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How Would You Address This?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
My DSS (6) and I were watching the third pirates movie last night and I mentioned something about one of the characters being a goddess or something to that affect, when he asked me a question. Well he comes back saying "its not nice to God to make up other gods." Um, ok. Then, not even 2 minutes later he says "A (his step-dad) said that the ancient peoples made up Gods to be mean to GOD." WHAT?! Okay, another few minutes pass and "A told me that the Indians and the Pilgrims believed in the same God." Throughout the whole movie he is saying things like "Jesus died on the cross for our sins," "Jesus' blood washed the sins from our heart." I tried explaining to him that I don't believe those things without really saying what I believe in detail because his mother has control over religious decisions.

Okay, now I personally feel these are some ignorant and prejudicial statements 1) because I don't think the ancient peoples made up Gods and 2) because the other household knows I am Pagan and ever since they have found out have become SUPER religious and calling my religion "witchery,"
and even threatening to take DH to court over my religion.

My question really is how do my DH and I calmly combat things like this? I think its setting DSS up for some rude awakenings to be saying things like this to him. Especially things that are so obviously ignorant in our eyes.

Or am I completely wrong and that this is really a mainstream Christian view now?
post #2 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMiller View Post
Okay, now I personally feel these are some ignorant and prejudicial statements 1) because I don't think the ancient peoples made up Gods and
You can't call that statement "ignorant", because if I happen to be Christian, that is something that I embrace and believe in. So you would be calling me ignorant based on my religious beliefs...

Now... you CAN say that you have a different religion than the other side of the blended family. Rather than concentrating on religious lessons, I personally would be more concerned with teaching him tolerance and acceptance of the fact that different families might have different religious values, and he can choose his own when he grows up.

If his step-dad is saying his step-mom is practicing witchcraft, and his step-mom is calling his step-dad ignorant for being Christian, well.. that will be one torn kid unless at least one side steps up and says "Your mom believes in this, and your dad believes in this, and you don't have to choose right now, but you DO need to show respect to both sides... When you call me a witch it hurts my feelings".

We are lucky not to have disagreements of this nature, I can only imagine that it's tough on both sides. I hope you can work it out!
post #3 of 30
Bravo Oriole. Excellent response.
post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 
You are correct, sorry for my wording of it. Does rewording it to say "misguided" work or is that worse? I am trying not to offend because I know religion is such a hot issue.

I was trying to teach him last night that people believe different things and its like he wasn't even listening to me, its almost like he was taught to ignore what we say and its not even all regarding that issue either, but that is another story. I'm not trying to give him religious lessons, I was raised to choose for myself. That's what I plan on doing in his case as well and to just be a good example of an alternative religion.

I have to leave now and hopefully this thread won't combust.
post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
You can't call that statement "ignorant", because if I happen to be Christian, that is something that I embrace and believe in. So you would be calling me ignorant based on my religious beliefs...

Now... you CAN say that you have a different religion than the other side of the blended family. Rather than concentrating on religious lessons, I personally would be more concerned with teaching him tolerance and acceptance of the fact that different families might have different religious values, and he can choose his own when he grows up.

If his step-dad is saying his step-mom is practicing witchcraft, and his step-mom is calling his step-dad ignorant for being Christian, well.. that will be one torn kid unless at least one side steps up and says "Your mom believes in this, and your dad believes in this, and you don't have to choose right now, but you DO need to show respect to both sides... When you call me a witch it hurts my feelings".

We are lucky not to have disagreements of this nature, I can only imagine that it's tough on both sides. I hope you can work it out!
Yeah, what Oriole said.

I think you're doing as far as explaining to him that different people believe in different things is the best you can do.
post #6 of 30
Perhaps his FATHER should be speaking to him about religious tolerance?... not that you don't "count"...but that perhaps it would be a good thing for him to revisit once in a while, just in general?

We are lucky to live in a place where religious beliefs are so varied...and we are all allowed to choose what we would like to believe and are not persecuted for it (theoretically). I was actually just speaking to the teen-aged daughter of a good friend of mine about that, today. She is home schooled and was talking about how her friend is devout christian and only celebrates the jewish holidays, as they are not "tainted" by pagan rituals. She understands WHY they do this, but doesn't agree with doing it. And is glad that she and this girl can still find common ground in other parts of their lives and be great friends. It was interesting to have a conversation like this with a 17 year old...who is glad that she has the freedom to choose her own views of religion, and glad that her friend is, as well, though her friends' views differ from her own.

Was that too wordy?

Anyway, I think that continually modeling and talking about tolerance in general is a great thing, and having it come from the father, to a son, might make it even more importantly spoken as a role model to child.???
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 
My husband definitely plans on talking to him one on one, I know I didn't mention this but he was at work when this conversation happened.

We will definitely be having more talks about tolerance and diversity.
post #8 of 30
I agree with the previous posts about modeling tolerance. Just an FYI though in case anyone tries to go to court over this, Wicca is a recognized religion. Being pagan doesn't afford the same legal protections. Freedom of religion should mean just that and I'm sorry you're dealing with this. Good luck and remember that kiddos are smart and as your ds gets older, he will no doubt appreciate how you and your dh handle this sensitive issue!
post #9 of 30
I think that "ignorant" is the perfect word. If something is flat out wrong (in that ancient Pagans made up gods just to "be mean to God") then it is an ignorant belief to have. If you (general) believe it, you are "ignorant" to the truth.

That said, I do agree that it would be best to use less flamatory words so as to keep the lines of communication open. But if they are already calling your beliefs "witchery" then it sounds like they were, unfortunately, shut a long time ago.
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slabobbin View Post
I think that "ignorant" is the perfect word. If something is flat out wrong (in that ancient Pagans made up gods just to "be mean to God") then it is an ignorant belief to have. If you (general) believe it, you are "ignorant" to the truth.
OP refered to the first paragraph "these are some ignorant and prejudicial statements", if I look at the statements that include Jesus in that paragraph, and then see it as being refered to as "ignorant statements", I'm sorry, but I'll call it being intollerant and prejudicial. I might not think that gods were made up to be mean to God, but first part of that statement, and the rest of the comments about Jesus were not "ignorant", they were statements of beliefs.

Therefore, in the context, ignorant was not a perfect word, unless of course you are calling everyone who does not subscribe to your religious beliefs ignorant.

I give credit to the OP for willing to work on this out peacefully. We can't always control what the other people say, and it's harder to deal with when trying to raise a child in a blended family situation. Using strong words (be it "witchcraft", or "ignorance" as reffered to Christianity), is not going to benefit anyone: it will not solve the problem, and it will not create a healthy environment for the child to grow up in.
post #11 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
"ignorance" as reffered to Christianity
I wasn't trying to say people who believe in Christianity are ignorant. I was saying the statements about the "ancient people made up gods to be mean to god" and "the indians and pilgrims believed in the same god" as ignorant, and I am sorry if I didn't clarify that better.

I hold nothing against them for being Christian. However, I do hold something against them for not being more open-minded, especially when I have been told by his mother "I don't teach my son prejudice and I don't plan on it." That's what is happening here, especially with the comments my DSS makes in our home.

Quote:
Just an FYI though in case anyone tries to go to court over this, Wicca is a recognized religion. Being pagan doesn't afford the same legal protections.
I am more Wiccan then Pagan. I tend to use Pagan as an umbrella term and its sometimes less inflammatory than Wiccan.

My DH and I are just trying to do what's best for DSS. Its really difficult when he has been "programmed" in DH's words to think that our house is the suck and to basically ignore us. We try so hard to teach him something, anything and to provide him with a loving environment and it doesn't seem to be making a difference.

As we all know, this blended family thing isn't easy. Nobody is ever gonna see eye-to-eye on everything, but we shouldn't be teaching the children involved intolerance and close-mindedness because they are never gonna have an easy time just being in a blended family. Each house does things differently and if we teach our children to be so inflexible then things are going to be difficult.
post #12 of 30
I've heard worse explanations, about "idol worship" with fire and brimstone and hell and death etc. Keeping the discussion to God's feelings actually seems a bit age appropriate.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by pranamama View Post
I've heard worse explanations, about "idol worship" with fire and brimstone and hell and death etc. Keeping the discussion to God's feelings actually seems a bit age appropriate.
:

This is a hard situation, I agree with everythin Oriole has said, and also the above. It sounds like you're trying really hard to be fair and not confuse him anymore than he already is, and that's what matters most. If it were me, I'd probably try to diffuse things by saying, "Yes, this is what your mommy and A believe, Daddy and I feel this way, and that's ok. People are allowed to believe what they want to." Even though the other side is playing dirty (calling you a witch and such), I think it's important to stay above that. This is a great opportunity to teach him understanding and respect, and it sounds like you're doing just that. Glad that DH is getting involved too.

I personally am a Christian, and so what he was saying to you (most of it) makes sense to me, but I cannot stand people who are not tolerant of others' religious views. You're right, it's a hot issue, but every person must make their decision as to what they believe.
post #14 of 30
How about something simple like "Different people beleive different things. Your mom and stepdad are Christians. I am a Pagan. We have different beleifs about who made the world, what happens after we die, and other things like that. It doesn't mean that one of us is "wrong' and one of us is "right." It just means that we are different.

It's OK if you are a Christian. I love you no matter what you believe. But it does hurt my feelings when you talk about Jesus and G-d in a way that isn't respectful of my own beleifs. Maybe it would be easier if we didn't talk about Jesus at this house?"
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
How about something simple like "Different people beleive different things. Your mom and stepdad are Christians. I am a Pagan. We have different beleifs about who made the world, what happens after we die, and other things like that. It doesn't mean that one of us is "wrong' and one of us is "right." It just means that we are different.

It's OK if you are a Christian. I love you no matter what you believe. But it does hurt my feelings when you talk about Jesus and G-d in a way that isn't respectful of my own beleifs. Maybe it would be easier if we didn't talk about Jesus at this house?"
That's a very good answer, Ruthla.
post #16 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
How about something simple like "Different people beleive different things. Your mom and stepdad are Christians. I am a Pagan. We have different beleifs about who made the world, what happens after we die, and other things like that. It doesn't mean that one of us is "wrong' and one of us is "right." It just means that we are different.

It's OK if you are a Christian. I love you no matter what you believe. But it does hurt my feelings when you talk about Jesus and G-d in a way that isn't respectful of my own beleifs. Maybe it would be easier if we didn't talk about Jesus at this house?"
This is what we have wanted to say to him but, she takes her control of religious decision (it just has the word "religion" in the parenting plan) making to mean that we are not allowed to talk about religion in OUR home period. My DH cannot even say things like his father is in heaven and watching over us or she will get mad. So, rather than having something start I have kept my mouth shut. Unfortunately, lately these sort of happenings have become rather frequent in our home.

I am walking a very fine line, I want him to know that other people believe in different things but, not set her off on a tangent of how I practice "witchery." She picks fights with DH over the most ridiculous of things. I seriously fear that she will try to take DSS from my husband because of my religion.
post #17 of 30

“YOU MUST BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD” — Mahatma Gandhi

Quote:
Originally Posted by pranamama View Post
I've heard worse explanations, about "idol worship" with fire and brimstone and hell and death etc. Keeping the discussion to God's feelings actually seems a bit age appropriate.
I do understand that children are more concrete than most adults. So, if you do opt to talk about what God's feelings are, I believe it is important to speak with children in universal terms -- about God’s limitless capacity to love us for example. Anyone or any one faith that attempts to define, or stake claim to, what God's feelings are is fostering a spirit of intolerance. This is just my humble opinion.

My sincere wishes of good will are sent to you and you family, MrsMiller.

:
post #18 of 30
I don't see how any court decision can control whether or not you discuss religion in your own home. Can they really do that?

I mean, he's six now, but there will come a day when the other family will not be able to shelter him from your beliefs or those of others.

Also, I didn't realize that "Wiccan" affords some sort of legal protection that "Pagan doesn't". Interesting...

This really stinks.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
You can't call that statement "ignorant", because if I happen to be Christian
ITA

really if you try to say THATm then the reverse can be said, and you don't want your DSS to say YOU are igorant simply beacuse you do not share the faith.

I do not think it is wise, ever, to address an issue of FAITH and PERSONAL beliefe as samrt or dumb.

these is a big differnce in correcting incorrect information -- such as about old reglions --and discussing a person's current faith.

Mayeb some kids hisptry books -- in general, not about religion and faith -- would be in order to get an overview of the anicent people and how they lived? I am all for correcting misinformation.

Note also the adult might not be giving mis-informations -- we all know how 6 year olds are and how they either interpet data or simply are limited in what they can expalin to us.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyfaith View Post
I do understand that children are more concrete than most adults. So, if you do opt to talk about what God's feelings are, I believe it is important to speak with children in universal terms -- about God’s limitless capacity to love us for example. Anyone or any one faith that attempts to define, or stake claim to, what God's feelings are is fostering a spirit of intolerance. This is just my humble opinion.

My sincere wishes of good will are sent to you and you family, MrsMiller.

:


That is all fine and dandy, if you actually believe in god. Your view in it'self is fostering a a spirit of intolerance... to quote yourself.


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