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Guest Holden Caufield

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Guest Holden Caufield

What a great site! I walked away from Xianity about a year ago. I am a 30-something attorney with a wife a 4 kids. Raised in a moderate mainline church, I became a Southern Baptist :eek: after marraige, mainly because that was my wife's denomination. We left the Baptist church due to its fundamentalist leanings and infighting (biblical innerancy and homosexual issues mostly) and moved back to a mainline denomination that seemed pretty moderate ("open hearts, open minds, open doors"). I went from liberal christian to agnostic to aetheist over about 6 months. My wife was floored, even though she is pretty liberal herself, although still a Christian. She refuses to beleive I am an aetheist, and instead accepts me only as agnostic. Nonetheless, she has been a pretty good sport about it. I have not yet told any of my kids about my deconversion, as they are all under 12. I also still have not figured that whole church thing out yet. My wife has left attendence optional for me, but I feel like I need to be there to some degree or another. I am curious if there is anyone on this board who has left Christianity but whose spouse remains actively religious? How do you handle the church issue, especially if you have kids?

 

Thanks for your input. This really is a great board and I look forward to contributing to it.

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Hey Holden,

 

Welcome.

 

As for the church issue I would attend church with my son and we would talk about the sermon on the way home. A lot of the time what the minister said went over his head. I'd give him both the christian version but ask questions that would make him think for himself and decide for himself. I never told him what I believed, I just don't believe in passing my beliefs onto my son. I want him to use his brain to think and reason.

 

Anyway one day we were talking and he said he didn't believe Jesus was who everyone said he was. I finally admitted that I didn't either, man was that kid mad. His comment, then why did you make me go to church when you didn't believe? He was fine when I explained myself. He was only 14 but he's a smart kid.

 

I did find out that he doesn't believe in the Bible either, it's too unbelievable to him. In addition he has more of a humanistic side to him and doesn't like ill treatment of others which the Bible is so full of. As for God, I don't know what he believes as we have not discussed it.

 

Good luck to you.

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Holden Caufield?

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Hello and welcome to the forum. I'm in no position to give you any advice over the church thing, but I hope you sometime and somehow manage to get to the position where you don't feel you have to go at all. Because it can't be much fun going to church after you've deconverted.

 

Anyway, hope you stick around.

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Welcome! :wave:

 

You'll figure out the church thing in time. Ideally, the best thing would be to just not go and waste no more time on the Jebus cult, but you've got others to work with, too, and unless they automatically believe as you do overnight, it'll take time.

 

But hang in there :)

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I was fortunate in the fact that, while my wife was a Christian, she never really went to church anymore. I was also a Christian when we first got married. The birth of my first son caused me to re-examine my beliefs. I found it all to be absurd; from accepting that some guy got nailed to a cross for something bad about me to the concept of heaven and hell. In fact, I found these concepts to be an insult as I had firmly believed in personal responsibility. I went to agnostic, and am now an atheist. My wife still says she believes, and sometimes gets upset that I'm an atheist, but I always stick to what I feel is right no matter what, and that's something she loves about me. In any case, I've managed to keep my son out of church for the past 7 years, which was a feat unto itself considering my parents go almost every Sunday. However, my father has his doubts and goes only to socialize and keep the peace, so there is an understanding between us. With my wife's side of the family, the issue has come up now and then, but there's always been some bigger issues for them to deal with.

 

I still think that honesty is the best policy. If you don't believe, just say so, and while you probably should still attend weddings and funerals, going to church every Sunday in spite of professing your disbelief will only make things worse. If you truly don't believe, there's no point in going for anyone's sakes. If you were raised in redneck country like my father was and are afraid of the men in the white hoods and pickup trucks torching your place, you wouldn't have said anything anyway. It's 2006 already. You are free from religion, should you so choose. Save 10% and stay home Sundays. Enjoy a little sleep-in. You'll feel much better about yourself.

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What a great site! I walked away from Xianity about a year ago. I am a 30-something attorney with a wife a 4 kids. Raised in a moderate mainline church, I became a Southern Baptist :eek: after marraige, mainly because that was my wife's denomination. We left the Baptist church due to its fundamentalist leanings and infighting (biblical innerancy and homosexual issues mostly) and moved back to a mainline denomination that seemed pretty moderate ("open hearts, open minds, open doors"). I went from liberal christian to agnostic to aetheist over about 6 months. My wife was floored, even though she is pretty liberal herself, although still a Christian. She refuses to beleive I am an aetheist, and instead accepts me only as agnostic. Nonetheless, she has been a pretty good sport about it. I have not yet told any of my kids about my deconversion, as they are all under 12. I also still have not figured that whole church thing out yet. My wife has left attendence optional for me, but I feel like I need to be there to some degree or another. I am curious if there is anyone on this board who has left Christianity but whose spouse remains actively religious? How do you handle the church issue, especially if you have kids?

 

Thanks for your input. This really is a great board and I look forward to contributing to it.

 

Hi Holden, welcome to the forum. Here you'll find peace and stability that far surpass the arrogance of a religious institution. While I am married, I do not have children yet. I am grateful that my wife is also an atheist, however, when she and I met, I was a fundie Christian (I was in a transition from fundy to liberal when I met her). But she accepted me even though my beliefs were annoying as hell.

 

I know you requested specific advice from atheists who are married to religious believers and you have kids, but I suppose I can give you the "children's" view for it. I was pushed into going to church by my mom and my dad (who was more agnostic than christian) let me do it. But I have to tell you, I wish they had not, because it was very hard to fight the emotionalism displayed by a crying pastor who wants people to "give their lives to Christ". Especially for a 12 year old, semi-autistic, over sensitive child.

 

I would say that if you wish to avoid having your kids brainwashed and avoid your christian spouse from berading you with "I think church is good for the kids"; try an alternative. For instance, on Sunday mornings, instead of taking them to church to learn about fairy tales, perhaps you could all sit down as a family and spend the day as a family. Instead of Sunday school, they might do much better if you taught them a lesson about science (heck, even doing some simple experiments can pique their interest). Show them that we learn about how the universe works from observance and evidence. Express to them the benefits of critical thinking skills. Once you show them how to critically think, then allow them to go to church. By that time, they will be rational enough to ask the right questions. In many ways, it would be like testing them (but in a good way). Point the simple fact out to them. If Jesus is real and church is "true", then asking questions won't hurt.

 

If they say something like "Dad, is Jesus real?", tell them to figure it out for themselves. Similar with any other fairy tale, which makes extraordinary claims, all they need to do is put the claims to a test. Then they will find out. My wife (who is hearing impaired) was raised in a similar environment, but never believed. The reason is simple. She prayed and nothing happened. And she is a productive member of society and she turned out fine without the help of the baby Jesus.

 

Of course, I am not presuming to tell you how to raise your kids. But, the atheist's dilemma can begin to be solved with alternatives to religious traditions. Just replace "Jesus" with "Poseidon" and ask your spouse if it would be smart to tell them they need to believe in Poseidon to grow into good citizens. I guess just show them you can be active and have fun without the need of religion.

 

Have a grand day....Matt

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Hail and Well Met!

 

Welcome to the forums! I was, (and am), a pagan when I met my wife who is a born again Christian. (Though not so's you'ld notice.) I explained my religion to her and she was cool with it. (That's why she's my wife now :wicked: ) My step daughter is also Christian (20 yrs old), and we have butted heads.

 

Since I have no young children I can't advise you. From your post, you appear to be an intelligent and thoughtful individual and I'm sure you'll find a way to address the situation.

 

Again - welcome!

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Hey Holden. Welcome to ex-c. Nice to have you here. You'll find plenty of folks here who's spouses are believers to one extent or another. I think the really problematic situations are the atheist/fundy match-ups. Not much chance of those surviving intact. Liberals xians are a little different flavor though. Good luck there.

 

 

 

From Catcher in the Rye:

 

"I think, even, if I ever die, and they stick me in a cemetery, and I have a tombstone and all, it'll say "Holden Caulfield" on it, and then what year I was born and what year I died, and then right under that it'll say "Fuck you." I'm positive, in fact."

 

I like it. :HaHa:

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Guest Holden Caufield
:grin: Many thanks for the thoughtful replies. I stayed home yesterday while the wife & kids attended church. By noon, I had painted a bedroom, consumed a pot of really good coffee and listed to a few podcasts of Logically Critical. Lightening did not strike me, nor was my garden plagued by locusts. I think I can get used to this... Thanks Again!

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Hi Holden,

I'm in the process of refining my belief system and my husband is still totally in the church, fundy at that. I can be okay with that, especially since he gives me the freedom to believe my own way. I don't know if it's much different if the wife is the one still faithful to church. In my church, the pastor teaches that the husband should make sure the wife does right and comes to church as well as the children. I have had some good conversations with my kids about belief and I'm willing to let them choose. The problem I see is that they might only see the one side, since they are also in a church school, and won't have the chance to decide for themselves. The people at church also believe you shouldn't give a child the choice, but should faithfully bring them to church, even encouraging grandparents to do it if the parents don't. My husband does not like me sharing my doubts about the Bible with them. He takes them to church if I don't go, but I take them on Wednesday nights since he is working. I could also ask for a ride for them, but I don't like just sending them off like that. A few times I've wished that I could just yank them away from that influence, but I can't do that because there are two sides to this in our home. I do my best to get along without compromising my own integrity. I like staying home sometimes, but going is interesting also, if it's not too often. I got some insight into the fundy mind from yesterday's sermon.

 

Sparkyone

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Hiya Holden,

 

Welcome to ex-c! Glad to have more folks show up.

 

Curtdude

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