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Should I swerve this baby group?

(66 Posts)
Februaryrat Wed 01-Mar-17 14:46:41

I've been looking for a good music baby group for ages, for my 15 month old.

I was recommended one not too far away, held in a church. For context, I'm a vocal atheist, but have no problem with going to religious buildings - as far as I'm concerned, the more they're used for baby groups and community work, the better!

The baby group was fantastic - it was super, super cheap, there were cakes and baby snacks available, hot drinks for the parents, and when the group started, it was really well run - instruments, props - everything you would want from a music group.

Except when the bubble machine came out, so did the song about being Jesus' best friend. This was unexpected. I looked around the room trying to find a friendly, similarly horrified face, but everyone I saw was smiling beatifically and singing along.

This is not an attack on religion. I am aware I was in a church, and if they're not allowed to have a sing about Jesus there, then where are they?! If anyone is hypocritical, it is me!

BUT - I am in two minds about whether to go back to the group. I cannot and will not join in with the Jesus songs (or the line about the mummies on the bus go chatter-chatter-chatter, but that's a separate issue), but I did like everything else about the group. I am not quite unhinged enough to think my toddler is going to be indoctrinated, but something doesn't quite sit right. Maybe taking advantage of something offered under false pretences? I can't put my finger on it.

Anyone have any thoughts?

OneWithTheForce Wed 01-Mar-17 14:49:12

Maybe taking advantage of something offered under false pretences? I can't put my finger on it.

It's in a church! What false pretences were there? They hadn't disguised the place as as soft play centre!

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Wed 01-Mar-17 14:49:12

Was the bubble machine /song at the end of the session? Maybe take that as your cue to get your coats on and leave? Not in a dramatic way just time you weren't there...

Sittinginthesun Wed 01-Mar-17 14:51:28

I didn't go to many baby groups, but I did go to one, also in a church, which was similar.

Not my cup of tea, so didn't go back, but I don't really think it's an issue. Either you go, or you don't. I wouldn't over think it.

OldGuard Wed 01-Mar-17 14:51:46

On the basis that you view Jesus to. It be a real person (I am purposefully not commenting either way) Do you sing songs about Santa clause, jingle bells, Peter rabbit or any other characters you view as fictional ? If so then surely Jesus falls into the same catergory ?

mainlywingingit Wed 01-Mar-17 14:52:11

Really? Do you celebrate Christmas OP? (aka Jesus' birth)? I think you are being a bit ridiculous OP. We are all
Occasionally hypocrites - I think a churchy song isn't a big deal. Suck it up.

Februaryrat Wed 01-Mar-17 14:53:06

Unfortunately the Jesusy bits were cunningly placed in the middle (then one right before we left too). Otherwise, absolutely I would take that as my cue to shuffle irreligiously towards the door.

@OneWithTheForce, you misunderstand me, I am the one who feels like I'm there under false pretences - i.e. that I shouldn't really be infiltrating the group.

Had I known it was a religious group, I wouldn't have gone along in the first place - I thought it was a non-religious baby group that just happened to use a church hall as a venue. But having been, I liked the group, just not the religion.

OldGuard Wed 01-Mar-17 14:53:09

The should read "view Jesus not to be"

JonesyAndTheSalad Wed 01-Mar-17 14:54:53

If you don't like singing Christian songs then don't attend. You can't have your principles AND your cake plus low priced hot drink. smile

JonesyAndTheSalad Wed 01-Mar-17 14:55:58

Well these things are RUN by the church OP. Not by randomers. They're orgnaised and funded by the church.

SparkleTwinkleGoldGlitter Wed 01-Mar-17 14:56:48

I don't think a child hearing A song about Jesus is going to convert them really is it ? And if I attended a church baby group would I be surprised to hear a child's Jesus song um no not really

Maybe taking advantage of something offered under false pretences? I can't put my finger on it What false pretences? Do you have to declare when you walk in that you believe in god? Your not going to be burnt at the stake if they find out you don't believe

If you don't want to go back then don't!

You say the group was fantastic and it sounds like they have great refreshments and if your lo enjoyed it which imo is what matters here then I think you'd be a bit silly not to return

Februaryrat Wed 01-Mar-17 14:59:01

@JonesyAndTheSalad Fair point about having my literal cake and eating it, but I don't think it's a reasonable assumption that every baby group held in a church hall will be a church baby group. Churches hire out halls to all types of functions.

(I have never yet managed a hot drink at a baby group and envy parents who achieve this - how on earth do you balance a toddler, a changing bag and a hot drink without someone coming a cropper?)

OneWithTheForce Wed 01-Mar-17 14:59:08

you misunderstand me, I am the one who feels like I'm there under false pretences - i.e. that I shouldn't really be infiltrating the group

Ah ok. Well what did you falsely pretend to be doing there? Relax, you didn't sign a contract. You don't have to sing. If your baby enjoys it then take them. No/one will mind that you don't sing.

angelicjen Wed 01-Mar-17 15:00:28

You are massively over thinking this. If you and your baby enjoyed it just suck it up. This kind of thing will happen many times in their life and you can discuss it further down the line. For now you can not sing and they can enjoy popping bubbles.

ParadiseCity Wed 01-Mar-17 15:00:45

I'm religious and if I organised something like that (unlikely as I'm extremely lazy and bad at singing) I wouldn't mind AT ALL if a 'non believer' came along and joined in. (Nor would I try and make you believe.)

If you made a big show of not joining in I'd feel a bit like you were mocking me. If you just waited for the next song and then joined in again id not be offended.

JonesyAndTheSalad Wed 01-Mar-17 15:00:46

Managing toddler and wear your bag across your body and hold your toddlers hand.

Put bag down if possible then get hot drink whilst watching toddler speed towards exit....then laugh as toddler encounters barrier/stern Christian lady guarding door.

Februaryrat Wed 01-Mar-17 15:01:03

@OneWiththeForce That's exactly what I can't put my finger on. I guess it feels like accepting a party invitation from someone you don't like, but you're going to go anyway because you know the food will be really good. It feels a bit disingenuous.

Pinkheart5915 Wed 01-Mar-17 15:03:30

Your lo enjoying it is the most important thing here and as long as they did I'd be returning, good well organised baby groups in my experience are hard to find and you say this group was fantastic so why wouldn't your return?

I am very sure you do not have to religious to attend this group, it's open to everyone therefore you aren't going under any false pretences!

Me and dh aren't the slightest bit religious but when the church arrange children's tea parties in the village hall we often take the babies along, we don't go under the false pretences we believe in god we go because it's open to everyone and our babies enjoy the tea parties and I enjoy the reasonably priced cake & coffee.

There isn't a big drama here if you don't want to go back don't!

llhj Wed 01-Mar-17 15:05:37

Oh jeez lighten up. You've a long way to travel on the parenting road and if you're going to get your knickers in a twist about a song with Jesus in it (hmm so many fundamentalist Christians remember being 'turned' at baby music hmm)along with the wheels on the bus, then seriously the future at nurseries and school will be fraught for you.
Have a coffee, find a friend, don't be patronising about their faith if they are religious ("smiling beatifically" makes you sound a bit unbearable yourself) and along your baby to bang a drum. They're not asking you for anything so why the angst?

hazelnutlatte Wed 01-Mar-17 15:07:08

I'm an atheist and take my dd to a toddler group run by volunteers from a local church. Story time is usually a bible story adapted for children, and they acted out the nativity story at Christmas. They are just stories, hearing them won't turn my dc into Christians! There is no expectation that those attending the group belong to any religion.

c0nfused Wed 01-Mar-17 15:08:26

Yes you should swerve it if you can't put it to the back of your mind so your kid can enjoy the session.

The group is taking place in a religious building. Maybe the person/organisation that runs it is religious?

I'm not religious, I am atheist, I could not get worked up or horrified at songs that mention religion. Especially when I am on their turf.

Februaryrat Wed 01-Mar-17 15:08:29

@llhj Thanks for the patronising advice. I do actually have older DC too so am not new to the parenting lark.

We have selected primary schools etc. based on them being non-faith - this is important to us. I was very clear in my OP that I did not think my 15 month old was going to be indoctrinated. This lack of attention to detail does not flatter you.

Crunchyside Wed 01-Mar-17 15:11:05

Doesn't bother me and I'm an atheist. I would just see it as any other nursery rhyme - Humpty Dumpty isn't real either and toddlers don't seem to be too traumatised about the fact he couldn't be put back together again... And my toddler has never asked me where my turtle Tiny Tim went.

My parents were non religious but I went to a CofE school with plenty of brainwashing religious assemblies, church services at Easter, Christmas etc, and also went to two religious-based after-school clubs (Brownies and Girls Brigade). I still grew up atheist (maybe agnostic these days TBH but I certainly don't believe in the traditional sense) and even went through a militant Richard Dawkins fangirl stage when I was about 16 or 17! blush As long as you're not pushing it at home and you encourage your kids to be freethinkers and come to their own conclusions about spirituality and religion, they're not going to be brainwashed by a few songs about Jesus...!

ChicRock Wed 01-Mar-17 15:13:05

Yeah I think you should give it a swerve and free up a space for someone that'd genuinely enjoy it - Jesus songs and all.

Februaryrat Wed 01-Mar-17 15:17:34

Thank you all - it seems as though the consensus is I'm overthinking it and should just suck it up if DD enjoys it.

My concern was not that she would be brainwashed, more that I was taking up a space disingenuously - if this was a group for Christians, I was the atheist in the corner! (I was initially surprised it was a church group too, as I didn't know this in advance.)

I assume the group is probably also subsidised by the church as the very small entrance fee is about a fifth of what you would pay for most baby classes, and I didn't want to take money / resources away under false pretences.

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