(Closed) Atheist and Agonostic bees woud you be a "godmother"

posted 6 years ago in Secular
  • poll: Are you/would you be an atheist godparent?
    Yes, I am an atheist godparent : (36 votes)
    15 %
    Yes I would be a atheist godparent for a friend's child : (141 votes)
    58 %
    Not a good idea : (60 votes)
    25 %
    Other explain below. : (5 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 3
    3697 posts
    Sugar bee

    I think it’s not a good idea to participate in a ritual you don’t believe in and make promises you have no intention whatsoever of keeping. Even if it doesn’t mean that much to the parents, it’s still not a good position to be in – your participation in the baptism is basically a lie.

    Depending on what denomination they are, too, you may not even be able to be a candidate for godparent. I know that in the Catholic church both godparents are required to be Christian and at least one must be Catholic.

    Maybe you could offer to be an “honorary aunt” or something like that, that doesn’t entail any religious obligations?

    Post # 4
    664 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 2012

    @TwoCityBride:  I see where you are coming from, and though I do believe in G-d, I think you should look at  this as more of an honor.  You said your friend is not looking for you to guide her son religously.  What she wants from you is just to be a good adult role model for her son, something that has nothing to do with religon and G-d.

    I personally think you should do it, just tell her one more time your position on religion and make sure this has to do with your friendship with her/being a good role model than religion.

    Post # 6
    2934 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 1996

    Personally, I wouldn’t. It would make me too uncomfortable, and would feel dishonest even if the child’s parent understood. I’d assume that the priest/minister/religious leader performing the ceremony wouldn’t be comfortable with it, either. Aren’t there usually words during the ceremony that state that the godparent(s) are of that faith, and that they will help lead the child in learning about the religion?

    Post # 7
    3618 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    I would ask her what she expects out of you as the god mother. We are not religious in any way and are god parents to our friends’ two little boys, they’re not religious either. So we were rather confused that they were even having god parents. But it’s not the same meaning it used to be.

    Post # 8
    585 posts
    Busy bee

    Wow, I think that is a really great honor. 🙂 To me, obviously she isn’t wanting you to be a religious guide because she knows you are atheist and asked you anyway. For a moment, ignore the term godmother, and what she is really asking is would you look after her child in case something happened to her? If you guys are clear on what the meaning is (and specificalyl what “looking after the child” means–raise the child in your home? or just stay involved in the child’s life as a mentor/aunt?), rather it’s the traditional meaning or not, go for it!

    Post # 9
    3697 posts
    Sugar bee

    I think asking the pastor is a good idea. Personally I’m still uncomfortable with it, but it’s partly because I respect the intellectual honesty that I think (or at least hope) many atheists bring to their decision. If the rite requires you to promise something you don’t believe, I don’t think you should do it, but if their ritual only asks something that you can promise without violating your integrity, like, “Will you assist the parents in raising this child to live a good and upright life?”, then maybe it’s something you can promise in good conscience.

    Talking with the clergyperson involved is always a good idea, so that everyone is on the same page.

    Post # 10
    1111 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    I am agnostic.  I am also the godmother to my Catholic cousin’s youngest son.  I am open about being non-religious, and my cousin still wanted me to do it.  She said that her son will have plenty of people in his life to guide him in his faith and be a spiritual role model, but she wanted me to be someone who is mentor in other ways.  To her & her husband, asking me to be godmother was more like asking me to be an honorary aunt; just one more family member to love and support their son. 

    I held my godson during his baptism, but I wasn’t asked to make any declarations or promises to help strengthen his faith or anything like that.  I would not have been comfortable with that because I wouldn’t lie to the church and pretend my intentions were something they aren’t.  My cousin’s dad (my uncle), who is also Catholic, is my godson’s godfather.  My understanding is that in order to be baptized in a Catholic church, at least one godparent has to be Catholic, so it worked out!

    I basically just pay extra attention to my godson at family gatherings, and get him gifts for Christmas and his birthday.  Smile  Like I said, it’s like I’m an honorary aunt, and nothing more is really expected of me.

    I think you should explain your feelings to your friend, and make sure she knows that you wouldn’t be able to act a religious role model for her child.  You can be a mentor in many other ways, but obviously you can’t help strengthen your (potential) godchild’s faith when you aren’t coming from the same place.  I think as long as everyone is on the same page and there are no misunderstandings, it will work out perfectly fine!  It’s nice that she wants to honor you in that way, so just make sure her expectations and your intentions are clear.

    Post # 11
    3771 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    I wouldn’t. But then again I guess her version of Godparent is different than mine. In my family we always see the Godparent as someone (other than the parents) that the child can look to while groing up and throughout life and use as a spiritual role model and they can look to for advice when it comes to faith and God. But it seems that your friend doesn’t see this as the case so it’s just really whether or not you feel comfortable with the position.

    Post # 12
    2808 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I’m atheist-ish and I don’t really see anything wrong with it as long as you are both clear on your expectations. If she is looking for someone to be a role model in life, not religion, I would take this as a great honor whether or not you subscribe to their faith. If someone asked me to be their childs “Godparent” in a religious capacity I would have to decline, but if it’s just to offer some life guidance I would accept in a heartbeat.

    Post # 13
    4272 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    Agnostic. I would suck it up and take it as a honor that I was chosen for such a serious role (if I felt I was worthy for the role anyway…).

    Post # 14
    10287 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2011

    It really depends on what the parents were looking to get out of their childs godparent. If they wanted me to continue to raise their child in the church under the rules of whatever religion they may be then no, I probably wouldn’t accept the position because I refuse to compromise my own belief system for someone else (yes, even a child). However, if they’re just assigning god parents because they want their kid baptized and aren’t really overly religious then I’d probably do it.

    Back in the day, the god parents were the people who would gain custody of the child should anything happen to the parents. Now, I don’t think that’s really the case anymore. Often times, people give these roles to their close friends but I really can’t imagine many parents assigning custody to these people over their own families (like the childs grandparents). In my case, my godmother is my aunt and had anything happened to my parents she would have gotten custody of me but that was dictated in my parents will, not by some “promise” made to “god”. 

    Post # 16
    684 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2010

    I am a godmother to two kids. I will be there for both children as long they need me in any capacity. They are from two different faiths and I am spiritual. My commitment to the kids is to provide any and all information they need to chose their own faith or none at all. My role is to guide them to the path of their choice. I have clearly explained that to both sets of parents before agreeing to do this. It doesn’t matter what religion you are on paper, it is what is in your heart that counts. If you are looking for the path of love, I will be there to guide you.

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