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Old 04-01-2014, 11:06 AM
 
5 posts, read 4,985 times
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I consider myself a "non-theist" because while I don't believe that gods exist, I'm not militant about it.

I VERY strongly believe that it is wrong to indoctrinate (brainwash) children into religion and so I don't want to participate in any way in that process.

If you believe the same thing about children & religion, how would you handle an invitation to the christening of a relative's baby, and the family get together after?

Would family feeling or obligation outweigh your moral convictions? or vice versa?
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:12 AM
 
3,404 posts, read 2,249,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeedPuller View Post
I consider myself a "non-theist" because while I don't believe that gods exist, I'm not militant about it.

I VERY strongly believe that it is wrong to indoctrinate (brainwash) children into religion and so I don't want to participate in any way in that process.

If you believe the same thing about children & religion, how would you handle an invitation to the christening of a relative's baby, and the family get together after?

Would family feeling or obligation outweigh your moral convictions? or vice versa?
I would have no problem attending. I view it as a support of the people and relationships involved, not their religion. If a believer asked me to be a god-parent I would at least make absolutely understood that I won't be able to effective raise their child in their faith. other than that, it wouldn't bother me...


Edit: My response would be A. I am not attending for Jesus, I am attending for my friends or family...

-NoCapo

Last edited by NoCapo; 04-01-2014 at 11:23 AM..
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:14 AM
 
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I won't go to the ceremony, but I'm not so proud as to turn down free food and a party afterward.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:14 AM
 
5 posts, read 4,985 times
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Default Sorry, meant to add a poll to this

I did set up a poll, no idea what happened to it :-(

These were the choices:

(a) I would go to both the christening and to the party afterward.

(b) I would attend the christening but not the party afterward, because I don't think it is something that should be "celebrated".

(c) I would skip the christening but I would go to the party afterward for social reasons.

(d) I wouldn't go to either the christening OR the party.



(my choice would be d)
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:01 PM
 
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I think christenings are a lot of fun. My one cousin's daughter was baptized by a flamboyantly gay Catholic priest who thought it was awesome she was already at the baby talk phase. He spent a good 5 minutes chattering back and forth with her. Another priest held up another relative's twin sons like Simba in The Lion King after they were baptized.

It's not just an induction into a faith. It's also a sign of solidarity with a baby just staring out in life - maybe I'm not gonna teach the kid any prayers, but I will have his/her back when needed. I see no conflict with my beliefs to attend those kinds of events. I cheerfully go to bar mitzvahs too. And weddings. And first communions. It doesn't matter that I think the religious aspect is a bit silly - it's about showing support for someone close to me in their next phase of life.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,191 posts, read 9,079,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeedPuller View Post
I did set up a poll, no idea what happened to it :-(

These were the choices:

(a) I would go to both the christening and to the party afterward.

(b) I would attend the christening but not the party afterward, because I don't think it is something that should be "celebrated".

(c) I would skip the christening but I would go to the party afterward for social reasons.

(d) I wouldn't go to either the christening OR the party.



(my choice would be d)
Life is too short to have a bunch of slippery-slope concerns about avoiding arguably indirectly kinda supporting this or that.

There's a nice restaurant in my town that's run by a religious commune that has some aspects that border on cult-like. They own the building and rent office space out upstairs. I both eat at the restaurant and sublet office space upstairs, despite the fact I'm an atheist.

Why? Well, when I buy a gift card across the street from there, how do I know the owner of THAT store isn't some sort of theist? When I pay taxes or put coins in the parking meter, aren't the members of the city government apt to be mostly theists? Aren't some of those apt to be rabid fundamentalists? So what? So long as they are running an honest business with quality products and services I patronize them (or not) based on what they provide (or don't) for me.

In the OP situation I realize there's an element of indoctrinating children who you care about that isn't present in the relatively impersonal examples above, but in any stand you take in life, you have to ask yourself, "to what end?" ... and, "do I want to be right, or happy?" This isn't a question of someone inviting you to a ritual child rape ceremony, and trying to make it even in that ball park is probably more about you and your ego then the welfare of the children. How much influence can you have in their lives organically over time, if you're not seen as an impertinent, judgmental and slightly unbalanced person who makes people uncomfortable? Pick your battles. Go to the event, smile benignly at the BS, deflect or change the subject when asked your opinion, and wish the child and his parents well. Be the fun uncle (or whatever you are to them) who gives them a copy of Dawkin's The Magic of Reality for Christmas, or if the parents are wound too tight for that, at least sets a general example of someone who is happy, safe, approachable and kindly despite being a godless bastard.

My $0.02 for whatever it is worth.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:40 PM
 
Location: OKC
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My only concern is if I would get bored, because I don't like going to weddings and funerals and such.

But the religious part wouldn't bother me.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,877 posts, read 18,557,746 times
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I might attend depending upon circumstances, as in someone's feelings being hurt if I don't, but I would not celebrate anything.

Celebrate what? The start of one more forced indoctrination course in a bogus authority figure? The sustaining of superstitious traditions? Wasting time with meaningless ceremony?

Manners would prevail, but that is all.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,933 posts, read 8,397,741 times
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C

I probably would not attend the christening, but would consider the after party.

Church ceremonies are boring and they annoy me. Rather than inflict my sour attitude on people during the ceremony itself I would show up fashionably late to just miss the church part. Everybody is happier, the kid/parents get a gift, life is good.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:12 PM
 
Location: In a little house on the prairie - literally
10,202 posts, read 6,086,833 times
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Sure. Have been to many.

If it makes parents feel good, I'm not going to rain on their parade.

It a silly, benign tradition.
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