Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
msipsy218

An Ex-C Family

36 posts in this topic

As some of you may recall, my husband began his de-conversion shortly after I did. I'd say he is somewhere around agnostic, completely rejecting the "bible god" and all forms of religion, but not (as I am) closed off to the idea of a supernatural realm or divine creator. He mostly just doesn't care though.

 

We have 3 children, two of whom are too young to really know the difference, though our 3 year old has asked about church a few times. Our 6 year old daughter though is very bright for her age and has been very involved in church and religious groups within the community. VBS all summer long, church camp in the summer, a weekly bible class (with dinner and play time) at a local ministry once a week, AWANAS once a week and church every Wed and and Sunday. She has always talked about god and Jesus and the bible a lot and has said "the" prayer and asked to be baptized. If you ask her, she will tell you she is a christian.

 

When I left the church over a year ago my husband kept going for awhile, taking our kids with him, so she has not been out of church as long as I have but has been out for awhile. About 6 months, I suppose. She still asks to go about once a week. I just tell her "We don't go to church anymore." and so far she hasn't asked why.

 

She does still go to AWANAS and the local ministry, though. At first I was ok with that because I don't have to be there. I thought "Well, her religion is her choice, if she wants to go she can." and my husband agreed, but as time goes on I am feeling less and less comfortable with this. She is still so young, it's really not her choice, it's just me allowing her to be brainwashed. Or at least that's how it's beginning to feel.

 

She doesn't know that I no longer believe in god. I'm not sure I should tell her. I don't know that she could really understand. I always don't want her to think she is not allowed to go to church or not allowed to believe in or talk about god. I want her to feel free to explore religion and talk with me about it. But I don't know how to do that.

 

Those of you with kids, how did you help them deal with the change you were going through? What did you do about church and kid's ministries?

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Keeping this site online isn't free, so we need your support! Make a one-time donation or choose one of the recurrent patron options by clicking here.



msipsy, my oldest was a lot like that. I didn't leave the church until about 4 years ago when he was about 20 years old. He's still a (Catholic) Christian.

 

I don't really have TOO much of a problem with that but of course I have no choice in the matter now. At least so far he is still somewhat of a critical thinker on all matters except for the brainwashing his church and friends have done on the matter of being "pro-life". Now that he is getting married soon I fear that he is getting even more wrapped up and dependent on that culture.

 

 The problem I see with you allowing your daughter to continue with this is that as she grows up she will likely make some life-long friends in the religion that she is in. That's what seems to keep my son involved in the church. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats a tough call. Part of it is social activity for her. 

 

Use your intuition. There are a lot of things to consider in your circumstance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At this age it might be easy to substitute family outings to fun places at the time when the church activities are on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At this age it might be easy to substitute family outings to fun places at the time when the church activities are on.

 

Science museums :)

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lol. I googled this exact topic just last week?. I have two kids 4 and almost 3 and the 4 year old is sharp. I had the luxury of her being in a class with a Muslim who didn't celebrate Christmas. I teach her all about science. She's still too young to get it but I find comfort in older people who say they have a kids who was an atheist too even if they had a Christian kid too. I am waiting for my kids to be maybe 11- 12 and sit them down and give them a history of it all and tell them that I've done the research and its fake.......but their mother still believes it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

At this age it might be easy to substitute family outings to fun places at the time when the church activities are on.

 

Science museums smile.png

 

 

This is like the gay agenda, isn't it? THE SCIENCE AGENDA. You just want to suck another innocent soul into the world of dinosaurs or something. I'm on to you, man. I'm on to you.

 

@Msipsy: I second the outings idea. I'm not a parent, but I used to be a child so this is my experience. I wish my parents hadn't let me go to church without them; it primed me to go fundie later, I think. And I do know that church so often puts all kinds of awful ideas into a child's head that may take decades to shake loose, if they ever get shaken loose at all. Whatever benefits religious participation gives are not balanced by what harm it may do to her little spirit. You don't have to let a kid do everything she wants to do--after all, you're the parent, and it's not like she can just teleport to these meetings/outings. Letting a kid make up her own mind about religion doesn't mean you have to let her engage in practices you find reprehensible or harmful to her emotional development. You also want her to make up her own mind about the KKK, but that doesn't mean it's okay to let her go to weekly KKK meetings and hang out with the Grand Dragon, right? And it doesn't mean you don't tell her in age-appropriate ways *why* you think the KKK is bad either, and help her to logic it out in age-appropriate ways. I think Zomberina had some awesome posts about doing exactly that a few months ago. I mean don't be scared of church, but don't make it this mystery either. Right now her attachment to it is purely irrational and emotional, and probably to some extent fear- and shame-based. I hope I'm making some sense. Obviously whatever you do is totally fine by me, as it's your family, but those are my two cents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats a tough call. Part of it is social activity for her. 

 

Use your intuition. There are a lot of things to consider in your circumstance. 

 

 

 

At this age it might be easy to substitute family outings to fun places at the time when the church activities are on.

 

Science museums smile.png

 

 

I'm no parent either, but these suggestions sound solid. I'd recommend you make sure you know what she's getting out of church (social times, world view construction, story time, whatever it is), and see if you can't slide her into some other activities which fulfill those same needs. If you take her out and she is no longer fulfilled in that way, then she's prone to believing that church = fulfillment, and can't be replaced. Try to expose her to healthy secular activities which meet her needs, and maybe she won't even miss church. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched science and history programs with my kids, took them to science and history museums, and enrolled them in classes at local science museums.  I would ask them about contrasting explanations from the Bible vs. scientific sources.  They have been able to answer most questions themselves rather well.  Though they enjoyed children's programs at church they don't miss going to church.  They still attend with friends at times, but they don't believe the teachings.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If a child is asking to attend religious events I wouldn't prevent them.  My oldest really liked church but when we stopped attending he was like "meh".  I do like to take the kids to parks or restaurants during church time.  I presume the other parents I see there are not religious.  My oldest considers himself to be a believer.  I try to feed him as much science as possible.  All kids reach a development state where they shed child-like thinking.  That is when many of them shed their faith.  So I hope my son rejects his soon.  If so, then I will support him but I'm not going to try to force it.  My youngest is getting slightly indoctrinated at play school.  I plan to go the same route with her.  The Easter Bunny and Santa Clause make for great tools in exposing the lie of religion.  But I'm going to wait till the child's mind is ready.  Till then I will keep pumping the science.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Easter Bunny and Santa Clause make for great tools in exposing the lie of religion.  But I'm going to wait till the child's mind is ready.  Till then I will keep pumping the science.

I guess you could do them all at once ...

 

 

"Daddy, I know that Santa clause isn't real?"

 

"And the Easter Bunny?"

 

"Yes {giggle}, of course."

 

"And God?"

 

"Oh that too, oh I never knew that."

 

"Well you're a smart girl, you'd have figured that one out yourself soon enough :) Well done sweetie"

 

:P

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A six-year-old doesn't have the ability to carefully consider religion, but she does have the ability to swallow it whole. Children generally go by what adults tell them; Richard Dawkins suggests this is hard-wired into them through evolution. Your allowing her to attend church puts your stamp of approval on it.

 

You could teach your children comparative religion. I don't see anything wrong in telling them that you don't believe in any of it.

 

As to teaching children about science, it's all well and good, but they won't necessarily apply what they learn to religion. In the small mechanical engineering department where I went to school, there were two ordained ministers and another extremely bright professor who was said to know as much about the Bible as they did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's frustrating that the only free options are church-related. We live paycheck to paycheck so it's not really an option to go out to museums and such every week. Plus, the closest ones are 45 minutes away. The park is an option once it warms up a bit. Can't take the baby out in the cold we've been having though. Maybe a craft night at home or something....

 

I signed her up for girl scouts hoping that would help but they meet in a freaking church and have god in the stupid pledge. So no.

 

We may have an opportunity to move to Savannah in a few months though. Maybe that would help with this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I'd let her go to the Girl Scouts, there surely isn't that much religion in them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no intention of taking her out of girl scouts She loves it. I was just disappointed to see that it wasn't the escape from religion I was hoping for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check out the local Unitarian church.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check out the local Unitarian church.

This.

 

They'll at least teach her to be open-minded and give her a base of friends.  Just like a church without all the "THIS IS WHAT YOU MUST BELIEVE YOUNG MOLDABLE CHILDREN" sort of thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The closest one is 40 minutes away :(  I have decided no more AWANAS effective immediately. The local ministry I'm still on the fence about.

 

Last night I tried to talk to her about it a little bit. I said "Some people don't believe god is real." She said "But he is! Isn't he?" (yikes) I said "Well baby, no one really knows.." and she interrupted me with "I think he is real."

 

She seemed so content with that I just didn't say anything else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's frustrating that the only free options are church-related. We live paycheck to paycheck so it's not really an option to go out to museums and such every week. Plus, the closest ones are 45 minutes away. The park is an option once it warms up a bit. Can't take the baby out in the cold we've been having though. Maybe a craft night at home or something....

 

I signed her up for girl scouts hoping that would help but they meet in a freaking church and have god in the stupid pledge. So no.

 

We may have an opportunity to move to Savannah in a few months though. Maybe that would help with this.

 

Are there any programs at the local library? 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The closest one is 40 minutes away sad.png  I have decided no more AWANAS effective immediately. The local ministry I'm still on the fence about.

 

Last night I tried to talk to her about it a little bit. I said "Some people don't believe god is real." She said "But he is! Isn't he?" (yikes) I said "Well baby, no one really knows.." and she interrupted me with "I think he is real."

 

She seemed so content with that I just didn't say anything else.

 

Just tell her that god is like Santa.  Some people believe he's real- some don't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The closest one is 40 minutes away sad.png  I have decided no more AWANAS effective immediately. The local ministry I'm still on the fence about.

 

Last night I tried to talk to her about it a little bit. I said "Some people don't believe god is real." She said "But he is! Isn't he?" (yikes) I said "Well baby, no one really knows.." and she interrupted me with "I think he is real."

 

She seemed so content with that I just didn't say anything else.

 

Have you ever checked out MeetUp.com?  You may be able to find groups of people who meet together based on a common interest.  Or maybe you can just find playdates or some sort of book club.

 

And pray to FSM you can move somewhere closer to a good freethinker community soon. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no intention of taking her out of girl scouts She loves it. I was just disappointed to see that it wasn't the escape from religion I was hoping for.

Sorry, thought I was replying to the OP, but I didn't think there was that much religion in GS?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Duh, I can be thick sometimes, you are the OP. I've reread your post, I misread it first time, I didn't think she was actually in the GS, just that you were thinking about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh and EventBrite.com sometimes shows free events you can get tickets to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a few years, you can get her The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science.

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0