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#301 of 699 Old 05-18-2009, 03:44 PM
 
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So, I've seen mention of the concept that "I'm atheist but I'm not teaching it to my kids' and I don't follow it.

I'm atheist because there's no god. Why wouldn't I teach my kids accordingly? I'm not agnostic...although I can see parents who are agnostic would teach their kids maybe there is or maybe there isn't. But why is it perceived as wrong to teach my kids there is no god but it's not wrong to teach them there is?

Am I making sense? I might post a s/o thread but I could see it disintegrating over in RS, iykwim lol

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#302 of 699 Old 05-18-2009, 04:48 PM
 
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I'm atheist because there's no god. Why wouldn't I teach my kids accordingly?
I'm with you on that. I wonder if maybe it stems from having been raised that one's parent's beliefs are absolute truth. I could see if you grew up with strict religious upbringing you might not want to force your belief or non-belief on your own children.

However, I think it's important to teach your children what you think is true. And if the day comes that they disagree, that's when you back off.

I also think it's important to teach children *about* other beliefs/religions. If I had been taught the truth about my former religion before I got proselytized I would have known better, kwim?
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#303 of 699 Old 05-18-2009, 05:44 PM
 
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Totally! I completely agree with you!

To me its like teaching the kids anything else about science or the world around them. Some things just ARE. That doesn't make it bad or wrong, it just IS. I do get it that some people aren't there yet/ever and that some people don't agree. I don't think teaching my kids to treat those people with respect conflicts with teaching them there is no god.

Hard to explain...LOL

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#304 of 699 Old 05-18-2009, 09:04 PM
 
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Being a SAHM far from friends & family was starting to feel pathological for me until we made those connections. Sure, I could have joined groups based on other interests and I might if they're free!
Actually, if anybody knows of good ways to connect besides UU and LLL, please share!
Have you looked at meetup.com? One day going stir crazy (I'm a WAHM), I joined about 10+ groups, and some of them are actually pretty good. There's one that's for atheists and they do some potlucks and other activities that are family oriented. Nothing replaces having close friends close by though. We're far from our family and friends, and I go stir crazy quite often!
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#305 of 699 Old 05-18-2009, 09:14 PM
 
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So we tried out the UU church here today. I'm not quite sure about it. A lot of it reminded me of regular church...I almost felt like it was a mother earth/new agey worship service. I thought the actual message part was decent, but it was really short (probably because it was mothers day and the kids stayed in the service...and there was a lot of story telling/singing prior to the message).

I just don't know how comfortable I am with the prayer, meditation, etc...I mean, it's not like he specified "we are praying to God"...but it seemed a little silly to me.

I'm kind of bummed, because i really wanted to love it. They were talking about pot lucks and this gardening event coming up that is really kid friendly...it all sounds so fun, but I almost feel like I'd be compromising MY (non)beliefs if i kept attending. I MIGHT give it one more chance...but probably not.

I REALLY REALLY REALLY don't mean to offend anyone here, but coming out of a christian faith recently, i felt like it was a church for the wishy washy - people that can't make up there mind about what to believe and just want to feel good in a community that resembles a church. Now, I dig the community part - but i'm not wishy washy in the least.

I am all for tolerance and treating people with other beliefs than I have with respect...because I can respect PEOPLE, but i don't respect the silly beliefs. Does anyone know where I'm coming from?

I'm not trying to call anyone out here at all, I just sincerely don't understand how a hardcore, 100% atheist could take that kind of environment seriously?

And I totally realize that this particular UU church may be way more fruity than the rest of them, lol, I'm just curious...
You sound like me...I'm just atheist, and in addition I don't come from any kind of religious background. I feel that a lot of these "religion replacement" traditions (like Sunday school) are because people grew up with religion and are not sure how to replace the social void when they're no longer part of that community. DH's family is pretty atheist, but they go to a UU fellowship and I don't think there's any "fruitiness" involved...they have speakers on various subjects and fun get togethers. Although, I remember when ds was born they wanted to do some naming ceremony with him, and I thought that it was giving it "spiritual meaning" that I personally didn't feel I needed, so we didn't do it.
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#306 of 699 Old 05-18-2009, 11:45 PM
 
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I call myself a secular humanist - does that count?

I haven't had time to read the whole thread - but cool beans! We go to a UU church and have varying beliefs ranging from a 6 year old who told me she believes god made the big bang to a self-acclaimed 9 year old Buddhist and an 8 year old who has said there is no proof of god, therefore s/he does not exist. The 4.5 month old is still working it out.

I'll try to catch up on the discussion!

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#307 of 699 Old 05-19-2009, 01:59 AM
 
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So, I've seen mention of the concept that "I'm atheist but I'm not teaching it to my kids' and I don't follow it.

I'm atheist because there's no god. Why wouldn't I teach my kids accordingly? I'm not agnostic...although I can see parents who are agnostic would teach their kids maybe there is or maybe there isn't. But why is it perceived as wrong to teach my kids there is no god but it's not wrong to teach them there is?

Am I making sense? I might post a s/o thread but I could see it disintegrating over in RS, iykwim lol

Totally makes sense. DH and I have spoken about this at length, and we've come to conclusion over and over again, that all we want is to make sure we raise a tolerant, well adjusted, embracing, and understanding child. I don't want to turn my child into an ignorant jerk (and this can swing both ways, right?). I want him to know that there are many views in the world and that it's okay for everyone to have a different understanding of the "meaning of life".

I can't bring myself to teach him about god either. I know he's going to learn about it somewhere along the line, or ask about it rather, but I'm not making it part of the discussion, until he brings it forward to me.
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#308 of 699 Old 05-19-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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Totally makes sense. DH and I have spoken about this at length, and we've come to conclusion over and over again, that all we want is to make sure we raise a tolerant, well adjusted, embracing, and understanding child. I don't want to turn my child into an ignorant jerk (and this can swing both ways, right?). I want him to know that there are many views in the world and that it's okay for everyone to have a different understanding of the "meaning of life".
Well stated.
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#309 of 699 Old 05-19-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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Joining this thread--better late than never.

I was raised in a very observant Roman Catholic family, Catholic school complete with nuns, the whole nine yards. Dh was raised mainline Protestant. I knew from the time I was 7 that the Catholic church was not for me, budding feminist that I was. Dh didn't like church but never much talked about it.

I tried, but was really lying to myself because I never truly believed in god. We were Friends for several years in a couple of meetings as we moved around some. We went to a UMC church for several years after the kids came, and after they came out against gay clergy, that was the end of that.

We now belong to a UU congregation. Dh is involved and I'm not. I'm just done with the whole religion thing, and honestly, the UU services don't do anything for me. I'm not a ritual kinda person, and while I like the social action, it does feel to me like a pretend religion for people who really aren't religous, like beansmama said. No offense to those for whom UU works--it just doesn't work for me and in some ways I wish it did.

Dh takes the kids. There are some great programs for the kids, like the sex ed program and the year they take visiting other congregations. But I have no desire to be active in it at all.

I tell the kids what I believe. I don't try to make them believe that there is no god, but I do teach them that there is no objective evidence that there is a god.
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#310 of 699 Old 05-19-2009, 04:11 PM
 
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Interesting discussion point:

For those of you (and there seems to be quite a few of us) who came from a rather structured religious upbringing, how do you find your relationship with your family now that you have branched out of the organized religion genre? How do you deal with family members who balk at you when you suggest that you won't even teach your DC about god?

My family is very LDS, to the point of fundamentalism. I have a lot of LDS friends, and respect their lives, just as they do the same for mine. My family however, takes everything to the most extreme letter. My brother, for instance, believes he'll die if he has caffeine in any form. It's beyond infuriating for me because I worry that this sort of over the top behavior may pour into their relationship with DS.

DH's family is one of those family who say they are religious but haven't been to church in years. They pray at Sunday dinner, which makes me superbly uncomfortable, but it's their home, and they can do as they wish. DH's dad has gone as far as to say that people don't believe in god must have something wrong with them. (sarcastic thumbs up there).

I don't like getting into debates about religion. I find that they go in circles, and the circles tend to get smaller and smaller, and it's pointless. I have always respected everyone's right to believe as they wish, it's just eye rolling, that I say, "Yeah, I'm not sure about the whole god thing" that people get up in arms, about something, they legitimately cannot prove.

We're having some issues surrounding boundaries on DH's side, and I think we're going to have to state the whole, "We're his parents, we're going to do what we think is best for him, like it or not, but you gotta shut up and respect us".

Anyone run into issues with family members not respecting your choice to let your child be religion or god-free?
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#311 of 699 Old 05-19-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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all we want is to make sure we raise a tolerant, well adjusted, embracing, and understanding child. I don't want to turn my child into an ignorant jerk (and this can swing both ways, right?). I want him to know that there are many views in the world and that it's okay for everyone to have a different understanding of the "meaning of life".
I guess I disagree with this philosophy. I don't want my daughter to be tolerant of religious delusions, even though I do want her to be tolerant of the people who hold them. I think the evidence, and rational thinking lead to the conclusion that there is no god and I want her to know that's what I think.
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#312 of 699 Old 05-19-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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Anyone run into issues with family members not respecting your choice to let your child be religion or god-free?
DD is still a baby so it isn't an issue yet. But I suspect DH's TBM family will give us trouble some day. Fortunately they live very far away.
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#313 of 699 Old 05-19-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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I guess I disagree with this philosophy. I don't want my daughter to be tolerant of religious delusions, even though I do want her to be tolerant of the people who hold them. I think the evidence, and rational thinking lead to the conclusion that there is no god and I want her to know that's what I think.
Right, but what I'm saying, is that I want him to be tolerant of others opinions. Sure, he doesn't have to believe what they do, but I do want him to respect them, and understand they have the right to believe that.

That's what I'm getting at, does that make it clearer?

And also, I really want to make sure he knows that curiosity about these things is so awesome! I want him to know it's good to question, and to see flaws in certain accepted thoughts as well. I was told I could never question anything, and tolerance was not something that was applied in our life. Of course, it was expected that people would tolerate OUR beliefs, but everyone else was not worthy of respect.
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#314 of 699 Old 05-19-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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Oh, here you are!
Joining in, we are atheist, both me, my dear and all the kids who are old enough to have an opinion. They chosen themselves to not believe. I've never believed, ever, neither has my dear.
Most of our friends are also atheist, and lots of our families. We don't have anyone close to us even remotely trying to preach to the kids. (Luckily, so we don't have to deal with stopping them from that.)
They are also in private school/daycare who are, by our countrys law, not allowed to preach or teach any religion as the truth. They have to tell the kids equally about all the religions.
This is pretty new though, back when I was in school they preached to us about christianity. The only choise we had was having the other class instead of religion classes, called something like "ethics class" where they thought us about morals, ethics, atheism, humanism, and some about all the religions neutrally. I had that class of course.

Anyway, long ramble. Glad to have found the tribe! Re. to sneezing and "bless you" I don't say it, but there's a different word in the language of this country, derived from latin, which means "may it be of good to you".

-pixie, my dear, and (A-88), N-98, Littlest-06/00-08/00, J-03 & Little Miss Cotton Ball Button-03 (SN), S-05, Hope-loss 09/09, Bean-loss 04/10, and littlePopcorn due feb. 8th -11.
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#315 of 699 Old 05-19-2009, 05:22 PM
 
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Right, but what I'm saying, is that I want him to be tolerant of others opinions. Sure, he doesn't have to believe what they do, but I do want him to respect them, and understand they have the right to believe that.

That's what I'm getting at, does that make it clearer?
I think I understand. What I'm saying is I don't want DD to be tolerant of ideas that are bad ideas, nor to respect beliefs that are completely ridiculous. I think we can tolerate people w/o tolerating their opinions.

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index...ge=smoker_26_6
http://atheism.about.com/od/aboutrel...ctReligion.htm

I'm a bit of a hardliner on the issue. For me it's like breastfeeding. I respect people who choose to formula feed (not talking about people who do it for extenuating circumstances). But I still think it's a really stupid/bad decision with no evidence to support it. That doesn't make the people bad or stupid of course. And that's what I'm getting at. I'll teach DD that we need to be tolerant of people but that doesn't mean we have to respect their ideas about the world.
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#316 of 699 Old 05-19-2009, 10:39 PM
 
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I think I understand. What I'm saying is I don't want DD to be tolerant of ideas that are bad ideas, nor to respect beliefs that are completely ridiculous. I think we can tolerate people w/o tolerating their opinions.

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index...ge=smoker_26_6
http://atheism.about.com/od/aboutrel...ctReligion.htm

I'm a bit of a hardliner on the issue. For me it's like breastfeeding. I respect people who choose to formula feed (not talking about people who do it for extenuating circumstances). But I still think it's a really stupid/bad decision with no evidence to support it. That doesn't make the people bad or stupid of course. And that's what I'm getting at. I'll teach DD that we need to be tolerant of people but that doesn't mean we have to respect their ideas about the world.
I totally think we're on the same page, we're just wording it differently!
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#317 of 699 Old 05-19-2009, 11:05 PM
 
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I totally think we're on the same page, we're just wording it differently!
Well then, I guess I'll step down from my soap box and join you sane folks.
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#318 of 699 Old 05-19-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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I think I understand. What I'm saying is I don't want DD to be tolerant of ideas that are bad ideas, nor to respect beliefs that are completely ridiculous. I think we can tolerate people w/o tolerating their opinions.

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index...ge=smoker_26_6
http://atheism.about.com/od/aboutrel...ctReligion.htm

I'm a bit of a hardliner on the issue. For me it's like breastfeeding. I respect people who choose to formula feed (not talking about people who do it for extenuating circumstances). But I still think it's a really stupid/bad decision with no evidence to support it. That doesn't make the people bad or stupid of course. And that's what I'm getting at. I'll teach DD that we need to be tolerant of people but that doesn't mean we have to respect their ideas about the world.
I think like you do about breastfeeding and about religion, but I think it's hard for kids to differentiate between attitudes towards people and attitudes towards their beliefs. I think kids tend to be very literal and lack the experience of being in someone else's shoes. I plan on explaining what we think to ds, but I will be careful to avoid "ridicule" of any ideas so that he doesn't then ridicule when he's talking to someone who believes that. Obviously it all depends on age...
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#319 of 699 Old 05-20-2009, 12:43 AM
 
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Anyone run into issues with family members not respecting your choice to let your child be religion or god-free?
: I'm all alone amongst my family and my in-laws, who are all fundamental christians of the it's-my-duty-to-proselytize sort... sadly this includes dh too. I don't know how to deal with it. My family knows how I think and it's usually not an issue, but for dh's sake, it's hush-hush among the in-laws. There's so much propaganda they send our way (for instance, disguised as presents for dd), the constant inclusion of Jesus/God in every conversation ("well, praise the lord!"), and of course the never-ending self-righteous judgment that must be stated about any and every topic (like when I was talking with a friend about what sign she was, my mil butted in to say "oh, we can't talk about that! Astrology is the work of satan!" ). But enough of my rant... I'd love to hear some ideas for how to deal with this before my dd (15mo) gets much older.
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#320 of 699 Old 05-20-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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So, I've seen mention of the concept that "I'm atheist but I'm not teaching it to my kids' and I don't follow it.

I'm atheist because there's no god. Why wouldn't I teach my kids accordingly? I'm not agnostic...although I can see parents who are agnostic would teach their kids maybe there is or maybe there isn't. But why is it perceived as wrong to teach my kids there is no god but it's not wrong to teach them there is?

Am I making sense? I might post a s/o thread but I could see it disintegrating over in RS, iykwim lol
ITA.

My current "issue" with DD however is I raised her Christian. She's 5 now, but i really pounded it into her head via christian (preschool) homeschool, daily children bible readings, constantly praying, playing christian music, veggie tales, etc. etc...she totally believes. So i do tell her I don't believe - but I also tell her it's okay if she wants to believe right now. I really don't want to take that away from her - especially since I got divorced a year ago and am currently re-married with a baby due in july - that's A LOT of changes for a little girl, yanno?

But dh and I just tell her the truth in a gentle way any time she asks. I know that when she's older she'll be more ready for it. I do NOT plan on teaching my kids this or that may be right - i too am an *atheist*. I don't waver on my disbelief. I don't think everyone is right. I do plan on telling my kids that many different people from all over believe different things - and giving them somewhat of a religious knowledge - but not in a reverent way. Just so they know. Because it IS out there...they'll hear it from someone, might as well be me, dh or xh so we can debunk it before they start to get carried away

Nothing is wrong with telling your kid there is no god. There ISN'T. People will think that's horrible and cruel...mostly because they think you're damning your kid (and yourself) to hell (hahahahahahaha) but eh, whatever. We can't change silly people. I say it's much more cruel terrifying your child with demons and whatnot. Blech.

On another note i can't wait until i get some money! I really want that raising freethinkers book - and parenting beyond belief! Has anyone read them? opinions?
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#321 of 699 Old 05-20-2009, 01:07 PM
 
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You sound like me...I'm just atheist, and in addition I don't come from any kind of religious background. I feel that a lot of these "religion replacement" traditions (like Sunday school) are because people grew up with religion and are not sure how to replace the social void when they're no longer part of that community. DH's family is pretty atheist, but they go to a UU fellowship and I don't think there's any "fruitiness" involved...they have speakers on various subjects and fun get togethers. Although, I remember when ds was born they wanted to do some naming ceremony with him, and I thought that it was giving it "spiritual meaning" that I personally didn't feel I needed, so we didn't do it.
Yeah - they had a dedication ceremony, it might be different than the naming one - but they did talk about the girls name. It was more for the church - dedicating themselves to help raise the girl, but yeah, pretty spiritual...the girl (5?) was totally embarrassed, kinda cute though, lol. I wouldn't do it with my baby...

It's definitely to fill the social void. Funny thing is, i never really felt "connected" when i attended my (christian) church. It's just being *part* of a group, i suppose. And i'm just plain lonely. Hell, i'd be happy just having a couple families come over for a potluck or bbq at a park once a month or so! I just want to make connections - just not deal with the quasi-religious liberal BS in the process though
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#322 of 699 Old 05-20-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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I guess I disagree with this philosophy. I don't want my daughter to be tolerant of religious delusions, even though I do want her to be tolerant of the people who hold them. I think the evidence, and rational thinking lead to the conclusion that there is no god and I want her to know that's what I think.
Okay, i guess i should figure out how to do that "multi quote" thing...i hope my multiple postings aren't irritating anyone too much, lol. Sorry!

I *so* agree with this. I feel like UU is too tolerant of religious delusions - therefore making it out of my comfort zone. We should certainly teach our kids to be respectful of people. I don't want to my kids going up to strangers preaching the anti-gospel or teasing them or anything, but at the same time, i want my kids to be full aware that these people are, quite frankly, totally ridiculous in their beliefs.
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#323 of 699 Old 05-20-2009, 06:24 PM
 
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(..) I also think it's important to teach children *about* other beliefs/religions. If I had been taught the truth about my former religion before I got proselytized I would have known better, kwim?
Yeah, totally.

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I guess I disagree with this philosophy. I don't want my daughter to be tolerant of religious delusions, even though I do want her to be tolerant of the people who hold them. I think the evidence, and rational thinking lead to the conclusion that there is no god and I want her to know that's what I think.
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(..) I *so* agree with this. I feel like UU is too tolerant of religious delusions - therefore making it out of my comfort zone. We should certainly teach our kids to be respectful of people. I don't want to my kids going up to strangers preaching the anti-gospel or teasing them or anything, but at the same time, i want my kids to be full aware that these people are, quite frankly, totally ridiculous in their beliefs.
Yes, indeed, I agree.

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#324 of 699 Old 05-21-2009, 04:46 PM
 
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I'm totally frustrated right now!

This isn't really atheist related, so i'm not sure if it's okay to post it here - but we CAN talk about life in general, right? Hope so...lol! ANYWAY!

So, my mom just called me. My brother and I live in Eugene (not together, just in the same town) and she lives an hour away from us. He's 21, total party guy (drinking, drugs, etc), irresponsible, etc. I do love him - but disagree with a lot of aspects of his life (did i mention he's CHRISTIAN? great example, right?). Anyway, his car just got stolen last night for the second time in a year.

This isn't his fault - eugene has very high rates of car theft, especially for hondas. His doors were probably locked...

Anyway, my mom just called me to ask if she could tell the cops/insurance agents that she was letting DH and I borrow the car when it was stolen. The car is in her name. Apparently, my brother has a DUI and insurance will go sky high (as in a couple hundred more than it currently is) if they know HE was driving the car.

I would possibly say no problem, except my DH is 2 hours away on a business trip and I don't have a license (yeah, i'm 25 and don't drive...). I don't think it's okay to lie to the cops if questioned, telling them yes, DH was driving the car and we were at my brothers (in the middle of the night? wtf?) when it was stolen. This especially seems wrong because DH wasn't even anywhere NEAR eugene...so it's a totally obviously lie that could easily be disproven! I doubt he'd be comfortable with this.

My parents have helped us out. Probably about $700 towards the wedding, plus they let us use their van when our car broke down. My mom told me i wouldn't even need to TELL DH! WTH? I told her i am not comfortable lying to my husband and also not comfortable giving her permission to say he was driving the car - therefore making it highly likely that he'd have to lie to cops/insurance people, especially without talking to him first.

She started saying family should do anything for each other and she'd do anything for her kids and blah blah blah. I'm irritated she's trying to guilt me into this. I'm not doing it - but i feel like she's going to use it against me later and not help us out if we truly need it.

Ugh. I just needed to vent. This is totally not cool IMO. I don't know if she thought because we're atheist (and therefore have no morals???) that we'd be okay with lying? I have morals, and think this is totally unethical and immoral. Gah. Opinions? Advice?
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#325 of 699 Old 05-21-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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Well, personally I wouldn't. I would find it to be unethical. Insurance fraud isn't something I'd be comfortable undertaking.

And no, I don't think it's OK to ask someone to commit insurance fraud because they are family.
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#326 of 699 Old 05-21-2009, 05:17 PM
 
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I certainly wouldn't do it.
I would never commit insurance fraud, not for family either, that's bull saying family should do anything for eachother. Not anything, not commiting crimes or lying.

-pixie, my dear, and (A-88), N-98, Littlest-06/00-08/00, J-03 & Little Miss Cotton Ball Button-03 (SN), S-05, Hope-loss 09/09, Bean-loss 04/10, and littlePopcorn due feb. 8th -11.
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#327 of 699 Old 05-21-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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Completely inappropriate and out of line for a parent to ask their child to break the law. She is the one who should be protecting you not asking you to jeapordize your own family. Don't do it. She is out of line not you.
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#328 of 699 Old 05-21-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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Thanks for the replies! Insurance fraud...i guess i should've thought of THOSE words and mentioned them to her! That might've done the trick.

Thankfully, the car was found, undamaged. She called to let me know, and didn't mention our previous convo at all, so i'm just going to let it slide.

Thanks for letting me vent!
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#329 of 699 Old 05-21-2009, 08:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beansmama View Post
Thanks for the replies! Insurance fraud...i guess i should've thought of THOSE words and mentioned them to her! That might've done the trick.

Thankfully, the car was found, undamaged. She called to let me know, and didn't mention our previous convo at all, so i'm just going to let it slide.

Thanks for letting me vent!
I'm glad you found the car, but man, what a crappy situation to be put in.


In regard to our discussion about teaching our kids about the ridiculousness that can be organized religion- how do you teach them, in a gentle way without coming across as militant as those who are fundamentalist in their religious beliefs. I suppose that's my greatest fear- I don't want DS to think he can't question me, because I think questioning is the biggest part of figuring out what's a load of crap and what isn't.

So far, we're hopeful to keep any propaganda out of his life, and explain things as they come up, but I really do want him to feel free to make his own choices. I'll definitely engage him in how I feel about things, and explain them to him, but I don't want him to feel like I did with regard to religion growing up. I was petrified that if I didn't believe as my parents did, they wouldn't love me. And, partially, that was true, but I shudder to think that even on the opposite side of the religion spectrum, that I may cause those feelings if I come across too militant or strong or even make him believe what I believe.

Does that make sense? I suppose a lot of this will have to do with how we deal with questions and how our family life is, but I don't want to take his right to make those decisions for his self. I believe that 'spirituality' is just as much a personal decision as who you vote for, and I don't think anyone should tell you what you should or shouldn't do.

That doesn't sound too wishy washy does it?
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#330 of 699 Old 05-21-2009, 08:56 PM
 
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As far as teaching children I see no need to "teach" atheism as I find it difficult to teach non-belief. My parenting plan in regards to religion spirituality is -
1) Get them excited about science. We all have a need for awe and wonder in our lives. Teach them about biology, evolution, ecosystems and astronomy. Teach them to wonder at their small place in the universe.

2) Teach them the history and mythology of our species. The great hero stories of Greece and India. Teach them these stories along side biblical ones. Put them in their context. Show genesis along with other creation myths. Show Jesus with Horus, Mithras, and Krishna. They will live in a religious world and I do not want them being ignorant of that.

3) Teach them to question authority, and yes this includes me. This is a big one. It is difficult to buy into religion when you have been taught to question. Most religions do not welcome true questioning. One is expected to believe and have faith. If you are accustomed to questioning everything, it is difficult to 'fall in line' in order to have religion.

4) Be honest about my thoughts on god and how I arrived at them. Answer their questions as they come up. I will not preach atheism, but I won't hide it and I will answer questions fully.

5) Be prepared for the big questions. They will ask them. If you don't provide the answers someone else will.

I really recommend "parenting beyond belief". It is an excellent compilations of essays and stories for athiest/agnostic parents.
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