Atheist equivalent of godparents
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04-02-2014, 04:02 AM
Atheist equivalent of godparents
It occurred to me, what is the atheist equivalent of Godparents?

As a child I was told that godparents were a contingency in case both parents died. I since found out they're there to make sure that you turn out to be Christian. What exactly is the function of god-parents? If you're religiously minded then you wouldn't leave it up to a friend to indoctrinate your kids for you.

And if there is a function, then atheists need their own equivalent.

Atheists can't choose friends to become DNA-parents, that would be confusing. Far-from-equilibrium parents? Flying spaghetti monster parents? Science and rational thinking parents?
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04-02-2014, 09:03 AM
RE: Atheist equivalent of godparents
It's a cultural thing, mostly. Some churches explicitly don't have godparents/sponsors. And, yeah, the function is to ensure the child is raised in the faith.

If you have kids, you've hopefully written a will to make sure that you've lined up someone legally to take custody and responsibility of them. When you do this, make sure you pick people who will raise your kids as close to how you'd raise them as possible (of course, they have to agree, too Tongue).

The rest takes care of itself. No need for baptism rituals and woo parents.
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04-02-2014, 09:11 AM
RE: Atheist equivalent of godparents
My brother is my daughters Godfather. She actually calls him "Godfather" too.

He is a devout heathen who has accepted the responsibility of ensuring my daughter always applies critical thinking to her decisions.

Plus it's fucking hilarious that a 17 year old atheist calls her atheist uncle "Godfather". Now if only my brother could crack walnuts with his bare hands....

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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04-02-2014, 09:16 AM
RE: Atheist equivalent of godparents
I am the godfather to my nephew, who is catholic. I assured them he would be raised in their faith, regardless of my stance in life, should something happen to them. I made that promise and will honor it if need be.

Check out my atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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04-02-2014, 09:21 AM
RE: Atheist equivalent of godparents
You can ask anyone you want to be godparents of your children. And you can invent a term that better suits you than GODparents. (although culturally that term is recognized in a certain way). You can write a ceremony - even a very relaxed one that meets the criteria of what it is the godparents would do exactly for your children and who they will be in the child's life/lives.

I wrote a ceremony when I was Wiccan that even excluded the use of "god" and "goddess" because not everyone wants deity included in their kid's lives. The ceremony was a civil one not a religious one designed to ask in front of friends, family, witnesses just how the 'life'parents were to be involved:
Some of the terminology included
"Yes, we agree to be stand-in parents in the event of life needs. Yes, we agree to the best of our ability to help the child grow in moral and ethical standards. Yes, we vow to love this child and be there during the growing years ahead. Yes, we understand that parents cannot be everything to a child and we agree to help build security, health and happiness in this child's life"...

You can use symbols, words and several attractive features to build a special event securing other adults in the potential need of raising your child........gods not included.

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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04-02-2014, 09:53 AM
RE: Atheist equivalent of godparents
I'd call them friends of the family. Religion may need as many authority figures full of as much religious symbolism as possible but I don't.
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04-02-2014, 10:02 AM
RE: Atheist equivalent of godparents
We should have "godparents" for every branch of science so we can be sure that in case of death our children are raised with knowledge. Math-parents, physics-parents, biology-parents, etc.

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04-02-2014, 10:43 AM
RE: Atheist equivalent of godparents
(04-02-2014 10:02 AM)nach_in Wrote:  We should have "godparents" for every branch of science so we can be sure that in case of death our children are raised with knowledge. Math-parents, physics-parents, biology-parents, etc.

Nah, BernieParents. They'll save your kid.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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04-02-2014, 11:05 AM
RE: Atheist equivalent of godparents
Catholics have strict rules about god parents today, it used to be a lot easier. Now most Catholic churches require letters or forms from a priest who knows the perspective god parents, and knows they're right with the church.

What's important is that the real parents don't have a huge expectation that goes beyond remembering the child's birthday and other important events.

Technically, we should attend the child's first communion and we should sponsor the child if they are ever confirmed catholic.
But those are Catholic rules.

The parents are more or less yielding to their families and aren't at all certain they will be raising their children catholic.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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04-02-2014, 11:37 AM
RE: Atheist equivalent of godparents
My niece is my God daughter. My sister is fully aware of my position and shares it to an extent. My niece and I are very close and she often asks me about various spiritual or religious topics and I answer her properly. So in a sense she is being brought up by me spiritually pertaining to guidance in faith. She's a very maths and logic sort of kid anyway so most of the time she has a conclusion herself which is atheistic in nature. The only thing with her that is of concern to me at the moment is her love of 1 Direction, which I'm sure she'll grow out of herself. However, as her spiritual guide, I have told her already that if she still likes them by the time she's 16 I am going to beat her liberally about the head and body with a lead pipe! God parenting is easy! Big Grin

A man blames his bad childhood on leprechauns. He claims they don't exist, but yet still says without a doubt that they stole all his money and then killed his parents. That's why he became Leprechaun-Man

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