They also would not like to know that we will be raising our son to be a "free thinker". I'm sure it's bound to come out... but with our son only being 4 we can give it a little time I guess.
I encouraged my daughter to go through confirmation classes to learn all about the religion her mother wanted her to have. My daughter did not know my thoughts on religion, but after starting the classes she would bring home questionnaires to complete with a parent. These questionnaires were humorous from my perspective. She would also ask me basic questions like, Why don't you attend church
? The questionnaires assumed that the parent answering does attend church. I answered to her only the questions she asked and only to the extent she asked them, nothing more. She caught on rather quickly.
After explaining to her that I don't believe in the things that other people believe, and why I don't believe those things, like requiring proof to believe in something that I cannot see, touch, smell or taste, she determined on her own that a rational approach to unanswered questions is best. Furthermore, with each passing week of confirmation class, she became a thorn by asking the instructors some basic questions that they had difficulty answering -- by her descriptions, they were rather flummoxed. She did get some jibes from her fellow confirmation classmates in the form of peer pressure to conform -- she didn't. She took pride in not conforming. I did tell her not to make so much a ruckus in the confirmation class or the instructors would pull her out and she would have to explain to her mother what was going on.
Consequently, I asked her not to share these things with the rest of the family. I told her it will just upset them unnecessarily. Since the rest of the family (many of them, anyway) will think that she is going to hell for being an non-believer, what exactly will be accomplished? Nothing. I used the same rational reasoning with her about the issue of god that I did with discussing her own non-belief with family members. She did have a strong issue against going through with the actual confirmation ceremony. She became very worried about it. I let her know that if she didn't believe any of it, then what would it matter? It's just a ritual. It would only have meaning if she believed in a different god and that god got angry -- since she didn't believe in a deity, there is no supernatural force to answer. She said she didn't want to disrespect the others who are going through the ceremony. I told her that not showing disrespect was a good thing, but likely there were others in her class who also doubted -- did she think they were showing disrespect by going through the ceremony? She said no. She knew that some of them were doubters. I asked her if she was willing to undergo the wrath of a family who thinks she will go to hell for not getting confirmed. She didn't want that, either. I told her believers are like drug addicts. If you tell them that they can't have their drugs, they get angry and do stupid things ... anyway, this is a short summary of what happened. Actually, you can talk with your 4 year old about an amazing number of things: http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/02/20/the-caricatures-of-cops-ctd-2/
I don't argue with family members about their political positions, so I see no need to argue with them about their theological positions, either. Some things are better left unsaid.
My wife and I were both Sunday School teacher's as well.
You have my sympathies.
I guess the more you know the more you may doubt.
No. The more you think, the more you doubt. A collection of data points is just a collection of data points until reason and logic are applied. After all, ignorance is bliss.