I’m posting this on behalf of Jeff, one of our frequent commentors:
“Are you going to church (and writing checks) even though you are an atheist? Are you happily involved in a mixed relationship where one partner is an atheist and the other a theist? Tell us your story of how you reconcile sometimes irreconcilable belief systems. What positive things do you do to make it work? What rationalizations and compromises are necessary? What rationalizations and compromises by your significant other are necessary?”
Jeff also sent his initial answer for himself, as he is in a mixed relationship and attends church regularly with his wife, and promised more details in the comments. I’ve also invited him to write a full post for Friendly Atheist about his experiences as an atheist in a mixed relationship who goes to church regularly. But in the meantime I thought this would be an excellent topic for discussion and one that dovetails nicely with Hemant’s recent post about Interfaith Dating During the Holidays.
Anyway, this is what Jeff had to say about how he deals with his own situation:
“Personally, I break the central directive of my church (“put God first”). I put family first. If it comes to a choice between my family and my beliefs (or non-beliefs) about God, my beliefs (or non-beliefs) come in second. As with any relationship, it takes two to make it work. As the atheist in the relationship, I perhaps find it easier to compromise my beliefs being that my beliefs are fewer in number and more loosely held. I am, though, both curious and critical of religious beliefs.”