(Closed) Atheist/Agnostic Bees: Children & religion. What’s your plan?

posted 9 years ago in Secular
Post # 47
Member
1773 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m not planning on kids, but I certainly wouldn’t raise them with any religion.

I’d definitely make sure they heard a lot of stories though. Something I really appricate about my education was we got to hear a lot of stories. This included Bible stories, stories about Buddha, lots of mythology and so on. If I had a kid I’d like them to familiar with a range of things, and if something ever caught them then fine.

 

I was raised kind of pagan/earth love ish. That’s probably what I identify with most. I love the fact we live on a planet that is, for the most part, alive and constantly changing.

 

In terms of morals? I’d just teach them not to be jerks.

 

I’m not a fan of organized religion, so I would admittedly, have a hard time accepting my kids becoming strict Christians or something.

Post # 48
Member
1074 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
@MissHighHeel:  Yes, that’s pretty much the belief. People think that their child will not be allowed into heaven if they are not baptised. Up until very recently the Catholic church believed that stillborn babies actually wound up in limbo because they were not baptised in life. This is (of course) not everybody’s opinion, but it is what some people think.

I am not going to be doing anything religous with my kids, because I feel like it would be dishonest for me to do anything else with them. I’ll be okay with grandparents taking them to church, but only when they’re old enough for me to explain to them why we don’t go to church. I’m still cool with Christmas and Santa, because they are a complete hodge-podge of stuff to begin with so we might as well still enjoy it. 🙂

Post # 49
Member
7976 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I do not think that you should have your child baptised if you have no intention of raising them relligiously. I think that it is hypocritical and disrespectful (although I do understand and make exceptions for the people here in very difficult situations where babies were sick and families were frantic… terrible situation to be in).

I think that you can teach children about religion without baptising them, or even without taking them to church… although I do think that good Bible knowledge is important if you want to study literature, art, history, or even law… it gives you a huge head start in analysing the impact of people’s decisions over time. What other options have you discussed with FI?

That said, I am prejudiced. Most non-conformists (like myself) believe in salvation by personal conversion, which means that you are not baptised as a baby. Instead, adult baptisms are the ideal (because these are the only mode of baptism actually practised in the Bible). I suppose it’s a bit like being confirmed in a Catholic church. Fiance is Catholic, and wants our children to be baptised as babies. I am not terribly comfortable with this, but don’t hate the idea enough to start a big fight over it. As long as they are well into their teens and old enough to make rational choices for themselves before they are confirmed (IF they are confirmed)… I don’t want them to just enter ANY religion blindly and with no real conviction. I think it makes such a mockery of the whole thing. So I side with you on this one!

Post # 50
Member
359 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I don’t plan on having kids. But I used to go to church when I was younger. I think you should raise them with the beliefs that you have, you are the parents after all. This does not mean instilling into thier minds that their absoultely is no point to religion but maybe let others introduce your kids to religion and let them form their own ideas about it from thier own experiences. I cannot stand it when I see children forced to go to church to stand up and sing the silly little songs and repeat the bible verses ewwe. Do these kids really know what they are saying or believing or are the parent’s/church brainwashing them into what they think they should believe. Let the kids choose for themselves. I now resent and hate going to church because it was a boring forced thing when I was kid and now that I am older and realize all the intolerance for certain types of people is bull crap. By The Way I was raised baptist and I just really cannot get over all the demeaning crap they push towards women and the overwhelming prudeness…..just a real turnoff. Glad I was able to see past the bull crap but unfortunately some people get sucked in and cannot separate what is good and what is just plain wrong. I just think parents need to stop brainwashing their kids into their own beliefs.

Post # 51
Member
995 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@UpstateCait:  I am confused–if you are both atheist, why would you have a child baptized into a religion you don’t believe in? The chld can always choose to be any religion they like later–not necessarily Catholicism–unless you think the ‘magic water’ on the baby’s head actually does something…in which case you may want to rethink the whole atheism thing!

It doesn’t make sense, unless you plan on taking them to temple, synagogue, mosques, etc….a child can be AWARE of religion without actually being a MEMBER of that religion

 

Your child could decide to be an atheist like his parents….or a jew….or a buddhist…or a catholic, and get baptized when they have a choice about it! I’m surprised a priest would even agree to such a ceremony, knowing you had NO intention of raising your child catholic, you would probably have to lie to him! Not to mention the family confusion–they will never respect your decision to be atheist and raise your child without catholicism if YOU decided to have them baptized in a catholic church

 

Unless he has some serious issues, it sounds like your fiance is succumbing to family pressures, which will only get more intense if you cave now–if you don’t baptize, they can’t push as hard for communion, sunday school, confirmation, etc.

Post # 53
Member
995 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

View original reply
@UpstateCait:  My fiance and I were both raised catholic so that’s why I’m so adament on not giving in to family pressures–we don’t even have a child yet and they’re already up in arms about christening, god parents, etc. 

Post # 54
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Fiance & I are in a similar situation except we have a 6mo daughter. He was raised catholic & although my family is catholic & I was baptized we didnt really go to church or follow anything. We do not want to raise our daughter in the church but would like to get her baptized. We are having the same concerns you do, its a promise in front of god to raise your child in the church, which I cannot honestly promise to do that. I do not intend to take her to church. I am not going to tell her there is no god, bc I dont know if there is or isnt a god no one does. I am going to teach her that there are many different beliefs out there, I intend to teach her about most of them & let her make her own decision. If she wants to go to church on sunday with her mimi then she is more than welcome to do so. I would like to get her baptized because I was baptized as was Fiance.. but its hard to find a church willing to baptize your child when you are not a member. That might fix your arguement right there, You probably wont be able to find a church to baptize your child unless you are a member. even my mother inlaws church will not baptize our child.. We are currently trying to find away around this & plan to meet with the church to see if we cant work something out.

You & your Fiance need to come to a compromise about this. but dont let it come between you because you dont even have kids yet so why let it come between you now when it is not yet an issue. Your views may change by the time you have kids anyways, a child changes everything. Before I had my daughter I was dead set against baptizing her, but now I think what if thats what she wants? it wouldnt hurt to get it done.

Post # 56
Member
426 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Baptism of children is plain wrong, in my opinion. The symbolism of baptism (committing your life to God) means nothing to a baby, and should not be taken lightly. Give them a rounded view of different religions and non-religions, but certainly do not have them baptized. That’s a choice they can make when they are old enough and mature enough to do so.

Post # 57
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2012

View original reply
@sylvia.riggle:  Your right the church will not agree to a baptism if you do not intend to raise your child in that religion, you must be a member of most churches in order to have your child baptized there. my mother in law goes to church every sunday & even her church wont allow us to baptize our daughter there because my Fiance & I are not members.

Post # 58
Member
8 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I can’t fathom being an athiest and wanting your children to be religious. I hope my children will not be exposed to religion until they are at least teenagers, and if they become interested in any religion, I will encourage to study all religions, and athiesm, and find what fits their beliefs best. However, I would hope that my kids would follow in my footsteps and let logic guide their lives.

Post # 59
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010 - Angel Orensanz Foundation

AHHHHH!  We talk about this all the time!

I have never, ever, EVER in my life (we’re talking as young as like 5) believed in a man in the sky and eternal damnation and salvation and all this stuff.  I went to shockingly progressive but parochial schools my whole life (no other safe options that didn’t cost a zillion $ in nYC at the time I was coming up) and was actually never baptized.  An attempt was made to get me baptized when I was about 10, which failed bc I thought it was dumb. Thankfully, my parents left the decision entirely up to me. I participated in masses and sang in the choir, did readings, was a reader, etc, but not out of faith but because I enjoyed participating in a community and because I wanted to be an actress when I grew up and it was a chance to practice my public speaking (true story!)

MR D was raised Catholic and his family has never been Churchy himself (they’re more like secular kinda Catholics, you know, Italians who do christenings for presents and eat fish on Fridays, send a mass card when someone dies but that’s about it?) and he wants to baptize our future kids.

I’m horrified. WTF would the point of that be?  To get gfits?  Keep em. What “sin” could a baby be born with!?  If you’re gonna get my kid a gift, just get them a gift, don’t attach a condition to it.  The weird thing though is that I WANT them to go to a Catholic school.  For one, being raised in private school my whole life I don’t trust public schools in this City (class size, budget cuts, etc).  But also because having a sense that other people had beliefs in the divine (and not believing in their system myself but seeing what having that structure meant to some people) motivated me to become interested in other belief systems and led to a very satisfying journey and a lot of self education & evaluation where I feel like a complete person guided by their own moral compass based on what I feel are universally accepted values of compassion, etc.  

I’m just scared to death I wind up with some religious robot of a kid if I were to baptize AND send them to Catholic school! I think NOT being baptized without my consent made a huge mark on me that helped me identify as an individual and reminded me that I didn’t have to believe bc everyone else did and that it was OK.  The idea of baptizing really turns me off. Does it sounds totally crazy to not want ot baptize but still send them to a Catholic school? The idea of 30 kids in a classroom terrifies me, but so does confirmations and all that other nonsense.

Post # 60
Member
326 posts
Helper bee

I initially kind of wanted to teach our future children about god because I think that it’s a comforting though. However as my atheist partner said (I am also atheist and have been since childhood although I was raised catholic) it would feel wrong to lie about such a major thing. I want my kids to live a full life, not one that is a test to see where they will spend eternity. 

Post # 61
Member
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

If we do eventually decide to have kids, I’d like to take them to a Unitarian Church. I’ve been to a few and think that they can teach fantastic morals and teach about religion without preaching religion.

I grew up without any religious instruction, and that kind of left me clueless for understanding a lot of literature in high school! Plus, I like the sense of community a church can foster.

The topic ‘Atheist/Agnostic Bees: Children & religion. What’s your plan?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors