Daughter's confirmation during my deconversion
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27-04-2015, 09:51 AM
Daughter's confirmation during my deconversion
My oldest daughter is currently in confirmation class at the United Methodist church that I used to attend. I had not came out to my wife (who is still a theist, though open to questioning) prior to the confirmation class starting. While I have since come out to her, we have not really had any chance to talk together about how we plan to approach talking with the kids about god now that at least one of us is atheist.

The one thing I have said to my daughter is that she should read everything carefully and not take anyone's word for it, not even the pastor who is leading the class. I told her that ultimately she had to know enough to make her own decision about what she believed and not be told what to believe. My wife was there with us during this little talk and she and I made eye contact and I could see that she appreciated my statement. That, at least, was common ground for us.

My daughter recently asked me for some advice on her homework for confirmation class. They had to pick some chapters of the new testament to read and write something about what they learned from the reading. So, I recommended chapters where I knew there were some fairly clear contradictions. For example, Jesus' baptism in Mark 1/John 1 and his ascension in Mark 16/Act 1. I was hoping she would catch these herself and ask, not only me, but also the pastor while in class discussing their reading. For the record, I gave no hints to her at all about looking for contradictions.

My wife has no idea of why I suggested these particular chapters for reading. Which leads me to my questions:
1. Would this be considered good parenting or a shameless attempt at subversion of my daughter's confirmation?
2. Should I have talked with my wife about this first?

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27-04-2015, 09:58 AM
RE: Daughter's confirmation during my deconversion
(27-04-2015 09:51 AM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  My oldest daughter is currently in confirmation class at the United Methodist church that I used to attend. I had not came out to my wife (who is still a theist, though open to questioning) prior to the confirmation class starting. While I have since come out to her, we have not really had any chance to talk together about how we plan to approach talking with the kids about god now that at least one of us is atheist.

The one thing I have said to my daughter is that she should read everything carefully and not take anyone's word for it, not even the pastor who is leading the class. I told her that ultimately she had to know enough to make her own decision about what she believed and not be told what to believe. My wife was there with us during this little talk and she and I made eye contact and I could see that she appreciated my statement. That, at least, was common ground for us.

My daughter recently asked me for some advice on her homework for confirmation class. They had to pick some chapters of the new testament to read and write something about what they learned from the reading. So, I recommended chapters where I knew there were some fairly clear contradictions. For example, Jesus' baptism in Mark 1/John 1 and his ascension in Mark 16/Act 1. I was hoping she would catch these herself and ask, not only me, but also the pastor while in class discussing their reading. For the record, I gave no hints to her at all about looking for contradictions.

My wife has no idea of why I suggested these particular chapters for reading. Which leads me to my questions:
1. Would this be considered good parenting or a shameless attempt at subversion of my daughter's confirmation?
2. Should I have talked with my wife about this first?

I think Matthew 27 is a good one and will definitely open discussion. It's the passage that started me on my way to atheism. If nothing else--it will give your daughter something to think about and will more than likely prompt questions. The passages you mention are passages found in the Bible. It's not like you are telling your daughter to read an atheist manual--you are referring her to passages found in the Bible.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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27-04-2015, 09:59 AM
RE: Daughter's confirmation during my deconversion
(27-04-2015 09:51 AM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  My oldest daughter is currently in confirmation class at the United Methodist church that I used to attend. I had not came out to my wife (who is still a theist, though open to questioning) prior to the confirmation class starting. While I have since come out to her, we have not really had any chance to talk together about how we plan to approach talking with the kids about god now that at least one of us is atheist.

The one thing I have said to my daughter is that she should read everything carefully and not take anyone's word for it, not even the pastor who is leading the class. I told her that ultimately she had to know enough to make her own decision about what she believed and not be told what to believe. My wife was there with us during this little talk and she and I made eye contact and I could see that she appreciated my statement. That, at least, was common ground for us.

My daughter recently asked me for some advice on her homework for confirmation class. They had to pick some chapters of the new testament to read and write something about what they learned from the reading. So, I recommended chapters where I knew there were some fairly clear contradictions. For example, Jesus' baptism in Mark 1/John 1 and his ascension in Mark 16/Act 1. I was hoping she would catch these herself and ask, not only me, but also the pastor while in class discussing their reading. For the record, I gave no hints to her at all about looking for contradictions.

My wife has no idea of why I suggested these particular chapters for reading. Which leads me to my questions:
1. Would this be considered good parenting or a shameless attempt at subversion of my daughter's confirmation?
2. Should I have talked with my wife about this first?

I would have gone about it the exact same way. All you are doing is offering options, your daughter is still the one making her own decisions.

BTW., how she feels about it right now doesn't matter, you can pretty much trust that any seeds of doubt planted at this age will mature along with the person.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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27-04-2015, 10:15 AM
RE: Daughter's confirmation during my deconversion
In light of the complex dynamics you find yourself in would say that it is good parenting. You did not indoctrinate or tell your daughter what to think. You merely pointed her in a direction to let her find her own answers. If she makes those connections about the inconsistencies on her own and owns them, that will be really invaluable to her.

I think it is Ok to not have talked about it with your wife. Again, you did not tell your daughter to look for inconsistencies. The truth is you could pick random pages from the bible and find complete nonsense or horrific violence, or cruelty, or sexism... Heck, tell her to read the bible from cover to cover. That ought to maker her see the light about the inerrant word of an all-knowing, loving god.
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