Children being taught nonsense and bigotry
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18-08-2016, 08:56 AM
Children being taught nonsense and bigotry
hello I am an atheist and my husband is a Christian. I came out of the atheist closet about a year and half ago it has had its ups and downs but I thought me and my husband had reached a level of respect and lately we haven't even been debating religious issues because it usually leads to big arguments. He still takes our two kids to church.. They are 8 and 10. Lately he has been sitting with them at night to answer any questions they have about God and religion. Initially I was OK with this until I started to eves drop a little bit. When my son asks about people that do not believe in God my husband says things like this: their heart has been hardened, they don't want to follow God's law, they are communists , godless society leads to communism. He says that people that do not believe in God think that the world just came about through mush and rocks. I also heard him tell them that sex was for marriage only and only between a man and a woman. I can't tell you how Mad this makes me. I want this marriage to work but I feel completely disrespected by his attitudes towards my worldview. I know I need to confront him about this and draw some lines some boundaries and let him know that some things are nonnegotiable like teaching our children that gay people are doing something wrong. It's just hard. I am a very nonconfrontational person but I feel like I'm turning into a doormat in this marriage.... And what is that teaching my kids? I have thought about having my own question and answer session with them and I can talk about things like gay rights , equality , evolution , science reasoning etc. but the last thing I want is for my kids to feel like they're stuck in between two conflicting sides. Sorry for the ramble and if you've made it this far thanks for reading.
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18-08-2016, 09:30 AM
RE: Children being taught nonsense and bigotry
While not good advice -- If it were me --- I'd tell the kids that God tells his followers it's OK to lie to little kids......

Remember that Santa Claus and Easter Bunny bit????

See???

......

heh..

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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18-08-2016, 09:42 AM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2016 09:46 AM by Silly Deity.)
RE: Children being taught nonsense and bigotry
I think you do have to confront him. Your kids are at an age when they are moving on from the unquestioning nature of small children to something more mature. They have a sense of what is right and wrong and they're at an age when reason and logic need to be at the forefront of their education rather than lies, superstition and bigotry.

Your husband has certainly crossed a line in that he is clearly lying about you.

Would you let him get away with telling your kids you are a thief or a murderer?

You've shown you can compromise by allowing him to take the kids to church. Anything beyond that is unacceptable. If he thinks he can misrepresent your worldview to your kids and that such behaviour is acceptable then you have to question his morality.

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike
Excreta Tauri Sapientam Fulgeat (The excrement of the bull causes wisdom to flee)
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18-08-2016, 11:29 AM
RE: Children being taught nonsense and bigotry
(18-08-2016 08:56 AM)Sass Wrote:  ...
I have thought about having my own question and answer session with them and I can talk about things like gay rights , equality , evolution , science reasoning etc. but the last thing I want is for my kids to feel like they're stuck in between two conflicting sides.
...

Hmmmm...

I think you can share your views without confrontation.

The basis of this is asking the children "Do you think that's right?"

If they say "Dad says..."

You say "Yes, many people think that. Other people think..." and "This is what people discuss all the time on the news and in government and all that stuff. They're trying to decide what is true or false or right or wrong or just useful and wise".

Make it real for their world: "Do you think that mum and dad should treat you two children fairly and equally? How would you feel if we didn't? Should there be different rules for boys than for girls or tall people vs. short people etc.".

Your husband is teaching them what to think. You can undermine that without confrontation by teaching them how to think.

Wink

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18-08-2016, 11:35 AM
RE: Children being taught nonsense and bigotry
While I agree with DLJ in relation to what you tell the kids, your husband still has to understand the boundaries of what you believe to be acceptable behaviour on his part.

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike
Excreta Tauri Sapientam Fulgeat (The excrement of the bull causes wisdom to flee)
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18-08-2016, 12:13 PM
RE: Children being taught nonsense and bigotry
Maybe you should have similar conversations from your athiest perspective and let him eavesdrop?

Or, alternatively, agree that it isn't fair to indoctrinate the children either way, but answer their questions honestly?

The latter approach worked with my son's mother and me. He's now an atheist. I didn't teach him what to think, but I damned sure taught him how to think.
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18-08-2016, 03:40 PM
RE: Children being taught nonsense and bigotry
Sounds like the problem is that he doesn't understand your worldview. It's possible that he doesn't want to, but in that case he doesn't get to parade his ignorance about in the guise of answers. Questions about why people don't believe should be directed to people who don't believe.

You're right, this is going to be a confrontation. I hate those too but sometimes they're difficult to avoid. Let him know that you're hurt by the way he has described you and let him do the apologizing.

Let your kids know that you're willing to answer any questions they have about why you don't believe in God or religion. Fair's fair.

Eight and ten are great ages. Dinosaur books for everybody. Seriously, they're a gateway science. Also science books for munchkins on anything else that fascinates them. Fiction books too. Nothing like some good fiction too highlight how religion is bad fiction. The Hobbit, Harry Potter, Narnia, etc. Especially Narnia. CS Lewis outsmarted himself the day he reduced Christianity to a witch and talking animals.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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18-08-2016, 03:46 PM
RE: Children being taught nonsense and bigotry
(18-08-2016 08:56 AM)Sass Wrote:  hello I am an atheist and my husband is a Christian. I came out of the atheist closet about a year and half ago it has had its ups and downs but I thought me and my husband had reached a level of respect and lately we haven't even been debating religious issues because it usually leads to big arguments. He still takes our two kids to church.. They are 8 and 10. Lately he has been sitting with them at night to answer any questions they have about God and religion. Initially I was OK with this until I started to eves drop a little bit. When my son asks about people that do not believe in God my husband says things like this: their heart has been hardened, they don't want to follow God's law, they are communists , godless society leads to communism. He says that people that do not believe in God think that the world just came about through mush and rocks. I also heard him tell them that sex was for marriage only and only between a man and a woman. I can't tell you how Mad this makes me. I want this marriage to work but I feel completely disrespected by his attitudes towards my worldview. I know I need to confront him about this and draw some lines some boundaries and let him know that some things are nonnegotiable like teaching our children that gay people are doing something wrong. It's just hard. I am a very nonconfrontational person but I feel like I'm turning into a doormat in this marriage.... And what is that teaching my kids? I have thought about having my own question and answer session with them and I can talk about things like gay rights , equality , evolution , science reasoning etc. but the last thing I want is for my kids to feel like they're stuck in between two conflicting sides. Sorry for the ramble and if you've made it this far thanks for reading.

I'd take equal time with the kids to teach them sense. Tell them "You remember when we talked Santa Claus when you were kids/ Well this is thenext step in that nonsense." Or similar.
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18-08-2016, 04:03 PM
RE: Children being taught nonsense and bigotry
What a horrible situation to be in. I wish I could offer more than just my opinion on a forum post. I'd have to say I agree mostly with DLJ's posts, but silly deity makes some points I like too.

My wife was agnostic when we met, but became atheist fairly quickly. We let our kids make up their own minds, they went to church if they wanted to, etc. We tried to just present our case and allow the various religions time and opportunity to make theirs.

All of our kids are now grown. Two are atheist, one is agnostic. I'd call that good.

Although my wife and I didn't have different beliefs, their maternal grandmother- who spent a lot of time with them- was very religious. (Well, still is, actually)

We had some conflicts, nothing quite as drastic as you describe, (I actually want to whip your hubbies' ass for that behavior) but still very confusing for the kids.

We sat down with grandma and discussed it, and finally sat down- all of us- with the kids and had a sort of round-table discussion. Rules were set about condemning anyone to a lake of fire or getting angry or emotional- that person would be required to step outside until they calmed down.

It worked...the kids felt like they were being educated, not indoctrinated. It wasn't easy, especially for grandma, but we talked all of the possibilities and hurdles out before adding the kids to the conversation.

I hope it helps...it really is a difficult place to be, and I'm sad to say, if he won't meet you half way...well, let's just hope he does.

Good luck! Thumbsup
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28-08-2016, 10:59 PM
RE: Children being taught nonsense and bigotry
Thank u everyone for your advice. I would say that I have to agree with u all. And as an update......I did sit my kids down one day and have a talk. We talked about how lots of people have different views on how the world came to be, how we are all different (skin colour, race, sexual orientation, size, etc.....), and very importantly how......u do not HAVE to believe in God and believe everything u hear from your dad or in church! At least they know that this is an option and why. Of coarse I told them that what-ever they decide to believe in I will always love them. I think it went well. I hope with my little talks, I can stop any indoctrination and hopefully just teach them to think for themselves and question everything. I have found an excellent u tube video on evolution. I am excited to show it to them one day!
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