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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for opinions of religious individuals. Whatever your religion is or isn't (not really relevant), is it important for a significant other/potential spouse to share it with you? If your religion is important to you, must it also be to them in order for you to be happy? I am looking for opinions of people who practice whatever their specific religion is and who would probably want to raise kids in it if they have any.

Plain and simple- how important to you is sharing religion with a significant other/potential spouse/current spouse. Specific religion doesn't matter and we aren't going into any debates about anything. Thanks for the input.
 

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I wouldn't care if my SO was of a different religion than me so long as he won't try to convert me. I'd even be okay with sharing religious practices (such as going to church occasionally) so long as I wasn't expected to believe.

I've never thought about kids, though. I'm not planning on having any, but I may adopt. I'd always planned on raising my kids without a specific religion and just telling them what other people believe and letting them make their own choices when they are old enough. I think I would be hesitant to let my SO indoctrinate them into his religion.

So, no, religion is not very important to me in choosing a boyfriend, but I suppose it would become more important if it turned into a serious long-term relationship.
 

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Religion isn't important to me in a SO, just as long as they don't criticize or try to convert me. I am atheist, and everyone I have dated has either been atheist as well, or agnostic. I would have no problem with dating someone who beleived in god(s), but I would have a problem attending church, temple, ect besides a unitarian church (as they are accpeting to atheism). That being said, when/if I have children I plan on having them attend some type of course to teach them about all religions, so that they can choose for themselves. I know I would be very grateful if my parents did that for me, so hopefully my children would feel the same. Anyways, I'm only 16 so who knows how my opinions on this topic could change as I grow older.
 

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I hope it's ok that I am not a religious person per se, but I have strong ideas about religion. I would not want to be in a relationship with someone with beliefs significantly different from my own, and if I had children, I would not want them to be raised in any religion, and I would like to avoid indoctrinating my children as much as possible with the exception that it is important to think critically and ask questions and decide for yourself (if you want to call that indoctrination). I wouldn't want to refer to my child as belonging to any ideology (political, religious or otherwise) if that child wasn't old enough to understand it and I felt they came to that conclusion because they actually understood it. (Dawkins says that calling a small child Muslim or Catholic or whatever makes about as much sense as saying a small child is a Democrat or a Marxist. "Look at those cute little Marxist kindergartners.)

I probably wouldn't be in a relationship with someone very long if their supernatural beliefs were much more than perhaps deism. It's just a world-view thing. It's something I like to talk and think about a lot, and I'd want to spend my life with someone on the same page. When I want to be exposed to other ideas, I spend time with other people.
 

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I'm an atheist. My fiancé never talks about his stance on religion, so I put him in the category of agnostic.

I used to be agnostic, and I dated a Christian from a very devout family. It turned out bad. I recall writing a blog about why I questioned the existence of a god, his parents saw it, printed it out, screamed at him [they also found out he lied about how old I was], he came home, threw it in my face, yelled at me, drove me home and never wanted anything to do with me ever again.

I assured him I was supportive of his beliefs, but he and his family were not willing to be supportive of me. They were angry at me for not being Christian. They turned me into a demon in their minds, even though they had met me and had liked me fine beforehand.

After that we tried to get back together, I said I would go to church with him to show my support for his religion. He thought I meant "I'll convert for you." When I made it clear that I had no intentions of adopting the Christian religion, he stopped speaking to me.

I think it can work, but with someone like him he just didn't consider the fact that I was as strong about my beliefs as his family is about theirs. He thought he was going to be able to change me. That was where our relationship failed.

I tend to date non-religious people. However, religion is not a huge thing for me. We all believe in what makes sense to us and I believe religious differences won't make or break a couple as long as they are supportive of each other and respectful.

I dated a Jewish man whose mother was also Jewish and whose stepfather was Christian. They made it work out well and they loved each other very much. And the family enjoyed celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas every year.
 

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I do not adhere to any specific religion, although I do consider myself to be religious in the sense of being spiritual (dear, that does sound very new-agey). I never thought that religion would get in the way of any relationship, as long as there was respect for each other's beliefs. My boyfriend is Christian, and we get along wonderfully. We often have conversations that centre around religious topics, and we always enjoy them; through those talks, I've come to realise that it actually is important to me to be able to connect with my partner on a spiritual level, regardless of one's particular religion, and that being open-minded and tolerant is just one side of the coin for me. I also need someone who understands me and shares my values, without thinking it necessary to follow any set religious codes in order to be 'right'. I would gladly accompany him to church (as I have), but I would never convert to Christianity. He knows that and he's fine with it.
 

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Jeez I don't really know. I'm single/not looking for a significant other so the questions in this forum really make me think about stuff that doesn't usually cross my mind. And I'm agnostic. Can I answer anyways?


I know for sure a really religious type would put me off, no matter what religion as I don't care for fanatics in general. Anything involving a "God" and stories about said God being taken literally seems kind of weird to me so I'm guessing that'd be unsettling too...like being romantically involved with an alien. I'm not sure though because when you get to know people sometimes something that appears really wacky can make sense as a part of a whole.

"Way of life" type religions should probably be fine, again so long as it's not fanaticism. I think I'll stick with the Jeez I don't know.
 

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Me and my girlfriend are on the same page more or less wrt this topic and that's nice.
On the other hand, we have very different views about a lot of things and I don't need a partner who agrees with me on everything. I don't have anything against religious people (I'm atheist) but I have to admit that I do have some problems with religion, even though I'm not an 'extremist' about it. I would be willing to get into a relationship with a religious person but a number of things could easily screw it up.

1) I will not raise children religious. My preference for vegan children might be a little flexible, but this isn't.

2) If they belonged to one of these religions which believe in being "saved", it would probably be pretty much lose-lose in our relationship. If they try to convert me I will be pissed off. If they don't I will know that they 100% believe I am going to hell but they are not prepared to risk my wrath to save me, and that would hurt. I know this number 2 sounds really stupid but it is important to me.

3) I don't understand supernatural beliefs and I want to understand the person I love. Therefore, it could probably work with a person who was religious but didn't have particularly 'supernatural' beliefs - deists, buddhists, people of major world religions who don't take their holy books literally but rather metaphorically, some pagans, etc.

Sorry about the long post and I hope I didn't offend anybody
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
To people who practice a religion in which you must (and strongly want to) raise your future children, is that possible if your spouse doesn't share the same convictions as you? Would you want to be a spiritually single parent?
 

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I think people who don' t share beliefs can work out fine if they don't feel strongly about practicing it and aren't judgemental about it. however, some people feel very strongly about things and if their views differ greatly from the othe person I can't imagine how it could work out. as an example, I am a christian and when my husband and I dated he was agnostic. he supported what I wanted to believe and I didn't try to "convert" him. we agreed that when we had children that we would raise them christian because we both think its important to raise children in a faith environment and if they choose to not go when they are older that's their choice. now my situation worked out nicely but there have been friends of mine and people I know that had I wanted to date them (hypothetically) it wouldn't work out. one friend was athiest and thought people who believed in God, any god, but especially the chirstian god, was stupid. he was actually married to an atheist and had kids and they were raising their kids athiest with the same attitudes. would a person like that be compatible with someone who had religious beliefs? I don't think so. so I think its important that people examine thier beliefs and their partner's beliefs and be honest about whether they can co-exist, and ask the question about how children will be raised because after kids are born is the worst time to discuss the subject.
 

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Oh well I've been wondering too, because I'm in this situation currently.

I'm the biggest atheist ever, and I don't think much of religion in general (no offense to anyone, this is just my opinion). My boyfriend used to be an "atheist" but he just decided to be a buddhist. It was rough in the first while but obviously we're just avoiding the subject now. So I don't mind it in itself of course, I mean he doesn't believe in any God or creationism or anything like that, so in that respect he doesn't think too differently from me. But it's more a matter of

1/ if one of us says "rebirth" I'm afraid the house will collapse ^^

2/ I hope he doesn't plan on raising our potential kids as buddhists (though I really doubt he would, he's more into freedom of thought)

3/ I just have trouble understanding how things work now. I thought I understood him (I of course do, mainly) but the whole "religion" thing is just so far from me that I'm not sure how to see it. Like I mean, in either way, if he seeks guidance for example, as he told me, well I have trouble understanding how phenomena you're supposed to believe without a proof (rebirth etc) can ever guide you. Also how can anyone "need" religion? This just passes (as we say in French) 3km above my head.

So well in my opinion, different views, why not, so long as they're not too opposed, and depending on the people you might have to deal with a few "we can't talk about this" subjects.
 

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i think it really depends on the people involved!!! i am Pagan myself, and so i am sure i would not like to date a born-again Christian, but a more gentle one who didn't force his beliefs on me wouldn't be so bad, though i also couldn't handle being with someone who was homophobic or conservative. i think the main thing is it could work if your relationship is more important than beliefs...if it is the other way round, it won't.
 

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my husband and i have very similar beliefs, so it's not really a problem.

and, we both wanted to raise our children within a religion--we just weren't sure which one. we both knew we didn't want to raise them what we were raised, and that, like thalia, we wanted to focus on the spiritual disciplines (meditation, prayer, etc), questioning beliefs and experiences, and relying on one's own experience to form the basis of spiritual belief and growth.

thus, we've decided to raise our children buddhist--likely zen since both of us connect there.

i think, though, that if our beliefs were divergent, i'd strive to raise the child in both religions. one of my friends is jewish, her husband catholic. both individuals and their families wanted the child to be raised jewish or catholic. they decided to raise the child 'both.' they're obviously not orthodox in either direction. it's interesting to see how this works out, but they essentially follow to holiday calendars, and their children go to both religious services as well as religious education. they want to send their children to private school--and there's a good jewish one and a good catholic one near them. this is becoming a point of tension for them and their families. if they choose jewish, then the jewish side of the family is thrilled but the catholic side goes crazy for fear that the child might 'be more jewish than catholic.' and vice-versa if they choose the catholic school. so right now, it looks like they may choose a different, non-religious form of private schooling just to avoid this conflict.

but, it seems to be working for them. Oh, and both parents attend each other's services. so, it's always a busy weekend for them.
 

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oh, and buddhism has no required beliefs--including reincarnation. you don't have to believe in anything to be buddhist. it's mostly focused on practices (meditation) and individual experience (what you experience and understand abotu the world through your meditative practices and other spiritual practices).

so, most atheists are quite comfortable as buddhists, seeing the personal benefit of practices such as meditation.
just FYI.
 

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Interesting discussion and responses


My fiance are about equal when it comes to our involvement with religion. We have passionate views with flexible interpretations. We have wonderful lengthy discussions and learn oodles from eachother.

But our views are different. He leans christian and I lean in no direction at all. Not to mention his family (though not all of them) are fundamental, fanatic, christians. It's... not a problem but has been an issue on more than one occasion.

He wants to take our future children to church occassionally. I'm ok with this so long as it's balanced with other things. I've attended church with him a few times... in fact the only times in the past year and a half that he has gone, I have gone also. But this is not my belief "system"... if you can call it that. I'll certainly be taking our children to drum circles (which have no religious undertones), teach them meditation, and explain all the other religions in the world. I'll even take them to temple and show them that also. I belive in educating my children until they are old enough to decide for themselves. He agrees. Same thing goes for vegetarianism which I view as part of my spirituality.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post

oh, and buddhism has no required beliefs--including reincarnation.
Thanks for the precision
!

But well last time we talked about that, he believed in reincarnation. And as an eagerly scientific person I kind of "choked on it". But eh, the storm ended. We'll see how it goes after that. I just hope we won't argue too much about this because well, there's more important issues to be worrying about (and because I really hate arguing with him
)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the replies. Just curious about various opinions. My boyfriend and I technically have the same religion, but I practice it to the best of my ability and he more like looks at it like a buffet, believe some basics, but hates its authority and doesn;t practice at all and doesn't want to. He have different moral values as well which I feel would probably be problematic if we were to have a future together. I am starting to think (becasue of this and others issues as well) that maybe we shouldn't be together anymore.
 

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Have you two discussed this sort of thing? Is this something thats been bothering you for awhile about the relationship?

When I was looking for my fiance, it was very important to me to find someone with compatible beliefs. He doesn't have the exact same opinions, but we are able to respect each other's point of view. It definately wouldn't have worked if he wanted me to be a practicing Christian, Jew, etc.
 

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rahkoon:

for my own part, unless someone is really pushy about the idea, it's not at issue. i mean, my husband could believe in any crazy thing, if he wanted, as long as he didn't insist that i--or anyone else--believes in it.
 
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