My wife wants to send the kids to Church and I don't, any advice?

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My wife wants to send the kids to Church and I don't, any advice?

Quote:

What is the best way to tell my wife, that I don’t want my children to go to church?


It has yet to come up, but just incase. They are 1 and 3 now. I have never really bought into religion growing up in the Carolinas. I was one of the lucky ones. Lol. My best friend from childhood was not so lucky. I have watched friends, family, and loved ones, terrorize there children with this absolute absurd belief.

As a child I was not fully aware there was even a choice not to believe. I know better now. My wife is what I like to call a recovering Christian. Although she still says she believes. This from a woman who had told a friend she was not Christian, but catholic. Lmao. Hey did not say she was smart.


How should I go about this?


Thank you, (name protected)

 

You could always just refute everything the Church says. You are within your parental rights to do so, and after a few refutations your wife may think twice about suggesting Church.

Compare belief in Jesus to belief in Superman and Spiderman to make it easy on their young and budding minds. Keep examples simple enough that a 2 year old could understand them. Eye-wink

You should also teach your kids about tolerating those who hold such beliefs, it'll be imperative to their normal functioning in this fucked up society during adolescence.

I wish you the best,

Brian Sapient

 

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Hambydammit
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First, I'm going to ask

First, I'm going to ask your forgiveness in advance, because what I'm going to say will probably piss you off. I'm asking forgiveness in advance because I truly want to help, and I don't want you to think I'm just busting your balls.

Having properly lubed, here goes. This is exactly why it pisses me off that people go off half cocked having kids before they've figured out the really, really important questions that could literally make or break their marriage! More than a few marriages have ended because one spouse was more religious than the other. This is the kind of thing that can lead to years of bitterness and resentfulness.

How much of a win is it for you if the kids don't go to church, and your wife is bitter and resentful about you forcing your will on her? How much of a win is it for your wife if she goes to church with the kids, and you contradict everything the church says?

I'm not saying it's a no-win situation, but by popping out the kids before asking the questions, you've made it a lot harder than it could have been.

Look, it's probably not going to be a pretty situation, regardless of how you slice it, but the first thing you need to do is go on a factual offensive, before the question comes up. Religious indoctrination happens young, and theism is dangerous to young minds. There are hundreds of pages of resources here that explain this fact in great scientific detail. I'd suggest that you become very familiar with them, and make sure that your wife understands very clearly just how much potential harm she can do to her children by sending them to church before they've learned how to think critically.

The second thing you can do is prepare your children now. Start mentioning god in the same sentence as Santa and The Tooth Fairy. Better yet, tell your children NOW that Santa and The Tooth Fairy are fairy tales, kind of like a game, and that they get to pretend that Santa is bringing them presents. Don't give your children the impression that some silly ideas are true now, and then expect them to figure out that god is not.

Start right now teaching your children how to think. Give them simple logical problems to work out. If X isn't so, then Y cannot be so. If X is true, then Y must be true. Do it daily.

Remember, well over 90% of people who adhere to a religion in the U.S. adhere to the religion they were raised in. It may be a tough fight with your wife, and it may end poorly, but you brought two young minds into the world, and you're responsible for making sure they're prepared. If you know that religion is wrong, you are responsible for your own inaction if you decide to let them go and they become Christians.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hamby,  I could not agree

Hamby,

 I could not agree with you more.  Well said.  I don't care how good the sex is, if you are not going to be compatable in the long run it isn't worth continuing for the long run (i.e. kids).  And the only way to figure out compatability is through asking questions.

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Thank you, Rook.  I had to

Thank you, Rook.  I had to drink a beer after writing that.  I get very mad when children suffer for the mistakes of adults.  I've seen so many kids end up in the middle of marital war zones, I can't keep my mouth shut anymore when I see a way to possibly prevent it.

Oh, and a note to all non-parents:  Seriously, people.  There are six billion people on the damn planet.  If you can't agree with the one you're fucking, you can get another!  Wait on the baby-making until you find someone who agrees with you on the important questions... PLEASE?  Trust me, nobody's going to get mad at you for not adding another baby to the planet for another few years.

 

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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http://www.rationalresponder

LINK TO ARTICLE

to the OP: read this post I made on child indoctrination. I agree with everything Hamby said. Taking children that young(any age actually) is asking for later resentment and deluded minds. they will believe ANTHING at that age,and it will stay.

Sorry to be rude, but shouldn't you have thought of this before you got involved with a theist? Even a recovering one(who goes to church?) Don't make your kids pay like this.

[MOD EDIT: replaced link text.  On the new board, the link was not functioning.  -HD]

Psalm 14:1 "the fool hath said in his heart there is a God"-From a 1763 misprinted edition of the bible

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This is getting redudnant. My patience with the unteachable[atheists] is limited.

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Since you are the man of the

Since you are the man of the family, shouldn`t a good christian woman follow your orders and do what you say? Smiling

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  Tell her Jesus hated the

  Remind her that Jesus scorned the church religion B.S.

so they killed him and his message

and are still doing it.


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Whoa, y'all. First, ease

Whoa, y'all.

 

First, ease off on the OP for marrying a theist. Unless any of you are married with kids, I'd say you're less than qualified to diagnose his marriage based on the limited information he provided.

 

I've been married to a theist for almost 8 years, and she takes our kids (ages 3 and 18 months) to church pretty much weekly. I'm not worried at all. As we all know, it's so easy to poke holes in everything they'll learn there. I just plan to be a constant voice of skepticism.

 

Now, my wife isn't a strong theist by any means. So they're not going to be going off the fundy deep end or anything. I say let the kids go to church, and just take them aside once in a while and ask them questions about what they're learning. Then, point out the flaws.

 

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

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geirj wrote:Whoa,

geirj wrote:

Whoa, y'all.

 

First, ease off on the OP for marrying a theist. Unless any of you are married with kids, I'd say you're less than qualified to diagnose his marriage based on the limited information he provided.

 

I've been married to a theist for almost 8 years, and she takes our kids (ages 3 and 18 months) to church pretty much weekly. I'm not worried at all. As we all know, it's so easy to poke holes in everything they'll learn there. I just plan to be a constant voice of skepticism.

 

Now, my wife isn't a strong theist by any means. So they're not going to be going off the fundy deep end or anything. I say let the kids go to church, and just take them aside once in a while and ask them questions about what they're learning. Then, point out the flaws.

 

I'm speaking as an adult who was terrorized  by religion as a child.  Even if my parents hadn't been religious, they had no control over what I heard in Sunday School, church and the fundamentalist Christian school I attended.  Would you really let your impressionable children be exposed to the doctrines of original sin and hell?  Not all Christians believe the same thing.  What the pastor says in church may not be what the Sunday School teacher says when he / she is alone with the kids.  And kids are not always forthcoming when it comes to talking about something that scared them.  I know I wasn't.  Personally, I wouldn't let kids out of my sight near a church and I sure as hell would not take them to a church on purpose.

Plus, sexual predators hang out at churches because they know the kids are taught to do what adults say--without question.  I know of many sexual predators that used the churches and schools I attended as their own personal preying grounds.  One of them asked my mother if I could go with him into the church to help him find his bible.  After several incidents and a trial that took approximately 1/8th of my life, the church took the side of the predator and the court let the guy cop a plea.  Then there was the pastor / teacher who molested little boys until he was caught.  One of the boys committed suicide.

(My community was very small.  Nearly everyone knew everyone else.  There were about 80 to 100 students in the school - K through 12.)

This sort of thing is not limited to the Catholic Church.  I don't have statistics, but I bet it is just as rampant in Protestant churches.  The only reason we know about the Catholic problem is because they are organized.

Religion is poison and allowing it near impressionable children is unconscionable.  That opinion is not very popular in society at large, but it is one I hold very strongly.

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geirj wrote: Now, my

geirj wrote:

 

 

 

 I say let the kids go to church, and just take them aside once in a while and ask them questions about what they're learning. Then, point out the flaws.

 

How confusing for the kids.

  It must be like being a soldier on the battlefield and having one commanding officer order you to advance while another commanding officer orders you to retreat

Who the f**k are you supposed to believe ?

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Hambydammit
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Quote:First, ease off on the

Quote:
First, ease off on the OP for marrying a theist. Unless any of you are married with kids, I'd say you're less than qualified to diagnose his marriage based on the limited information he provided.

Geirj, I want you to take this in the nicest possible way because you're a very valuable poster here, and I respect where you're coming from pretty much all the time.  Having said that, I really, really hate this argument tactic.  This is slightly less insulting than when a theist says, "You can't talk about my theism because you don't believe it, so there's no possible way for you to understand it,"  but only slightly less insulting.

The reason science is better than theism is because you don't have to be a bird to understand bird behavior.  You just have to trust the evidence and the scientific method.  While it's true that a person who isn't married to a theist can't claim to have felt the emotions in such an arrangement first hand, and a childless person can't claim to have experienced the complex emotions inherent in parenthood, it's damned insulting to suggest that they can't understand the emotions and complexities.  Any competent scientist with an accurate understanding of human psychology can understand parenthood in the same way he understands, say, the dynamics involved in drug addiction.  We don't insist that all psychologists spend several years of their life addicted to crack before they can counsel crack addicts.  Why would you insist that a person be a parent before they can speak about parenthood.

I've noticed that most of the time when people resort to this tactic, it's because they don't have anything better to bring to the table.

Quote:
I've been married to a theist for almost 8 years, and she takes our kids (ages 3 and 18 months) to church pretty much weekly. I'm not worried at all. As we all know, it's so easy to poke holes in everything they'll learn there. I just plan to be a constant voice of skepticism.

Since you're not the parent of a teenager who's been raised in a mixed religious/atheist household, I'd say you're less than qualified to diagnose your arrangement.  It's pretty easy to think it's great before the kids are in preschool.

(See.  It's a pretty crappy argument, isn't it?)

Quote:
Now, my wife isn't a strong theist by any means. So they're not going to be going off the fundy deep end or anything. I say let the kids go to church, and just take them aside once in a while and ask them questions about what they're learning. Then, point out the flaws.

We're all entitled to our opinions on this matter.  I'd just like it well understood that this whole "you're not qualified to talk about this" thing is not a legitimate argument, and doesn't contribute any validity to your opinion.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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ProzacDeathWish wrote:geirj

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

geirj wrote:

 

 

 

Now, my wife isn't a strong theist by any means. So they're not going to be going off the fundy deep end or anything. I say let the kids go to church, and just take them aside once in a while and ask them questions about what they're learning. Then, point out the flaws.

 

How confusing for the kids.

  It must be like being a soldier on the battlefield and having one commanding officer order you to advance while another commanding officer orders you to retreat

Who the f**k are you supposed to believe ?

I am just throwing this out there. Not postulating a magic pill here. Just exploring the shades of gray.

Quite often atheist get ticked when we hear that a theist will disown their child if they found out the child admitted that they didn't believe, just as most reading this would be pissed to hear of a parent disowning their kid who says they are gay.

I agree no matter how good the sex is, it doesn't always work out. But now that the deed is done so to speak, the most important thing is that BOTH parents, no matter how they chose to work it out, DONT use the kids as war pawns against each other.

 

 

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Quote:What is the best way

Quote:
What is the best way to tell my wife, that I don’t want my children to go to church?

Just be honest with yourself.  Do you really believe that your children will be terrorized in Sunday school?  As I grew up in a christian family I never had nightmares of burning in hell because I lied to someone.  Most of my problems came from my parents who always felt that I wasn't religious enough.

Think about what really concerns you about sending your children to church.  I have witnessed your situation in the past.  Families are torn apart because of it.  Seriously.   Churches see the non-religious parent as a danger to the child and seek to 'protect' the child from it's influence. 

Once you understand why  YOU have a problem with it, try to articulate your reasons in a way that your wife can understand.  For example, don't go on a rant about how evil the church is; she probably wont listen, and you'll make the situation even worse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Readiness to answer all questions is the infallible sign of stupidity. Saul Bellow, Herzog


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I AM alway half pissed, and

I AM alway half pissed, and so another rant.

Church and kids? A suggestion; Include comparative eastern ideas. A buddhist might say , 

As "Jesus philosophy" tried, teach the children they are 100% "gawed", so they may be spared the energy and time we sadly must still devote to killing forever the destructive Pauline etc god of superstition and separatism. Then at least they will be left with judging "we god" of zero separation, so that they may improve this "god" dimension of now.  

This, all, and we are god, in eternal motion of infinity, where no religion dogma rates a bit of superiority or inferiority .... God dogma is completely off target, as there is no god target. All is One,  just as my body is connected to the earth, air and sun. 

Knowledge of "god" is knowing the ONE as self, and all dogma is hindrance to the ONE knowledge. There is no judgment as all is ONE. Just as there is no beginning and no end. Decisions and Judgment are very different things. ( dang words are nearly worthless ) 

"Jesus" wisdom was a departure from superstition of god separatism, that didn't stick. It wasn't productive for the rulers, etc etc ..... so instead rose Xainity of Paul.

BTW.The first words of the bible starts with the joke,"When god >began< creating" ...   

Jesus vs Paul   http://www.truthseekers.co.za/content/view/77/38/

http://ph.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080312010137AA5f71s

"No sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition than Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus." George Bernard Shaw

Geezzz communication is hard for me. Edit my poor writing accordingly .... for our kids, for gawed sakes !  Dogma is poison ....
-----------------------------------------

I have tried many times to reconcile my disdain for Paul and Xainity. Here I tried again. This is a talented friendly writer, a former atheist, now a Xain, Nancy Scott.

She is obviously so godly unwise, and speaks a wall of confusion and separatism. Dualism is a silly concept. Spirit and Material seem merely words of measurement. A positive requires a negative etc etc. More interesting questions are; Does energy require matter? Does consciousness? Does time ???????????  ((( help ! hey DG )))  

Kelley and Nancy could make an interesting exchange.    

Nancy - "Dueling with Dualism" http://www.mckenziestudycenter.org/philosophy/articles/dualism.html    

Nancy - "Becoming" a Christian  http://www.mckenziestudycenter.org/living/articles/becoming.html

..... Imagine,  no religion,  - Lyrics  http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/john_lennon/imagine.html  

If we continue down the road we are on ..... well, Imagine ..... 

 


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The original correspondent

The original correspondent wrote:

What is the best way to tell my wife, that I don’t want my children to go to church?


It has yet to come up, but just incase. They are 1 and 3 now. I have never really bought into religion growing up in the Carolinas. I was one of the lucky ones. Lol. My best friend from childhood was not so lucky. I have watched friends, family, and loved ones, terrorize there children with this absolute absurd belief.

As a child I was not fully aware there was even a choice not to believe. I know better now. My wife is what I like to call a recovering Christian. Although she still says she believes. This from a woman who had told a friend she was not Christian, but catholic. Lmao. Hey did not say she was smart.


How should I go about this?


Thank you, (name protected)

 

From your description it does not sound like your wife is fully indoctrinated, at least to the extent the catholic church would normally like to see its members. Nor does it sound like you and your wife have given much time to discussing the issue of religion at all up to now.

 

On that basis I am assuming that your question is being asked before your wife's full committment to sending the children to church has been ascertained by you. You are, in other words, making an assumption based on her affiliation to the church that she will naturally want the children to attend mass etc, and wondering how you can voice your opposition to this.

 

I would suggest therefore taking the exercise in a series of steps. The danger in these situations (and by "situations" I mean handling differences of opinion between couples, not necessarily questions of religion at all) is that one acts on assumptions that are in fact false, thereby opening possibilities of further misunderstanding, needless friction, argument and discord where in fact little or no grounds for these things really existed.

 

Firstly you must find out your wife's rationale. Many people send children to church simply because it's "done". Others (even non-religious people) weigh the social consequences as heavier should they not do so over if they should. Others are on automatic pilot in this regard and need only the gentlest of nudges to wake them up to the implications of their actions. You really need to talk to her first and foremost about how strongly held her opinion is, should she hold one at all. You don't even need to say at this point what your own view is - and especially if in doing so you merely cause her to be more entrenched in hers.

 

What you do next depends very much on what you learnt in the first step. If your wife is open to discussion on the matter then discuss it. Prepare in advance a list of reasons why you feel it will be detrimental to your children's welfare and well-being to risk indoctrination into a mindset that is designed to control the way they think. Make your points as specifically as possible. Don't embark on a quasi-theological debate about the pros and cons of rational thought over superstition. Accentuate instead the real danger of corrupting the (hopefully) evident signs exhibited already by your children in their own inimitable and personal way that they have already begun applying curiosity and rational assessment to understanding the world that both of you have brought them into. Demonstrate and stress their sense of wonderment at discovering things for themselves and their immense satisfaction when they do so. Provide examples to show that your opinion is not based on some atheistic theory but simply on valuing your children, and your encouragement that they should grow up as intelligent, independent people. You get the picture.

 

If, on the other hand, your wife is unwilling (or unable) to discuss the issue, then attempt a compromise. Not because you want them to be "half christian" but because evidence suggests that children with at least one parent grounded in reality have a better than fair chance of growing up to be people for whom rational thought means something. Explain that you are opposed in principle to almost every value your children are being made to forcibly adopt through her action, and that you - as a responsible parent - will do your utmost to correct every misconception and superstition they will receive, or even are likely to receive. Explain that you have no alternative but to do this as to do otherwise would be dishonesty on your part. It is up to her to decide whether her received religious values when acted on would include forcing someone into being dishonest, and if they do then maybe they are values that deserve a little scrutiny. That's her problem, not yours.

 

But in correcting their miseducation do not adopt the extremist approach. Question your children's take on religion as they express it and cause them to question it too. Let them discover the inaccuracy and innate irrationality of religion on their own terms, with nothing more from you by way of guidance than simple statements of fact and observation. Accentuate at all times scientific rationale and the joy of discovery. Do not, in other words, fall into the trap of thinking that indoctrination from one source merits or requires counter-indoctrination from another (you). And above all do not let your wife think that this is your strategy either. There is a real risk if you go down this road that the issue will overshadow all of your relationships within the family (a unit open to enough external stresses without introducing more from within). And I need not remind you of the adolescent's normal reaction to being preached at in any case, should you adopt that role at home in the cause of godlessness! Smiling

 

Play it by ear, never underestimate your children's own individual take on what's happening, take each step as it comes and, above all, keep it real. Good luck.

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


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Hambydammit wrote: Since

Hambydammit wrote:

 

Since you're not the parent of a teenager who's been raised in a mixed religious/atheist household, I'd say you're less than qualified to diagnose your arrangement.  It's pretty easy to think it's great before the kids are in preschool.

(See.  It's a pretty crappy argument, isn't it?)

Eh, nice try but not quite.

I was saying that the OP gave some relatively limited information about his situation, after which you began delivering a dissertation about people going off and having kids without thinking about the consequences. I didn't find your response to the OP particularly constructive.

That said, it's nice to have an argument with a fellow atheist once in a while. Piling it on the theists all the time gets boring. Smiling

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

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Quote:That said, it's nice

Quote:
That said, it's nice to have an argument with a fellow atheist once in a while. Piling it on the theists all the time gets boring. Smiling

I'm an equal opportunity arguer.  Glad to help.

I will have to disappoint you a little, though.  You're the only person yet who doesn't seem to understand why my comments were relevant, so I'm going to avoid a lengthy threadjacking.  Should another question ever come up about the best way to raise a child, and you disagree with me, I'll call you out on the ad-hominem of "You're not a parent, therefore you're wrong."  If I offer an opinion, it is backed with data.  I don't have time for parents who think that personal anecdotes are valid arguments against data.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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i agree with geirji

i skimmed through the comments and it seemed like geirji offered the most objective advice for someone who wants to be a loving husband and father. i certainly do hope that the person (OP) who is faced with this difficult situation will not treat it as a battle he must win. if OP loves and respects his wife then i think he should kindly, calmly, and respectfully communicate to her what he wants to protect their child from. at the same time, simply exposing their child to church does not necessarily mean the child will be traumatized by attending church. in fact i think a calm and rational family bible study and church experience would be the best way to ensure that their child does not take Christianity or any other religion too seriously; and at the same time developes the ability to appreciate the truths one may find in the bible and in christian fellowship (i have no doubt that one could also find these truths in other books and in other cultures both atheistic and theistics). in my opinion, OP should attend church with his wife and child. OP should respect his wife and should be honest with his child. certainly OP should protect his child from danger (that's why he should be sure to attend church with his child), but should also be careful not to over-react. i think daniel dennet offers the best advice concerning the religious education of children and adults. expose them, expose yourself to a whole array of the worlds religions. i have even heard daniel dennet say that he himself continues to go to church from time to time. of course, daniel dennet does not attend church as a believer or a seeker. if one takes a close look at religion, without a distorted over-emotional view of it, then there's a good chance one will respond to it rationally. i think OP should follow geirji's good example and allow this dilemma to be an opportunity for communication and education. it would be a shame if this divided the family rather than strengthened it.

take care,

jp

=)  


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 I'm going to pile in here

 I'm going to pile in here in support of Geirj. Hamby, it is the content of your comments that makes it obvious that you have little experience with marriage or child rearing. People like Geirj and I don't just throw that out there as an ad hominem because we want to discredit you. You should know by now that neither of us want to do that. It's nothing to be embarrassed about: I didn't know shit about marriage until it happened to me and I don't know anyone who did. Note I'm not saying that it is impossible to know anything about marriage and kids without experiencing it, just that it is clear that you don't have the perspective on these matters that would come from experience. I know, I know, you have done a lot of research. Believe me, the most in-depth, long-range, multi-participant study ever invented could never begin to scratch the surface of the complexities Geirj and I deal with every day.

The idea that two people would find out everything they need to know about each other and come to mutual agreement on all important points before getting married is a great one on paper. Unfortunately, it is impossible. There are just too many things to have opinions about in this world for everything to be discussed and agreed upon in advance. There are so many things that it is probably statistically impossible, even with 6 billion people to choose from, that you would ever find someone who does agree on everything. Add to that the human reality that people who are in love want to be together and do not want to enter into terminal disagreements that will destroy the relationship. That has a pretty serious chilling effect on any controversial conversations.

I realize that this is an argument from irrationality, but you show me a rational marriage and I'll show you a marriage doomed to failure. Marriages happen and work because people fall in love with one another and share a determination to be together even when it is impractical, inconvenient and even painful.

Even leaving all that aside, it is not uncommon at all for people's opinions to change over time. Many people go into marriage with no intention of having their kids baptized or attending church, then find they feel completely different once the kids are actually old enough to do these things. Should one party be blamed because the other changes his/her mind?

I don't think it is necessarily true at all that the kids will be all fucked up because the parents disagree on religion. The important thing is that the parents love each other and the kids and that everyone knows that. The other important thing is that no one in the family lets the issue of religion become more important than the love thing. It is also helpful if the parents work together to compromise and make sure the kids cannot use the religion issue as a wedge to play one of them off against the other. It is true that often all this stuff doesn't happen. It is also true that it often does. It is even more true that kids are very resilient and are capable of surviving and thriving even in families where the parents are carrying out low-level war over issues like this.

In the final analysis, there are no perfect circumstances for marriage or child rearing, but, obviously, people have to try anyway. I wouldn't get all pissed off at people for getting into situations that are suboptimal when optimal situations are nothing but a Hollywood fantasy. 

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Again, I'm going to avoid a

Again, I'm going to avoid a long digression by going back to what I've said, as opposed to what has been inferred about it.

1) Raising a child in a mixed religion/atheist home is far less than ideal.  I can show you stats for divorce rates and religious affiliation if you like.  I don't claim that it's always bad.  You both should know me better than that.  Gierj, I hope your system works.  I really do.  Tilberian, I'm glad you're happily married and monogamous.  My acceptance of the statistical facts in no way reduces my compassion for people.

2) "You aren't a parent, therefore you can't answer" is an ad hominem.  I will always treat it as such.

 

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Quote:I'm going to pile in

Quote:
I'm going to pile in here in support of Geirj. Hamby, it is the content of your comments that makes it obvious that you have little experience with marriage or child rearing. People like Geirj and I don't just throw that out there as an ad hominem because we want to discredit you. You should know by now that neither of us want to do that. It's nothing to be embarrassed about: I didn't know shit about marriage until it happened to me and I don't know anyone who did.

...So, because you didn't know what marriage would be like until you were married, and nobody in your social network knew what it would be like until they were married, it must be incomprehensible to the bachelor (however educated)?

Quote:
Note I'm not saying that it is impossible to know anything about marriage and kids without experiencing it,

Actually, that's exactly wha you just asserted. Almost word for word.

Quote:
just that it is clear that you don't have the perspective on these matters that would come from experience. I know, I know, you have done a lot of research. Believe me, the most in-depth, long-range, multi-participant study ever invented could never begin to scratch the surface of the complexities Geirj and I deal with every day.

This is exactly the same argument as, "Well, of course I can't prove God. He's beyond human understanding. You just have to trust me and feel the Holy Spirit moving through you for yourself."

Basically, you're saying that marriage is this mystical social contract, floating above and beyond what empirical study might be able to tell us. And, of course, without supplying any supporting statement beyond, "Aw, c'mon. Just trust me, man."

 EDIT: If you guys want to take this one to the mat with me or whomever, I started a new thread so this one doesn't get derailed.

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

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Yeah Kevin, QUOTE "This

 Yeah Kevin, QUOTE  "This is exactly the same argument as, "Well, of course I can't prove God. He's beyond human understanding. You just have to trust me and feel the Holy Spirit moving through you for yourself."

         Buddha smiled .... as he pondered , what the fuck is with these superstitious people .... Ummm god ? , who the fuck cares and why ???

I like that buddha story  ......  

 

 


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geirj wrote:Whoa,

geirj wrote:

Whoa, y'all.

First, ease off on the OP for marrying a theist. Unless any of you are married with kids, I'd say you're less than qualified to diagnose his marriage based on the limited information he provided.

I've been married to a theist for almost 8 years, and she takes our kids (ages 3 and 18 months) to church pretty much weekly. I'm not worried at all. As we all know, it's so easy to poke holes in everything they'll learn there. I just plan to be a constant voice of skepticism.

Now, my wife isn't a strong theist by any means. So they're not going to be going off the fundy deep end or anything. I say let the kids go to church, and just take them aside once in a while and ask them questions about what they're learning. Then, point out the flaws.

I married a fundamentalist Christian right out of high school. I was young, she was young. We had a child when we were 20. I was in the army at the time (great way to pay for college, as long as a Bush isn't in office).

At the time, I was agnostic. Though I was an atheist, I still thought we just didn't have enough information to determine God doesn't exist. (Now I know better.)

We got divorced after five years. Don't get me wrong -- my wife was great. She rarely tried to convert me, and after a couple of years, even began to open up to me. We had a talk about our 3-year-old daughter wearing God t-shirts. (My argument: "That's about like me dressing her in a beer T-shirt." She understood how I felt, and it never happened again while we were married.)

Her friends kept trying to convert me, of course. We were even ambushed at a dinner once. She'd invited a nice couple from church over for dinner, and the man showed up with a buddy, and left the wife at home. THAT was an uncomfortable evening. I was much too polite to tell them to get the fuck out of my home. As I said, I was young.

Eventually, she admitted to me that she believed there was a huge conspiracy among scientists to discredit the existence of God. All physicists, biologists, and geologists were in on it, as they all had evidence for an ancient earth, and evolution, and whatnot. As I was a physics major at the time, it kinda put a little stress on our relationship. After all, she was an intelligent woman; how could she not see how ridiculous her position was?

Anyway. We got divorced, my daughter has been raised fundamentalist, and is now 20, and attending college. She's never held hands with or kissed a boy, so there are some advantages. But it makes relating to her, and with her, very hard sometimes.

So let me assure you, I do understand marriage, and children, and the issues with a marriage between theists and atheists.

I wouldn't trade in my daughter for any other person on earth. I wish I could've been there every day, to help counteract the influence of her fundamentalist upbringing; but she's a good kid, and though she supported Huckabee, she has a good head on her shoulders. I have had emotional pain from only one source, and that is my daughter. Not because of her, but because of all my regrets and hurts and frustrations. I'm sure it can't be easy for her, either.

Theism is a big deal. Marriages between theists and atheists are difficult at best, as the theist will hurt every time they think of their loved one going to Hell. The atheist will hurt every time they find out a new nugget like their wife thinks the atheist is part of a conspiracy to destroy God. Both of you hurt thinking the other has a thinking deficiency. Having children compounds the issue, as the theist will see it as a battle for the soul of the child, and the atheist will see it as a battle for the sanity of the child. Coming to terms with this before having children is the only responsible thing, but there's no easy way to compromise.

At least, that's my experience. I was married to a fundie, though, so other experiences will probably differ.

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Geirj: I totally agree with

Geirj: I totally agree with you.

There are actually a lot of little tidbits in the bible that are quite useful (if you throw out the supernatural stuff) and "Be not unequally yoked." is one of the better ones. It's good advice, period.

And it's not just religion, you can apply it to all kinds of important issues. There is no way in hell I can imagine marrying an arch-libertarian for instance. We'd do nothing but argue, because I hold that world-view to be unethical. How can I stay in love with someone who's core beliefs are totally incompatible with my own?

Being open-minded isn't the same thing as being vacant.


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nigelTheBold wrote:Theism is

nigelTheBold wrote:
Theism is a big deal. Marriages between theists and atheists are difficult at best, as the theist will hurt every time they think of their loved one going to Hell. The atheist will hurt every time they find out a new nugget like their wife thinks the atheist is part of a conspiracy to destroy God.

Now that made me laugh. Holy shit that's funny.

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NigelTheBold wrote: ... as

NigelTheBold wrote:

 

... as the theist will see it as a battle for the soul of the child, and the atheist will see it as a battle for the sanity of the child.

 

 

That was good as well.

 

I made the very same point to a catholic priest once and remarked that if given the choice between a soul and sanity I know which I'd opt for every time. At least sanity was something defineable, patently worth having to function well as an individual and of proven benefit to one's fellow human.

 

When he (as I expected) contradicted me and said that it was actually the other way round, I could then tell him that this explained a lot regarding what I suspected about his gang - perpetually in pursuit of a notion at the expense of their sanity.

 

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It's always boggled my mind

It's always boggled my mind how people can get married without discussing things like this. Or even become pregnant and not even bring up "Hey, what about your religious beliefs and our kids?"

Like whaa?

*Our world is far more complex than the rigid structure we want to assign to it, and we will probably never fully understand it.*

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peppermint wrote:It's always

peppermint wrote:

It's always boggled my mind how people can get married without discussing things like this. Or even become pregnant and not even bring up "Hey, what about your religious beliefs and our kids?"

Like whaa?

Part of the problem is that people tend to feel one way when they are single and dating and a very different way when kids come into the picture.

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I will take a different tack

I will take a different tack than the majority of responses. First, find out exactly why she wants them to go to church. Does she want them to be religious, or is she looking to expand their social circle? Is she looking for cheap babysitting? If the answer is anything other than looking for a religious upbringing, then simply come up with an alternative to church. Suggestions range from martial arts to swimming to various other non-religious activities.

I suggest this because recently I have encountered a number of people who send their kids to church for reasons that have nothing to do with religion.

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I can't speak for everyone

I can't speak for everyone else but as far as I'm concerned a little bit of indoctrination is already too much. The 2-3 years on and off I spent in CCD classes will always haunt me. I wanted to play guitar and run outside like a normal fucking kid, but I had to sit and listen to a bunch of pedophiles talk about zombie christ. All the while my father was working so much he never noticed what my mom was putting me through. Until finally at age 16 he told me he didn't believe in god and was an atheist, which explains his never going to church. Put your foot down now and don't let that shit happen you really don't know how it will effect your kids in the long run, it's not harmless. I'm ranting here but it really took a while to realize how much religious bullshit had an effect on me. So far all my friends who have religious families have not allowed there kids to be indoctrinated cause of the things I told them about my child hood.


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Vastet wrote:I will take a

Vastet wrote:

I will take a different tack than the majority of responses. First, find out exactly why she wants them to go to church. Does she want them to be religious, or is she looking to expand their social circle? Is she looking for cheap babysitting? If the answer is anything other than looking for a religious upbringing, then simply come up with an alternative to church. Suggestions range from martial arts to swimming to various other non-religious activities.

I suggest this because recently I have encountered a number of people who send their kids to church for reasons that have nothing to do with religion.

So this is actually a really good point. My mom took us to church because we moved all the time and never had a community or friends - church seemed to be an easy tactic to meet people and be involved in fellowship and events.

 

Granted, I still experienced very similar social problems as I did at school because the church-goers were actually even more arrogant than the 'normals' at school and in the neighborhood, and my mom never lasted in a social group at church because they figured out she was relatively poor in comparison or not a feminist advocate or not as young or just not welcome in their cliques.

 

Deterring yourself and others from the 'social' aspect of church-going is a great way to express what a horrible idea it is in the first place, and to identify the real issue that provides the first step in finding the solution to the actual problem of the lack of the community feel.

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(No subject)

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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I tend to agree with Hamby and Geirj et al.

 

But it would be be intolerable for me if a helpless child of mine was going to be pushed into church. I experience the torment of a fundy upbringing every single day.

Could I force the same thing into the mind my own child? Nope. God belief would be a deal-breaker for me - even if my partner was too thoughtless to understand the damage it might cause.

Is marriage a balancing act? Of course it is. But I'd be doing my log dance a long way upriver from the point the OP is at today. If I found myself in this position I'd be hostile without a shadow of a doubt.

I know it's about compromise and I'd compromise on her maxing my credit card and dragging me over to her parents place twice a week and anything else I could afford or tolerate. But not this.

And um. Yeah. I'm divorced.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Yeah I agree

kayoubi wrote:

Vastet wrote:

I will take a different tack than the majority of responses. First, find out exactly why she wants them to go to church. Does she want them to be religious, or is she looking to expand their social circle? Is she looking for cheap babysitting? If the answer is anything other than looking for a religious upbringing, then simply come up with an alternative to church. Suggestions range from martial arts to swimming to various other non-religious activities.

I suggest this because recently I have encountered a number of people who send their kids to church for reasons that have nothing to do with religion.

So this is actually a really good point. My mom took us to church because we moved all the time and never had a community or friends - church seemed to be an easy tactic to meet people and be involved in fellowship and events.

 

Granted, I still experienced very similar social problems as I did at school because the church-goers were actually even more arrogant than the 'normals' at school and in the neighborhood, and my mom never lasted in a social group at church because they figured out she was relatively poor in comparison or not a feminist advocate or not as young or just not welcome in their cliques.

 

Deterring yourself and others from the 'social' aspect of church-going is a great way to express what a horrible idea it is in the first place, and to identify the real issue that provides the first step in finding the solution to the actual problem of the lack of the community feel.

 

With these guys, too. I did do a lot of fun things in church camps and church groups that had nothing to do with god. Mmmmm. I imagine most kids would just enjoy the fun and ignore the god.

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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"I experience the torment of

"I experience the torment of a fundy upbringing every single day."...

This puts a gnarl on my face.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:Love you, too,

Kapkao wrote:

Love you, too, babe.


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geirj wrote:Whoa,

geirj wrote:

Whoa, y'all.

 

First, ease off on the OP for marrying a theist. Unless any of you are married with kids, I'd say you're less than qualified to diagnose his marriage based on the limited information he provided.

 

I've been married to a theist for almost 8 years, and she takes our kids (ages 3 and 18 months) to church pretty much weekly. I'm not worried at all. As we all know, it's so easy to poke holes in everything they'll learn there. I just plan to be a constant voice of skepticism.

 

Now, my wife isn't a strong theist by any means. So they're not going to be going off the fundy deep end or anything. I say let the kids go to church, and just take them aside once in a while and ask them questions about what they're learning. Then, point out the flaws.

 

I have to jump in here:

  Do you really have no problem with your kids beeing exposed to such indoctrination, and being confused by this? I mean your kids are going to reach the age of reason and mature beyond that to make there own decisions on the matter anyways, but are you really unconcerned about the potential power that exists in religion.  It has the power to take ANY one, as shown by many rational athiest who were had by it's drug for many many years.  Some that get hooked can never be taken away, no matter how much you poke holes in there arguments and point out flaws.  At that point there mind is already had, which started of with the indoctrinating ground work.  You are allowing the groundwork to be laid, you as well as I hope your kids grow up to be rational adults and choose to disregard the myth of Christianity , but you and I both know better than anyone the power these religions have over people, and especially the power these religions have over the young mind.  I just don't understand how you can allow the groundwork to be laid.  But different strokes for different folkes I guess, I certainly could never allow my kids to go to church, I know the kind of things they tell kids there.  I know the potential power the church and religion have over believers, I would be terrified my child would become one of the "had" teens that grow up to be "had" adults who you can never get back. 


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kayoubi wrote:Love you, too,

kayoubi wrote:
Love you, too, babe.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Gotta say, lots of

Gotta say, lots of interesting viewpoints in this thread (yes, I know the thread is a little old).  I came across this site because of this thread, and because I'm in a similar situation as the OP.  I'm thinking some of the later comments are probably the most accurate for my situation.  My wife is taking my kids (ages 2 and 3) to a bible study thing, mostly for recreation, as she's always trying to find something 'fun' for the kids to do (to the detriment of her own free-time/sanity).    She used to do these functions as a kid, and always remembers them as a lot of fun.  (They're sort of a summer carnival sort of thing, not the traditional bible study situation, but nevertheless, still potentially damaging).  I worry most about the 3 year old (almost 4).  She has an amazing mind, and is not just inquisitive, but already thinking critically about nearly every situation.  Still, i know how good the church is at breaking that down, and she's just so susceptible at this age.  She (the 3 year old) is also very strong headed, and she already challenges me on almost everything, which to a point, i respect, but I fear that she may not listen to my contradictions of what she hears from the 'fun people' at the church.

I'm not really here looking for advice, mostly just to find others that would relate.  I've pretty much been a rational thinker my whole life, even though I was going to various churches with friends/family for most that time.  I don't feel church is necessarily a bad or evil thing, there are many in out population that simply lack the rational thinking skills required function in society, without SOME sort of guidance from the church.  I'm far from a 'combative atheist', but I feel there is an age to be exposed to religion, and 3 is far too young.


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(Yes I realize this post is 2 1/2 years old. No; I don't care)

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Hamby,

 I could not agree with you more.  Well said.  I don't care how good the sex is, if you are not going to be compatable in the long run it isn't worth continuing for the long run (i.e. kids).  And the only way to figure out compatability is through asking questions.

"Human-animals have strange ways"

Tarpan appears to be doing fine in this arena...

I did fine at age 10 (despite being confronted by a shaken, startled dad) while still being the only atheist I knew of.

 

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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I thought I might add...

kayoubi wrote:
Deterring yourself and others from the 'social' aspect of church-going is a great way to express what a horrible idea it is in the first place, and to identify the real issue that provides the first step in finding the solution to the actual problem of the lack of the community feel.

The "social aspect" is the primary reason for going to Church, if I had to make a guess. I've said as much already, but it bears repeating. It's also true that theists tend to put a carrot at the end of a stick in the form of "afterlife", but the primary reason for most mainstream religions is 'siblinghood beyond family, nation, and station in life', which might explain how so many religions have become so viral over the millenia.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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What to do

Kapkao wrote:

the primary reason for most mainstream religions is 'siblinghood beyond family, nation, and station in life', which might explain how so many religions have become so viral over the millenia.

The evolution of a successful group, by whatever means.

Presumably the brain/mind has also evolved to facilitate this process.

 

It raises the issue of how best to utilise this mechanism.

Diversion into sport, other politics, atheist groups?

Most people need to have this void filled. 


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I've seen this just like

I've seen this just like Superman or the Easter Bunny analogy suggested a lot in helping children to fend off the crap they might hear in Sunday school. I'd just like to warn caregivers of children to be careful with this. A friend of mine was the nanny for a really nice, and somewhat well-educated, smart kid of about 8 or 9, I'd say (he might have been younger, it was a long time ago). It was right after Jurassic Park came out, and the kid and I had both seen it. Somehow we got on the topic, and I said "yeah, it was great, the special effects were really fantastic!" He says "what special effects?" And my friend had to gently remind him, "you know, the effect of making the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs aren't real (alive), right?" "Oh, yeah!"

As believable as photo-realistic CGI can be, I fear that stories might be even more insidious because they allow children to use their own imaginations to fill in the blanks. And we all know how vivid a child's imagination can be. Even though this kid knew dinosaurs are extinct, he still didn't register that incongruity while watching the movie.


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Hambydammit wrote:Trust me,

Hambydammit wrote:
Trust me, nobody's going to get mad at you for not adding another baby to the planet for another few years.

Are you kidding? I don't think a single wedding has occurred in the entire history of the human race without some unfortunate single person in the audience being told "well, I guess you'll be next!"


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nigelTheBold wrote:She's

nigelTheBold wrote:
She's never held hands with or kissed a boy, so there are some advantages.

Wait wait wait...you think the fact that your TWENTY YEAR OLD daughter has never had any contact with a member of the opposite sex is a GOOD thing????

*facepalm*


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Hambydammit wrote:We're all

Hambydammit wrote:

We're all entitled to our opinions on this matter.  I'd just like it well understood that this whole "you're not qualified to talk about this" thing is not a legitimate argument, and doesn't contribute any validity to your opinion.

The fact of the matter is, you HAVE had first-hand experience. Every one of us who wasn't raised in an orphanage his or her entire life has seen and experienced the first-hand results of good and bad parenting. If you have siblings, and/or step-siblings, you're even better qualified to come to some personal conclusions.


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kayoubi wrote:Granted, I

kayoubi wrote:

Granted, I still experienced very similar social problems as I did at school because the church-goers were actually even more arrogant than the 'normals' at school and in the neighborhood, and my mom never lasted in a social group at church because they figured out she was relatively poor in comparison or not a feminist advocate or not as young or just not welcome in their cliques.

Same exact experience here. I found the cliques were exactly the same for the most part, but with self-righteous judgment attached to it, as well. And the times when it did seem I was being accepted in, even at the socially fragile and confusing age of 13-14, I could still just SENSE that there was something fake about it, without value. In other words, if you're only being friendly to me because Jesus told you to, what good is that to me? Those aren't REAL friends, quite the contrary.


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<--Necromancer.

So be it.


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smartypants wrote:So be

smartypants wrote:

So be it.

You're going to have find something a less-recently-posted-in than 1 day.

You don't seem to grasp the (admittedly slang) concept, unless of course Kayoubi is your sock puppet.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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smartypants

smartypants wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:
She's never held hands with or kissed a boy, so there are some advantages.

Wait wait wait...you think the fact that your TWENTY YEAR OLD daughter has never had any contact with a member of the opposite sex is a GOOD thing????

*facepalm*

 

Maybe she's gay.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.