And can I offer a suggestion regarding your wife and her desire for whatever it is she means?
Taking a break from homework and I need to use my brain differently for a while, so I'm going to pretend that you agreed to my offer of a suggestion. Disclaimer: this is entirely speculative, I could be completely off-base with my thoughts on this. I'm being trained to find the "themes" that recur in people's communication, and that's what I'm trying to identify here, based on your disclosure. Feel absolutely free to disregard all of this - you know your wife, I'm just going by what you've said about the situation so this is very biased already.
It was great that we could share the natural born non-idea that there was not an invisible sky-daddy watching us...
and a few other significant bits, like:
difficult times raising kids and moving quite a few times...
...post partum depression.
... desire to “be spiritual.” ...quite insistent that she does not believe in any gods ...more “connected to the earth”
I'm guessing that this is more or less a stand-alone issue, but that it's showing up tangentially related to the other issue of mockery. So, one at a time.
For a lot of women, becoming a mother can change the way you see yourself within society. It may lead to a new awareness of the environment, food, education, all kinds of stuff that may impact her children that she may have previously not cared much about. That might be the case for your wife, although the "issues" she's more tuned in on could be anything, not just what I mentioned, really anything she perceives as "threatening" to her offspring.
I'm thinking she's feeling the absence of something, a something that can be satisfied by making a "connection" to something. Yes, I know, vague and frustrating as hell. I would guess that post-partum depression is a big factor - depression often includes genuine existential angst, and feelings of separation from the rest of humanity.
PURE SPECULATION FROM HERE FORWARD:
So let's assume that she is depressed, or that she is seeing the world a bit differently as a result of having been
depressed, and wants to feel more a part of humanity. Kind of woo-sounding still, so let's identify this connection as "like-minded people". Given that you are non-theists living in the Bible Belt (and BTW, you have my sympathies), she may not want to go to the effort of pretending well enough to build relationships with church-going theists. If you don't have a social network that includes others with similar beliefs, she may be simply lonely
for a certain kind of social connection. In my experience
, people who self-identify as "spiritual" come across as very kind people and they generally seem to be at peace with the world. If that's who they really are, who wouldn't want a few of them on our lives? If you guys are raising young kids, that may be taking so much time and energy that she isn't getting enough other interaction with people she feels "connected" to. I'm really inclined to think this is an unmet social need of some sort.
With me so far?
I can see how if the above is true, she might be upset about the rest of what you shared.
I know a lot of people who don't believe in an interactive/participating god (I seem to know a lot of people best described as agnostic with deist leanings) who think that the best way to handle other people's religious beliefs is to ignore them entirely. I get it. It irritates the crap out of me but I get it. They stop one thought too soon and don't understand why those of us who choose to speak about this make that decision.
I think they really don't quite grasp the real problems that are strongly correlated to religious belief. They either don't see, or don't want to see, the connections between religion and public policy, poverty, conflict, abuse, domination, and so on. I know many non-theists who prefer to not talk about religion at all, but they still retain the idea that religious beliefs should not be challenged because it's rude and disrespectful. Weirdly enough, it can often be about manners as much as anything - most people do not like to start or participate in conflict and see speaking against someone else's beliefs as provoking an argument. That conditioning is why most people can't just shut the door in the faces of religious solicitations - they'll overlook the rudeness of being interrupted in order to avoid being rude themselves.
I know other non-theists who seem to think that talking about the problems caused by religion actually makes things worse. They don't agree with those of us who have concluded that having noticed the connections, we have an obligation to point them out.
So, if your wife is looking for a group of like-minded people to connect with, and has not yet made the leap to seeing how deeply involved religion is in much of what is f@cking up humanity, I can see why she would object to what you described.
You do need to talk to her about it though. See if you can get to what need she trying to satisfy, beyond thinking that "spirituality" is the best answer. The answer won't be clear until you both know what the problem actually is
I hope that helps.
You could also invite her here to read some of junebug's posts to put "spiritual people" in proper perspective.