Can You Love Someone With A Religious Faith?

Several times I have read AN members mentioning their religious or even very religious spouse, mostly I remember men talking about their wives.

So I am puzzled.   For me, love needs the mutual appreciation and respect for the other as for an equal person.   But I consider religious faith as a form of mental illness or at least a serious flaw in their thinking, so I have no respect for religious people, only condescension and compassion.

Logically, I cannot love a religious man or one, who has similar absurd beliefs like astrology.   I perceive some invisible chasm between them and me.

Christians are supposed to be tolerant.  But what is tolerance between people of incompatible basic values other than the resignation of not being able to share intellectual intimacy?   

Are mixed couple having any seriously incompatible attitude concerning religion or politics formed of persons reciprocally taking advantage of each other?

Are mixed couples those who just follow their instincts - the man wants a body, the woman his money, both serving their instinctive urge to procreate?  

Do mixed couples sacrifice their own emotional needs in favor of the survival of their genes?

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Replies to This Discussion

1) Being an atheist *does* have to do with lack of belief, doesn't it? True, there are strong atheists (who deny God's existence) and weak atheists (who simply do not accept God's existence), but all fail to accept God's existence. (But there are two conventions on the use of "atheist" and "agnostic"; on the other convention, an atheist denies God's existence [which still has something to do with lacking belief in God] but an agnostic simply doesn't believe in God--perhaps that is what you meant?)

2) I suppose not reading the Bible is like not doing your math homework. If you don't do your math homework, you won't learn the assigned mathematics. If you don't read the Bible, you won't learn what the Bible says. I would want to ask her how it could not matter what the Bible said if she counted herself a Christian.

3) Different religious believers hold different religious beliefs. Some are more benign than others. Some religious believers couldn't imagine getting involved with a nonbeliever (they want to meet their spouses in Heaven, or religion is a really big part of their lives and they want to share it with their partners, or some such); others easily could (their belief really amounts to little more than an optimistic attitude). It really depends on the individuals, I think. But you'd *certainly* want to get the religious difference hashed out early!

My answer to this is hell no. I've tried it, so I am not being a bigot, either. It's just that it doesn't work. I truly view religious belief as socially acceptable mental illness. Furthermore, I need a deep, rational, intelligent people. Sorry to say this, but, while religious people can be deep, rational, intelligent thinkers in other areas of thinking, there is one where they are absolutely deluded, intellectually stunted, and content to remain that way. That would make me a) not know or understand that part of them, and I need deep understanding of my partner and b) not respect them.

Besides, gay theists are a special kind of fucked up. There is something definitely wrong there.

yeah you can, though they might not love you back

Yes, I think it's possible. as long as the couple respects each other's beliefs. To be honest, if I end up marrying someone who's religious, I just hope he isn't very religious. He needs to be tolerant of my beliefs, and I will be of his. Hopefully we never have to argue over religious stuff. I'd rather marry an atheist though

You often run into problems when it comes to children. How would you feel if your husband wanted to indoctrinate your children into a religion? A lot of indifferent religious types suddenly get much more intense about it when they have children, since they've been conditioned to equate Christianity with raising their children right.

Also, there's a big problem with atheists being discriminated against in custody disputes. How would you feel about your marriage being destroyed by your husband's increased religiosity, then have the state hand your children over to him for brain washing?

If you're not planning on having children, it's not as much of an issue. But still, you'd be likely to run into it at family events, and you'd always be the one expected to sit there and shut up, while the religious stuff is going on, and your extended family is proselytizing at you. At least, if your husband was also an atheist, he'd be fully supportive of your resistance, rather than silently cheering on your religious in-laws.
Can you love them? Sure. Can you have a stable, long-lasting relationship with them? Personally, no. But I do know several Atheists that are married to Christians or other religious people that have been married for 20 or 30+ years. I guess it can work, I just don't see how I could personally do it.
Sounds a lot like my feelings.
Can it be done? Sure.
Could I do it? Hell no. I'm far to snarky to keep my mouth shut about the sillier aspects of my partner's religious beliefs. It would destroy the relationship, eventually.

Can it be done? Of course it can.

For me, it depends on the level of religiosity. People are more than just their faiths, but if they have it as a domineering aspect in their lives, then I doubt I can be in a long term relationship with such a person.

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