much children derive much [spiritual] satisfaction from science, and not as many are able to tell that the supernatural does not exist, as I'd thought.
I go to a unitarian-type temple every Sunday, and they know I am an atheist. I go there anyways merely for the social benefits.
I think I was lucky growing up... I was too captivated by the consciousness-raising wonders that science has revealed to us to fall for the shallow mysticism and intellectual dead-end of theism. If only the people in the temple were as spiritually and mentally fulfilled as I was, perhaps they too would be atheists. Possibly, they are agnostic, but go to the temple and participate in the rituals for the sake of meeting each other, like me. (I don't participate - the incense annoys me and the long sessions bore me to hell)

I think a good way for allowing a child to reach atheism / agnosticism on their own is to get them to be aware of the many religions of this Earth, to be aware that people long past believed in even more religions we now regard as mythologies, and finally, to tell them that Santa Claus isn't real :)
Maybe they'll be interested in science, maybe not... not everybody's a geek xD
"

In short, tell them to convert to Hinduism, lest they reincarnate as pubic lice. Shiva the Destroyer commands you!

A billion people believe in Krishna. They cannot all be wrong... otherwise ALL OF THOSE BILLIONS WILL BURN IN HELL. Loving god, huh?
Ok All it has been about 6 weeks since I started this thread.
I decided to go to the next step. I told the wife I do not want the children going to church every Sunday. I explained that I wanted to limit the amount of religion they were getting. I told her that I wanted them every other Sunday and Every other Wednesday. I asked if she would be willing to do this or if she would fight me if I insisted? she said she was not willing to allow this but no she would not fight me. IE. sneek the kids out of the house for church.
I had asked if she could stop pounding religion into the kids. So she explained to me that Part of being a Christian was to tell others about her faith. Especialy your own Children. She feels that it is her job and part of being who she is and she can not stop or can not not do this. i tried to explain that I felt she was Indoctrinating, and Brainwashing the Kids. Not letting them think for them selves but Telling them God is great and God is good and everything God is True. I asked if she could just keep her religion to herself and not involve the kids? she said NO.
So At this point Starting this Sunday I get the Kids and she goes to Church by her self. My Question is did I do the right thing here. I keep telling the Kids I want them to be able to make their own Decisions. But by me telling them no more church I took away this right. However I justify this in 2 ways. 1st they were never given the choice if they wanted to go to church or not, 2nd I feel that this church crap is harming them and I'm trying to protect them from it.

Make sense? Comments?
IU think you are correct. I still think you should divorce her and get custady of the kids and then find a therapist to work with you to de program them.
Goz, I think you are seriously overestimating the chances that Brian would get custody if he got a divorce.  Fathers only get custody of the children about 15% of the time and saying that the kids are getting too much religion probably isn't going to make a good argument among most US judges.  It could have the opposite effect, in fact. 
Yes, I think it was a good move, but don't just sit around at home on Sunday mornings...get thee to a museum! ;o)

Natural history would be my choice, or a science museum...there are lots with hands -on activities for kids. Or a planetarium.
Make an event of it; hit a pancake joint, spend a couple of hours at the museum, then have lunch, chatting all the while about what scientists have pieced together about humankind's origins, or Da Vinci's machines...get their little minds open to the wonder that IS, not what they might get if they are good little boys and go to heaven.

Wednesday nights, rent a video about inventions, or flight, or hobbits, or something where the main characters are not focused on a god. Order a pizza and make your time with them special and fun.
Heh, I would've been a bit more hardcore about it. Divorce is an option.
Makes perfect sense.  Use the time well.  Aquariums, natural history museums, lots of ooey gooey fascinating science stuff! Combine as much fun as possible with learning non churchy things!  Watch them, see what makes their eyes light up and their jaws drop, then feed those flames!  Make it so much freakin' fun that church becomes dreaded chore in comparison!
What would I do?
To be honest, I wouldn't have this problem. I couldn't marry a religious person. It wouldn't work.
But if I did, I would push the issue. I would push it over the edge of a cliff.
I also agree with Thisbe. Get a lawyer. I realize that you probably love her a lot, or are at least not as adamant on things like this as I am, but these are your children. I absolutely wouldn't stand for the brainwashing.

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