Atheists: Would you be sad if your child turned out to be religious?

I was in a discussion about raising children without a particular religion, with the thought that they should be allowed to choose when they are old enough. There was some discussion about the difference between raising them neutral and raising them specifically atheist. One atheist said that she is doing the latter, and would be sad if her children turned out religious. Which makes sense...certainly religious people are disappointed if their children turn out not to be believers.

Since so many mellos are atheist, I thought I'd ask you, would you have similar feelings?


I'd think my kid was a bit dumb and/or mentally ill but I'd love them anyway.

So long as it wasn't a religious or philosophical path that I personally found unhealthy, I wouldn't care. If it gave my child peace or comfort, that is the important thing. My children aren't an extension of me and while I can understand a religious person fearing for their child's salvation, what does it matter to me if my child believes? So long as it isn't a destructive set of beliefs, I'd be happy my child was happy.

Now, if my child's religious beliefs labeled me a sodomite bound for hell and my child started preaching to me and my partner about how evil we were? Yeah, I'd be pretty disappointed.

If they had a *genuine* set of Christian beliefs that involved not being a fundamentalist arsehole, it wouldn't worry me much at all. My only real concern would be if they wanted to join a blood-drinking cult, or terrorist organisation or something. But those things would bother me just as much without the spiritual element, anyway.

Strictly speaking, no.

However I might have problems with certain beliefs. Once a religion claims some kind of privileged authority over non-believers things start to get problematic.

A lot of it would depend upon the specific religion in question. Just for example: I have trouble understanding how anyone can take Wicca seriously as the logical and proper successor of the non-violent druidic religions of Europe. If my child started spewing that at me, I'd feel compelled to sit them down with as many primary sources as I could find.

It's not even that I find Wicca particularly worrisome, or self-destructive. I just cannot stomach the ahistoricity of the religion.

(I do recognize the irony of that from someone who had been raised Catholic, with the number of events listed supposedly in the Bible that are unlikely to have ever happened.)

For the most part, however, I think Zuul's position sums up my own.

Well, while I'm generally okay with religious people, I do think they're straight-up incorrect. I think they believe in something that's untrue, so I guess I would be at least a little unhappy if my kid embraced that. Unhappier yet if they became a fundie or a Mormon or a Wiccan or an Islamic fundamentalist or something weird and crazy like that.

I'd rather any child I had, watch The Itchy And Scratchy Show 24/7/365, than be exposed to any of the bollocks passed off as wisdom that comes from all the mainstream religious organisations.

My feeling is, if you were truly religious, it wouldn't even be necessary to announce what or who you had faith in. If choosing a religion is the most personal decision a person can make, how about keeping it to your fucking self, m'kay?

While I'd never say it to them, absolutely. Most of my good friends down here are religious -- and I'm not just talking agnostic or what have you, but actually church-going cross-wearing folk. But for me, I'd feel like I failed to give my child a real understanding of the world. Believing in religion, despite being raised in a semi-religious environment, is such a foreign thing to me. It'd make me sad that that would stand between me and my child.

Although I can't imagine them joining any social, organized order with all the blasphemy I'd fill their heads with just via off-the-cuff commentary. I'd much rather they became some ghost-hunter or Wiccan, etc. At least those are fun and come with fancier actroutment and don't preach anything super crazy -- like there's an infallible god-king called the pope or whatevs.

I'd actually consider it one of my priorities in raising my child to keep religion AWAY from them.

For me it would depend on how seriously they were taking it, and what flavor of religion. Anything of an extremely conservative or fundamentalist nature I have to admit would dissappoint me. A lot. I don't think I'd be upset at all if they joined a liberal Christian de0.0

I guess I should have clarified in the OP that I wasn't really thinking about holding moral views that are different from your own. For the purposes of this exercise, let's assume that they haven't turned away from the values you taught them...the only difference is that they believe in God and choose to worship him in some way..