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Do you care whether your children believe in G-d? - Page 4

post #61 of 240
I am an atheist, and am raising dd UU. Dh doesn't want to talk about religion at all, lol, so I am actually not sure if he is atheist or agnostic. Not for lack of asking, ftr

I would love for dd to have more spirituality than me. I feel crippled spiritually, largely because of my upbringing. I imagine that faith in something greater would be very comforting and inspiring, and I would love for her to have that experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty
Why is it that so many of you would be disappointed or upset if your children became "Christian"?
Maybe because many of us grew up in the Christian faith and left it. I did, and so did dh. I was raised "nondenominational" (read: fundie), and dh was raised loosely orthodox. We both feel that we "survived" these religious experiences, and not without scars. So, yes, I would be concerned if dd became Christian. And I would be horrified if she joined my mother's church.
post #62 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloKitty
: I have no issues with my children believing in a Christian God. My concern would be that they would get sucked into a religion that practices discrimination and judgmentalism. This would be a major problem for me.
Exactly! Christianity is not a problem for me in and of itself. The issue is one of discrimination. Huge problem.
post #63 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloKitty
: I have no issues with my children believing in a Christian God. My concern would be that they would get sucked into a religion that practices discrimination and judgmentalism. This would be a major problem for me.

I would also worry about our relationship as they would likely want to try to save me from going to "Hell" by trying to convert me into believing the same as them and it would be a lost cause. (At least I hope they would want to save me! )
My thoughts as well. We live in a pocket area of nearly all Reformed Protestants, in which many feel they need to pray for us simply for being non-practicing Catholics. Dh's hometown is just a few miles away from us. It's population is less than 1,500 and there are FIVE churches, all of which are Reformed Protestants. I love where our home is, but I fear for our children in the future should they somehow become involved in a situation of being "prayed for" for not being a Reformed Protestant. It really makes me so sad to see how things are with religion here. That's not how I was raised, nor was I ever taught in my Catholic school that others who believe differently would burn in hell, but from what I understand, it's mostly us poor Catholics that will be the majority of those burning. I am joking of course, but many others do believe this.

So, basically, we attend church very rarely and I am extremely conflicted with many, many things. I don't know what I believe, but I know that I don't belive that I need someone else to tell me what I should believe, nor do my children.
post #64 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty
Why is it that so many of you would be disappointed or upset if your children became "Christian"?

It's really hard to explain, especially without offending someone. But it goes against everything that I believe, I suppose it might be the same for a christian parent who's child becomes a Satanist. I just don't believe in "god" I don't believe in the bible, I think it's all hewey and I would just be so disappointed if my sons bought into any of that. That would be like them suddenly thinking Santa is real when they are 20 or something.
post #65 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty
Why is it that so many of you would be disappointed or upset if your children became "Christian"?
I would be upset, because for me I see that Christianity has done a lot of harm in the world, and its value system is very different from the values I think we need going forward. I believe it is actively damaging. I don't have a problem with the religion exactly, but with how it has been twisted from what I believe it originally meant, if that makes sense.
post #66 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5
Wow. If you replaced fundie in that sentence with Muslim, Buddist or Pagan, people would have been all sorts of offended.

Or if I said, "It doesn't take a genius to look at the world around us and realize that there has to be some kind of creator. I mean, sheesh, faith in God is just common sense, and I'm all about common sense." Then would people be offended?
Well, as Leatherette points out, "skepticism is a virtue," at least in my book. And as others have pointed out, fundie comes in all religious flavors. Not just Xtian-- fundie Xtianity just happens to be prevelant in our culture.

(though I have to say, monotheistic religions seem to have a way bigger propensity for fundamentalism, from what I've seen. I often wonder why that is, or if there's info I'm missing. I've seen it asserted that monotheism = patriarchy, and I find that a rather thought-provoking statement... but that's perhaps neither here nor there.)

What I have a problem with is the black-and-white thinking that comes with fundamentalism, and the fact that ultimately the ONLY thing that the entire edifice is built on is "faith in things unseen."

I don't see blind faith as being any virtue, especially when you're building systems of coercion and manipulation and outright discrimination against other people on the basis of that blind faith. Makes all the rules pretty suspect.
post #67 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightyferrettoes
fundie comes in all religious flavors. Not just Xtian-- fundie Xtianity just happens to be prevelant in our culture.
Definitely.
post #68 of 240
Yes, I care, but on the other hand, I know it isn't up to me. We are the sort of traditionalist Christians that most of y'all are averse to, and I am raising my kids in that belief and lifestyle, but I know that as adults they will come to their own conclusions and make their own choices. I only hope that I will help them learn the critical thinking skills to make good meaningful decisions. I would be disappointed if my kids chose to reject our faith, but I would be even more disappointed if they chose to accept it without questioning. And I am teaching them to respect all people, and that people have a right to have different beliefs and different lifestyles. I hope they never have a desire to impose their beliefs on others, regardless of what those beliefs end up being.
post #69 of 240
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
I would be disappointed if my kids chose to reject our faith, but I would be even more disappointed if they chose to accept it without questioning.
Very nicely said. I think you stated (in a much more eloquent way) what I am thinking.
post #70 of 240
Quote:
My concern would be that they would get sucked into a religion that practices discrimination and judgmentalism. This would be a major problem for me.



I think my "issue" with most organized religion is a self-righteousness that I find distasteful. I understand that it's sort of inherent when you embrace a religion that you think your affiliation "has it right" but it just seems illogical to me that there is one true religion. I have a hard time articulating my beliefs on this, though, without seeming disrespectful and that's not what I intend. I believe in religious freedom - everyone worshiping their God/god/goddess/gods as they see fit, and hope to teach my children that - and the cultural and historical importance of the world's religions. I want them to be literate, if you will, in all of the world's varying belief systems - and respectful of what individuals choose to believe.

But I've always loved the South Park movie's take on the whole thing. All of the different religious groups are standing in hell, in front of the coordinator/greater who's holding a clipboard and they're all confused and outraged about why THEY'RE standing in hell. Then the guys says, "I'm sorry, you all had it wrong. The correct religion was MORMON."
post #71 of 240
I was raised Catholic but I'm UU now. I believe in teaching my children about all different beliefs and when I'm ask about things like 'where did nanny go after she died' - i give them examples of different things others believe... 'well, some people believe there is a heaven... while others believe in reincarnation... and other people believe we go back into nature and that is the cycle of life, etc.' then I tell them that we do not know for sure, but its important to respect other people's beliefs and to develop your own.

They usually answer by telling me what they believe is true inside of them.

So... no. It is not important to me that my children believe in God. It is important to me that my children believe in themselves and their ability to follow what they find true in their hearts.
post #72 of 240
My husband and I are atheists. He is VERY anti-religion. I wonder how he would feel if our dd grows up and joins a church.

I honestly don't know how I'd feel about it. I love her, of course, so I think we'll just handle it like any other situation in which she likes/believes something different than we do. We talk about tolerance and respect.
post #73 of 240
I am in the minority here, but this is how I feel. I am a Christian. Dh is a Christian. I would be very upset if dd chose not to believe in God. I would feel I had failed her as a parent. It is very important to me that she not only believe in God, but accept Christ as her Savior. It my prayer for her that one day we will all be together in heaven. We talk of God daily in our home. He is a part of our lives. I hope she continues down the path we are leading and directing her.
post #74 of 240
I am a member of a liberal Episcopal church and attempt to live in accordance with the teachings of Jesus. EnviroDaddy believes in the same principles about how to live and believes that the Holy Spirit is within all things, but he does not believe in the divinity of Jesus or practice an organized religion. EnviroBaby comes to church with me and receives a blessing from the priest when I receive Communion, but he will not be baptised unless/until he chooses it for himself. If he ever decides he does not want to come to church, that's acceptable, although I'd be sad because I enjoy sharing it with him.

I think that being taught to believe in God is useful because faith can be so sustaining. If you're raised without it, it's a hard thing to begin as an adult, as I've observed seeing several friends struggle. Raising my child in my religion not only gets him comfortable with following that particular religion but also gives him a sort of framework for being religious. He can choose to use it or not. I would prefer him to remain in this or a similar denomination, but if he follows some other path I'll try to respect that and recognize how it works for him.

EnviroDaddy and I are struggling a bit with our attitudes toward Judaism these days and trying to figure out what we'll say about it when EnviroBaby asks questions. EnviroDaddy was raised vaguely Jewish (mostly cultural rather than religious) and we bring EnviroBaby to his family's seder every spring; we like the ritual, and for me it enhances the celebration of Holy Week. But we are horrified by Israeli military policy, we are annoyed by the persistent Jewish evangelists in our neighborhood ("Are you sure you're not Jewish? You look Jewish!... Oh. Well, you should start practicing again. You owe it to your child. "), and now that we're better informed about circumcision we're upset that EnviroDaddy was mutilated for religious reasons. Not sure how to handle all that...

But I grew up surrounded by "Christians" of the type who think it's just great for their kids to beat up anyone who isn't "saved" :, and my parents managed to convey their disagreement with those people without being derogatory, so I guess it can be done.
post #75 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloKitty
How old are your children? Would you mind if they changed their beliefs later in life?
My children are 6 1/2 and 2 1/4. My oldest has always believed in G-d, long before we were at all religious or even affiliated with a religion. (We were agnostic, hung out with atheists, and then converted to Judaism...for a variety of reasons.) I mentioned in another thread that I believe he was a French Orthodox Rabbi in a previously life.

I don't mind if my children decide not to believe in G-d at some point or for the rest of their lives. Plenty of good, old, and respected Ravs have been agnostic or atheists.

I am also not against them learning about other religions. I want them to have a good Jewish education that includes high levels of critical thinking skills...something my 6 year old has been honing for years.

I would be very bothered if they chose another religion altogether. Probably more than bothered. But the degree of bother would depend upon which religion and why.

I would not sit shiva for them.

I believe my children chose me. And I have let them guide me to some extent in religious choices.

And I let them make choices within certain parameters as well.

And speaking of them....someone just woke up! And I'm awake again at almost 3 am.

Oy.

mv
post #76 of 240
I couldn't have said it any better than Kidzaplenty back on page 1.

Quote:
I guess I am in the minority here. But I do care whether my children believe in God.

I am a Christian. I want my children to be Christian. I totally believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is the only way for us to get to Heaven. I also believe that it is my job to train my children up in this belief. I also teach them that the that although we love everyone, and that we are not better than anyone else, we are right in our beliefs. And it is our ministry to teach others of Jesus.

I teach my children that every moment of every day, every action that we take should bring glory to God. And that we are our happiest when we please Him.

So, yes, I do VERY much care whether or not they believe. I make no appologies or excuses. This is our belief and this is how we will raise our children to believe.
I also think it is very important to teach other world religions in fact our church recently had a series on this and compared and contrasted the major world religions. After all, we live in a multi-faith society. I pray each day though for my family that we will continue to walk with the Lord.

ack! edited for bad spelling!
post #77 of 240
I want dd to have a general knowledge of the many religions in the world. She's still young, but just recently she made a comment about the "Jesus Boat" So I think it's about time I increase the amount of info I give her so she will atleast know about Noah Ark .
post #78 of 240
My husband and I have no "specific" set of beliefs other than there is some kind of higher power/creator, and they take on many forms in different cultures and places. DH studies Buddhism a lot, I don't really study anything. This has caused issues because our families want our children baptised. My family is Methodist, his is Episcopalian : We are neither and want our children to follow their own paths.
post #79 of 240
Well... my DH and I chose to name our son Noah Thomas so that probably answers the question.

I also WHOLE HEARTEDLY agree with this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty
I guess I am in the minority here. But I do care whether my children believe in God.

I am a Christian. I want my children to be Christian. I totally believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is the only way for us to get to Heaven. I also believe that it is my job to train my children up in this belief. I also teach them that the that although we love everyone, and that we are not better than anyone else, we are right in our beliefs. And it is our ministry to teach others of Jesus.

I teach my children that every moment of every day, every action that we take should bring glory to God. And that we are our happiest when we please Him.

So, yes, I do VERY much care whether or not they believe. I make no appologies or excuses. This is our belief and this is how we will raise our children to believe.
And I also agree with this from kolszewski and our church has held many of the same types of classes:

Quote:
I also think it is very important to teach other world religions in fact our church recently had a series on this and compared and contrasted the major world religions. After all, we live in a multi-faith society. I pray each day though for my family that we will continue to walk with the Lord.
What I have learned is how SIMILAR the world's religions are. I have learned how to relate to, befriend, and learn from people of all religions and walks of life. If anything my Christianity has taught me how to love everyone regardless of faith, creed, beliefs, or whatever.

This is what I want my son to learn.
post #80 of 240
I'm an atheist (my parents were extremist Catholics) and DH is what I call an ex-Muslim diest. DH is from Iran, where the default religion is Islam, so he identifies as Muslim but doesn't practice and hates the concept of organized religion (sees it as a money-grubbing entity and I completely agree).

So no, it is not important to us if DS believes in God.

That being said, he is free to choose his path in life as he sees fit. Like most of the non-religious parents in this thread, I would prefer that he not become a prejudiced fundamentalist of any creed, but I can't prevent that from happening. In DS's case I feel there is a higher propensity for him turning to Islam rather than Christianity (because of his heritage and DH's identification with that religion), but I hope he feels the need for neither.

I am also considering putting him in RE at a UU church, because I feel it is important to be educated about the various religions, but not indoctrinated into any religion. I also worry about him going to school here in the Bible belt and faced with mini-fundies who try to convert him. At least if we went the UU route he would have a "church" so to speak.
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