DEAR ABBY: I am an atheist. My parents, although raised Presbyterian, never to my knowledge participated in organized religion, so it was not part of my upbringing.
Last year my mom started going to church again, and my kids have been going with her. I've always said they can make their own choices and I'd support them.
Mom is about to go south for the rest of the winter and there's no obvious church member the kids can go with, but they'd like to keep attending. Would it be wrong for me to go with them on Sundays, even though I don't believe in the church doctrine and won't be otherwise involved in the organization?
I'm sure I could be unobtrusive, but I'm not sure what to say if someone asks why I'm there -- especially since I'll stop going once my mother returns to town. The kids are tweens and not old enough to go alone. What do you think? -- WHAT'S APPROPRIATE?
DEAR WHAT'S: When people see one another in a house of worship, they usually assume that they are equally religious and that's why they're there. However, if you are asked why you're there, all you have to say is that your children enjoy being there and your mother is away, so you brought them. I don't think it's necessary to announce to anyone that you're an atheist.