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 Post subject: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:04 pm 
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Disclaimer: I am not religious, and those who are might find this post offensive. That is not my intention, but I apologize if it happens! This might end up being a somewhat lengthy post, so I apologize for any babbling/ranting that occurs.

This is mainly a question for parents raising nonreligious kids. How do you deal with family members, friends, and others who are religious and don't support your decision to raise nonreligious children, especially around the holidays? How do you celebrate Christmas, and is it a challenge to create a sense of family togetherness for your child if you and your family have differing religious views? Do you celebrate Easter at all?

My fiance and I have been talking about children lately, and whether or not we will have any. I am still not sure, and one of the things that bothers me is how we'll handle raising nonreligious kids with a very religious extended family.

I am engaged to a former Catholic whose family is still VERY much Catholic. He attempted to tell his family when he was in HS that he was no longer religious, but the resulting arguing, crying, etc. made him take it back. So now, he attends church with them when he is home on occasional Sundays and Holidays (we are still in college). His family thinks that we are religious believers in some way--I think that they know we aren't very religious, don't attend church on our own, pray, etc. They know that we are liberal thinkers (and have even staged near "interventions" to get us to see the error of our liberal thinking...). But again, they don't know that we are agnostic. That makes it difficult to think about having children when we know that we will not be giving them a religious upbringing. That's not to say we'll be forcing agnosticism/atheism on our children. We hope to raise our children as moral and ethical people absent of religion or any fear of divine retribution. And, most importantly, we hope that they'll become free thinkers, and would not discourage them from developing their own religious beliefs when they are old enough to understand.

But I am SURE that my fiance's family would not be okay with this decision, and I would not be surprised if they tried to take matters into their own hands and "educate" our children about religion. This is fine for a teenager who is old enough to think for themselves, but it's my belief that the same would be very confusing for a young child. Not to mention some of them don't express themselves in very tactful ways--a great aunt had a conversation with one of the cousins about how the cousin was sinful and going to hell because she had her child out of wedlock (and the child, two, was IN the room!)

The holidays really have me thinking about this because it's the time when we'll likely all be together, and Thanksgiving and Christmas are very tied to religion in th US. Christmas is a dilemma in and of itself, being a Christian holiday with pagan traditions! I have heard of some nonreligious families foregoing the celebration of Christmas, but I think this is difficult in a country where Christmas is so widely celebrated! For me, the spirit of the Holiday is to appreciate friends, family, and the good things that we are given. It's a time to celebrate these good things, and to give back to the community and to others less fortunate. This is the context in which we'd have our children celebrate Christmas.

We don't plan on keeping our children in the dark about religion; I imagine we'll explain, for instance, the reason religious families celebrate Christmas, and we want them to have a sense of other religions beyond Christianity as well! But since I don't have children, I have no idea how easy/hard this will be. It seems very difficult. I want our kids to have close, loving relationships with our family, grandparents especially! But I really foresee getting into constant conflicts about religion being preached heavily at our children.

This isn't really the "make it or break it" factor in whether or not we'll have kids; I know we'll find a way to deal, but I'd love to hear about others' experiences!

Is anyone out there in the same boat? How do you deal with religious family members that are not okay with your decision to raise kids in a nonreligious home? How do you approach Christmas and other religious Holidays typically celebrated with family?

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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:24 pm 
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Neither my wife's nor my family is religious, so my situation is very different from yours. I did want to point out that a nonbelief in Jesus and Yahweh is our natural state, so you don't have to "push" atheism on kids.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:29 pm 
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Good point!
I end up saying things like that because my family, who are Christian though not very religious, are always telling me crepe like "well, aren't you a hypocrite for forcing your kids to be atheist." What I really meant above was that I wouldn't admonish my kids for adopting a religious belief or try to take it away from them in any way. In all honesty though, I think a lot of organized religion is dangerously close to brainwash and if a child I raised came home from school as a teen to tell me that he believed in god or jesus or Allah or what have you I'd be a bit concerned...

Rereading this post I realized that I really toned down my views on religion, and I feel much more strongly against it. I've been getting so used to swallowing my opinion lately as to not completely anger and alienated my fiance's family--who still support him to some degree until we both graduate, get jobs and get married.

But seeing as your non religious/agnostic/atheist as well, do you talk about religion with your kids at all, or do you plan on it? (Assuming you have kids, of course). I guess I'm wondering how atheist folks explain religion to their children and how they teach tolerance. I think it matters a lot where you live as well, for instance, I grew up in the southern US where religion is a big deal and our town has a mega church. But in NYC, where I go to college, I work teaching kids about nutrition and religion isn't a frequent topic for them it seems.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:54 pm 
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I am agnostic, my husband is kind of a non-participating Christian, and our extended families are Christian with varying degrees of participation. My kid is only three weeks old, and so far the only thing that's come up is baptism. We said that no, we're not having him baptized; if that's something he's interested in later in life he can choose to be baptized. We are secular all the way. We do celebrate Christmas, but in a "it's nice to drink soy nog and sing jingle bells and give each other presets" way, not a baby Jesus way. Other families have different beliefs and different ways of celebrating and that's okay. Fortunately no one has expressed disapproval or tried to force anything on us. If they do I'll just have to tell them it's none of their damn business, but I have no problem alienating relatives...


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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:25 pm 
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We don't talk about religion much. The kids on the corner are Muslim. He went to a Hanukkah thing at another neighbors'. For my son, I think religion is just this thing some people do. He's just not interested.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:34 pm 
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I'm an atheist. I haven't talked to my kids about religion yet (they're 3 and 1.5), unless having a penchant for saying, "God damn it!" counts.
I plan on talking to them about it a little bit once they get to be school aged. Just the, "Some people believe this, and some other people believe this, and yet some other people believe this, and that's OK," sort of deal.
Luckily, I don't have too many devoutly religious people in my family (or at least they aren't vocal about it), except for my grandma and an aunt or two who we only see once every few years.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:12 pm 
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I have a master's degree in religion and my son was taught to write his name in both Sanskrit and Hebrew so my situation is not the same. However, his father is an atheist while my family is very much conservative evangelical Protestant Christians. I don't think going to a church service on Christmas Eve once every couple of years has damaged Toby. He recently debunked the idea of the Tooth Fairy and declared that he is not a Christian because he believes in the Greek gods. He adores Hanukkah because there is an army and fire.

Being non-religious does not mean anti-religious. Kids should be exposed to what Toby calls "different cultures." He can work this out for himself when he's an adult.

TheChickpea, this may not be a popular opinion but your fiance needs to grow up and tell his family what he believes and does not believe or in the very least, tell his parents to back off when you have children. If he's an adult, he will not have a problem with this. It sounds like he has not set boundaries for his relationship with his parents. Rude is rude, regardless of any good intentions. Talking about hell and damnation in front of small children is rude.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:21 pm 
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I'm agnostic and my husband is atheist. I was raised by an evangelical family (several generations of pastors). If we lived nearer to my family I think we'd have more of an issue, but as it is, with just my spouse's family nearby (who are lapsed/non-practicing Lutherans) it hasn't been a big deal so far. The baptism thing did come up after she was born, but since my parents/grandparents don't believe in infant baptism, we were essentially given a pass on that one from his folks/grandmother.

My family (when I was young) largely avoided the pagan symbols now part of Christian celebrations (we didn't wear crosses, we didn't have a Christmas tree, we were encouraged to spread the "truth" of how Santa and the Easter Bunny were lies that distracted from the "true" meaning of the holiday, etc.). It was somewhat exhausting. I'm enjoying indulging in the new-to-me fun of Santa, though I'm still unsure how far to take the myth (I don't want to create an alternate universe than the one I grew up, in which Jesus is a silly story parents tell their children and Santa is real. That makes me uncomfortable). So far I've liked our holidays (focused on togetherness and singing songs and eating food!) but my daughter is only two, so we've yet to make any real traditions. My husband thus far hasn't fussed about most Christmas carols, but I can tell he's somewhat uncomfortable with the baby Jesus ones. We don't (and won't) have a manger scene. I do want to get back to celebrating many of the Jewish holidays we celebrated when I was young (because they hold warm fuzzies for me and I want to pass that along), but I haven't really figured out a way to incorporate them all with my spouse's comfort level (he worries that if we have celebrations from one religion, even if the religious texts/prayers are cut out, that we should be introducing numerous other religions/culture's celebrations as well, so that our daughter doesn't get the idea that we're validating one religion over another).

I honestly don't know what's the best way to handle your situation, but I feel for you! (I miss my family, but I am also quite grateful I don't have to fend off "invitations" to take my daughter to church every weekend. Or ever. When they come here, they do go, but they've never once indicated I should attend too. Perhaps because my spouse has been very open about his atheism (which was shocking to my extended family, but we don't see them much, and my parents have turned out to be troopers and still accept him). Perhaps because they know we're adults and can do our own thing, and they don't believe that children have the need/ability to seek salvation until they reach an older age (around 8-ish). Maybe it'll be a different story for us then, I'll be finding out! Sorry, not much help. Bathering.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:58 pm 
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Vantine wrote:
TheChickpea, this may not be a popular opinion but your fiance needs to grow up and tell his family what he believes and does not believe or in the very least, tell his parents to back off when you have children. If he's an adult, he will not have a problem with this. It sounds like he has not set boundaries for his relationship with his parents. Rude is rude, regardless of any good intentions. Talking about hell and damnation in front of small children is rude.


I completely agree with you and he and I have talked about the issue. If/when we have children he plans to talk to them, or I will step in and do it for him. Since we're both still young, undergrads, and rely on them for a place to live a few weeks throughout the year, he doesn't feel like now is the time to say anything, especially since they still provide him with some financial support. His parents mean well I think, in some twisted way, but they do have the attitude that we are young and stupid and don't know what we are talking about and thus we need to be enlightened by them. They are major conservative, Fox news obsessed types who think that our heavily biased liberal educations are brainwashing us (because everyone everywhere at every college institution is a 'liberal whack job,' along with everyone in the media outside of fox news and Christian publications).

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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:22 pm 
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TheChickpea wrote:
Vantine wrote:
TheChickpea, this may not be a popular opinion but your fiance needs to grow up and tell his family what he believes and does not believe or in the very least, tell his parents to back off when you have children. If he's an adult, he will not have a problem with this. It sounds like he has not set boundaries for his relationship with his parents. Rude is rude, regardless of any good intentions. Talking about hell and damnation in front of small children is rude.


I completely agree with you and he and I have talked about the issue. If/when we have children he plans to talk to them, or I will step in and do it for him. Since we're both still young, undergrads, and rely on them for a place to live a few weeks throughout the year, he doesn't feel like now is the time to say anything, especially since they still provide him with some financial support. His parents mean well I think, in some twisted way, but they do have the attitude that we are young and stupid and don't know what we are talking about and thus we need to be enlightened by them. They are major conservative, Fox news obsessed types who think that our heavily biased liberal educations are brainwashing us (because everyone everywhere at every college institution is a 'liberal whack job,' along with everyone in the media outside of fox news and Christian publications).

I would suggest that he needs to do it so that it's clear that the opinion is his and not yours. Anything other than a clear, direct statement from him could be spun to be something else. He needs to do it or explain to you why he can't if he indeed believes as you think he does.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:28 pm 
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I was raised in a non-religious house with freedom to pursue whatever we wanted, and we did. I now don't identify with any organized religion. My children will do whatever they want religion wise too. But we don't have anyone that regularly goes to church in our extended family. If anyone pushed our boundaries, we'd just cut ties with them. I have recently with one due to other chaos and it is great.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:14 am 
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i am a third-generation athiest (my grandparents were very anti-religion!), so my situation's not exactly the same as yours -- though my husband's family is super into jesus, they're also pretty understanding of the fact that we're not.

what i can tell you is how i was raised, given that it's not really possible to just avoid religion & pretend it doesn't exist -- especially at certain times of the year. my parents happily told me about lots of different holidays & religions, & we would read stories about them around the times of those holidays -- but they were always very clearly presented as fictional. it didn't really even occur to me that some people believed in, say, zombie jesus for real until i was much older. we also covered lots of holidays, not just the standard set that get popular mention (which is to say, more than just christmas/hanukkah/easter/passover), & in some ways i feel like i got a better religious education than friends of mine who were dragged to church or synagogue or whatever as kids. for that big winter holiday season, we did celebrate with family -- but we never were really explicit about it being for christmas or hanukkah or anything like that. it was just "the holidays" -- & sometimes my aunt would talk about it as a winter solstice celebration, which was cool with me.

granted, it was a bit different because my parents weren't up against family who wanted something very different out of the holiday . . . but maybe that is helpful in figuring out what you are going to do, whenever it becomes relevant.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:11 am 
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I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school up until college. My parents stopped making us go to church when I was in high school, and while I think my mom does have faith in a higher power, her reason for sending us to Catholic shcool was "to get good morals".
I am an athiest; I've never been a believer. I can remember sitting in church, preparing for first communion, and wondering what was wrong with me because I didn't feel whatever it is you are supposed to feel for Jesus. All this guilt and shame as a seven-year-old!
My husband (an agnostic) was raised the same way, though his parents still go to church and his mom is truly saddened by our lack of faith and she acts very disappointed when we are visiting and won't go to church with them. She has gotten a little better over time. Not much was said about us not baptizing our son (Catholics do infant baptism).
My feeling on introducing religon is that I will talk about it when the opportunity presents itself. As someone who thought something was wrong with me for not feeling faithful, I learned about and tried many different types of religion before deciding that there wasn't anything wrong with me, I just didn't believe in god! I love learning about the traditions, celebrations, and culture surrounding religions from different parts of the world, but I don't see myself making an effort to educate my children about it outside of natural opportunities to do so.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:37 pm 
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I don't have kids yet, but I was raised in a nonreligious family (family didn't go to church, one parent was raised Catholic while the other was never baptized or churched although in an Eastern European family there were a lot of secular traditions that went along with Easter and Christmas).

We celebrated these in secular, culturally traditional ways. My parents did NOT emphasize religion or the Santa Claus myth very much. We had a manger but it was more like a straw doll house that we played with.

I liked this approach, and it's what I do now (after all, most holiday traditions didn't start out Christian and actually four hundred years ago celebrating Christmas as a solstice-alternative was considered heretical by the likes of Thomas More!).. I think if you try to take culturally prevalent holidays away from kids they just end up feeling deprived and left out. Kids tend to care more about outer appearances than content, and whether that means making a special effort to cook nutritious vegan food that looks just like the crepe their friends are eating OR letting them have some of the trappings of culturally ambient holidays, I don't think there's much harm in it. Christmas is NOT a very religiously important holiday, regardless of what historical revisionist Christians try to tell you.

When our kid is born I'm planning to continue the tradition of deemphasizing the religious aspects of holidays while doing some of the culturally traditional things. We'll probably deemphasize Santa. If husband's family asks about Christening, I think our response will be "we plan to let Snotleigh make decisions about religion for him/herself later."


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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:09 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
Neither my wife's nor my family is religious, so my situation is very different from yours. I did want to point out that a nonbelief in Jesus and Yahweh is our natural state, so you don't have to "push" atheism on kids.


Yup.

There are religious people on both sides of the Emperor's family, but not like grandparents or anything. (Great aunts and cousins and stuff.) I'm hoping it'll be a non-issue for us.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:49 pm 
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My parents were a lot like you guys, and raised us with lots of exposure to non christian religions, but none to christian religions. All of my grandparents were very active and faithful catholics, one set was great with my parents doing what they wanted, and the other had several of us secretly baptized, and generally evangelized. Although my other grandmother's deep faith was a major influence and a forceful impact in my own personal faith manifestation, my 'crazy' grandmother's obsessiveness and aggressiveness (we got bible story books for christmas, etc) really scared me away from all forms of Christianity for years.

(i consider myself a christian, and my husband and i belong to a liberal branch of the mennonite community. for my parents, this has been the most contentious decision in my life, but they do their best to understand it)


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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:55 am 
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I understand why your fiance doesn't want to completely alienate himself from the people he's still financially dependent on just yet. There will be a time when it's important to take a personal stand, but if you're not having kids in the near future and you could really use the help I get why you'd put that off for a bit longer. I do agree that when the time comes, it's going to be important your fiance lets his family know that it is about him and his choices. I don't think my in-laws would take my son's veg status at all seriously if my omni hubs did not make it clear it was HIS decision, too.

I was really loosely raised Catholic. My mom was raised Catholic, but as I was growing up she seemed to move further and further away from the idea of organized religion in general. I have no idea if my dad is religious. He's one of those dad's who doesn't talk about anything too meaningful. As far as I can tell, neither of them care that our children aren't baptized and won't be raised in a church. They've certainly never brought it up. I think they'd be more disappointed if we stopped celebrating Christmas.

My husband was raised Lutheran, but his parents seem pretty non-practicing. They've never commented on our beliefs or lack of. Apparently, my MIL is converting to Catholicism. She's always been very private though, and it seems like it's just her and not my FIL. I'm hopeful it's something she'll keep to herself. So far, they both seem more offended by the lack of meat in my son's life.

Our sons are young (2 and a belly dweller), but so far the plan is to celebrate Christmas as a fun time of family and traditions (like trees, lights, food, and giving). Jesus and Santa will both be stories people like to tell around this time. Almost everything I got out of Christmas as a child was secular so I don't feel like I have to change very much to keep hold of the traditions I was raised with.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:31 am 
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Once there's a kid, you might want to make it clear that any "you're going to hell unless you come to Jesus" talks are inappropriate while he's young. And also talk with the kid occasionally about how to deal with that stuff, especially when it's coming from an adult, since it will probably happen anyway. It's a crappy situation to be in when you're little.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:35 pm 
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thanks for bringing up the topic. i'm a super liberal uber ever doubting jewmutt married to a reverent agnostic. for a while i was very much caught up in doing the "right" things to raise the kids jewishly. now i don't give a shiitake anymore. pushing anything-(faith, food, and fun) on a kid only ensures they will go in the complete opposite direction. for years i slammed the brakes on x-mas* because i hated it for child of an alcoholic reasons. this broke mr. j's heart.

well, this year i took it back. blasto loves both channukah and x-mas. everything is a fairy tale and full of wonder. i know my lil' boy won't be like that forever so i let him have fun with it. i just want my kids to be happy and well equipped with good BS detectors. g-d doesn't really have anything to do with the success or failure of those abilities.

may the force be with you!

*=christmas to us, of course meaning santa claus, frosty, rudolph, and all that fun stuff. nothing to do with jeebus.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:40 pm 
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I was raised in an Orthodox Mizrahi Jewish household, but I'm reform-itive now. My family is pretty okay with that. Mr. HV is agnostic and was raised by Southern Baptists. Our wedding was a nightmare and only because of his family.

When we have kids, we've decided to raise them as Jews. Mr. HV has no emotional ties to Christmas or Easter. We weren't going to celebrate Christmas this year, but his parents gave us a tree and ornaments and put it up for us, which made me extremely uncomfortable. When I told them how I felt, they basically told me I was ruining Christmas. Oh, okay.

I see nothing wrong with celebrating Christmas, but we don't want to. I plan to tell my children all about different religions, but I have no intention of celebrating another religion's holiday because it's "what's done" and "normal".

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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:06 pm 
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My family and I are Rastafari- so spiritual but not religious.
We do not 'celebrate' Christmas as we believe it to be a pagan religion with no real roots in Christianity. Especially since Jesus was knowingly not born in December. Anyways. This is a time of mass consumerism. Our children (2 and 3) know that santa claus is not real and that this is a silly time of the year. My family get very offended(read my mother who was raised jewish and my sister especially-though neither of them are religious). This is a crazy time. I'd rather hide in my home, but I let my children go to my parents for a visit and then to an aunt's for dinner. But that's it.. When one studies the history of how many 'religious' celebrations came to be, it's a bit scary. Even why there are balls as ornaments on christmas trees..


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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:47 pm 
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Vantine wrote:
I have a master's degree in religion and my son was taught to write his name in both Sanskrit and Hebrew so my situation is not the same.


i hope you know you will be teaching me this when i visit you.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:29 am 
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jewbacca wrote:
thanks for bringing up the topic. i'm a super liberal uber ever doubting jewmutt married to a reverent agnostic. for a while i was very much caught up in doing the "right" things to raise the kids jewishly. now i don't give a shiitake anymore. pushing anything-(faith, food, and fun) on a kid only ensures they will go in the complete opposite direction. for years i slammed the brakes on x-mas* because i hated it for child of an alcoholic reasons. this broke mr. j's heart.

well, this year i took it back. blasto loves both channukah and x-mas. everything is a fairy tale and full of wonder. i know my lil' boy won't be like that forever so i let him have fun with it. i just want my kids to be happy and well equipped with good BS detectors. g-d doesn't really have anything to do with the success or failure of those abilities.

may the force be with you!

*=christmas to us, of course meaning santa claus, frosty, rudolph, and all that fun stuff. nothing to do with jeebus.



I like your holiday approach! Sometimes I feel vaguely silly for celebrating a holiday that so many equate with a religion that I don't at all follow or believe in. But I have so many fond memories of Christmas from when I was little that don't have anything to do with religion at all, and I want my future kid(s) to have those fond memories too. I do think the holiday has a tendency to get really crazy and blown up with all the consumerism. I've seen my Aunt's kids on Christmas, for instance, who shout "gimme gimme" at every new toy they see on TV and both had absolute, screaming, crying tantrums on Christmas day when Santa didn't bring them some toy (out of probably 10 each) that they wanted. That's the kind of thing that it makes me sad to see. Most of my favorite Christmas memories are of cooking food with my mom, making my parents the ugliest gifts ever (I made my dad a tie once out of string and tissues....), decorating, driving around to see the lights...

and the year I was 12 and we made dinner and bought gifts for a family with two young kids whose parents had just gotten laid off and were losing their house.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:02 am 
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Not NOT A Furry

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:41 pm
Posts: 460
mamatafari wrote:
My family and I are Rastafari- so spiritual but not religious.

I know you meant "Rastafari - (therefore) spiritual, (though) not religious."

But I read it as...

"Rastafari... SO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O spiritual!!!"


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 Post subject: Re: Kids, Religion, & Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:14 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:51 am
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I recently mentioned to my Mom that I am not planning to baptize our child when it is born. She really wants me to, which I thought was kind of strange at first. My Mom and Dad attended catholic school and so did I and my brother, however sometime around middle school my Mom stopped making us go to church. I have since become agnostic. There are things I like about religion, mostly the history and the stories, but I don't like organized religion and I am definitely not Christian. Nate and I talked about raising our child with some kind of religion and what we wanted to do. We both agreed that we felt Buddhism aligned most with our morals and ethics. I think my Mom wants to have a baptism because it is a nice thing to do/reason to have another party for the baby/another reason for her to visit. I do want to educate my child about different religions because they are fascinating and let her/him decide when they are older if they would like to choose a religion or be fine with what they have.


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