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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

The long story short is that I've been dating a Deist for a little over 6 months now, in this time my being an atheist has cause a lot of frustration. We've split up twice very briefly because of it. I'm just looking for some opinions and advice on the subject.

In her defense, I was agnostic when we first met.

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What kind of theist is your girlfriend?

She is just a deist, she believes that there is a god, but doesn't believe in one particular god. The problem that we've ran into is that she wants to raise our kids as christians despite the fact that she herself doesn't believe in the bible. She also wants a husband that will attend church with her and the kids one day.

Super bummer if everything else is good between you. Agreeing to raise your common children as Christians and go to church with them would be IMO, a deception. When my son was growing up, I was agnostic and a single working parent. I sent him to catholic school, not because I believed, but where we lived I felt it was a safer environment with faculty who cared for the students and who could manage any trouble makers or bullies better than in public school.

I was however honest with my son. I exposed him to many different kinds of people and often began sentences with "some people believe that......" he also knew that I did not believe in a god that had any personal characteristics, a need to be worshiped or was less forgiving than us imperfect human parents. I also told him that I did not believe in any kind of judgement day. What I think of me is what is most important.

Is there a chance that your girlfriend would agree to a compromise? What if she took the children to church, but you did not go? When children got old enough to ask questions, could she agree that you would be honest with them about your beliefs and explain that mom and dad don't agree on this but you love each other enough not to let it come between you? Is it possible to acknowledge each others beliefs respectfully? Is it possible for you to agree to teach your children how to think instead of what to think?

You could also be the one who does the science projects and experiments with the kids, and encourage them to believe in themselves by expressing your confidence in their abilities.

Any way you go, it would require a common commitment and probably hard work for both of you. Good luck!

Why does she want to raise the children as Christians and why does she want to go to church with her husband? I'm curious to know if you guys discussed this. This seems to be the key to the situation. Is it because she feels that raising atheist children or not attending church will isolate your family from the rest of the community? Does she go to church now?

It strikes me as odd that a deist would choose a particular religion. Most deists I know do not practice any religion, they just think there was a god who created the world, but do not believe in a personal, interventionist god, like the Christians.

Good questions A. You OK Justin?

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