to wish my mum would accept I'm an atheist?

(81 Posts)
WidowWadman Sun 08-Dec-13 20:39:12

I'm not rubbing it in her face or anything, but she's not happy my kids aren't christened, I only had a registry wedding, etc. She seems to believe (or at least makes comments suggesting) that I'm just going along with my husband's wishes.
I find this insulting to both me and him - as if I was just following someone else's lead (I'm not) and as if he orders me about (he doesn't).

I've no problem with my parents' faith, and don't ever attack or criticise them. Our decision not to christen our children is not a criticism on them having christened me. They did what they believed was right, and that's cool. Doesn't mean that I have to believe that that's the right course of action for my parenting.

Our kids learn about Christianity just like about any other religion. We even asked for a kid's bible as a first christmas present for our eldest - knowing the stories which influenced our culture so much, is important.

I don't want to discuss religion with them, as I accept that they believe and don't feel the need to upset them, so why raise it with me? Again and again and again?

DazzleU Mon 09-Dec-13 00:08:44

"but all church schools are better so think about their education?"

My unbaptized DC with two atheists parents attending local school which is C of E.

I am/was unbaptized and went to my local school - different location and only school in village - that was also C. of E.

DC school is more vocal about their faith than my school was.

We figured my school inoculated me against region and DC knowing about Christianity and the stories associated with it would be good as it's part of the countries culture.

Not all religious schools require region and one that do often have some places for DC not of their persuasion.

CleopatrasAsp Mon 09-Dec-13 01:13:58

WidowWadman I love Tim Minchin but had never heard that song - it's ridiculously beautiful, thank you for the link.

I find it so hard to understand why my perfectly nice, decent friends have religious beliefs. If your god is one of the many that plans an eternal damnation on anyone who doesn't believe and worship him/her... If your God has the power to prevent disasters yet actively ignores them under the flimsy pretense of "free will"... If your god has actively committed genicide multiple times just to punish the people he created for their sins... What on earth is there to like about that God? He is clearly vain and selfish and at best uninterested in his people. I would prefer to go to hell than worship any being that would enforce Armageddon and end times on people who may even be worshipping him, jus with a different name.

trufflesnuffler Mon 09-Dec-13 01:43:14

A friend of mines PIL are very upset their grandkids are not being raised religious as they truly believe they will 'burn in hell'. It's very upsetting for the atheist mother.

Bogeyface Mon 09-Dec-13 01:54:20

My dad was a victim of Catholic schools in the 50's/60's. He wasnt sexually assaulted, or at least he has never said that he was, but he was physically assaulted. It left him with a hatred of the Catholic church, but he is still in a state over the fact that my 3 youngest havent been baptised. I had the older 3 baptised as I still had my faith then, now I am atheist.

I think he is like the DH of a PP, he is a believer but totally against organised religion. Sadly, he had it beaten into him that if you are not baptised then if you die you will go to Limbo as you havent been cleansed of Original Sin and are therefore unable to enter Heaven. I am sure that deep down he knows it isnt true but he cant shake that fear that my children may suffer an eternity of Limbo sad

Oddly enough, Mum has a true and strong faith. She is an active member of the Methodist church and has never ever pushed baptism with me. In fact she defended my decision to an old friend of mine and member of Mums church when she was saying "You need to make sure Bogey brings the children in for baptism". Mum got quite cross and said "Bogey respects your beliefs, you should respect hers". smile

sanssoleil Mon 09-Dec-13 01:55:26

My mum 'christened' DD's in kitchen sink-I didn't give her the satisfaction of a response when she disclosed.

It felt disrespectful as my partner's family were Muslim and she knew my reasons for not wanting my children baptised,based on my own experience of organised religion.

LittleBabyPigsus Mon 09-Dec-13 03:43:40

volestair plenty of Christians don't believe in Hell, or believe in Hell only for genuinely shitty people, and not people who just don't believe in God.

Re church schools, there are many great non-church schools and I went to one. As a Christian I am actually quite uncomfortable with church schools which exclude non-Christians because to me that seems like a really un-Christian attitude.

LittleBabyPigsus Mon 09-Dec-13 03:48:38

flyingspaghettimonster not really sure why you are treating all religions as the same. I mean, Buddhism doesn't even include a belief in a deity but is more of a philosophy. Hinduism is also quite different to the religions you describe. What if your friends were Buddhist, would you feel the same way?

Eternal damnation and genocide are not part of my beliefs, so why put my faith in with other, more extreme faiths? There are lots of very different religious beliefs, please stop stereotyping.

SatinSandals Mon 09-Dec-13 07:35:43

The attitude that unbelievers will go to hell, volestair, and it is your job to save them! It is hardly 'love your neighbour as yourself', I don't remember any mention of 'love your neighbour as yourself BUT make sure they are Christian'!
I believe in God, I don't believe in hell, unless it is one of your own making.
If there is an afterlife it isn't a cosy little one only on offer to those who who go to a certain branch of religion, like a club!
I can never get my head around people saying 'my child is a Christian', my child is an atheist' etc when they are merely a child of a Christian, a child of an atheist. They all make up their own minds. Lots if children of Christians become atheists, lots of children of atheists become Christians, lots of both become Buddhists, Muslims etc.
That is healthy. Becoming what your mother is, without question, is not healthy when it is the mere luck of birth. We are not our mothers.
I am a Christian, my children are not. It is utter rubbish to fear for them. I fail to see why people get so het up about it. When you look at your newborn baby you can have no idea at all what sort of person they will be, what their belief system will be so why assume it will be the same as yours?

Jenijena Mon 09-Dec-13 07:41:13

"But mum, do you really want me to stand up in church and say vows I don't believe in?"

SatinSandals Mon 09-Dec-13 07:47:02

The huge mistake is thinking you have to discuss and give reasons, you really don't. You are an adult so just say it is a private matter and you have no intention of discussing it. Neither side is likely to change their minds so you will let yourselves in for years of going over and over the same ground.

SatinSandals Mon 09-Dec-13 07:48:04

Probably the parents do, Jenijena, that is why it is pointless discussing.

jamdonut Mon 09-Dec-13 08:01:08

I am the same as you OP. Register Office wedding and unchristened children. My Mum and Grandmother thought it was dreadful,although they tried not to mention it too often!

I was christened, but I do not believe I have the right to " enrol " my children in the Church,as it were,(which is what a christening is,essentially,) that that is something for them to decide when they are older and can make informed decisions. I and my husband are not religious.BUT I do like going to carol services and school nativities!!! Love them!!! fwink

StanleyLambchop Mon 09-Dec-13 08:02:27

Surely you know about the Pagan celebrations pre-dating Christian celebrations. Don't make this into one of those threads!!

But Paganism is a religion also, so not something of interest to an atheist either.

PS- I don't really care who celebrates Christmas or why!

SatinSandals Mon 09-Dec-13 08:10:09

I think that anyone can celebrate Christmas, if they want to.

diddl Mon 09-Dec-13 08:14:18

But surely it doesn't matter if the GPs believe that their GC will be in limbo or whatever-it's what the GC themselves believe?

I completely get your issue, *OP (but we have no DC).
My father is an ordained minister, and I am not a christian.

They hate coming to stay here we veer towards the buddhist here and have lots of indian things from our travels. They have very little in their life apart from their faith as their whole life is tied up with it all, so we have very little to stay on 'safe' subjects.

They though are pushing for Xmas with us. I last spent Xmas with them 20 years ago - for them, it's their religious festival (singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, anyone?) For me it's all about presents, drink and crap films with friends and my DH.

Why, why why, can't they just accept that we know what we're doing, that they're not right and take from us what we do have to offer them instead.

StanleyLambchop Mon 09-Dec-13 09:01:06

I think that anyone can celebrate Christmas, if they want to.

I agree Satin, hence my postscript. I was just pointing out that Paganism is a religion, as many people seem to believe that a Pagan festival = an atheist festival.

In terms of having a good opportunity for food, presents & merry making, then who needs an excuse???

LackingEnergy Mon 09-Dec-13 10:03:04

Everyone will go to some form of hell when they die as most religions state than anyone who doesn't believe in their god will go to some version of hell.... Such nice people :-)

specialsubject Mon 09-Dec-13 10:31:03

religious intolerance and the insecurity of believers in full demonstration here. Many believers are very insecure and can't cope with others not believing.

you are quite right not to stand up in church and make promises to a god that you don't believe in. Tell her that. You could even tell her that despite your upbringing, you've learnt to think for yourself.

I will have Xmas tree and decs up, I like pretty lights and to cheer up midwinter until we saw the scots off at Hadrian's wall and stop the time change Doesn't mean I believe in any fairies.

BTW loved the idea of the haunting parents; 'if I'm wrong about ghosts it will be nice to see them!!'

diddl Mon 09-Dec-13 10:35:02

That's the thing, isn't it-the foisting on others.

I don't believe in hell or that I will go there.

You can believe what you want-just don't drag me into it.

I'm not worried for me-ther's no need for anyone else to be!

volestair Mon 09-Dec-13 10:35:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 09-Dec-13 10:39:54

'Mum, I chose my husband partly because he IS an atheist, so stop trying to divide and rule, now are you putting the kettle on or not?'

LimitedEditionLady Mon 09-Dec-13 10:43:58

Knowing my mil she will probably haunt me and do the washing up....

volestair Mon 09-Dec-13 10:52:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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