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Old 05-03-2014, 12:36 AM
 
870 posts, read 895,224 times
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My son is 5 years old. Ever since he was born I have been asking myself how I am going to educate him in regard to religion...My wife's side of the family are fairly Catholic. My mother-in-law had my son baptized when he was a baby (I did not protest). Well, I had finally decided that what I would tell my son regarding "God" would be that I would just avoid the subject and/or "play it off" like I was a believer when the subject came up...

Well, today, for the first time ever, my son started asking me questions about God. I just couldn't make myself betray my son by feeding him lies. I told him the truth, that God, "is not real"; and I explained that some people believe very strongly that God does exist but that my personal belief which I feel to be true is that God does not exist.

Well, he was okay with it. He said, "Okay, God isn't real. Only Santa Claus is real and he is the one that takes care of us, right?" So, I had already broken the news to him about God (the big lie), so I broke the news to him about Santa Claus as well. I told him that Santa Claus is not real either and that the presents are from me and my wife. I told him that the only people that will "take care of us", are us; and that is why we must be good people and value and appreciate each other and our families. He seemed very understanding and none of it seemed to upset him the slightest.

Long story short, did I just mess up?? Should I have let the facade carried on for years??

What do you think? How have you handled raising children being an Atheist? Please just share some thoughts on this topic because it has really been bothering me....
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:16 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,106,888 times
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I dream of the day when the average five-year-old believes in Santa Claus but not god.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:22 AM
 
35,108 posts, read 40,212,035 times
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I think you should expose your son to many different things so he can make a well informed decision when he is old enough and mature enough to do so without your input.

The bottom line is that he is your child and whatever you feel is right for him is what you should do. Just know that your Mother in law is going to tell him a completely different story so be prepared to deal with that.

PS ~~ Just because you believe something is a lie does not mean it is a lie it only means that is your own belief.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:22 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
15,265 posts, read 12,569,845 times
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I left my four children to find out for themselves and take the road they wanted... I was brought up to believe in God and sent to religious clubs and church. hated it... knew it wasnt for me but thats not to say its not for my children if they choose... its up to them.... At school I was given religious instruction too... now when I think of it its a form of abuse to enforce this nonsense on kids out of the home... its should be left for them to grow and choose...
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:24 AM
 
35,108 posts, read 40,212,035 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzybint View Post
I left my four children to find out for themselves and take the road they wanted... I was brought up to believe in God and sent to religious clubs and church. hated it... knew it wasnt for me but thats not to say its not for my children if they choose... its up to them.... At school I was given religious instruction too... now when I think of it its a form of abuse to enforce this nonsense on kids out of the home... its should be left for them to grow and choose...

If you seriously think that is a form of abuse you have never had any first hand experience with abuse or those who have actually been abused.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:33 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,106,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
If you seriously think that is a form of abuse you have never had any first hand experience with abuse or those who have actually been abused.
All subjective. Dawkins made some claim that escapes me now, but I want to say it was that he preferred being sexually abused as a child to being religiously indoctrinated. Forget if it was a perhaps-ill-advised hypothetical or if he actually experienced both firsthand.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:54 AM
 
34,365 posts, read 41,446,089 times
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I'd say that a kid still thinking Santa is real is a bit young to be getting into the philosophical debate as to whether God is real or not, personally i would have waited a few years and let him come to his own conclusions as to what his views on the subject will be. I'm wondering what other agendas are you foisting on the child,your political views perhaps?
Kids dont really need this level or type of understanding at this age they just want to be 5yr old kids,
Do the kid a favor and dont let on about Santa.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:01 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,178,626 times
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Isn't it interesting how steeping your children in religious indocri-- pardon me, "education" is merely regarded as a standard part of civic and family life, but telling your kid there is no god is "foisting an agenda" on them. We all "foist agendas" on our kids by bringing them up within our value systems.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:28 AM
 
Location: Ouachita Mtns of Arkansas
1,974 posts, read 2,714,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
I think you should expose your son to many different things so he can make a well informed decision when he is old enough and mature enough to do so without your input.

The bottom line is that he is your child and whatever you feel is right for him is what you should do. Just know that your Mother in law is going to tell him a completely different story so be prepared to deal with that.

PS ~~ Just because you believe something is a lie does not mean it is a lie it only means that is your own belief.
I was raised a Catholic. I wish my parents would have educated me in the different beliefs about God. I am 70 and I still struggle today on this topic, regarding religion, what is real and what is not real?
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:01 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,106,888 times
Reputation: 3965
also worth mentioning that you might've decided not to have a kid, given the meaninglessness of all of this...I'd recommend saving that discussion with "dear offspring" (somewhat city-data-inspired parlance) for age, what, seven? Heh. Part of my fun in deciding to never have kids is I get to watch unwitting nihilists describe nihilism in terms that seem more agreeable than by using that word which is lethal if known...much like "socialism"
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