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11 October 2012

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Katrien

We avoid the discussion, since my husband thinks he's right and I know I am too ...
He told me he would 'go with it' for my sake - and you know, in case he'ld be wrong ;)- so he'll let the kids be raised with Catholic views and does not disapprove but will not specifically confirm these views to them. And when asked about it, plainly states: 'well, I think ... but mommy believes ...'. He does firmly support the values since they could be seen as a general 'be nice to others' sort of moral. And I am perfectly happy with that...

Laura

I'm the other half of the equation and I don't know either. I think I question him b/c I want someone to prove me wrong - that there is a master plan. And he pretty much falls into the camp of this is what I was taught so I just don't question it and I'm happy - blah. I was raised Catholic, married in the Catholic Church, and then figured out I have issues with it all so my mother still asks me if I think about baptizing my kids. They are 17 and 11 - I think that boat has sailed. If you figure it all out let me know b/c I haven't.

erin

Hmmmm. I was raised Catholic, kind of, but my parents lapsed as they/we got older, so I would consider myself a "lapsed Catholic" myself, and really kind of hate religion, in general. I'm not sure what I believe, and tend to have these sort of "oh, it would be nice if there were something" thoughts, but really don't think that there is anything at all. I consider my religion to be the religion of Tom Robbins or magic (as in, "isn't it magical that we EVEN EXIST AT ALL?"), perhaps.

My partner was an all out athiest when we met. But, now, four years and a kid later, he is wanting to explore religion again (his mother was a minister for a time, and they grew up in a very Methodist household). It kind of weirds me out, because he was SO FIRM in his beliefs and now he is not. He is looking for a higher power and I am now the one wearing the "I don't think there is one" shoes. It is odd.

This totally does not answer your question. But, yeah, religion does suck ass. :)

a

We tend to avoid the topic in our house. My husband's ridiculous spiritual notions are so far into whack-job territory sometimes that I fear for his sanity (Let me tell you how I really feel!). We are nominally Catholic, so I don't mind my daughter learning the traditions and the prayers. I just don't really believe it any more. And that is the stance I take - I just don't buy it. Religion depends on faith, and most of the time, I don't have any. I am not against it for other people. I am not going to change anyone's mind about it. And you can take the same attitude, if you're feeling poo-poo'd - "I feel bad that you have no faith and have nothing to look forward to in the afterlife. I'm going to enjoy heaven, and I'm sorry I won't see you there. *Shrug*"

As far as the children go...well, you can't force faith on them, but it's always good for them to learn things. If you want to follow traditions of your faith, then, unless your husband strongly objects (which he doesn't seem to), you might as well go ahead with them. Besides which, everyone enjoys a good First Communion party. There's cake involved. I'll probably be looking into the Catholic education for public school kids at our local church (even though I hate that church), just so the kid knows what 3/4 of her grandparents would like for her to know.

Maris

We have been together since we were 14. Both raised roman catholic (catholic school too). At 17 I started to pull away from religion and have been an atheist since 19. He's still catholic. The only time it was ever a slight problem was at 24 when we were planning our wedding he (& our families) wanted a church wedding & for me it would've RUINED the day so I put my foot down for a justice of the peace in a botanic garden on long island. My husband said later that I was right & that he couldn't imagine it not outside on a beautiful summer day. We've been married over 6 years and it hasn't been a problem. I think it's because we have the same morals (no partying drinking, smoking, drugs, no infidelity, lying etc) regardless of religion. We don't have kids though but we agreed we would baptize bc it means a lot to him. As Steve said on SATC "if you don't believe then it's just water on the baby's head". Any sacraments beyond that

Danielle (elleinadspir)

We have similar yet different issues. RBB and I are both pretty atheist, but I wanted B to do a few years of Sunday school at the temple. I wanted him to learn the basics of Judaism and the customs/traditions. But now he comes home a lot talking about God and beliefs. We try and mitigate it telling him that he is learning one idea and that there are many versions out there and that we think differently, and that he thinks this way now, but that it might change, or might not. It is sort of a mess....but we wade through it weekly. I realize this comment didn't really help you at all...but anyway ;)

Maris

Sorry had to step out. Any sacraments beyond that will be up to the kids when they're adults.

grace in chattanooga

Not Catholic -- Greek Orthodox Christian. I was raised totally cra-cra, and converted to the Orthodox Church as a young adult. My husband was raised Methodist, gave it up, but would have called himself an agnostic and not an atheist because he didn't know for sure that this is all there is. I didn't care. I told him he didn't have to come to liturgy with me and he could have Sunday mornings all to himself, but he couldn't make me *not* go. That worked for a while. And I didn't argue with him until he started quoting some magazine article about Jesus and I told him that until he read the Gospels, I wasn't going to talk about it. I said I would argue source material (Gospels) but not some stupid article pretending to understand source material. He read them but we didn't talk about it ever. About 2 years or so after that, he came to liturgy a few times and then more and then converted on his own. *Shrug.* I think because I went through so much stupidity growing up that when I found what I believed, I was strong enough to stand on my own. Maybe he was attracted to that? Don't know. Plus, I'm REALLY good at arguing. Just ask my students!

180360

I have no idea! I'm swimming in a big boat of grey confusion. My children ask me lots of questions and I feel like I give the most wishy-washy answers, which I can't stand. That said, I grew up with a very religious mother and a an athiest father. He never really said much about his beliefs (other than he didn't have any!) and my mom totally pushed her agenda down our throats. Now he's joined her side, so go figure! My only hope is that I can teach my children about all of the different religions out there (plus science), so they can come up with their own belief system when they are older. At the end of the day, I don't think it's a bad thing if you and Rich have differing opinions. Stand up for what you believe in and share when you are confused about something. If we had all the answers we wouldn't need religion!

sizzle

My dad didn't believe in god but my mom was Catholic. My sister and I went to 13 years of Catholic school and my dad would just join us for church at Christmas, Easter, and if we had some mass-related school event. He participated in religious things with us but never talked to us about why he didn't believe. At the end of his life he talked to a priest. So I am NO HELP to you on this. Obviously.

stacey

Both my husband and I are agnostic or athiest....if you want to put a tag on it...but we consider ourselves "free thinkers"...anyway....my parents are a different matter. My father is athiest and my mother catholic. They handled it quite well, my father didn't attend church but he would take part in religious rituals for the sake of my mom and her family. He wouldn't denounce it or make fun of it..he just respected their beliefs. He'd break bread at Xmas, he'd pray before thanksgiving dinner, because they all did. Rather like going to church for a funeral, even if it's outside of your religious denomination or beliefs. They never had theological discussions because they knew their thoughts were different, but they would argue over television shows and who is worse at playing Euchre. :) Point being, in my little diatribe that makes no point, that it is as simple as respecting each others feelings and beliefs. Some things are better left unsaid and not debated, just respected.

Julie

I was raised in the Christian Church, my husband in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. We both believe that Christ died for our sins and that someday we will live with him in Heaven because through his death we are promised new life after ours. I can't imagine not having that hope in my life. We don't agree on every theological thing-he believes in infant baptism, I don't believe it is necessary.
What we both believe is that the holy spirit has to work through people for them to believe. You can't believe on your own, it takes the work of the Holy Spirit and that person's heart being open to listen and follow.
I can't imagine believing any other way. I can't imagine my husband not being with me on Sunday mornings. I was raised going to church with my mom, dad and grandma. Mom sang in the choir, Dad was an elder and we sat with Grandma. We were in Sunday School, Bible School, Wednesday night activities, you name it. I loved church! I still do. While I get disappointed in how people behave and how people think that Christians are supposed to be without sin, I still can't imagine any other life. Trust me, I sin every single day, all day. I am constantly asking for forgiveness and help, I am FAR from perfect. I fail myself, my family and my God. Luckily, he forgives when others don't.
There are times when I question why things happen and it rocks me a bit. I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. That in itself gives me great comfort. For those who don't know, all we can do is pray that the Holy Spirit works through them and in them. May God bless you and your family. You will all be in my prayers.

elz

My husband grew up in a house with no religion. They aren't anti-religion, just no support or tradition. It is a totally foreign idea to me. I was raised Catholic, asked all the questions, and embrace my faith and spirituality. I want to pass that to my children. My husband fully supports me raising our children Catholic. He's had to answer their questions. I think questioning your faith is one way to find out if you believe. Faith is a tough thing to teach-you just gotta believe it. If the girls don't want to stay Catholic, that's OK. As long as they believe in something.

Isabel

I have no advice on the matter. I just wanted to chime in to say that this must be hard for you guys. I know, for me, my marriage wouldn't work if we both didn't have a strong belief in our religion. It's honestly what everything in our lives focus around.

Mostly I think being an example to your girls is the best thing you can do. That and not bringing up God with your husband.

Linda

I went to Catholic school for 11 years. My father went to Mass every Sunday but never went to confession or received communion. My mother never went to Church except for the baptisms of us 8 kids. There was no talk of God, church, or religion at all at home. Everything I learned about those things was at school, so I wasn't exactly "raised" Catholic.

My husband's family called themselves Lutherans, but they never went to church. My husband remembers going to church with his grandmother a few times.

We were married in the Catholic church, and he agreed to raise our kids in the Church. By the time we had our first kid, we had begun attending a Presbyterian church. Eventually we joined the church, where he became a deacon, and I was a Sunday school teacher for many years. Our four kids attended private Christian school from pre-school through high school, and I taught at the Christian high school to pay their tuition.

Over the years, we stopped going to church. My husband claims to still believe, but he hasn't been to church in years. I don't believe anymore. Sometimes I wish I did, but I just don't. He is disappointed when I talk about that, but he doesn't make an issue of it.

After going to church and Christian school and church, our children, now grown with kids of their own, do not attend church. None of my 5 grandchildren have been baptized. One daughter calls herself Christian; the others have different opinions on the existence or non-existence of God. They were raised by 2 like-minded, active in the church parents.

We will be married for 40 years. Our kids a happy, moral, loving individuals who have made their own decisions about what they believe.

I think that children will believe what you teach them about God, because you are Mom. If your husband doesn't contradict you, they won't be confused. They'll just accept that Dad has his own views. If you can accept that, so will they.

Amy

Why doesn't he believe in God?

eva

Hi Shana! I married a Mennonite. Well, a lapsed or lapsing-more-every-day Mennonite. His dad is a pastor! And I was raised Jewish. But only my dad's really Jewish, my mom converted for the wedding but always told my sister and I "I don't like the place, I don't like the people." She meant synagogue, not Israel. After my bat mitzvah at age 13 I never went back to synagogue. I didn't really BELIEVE as a kid anyway, and two years of studying and prep knocked all the Believer out of me. Then I married the lapsing Christian Believer. And we had daughters. And it's all very confusing and complicated if we think too much about it or expose them to my dad, my atheist mom (herself the product of a Catholic and an Atheist), or my pray-before-every-meal-and-journey in-laws.

In conclusion I cannot provide any answer beyond commiseration. Sorry. But look at you and I - still married to our husbands anyway! Raising daughters with messages of what's important to us!

Sarah

Our shared beliefs are what hold us together. Seriously, I don't know if we'd still be together but for those beliefs. That being said, if he threw it all away tomorrow, I'd still love him and we'd make it at this point.

I'm blown away that you two have stuck together through so much while relying on very different belief systems. Blown. Away.

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