Kids questioning
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05-09-2017, 09:06 AM
Kids questioning
I have two girls, who are about nine and six, right now. They're both being raised Christian, as my wife is, although they're being raised in a fairly liberal church. As it is, my wife tends to reject a lot of aspects of Christianity (such as Satan, hell, and literal interpretations of a lot of Old Testament stories), although the kids are still exposed to them in church. My wife doesn't want me actively trying to deconvert them, but I do ask them question to get them thinking any time they show signs of skepticism.

My older daughter has done this numerous times. Just last Sunday, she asked why God talked to people "back then", but he doesn't now. I asked her why she thought that was, and she got frustrated because she just wants a straight answer rather than trying to work through it on her own. I'm trying to get her to think about things rather than accept them at face value.

A year ago or so, she started doubting if Santa was real. She actually came up with this whole plan to test the idea, based on asking for things from Santa and adults and seeing what she did and didn't get. I remember the idea wasn't bullet proof, but I was thrilled that she was starting to try and think of ways to test these assertions that didn't make sense to her when she was seven years old. Bonus points that after asking about Santa, she jumped straight to asking "what about God?".

Here's hoping she doesn't rebel in her teenage years and become a fundie. Tongue
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05-09-2017, 09:16 AM
RE: Kids questioning
(05-09-2017 09:06 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  I have two girls, who are about nine and six, right now. They're both being raised Christian, as my wife is, although they're being raised in a fairly liberal church. As it is, my wife tends to reject a lot of aspects of Christianity (such as Satan, hell, and literal interpretations of a lot of Old Testament stories), although the kids are still exposed to them in church. My wife doesn't want me actively trying to deconvert them, but I do ask them question to get them thinking any time they show signs of skepticism.

My older daughter has done this numerous times. Just last Sunday, she asked why God talked to people "back then", but he doesn't now. I asked her why she thought that was, and she got frustrated because she just wants a straight answer rather than trying to work through it on her own. I'm trying to get her to think about things rather than accept them at face value.

A year ago or so, she started doubting if Santa was real. She actually came up with this whole plan to test the idea, based on asking for things from Santa and adults and seeing what she did and didn't get. I remember the idea wasn't bullet proof, but I was thrilled that she was starting to try and think of ways to test these assertions that didn't make sense to her when she was seven years old. Bonus points that after asking about Santa, she jumped straight to asking "what about God?".

Here's hoping she doesn't rebel in her teenage years and become a fundie. Tongue

Sounds like your oldest is on a good path!

It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.
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05-09-2017, 09:30 AM (This post was last modified: 05-09-2017 09:54 AM by BikerDude.)
RE: Kids questioning
Kids make it complicated.
But I wouldn't worry too much.
As long as you throw in your 2 cents every now and again they will stay open to all possibilities.
And without the scare tactics and bullying religion doesn't tend to "take".

As far as a "fairly liberal church" goes that generally grinds my gears.
It's fairly impossible IMO to call yourself a christian without at least believing the stuff that Christ is supposed to have said.
And a lot of it is not the "prince of peace" kind of stuff.
And it's pretty difficult to get past the whole mess as in "will return to judge the living and the dead" and as soon as you start pulling threads it all comes unraveled because Jesus pretty much said that it would be the "laws" (ie old testament) that would be the criteria for "judging".
At the very least the Nicene creed would probably be a minimum amount of belief to be a Christian.

Quote:We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
and was made human.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will never end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.

It all reminds me of the most disgusting joke ever told

Quote:These two guys were sitting in a bar that had a spitoon. The spitoon
was filled almost to the brim with old tobacco juice, flegm, and other
refuse/secretions. After a few, one guy says to the other, "I'll give
you $100 if you take a sip from that spitoon." The other guy
immediately grabs the spitoon and, lifting it to his lips, takes a
healthy slug. "All right, you win," says the first guy, but his
friend keeps gulping down the goop pouring out of the spitoon.
"Please stop, you're making me sick," says the first guy, but his
friend keeps chugging the flegm. "I can't stand it, I'll give you
another $100 if you stop!"

Finally, the spitoon is empty, and the guy puts it down and belches.
"Why didn't you stop" asks his disgusted friend? "I tried to, but it
was all one piece!"

[Image: anigif_enhanced-26851-1450298712-2.gif]
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05-09-2017, 10:51 AM
RE: Kids questioning
(05-09-2017 09:30 AM)BikerDude Wrote:  As far as a "fairly liberal church" goes that generally grinds my gears.
It's fairly impossible IMO to call yourself a christian without at least believing the stuff that Christ is supposed to have said.
And a lot of it is not the "prince of peace" kind of stuff.
And it's pretty difficult to get past the whole mess as in "will return to judge the living and the dead" and as soon as you start pulling threads it all comes unraveled because Jesus pretty much said that it would be the "laws" (ie old testament) that would be the criteria for "judging".
At the very least the Nicene creed would probably be a minimum amount of belief to be a Christian.

Cognitive dissonance works in mysterious ways.
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05-09-2017, 12:59 PM
RE: Kids questioning
Awesome kiddo there.

Reminds me of my own family growing up. Mom brought us to church every week (Catholic), however she was/is quite liberal minded and kind, generous and accepting. She works science into her faith the best she can, etc. Dad was a passive roll as far as religion goes. All my siblings and I are general of the same thoughts on things now.
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05-09-2017, 04:28 PM
RE: Kids questioning
So...are you allowed to say what you believe or don't believe? Is there equal access for your kids to learn about atheism?

"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."
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06-09-2017, 03:09 AM
RE: Kids questioning
I'm in the same boat with my 7 year old, she isn't being actively raised christian, but attends a church "group" once a month with other kids, and has been told she is a christian by my wife.

I get asked about things, and I either say "what do you think" or just give her my honest opinion, which most of the time is: "As I don't believe in these things, it is just a story, and isn't real. It's ok if you choose to believe in this, but it's not for me". I also try to get her to understand, which I think most kids don't, that Christanity is one of MANY religions and of course that you don't have to believe in anything, and anything you pick to follow or not, is fine but it's worth looking into all avenues before you pick one. We have a large Asian/Indian community in our area so she see's a lot of men/women dressed "differently" (in her opinion at least) and frequently ask's why they are wearing certain things or dressed certain ways, and I openly tell her why.

She doesn't bang on about it, and I can be quit blunt about things as well, [And example being: "daddy, how did Jesus come back to life?", "He didn't love, as people can't do that, and it's just a story"], but in the end I'll respect her wishes when she's older enough to decide for herself. If she chooses to become a follower of whatever, then that's her choice.

When life gives you lemons, just remember you are an....
(18-09-2017 09:47 AM)vahaaao Wrote:  Irresponsible bachelor daddy
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06-09-2017, 06:35 AM
RE: Kids questioning
(05-09-2017 04:28 PM)Jeanne Wrote:  So...are you allowed to say what you believe or don't believe? Is there equal access for your kids to learn about atheism?

She's been gradually nickel and diming me on that one. Originally, I just didn't go out of my way to proselytize or deconvert them, but I would tell them I didn't believe. I'd usually describe things in a fairly neutral point of view "some people believe this, some believe that" and ask them questions about it.

Over the course of a few years, my wife has asked for more, and the latest request was that I wouldn't even tell them I didn't believe until they were 12 (or whatever age when they start classes for confirmation). I still ask them questions an present things neutrally. I also bring up when stuff doesn't make sense, saying "that's a good question" when asked.

I'm not thrilled about the asymmetry of this whole thing. My wife is smart enough to know that if we each had fair representation of our beliefs, that both of our kids would grow up to be nonreligious. This stuff doesn't stick without indoctrination, which is exactly why she wants me waiting a few more years to tell them. *Sigh*, the sacrifices I make to not get divorced.
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06-09-2017, 08:54 AM
RE: Kids questioning
I never had kids, so I can't comment as a parent. But it always bemuses me that—invariably—when a believer is married to a non-believer, it's the theist parent who governs their kids' religious upbringing (or lack thereof), rather than the atheist parent.

Why is this the apparent default scenario? Why does the atheist inevitably defer to the theist when something as important as their kids' social welfare/education/intelligence is concerned?

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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06-09-2017, 10:40 AM
RE: Kids questioning
(06-09-2017 08:54 AM)SYZ Wrote:  I never had kids, so I can't comment as a parent. But it always bemuses me that—invariably—when a believer is married to a non-believer, it's the theist parent who governs their kids' religious upbringing (or lack thereof), rather than the atheist parent.

Why is this the apparent default scenario? Why does the atheist inevitably defer to the theist when something as important as their kids' social welfare/education/intelligence is concerned?

Because theists have super special sacred beliefs and atheists "believe in nothing", so why should they care?

It's not like it's a good argument, or anything, but this is the basis of every reason I hear regarding the matter (not just from my wife). That, and living in America, culture at large agrees with her, as well.

Fair or not, fighting this issue basically means I get divorced.
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