How any have mefites in christian-atheist relationships and marriages fared? What advice do you have? What do you think about
I'm atheist and my fiancée is Christian. We both feel strongly about our beliefs, our love, and respect for one another.
Before anything else, I'd like to request snark be kept to a minimum. If you really want to vent, start a thread on MeTa.
I'm 22 and have been atheist for 8 or so years. I am a skeptic of most everything, but at the base of it I believe there is a rational non-supernatural explanation for everything. I spent a lot of time in high school trying to prove that God does not exist and found no suitable proof, which in turn led me to believe that religion is a matter of faith. I have none, hence my atheism, but I am willing to warrant that others do, hence their own beliefs. I was raised Christian, have a pretty good understanding of Christian beliefs and doctrines, and respect many many Christians. I make a big distinction between "Christians" that are homophobic, judgmental, full of themselves, closed-minded and hateful as opposed to Christians that are welcoming, loving, helpful in their communities, and not afraid to associate with and be around us sinner types.
Which brings us to my fiancée, Julie (and brand new member jsmarie
She is 23 and has always been Christian. She believes that Christ is the only way to heaven and salvation (and, as a corollary, that I'm not on a path to heaven). She believes in the Bible. She has a personal relationship with Christ, and that is at the crux of her beliefs. She is aware she sins and doesn't claim any hoity-toityness She does not believe that because I am an evil sinnerman that she should avoid me (obviously). She does not believe that it is her duty in life to convert me. She is the kind of Christian (kind, open, and loving) that I mentioned up above. She gets just as upset and distraught, if not moreso, than I do about groups like the Westboro Baptist Church. She's an archaeologist, so it isn't as if she has been sheltering herself from the world and its many cultures and religions. She is a fan of evolution, and doesn't see why it would preclude God's hand in things.
We started dating over two years ago and got engaged this last November. We are in the middle of planning our wedding, which will be this August. If we put our beliefs in brutal and frank terms: she thinks I'm on my way to hell (but loves me anyway) and I think her personal relationship with Christ is baloney (but love her anyway). Nobody's perfect. Luckily, though, neither of us are fucking assholes that feel a need to constantly tell the other person they're wrong. We have discussed this thoroughly, so it is by no means as if we woke up one day and realized we were getting married but -- oops -- had different world views. We both think that it, just like everything else, is a fair topic for discussion and not anything to be brushed under the rug and ignored. We both think it is important to be involved in the communities we live in. We both think loving each other, our friends, and our families should be a primary goal in life.
We have every intention of keeping our beliefs. I won't go to church with her (unless we have kids), but am perfectly willing to hang out with any friends she has from church and go to non-Sunday morning church functions. If we do have kids, I'm more than willing to raise them as Christians with plenty of attention spent on the importance of skepticism and open mindedness. I was grateful to my parents for raising me in a good home and taking me to a good, loving church. There's a lot to be said for a kind and helpful community, even if they think I'm gonna burn. Neither of us are fearful of our kids having different beliefs than we do. We'd rather have smart kids that can think for themselves.
So things are generally great. We're super excited about the wedding and our marriage. Julie, though, has been fighting with and upset by the idea of an ideal Christian marriage, which she'll be missing out on: one where two individuals come together in marriage as an act of worship. We won't be able to share our beliefs, pray together, make spiritual goals and the like.
Do any mefites out there have any personal experience or advice that would be helpful for her, or for me? I love her, and she loves me, and I don't like seeing her upset by this but there isn't much I can do.
(These threads are similar and helpful: Confused Children
and I'm an atheist and my girlfriend is a churchgoer
Sorry for the length. Thanks to anyone that responds. Hell, thanks to anyone that reads more than a third of this rambling tripe.