Dealing with a religious wife and child?
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22-07-2010, 12:26 PM
 
Dealing with a religious wife and child?
As technically an agnostic, I'm having to deal with a wife that is a believer, and stronger than ever, as well as raising our child who is now 6.

Our child attends a religious school and am I torn between what they believe or being taught to believe and what I think. My wife's justification is that it makes her happy, and I can't argue with her attempts to obtain happiness, can I?

I welcome any thoughts you may have in this matter.
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22-07-2010, 01:20 PM
RE: Dealing with a religious wife and child?
If it truly makes your wife happy, then so be it. I suppose ignorance really is bliss for some. As far as your child is concerned, however, it is your responsibility to teach him/her to be a reasonable, logical, critical thinker, to the best of your ability. Is sending them to a religious school fulfilling that responsibility? Is allowing them to be indoctrinated? How about turning a blind eye while they are being taught things as fact, that you know are pure fantasy? I know I can come across a little harsh on this topic, so forgive me if I seem overly critical. I simply have very strong feelings about what we teach our kids. When they are adults, the choices they make are theirs, but as parents we MUST arm them with the tools nescessary to make good decisions and choices. Choosing to believe in a magic sky daddy, who decides how you will spend eternity, based on a book that teaches stoning to death someone who swears, and that its ok to keep slaves (among a thousand other attrocities) is a very poor decision. You are your childs guide through this early part of their life. So the question I ask is; where do you want to guide them? To blissful ignorance, that will deny them many of the truly meaningful possibilities in their lives? Or to reason, logic, and an understanding and appreciation for our world that will allow them to truly enjoy the wonders of life?

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22-07-2010, 06:03 PM
 
RE: Dealing with a religious wife and child?
Tell your wife to screw off.

J/K

Try and confront her about it, perhaps. If she is preventing your child from attending a normal school, then definitely confront it about her. If it becomes too intense/emotional, drop it. Just do your best to properly educate your child at home. The influence of parents can often be overpowering. Start with this- Tell your kid to question everything he is taught at his school. Tell him to question why, confront it, and if he gets in trouble for it, encourage it further.

Or tell him to stand up in the middle of class and yell "Fuck Jesus." That'll get him expelled hopefully, and you have no choice than to send him to a public school.

Too drastic perhaps?
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22-07-2010, 07:58 PM
 
RE: Dealing with a religious wife and child?
(22-07-2010 12:26 PM)tzzoooma Wrote:  As technically an agnostic, I'm having to deal with a wife that is a believer, and stronger than ever, as well as raising our child who is now 6.

Our child attends a religious school and am I torn between what they believe or being taught to believe and what I think. My wife's justification is that it makes her happy, and I can't argue with her attempts to obtain happiness, can I?

I welcome any thoughts you may have in this matter.

EDUCATION is always the answer. Confrontation is never the answer in marriage. List you compromises together and differences. Tell her how important it is TO YOU that she keep an open mind. The hit her with some reading, and let her give you some (we can always stand to know what to other side is reading). If it's More GOOD NEWS or the Bibil then you will win the logical argument but the emotional one may take time. Lete her read this debate to see how serious you are and how malicious and stupid the people on our side can be too. Hitchens says that societies progess when the minds of women are freed, so try that. Most of all BE PATIENT. As Salman Rushdie said, "after awhile I realized the only subject was love"
One more: "that it makes her happy, and I can't argue with her attempts to obtain happiness, can I?" If she want to do meth or crack because it made her happy would you agree. Patience and a strong backbone my friend. Best of luck.
(22-07-2010 01:20 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  If it truly makes your wife happy, then so be it. I suppose ignorance really is bliss for some. As far as your child is concerned, however, it is your responsibility to teach him/her to be a reasonable, logical, critical thinker, to the best of your ability. Is sending them to a religious school fulfilling that responsibility? Is allowing them to be indoctrinated? How about turning a blind eye while they are being taught things as fact, that you know are pure fantasy? I know I can come across a little harsh on this topic, so forgive me if I seem overly critical. I simply have very strong feelings about what we teach our kids. When they are adults, the choices they make are theirs, but as parents we MUST arm them with the tools nescessary to make good decisions and choices. Choosing to believe in a magic sky daddy, who decides how you will spend eternity, based on a book that teaches stoning to death someone who swears, and that its ok to keep slaves (among a thousand other attrocities) is a very poor decision. You are your childs guide through this early part of their life. So the question I ask is; where do you want to guide them? To blissful ignorance, that will deny them many of the truly meaningful possibilities in their lives? Or to reason, logic, and an understanding and appreciation for our world that will allow them to truly enjoy the wonders of life?

Ignorance is never Bliss, Ignorance is what we must fight everyday. the ignorance of the scientific fac, not the mythology created over time. Watch the new TTA video about what we say to children or read Dawkins on thius. Ignorance is the enemy. Too many of .preach like baptist ministers with attitude and language that is fundamentally confrontational. Education is never so
(22-07-2010 06:03 PM)TruthAddict Wrote:  Tell your wife to screw off.

J/K

Try and confront her about it, perhaps. If she is preventing your child from attending a normal school, then definitely confront it about her. If it becomes too intense/emotional, drop it. Just do your best to properly educate your child at home. The influence of parents can often be overpowering. Start with this- Tell your kid to question everything he is taught at his school. Tell him to question why, confront it, and if he gets in trouble for it, encourage it further.

Or tell him to stand up in the middle of class and yell "Fuck Jesus." That'll get him expelled hopefully, and you have no choice than to send him to a public school.

Too drastic perhaps?
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22-07-2010, 08:13 PM
 
RE: Dealing with a religious wife and child?
If your child attends a public/secular school, they are not precluded from deciding for themselves about religion but if they attend a religious school, the curriculum forces them to accept dogma. If there is a middle ground & compromise to be found, it is outside of the religious school.

Ultimately, and I hope I don't offend you by saying this, this issue can't be of much importance to you if you chose to have a child with someone who is religious.
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22-07-2010, 08:15 PM
 
RE: Dealing with a religious wife and child?
J/K - With all due respect your teenage hormones are raging. And you are funny too. Read any of Lionel Tiger's last two book to understand you own attitude and emotional response to the issue at hand. Chill dude. Confrontation is not a word to be used in marriage or loving relationship. If they can agree - perfect; if they can compromise - fair enough for now; if they can't move from where they are - time for therapy to develop coping and listwening skills.
This fight will not be won on logical grounds alone. Maybe she is worried about what her family and friends will think. Consider that befor confrontation.
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22-07-2010, 09:24 PM
RE: Dealing with a religious wife and child?
(22-07-2010 12:26 PM)tzzoooma Wrote:  Our child attends a religious school and am I torn between what they believe or being taught to believe and what I think. My wife's justification is that it makes her happy, and I can't argue with her attempts to obtain happiness, can I?

The hell you can't, especially when your child's future is on the line.

Explain to your wife where you disagree with her. You don't necessarily have to try to justify your nonbelief, but explain to her that you would prefer your child to attend a nonreligious school and receive a secular education so that what they learn isn't skewed by the faculty's religious leanings.
Tell her that if she wants to teach your child about religion, that's fine. Let them read the Bible together or whatever. But the education he'll get in a secular institution is just as good - and arguably better - than the one he'll get in a religious one, and she can supply the religious education herself if she wants to.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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25-07-2010, 04:11 AM
 
RE: Dealing with a religious wife and child?
I guess you could shorten the title of this thread to just "Dealing with a religious wife" lol. Children are not born religious, and they do not naturally veer towards the ancient doctrines of flat Earth peasants. Personally, I feel for you though. For anyone not caught up in this predicament its hard to understand just how difficult it is. Me and my partner split up last year (not for this reason) and we have a little boy of 21 months. Obviously right now he is totally oblivious to mankinds strange foibles, but his mother is a catholic and fully intends to indoctrinate him into her ways. I can feel the adrenaline flow every time I even think about it but I intend to impart another way of the world on him during his days with me. That being said, I too was brought up in a religious household and I escaped religions clutches, so what happened there? Does religion really have a stranglehold on a child once its introduced?

The simple answer for me is, that I think children do not absorb as much of this garbage as you might think. Religion in essence is boring. Nothing about it has any real attraction in a childs world. Yes, at christmas, children are told about the fairytale birth of some guy called jesus in a manger, with the animals and straw, and gifts, and wise men etc. and its true that maybe that bit has a little draw to it - especially when its tied in with the predominantly secular practice of gift giving and big old santa claus at that time. Apart from that though, whats worth remembering the rest of the year in terms of religion for a child? Chocolate at Easter? How very, very pagan a festival that one is lol. And i kinda look forward to mentioning the true meaning of "Easter" (you wont find that word in the bible kid!). So I reckon with a little bit of science, real world discovery, and no mention of God, Jebus, sky fairies, or fictional tomes from you, there might be less of an effect than you think. If youre not already well read on science and natural history (I guess most decent atheists are) then read up now so you can explain how the world REALLY came to be how it is. Dont allow it to become "God created the heavens and the Earth" over evidential evolution. The world and the universe is an amazing place, and a few well placed "amazing science facts" can have a child stare in awe at you! Daddy will then become this fountain of knowledge well beyond some tale of an ancient mythological hippy nailed to two pieces of wood. Oh, and snakes most certainly do not talk.

I hope this is of some help. This is how I intend to deal with it. Dont make it look as if youre going out of your way to contradict your wife. In fact it might be better to plant your little seeds of rational and scientific knowledge - instilling your childs own critical thinking, when your partner is out of earshot to save any quarrels. Even as an adult I usually learn something each day that astounds me, and children crave that kind of thing. The bible is just one old dusty book of claptrap. We have a whole library of fascinating reads at our disposal. And never forget.....

Belief is no substitute for knowledge Smile
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27-07-2010, 07:14 AM
 
RE: Dealing with a religious wife and child?
thanks for the very thoughtful responses.
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27-07-2010, 12:52 PM
 
RE: Dealing with a religious wife and child?
i would ask her to explain how exactly it makes her happy. tell her you want examples of how religion has brought her happiness. as for the child, having one logical and one non logical parent can only bring confusion to a child. it can eventually pull the entire family apart. i've seen it happen before.
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