I have been a part of the Atheist community for quite a while. I grew up a southern baptist, bible believing christian. My uncles are all preachers in KY and I went to church up until my later high school days. I had always been skeptical about the existence of God, and finally found my way out completely when I was a senior in high school. While I owe some credit to various atheist podcasts I listened to, I give myself most of the credit for being willing to take a look at my own beliefs and actually question them.
Fast forward 12 years: I am now almost 30 years old, happily married in New Jersey with our first child on the way. My wife is due in November. The catch is, I married a christian. We’ve had many conversations about religion in the past. I’ve tried many times explaining to her my views on faith/religion/God. Which I feel she somewhat understands and we found a middle ground. She is in no way a bible literalist. But she still holds onto her beliefs, which is fine. Every conversation we ever had, she never had any answers for my questions. This lead me to believe she hasn’t actually explored her beliefs at all. She was indoctrinated at an early age and was most likely taught to never question anything. So she hasn’t.
In no way am I trying to deconvert her (which would be amazing), but now that we have a child on the way, I am concerned about how to properly raise a child with our differing views. Something I am dreading is bringing this conversation up to her. Quite often in the past when having these conversations, she has gotten very defensive. She often would shut down the conversation when asked tough questions and would always just go back to “faith” being the answer to almost everything.
My concern is raising a child in a christian church. My thoughts on this are that it would hinder our child’s intellectual growth. I have a problem with our child being taught Genesis. It’s a major issue if our child grows up believing the Earth is somewhere around 6,000 years old. I have an issue with Christianity teaching our child that they are intrinsically evil (original sin). Having faith in a God doesn’t teach children to think for themselves, wonder, or to use logic when trying to answer the big questions of the world. All it does is tell them how to act and what to think. That’s not education, it’s indoctrination.
My thought right now is to write her a letter. A letter explaining my worldview. That way she can read this in her own time, take it to her preacher or religious friends and ask them their opinion, etc… and not feel like she has to provide me immediate answers to anything. I’ve had a secular therapist for the past 3 or 4 years. He thought this sounded like a good idea.
I am hoping someone reading this may have had a similar experience, and can share their thoughts. Thanks for reading!