Unequally Yoked

So the thing is…

Many people assume that since I am an atheist my wife is also an atheist. Nothing could be further from the truth. Now admittedly I am inconsiderate. I’m not too worried about stepping on people’s toes but that isn’t what makes a marriage work.

My wife is a Christian and I am clearly a very active atheist. I’ve gotten a lot of trolling from some people stating I am going to burn in the eternal pits of hell because of my blatant disregard for any spiritual authority. Sure. OK. I’ll bite.

That shit looks painful!

Wait a second…WTF!

The issue here is that it’s entirely unbiblical. The concept that people have of hell is misconstrued and the descriptions are vague in their holiest of holy books. I have yet to find a good description of hell aside from calling it miserable, insufferable, or a little warm (sic). However I did find this verse:

For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

SWEET! So I’m pretty much set! Even if I’m fucking dead wrong I’ve still got an express ticket to heaven. Thanks babe! The only problem with this of course is it was again written by the Apostle Paul in the same chapter where he admonishes people for having ungodly sexual desires (meaning ANY at all).

Either way the whole book is still a load of revamped mythology that was settled 300 years after the purported death of their so-called savior. I understand there are descriptions of fire, brimstone, and hotness…but none of them come until the New Testament. Most of them are by the radical Apostle Paul. The most extreme are held within the Book of Revelation which is a complete rambling by any measure.

Step Back

I stated earlier about the misconceptions of hell. I highly doubt there are very many believers out there who understand the historical context and how we understand hell today. Current understanding comes from The Divine Comedy written by Dante Aligheiri. The number of believers I’ve met who actually understand that are far and few between. It must be wonderful to be a sheep…

My wife, thankfully, is not one of those sheep. I can accept that she believes what I consider to be nonsense as long as she completely understands what I believe (or in this case don’t). It works out somehow. We live by a level of mutual respect and I’m just thankful that she’s not an evangelical fundamentalist.

To those still hiding…

There are many atheists out there who are married to a spouse who is so encapsulated by their religious beliefs that the thought of  “coming out” would destroy their marriage and probably bring irreparable harm to the mental state of their children….then again living with a fundamentalist would probably bring about the same results anyways…

So for those of you living in the closet for fear of alienating your spouse I salute you. I have the good fortune to be allowed to express myself even in disagreeing on the spiritual front with my wife. I hope that one day you too can be liberated from living a lie.

-Paul Loebe


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  • Dave

    I’m a retired soldier (E-2 to O-5) and am also a strong atheist married to a Christian (Catholic) wife. We’ve been together for 31 years and still haven’t had our first argument (no kidding). The secret is to treat each other with respect and as total equals. Openly and civilly discuss your differences, but don’t try to “win” the discussion or convert the other to your view. How boring would a marriage be if you both had the same view on everything?


  • Ty

    this is a great example of the kind of respect that makes a world better regardless of personal beliefs.

    And also a great example of what should be encouraged throughout the armed services.

    It also gives me some peace of mind for some of my own potential future relationships.

  • I am also a very outspoken atheist with a religious wife. We’ve also had many lengthy discussions in respect to our differences in belief.

    I will claim one small victory though. As with most Christians, my wife had never actually read the bible. I got her one and told her to read it and get back to me. Well, she is no longer a Christian. She’s still a deist, but she now criticizes people who blindly follow a belief system they don’t fully understand. 🙂

  • Francisco Bacopa

    I don’t often comment here, but I gotta point out that the quote from Paul here about becoming sanctified through ones spouse probably doesn’t mean you go straight to heaven just because your spouse is a believer.

    I never really went to church or anything, so no official teaching here, but I always figured that passage meant the Christian spouse would lead the other spouse to Christ by example.

    Am I completely wrong about this? As a “feral” atheist rather than a “born again” deconverted atheist, I sometimes miss some of the nuances of Christian thought.

  • Paul Loebe

    I was raised in the church. Obviously, everything in that damn book is “up to interpretation” but the teachings I were raised on stated that if one spouse was saved then both would go to heaven. I’m sure it differs in certain denominations however…

  • had3

    It’s relatively easy to respect each other if neither pushes his/her belief upon the other. The problems arise when, for example, you have children. How does one parent respect the other parent’s wish to indoctrinate their child in a belief system that the other parent doesn’t respect? I too am atheist married to a nominal xian and it works great, but only because she is xian in name only and not in practice.