I was born, raised, and married Catholic, as was my wife. I have since become an out of the closet atheist within the last 3 years.
My youngest daughter-- 7 years old, (out of 5 kids) is not baptized.
We have been approached by the church to baptize her.
Wife sez yes, I say no. I have my reasons, she has hers.
I don't want it to happen, but if it does, I don't want to be there at the altar.
(Being in the church wouldnt kill me though.)
Can I ask for opinions/advice for this situation?
Please remember the questions they ask of the parents at the baptism:
1: Do you reject satan and all his works?
2: Do you accept god, his son and the holy ghost?
3: Do you promise to raise your kid in catholicism?
I DO NOT want to stand there and say "NO", but otherwise I think it's a harmless ceremony, and the kid could use a party(money!)
But if I go thru with it, How could I look in the mirror and call myself an atheist?
Others have said for me to LIE, but I will not.
ANY advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
"thought UU Sun school was a decent trade off for me teaching him atheism and a very liberal church teaching him about several different religious traditions without indoctrination"
"he has had questions. Of course a parent answers with their own bias, I think that's normal"
Why did you do that? Did he choose to go to church or was it force on him because of some forceful relatives? For me a religion free home means a religion free home. That means no church and no teaching of atheism. Not that I wouldn't tell my child what I thought about religion if i was asked about it.My child would hear an ear full haha. I just won't sit down and say. No god believing under my roof.
If my child choose to be religions before he is 16. I wouldn't stop him . I would just say church is community. So you can use the community bus (public transportation) if you want to be a churchy.
"I chose for him but"
lol that isn't something an atheist should do. I did say religion free home but an agnostic/atheist home wouldn't have children go to church. You chose for him. Some children like pleasing their mothers rather then acutally thinking for themselves. Your home isn't agnostic/atheist. Its theist/deist/agnostic. Which is a bit contradictory to an atheist/agnostic home because an atheist wouldn't willingly expose their child to religion nor do I think it does any service to anyone only further confuses the child. You are an atheist but at the same time saying keep an open mind to non-sense and delusions.
I think the best stance is to be neutral on the child's religious affiliations at the same time not encouraging such behavior. I don't want to command a child to be an atheist but I am willing tell the child what I think if asked or is the subject of conversation.
I don't think religion should be on equal grounds with atheism. Its a primitive way of looking at the world. Its about freedom of choice.
On congratulate your son of being rational.
Its not my opinion. Its fact you raised your child with some theism deliberately. Definitions are not preservative they are descriptive
"Who the fuck are you to tell me my home is theistic"
The dictionary. I guess more accurately I could say your parenting is partly theistic because you made your child attend Sunday school.
"what UU is? Do you even have a clue what you're talking about?"
I don't know much about them. I think they are a church that thinks all religions are right in some way. You sent your child their hopping they would learn all about religion when in fact no one religion can condense the teachings 1000's of religions in human kind present and pass in Sunday school.
"you don't have a right to tell me what I, as an atheist, should or shouldn't do"
Of course I don't. I already mentioned this in past post specially so you wouldn't imply that I am a totalitarian. Some people get it in their mind that not being open minded towards idiocy or don't believe in misinformation is somehow totalitarian
"like militant atheism to me"
Of course I am. In my profile. I let it be known that I am brutally honest. That should imply that I am a militant atheist. There nothing wrong with being one.
"Many atheists go to UU and have their children attend UU Sun school. It's not a big fucking deal, okay, unless people like you choose to make it one"
Hahahaha. I had a good laugh. It is a big fucking deal. When you say you raise your child in a atheist/agnostic setting yet take them to Sunday school That is hypocrisy. I will not let you get away with redefining what it means to be an atheist. Look i don't have a problem learning other people's traditions even if they are religious but it should be from a secular point of view if you are going to proclaim atheist/agnostic home. Not the UU church which is a real church that believes in god.
"I took him to classes that taught him about different religions and a world of diversity"
They call themselves a church.
What are you trying to tell me? Are you telling me we should refine atheism to include church or defending your position of deliberately exposing children to religion because no matter what your objective was. The time you choose for your child to go to church your parenting included theism.
Teaching them about Jesus and god at the UU church isn't atheistic. It is theistic. It doesn't match the definition that you showed me. I highly doubt they teach religion like a secularist would. The come form a position that this stuff could be real.
"You know what, I don't need to explain myself to anyone. I'm confident and comfortable with who I am, and so is my son"
Woopy fuckin do. You don't but this is a forum were people exchange idea's and debate them. You don't have to participate in it if you don't want. I like having the last word anyway.
"I took him a few times first to introduce him to it,"
So you forced him the first few times. Then you let the disease take its course(Basically sucking him in) and letting him tough it out like purposely infecting a child with chicken poxs so the child will become immune. Then you run the risk of the child staying a theist. Instead of chicken poxs it turns into HIV. You can't get rid of HIV. So he didn't have a choice at first. If he can shed religion off he was free to do so.
You acutally sparked my curiosity in the UU church but it is a religion. They sound just like Jesus freaks. Using the bible as a basis for morality is incorrect. Even if you use jesus. After all jesus said what as in the first testament was "good". I think we both know what was in that. To add to this. Jesus was a socialist(practically) and believed in pacifism. Which isn't always a good thing.
"man named Jesus, now dead, tried to teach when he was alive. He told us that the Bible is a book that tells stories about some of the ways Jesus showed his love for people"
come on its just silly to call that church secular(lol if any). At the very least it is religious humanism. Even the FSM church admits that they are theist.
a distinction between religious humanism and secular humanism was offered. The distinction is real, and operates in the real world, even if humanist organizations wish it weren't so. Humanist organizations only confuse themselves and their members by ignoring realities. Don't blame the messenger.
But David Schafer [President, The HUUmanists Association] accuses this messenger of the confusion. He thinks that religious humanism is secular humanism, commenting on my post as follows:
"In fact American Religious Humanism, as defined in HMI and documented in an abundance of subsequent literature, is actually a form of secular humanism, which differs from other secular humanisms only in its explicit recognition of and emphasis on the importance to human beings of the emotional life, the value of community, the utility of symbolism, the inspiration of the arts, and the need for intergenerational continuity. It is “religious” only in the sociological sense, as it meets many of the same human social and psychological needs as what has traditionally been known as “religion.” The pseudo-dichotomy between religious and secular humanism has needlessly divided the Humanist family, and the sooner the split is healed the better it will be for all Humanists."
Yet Schafer confusingly tells us that there IS a notable difference -- he says that American Religious Humanism "differs from other secular humanisms." And he virtually repeats my own sociological view of the distinction! Secular humanism, as it is actually practiced, prioritizes rational knowledge over a religious focus on the emotional/spiritual life, thus breaking humanism's reliance on historical religions, symbolism, aesthetics, and communal exercises. Many religious humanists still have churches, sing hymns, read scriptures, celebrate religious holidays, etc. This is a matter of relative emphasis, of course -- secular humanists hold meetings and enjoy richly emotional lives -- but secular humanism really has distinguished itself from all residual forms of religious conduct and experience. If you don't believe me, read Tom Flynn's statement on defining secular humanism as different from religious humanism (Flynn is the Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism).
Schafer, like myself, is a student of the history of American humanism, but he also seems to conveniently forget some history. He would teach us that the authors of the 1933 Humanist Manifesto intended to define and promote secular humanism. But that claim is terribly anachronistic, and mis-reads the statement itself, which only refers to "Religious humanism." HM1 declares that humanists should reject God, humanists promote some ethical principles, and humanists agree that to “ establish such a religion is a major necessity.”
Secular humanism has ethical principles but it does NOT try to establish a religion. Secular humanism has successfully distinguished itself in recent decades. Secular humanism's breakaway towards completely non-religious atheism couldn't have been a big surprise in hindsight, since telling people to stop believing in God but keep on being religious aroused plenty of confusion (again -- not Shook's fault!).
Schafer is spreading confusion, not me, by oddly claiming that religious humanism is secular humanism, excepting the poorer forms of secular humanism. How convenient. And we've heard this sort of thing from other leaders of humanist organizations, such as the American Humanist Association's Edd Doerr . But the histories of Schafer's and Doerr's organizations put the distinction between religious and secular humanism on full display.
Let's start with Schafer's HUUmanist Association. Wonder why the HUUmanist in its name has the two UUs? This organization used to be called the Fellowship of Religious Humanists and it was created, as its website states, "to advance humanism within the Unitarian-Universalist denomination." Hmmm... curious. The Unitarian Universalist denomination originally was a humanistic religious church -- as the UU website states , "Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion with Jewish-Christian roots" that “affirms the worth of human beings.” So if Schafer is right, then either his secular humanism is a liberal religion (doubtful), or the UUs are all secular humanists (doubtful), or (correct) his organization was involved in a struggle over humanism within the UU church. Why a struggle unless people within the UU perceived some distinction between religious and secular leanings? Evidently some people were viewed as too religious and not humanist enough, or from another perspective, as too secular and not religiously humanist enough. The existence of Schafer’s own organization is predicated on the very distinction that I point out. [UUs must speak for themselves -- here is a UU congregation President endorsing the religious humanist/secular humanist distinction.]
What about Edd Doerr's American Humanist Association ? Its own website supplies a statement on "What is Humanism" by Fred Edwords, who had no trouble distinguishing many kinds of humanisms, including religious humanism and secular humanism. Edwords served for fifteen years as AHA executive director (1984-1999) and twelve years as editor of the Humanist magazine (1994-2006). And the AHA has changed its IRS tax exemption from "educational" (1941) to "religious" (1960s) and then back to "educational" (2003), because of issues over religious vs. secular humanism .
As I have explained, religious and secular humanists agree that no supernatural God exists. After that, all sorts of differences start. They don’t even share the same naturalistic worldview, since some humanists like pantheism/paganism, some prefer a religious naturalism, and others accept strict reductionist materialism. And real sociological differences remain between many religious and secular humanisms on the ground. I am not the one spreading confusion and disorder. The histories of all the splinterings among religious humanisms from the Unitarian Universalists, the Ethical Culture Society, Schafer's HUUmanists Association, Doerr's American Humanist Association [etc. etc.], and then the emergence of the Council for Secular Humanism adequately attest to genuine disagreements among real humanists. Wishing people would stop disagreeing is one thing, while having some way to unite them is another. “Just love everybody and play nice” hasn’t been doing the job. Papering over real disagreements in the meantime is unworthy of thoughtful humanists.
The UU church itself its not secular as it has roots in Christianity.