• NPR Reports on Atheist-Believer Marriage!

    I’m heartened that NPR has included a story about believer/non-believer marriage in their “Losing Our Religion” series. I think it’s such a shame that many people think a marriage cannot be as happy, healthy, and loving if both partners don’t pray to the same god or believe the same things about religion.

    Mike Bixby, the atheist, makes the most important point of all. Talking about his wife Maria’s faith, he says:

    Maria’s faith plays a role in making her the person that I love, and I’m good with that. I think we’re both the people who we are because of her faith, because of my lack of faith, and I don’t want to change that.

    Exactly how I feel about my deeply-Christian wife.

    The other important comment Bixby makes is:

    If I was a different type of nonbeliever, and Maria was a different type of believer, then that would be a very different question.

    The comments are overwhelmingly supportive and appreciative of the story. Naturally, one indignant believer spouts off:

    Of course, it’s a happy, rosy story since NPR has an agenda to push on this topic. Good for them if it worked out for them, but in reality, it doesn’t work out for all couples like that. Know why? Because there is a valid reason why it says in Scripture not to be unequally yoked with non-believers and if a Christian knowingly dates or marries a nonbeliever, they are in essence saying that love and romance is more important than living for God and doing His will… and that’s idolatry. If the couple has children, then things get even more complicated if there’s a disagreement as to how to raise them. I’ve seen too many conflicting interfaith couples to say all is rose as long as they ‘love.’ No they don’t necessarily divorce, but one winds up not getting their needs met and eventually winds up unhappy. In Eastern Orthodoxy, my specific faith community, you can’t get married to a non-believing (or non-Christian) person inside the church and if you marry them out of the church you pretty much are choosing to ex-communicate yourself meaning can’t receive the sacraments anymore until the marriage is blessed in the church and if the person is an avowed atheist that is highly unlikely to happen. You also can’t be a godparent for anyone or stand up for people at their weddings. For me that would be too great of a loss just for some fellow. Like I’m walking away from a family I love for what? Passion? An attempt to assuage loneliness….without my faith community I would feel even more lonely. At any rate, for me, no man is worth turning my back on my faith. I need a man who is also part of my faith community who lives it: someone whom I know “gets it”, someone whom I know would be willing to pray with me, go to church with me, will encourage me during the fasting seasons, and won’t scoff or disregard the traditions I hold dear….and I would do the same for him. To me that is TRUE LOVE…both of you living for God and putting Him first. Call me narrow minded or judgmental if you wish (because I know you will because some of you hate religion and are loving this week’s biased in your favor news stories), but that is how I feel about it. There are worse things in life than being unmarried.

    Sorry, commenter, intermarrieds of all kinds can make it work. It’s a question of being happy, loved, and loving.

    Category: Home LifeReligion


    Article by: Larry Tanner