Children in a mixed FSM / Catholic household

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Children in a mixed FSM / Catholic household

Postby Rev. Brian on Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:22 pm

Rev. Frank is a Pastafarian friend of mine. He is married to a wonderful woman who also happens to be Catholic. They have a 9 year old daughter together. Presently Mom is in charge of the child's religious indoctrination and, unsurprisingly, the child is being indoctrinated with all the usual Catholic dogma (religion class, first holy communion, someday "confirmation", etc.).

I have expressed my concern (to Rev. Frank, but not to Momma), about how long this should be allowed to continue before his daughter is presented with the fact that there are other religions to consider (possibly including the choice of "no religion"). On the one hand, his daughter seems very bright and prone to independent thought - so there may be no harm in things continuing as they are for some time. On the other hand, being indoctrinated into something from birth is a pretty powerful thing, and I worry about permanent damage to her ability to have a reasoned perspective on the topic.

My upbringing varied from non-religious to very-religious during various periods. My father was not particularly religious until he married a lady who was very Baptist and then suddenly we were going to a Baptist church every Sunday. My grandparents were VERY religious, in a "Church of God" sort of way (believing in the speaking in tongues and all that business) and I spent most summers with them so had plenty of exposure to that. It is somewhat embarrassing to admit, but it wasn't until taking "World History" in high school that I was even aware that there were religions that had a different god. I was only aware of Baptist vs. Lutheran vs. Church of God vs. whatever - all of which "use" the same god. The moment I was exposed to Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. the question that instantaneously appeared in my brain was "what is the likelihood that I just happen to have been born into a family that believes in the 'one true god?'". Obviously the likelihood is quite small. And in the span of a single class my belief in any god (Christian or otherwise) evaporated.

The point of that story was that I spent my whole life up until high school believing in God, even getting "saved" in the process, and I was not forever lost because of it. But I wasn't raised devout Catholic from the moment I had cognitive ability either.

Hence my concern. Obviously it is not necessary for Rev. Frank to offer Pastafarianism as an alternative to his daughter (although it might be one way to broach the topic of alternatives) - but the notion that there are alternatives (including "no religion") should be presented at some point.

My question to you all is: "when"? Have any of you dealt with this? If so, at what age? What was the result?

Clearly this is going to probably provoke a very strong "reaction" from Momma - but that's another matter altogether. The important thing to me (although I suppose it's truly none of my business) is that she be exposed to the notion of considering alternatives before she's had so much Kool Aid that there's no undoing what I perceive as "the damage".

Thoughts?
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Re: Children in a mixed FSM / Catholic household

Postby Cardinal Fang on Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:26 pm

I was raised in quite a devout Christian household. Me and sibling weren't given a choice but to go to church until we were 16. We also went to Christian events e.g. Spring Harvest. This is ,I suspect, the reason neither of us believe. You get told that you'd feel God's presence etc and you never do - plants that little seed of doubt.

I think a religious upbringing it quite good at making sure that many people don't become religious, as long as the child is taught some critical thinking, and knows that it is okay to question. I don't think Dad needs to ram home any "it's all nonsense" message - just make sure daughter knows that if she won't get into trouble if she's not sure about anything. Skepticism and critical thinking are good lessons to teach any child.

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Re: Children in a mixed FSM / Catholic household

Postby Rev. Brian on Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:50 pm

Cardinal Fang wrote:I think a religious upbringing it quite good at making sure that many people don't become religious, as long as the child is taught some critical thinking, and knows that it is okay to question.

These are critical points. Many of the people that are still devout as adults seem to be missing that "critical thinking" piece, or perhaps just had it beaten into them that they were possessed by the devil if they even thought of questioning anything related to the bible.

Cardinal Fang wrote:I don't think Dad needs to ram home any "it's all nonsense" message - just make sure daughter knows that if she won't get into trouble if she's not sure about anything.

Certainly not - ramming home an "it's all nonsense" message would be about as bad in my book - you're trying to deprive the child of the opportunity to evaluate the options and arrive at their own conclusion. Honestly I think their daughter will turn out just fine -- I'm just not sure what the wrath of Mom will be like if Rev. Frank is ultimately responsible for Mom's only child going to hell (which is probably how it will be seen if kiddo ultimately decides the bearded man upstairs belongs with Santa Claus).
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Re: Children in a mixed FSM / Catholic household

Postby Roy Hunter on Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:00 pm

Catholicism isn't like regular xtianity: there is all sorts of ancillary guilt / fatalism / guilt / anxiety and guilt that goes with it. My wife is a recovering RC and she utterly rejects the church and its teachings, but she feels enormously guilty about it. I pointed out how stupid this was, and she tried to make me feel guilty about it. That didn't work, so she felt guilty about that.

You can really improve the quality of an RC child if you can get in there before the guilt has set in. That would appear to be long before the whole believing in Jesus and Mary and all the Saints has happened.
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Re: Children in a mixed FSM / Catholic household

Postby pieces o'nine on Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:02 pm

^ That was a good synopsis of RCism, but you forgot to emphasize the guilt. :grin:
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Re: Children in a mixed FSM / Catholic household

Postby Temp0ral on Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:13 pm

What are Catholics feeling guilty about?
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Re: Children in a mixed FSM / Catholic household

Postby pieces o'nine on Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:29 pm

Temp0ral wrote:What are Catholics not feeling guilty about?

Your post. I fix it for you.
(It's an infinitely shorter list.)



Of course, I didn't check with you first...


*experiences guilt*
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Re: Children in a mixed FSM / Catholic household

Postby daftbeaker on Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:44 pm

Temp0ral wrote:What are Catholics feeling guilty about?

Catholics v Protestants (some notty words).
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything - Friedrich Nietzsche

But why is the rum gone?!
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Re: Children in a mixed FSM / Catholic household

Postby Temp0ral on Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:17 pm

pieces o'nine wrote:
Temp0ral wrote:What are Catholics not feeling guilty about?

Your post. I fix it for you.
(It's an infinitely shorter list.)



Of course, I didn't check with you first...


*experiences guilt*

I think...I...sort of understand. Oh God, what if I don't? :(

daftbeaker wrote:
Temp0ral wrote:What are Catholics feeling guilty about?

Catholics v Protestants (some notty words).

Hahaha.
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