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"God is Bollox"

(40 Posts)
QuintessentialShadows Thu 14-Aug-08 21:16:26

I am a Christian. I dont go to Church a lot, but I believe. All I do, on a religious note, is evening prayer with my sons.

When i met dh he was Catholic. He insisted our sons were baptized in the Catholic Church. Our oldest started a Catholic School, when he started reception 2 years ago. My oldest believes in God and has a religious outlook.

Suddenly my dh resents this. He has changed his mind about religion, has decided God is bollox, and tries to convince our son the same. He says God is not real, you dont need God, you might as well pray to this cup of water, ridiculing our son. I think it is despicable, and pretty close to ground for divorce.

What can I say or do?
He is kicking up such a fight at bedtime, refuse that I do evening prayer with the boys.

HE wanted them baptized Catholic. He wanted them in Catholic school, now he is trying to convince them GOd is just imagination like Santa Clause.

I dont need to hear how ridiculous he is. I need practical help and suggestions to convince him he is doing the kids more harm by arguing about God in front of them, than by just letting me do the evening prayer.

HappypillsGalore Thu 14-Aug-08 21:29:59

well i agree with him that you might as well pray to a cup of water... but his earlier insistence on baptism is a touch confusing for you all.

i quite certainly do not want my sons to be religious. i honestly believe it is wrong to believe in such nonsense (not trying to offend, just stating my beliefs) so i can see why you BOTH are pretty determined to pass on your own POV on this. its a pretty passionate sort of thing, belief, isnt it.

none of which helps you.

i suggest you and he talk about it. a lot. till you sort it out.

QuintessentialShadows Thu 14-Aug-08 21:48:22

THIS article claims that belief in God comes natural to children, ATHEISM has to be learnt.

ravenAK Thu 14-Aug-08 21:59:08

I'm a fairly militant atheist, but I think the issue here is the abrupt turnaround in what he's saying to the dc. The inconsistency is bound to upset & confuse them, surely.

If your ds1 has a 'religious outlook' then he has a perfect right to pray without his own father sneering at him!

Can you have a serious chat with him & suggest that he is completely honest with the dc about his own changed beliefs - as & when it comes up naturally - but that the evening prayers is an established routine which you & the dc enjoy, & could do without him disrupting it (ie. he should quietly butt out of it if he can't keep schtum!).

In return I think you should agree that you will not undermine him - so if he & the dc want to talk about his loss of faith (or delusion - sorry...wink) you'll respect that too.

I have a similar situation - dh is a Buddhist - I think it's all a waste of time & energy - but I don't diss it in front of the dc, iykwim.

bluewolf Thu 14-Aug-08 22:03:25

What has happened reccently to make dh have such an aggresive reation to what used to be his faith?

QuintessentialShadows Thu 14-Aug-08 22:06:58

The new POPE happened.

Dh says he has the same right as me to instill his belief on the children. As long as I cant prove the existence of God, he should be allowed to to continue....

Overmydeadbody Thu 14-Aug-08 22:07:59

I think your DH needs to sit dowen with his sons and openly talk about his change in belief, but he also needs to respect their and your right to make your own minds up and carry on believing without ridicule.

Of course belief in God comes easy to children. It is a childish concenpt, like fairies and monsters and Santa Claus.

Overmydeadbody Thu 14-Aug-08 22:10:08

Well he has a right to talk about his beliefs with his children, I don't think anyone has a right to instill their beliefs on their children.

But your children have a right to believe whatever they want to believe without being ridiculed by their own father for it. He needs to respect them and their beliefs.

ravenAK Thu 14-Aug-08 22:10:54

You see I don't think either of you has the 'right to instill belief'. To explain what you believe, absolutely, & to expect that they follow family routines re. acts of worship until they're old enough to opt out, fair enough.

It should be about openness, & making one's own mind up whilst respecting that others won't always agree.

sfxmum Thu 14-Aug-08 22:12:40

I am an atheist but the way he is going about it with the children sounds quite awful, seems to be dumping his anxieties on the kids who can't possibly understand it.

best for him to just state his beliefs calmly and simply honestly and let them be

mocking children is never a good thing and speaks of other serious problems/ issues

bluewolf Thu 14-Aug-08 22:14:20

What are "the new POPE"s beliefs then? As an atheist I still think he has no right to so horribly ruin the time you spend with your kids like that

beanieb Thu 14-Aug-08 22:14:29

No advice but as an atheist I think it's wrong to preach a 'god is bollox' idea sad

could you not counter this by explaining to yor son that some people believe and some don't but it's not a good thing to deny others their faith?

QuintessentialShadows Thu 14-Aug-08 22:15:06

Raven I agree with you. For now, I think a belief in God could be comforting to a child. I dont go to Church, I dont "teach" anything. I just do the evening prayer, and answer any questions he may have. I am not in any way "fundamentalist" in my believes. I believe in Science, sort of, Darwinism. But I also belive God created the big bang. But I prefer to not go deeply in on any such discussion, but for my son to make up his own mind when the times come for him to ponder this.

For the moment, he has had 2 years in Catholic school, he belives in God, he believes in Jesus, and I dont think it is right to take this away from him "brutally". If he choses NOT to believe, I will be fine with that. I just resent the way my dh is going about this.

QuintessentialShadows Thu 14-Aug-08 22:16:20

"could you not counter this by explaining to yor son that some people believe and some don't but it's not a good thing to deny others their faith? "

Beanieb, I think that is a very good approach.

beanieb Thu 14-Aug-08 22:17:12


sorry I think this is wrong. ATHEISM has to be learnt"

I was raised without god for the first 5 years of my life. As I grew up and went to school I learned about other people's belief in a god. I did not 'un-learn' my atheism, I learned about other people's belief and faith.

UnquietDad Thu 14-Aug-08 22:19:39

Interesting article. If children weren't told about anything called "god" would they ever suspect there "should" be such a thing?

QuintessentialShadows Thu 14-Aug-08 22:21:23

It wasnt ME saying atheism has to be learnt, have a look at that article. smile
I have never really pondered these things.

But I think my dh has come to this part of the world and is rather shocked to see how Sami shamanism has influenced Christianity into something rather contorted. This is not my belief, but he has encountered others around us who are really into prayer healing and God influencing everything from motorcycle accidents to illness and health.

QuintessentialShadows Thu 14-Aug-08 22:23:32

I agree with the poster who said children have a natural belief for things like magic, fairies, santa claus, so why not also God. For a child reality can be quite different to an adults perspective of the world. WE "KNOW" there is no such thing as magic, fairies dont exist, etc. And to some, God does not exist.

UnquietDad Thu 14-Aug-08 22:25:13

For some of us, God is just like magic, fairies etc. All (mostly) harmless, but made up.

QuintessentialShadows Thu 14-Aug-08 22:26:55

Yes, but even if he is made up, just a story, why would it be harmful to a child to believe in him? It would not make sense to vehemently ridicule a child for believing in magic or santa claus, and if you dont belive in God, surely there is no harm in belief?

UnquietDad Thu 14-Aug-08 22:33:13

It does sound as if he could be handling it better.

fishie Thu 14-Aug-08 22:33:58

also an atheist (funny how this thread title has drawn us in).

i think evening prayers are a nice thing to do, a regular reflective moment.

what if you point out to your dh that he cannot object to every spiritual aspect of your lives, we all need it in some form. so what if it is being directed at god or a cup of water, isn't that what faith is? respect is another matter.

ravenAK Thu 14-Aug-08 22:34:39

Whole can of worms you've got there QS!

I wouldn't vehemently ridicule a child for believing in Santa Claus, God or the Flyingt Spaghetti Monster. But I'd be concerned if they let that influence their behaviour into adulthood, or their attitudes about politics/ethics, because from my standpoint it's irrational & an excuse for not thinking things through.

So yes, actually, I do think religious belief is mildly to very toxic. But as several other atheists on this thread have said - that doesn't justify your dh stamping on your dc's beliefs. Especially when he enthusiastically helped to set them up & has now changed his mind!

QuintessentialShadows Thu 14-Aug-08 22:39:51

He now says he wanted a Catholic school because he recognised the good education on offer. Our son is in a different school now that we have moved to Norway, where they teach all religions along with atheism and agnosticism, and all sort of human ethic stand points as part of the curriculum. The idea is that no parent of any religion or lack of religion should take offence.

Also, before we had a very religious Au Pair, so nearly all the Christian influences in our family has been removed, it is only the evening prayer left. So I dont see why it should bother him so much.

EachPeachPearMum Thu 14-Aug-08 23:28:29

I think it's unfair, as it is inconsistent parenting- your sons must be very confused.
I was raised in a mixed-religion household, and we were always told that some people believe x, some people believe y, some people believe z.
At least your dc will experience this now through their new school.

I am a fervent athiest btw...

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