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by Abigail Van Buren

Christian Family Man Isn't Right Choice for Atheist

DEAR ABBY: I have been seeing "Randy" for more than a year. We get along great. He makes me laugh and I can envision us sharing the rest of our lives together.

I am an atheist and Randy is a Christian. I don't mind his family's views, and I have no problem with religion as long as it isn't being forced on me. However, thinking about a future with Randy, I wouldn't want his family's religious views forced on my children, either. I want them to make their own choices when they're old enough to understand.

Randy wants an "ideal Christian family," where he raises his children on his terms and with his religious views. I don't feel children should be forced into something from birth. Again, I have no problem with Randy's or his family's beliefs; I just don't want them impressed on my children's young minds. What can we do? -- A MIND OF MY OWN

DEAR MIND OF YOUR OWN: You can part friends and agree to disagree. If Randy wants an "ideal Christian family" in which he raises his children "on his terms and with his religious beliefs," there will be no compromise. And if you are adamant that your children choose their own beliefs when they're old enough to understand, you -- and they -- will be better off if the father you choose for them has similar beliefs.