Laying down some ground rules about religion.

Many of the people that I know, or have known, have been affected by religion in a negative way.

So don’t mind the fact that my perception of it has been… colored by that.

The father of one of my children was raised to be Pagan because his mother rebelled against the way that her own parents raised her, and this was one of the ways that she chose to rebel (if not the primary way)… by raising her children to be Pagan, if not outright instilling a deep dislike of Christian theology in general in them. I can’t speak for her other children, but I can say that she did manage to succeed instilling that in him.

And the pendulum swung the other way with the father of my other child, being raised so devoutly Christian that our son’s birth was probably actually the worst thing to happen because he was conceived and born out of wedlock and I would not “fix the sin of that” by marrying him because we had a child together, something that I chose not to do for a large number of reasons that I continue to stand by to this day. Ultimately, religion was — and is — so important to him and his family that adherence to it took, and takes, absolute precedence, and that is not something that I will ever be comfortable with. That is not how I will ever live my life. I don’t mind what other people believe in or how they choose to worship, but when it involves “me and mine”, there will always be choice. That became a dealbreaker that I began to carry with me going into future relationships. If your significant other has to become the same religion as you, practice your religion with you, or believe the same things that you do, I am not the one for you. (Although sure, if you’re a secular humanist like I am, that’s cool! Just don’t try and make it a requirement that we believe the same things, or even the… lack of those, if that makes sense. I don’t care what you do or don’t believe in.)

My children are also to be afforded complete choice in the matter of exploring religion, full stop.

Another dealbreaker that I made going into subsequent relationships is that I, under absolutely no circumstances, be asked to attend any religious functions with a significant other for any reason. This was how far the pendulum swung in that relationship. Simply put, I will not attend them. I have not changed my mind in as many years as I’ve been on this planet, and I do not see myself changing my mind. I will attend functions or gatherings with other secular humanists, but I will not attend religious functions. The closest I will physically come to a church is if it is a Pokestop because Bub and I are playing Pokemon Go together…

I do not hate religion or those who practice it. Quite the contrary. I feel like I have just been “a potential number” to be recruited (or “three potential numbers”, if you want to get even more technical about it) by people that I should have been able to trust at least a little more than I wound up being able to trust, so I’ve had to lay down some ground rules about how I am to be approached regarding it, especially because I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up thinking that they can evangelize to me about it when I have shut that door.

If I change my mind on the matter, I will let people know. Until then, assume that it is what I say it is.

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