Kids questioning
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06-09-2017, 10:54 AM
RE: Kids questioning
It seems the theist crowd expects more than they give. Same situation for me in that my marginal believing wife (I honestly think she is 90% an atheist but won't go all the way due to her upbringing) won't allow me to discuss non-belief but taking the kids to church is acceptable.

My son is 14 and my daughter 15. My daughter asks to go to church (to see what the big deal is about) while my son has no interest. One day while my wife and daughter were at church, he asks where they were? I said Church. He asked why I didn't go and I responded that it wasn't for me. He gives me a funny look and I ask him what he thinks I believe. His response with a grin: I think you are a baby eating atheist. I smiled back and nodded.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored- Aldous Huxley
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07-09-2017, 08:53 AM
RE: Kids questioning
If this is the issue that would break your marriage, then that is sad. You are not on equal footing as a parent and that is sad. Actually it means you are not considered an equal partner in this marriage. But it is pretty much what my experience with mixed marriages leads me to believe is the norm.

I guess the best way to balance the equation without bringing up atheism is to always enlighten the children as to the beliefs of people who are different from their mother's religion. But...once again you will find yourself in hot water no doubt.

Apart from that, atheists do believe in much more than nothing, so don't let your wife get away with that argument. Make a list of what you believe in and talk with your kids about it, being prepared to bring your beliefs into any discussion or to answer their questions.

I believe that each person has their own unique qualities and skills that they can use to make their life fulfilling and to help others do the same.

I believe that what is inside a person's mind and/or "heart" (or whatever works for kids of an age) is more important than what we see on the outside.

I believe that people should always try to be kind to others and that it takes such a little bit from one person to bring a smile to another person.

I believe people have a responsibility to other creatures that share our planet.

I believe that people should not tell hurtful lies to others or steal from others or bully others.

I believe that love is stronger than hate.

But...you need to negotiate with your wife about the age and the strength of her indoctrination at home. Our lack of deity belief does not equate to lack of values and principles. And at some age way before 12 they will start to wonder why Daddy has nothing to say about the issue.

Still...merely by being the person that you would want your children to become as they grow older, you can influence them to a great degree. Kids aren't stupid, no matter what we may think.

Good luck.

"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."
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07-09-2017, 10:21 AM
RE: Kids questioning
We are atheist household, so the God talk doesn't come up often. My daughter says Blob instead of God. lol
When the topic comes up, we just reiterate that people are allowed to believe what they want.

"If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu."

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07-09-2017, 10:27 AM
RE: Kids questioning
(07-09-2017 08:53 AM)Jeanne Wrote:  I guess the best way to balance the equation without bringing up atheism is to always enlighten the children as to the beliefs of people who are different from their mother's religion. But...once again you will find yourself in hot water no doubt.

I do that, when it makes sense. It's part of that neutral approach I mentioned earlier. Depending on the question they ask, I'll point out what several different groups think (basically, hammering home the point that there isn't some sort of magical consensus that makes Christianity more right).

Also, I have a bit of latitude here, because my wife's "Christian" beliefs are so liberal. Depending on the conversation I have with her, she's Christian in name and tradition only, but her beliefs do seem to change from conversation to conversation.

She used to believe that all religions were equally right; they were all pointing to the one True God, but each adding a bunch of unnecessary stuff. So, I asked her if Jesus Christ is the son of God or if he's a prophet (but not the last and greatest one) who is not the son of God. This made her admit that Christianity is "more right".

Her actual beliefs tend to be extremely vague, because then she doesn't have to defend them. Her Christianity is a religion based off of tradition (how she was raised) and personal experience (she feels God's presence), filtered through a very liberal world view.


(07-09-2017 08:53 AM)Jeanne Wrote:  Apart from that, atheists do believe in much more than nothing, so don't let your wife get away with that argument. Make a list of what you believe in and talk with your kids about it, being prepared to bring your beliefs into any discussion or to answer their questions.

She knows that she and I are on the same page on pretty much any issue that matters; I just don't justify my beliefs with religion. Her complaint has shifted toward me "abandoning her" to be the only person to raise them Christian. It's not that it's a good or bad argument, but it's one based off of how she feels, so she can dig in pretty deep on that one if that's where she decides to plant her flag.


(07-09-2017 08:53 AM)Jeanne Wrote:  Kids aren't stupid, no matter what we may think.

Good luck.

If they've taught me one thing, it's that.
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