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To not want to be a godparent

(56 Posts)
Smarshian Mon 18-Sep-17 20:45:16

Very close friend has asked me to be godparent to her ds2. We have been friends for years and I love both her ds.

I am however quite uncomfortable with the idea of standing in church and essentially lying about how I will bring the child up under god or whatever it is you say. I am not religious and nor is my friend. She is just getting him christened as she did ds1.

I thought she knew that I wouldn't want to when I responded to her announcement to christen ds1 with why?!

She handed me a little will you be my godparent card today. Christening is in 2 weeks. I'm really not sure I want to do it but absolutely don't want to upset her or for her to think that it's a reflection of how I feel about her and her boys. Argh

Help please?!

Figgygal Mon 18-Sep-17 20:47:30

I'd just explain as you have done here
I wouldn't do it either for the same reasons

Watto1 Mon 18-Sep-17 20:48:12

Just say what you said in your OP. I.e. You are not religious and feel it would be hypocritical and disrespectful to the religion to stand up in church and promise to help bring the child up in the Christian faith.

GinsanityBeckons Mon 18-Sep-17 20:48:25

Why not say what you've said here? That you're uncomfortable making the promises in church because you're not religious. Add in that as you're very good friends you fully intend to have a role in her son's life if she wants it but you'd rather do it in a godless capacity.

I have friends who have turned down being godparents for various reasons, mostly for not being religious though, and in all but one case the parents were completely understanding and respectful of their decision. You know your friend so you'll know how to couch it.

AugustRose Mon 18-Sep-17 20:51:09

You need to be honest with her, if you don't feel comfortable then don't do it. DH was best man for a close friend and when their DD1 was born they asked him to be a godparent but he couldn't do it. He doesn't believe and didn't want to be hypocritical, they understood and asked someone else.

lokelani Mon 18-Sep-17 20:53:36

Are you christened yourself? I didn't think you could be a godparent if you aren't?

lidoshuffle Mon 18-Sep-17 21:04:16

I'm christened and confirmed but don't go to church now. When I was asked I politely refused, saying the child deserved a godparent who would perform an active role in her spiritual upbringing. It would have been a hollow sham had I done it.

The parents were churchgoers, so I thought it was important that the godmother was a "real" one not just a present-giver. I suppose it they were non-believers it wouldn't have mattered to them.

kittensinmydinner1 Mon 18-Sep-17 21:06:16

My lovely lovely DB turned me down ..for my dcs . He explained that he couldn't renounce the devil.. hahaha. Been a Quaker for a decade now though so it's all irrelevant. All dcs have the same amazing engaged reliable Godmother who epitomises what a GOdparent should be. The irony is that she has no particular religious belief., all the others are pretty crap as Godparents but still good people.

Smarshian Mon 18-Sep-17 21:20:24

The thing is I could go along with it and she is fully aware I am not religious in any way. I was christened as a child but do not attend church or believe in god. I do celebrate Christmas though 😊. I just wouldn't feel comfortable standing up in church saying all that stuff.

I'm worried she will think it's an affront to her as she is also not religious and just sees it as an inclusion in her ds2 life! I am honoured she asked as I understand the sentiment but I just don't feel ok with it 😕

Figgygal Mon 18-Sep-17 21:31:42

People christening their children when they're not religious pisses me right off seriously why do they do it??

I'm not religious but I actually think it's disrespectful to the people who do believe and those at the church and the minister to present yourself as a believer for what? An excuse for a party?

Stick to your principles op

Iris65 Mon 18-Sep-17 21:34:05

Simple, ask your friend if she wants to attend the next Satanist meet up you're organising 😂

rightnowimpissed Mon 18-Sep-17 21:35:51

I suppose though your friend might not actually see it as a religious thing but more of a promise from you to look out for ds2 as in the traditional if the unimaginable was to happen.

PurpleDaisies Mon 18-Sep-17 21:39:06

I suppose though your friend might not actually see it as a religious thing but more of a promise from you to look out for ds2 as in the traditional if the unimaginable was to happen.

Does anyone actually think of it as looking after kids after parental deaths any more? I thought that had completely died out since there's no legal standing to being a godparent.

kalinkafoxtrot45 Mon 18-Sep-17 21:39:26

I was asked recently by a friend, and although I'm an atheist, I'm going ahead. It's a pleasant role to have in a child's life and I've no qualms about fibbing to the clergy - they've been doing the same to us all for centuries. I am upfront with my friends about my non-belief though.

Crumbs1 Mon 18-Sep-17 21:44:11

I similarly don't understand why someone who professes no belief in Christianity would want their children baptised. Really odd. A vague acceptance of Christianity fine - but no belief except hey we'll dip him in water just in case?
You can have a party and naming ceremony without a church.

liquidrevolution Mon 18-Sep-17 21:44:12

My best friend is not religious so i asked her to be a supporter. Ie the non religious 'god'parent. She was fine with that and the vicar did an extra bit about her supporting my daughter and helping with guiding her through life which was nice. We had another 2 godparents who can do the god stuff.

Please just talk to her

Gottalovesummer Mon 18-Sep-17 21:52:35

I've been asked, and have refused. But have suggested that I could be become a guardian where it's been family/close friends.

You can then have a close bond with the child/family without compromising your beliefs.

MrsNai Mon 18-Sep-17 21:52:41

If you are not religious and have been asked to be a Godparent you can let the vicar know this and omit swearing oaths relating to bringing the child up in a specific way. That way you can honestly swear to protect the child from evil and more general ills. Generally speaking vicars are keen to encourage people to take oaths sworn in Church seriously and not swear to something they don't believe.

Usually this role, essentially a non-religious or other faith background Godparent, is technically referred to as a sponsor.

Please consider raising this rather than refusing the role as being asked is a great honour and reflection of your character.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Mon 18-Sep-17 21:55:03

YANBU. Very few people understand the meaning of being a God mother.
Its not just a title. The clue is in the name. Its a mother who ensures you follow your Religion.
If I was ever asked to be a God mum. Yes I'd be more than honoured but. I'd be taking my roll very seriously eg taking the child to mass every Sunday ect.

rightnowimpissed Mon 18-Sep-17 21:57:39

Some people still think of it as just a special place in your life, not that it's a legal thing. My point is Op's friend is not religious so her sentiment my not be from a religious point of view that's all

rachrach2 Mon 18-Sep-17 22:14:14

We are Christian and attend church. Two of our children's godparents are not religious at all and I talked to them about it when we asked them. I explained that I understood this and knew they'd have to be prepared to say the words, but that I didn't mind that they don't believe in God. I see them as wonderful people that will help support my children to be kind, honest and good hearted. They did both say yes willingly but I wouldn't have been offended if they'd said no.

Sayyouwill Mon 18-Sep-17 22:16:30

If you don't believe in god then it's no different than telling a fib anywhere else. No one will smite you, you won't go to hell, you aren't condemned to eternal damnation. You're just saying 'i do' and 'I will'.

RuggerHug Mon 18-Sep-17 22:19:59

Figgy I agree with you to an extent and I think it's ridiculous but depending on where you are some people pretty much have to for schools. That's the case where I am and as much as I didn't like it we did one. Very small, bit of water on the head, get the paper. And cake.

OP just say what you have said here.

bananafish81 Mon 18-Sep-17 22:24:41

I'm jokingly referred to as godless mother to my friend's daughter - I couldn't be godmother because I'm not Christian, but I still play a role in her life, much the same way most godparents generally do, but without the religious element (that very few godparents actually fulfil)

I'm also trustee in my friend's will if both she and her husband died. My friend's family are nominated guardians but she asked me to be a trustee - keeping the guardianship and the financial estate separate. I didn't need to stand up at the front of the church to have a role in my 'god' daughter's life

Another friend had a humanist naming ceremony, and the officiant said they hadn't quite found an appropriate term for a secular godparent role (which let's face it, most godparents fulfil)

SusanTheGentle Mon 18-Sep-17 22:28:42

Could you ask if there's an option not to do the god bit? I would be uncomfortable too, I am a notgodparent but that was done in a council ceremony, I think I'm technically a Guideparent. There may be some leeway within the ceremony?

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