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Protect Your Children


Sybaris
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My daughter who is in her mid 20's, has her own apartment, works and goes to school, has inadvertantly hooked up with a fundie. They have been dating for a year and as time passes his fundie tendancies slowly emerge. First he put her on a budget. Granted my daughter is not the most frugal person but control the money, control the person. Last month they announced that they would be married within two years. Last week my daughter told me that they made a pact to not have anymore sex until they are married. Yes, she is an adult and her decisions are her own but as a parent, knowing my daughters naivete, her experience with men and my having had much exposure to female domination under the guise of gawd I am a bit concerned that she is slowly being assimilated without knowing it. I have no doubt that if she was more confident in herself that she would have walked away from this guy months ago.

 

Today she asked me what I think is the most significant event in history. My response was the gradual aggregation of legends and myths to explain mans purpose and to ease the fear of death which led to the creation of most if not all religions. This, in one area, subsequently led to Constantine the Great recognizing Chrisitanity as the religion of the Roman Empire etc., etc...............

 

She texted me back and asked what references contained my answer or if my answer was just an Atheists view. I don't hear my daughter asking the question, I hear her regurgitating her boyfriends objection.

 

I think I'll send her this http://richarddawkins.net/articles/3534

 

 

So now develops an intriguing predictament. I can appeal to my daughters reasoning and intellect however when and if it will trump her need to buy her fiance's lifestyle is the question. The irony of it is that her mother married a fundie and my daughter loathes how he dominated her mother and programmed their kids.

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@Doubter

 

I was going to marry a fundy girl, I actually would have if her father would not have went through my finances with a fine tooth comb. What really pissed me off was that his only objection had to do with money. She would have married me without her fathers blessing,but I just could not do it. She is getting married in a few weeks, and as painful as it is for me now. At least I don't have to deal with her fundy Dad's bull shit anymore, and subject my future children to abuse.

 

If the guy your daughter is seeing is such a fundy, what the heck was he fornicating for? Will your daughter read books that you recommend? If she will, then that is a great start, have here read "Why I became an Atheist" by John W Loftus. Hopefully the outsider test of faith will show her the light. If all else fails, call me, and I will kick his ass.(just kidding)

 

Wish you all the best.

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Hi Sybaris

 

I've sometimes wondered how I would react if my child became a fundy Christian, having moved beyond it myself. I empathise with you! Well, you've done your best to raise her, it's all up to her now... I would personally now just perform some measure of damage control - if she's going to go the Christian path (and if any challenge from you is likely to only strengthen her resolve - in the way of reverse psychology or some form of rebellion), at least hope that she can be a liberal Christian. It's probably too late at this point to encourage atheism...I'd be offering her books like John Shelby Spong's "Why Christianity Must Change or Die" and "The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love." That way she will see that you respect her exploration of the faith and her attraction to it, but she'll at least be making an INFORMED decision, coming from a place of wholeness rather than repeating the family cycle or an innnocent (but misguided) desire to connect with her fiance. These kinds of books may even influence her fundy Christian fiance. In my opinion it's too much of a leap to hope that a fundy Christian will suddenly become an atheist...the power of paradigms is too strong. Chipping away at certainty is the most effective method I've found.

 

What do you think?

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@Girl of Spirit

 

 

Becoming a liberal Christian to most fundy Baptist is the same as being an atheist anyway. So, I don't think her boyfriend would approve.

 

If the engagement is two years, that is a pretty long time. So there is hope that her daughter will be persuaded away from fundy trash.

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I think I'll send her this http://richarddawkins.net/articles/3534

I tend to think of Dawkins as tainting anything that he's a source or conduit for in the minds of any person of faith, because he is habitually demeaning / hostile to faith, often in rather sophomoric ways. I'd find other sources that are more objective / neutral in their presentation. Even then it'll probably be seen as an attack or a threat, but at least there won't be a basis for defensiveness. Dawkins and his aggressive New Atheism generally provides such a basis.

 

Considering the injunction for believers to "not be unequally yoked" with unbelievers, my guess is that your daughter will be pressured to convert, and your prospective son-in-law will be pressured to call off the engagement if she does not. I'm guessing that his parents are tap dancing in that direction just as you are tap dancing away from it. Both sets of parents probably have enough presence of mind to know that if you come out against their love interest they will defend it and close their ears and minds entirely. But make no mistake, his parents do not approve of your daughter except to the extent they see her as ripe for the pickin'.

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Sybaris,

 

When we (my immediate family) were all Baptists, my oldest sister went off to college. She began to date a Catholic boy. My parents flipped. My Dad became an adament anti-catholic. He spent all of his time bible studying, talking to the preacher, and telling my sister his latest reasons why Catholicism is bad. How She would have to raise her children catholic, etc.

My Mother disowned her (Mom always had a flair for drama).

Well, Sister married the guy anyway. The only thing that happened was they really hurt her feelings at a very important time in her life.

What's my point? Oh yeah. Point is...tread carefully. Use humor, and love and try to avoid warning her against the guy. For one thing, people do not like to be told what they should not do. It sends them running in the direction that you want to save them from.

I would share some light-hearted philosophy, Some easy to understand science- and have open discussions. Ask a lot of open questions and then listen purposefully.

Like many others around here, I love nonstampcollectors videos. They raise some interesting points that make for some good conversations.

 

Good luck, and breathe easy!

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P.S. Sex and affection affect the Limibc system in the Brain. That system is also related to our survival, which is one reason people get so pissed off when you say something negative about the person that they have bonded with.

Much easier to try to come between her and the Bible God than to come between her and the boy. That is assuming she doesn't already "love" Jesus.

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He probably talked her into asking you that question to prove some sort weird point. He should quit being a fucking pussy and talk to you about face to face.

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The controlling of her finances and they aren't even married should really send up major red flags for you; this relationship can (and probably will) turn into an abusive relationship either mentally or physically--or both.

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ask them when are they getting their slaves? and tell her not to speak in church and have her hair covered when in church.....

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I think I'll send her this http://richarddawkins.net/articles/3534

I tend to think of Dawkins as tainting anything that he's a source or conduit for in the minds of any person of faith, because he is habitually demeaning / hostile to faith, often in rather sophomoric ways.

 

 

Funny you should mention that.

 

My daughter commented on the link in a text noting Dawkins in it. Said, "Did you know he has a book called, "The God Delusion?""

 

I know SHE didn't know that.

 

It is a perplexing situation, my daughters insecurities will lead her to preserve the relationship at the cost of knowledge and reason. Ironic in that that is how the religious preserve their faith.

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He probably talked her into asking you that question to prove some sort weird point. He should quit being a fucking pussy and talk to you about face to face.

 

 

Oh I have no doubt about that. Some time ago she relayed to me that her boyfriend was willing to debate religion with me any time. I generally or rather never debate religion due to the ultimate use of an almighty caveat.

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I'd be offering her books like John Shelby Spong's "Why Christianity Must Change or Die" and "The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love." That way she will see that you respect her exploration of the faith and her attraction to it, but she'll at least be making an INFORMED decision, coming from a place of wholeness rather than repeating the family cycle or an innnocent (but misguided) desire to connect with her fiance. These kinds of books may even influence her fundy Christian fiance. In my opinion it's too much of a leap to hope that a fundy Christian will suddenly become an atheist...the power of paradigms is too strong. Chipping away at certainty is the most effective method I've found.

 

What do you think?

 

 

I'm thinking she would risk losing her boyfriend if she was caught reading those books which makes it all the more difficult to engage her to learn more about religion.

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It is a perplexing situation, my daughters insecurities will lead her to preserve the relationship at the cost of knowledge and reason. Ironic in that that is how the religious preserve their faith.

Well, trust me, I understand. Although it had nothing to do with religion, I had to stand by and watch my daughter marry a bipolar, addictive personality who ultimately cheated on her three times over ten years before she finally showed him the door. Despite all that I don't think she's quite forgiven me to this day for my lack of enthusiasm for her choice. And I'm being literal; I didn't pitch a fit about it or treat him or her poorly in any way, I simply wasn't thrilled and expressed reservations. My job at the time apparently was to enthusiastically rubber stamp whatever random choice she made.

 

It was particularly painful for me because I married spectacularly badly the first time around myself. My own parents raised their eyebrows but I was in loooove and hearing none of it. I've often thought since that if I could climb into a time machine and go back and try to warn / slap some sense into my 19 year old self, I wouldn't have listened even to ME.

 

Sometimes all you can do is just be present, and love 'em anyway.

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The controlling of her finances and they aren't even married should really send up major red flags for you; this relationship can (and probably will) turn into an abusive relationship either mentally or physically--or both.

 

This. Leaving aside all of the philosophizing over whether religion can be considered abusive, trying to unilaterally control someone else's finances IS abusive, full stop. Follow the advice of others in this thread to avoid alienating her, yes, but at least try to wake her up to this. Many a psychologist has written about financial manipulation being a classic sign of abuse.

 

Small wonder that such a blatant case of it comes from a fucking christian.

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After reading the article from my op my daughter responded that the content provided an interesting concept and, "There are a lot of really poor examples and representatives of christians out there, and a lot of questions in general. But given the option of believing in God and Heaven, or nothing at all and decomposing in the ground, I choose the former."

 

Alas, she has succumbed to that tried and true gimmick, fear.

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After reading the article from my op my daughter responded that the content provided an interesting concept and, "There are a lot of really poor examples and representatives of christians out there, and a lot of questions in general. But given the option of believing in God and Heaven, or nothing at all and decomposing in the ground, I choose the former."

 

Alas, she has succumbed to that tried and true gimmick, fear.

 

There is always the hope that it is a temporary insanity.

What is the boys religion?

Maybe she'll be ok. Many believers are harmless...and only occasionally annoying.

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After reading the article from my op my daughter responded that the content provided an interesting concept and, "There are a lot of really poor examples and representatives of christians out there, and a lot of questions in general. But given the option of believing in God and Heaven, or nothing at all and decomposing in the ground, I choose the former."

 

Alas, she has succumbed to that tried and true gimmick, fear.

 

Yet neither her belief nor anyone else's belief will change one thing about our ultimate destiny. The Christians only hope it will.

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After reading the article from my op my daughter responded that the content provided an interesting concept and, "There are a lot of really poor examples and representatives of christians out there, and a lot of questions in general. But given the option of believing in God and Heaven, or nothing at all and decomposing in the ground, I choose the former."

 

Alas, she has succumbed to that tried and true gimmick, fear.

I would not be unduly upset about this. It's a pretty normal developmental progression. Read Becker's The Denial of Death sometime (skip the chapters that go on about the author's post-mortem psychoanalysis of Freud; you have to understand that it was his last book, he was dying when he wrote it, and I think he was simultaneously trying to bring closure to his lifelong hobby of trying to get inside the mind of his personal hero). This book will give you a larger perspective on this. Your daughter is simply human, and reduced to its simplest terms, the human condition is to be aware of your own mortality. The ultimate visceral expression of that is the image of worms eating your rotting corpse, The End. The resulting terror is not so much caused by religion as leveraged by religion. In other words, I wouldn't see religion as the cause of this fear. It's a much more fundamentally existential issue than that. Religion is simply using what's already there.

 

Life is all about letting go and letting it be as it is. A thousand little deaths, because often "as it is" is very much not to our liking or preference. The appeal of religion in general and fundamentalist religion in particular is to avoid those deaths. I would urge you not to look for ways to attack or undermine her faith, but rather, look for ways to help her face her existential fears directly and on her own. If she can conquer the fear then the religious illusions will take care of themselves.

 

Easier said than done, of course ...

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  • 5 months later...

Update:

 

My daughter has cut off all contact with me, her older sister, and my side of the family. She maintains contact with her mom who married a fundy several years ago..............who by the way is who she has chosen to walk her down the isle. It is just utterly incredible what religion does to people. I'm completely beside myself. What blows me away is how quickly it has turned her loyalties. She hasn't known this guy but maybe 2 years and now treats half her family as if they don't exist.

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I'm so sorry to hear this Sybaris...what a horrible way to treat family. My family is fundy Christian and I would never treat them this way even though I am the "rebellious sinner". Perhaps the only advice I can offer is to tell her you'll be there for her when she needs you, have you been invited to the wedding?

 

The behavior she is exhibiting is extremely disconcerting though, a common tactic of a manipulative person seeking to control another person is to cut them off from all their social/familial ties...not to make you feel bad or anything just that this guy is really not good news from what I have read. Just look at common cases of extremist religious leaders who encourage their followers to severe all relationships except with those in their core group. From what I have read and from her behavior this guy is exerting as much manipulative control as he can over her in an effort to make her conform and severe all ties. Her giving up her finances is but an indicator of him coercing her to relinquish control to him. That's my take on it anyway. What you can do though...I'm not really sure. I offer you my positive thoughts and sympathy.

 

Has the little prick even tried to meet with you? Shouldn't he have asked for your favor to marry your daughter?

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  • Super Moderator

Sybaris, I'm so sorry this has happened. I agree with everything BrotherJosh said above. My daughter is in a similar marriage, but at least (so far) they haven't broken off contact with me (although I think it could easily happen if I "overstepped my bounds" with the grandchildren!). Daughter and SIL are much more enamored with my DFH (DearFundyHubby) -- which I suppose keeps me in the loop. I feel for you. I wish I had some good advice... {{Hugs}}

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