Several months ago, I was interviewed by The Voluntary Life, a podcast hosted by Jake (who lives in the UK). The topic was about raising your children without religion, when you yourself was raised in a religious home.

It was a great interview and I meant to blog about it, but it was a busy time for me then (it was hairy finding time to even do the interview). So it fell off the radar.

Although we now identify as atheists, at the time of the interview, both DH and I were still evolving when it came to our religious/spiritual beliefs. But we were firm at not raising our children with the brainwashing of religion. And of course, now, we feel the same, even more strongly. I want to give my children all the facts as I know them and when they are adults, they can be armed to choose for themselves how they want to live their lives and what they want to believe (or not believe).

So why am I thinking about it now? My MIL, who was unaware of our changed beliefs, found the interview somehow and sent it to my mother. In fact, she sent it to her with no explanation of what my interview was about, just the link and that’s it.

Fortunately, my mother is already aware of my atheism. She doesn’t agree, but she isn’t ringing her hands about it at all. My mom has always been a very accepting person, and would be that way no matter what her religious persuasion.

MIL, on the other hand, is bothered by the interview. Her motives for finding it to begin with and then sending it to my mom (with no preface or explanation, remember) are indeed questionable.

Because the logical alternative would be to, say, talk to us directly about her concerns.

Instead of, you know, involving a third party.

*narrows eyes*

I actually understand where she is coming from, though. Partially, anyway. It’s disturbing for many people to see their adult children making different parenting decisions. They may feel threatened; that the choices they made as parents were wrong.

Well, guess what? Some of them were wrong. Just like some of the choices I’ve made, and will make, will turn out to be wrong. We’re human and flawed.

So. My mom simply shrugged at her and said she knew my different views. The End. If MIL thought she was dropping some kind of bomb on her, she was sorely mistaken.

I imagine many formerly religious people, especially those raised in religious homes, deal with stuff like this. If you have, drop a note here and share your story!


a cup of curiosity Family and Parenting, Secular Humanism

3 Replies

  1. In the UK moving away from a theist belief system is no big deal, as most people distrust at least organised, Abrahamic religion. I’ve found that people in general are more attached to their secular belief systems like statism, monarchism and ‘support the troops’.

    I’ve worried briefly along the lines of ‘What if my boy has kids with a beautiful but crazy faithhead, what then?’
    I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it :/


  2. Thanks for the reply, Stuart. It seems like the UK is ahead of the US in more ways than one! I am very casual when talking about my atheism because even fairly open-minded people here can be easily offended with regards to their religious beliefs. Fortunately, I live in one of the least religious states.

  3. What an independent country, in Indonesia most of people are Muslim. No one be an atheist. Religious family is not only as this mean: All family member has religion to believe. But religious family means all family member does pray, does daily religious activity, not believe in God but also believe heaven and hell, all life after death.

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