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Future Family Ethical Quandry

wiltingwilting Registered User regular
edited August 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
EDIT: For those of you that keep jumping the gun on this thread. This is not about me interfering with how my sister raises her kids. This is about me personally deciding if I would attend any religious ceremonies in the upbringing of those kids, and if I didn't go, how I would word my refusal in the politest ways possible.

My sister is getting married soon and reproduction is likely to follow. She is getting married in a church and I'm a little worried about what I will do if they decide to get the Kid(s) baptized.

On the one hand, I don't particularly think it's my place to tell my sister how to raise her kid(s), I would of course like to be involved in their upbringing, my sister (or her fiance) isn't especially religious anyway (getting married in a church being about the height of it), and I have no desire to create any disagreement.

I suspect that baptism is likely however, in an assumption of that's just how things are done - these are the ceremonial motions of raising a child - kind of way. I never really had a conversation with my sister about her precise beliefs. Although I suspect she does have very precise beliefs.

But on the other hand, I find the idea of imposing religion upon a child extremely ethically objectionable. While I would happy to have a role in the upbringing of any children, a religiously framed 'godfather' role (I have no idea if this is likely) would be unacceptable to me, and I would be extremely reluctant to attend any baptism or other indoctrination ceremonies.

Having your child marked down as 'Catholic' can be an advantage for getting into schools (most schools in Ireland are church sponsored, although secular schools are on the rise). As far as I'm concerned the reaction to that should be to vote for people who advocate a secular school system, send your child to a secular school, or raise your family in a non-discriminatory jurisdiction, not pandering to the system by indoctrinating your child. But..anyway.

Basically, this is something that I am going to have deal with down the road, and I would like to have an idea of what I am going to do in advance.

To put this in context, my sister is great and we never argue about anything ever. I fear I will have make some inquiries about her beliefs though, which is not something I want to do near to her rapidly approaching wedding (If they want to get married in a church, that's their business, no need to create any bad feeling about that).

Further context: While both my parents have had (reading, minister of the eucharist) active roles in the church, religion was never really present at home, and this has kind of died down in recent years. I attended mass with my family for years, without participating in prayer or communion, to avoid any conflict over the matter. When I did eventually (after a couple of years in college) put my foot down on the matter, it did create some consternation but went over relatively peacefully. My mother's main objections are that it is 'nice' for a family to go to mass together and that church is a good place to keep in touch in people in the community. I never discussed the matter with my sister. The height of religious discourse in the house is when I write references to original/influencing festivals on 'christmas' cards. Politically, I don't think anyone in the family would agree with any of the church's positions, except maybe on abortion, although that is a strange issue in Ireland (it still being illegal here).

Anyway. Help/Advice?

wilting on
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Posts

  • LibrarianLibrarian The face of liberal fascism Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    The possibility of your hypothetical future nephew/niece being baptized is at this point in time so small and insignificant, that I feel you can wait for a while before you give your sister "the talk".

    On the other hand, coming from a catholic community myself, for most people this is just something that is done and it really doesn't mean all that much except for keeping the tradition and I would try not to charge this potential future event with too much meaning.
    If your sister and her husband want to do it, they get to do it and if you are asked to be godfather it would be a bit silly to refuse because of your beliefs. You are not doing this for the church.

    EDIT: We have a unique situation here in Germany, as I had to formally leave the church in order to stop paying church tax. I am no longer a catholic and I am not sure if I could be a godfather in a catholic sense of the word, or if church would allow me to attend in this function.
    I am not sure how that is handled in Ireland.

    Librarian on
    Brad R. Torgersen says:

    Librarian,

    Go read what I said about not arguing with third graders.
  • BethrynBethryn Registered User regular
    1) It's probably not your place to tell your sister how to raise her child unless she's doing something directly harmful to the child itself.

    2) There's a long history of people being baptised or otherwise introduced to a religion, and backing out of it as they get older and interact more with the world.

    3) None of my godparents have ever so much as mentioned religion to me, and if your sister were to ask you to be her child's godfather in a religious capacity, you can simply point out that you don't feel comfortable with the religious aspect of that role.

  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    It used to be possible to leave the church in Ireland, via a letter procedure helped out by a purpose built secular website, but I believe this is no longer the case. I couldn't care less about the church having my name on its books or what it thinks about anything.

    What I am concerned about is my objection to raising a child as belonging to a particular religion. That the level of religion is mild, or that people 'grow out of it,' doesn't change the principle that I consider it to be wrong.

    To be clear, if my sister intends to raise any child(ren) Catholic, I'm not going to be all up in her business about it. I am just reluctant to participate in it and thereby tacitly endorse it.

    wilting on
  • LibrarianLibrarian The face of liberal fascism Registered User regular
    wilting wrote: »
    It used to be possible to leave the church in Ireland, via a letter procedure helped out by a purpose built secular website, but I believe this is no longer the case. I couldn't care less about the church having my name on its books or what it thinks about anything.

    Yeah, all I meant is that if you don't leave the church here you pay them money by default, it's an automatic tax system and maybe you would have left too if that was also the case in Ireland and then the whole thing might be moot anyway, because the church might say you can't be a godfather in the catholic way and that's it.

    Brad R. Torgersen says:

    Librarian,

    Go read what I said about not arguing with third graders.
  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    Well I won't be whether the church wants me to be or not.

  • Baron DirigibleBaron Dirigible Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    It's not your place to do, or say, anything.

    You think it's wrong? Fantastic. I don't care and I don't think anyone else should, either.

    I was raised Catholic, I no longer consider myself Catholic, and I think any questions of faith should be a private and personal matter. If your sister wants to raise her (possible) child a Catholic, that's none of your business. If she asks you to be a Godfather, the only proper thing would be to politely decline, and let her get on with her life.

    That's it. That's all. It doesn't need to be any more dramatic than that.

    Oh, and you're worried that by not saying anything, you're "tacitly endorsing it"? Well, from the sounds of things your sister has no problem with "tacitly endorsing" your atheism, so maybe you can follow her lead.

    [edit: I actually misunderstood that part, my point still stands. You shouldn't be worried about attending parts of your (possible) niece or nephew's life because doing so would "tacitly endorse" their religious beliefs. Be there for them, be part of their life, but respect their right to live their own as they see fit.

    Baron Dirigible on
    Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
    Esh
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    wilting wrote:
    On the one hand, I don't particularly think it's my place to tell my sister how to raise her kid(s), I would of course like to be involved in their upbringing, my sister (or her fiance) isn't especially religious anyway (getting married in a church being about the height of it), and I have no desire to create any disagreement.

    No, it isn't your place to say or do anything. Don't be a goose (because you are absolutely being one here).

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  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I
    [edit: I actually misunderstood that part, my point still stands. You shouldn't be worried about attending parts of your (possible) niece or nephew's life because doing so would "tacitly endorse" their religious beliefs. Be there for them, be part of their life, but respect their right to live their own as they see fit.

    That is the problem right there. The assumption that just because the parents say so that those are the children's religious beliefs.

    I am being as completely un-goosey about this as possible. I have no intention to interfere in any way. I am simply stating that I am uncomfortable with it and don't know what to do about that, regarding attending or not attending any religious ceremonies. If I don't attend, then I would like to know how to communicate this to my sister/family in the nicest way possible, and deal with any fallout in the nicest way possible.

    Thanks for all the support and understanding! I am asking about how not to be a goose about this.

    wilting on
  • LibrarianLibrarian The face of liberal fascism Registered User regular
    It's not your place to do, or say, anything.

    You think it's wrong? Fantastic. I don't fucking care and I don't think anyone else should, either.

    I was raised Catholic, I no longer consider myself Catholic, and I think any questions of faith should be a private and personal matter. If your sister wants to raise her (possible) child a Catholic, that's none of your business. If she asks you to be a Godfather, the only proper thing would be to politely decline, and let her get on with her life.

    That's it. That's all. It doesn't need to be any more dramatic than that.

    Oh, and you're worried that by not saying anything, you're "tacitly endorsing it"? Well, from the sounds of things your sister has no problem with "tacitly endorsing" your atheism, so maybe you can follow her lead.

    This.

    Just don't cause any unneccessary drama.
    Also, OP it looks like you were raised catholic and survived the ordeal.

    Brad R. Torgersen says:

    Librarian,

    Go read what I said about not arguing with third graders.
  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    Being a godfather isn't necessarily a religious thing. In fact, in this day and age, it's more often just naming the person who will take care of your kid should something happen to you.

    As for the baptism, given that your sister hasn't been religious all this time, shouldn't you give her the benefit of the doubt and not make a thing just because she wants to baptize her kid? Baptism does not equate shoving a bible down a kid's throat for the rest of their upbringing.

    Honestly this seems like a non issue thus far. I mean if your sister does start shoving religion down the kid's throat, maybe you could say something. But at this point I feel like you're making an issue of something that maybe might happen in the future. And that's pretty silly.

  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Screw you guys, I look for help and you jump down my throat. For your information, I was afraid to think for myself as a kid and the odd time I am in a church I have to make a conscious effort not to automatically repeat the prayers. That is not ok.

    I am asking about this well in advance so I deal with it in as nice a way possible without putting my foot in it.

    wilting on
  • LibrarianLibrarian The face of liberal fascism Registered User regular
    None is jumping down your throat, just pointing out that it might be better for everyone if you could put your personal belief in the matter aside for the time being.
    You do intend to attend the wedding if I understand you correctly and that is going to be in church as well.

    Brad R. Torgersen says:

    Librarian,

    Go read what I said about not arguing with third graders.
  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    What two consenting adults do is different than things being done to children who cant consent.

    wilting on
  • Baron DirigibleBaron Dirigible Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    There's no "nice way" to deal with this.

    And, look, you're worrying about your possible future niece or nephew, who'll be growing up in a world quite different than the world you grew up in, to parents who don't seem overly religious themselves.

    Be there for the kid. I guarantee that making any sort of protest about religious ceremonies will not help, and would only serve to create the kind of rift that would be far more damaging to your (possible, future, unborn) niece or nephew than the few religious ceremonies in their life would be. Family trumps all.

    Baron Dirigible on
    Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    And the advice you are getting is "stay out of it, especially for now."

  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    wilting wrote: »
    Screw you guys, I look for help and you jump down my throat. For your information, I was afraid to think for myself as a kid and the odd time I am in a church I have to make a conscious effort not to automatically repeat the prayers. That is not ok.

    I am asking about this well in advance so I deal with it in as nice a way possible without putting my foot in it.

    Honestly, you're getting these sorts of responses because you're coming off somewhat poorly. Religion can be a very positive force in many people's lives, and you sound like you'd be surprised of that. Unless they're doing something to harm the potential kid, it isn't your business.

    If you want a constructive option, start a dialogue about faith with your sister. Not about a potential offspring, but about what faith and religion mean to her and her soon-to-be husband. Perhaps you'll gain a better understanding of why people engage in religious behavior. I can assure you that there is very little irrational and harmful about the vast majority of mainline religious experiences.

    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • LibrarianLibrarian The face of liberal fascism Registered User regular
    This event you worry so much about is in the distant future for now, as far as we know your sister is not pregnant and not in a hurry to get there.
    So why don't you wait till that happens and then just have a casual talk with her and say something along the lines of "So, sis, what do you plan to do? Want to get the kid baptized? Me I don't think that's cool, because of xyz."

    If you and your sister get along well you should have no problem voicing your concern directly in that way(but preferrably in a non condescending/passive aggressive way).
    And until that moment comes, you really don't need to worry about it. Probably don't really NEED to worry anyway, but ye, wait and see until you rush to conclusions.

    Brad R. Torgersen says:

    Librarian,

    Go read what I said about not arguing with third graders.
  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    You're presuming a lot about me, but thanks for the constructive advice crowning. I am aware that religious people are generally happier, give more to charity and often cite it as helping them achieve in say, sport. I was considering part of my wedding present to them to be that 'secular bible' book, but given the responses I've gotten in this thread I don't know if PAers will think that's the equivalent of suicide bombing the wedding or something.

    I'm so reluctant to cause offense that I was reluctant to even talk directly to my sister about this. I was thinking of trying to talk to my sister's friends, or maybe her fiance's brothers (one of whom I think has strong secular views), casually, to see if I can dig out some information about their views. I certainly wouldn't say right off the bat that I'm uncomfortable about it to my sister, but I suppose I could proffer the question of baptism when/if a pregnancy arises.

    Thanks for helpful responses.

    wilting on
  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    I'm not sure what you're interpreting so badly.
    We're just saying that it seems that you're making a bigger deal out of it than it is, especially considering nothing has happened yet, and won't really happen for a while.

  • LibrarianLibrarian The face of liberal fascism Registered User regular
    Well it looks like the majority of people here don't think your wonderful gift of atheism is going to roll over too well, because you come across as very easily offended in the matter of religion/atheism yourself.

    You can give them the book, sure, but why worry about the future of their unborn children at this time?

    Brad R. Torgersen says:

    Librarian,

    Go read what I said about not arguing with third graders.
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    wilting wrote: »
    You're presuming a lot about me, but thanks for the constructive advice crowning. I am aware that religious people are generally happier, give more to charity and often cite it as helping them achieve in say, sport. I was considering part of my wedding present to them to be that 'secular bible' book, but given the responses I've gotten in this thread I don't know if PAers will think that's the equivalent of suicide bombing the wedding or something.

    I'm so reluctant to cause offense that I was reluctant to even talk directly to my sister about this. I was thinking of trying to talk to my sister's friends, or maybe her fiance's brothers (one of whom I think has strong secular views), casually, to see if I can dig out some information about their views. I certainly wouldn't say right off the bat that I'm uncomfortable about it to my sister, but I suppose I could proffer the question of baptism when/if a pregnancy arises.

    Thanks for helpful responses.

    A lot of it depends on the culture, honestly. I'm in Boston, and up here we don't have a predominantly reactionary religious population. If you're in, say, Tennessee, it would be different.

    The Catholic church is a strange beast. Doctrine and mainstream Catholic belief systems are more often than not at odds, and churches tend to basically play a game of pretend with things that conflict between social norms and reactionary teachings. But that's not every church.

    If religion was an important thing for your family, making a big fuss can really get testy. Honestly, you're best off, probably, just taking a deep breath and pushing any worry aside. In the end, your "job" as brother is to be supportive or be quiet. Many extended families have no-politics/no-religion topic rules for holidays for this very reason. Your beliefs are yours, your sister and her soon-to-be husband's beliefs are theirs. Unless there exists a clear and present danger, let it go.

    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I just got thinking about it because the wedding is coming up soon, is all. Our no religion/no politics rule is more tacit than written in stone. I can't imagine anyone in our extended family ever getting in a heated argument about either, our conversations are more ... analytic.

    wilting on
  • LailLail Surrey, B.C.Registered User regular
    Sorry, OP, it's not your place to do or say anything. If you don't want to go to the baptism, fine, that's your choice. But if your sister wants to raise her child to be religious, that's her choice, not yours.

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    wilting wrote: »
    I
    [edit: I actually misunderstood that part, my point still stands. You shouldn't be worried about attending parts of your (possible) niece or nephew's life because doing so would "tacitly endorse" their religious beliefs. Be there for them, be part of their life, but respect their right to live their own as they see fit.

    That is the problem right there. The assumption that just because the parents say so that those are the children's religious beliefs.

    Part of the issue here may be misunderstanding the role of the baptism here. Baptism says nothing about the child's beliefs at all. They are a child and clearly incapable of making such statements. It's all about the parents and Godparents making a commitment to bring them up in a Christian manner. The child's personal statement of faith is the Confirmation that may or may not choose to take part in later in life as they choose.

    But generally. It's fine that you dislike religion if that's your thing. If you really disagree with it that much then indeed, don't attend the ceremony, but don't make a big thing of it. Certainly don't try and tell them why you think they shouldn't be doing it. This is (a) overstepping your bounds and (b) going to go down like a cup of cold sick with the family.

    Similarly. I'm fine with the moral and legal guardian side but I'm not comfortable with the religious aspect of being a Godparent is a perfectly valid view to have.

    Remember that faith is a very personal thing and that signing up to one aspect of it, in no way signs you up to all of it, despite what the dinosaurs running the show may think.

    Jam Warrior on
    MhCw7nZ.gif
  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    Both my sister and I are known for being diplomatic, so this thread is kind of amusing. I suppose I'll deal with this in the same way as I dealt with two friends breaking up; don't take sides, just offer support. Managed to pull that off. Thanks.

  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    wilting wrote: »
    Both my sister and I are known for being diplomatic, so this thread is kind of amusing. I suppose I'll deal with this in the same way as I dealt with two friends breaking up; don't take sides, just offer support. Managed to pull that off. Thanks.

    Exactly. Good luck!

    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    That's absolutely it. Live and let live and have some faith that your sister is able to take on the good aspects of religion whilst being intelligent enough to avoid the bad.

    MhCw7nZ.gif
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    The thing about a Baptism is it's really not "religious indoctrination." You go to a church, the kid has some water splashed on his face, some words are said, and that's it. And this is at an age where the kid isn't going to remember it, anyhow.

    You should go to the baptism just because it's a family event, not because it's a religious one. And if your sister and her husband aren't in church every Sunday, you probably don't have much to worry about when it comes to religious indoctrination.

    Essee
  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    wilting wrote: »
    You're presuming a lot about me, but thanks for the constructive advice crowning. I am aware that religious people are generally happier, give more to charity and often cite it as helping them achieve in say, sport. I was considering part of my wedding present to them to be that 'secular bible' book, but given the responses I've gotten in this thread I don't know if PAers will think that's the equivalent of suicide bombing the wedding or something.

    I'm so reluctant to cause offense that I was reluctant to even talk directly to my sister about this. I was thinking of trying to talk to my sister's friends, or maybe her fiance's brothers (one of whom I think has strong secular views), casually, to see if I can dig out some information about their views. I certainly wouldn't say right off the bat that I'm uncomfortable about it to my sister, but I suppose I could proffer the question of baptism when/if a pregnancy arises.

    Thanks for helpful responses.

    Posit that you had kids, and your relatives came in waving censors and the like and tried to baptize your kid. You're not going to talk somebody out of doing what is a routine cultural and religious ritual.

    I'm posting in an attempt to convince you that you shouldn't be uncomfortable about it. Parents have the right to raise their children how they see fit, short of the kind of behavior which would constitute abuse or neglect. I don't see how you could articulate another societal rule that would work. I certainly wouldn't want nutjobs in Virginia or Florida to be able to interfere with families who raised their kids without any traditional religion. I don't know how to explain why the "secular bible" thing would be so obnoxious - if I had some relative give my kids a bible as a present I'd be pissed at them. I can only imagine it would be the same with the roles switched.

    If you really want to help the kid become a secular humanist or pastafarian or whatever you'll stay friendly with the parents and involved with the kid so when he or she is old enough to think about religion on their own terms (i.e. 1-2 decades from now) you can provide your perspective.

    fwKS7.png?1
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    Thanatos wrote: »
    The thing about a Baptism is it's really not "religious indoctrination." You go to a church, the kid has some water splashed on his face, some words are said, and that's it. And this is at an age where the kid isn't going to remember it, anyhow.

    You should go to the baptism just because it's a family event, not because it's a religious one. And if your sister and her husband aren't in church every Sunday, you probably don't have much to worry about when it comes to religious indoctrination.

    Yeah. Usually a pretty good party, too.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    You're looking for a fight. So:
    1. Stop reading reddit atheism
    2. Before you do something, think "Am I being an asshole by doing this?" If the answer is yes, don't do it.

  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    We are getting into debate and discourse territory here, but baptism is a beginning of a religious upbringing, and the notion that somebody "chooses" confirmation at the age at 12 or 13 having been told all their life that they are of a particular religion, when confirmation is just presented as something that happens, rather as a choice, is bull.

    I couldn't care less WHAT people believe. As long as they choose it for themselves, when they are adults, and don't seek to impose it on anybody else, especially children.

    If you bothered to read the thread schuss, you would know whole point of it is that I am not looking for a fight. Peace.

    wilting on
  • tarnoktarnok Registered User regular
    One reason that you've gotten some brusque replies is that this is etremely not a thing for you to worry about. If you disagree with the religion the child is being raised in the _full_ extent of your right or obligation to interfere is to politely explain to the child, if he should ever ask you about it, that you don't agree with the religion.

    If it was a matter of demonstrable mental or physical abuse that would be different, but as huge chunks of the western world were built by people who either are catholic or were raised catholic, claiming psychological damage is a very tough row to hoe.

    Succinctly put; if reporting it to the police wouldn't result in them taking the children away, you probably don't have any room to complain about how she raises her children.

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  • GriswoldGriswold that's rough, buddyRegistered User regular
    wilting wrote: »
    We are getting into debate and discourse territory here, but baptism is a beginning of a religious upbringing, and the notion that somebody "chooses" confirmation at the age at 12 or 13 having been told all their life that they are of a particular religion, when confirmation is just presented as something that happens, rather as a choice, is bull.

    I couldn't care less WHAT people believe. As long as they choose it for themselves, when they are adults, and don't seek to impose it on anybody else, especially children.

    Pretty much the whole of parenting is imposing a set of beliefs and values on your kid.

    It is the responsibility of the parents to decide what those beliefs and values are.

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  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    Never said I was going to say anything to the kids or my sister, thread is just about how to deal with it personally, which I have a much better idea of now, thanks.

    Doesn't change that indoctrinating kids is wrong.

  • CogCog Registered User regular
    wilting wrote:
    I don't particularly think it's my place to tell my sister how to raise her kid(s)

    It's not. Stay out of it.

  • EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Thanatos wrote: »
    The thing about a Baptism is it's really not "religious indoctrination." You go to a church, the kid has some water splashed on his face, some words are said, and that's it. And this is at an age where the kid isn't going to remember it, anyhow.

    You should go to the baptism just because it's a family event, not because it's a religious one. And if your sister and her husband aren't in church every Sunday, you probably don't have much to worry about when it comes to religious indoctrination.

    This is pretty much exactly what I was going to say. Because you don't believe, and the kid wouldn't understand anything yet, basically all that's actually happening at this point from your point of view is the kid is getting water poured on him/her. Hell, since you're not sure how your sister feels, maybe she wouldn't take that part very seriously either. Similarly, being decreed a godfather shouldn't mean anything to you either, because you don't believe and that's not changing, so you're not really endorsing anything by just standing around being polite for a little bit during ceremonies and supporting your sister by doing it. (Disclaimer: I have no idea what people participate in as a godfather/godmother, but I can't imagine it's much more complicated than going someplace with your sister and niece/nephew and nodding passively while people talk.) Showing you're willing to support your sister and her child is the important part of that.

    You can totally talk to your sister about her beliefs if you want (I would recommend after the wedding because it's less stressful), but in terms of any ceremonial stuff, I would just sit there awkwardly waiting the speeches out while enjoying the rest of the occasion and showing support to your family. If you're like me, that's what you usually do at any weddings/etc. you've gone to before anyhow (I'm also an atheist).

    Essee on
  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Griswold wrote: »
    wilting wrote: »
    We are getting into debate and discourse territory here, but baptism is a beginning of a religious upbringing, and the notion that somebody "chooses" confirmation at the age at 12 or 13 having been told all their life that they are of a particular religion, when confirmation is just presented as something that happens, rather as a choice, is bull.

    I couldn't care less WHAT people believe. As long as they choose it for themselves, when they are adults, and don't seek to impose it on anybody else, especially children.

    Pretty much the whole of parenting is imposing a set of beliefs and values on your kid.

    It is the responsibility of the parents to decide what those beliefs and values are.

    I disagree strongly with this. Children should be taught HOW to think, not WHAT to think. They should be equipped with the skills to make the right choices in the circumstances that face them. Beliefs and values are not the same thing, by the way.

    Also find it very strange that people think that the child doesn't know what is going on makes baptism A OK. That makes it WORSE.

    wilting on
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    wilting wrote: »
    Griswold wrote: »
    wilting wrote: »
    We are getting into debate and discourse territory here, but baptism is a beginning of a religious upbringing, and the notion that somebody "chooses" confirmation at the age at 12 or 13 having been told all their life that they are of a particular religion, when confirmation is just presented as something that happens, rather as a choice, is bull.

    I couldn't care less WHAT people believe. As long as they choose it for themselves, when they are adults, and don't seek to impose it on anybody else, especially children.

    Pretty much the whole of parenting is imposing a set of beliefs and values on your kid.

    It is the responsibility of the parents to decide what those beliefs and values are.

    I disagree strongly with this. Children should be thought HOW to think, not WHAT to think. They should be equipped with the skills to make the right choices in the circumstances that face them. Beliefs and values are not the same thing, by the way.

    Not to be a downer, but that's an immensely fuzzy, ideal way to approach childrearing. Like it or not, parents help shape a functional worldview. When kids start to mature they often test and reassemble the worldview based on their own terms. In fact, we never stop shifting, improving and creating our worldview. Religion is a "full set" worldview, but it is hardly ever taken as more than a backbone, in many places these days.

    Regardless, it's all quibbling and it is pretty clear you disapprove with how your sister and her not-even-yet-husband plan to raise a non-existent child. Read that back and realize that you're really jumping the gun.

    I'd also look long and hard at yourself. Figure out what makes you anxious about this (so anxious that you're worried about a hypothetical) and see if that pinpoints things a bit more for you.

    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • CogCog Registered User regular
    wilting wrote: »
    Griswold wrote: »
    wilting wrote: »
    We are getting into debate and discourse territory here, but baptism is a beginning of a religious upbringing, and the notion that somebody "chooses" confirmation at the age at 12 or 13 having been told all their life that they are of a particular religion, when confirmation is just presented as something that happens, rather as a choice, is bull.

    I couldn't care less WHAT people believe. As long as they choose it for themselves, when they are adults, and don't seek to impose it on anybody else, especially children.

    Pretty much the whole of parenting is imposing a set of beliefs and values on your kid.

    It is the responsibility of the parents to decide what those beliefs and values are.

    I disagree strongly with this. Children should be thought HOW to think, not WHAT to think. They should be equipped with the skills to make the right choices in the circumstances that face them. Beliefs and values are not the same thing, by the way.

    Also find it very strange that people think that the child doesn't know what is going on makes baptism A OK. That makes it WORSE.

    And you're welcome to raise your children in that fashion, but you conversely need to let others raise theirs in the way they see fit. And I assure you to some extent you WILL teach your children WHAT to think. It's not ok to hit. Racism is bad. It's ok for people to be gay. There's no such thing as simply teaching someone HOW to think. As soon as you lay rules and boundries on their life you have taught them WHAT to think to some extent.

    The way you deal with this, internally, is to remind yourself that you would hate for someone to tell you that you were raising your children wrong. Agree or disagree with religion, it's not outright harmful to the child to be exposed to it, or kept from it. Let people raise their children the way they see fit, so long as it's not harmful to the child.

This discussion has been closed.