New convert in a christian home
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25-06-2015, 07:20 AM
RE: New convert in a christian home
(25-06-2015 12:31 AM)bottlefedmopar Wrote:  I left the faith a year ago after being heavily involved in the church. My wife and I were christians when we got married and I feel terrible because I kinda sprung this athiesm thing on her. We are happily married although there is now this elephant in the room. What I need advice on is when should I tell my children (6 and 8) about why daddy doesn't pray or go to church anymore? I want to respect my wife's belief that without god they will go to hell but want them to have the opportunity to choose delusion or reality for themselves. Thanks!

Totally know where you are coming from on this. The main difference is that I wasn't a christian when my wife and I married 12 years ago but I also wasn't an atheist either, I was still trying to figure things out back then. It was very much an elephant in the room (although it sort of still is) for the first 11 years of our marriage although we can talk about it much more now than we used to.

I have 3 boys ages 8, 5, and 3. She takes them to church with her and I have little problem with it because I think it is important that they at least know what the beliefs are. Whether they accept or reject it is up to them. To that end, I completely second what DLJ said. It is far more important to teach them how to think and not what to think. If they can think through something critically, they may realize that demon possessed pigs, zombies, and magic are bullshit. Just let them figure it out on their own, just give them answers on what you think only if they ask it. My 8 YO has asked me about it several times because I don't attend church and they know it. If he asks me about what I think, I tell him. If he asks about a belief in general, I use general terms. I also tell him to ask his mom what she thinks to get her perspective.

As for your wife, there is nothing you can do about that except love her as you already do. My wife says the same thing. She actually said exactly that part about hell to me last night. I think Chas' comment hit the nail on the head. I do not respect her belief in that one bit although I respect her right to hold those beliefs. I actually find it utterly disgusting and despicable that she was taught to think that way and I feel sorry for her for the torment that I am sure she feels deep down, thinking that I will be roasting while she is in heaven. Her pastor is correct in one respect that she is broken. Unfortunately, they are the ones who broke her and made her feel this way. It's disgusting.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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25-06-2015, 07:49 AM
RE: New convert in a christian home
(25-06-2015 07:17 AM)Chas Wrote:  That is honoring the person, not the belief. And it probably applies only to other believers. Consider

I know not whether the OP honours his wife's beliefs or not. It's likely that he doesn't but not definite.

Looks like you are right. The babble talks about respecting people all over the place but I have yet to find anything about respecting people's views. Maybe they considered that a person and their views were indivisible.

Marburg virus, Ebola, Rabies, HIV, Smallpox, Hantavirus, Dengue Fever all brought to you by god - who cares for us and loves us all Censored
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25-06-2015, 08:22 AM
RE: New convert in a christian home
Thank you all. Yes I mean that I respect my wife's right to hold her belief. We began our relationship with a commonality in thinking with plans to "train" our children which I now see as indoctrination. I like the teach them how to think instead of what to think. I think this can really help me and that is why I posted this thread. You all are great. Thank you very much.
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25-06-2015, 08:38 AM
RE: New convert in a christian home
Dale McGowan- youtube.

There are a few of us here married to believers, some happy, some not.


You need to find a middle ground of mutual respect, freedom of conscience is a human right, and we each get to choose for ourselves where our spiritual path goes, even your children get that choice. It helps when we are informed and educated on the various positions, which is why so many of us go with the "some people think this, some people think that, other people think something different". It is respectful to the individual but also encourages critical thinking on the topics and not indoctrination.

So you need to find a way to get in a position of 'freedom of conscious' of every human on earth to choose the path best for them.

keep showing that you love your spouse, that your love (and you) havent changed, and that you still want to be together. Try your best to remain calm, you have had a long time of doubting and thinking things thru and getting more comfortable in this position, where as your spouse was just unexpectedly blindsided. Be patient, grow some thick skin in the short term.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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25-06-2015, 04:39 PM
RE: New convert in a christian home
Why would your children ask about your not praying unless they've been coached to do so? Either by your wife or some nosey church member.
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25-06-2015, 04:53 PM
RE: New convert in a christian home
Actually, they were taught by me. I converted when I was 33 (ironic?) They have mentioned it but I just make an excuse. I will tell them that I am an athiest in the future but I want the timing to be right. There will inevitably be confusion and pain when I do so, even if it is mythological pain.
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25-06-2015, 06:46 PM (This post was last modified: 25-06-2015 06:52 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: New convert in a christian home
(25-06-2015 04:53 PM)bottlefedmopar Wrote:  Actually, they were taught by me. I converted when I was 33 (ironic?) They have mentioned it but I just make an excuse. I will tell them that I am an athiest in the future but I want the timing to be right. There will inevitably be confusion and pain when I do so, even if it is mythological pain.

I waited until they asked me directly. All 4 of my progeny asked in their middle teens. But it wasn't about atheism, it was about the postmortem preservation of identity and promises of an eternal afterlife. "The idea of me surviving my death is preposterous son/daughter. Anybody trying to sell you some shit with the promise of a postmortem preservation of identity is trying to sell you bullshit while calling it filet mignon. How is that even imaginable let alone tenable?" Responses ranged from "Makes sense." to "That's what I figured." to "You want a hit of this?" to "Puff puff pass fatboy." There was no pain or confusion, only clarity. And yes, all of my children knew what the word "tenable" meant in their midteens 'cause I taught them how to reason. The Catholic Church and it's indoctrination helped raise 4 fine young atheists. Doesn't seem to phase my Catholic wife much. She just mutters "You're all going to hell." and goes back to crocheting a rainbow afghan for her lesbian sister and her wife.

#sigh
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25-06-2015, 11:38 PM (This post was last modified: 25-06-2015 11:44 PM by ThatAtheistChick.)
RE: New convert in a christian home
(25-06-2015 12:31 AM)bottlefedmopar Wrote:  I left the faith a year ago after being heavily involved in the church. My wife and I were christians when we got married and I feel terrible because I kinda sprung this athiesm thing on her. We are happily married although there is now this elephant in the room. What I need advice on is when should I tell my children (6 and 8) about why daddy doesn't pray or go to church anymore? I want to respect my wife's belief that without god they will go to hell but want them to have the opportunity to choose delusion or reality for themselves. Thanks!
I would be sensitive to your children's feelings and faith. My youngest son was a strong believer and was devastated by my deconversion. He was 12 at the time. It did a number on him. He cried and cried that his mother was going to hell. My ex-husband told him against my wishes. I knew it was more than he could handle. (That was my first crisis of faith. I stuffed down those doubts and returned to the church for another six years when my brain resurfaced. That time I left for good.)

There is a movement in the homeschool world to teach the trivium - grammar, logic and rhetoric stages. So all of these kids are being taught logic and becoming atheists in droves. I love it. There is a reason Martin Luther said that reason is the enemy of faith!

Also, my grandparents took my mother to church every Sunday. When she was 18, they finally told her that they were atheists. She was too so that was the end of church. My grandfather was very logical and passed that on to his children. All of them are atheists and all of them came to it without any pressure or even conversation with their parents - just my grandfather's logic skills.

It is okay to not tell your children. Focus on giving them the skills to figure it out themselves.
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26-06-2015, 07:26 AM
RE: New convert in a christian home
(25-06-2015 04:39 PM)Takelababy Wrote:  Why would your children ask about your not praying unless they've been coached to do so? Either by your wife or some nosey church member.

I totally disagree with you there. If there is a major change and a child notices, it is not that unreasonable for them to be curious. Now if an 8 YO started off with "where do you get your morals from" or "where do you get your truth from," you would probably be correct.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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26-06-2015, 10:21 AM
RE: New convert in a christian home
I think it is s similar situation with adopted children. It may be unique to each family and im not saying is right or wrong but I feel it would be better to raise an adopted child being open and honest about the adoption from the start. I have heard of people waiting too long (not firsthand) and the news is tough to deal with. I'm figuring out my play here and I'm starting to lean towards just telling then up front but doing so carefully.
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