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An atheist parent

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posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:04 PM
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After a long time of searching & questioning, I would have to say that my husband and I consider ourselves agnostic....leaning towards atheism.

We are both 100% comfortable with this, and do not feel the need to 'hide' it from people. But at the same time, we don't go out shoving it in everyone else's face.

Our kids are 4 1/2 & 5 1/2 years old now & after a short stint in a Christian preschool......the quesions have been coming! For now, we have been answering the "Who is Jesus" type questions with a "Some people believe that......" type of response. But, I feel I should be doing more. Part of me feels 'wrong' to tell them that Christianity is all a ruse, but part of me feels 'wrong' for telling them about Jesus as if it were fact.

I also struggle with this beacuse as they get older, I want to be able to give them something to turn to when there is nothing else. Do you think drawing would be a good way to have them work through problems? And when they get older, they could journal?

It's very confusing living in a predominantly Christian area of the country, and having grown up Catholic...I really just don't know how to answer these questions from my kids. What about around Christmas time they start asking more questions...I don't know whether to ignore the questions, address them with what I believe is the 'truth' or teach them a little bit of Christianity even though we don't believe in it at all.

What do you do? What would you do?




posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:17 PM
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reply to post by cassp83
 


Dear cassp83,

As you asked the question I feel free to give my answer. Tell them what you believe. By the way I am a Christian. I would never recommend to anyone that they lie to their children. I let my children be exposed to the various beliefs. If you don't believe in a God tell them that and allow them to decide for themselves. Say what you believe, not as fact; but as what you believe. That is my thought, don't know if it helps, hope you find your answer. Be well.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:26 PM
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i was once brainwashed by christian fundamentalism, and as a result i harbour great distrust of anything religious

i would (and do) tell my son, that other believe *insert crazy dogma for sky wizards of choice here* . i dont tell him if its real or not. i tell him histroically its relevance and about the dogma attached to it. i am lucky to know alot about many many different spiritual paths. its ALL mythology until crazy sky wizards come to earth and smite me.

he will make his own mind up.

but i will not allow the insertion of christian mind control techniques on him. the exploitation of weak and isolated teens, or the playing on emotions and feelings of angst that he will have.
i know how its done now and will not let it happen to him.

recently the "school chaplaincy program" offered nintendo wii afternoons to our kids in thier lunch break. i am trying to find out what the program is about to decide if my son can be involved. i dont want them using WII to talk about jesus crap.

good luck with it all.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:29 PM
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reply to post by cassp83
 



Wow, That is a very important question.

Let me ask you this.

In the very worst moment of your life...Would you pray ?



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:34 PM
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I take the position that knowledge is never wasted.

For them to have knowledge of Jesus and Christianity in an area that is heavily religious - - is actually a good thing.

I would gently explain to them - - there are many different beliefs in the world (not all religious).

I would use the Earth beliefs to explain Christmas and Easter (solstice) - - - fertility and food basically.

Its kind of like teaching them to accept other races and cultures.

TACT and MANNERS. Teach them to smile and nod their heads if others get pushy about a belief.

Basic rule is: AGE OF UNDERSTANDING. Once they understand there are differences between people - - you can begin to explain how you feel.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 07:41 PM
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With all due respect, Catholicism is from Satan himself. So in that I would see why you would end up questioning, but I can assure you while Christianity for the most part has been infiltrated, it is real. What the problem became, was people not reading the word of God and following what man had so say instead, thus falling for deception. Also, many people grow up in families that followed in lies themselves, thus when reaching a certain age, came to the conclusion that God isn't real, due to certain things happening. Do not let this make you think that there isn't a God. As for your kids, before you give them what you THINK to be right, you better make sure what YOU think to be right IS right (because if you lead then in the wrong path, their blood is on your head). As for that other guy above me, he is no true Christian (AQuestion), if he accepts letting others believe that there is no God, then that shows his obvious lack of love/faith towards Him. You see, it's the hypocrites that get others to question, because they follow contrary to what God has taught us. What I can say to you and your family, is to seek God with all your heart, and He shall be revealed unto you. I can say this, because although I was not seeking God, He sought me out Himself and for that I am very grateful. Human logic is flawed, thus we need Truth (Jesus) to finally KNOW truth.

edit on 13-6-2011 by scmoG because: explanation



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by scmoG
With all due respect, Catholicism is from Satan himself. So in that I would see why you would end up questioning, but I can assure you while Christianity for the most part has been infiltrated, it is real.


NO Its not.

Excuse me - - but exactly who is shoving their beliefs down your throat on this thread?

The OP has already made up her mind and is asking for suggestions.

She doesn't need preaching.
edit on 13-6-2011 by Annee because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 09:47 PM
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I told my son what I believe, which is that no one knows "for sure" exactly what it is that runs this universe. People all have different beliefs and feelings about what might be or not, and I let him make up his own mind as he grew up. He turned out good. Tolerant of other's beliefs, and curious.


I grew up with a total atheist for a father, and my mom was open minded, and sort of spiritually scientific (scientifically spiritual?)



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:01 PM
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but part of me feels 'wrong' for telling them about Jesus as if it were fact.



you should'nt lie to your children


Jesus is most assuredly a fact (used to scoff at the idea of God anything), and if at all interested in humanities future much less your own childrens and Nation they live in you will not lie to them or anyone elses for that matter, specially in regards to this eternal subject, everyones future has everything to do with it

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. -Proverbs22

For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. -
Isaiah 60

And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. -Matthew24


The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD was a decisive event in the First Jewish-Roman War. It was followed by the fall of Masada in 73. en.wikipedia.org...(70)




edit on 13-6-2011 by Rustami because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:03 PM
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Originally posted by snowspirit
I told my son what I believe, which is that no one knows "for sure" exactly what it is that runs this universe. People all have different beliefs and feelings about what might be or not, and I let him make up his own mind as he grew up. He turned out good. Tolerant of other's beliefs, and curious.



Yes - absolutely!

You can not force a belief on anyone - - especially a child. You have to let them explore and go through the process just as we have.

I raised mine with positive thought and integrity. There are positive thought books and cards - - some might work for you.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:10 PM
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Originally posted by whyamIhere
reply to post by cassp83
 



Wow, That is a very important question.

Let me ask you this.

In the very worst moment of your life...Would you pray ?



YES! But I think it is more of habit. And, I don't really pray about anything seriously. I might say "Dear God, please don't let me run out of gas", but if I had an ailing family member, I have not prayed.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:11 PM
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Originally posted by Annee
I take the position that knowledge is never wasted.

For them to have knowledge of Jesus and Christianity in an area that is heavily religious - - is actually a good thing.

I would gently explain to them - - there are many different beliefs in the world (not all religious).

I would use the Earth beliefs to explain Christmas and Easter (solstice) - - - fertility and food basically.

Its kind of like teaching them to accept other races and cultures.

TACT and MANNERS. Teach them to smile and nod their heads if others get pushy about a belief.

Basic rule is: AGE OF UNDERSTANDING. Once they understand there are differences between people - - you can begin to explain how you feel.


I love this. You have put into words, what I previously could not. This will definitely open up some new conversations in this household. Thank you!



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:34 PM
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As atheist/agnostic parents we've made it a point NOT to lie to our children. I see many christian parents admonishing their children NOT to lie, but then contradictorily advise them to be on their best behavior else Santa might not pay a visit.

While I'm no fan of any religion at all, when our children ask questions that most religious parents would answer ascribing the triumph to some deity, we offer several answers. Such as....."Where did frogs come from"?
We'll answer "Some people say an invisible man in the sky made them out of dirt"......then...."Science says that they gradually came into being over millions of years due to environmental factors and natural selection"....they ask...."Which one is right?"....we answer...."Well....science has provided us with electricity, lights, food, vehicles, computers, television, medicine, clothes....so we believe what has worked for us in the past"
Christians in this community are tolerant of a lot of things. Atheists are not one of them. If you want to see people completely flip their attitude towards you AND your family, let slip the fact that you don't believe in any god. More importantly, that you don't believe in THEIR god. I protect my (lack of) religious beliefs as I would access to viewing me in my tighty-whities. You WON'T like it, and it's none of your business ANYWAY.
To avoid conflict, I answer "I never discuss religion or politics at all, I consider it a private matter and it offends me somewhat when I'm asked about it" whenever I'm asked about it....and usually that's good enough for anyone.
You can absolutely tell them the truth about Christmas....look up it's origins and you'll see it's not as christian as people think. The same goes for easter.
The truth will never lead you wrong. Just make sure you have the truth before you spill it. Simple answers will suffice. Kids can accept that, and they will.
I can't tell you how to raise your kids, but mine are doing well without religion. They are ages 8 and 6, and have exemplary records in school. Your kids will appreciate being told the truth. While you may not have the entire truth, you do have the ability to distinguish between what you KNOW is BS and truth, and can winnow that out.
They're counting on you. Good luck.
edit on 13-6-2011 by sykickvision because: lost my train of......uh.....ummm............



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:53 PM
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Kids need to live in their environment. I don't believe they need to be political or contrary at young ages.

Parents should not use their children to push any belief. At young ages I would try to have interesting discussions about all kinds of subjects - - including religion amongst them.

As they get older you can become more specific on your own belief.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:06 PM
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Originally posted by Annee
Kids need to live in their environment. I don't believe they need to be political or contrary at young ages.

Parents should not use their children to push any belief. At young ages I would try to have interesting discussions about all kinds of subjects - - including religion amongst them.

As they get older you can become more specific on your own belief.



Dear Annee,

I think your answer is much better than mine and is actually closer to how I raised my children, the Socratic method. Wait till they are old enough to give your opinion on some things. Drat, I wish I had explained it the way you did. Be well.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:13 PM
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Children will all find their own outlets as they age.

I wouldn't worry too much about providing them yourselves.

As far as answering questions give them your view and then tell them if they want to know more they can attent religious services or something.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:20 PM
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Originally posted by AQuestion
Dear Annee,

I think your answer is much better than mine and is actually closer to how I raised my children, the Socratic method. Wait till they are old enough to give your opinion on some things. Drat, I wish I had explained it the way you did. Be well.


Thanks. I'm kind of on my third generation.

Raised 2 girls as a single mom. Helped raise my now 17 year old grandson. Am now helping raise my 3 year old grandson and 11 year old granddaughter.

Integrity and personal responsibility are my 2 constants. I don't believe in living in a box dictated by society.

I say: "raise a child from the inside out" - - let them be who they are - - encourage their strengths - strengthen their weaknesses. The only person anyone ever really has to live with is themself.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:02 AM
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reply to post by cassp83
 




In my opinion, your kids should be introduced to Jesus and prayer.

They should have the option and knowledge of how to pray.

I was Agnostic for thirty years. I tried to prove there was not a God.

After studying all the texts I could possibly read. I found Jesus.

To be perfectly honest though, nobody knows for sure.

I hope you continue a search for the truth. I appreciate your candor.

I would just caution you, just be careful what words you use about God.

Because right now, I could cut my tongue off for some of the "Stupid" things I said.

I hope your kids at least know the fallback of prayer. For some people,

It completes them. Interesting post. Best of luck for your whole family.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:12 AM
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Originally posted by whyamIhere
reply to post by cassp83
 




In my opinion, your kids should be introduced to Jesus and prayer.

They should have the option and knowledge of how to pray.

I was Agnostic for thirty years. I tried to prove there was not a God.

After studying all the texts I could possibly read. I found Jesus.

To be perfectly honest though, nobody knows for sure.

I hope you continue a search for the truth. I appreciate your candor.

I would just caution you, just be careful what words you use about God.

Because right now, I could cut my tongue off for some of the "Stupid" things I said.

I hope your kids at least know the fallback of prayer. For some people,

It completes them. Interesting post. Best of luck for your whole family.


Dear whyamIhere,

We are supposed to forgive everyone, even ourselves. That is the hardest part. Being a believer means we have to forgive ourselves and others, not just others. Speak your truth as you know it, not as you should have known it. Remember that at one time you saw through a glass dimly. I wish you well on your journey and seek to give support not correction to you. Please take it in that manner. Be well and I hope this is not considered off topic, if it is then I shall send you a U2U saying the same thing and also respond on this thread in a way that is on topic and still gives this answer.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:42 AM
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Originally posted by whyamIhere
I hope your kids at least know the fallback of prayer. For some people,


There are many techniques that can be used - - without resorting to methods of God believers. Personally I find it annoying and invasive to be asked if I prayed. Even when it is meant well.

There is positive affirmations. Which can be adjusted to how you believe. Some people believe that energy transfers thought. But they can also be made as personal goals.

To remove negative thoughts - - I had my kids tie a note to a helium balloon and let it fly away. Later done with envisioning the balloon.

And then there is gardening. Working with a living thing - - nurturing it - - learning the science of what different living things require to be their healthiest. Its a good and peaceful way to think through things and help yourself by your own mind.



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