I'm off this coming weekend to go with my girlfriend and visit her family in LA (the state, not the city). Fortunately there isn't going to be anything "Religious" in the visit. Now, her family is Catholic but they seem to be rather open minded. Like the Les cousin and her significant other, a few children born out of wedlock. But she has a tendency when telling her family about me that I'm an atheist.
I'm not going to deny it. No one has ever gotten nasty or ugly with me. I've never known any of them to say anything bad about me.
Thing is, I wish she wouldn't broadcast it. I'm not ashamed of being an atheist. Far from it. But I look a such things like politics and religion should not be discussed in public. Unless of course, you are part of a debate on the matter(s).
Now in our relationship, she is thinking we'll be married one day. We might. But the other day she informed me that if we have children, they will be raised Catholic. I didn't want to have a fight about it so I didn't say a thing.
However, this will be a matter to be settled one day, if we are married. I do not want my children raised in that religion. I do not care anything about what an old man on a throne in Rome says. I don't care what he thinks. And as for one of the local priests who told his parish, "If you vote for Obama you're voting for evil..."
I draw the line at that. In fact, I think that church should loose it's tax free status.
Now, should I wait and talk to her about it? Or should I bring it up?
Or should I just take the approach and go to the Catholic church and tell them,
"I come here only for the wine and crackers"

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Comment by Rick on December 17, 2008 at 6:01pm
Comment by Rick on December 17, 2008 at 5:50pm
Comment by Rick on December 17, 2008 at 5:48pm
Comment by Barbara on December 17, 2008 at 4:47pm
Yeah, you need to have this convo before getting married. Religion, children (whether to have them, how many), and also money and bills, are issues that will invariably come up sooner or later, and they are all relationship makers or breakers, no matter how amicable things may be right now. In our office we see Marital Settlement Agreements all the time, and divorce is an UGLY thing. In fact, I just saw an MSA that had a section titled "Religious Indoctrination", specifying that the children would ONLY be raised in the one specified faith (in this case Islam).

Personally I'd have a problem with raising kids in any church, but if I had kids and my husband really wanted them to go to church, I would probably let him take them, but would be completely honest with the kids from the beginning, letting them know that I didn't believe in any of it. It would almost certainly confuse the kids for a while though, as well as probably adding a certain "Beyond Thunderdome" (LOL) aspect to my marriage. But in my case, I'm already married so there'd be no avoiding some sort of conflict if my husband became religious.

I'm more likely to face conflicts from my family and inlaws than my husband though - which, really, is something else for you to consider. If your girlfriend is set on raising kids in a Catholic church, she's probably been partially influenced by someone in her family, so it's not just her you're going to have to potentially battle.
Comment by Clarence Dember on December 17, 2008 at 4:26pm
Really good advice here!

Some of my "significant others" (I won't say which ones) went on ahead with the child rearing in the church thing, although one of their union was not a church person. As a result- the kids have one resentful and domineering parent who can't seem to make a carbon copy of themselves with their spouse and one parent who never has peace in the home.

I don't want a lifetime of "Break a deal face the wheel". I don't want "Auntie's choice or the
cage" either.
To volunteer for such an escapade is to never get "Beyond Thunderdome." Here's a great opportunity to make the choice you can live with!
Comment by Father Nature on December 17, 2008 at 3:52pm
I would strongly recommend that you have that fight about religion before you decide to get married. If you don't, one, or both, of you could be very unhappy.

I was in a similar situation once. The girlfriend was a non-observant Jew who one day announced that I, naturally, would have to convert to Judaism when we got married and any kids we had would to be raised in that faith. At that time, I didn't even consider myself an atheist. I just wasn't interested in any religion. Still, the little voice in my head started yelling "DANGER, DANGER!" and we eventually split up. I now think of that relationship as 'a bullet dodged' and a valuable life lesson.
Comment by River Otter on December 17, 2008 at 3:40pm
You need to tell her how you feel before you get married and have children. If you don't want your children raised Catholic then you might have choosen the wrong partner. I would bring it up ASAP and see where it goes. Maybe there will be a compromise, if not, then run the other way. Good luck.



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