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Author Topic:   How do I deal with a creationist family member?
Trae
Member (Idle past 2561 days)
Posts: 442
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 06-18-2004


(1)
Message 31 of 86 (534175)
11-05-2009 1:58 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by hooah212002
11-04-2009 7:15 PM


If you're talking about Catholicism isn't there less reason to draw a line in the sand? Catholicism has all manner of wiggle room with not only evolution, but science in general.

If she's the light version of a Catholic, then you're looking at baptism, communion, and (if she doesn't forget about it later) confirmation. I wouldn't think it would be that hard to find basic science books written by Catholics that left out the dogma. I'd be surprised if they actually dwelled on religious matters anywhere near the rate of creo books. I could certainly be wrong about this, but I imagine the science books used in Catholic schools are not that different than those used in public ones.

The hardest way to accomplish (what I presume) your goal to be would be to make it 'my beliefs' vs 'hers'. Wouldn't it be far easier to just find some progressive priest to explain that Catholicism isn't anti-science to your child or if you really want to push it, to your partner?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by hooah212002, posted 11-04-2009 7:15 PM hooah212002 has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by SammyJean, posted 11-05-2009 2:41 PM Trae has responded

  
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 2328 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


(1)
Message 32 of 86 (534178)
11-05-2009 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Trae
11-05-2009 1:58 PM


People are crazy in Fremont
Hi Trae,

My advice to Hooah; Never take advice from people in Fremont.

Just joking neighbor!

PS. How long have you been in Fremont?


"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts." -Albert Einstein

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief."
~ Gerry Spence


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Trae, posted 11-05-2009 1:58 PM Trae has responded

Replies to this message:
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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(2)
Message 33 of 86 (534182)
11-05-2009 2:54 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by hooah212002
11-04-2009 7:15 PM


quote:
I will assume she was raised Catholic.

You got it.

Something's amiss here - the Catholic Church officially supports the Theory of Evolution. The Catholic stance is that evolution does not directly conflict with Church dogma.

The Catholics have alsways been significantly more "loose" in interpreting the Bible than your aerage fundamentalist. They rely less on sola scripura and more on their long-reaching traditions, which they claim extend all the way back to the apostle Peter, if I recall correctly.

Of course, it also sounds like your girlfriend is relying on "how she was raised" rather than current Church teachings - and teh acceptance of evolution is relatively recent. Perhaps you should ask her why the Theory of Evolution is a problem for her children if it's not a problem for the Pope?

My problem is that, to me, she is forcing her views on the kids without respect for mine. The discussion started with her "request" for her friend, whom I have only met once, to be their godmother.

Your girlfriend seems to have a pretty poor understanding of what it meens to jointly raise children. She needs to understand that she is not the only parent - and the father has just as much a right to pass his values and beliefs on to his children as she does.

quote:
She just believes that if the child dies without being baptized he will go to Hell. Which she can't stand the thought of. The same goes for you.

That is fine, and I have no problem with that viewpoint of it. My problem is the way it comes across as though I am some evil son of a bitch.

The key is to approach the problem in a manner that doesn't threaten her beliefs. To be blunt, this might not be possible - but the fact that she presumeably cares about you, is living with you, and has children with you almost certainly means that she doesn't actually identify you as "evil."

She's absing these arguments on what she was taught as a child and on her emotions. Do you think that it's possible at all to get her to calmly discuss these things" If not, you're unlikely to do anything more than make her angry for questioning her long-held beliefs and threatening the souls of her children.

If you can get her to speak with you calmly, I would first reassure you that you have nointention of telling the kids that God doesn't exist. Tell her that you fully respect her right as their mother to pass on her values and beliefs, and only want to be able to do the exact same thing as their father. Reassure her that you have no intention of countering her religious instruction of the children, but that you won't lie when the kids ask why you don't go to church or don't pray or beliefe in God. Tell her that you also expect her to not villify you in the eyes of your own children by telling them that Daddy is going to Hell. Tell her that you can both instruct the children with a strong set of moral values and help them to grow up to be healthy, productive members of society even though the two of you don't share the same religious beliefs as long as you work together. Remind her that you love her and your kids just as much as she loves them and you, and that a family is a group effort.

But I can't stress enough that you'll need to repetitively reassure her that you have no intention of challenging her ability to instruct her kids in her faith. Tell her you aren;t going to say "your Mom is lying - there is not God." Try to work through what each of you will tell the kids, and work with each other to make sure that you aren't counermanding each other at every turn. Ask her what she does want to teach the kids - perhaps phrase it like:

"I know that you want to provide religious instruction to our children, and I'm fine with that. But to make sure that we don't work at cross purposes and I don't unintentionally contradict something you've told them, what exactly do you intend to teach them?"

You can use this as a nonthreatening springboard - she gets to feel more in control of the conversation, and you get a decent chance to address issues from your end before they actually come up. Remind her that the two of you talking calmly like adults beforehand is far better, not just for you but especially for the kids, than letting issues blow up later. Remind her how harmful it is for the kids to see their parents bickering and fighting, and how beneficial it will be for them if the two of you can reach an accord.

Again, it's either I compromise with her, or else? Why are the religious that way? Is god that much of a prick? I am fairly certain Jesus would understand......

I don't know how far you'll get with that line of thought. Sure, on debate boards like this we can look at the killing of teh firstborn of Egypt and say "lol God's a dick," but it's counterproductive in your situation. Try to avoid being unnecessarily confrontational, and remember that the idea is for the two of you to reach an agreement that makes you both relatively happy.

Again, that is a compromise I, repeat, I, am willing to make. She can take the kids to church all she wants. Just don't chastize me for teaching them science-y stuff.

Again, just reassure her that you aren't going to be teling the kids that God doesn't exist.

I would approach dogma-challenging issues like cosmology and evolution in teh same way the modern Catholic Church does - the Bible contains Truth, but does not explain the mysteries of how God Created. Science explores the how. Big Bang cosmology and evolution do not prove that God did not create the Universe - they just show how parts of it happened, and from their mother's perspective that means science is showing how God did the things reported in the Bible.

Good luck.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by hooah212002, posted 11-04-2009 7:15 PM hooah212002 has acknowledged this reply

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 1206 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


(1)
Message 34 of 86 (534184)
11-05-2009 3:06 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by hooah212002
11-04-2009 1:12 AM


My question is this: how can I talk to her and show her, not that she is wrong, but, to be more accepting of different viewpoints.

- With a woman? Oh brotha, not a chance (sorry sammyjean ) - However, if you manage to do this, tell us how you did it 'cause that's some useful info.

Honestly though...

Dude, find another chick ... don't put up with that shit if you don't agree with it. She won't budge, people never do. Look at this site. Have you ever seen anyone, even when presented with evidence to the contrary, switch their opinion?

You will deal with this forever. Either find someone else, or prepare for a life long battle over invisible entities.

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by hooah212002, posted 11-04-2009 1:12 AM hooah212002 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by Rahvin, posted 11-05-2009 3:09 PM onifre has responded
 Message 38 by hooah212002, posted 11-05-2009 6:59 PM onifre has responded
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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(2)
Message 35 of 86 (534185)
11-05-2009 3:09 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by onifre
11-05-2009 3:06 PM


Dude, find another chick ... don't put up with that shit if you don't agree with it. She won't budge, people never do. Look at this site. Have you ever seen anyone, even when presented with evidence to the contrary, switch their opinion?

I did. I was a theist when I came here.

People can change. But he's not asking his girlfriend to convert to Atheism. He's asking her to have as much respect for his parental rights as he has for hers. That's a big difference.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by onifre, posted 11-05-2009 3:06 PM onifre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by onifre, posted 11-05-2009 3:50 PM Rahvin has responded

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 1206 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


(2)
Message 36 of 86 (534189)
11-05-2009 3:50 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Rahvin
11-05-2009 3:09 PM


I did. I was a theist when I came here.

You did? I didn't know that. Fair enough.

I assume though that you at least listened to the arguments from the other side, right?

Do you feel his girl will listen at all to anything he says about this? From what I gathered from his post, she is not going to budge. Now, he can either spend a long time trying to get her to listen to his PoV, perhaps even arguing out loud and sadly having the kids hear this, or, give her an ultimatum - Let me share in teaching my kid, or peace...

But he's not asking his girlfriend to convert to Atheism. He's asking her to have as much respect for his parental rights as he has for hers. That's a big difference.

Well sure, but he's also trying to teach "them" his PoV, while him and his girl one share 1 child. So she may feel he's over-stepping his role. Thus he has a conflict. That's another issue I see.

However, if you have to teach someone to show you respect, it has been my experience that you'll have to re-teach them again and again. That is something (at their age) that should already be known. How do you not know to compromise in a relationship?

And I wasn't trying to say that he should convert her, not at all, I meant exchange her.

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Rahvin, posted 11-05-2009 3:09 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(2)
Message 37 of 86 (534198)
11-05-2009 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by onifre
11-05-2009 3:50 PM


quote:
I did. I was a theist when I came here.

You did? I didn't know that. Fair enough.

Check my posting history. For the first part of my visit here, I was like Jar - a very liberal Christian.

I assume though that you at least listened to the arguments from the other side, right?

Yes, but we're talking about a position where logic and reason literally don't matter, and a set of unfalsifiable assertions to boot. I wasn't ever convinced that God doesn't exist - that would require proving a negative. Instead, I was simply convinced to believe in only that which I have evidence for, and was exposed to the degree of special pleading required to have confidence in one unfalsifiable unevidenced position while not granting the same degre of credulity to other identically evidenced unfalsifiable positions - the equivalent of believing in Dan's imaginary friend, but not Suzy's or John's for no objective reason whatsoever.

Do you feel his girl will listen at all to anything he says about this? From what I gathered from his post, she is not going to budge. Now, he can either spend a long time trying to get her to listen to his PoV, perhaps even arguing out loud and sadly having the kids hear this, or, give her an ultimatum - Let me share in teaching my kid, or peace...

I don't know her, and the information available to us is extremely limited. I know how other people of faith I do know would react, however. And what ICANT has said regarding her perspective on the argument is likely pretty close to the mark - her beliefs are being challenged here, and she likely fears for the souls of her children. The idea that her children, who she loves, could grow up to not believe in her God and eventually go to Hell forever is fucking scary. Insert protective maternal instincts here.

She's not going to budge so long as she perceives his influence as threatening. He has to make clear that he is not going to be contradicting her instruction at every turn. He has to repeatedly reassure her that he's not going to tell the kids that Mommy is full of crap, that Great-Grandma is not in Heaven, and that church is exactly as much of a waste of time as kids tend to think it is. He has to remind her that working this out in a civil manner and cooperating in raising the kids is by far the best thing, not only for the two of them, but most importantly for her children.

Her reaction is very likely based in part on fear for her kids. If he can redirect those maternal protection instincts to encourage cooperation for the sake of the kids, he might be able to find purchase.

quote:
But he's not asking his girlfriend to convert to Atheism. He's asking her to have as much respect for his parental rights as he has for hers. That's a big difference.

Well sure, but he's also trying to teach "them" his PoV, while him and his girl one share 1 child. So she may feel he's over-stepping his role. Thus he has a conflict. That's another issue I see.

Which means he has to reassure her that "his POV" is not as threatening as she believes, and remind her that parenting is a joint effort.

However, if you have to teach someone to show you respect, it has been my experience that you'll have to re-teach them again and again. That is something (at their age) that should already be known. How do you not know to compromise in a relationship?

That is surprisingly common, unfortunately. But I'd be willing to bet that she's more than willing to compromise in other aspects of their relationship...she only has such a vehement reaction when her faith is challenged. Dogmatic beliefs are by their very nature resistant to challenge, and attempts to question them frequently result in anger.

I suspect that she's also feeling embarrassed and threatened because he can quote the Bible more readily than she can. You saw what her reaction was to having teh Bible quoted, or being corrected on the King James version. The tone of the argument as conveyed is one of condescension. Not a problem in an online debate board...but a huge difficulty in the real world. A person who would readily concede otherwise will become angry and stubborn if they feel you are being condescending and embarrassing them.

That's why I recommended asking her what she intends to teach the kids from the perspective of ensuring that he doesn't overstep his bounds and contradict her. From that point, while she's thinking and talking rationally, he can try to make gentle suggestions to ensure that her religious instruction does not undermine his position as the father, and does not frighten young children with ideas like "Daddy's going to burn in Hell."

And I wasn't trying to say that he should convert her, not at all, I meant exchange her.

I got that. But the exchange policy for Girlfriend 5.0 is extremely involved once you've installed the Child 1.0 and subsequent Child addons. It typically requires money and lawyers and all manner of headaches and time. And finding Girlfriend 6.0 before completely uninstalling 5.0 is generally a bad idea, as the two don't get along and they can significantly damage the Child addons, which you cannot remove or reinstall (removing the Child addons with Girlfriend 5.0 still results in significant system resources being devoted to the Child processes).

The best solution if possible would be to arrive at a mutually amenable compromise, where both parents are able to pass on their beliefs and values without undermining each other.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by onifre, posted 11-05-2009 3:50 PM onifre has not yet responded

  
hooah212002
Member (Idle past 77 days)
Posts: 3183
Joined: 08-12-2009


(1)
Message 38 of 86 (534209)
11-05-2009 6:59 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by onifre
11-05-2009 3:06 PM


The thing is, that would bring yet another child into this world with a broken family. Our oldest, her daughter, is from her previous relationship. The middle, my son, is from my previous marriage. The youngest, is ours together. We want to at least give one of them a childhood with both parents.

It is a struggle, but for the sake of the kids, it is worth it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by onifre, posted 11-05-2009 3:06 PM onifre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by onifre, posted 11-07-2009 2:53 AM hooah212002 has responded

    
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 86 (534212)
11-05-2009 9:07 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by onifre
11-05-2009 3:06 PM


onifre writes:

Dude, find another chick

Yah, sure, Dude, complicate a problematic situation into more of a rabitry hopping from one bunny to another until the kiddies know not who belongs to who or where to turn.

Blessed be the family commitments of til death do we part, come hell or high water, through the good and the bad, etc, where, so long as Biblical principles were applied, the non-complicated old fashioned functional family flourished fairly effectively.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by onifre, posted 11-05-2009 3:06 PM onifre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Rahvin, posted 11-05-2009 9:12 PM Buzsaw has responded
 Message 41 by SammyJean, posted 11-05-2009 10:19 PM Buzsaw has responded
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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(2)
Message 40 of 86 (534213)
11-05-2009 9:12 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Buzsaw
11-05-2009 9:07 PM


Blessed be the family commitments of til death do we part, come hell or high water, through the good and the bad, etc, where, so long as Biblical principles were applied, the non-complicated old fashioned functional family flourished fairly effectively.

The hell it did.

This may come as news to our older members like you, Buzz, but most women don't like the Biblical principles of meek and submissive wives. Those families didn't "work," they simply forced people to suffer with no recourse.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Buzsaw, posted 11-05-2009 9:07 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
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SammyJean
Member (Idle past 2328 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


(1)
Message 41 of 86 (534218)
11-05-2009 10:19 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Buzsaw
11-05-2009 9:07 PM


Welcome to the 21st century
Hi Buzz,

Blessed be the family commitments of til death do we part, come hell or high water, through the good and the bad, etc, where, so long as Biblical principles were applied, the non-complicated old fashioned functional family flourished fairly effectively.

Oh hell no! Non-complicated old fashion family's did not flourish effectively. It only seems that way because your a man. Biblical principles did nothing but place women in abusive relationship from which they could not escape.

I make more money then my husband does. I make enough to support myself and my children with out the need for a man in my life. Women weren't so self sufficient in biblical times (or in the 1950's or what ever era your fantasy "better days" would be.) The only reason I'm married now is because I love my husband and enjoy his companionship. I sure as hell don't need him to support me and I'd never put myself in the position to depend on a man. Women in the good old days only stayed because they had no choice in the matter.

My last two husbands had no respect for me and were at times abusive, that's why I'm not married to them anymore. I kicked their asses to the curb because the last thing I would what my sons to learn is that it's ok to walk all over a women like the bible teaches. A matter of fact, I'd kick my current husbands ass to the curb too, it I felt he didn't respect me.

Edited by SammyJean, : No reason given.


"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts." -Albert Einstein

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief."
~ Gerry Spence


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Buzsaw, posted 11-05-2009 9:07 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Buzsaw, posted 11-05-2009 11:17 PM SammyJean has responded

    
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 42 of 86 (534220)
11-05-2009 11:10 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by Rahvin
11-05-2009 9:12 PM


Rahvin writes:

This may come as news to our older members like you, Buzz, but most women don't like the Biblical principles of meek and submissive wives. Those families didn't "work," they simply forced people to suffer with no recourse.

1. A healthy degree of meekness is Biblically prescribed for all believers. Wives don't mind the chain of authority when a loving husband loves her as himself.

2. No human organization, including government can function efficiently having two presidents and no chain of authority. The family unit is no exception. Thus throughout history nearly all cultures have assumed the male headship. Two equal heads too often = contention, bickering and strife, though there certainly are exceptions when there is compatibility. This is not to say that the wishes of the wife are disregarded or that she is not designated authority by the husband.

3. LOL. They surely did work better. The high rate of divorce, single parent homes and disfunctional families in our times attests to that. The OP of this thread, having no satisfactory solution also attests to the blessings of Biblical family units.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Rahvin, posted 11-05-2009 9:12 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by hooah212002, posted 11-05-2009 11:27 PM Buzsaw has responded
 Message 46 by dwise1, posted 11-06-2009 12:22 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 43 of 86 (534221)
11-05-2009 11:17 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by SammyJean
11-05-2009 10:19 PM


Re: Welcome to the 21st century
Sammy, perhaps if your first husband and you both believed and practiced Biblical principles producing fruits of the Holy Spirit like love, joy, peace, gentleness goodness faith, meekness and temperance, you'd still be together, happy and functional.

One of the big problems and perhaps why you feel as you do is that too many professing Christians do not follow those principles. That's not the fault of the Bible or it's principles and precepts.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by SammyJean, posted 11-05-2009 10:19 PM SammyJean has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by SammyJean, posted 11-06-2009 12:10 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
hooah212002
Member (Idle past 77 days)
Posts: 3183
Joined: 08-12-2009


(2)
Message 44 of 86 (534222)
11-05-2009 11:27 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Buzsaw
11-05-2009 11:10 PM


1. You are a pompous ass.

2. There is this thing called equality.....and teamwork. There doesn't always ave to be a "leader".

3. Don't try to assume a damn thing about my family and what you think it attests to. The bible means fuck all to me. I posed a question about ONE single aspect of my relationship with my girlfriend. The world would be a better place without biblical proselytization and christians chastizing people that believe something different than they do.

Edited by hooah212002, : No reason given.

Edited by hooah212002, : spelling


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Buzsaw, posted 11-05-2009 11:10 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by Buzsaw, posted 11-06-2009 6:08 PM hooah212002 has responded

    
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 2328 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


(1)
Message 45 of 86 (534225)
11-06-2009 12:10 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by Buzsaw
11-05-2009 11:17 PM


Re: Welcome to the 21st century
Sorry to tell you Buzz, but for the first time in my life I have a marriage that does have love, joy, peace, and the one very important thing you missed mutual respect and we are both atheist. There has been no need for Christian principles for me to find happiness. In fact, it has been since I tossed those Christian principles out the window that I have found peace and happiness within myself.


"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts." -Albert Einstein

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief."
~ Gerry Spence


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Buzsaw, posted 11-05-2009 11:17 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

    
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