Are You in a Mixed-Faith Relationship?

My friend Dale McGowan is working on a book about mixed-faith couples (like atheists married to Christians) and he’d like some feedback from people who are in an atheist/theist relationship, whether you’re married or seriously committed to each other.

If you can help, please fill out this survey!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Amanda Barker

    Well, that was fun.

  • Ed S.

    My wife is christian and I am an atheist. We both attend a Unitarian Universalist church. We did a sermon on our mixed faith marriage. Feel free to read it at http://www.harmonyuu.org/2013_sermon_archive/athiest&christian_uus.pdf.

  • Matt

    Don’t forget the footnote: “Any Christian/Muslim/Jew is not a True(tm) Christian/Muslim/Jew if he or she is married to an atheist. Therefore all alleged Christians/Muslims/Jews are, in fact, atheists. This results in a same-faith marriage.”

    • watcher_b

      I heard a pastor one time at a wedding go on about how if one of them loses their salvation, then they both do. (it was a really messed up wedding)

  • Baby_Raptor

    Not sure if he’ll need my opinions, since Dear Fiance is in a doubting stage. I filled it out anyway.

  • nina
    • Michael W Busch

      Can the spam.

  • Michael W Busch

    Done.

    I do wonder how well my wife’s responses and mine correspond to each other. I suspect there will be some systematic biases. For example: do people over-estimate how likely their partners are to change their beliefs and under-estimate how likely they are to change their own?

  • Ace_of_Sevens

    What if I’m a scientific rationalist atheist and my girlfriend is a quantum woo atheist? Does that count?

    • katarn

      Whats a quantum woo atheist?

  • http://exploringthejungle.wordpress.com/ Kat

    I’m not sure how much an atheist/deist marriage counts (Is there really that much difference between “God is not there” and “God might as well not be there”?), but I filled it out anyway. Happy to help (assuming it was in any way helpful).

  • Beth

    My husband refuses to put a label on himself. While I call myself an atheist, Hubbs will pray from time to time, but he hates religions. I gave him the definition of Deist, but he says he doesn’t agree with that. He’s too agnostic for his own good :-)

  • Spuddie

    I was raised Jewish, my wife was raised Buddhist. I evolved into an ardent rational atheist. She became “never gave a flying crap about religion, what’s the point of it anyway?” atheist.

    We had a non-denominational clergy handle our wedding because he came in a package with the limo, flowers and really nice wedding chapel overlooking the ocean.

  • watcher_b

    Took the survey. It did take 20-30 minutes. It seemed that many of the questions assumed a difference of belief since the beginning of the marriage. It stood out to me just because my wife’s and mine difference only occurred after I lost my faith earlier this year.

    • michelle

      I’m in the same boat. I hope your marriage is still as strong as before. My husband and I are pretty lucky to have each other. Of course, had he been more of a religious hard ass I may not have felt so free to come out;) For me it’s been about a three year process. I consider myself agnostic-theist.

    • TCC

      There was one point where I had a little difficulty finding an appropriate option, and I’m in the same boat (deconverted a year and a half ago, wife became more ardently religious).

  • Noname

    Well, I came upon this site by googling, “How to tell my parents I’m leaving”- I needed help wording my final text to my dad. I am 24 years old and have been engaged to my fiance for a year and a half now (unbeknownst to my father). I grew up Muslim- my mother converted from Catholicism to marry my dad, but never really practiced. Anyway, I tried on two occasions to challenge my father on marriage. He expects me to marry a Muslim man (doesn’t matter what race or anything)- however the man I met and want to marry grew up Catholic.

    My fiance doesn’t go to church – not really religious like myself. I don’t think he wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s an atheist whereas I usually put down religion.

    Well- I thought I’d share that my father threatened my life once a few years ago reminding me of this ‘honour killing’ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2152369/Yaser-Said-Man-murdered-daughters-shocking-Muslim-honour-killing-working-New-York-City-cab-driver.html

    He said to me, “Do you remember what just happened to those 2 sisters on the news?” I said, “Yes, why?” He then says, “Well, I’m not threatening you, but just remember that.”

    Just about 2 months ago I reopened the discussion saying that I don’t believe I’d go to hell just for marrying a non-muslim & he said if I decide to go down that path then he would disown me and he’d never want to see me or my future children.

    Well, as much as I love him and he’s been a great dad- I’ve had enough- I just sent him a text about half an hour ago that I’m leaving- turned my phone off- left my car behind- and now I’ll always have the feeling of looking over my shoulder. I guess this site gave me that last little push to go through with it. I’m done living a lie and pretending.

    It’s a sad situation but one I couldn’t find much information on.

    • Willy Occam

      Wow, that’s a heavy story! I’m surprised there haven’t been more responses to your comment, but I suspect that it’s because there is not a whole lot of activity on this particular story. I would strongly encourage you to contact Richard Wade about this—a regular commenter on this forum and the creator of a fantastic forum called “Ask Richard.” Richard is widely respected by the regular readers of Friendly Atheist, and gives really useful, constructive advice. You can contact him at AskRichard@ca.rr.com.

      I’m sorry that you have been put in that situation, and wish you (and your future husband) all the best in your life together!


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