Now, I love my in-laws - they're honestly great people. I still don't think they're very religious, as they never really bring anything up. I think they're more traditional than anything. My brother and his wife got married in a chapel, had a fairly liberal wishy-washy Christian ceremony, some of the extended in-laws go to church every Sunday, my twin nephews were baptized but no one seemed to take it super seriously...etc.
However, there is religion sneaking in, and this is where I'm concerned.
Now, my sister-in-law's Grandma is wonderfully nice, don't get me wrong. But Great-Grandma is definitely the most religious one of the bunch. At their baptism, she got them two little stuffed lambs that said the Lord's prayer when you poked their bellies. Christmas had some vaguely religious toy that I forget. This Easter the twins got "My First Bible," a shiny picture book. I tried to keep my eyes from bugging out too much when I saw it. My sister-in-law's aunt snatched it up gleefully and turned to a 4-year old girl there (daughter of a family friend):
Aunt: Ooooo, so have you heard the story of Adam and Eve?
Girl: (completely uninterested) No. (continues to play with her toy)
Aunt: ...Oh (horrified look at how a four year old could not have been exposed to this by now)
While they're not my kids, they are my nephews. I still feel mildly responsible for them, and I'd hate to see them indoctrinated into religion. I'm not sure what I can really do, though. I don't feel comfortable outing myself as an atheist to that part of my family, especially since I'm the boy's Godmother. I lied in a church (along with my oldest brother) that I was a good Christian and would raise the boys in a good Christian manner, because that was the better alternative than coming out (and I really didn't have much of a choice, long story). My brother and sister-in-law would probably be fine with it, since I don't think they're that religious, but I'm afraid the knowledge would spread past them.
I so want to buy them "Parenting Beyond Belief" for Christmas, but I can't without other family members seeing them opening it. Should I just be the geeky aunt who buys the boys dinosaur toys and chemistry sets and Legos? Nature documentaries and Bill Nye and stuff about the Big Bang? His Dark Materials to counteract the Chronicles of Narnia? Maybe I can try to instill scientific thinking and hope that does the trick. I don't want to indoctrinate them into atheism or anything - I just hate to see them indoctrinated at all, because children can be so impressionable.
Maybe I should worry about all of this once they're actually able to, you know, talk. And of course, who knows. Maybe by the time they can read, Richard Dawkins will come out with his long awaited sequel to the God Delusion:You can tell I made this a while ago, because Hillary Duff is old news. Hannah Montana is the shiznit now. Or so I'm told.