Posted by: jugglinbob | May 25, 2011

“Dad – I’ve got something to tell you…”

Since I’m blogging again today I thought I take a moment to do what bloggers do and take about my own life.  The majority of my posts are news orientated or general comments on belief and religion, so maybe it’s time I take a moment to look at personal things.

As most of you know, I regularly pick my daughter up from her boarding school for leave weekends.  She gets one weekend off in 3 for good behaviour, and more if she give info on any tunnelling activity, or squeals on those bribing the guards for an extra smoke from the Red Cross parcels.  OK.  I apologise.  I’m being factitious.  They’re under-age, and the guards won’t give them smokes…

Anyway, moving on from this gag that I feel is falling flat fast (it’s a great school, and we are all so proud of her!), on the journey home last time I had all the news about how it’s going.  All of you who are parents of teenage children know how hard it is to know what’s going on with them – but now imagine you only see them once a month!  We talk.  I drag information out of her.  We talk.

And then silence….

(What the hell is wrong? thought I)

“Dad…” (big pause, and reluctantly continues)

“I’ve got something to tell you…”

Shit!  Many things run through my mind.

“I don’t want you to be upset..”

Oh hell

“… but I think I’ve become a Christian”

(Relief!)  Oh.  I now think I have to re-evaluate how my fundamental, almost evangelical, atheist beliefs are affecting my daughter.  I’ve always said that if she makes the choice, after looking at both sides then it’s ok, but the fact that she was so reluctant to tell me makes me think that maybe I’ve gone over the line somewhere.

Maybe I should be more accepting of others faith?  Maybe I should try to ignore the fact that most people’s faith is not a considered, intelligent choice, but one of inertia, determined by birth parents and not thought.  Ignore the fact that the bible is not only not internally consistent, but is also provably false against historical references?

Ignore that Churches become rich whilst praying (ahem) upon their constituents.  Ignore that religion still causes rifts, anger, and often incites violence upon fellow-man.  Just ignore it…

Nah.   See you for the next religion bashing post!

(Turns out it was not a matter of faith – but one of calm.  In the hectic life  of a boarder, a few minutes of peace in the Chapel before lights out was doing her a wonder of good psychologically.  So she’s not lost yet…)

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Responses

  1. My prayers are with your daughter in these troubling times.

    • Ermm.. thank you “Atheist Dave”. I assume you’ve read my post about being prayed for:

      https://thebobdelusion.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/what-should-i-have-done/

      but thanks for your fellow godless meaningless prayer…

      • I Actually hadn’t read it, but I have now. I’ve already written a post about prayer, titled “Prayer is Futile” (you can guess what my opinion is based on the title).

        All sarcasm aside, though, my thoughts are with you and your daughter (as my thoughts are all I have to offer in this case) and if she chooses to follow imaginary friends, that’s on her – I just hope her god doesn’t come between the two of you.

      • Have you got an URL for that post? (an URL?? surely it’s correct, but doesn’t seem right somehow…) I’ve scrolled through the many posts, but can’t see it!

        There’s lots of great stuff on there though- and I’ll look properly when I get a moment. In the meantime though – may I add you to my blogroll?

  2. Best of luck to you and your daughter, from a fellow atheist.

    • Cheers. Notice though that as soon as I start talking about anything close to me, that I run away and hide behind rhetoric, repetition, and really rather rough alliteration…

      Says a lot about me really.

  3. YES!!! Er, I mean. I don’t know what to say.

    How ’bout I quote Rush? “The impulse is pure, sometimes our circuits get shorted by external interference/signals get crossed and the balance distorted by internal incoherence.” (Vital Signs) Gotta let people make their own decisions so long as they’re not hurting anyone. The impulse is pure.

    Admittedly, I am a Christian. And you’re not the first atheist parent who expressed love for their child (if I may) by allowing them to make their own informed decision. Thing is, my dad’s the one who led me to the Lord. My mom? All I can say is God bless her. While she professed Christianity, she’s one of those who has no thing called “conscience” and did nothing to raise me in any salutary way. Not in keeping with ANY worldview, in my opinion.

    It’s not atheists I worry about in this world, it’s sociopaths.

    • I like that, although if I may, I will restate that as It’s neither atheists nor theists that I worry about in this world, it’s socio-paths

      I’ve talked about this elsewhere, but I have a big issues with bringing a child up to ONLY believe what the parent does. Education should be impartial and empowering, not limiting by it’s bias. I’ve “played along” with religious practices when required, but have always told the other side of the story too. This is the way that I was brought up – with a religious mother and (to be honest!) an theistic apatheist father (although in no way the same as your own maternal upbringing though), and when I finally came to my own decision when I was old enough to understand and to evaluate for myself it was excepted without even a muttering about me going to Hell! To my face anyway!

      Thanks for the input and interesting quote.

  4. You’re very welcome.

    Fair enough! Sounds good to me. My dad is a former Pastor with a doctor and nurse for parents. He became a Christian in college and it radically changed his life course. While he raised me Christian (he’s also a Marine–strict!), he totally encouraged me, expected me even, to think for myself. So I suppose the fault lies with me! 😉

    A Christian who one, over time, perceives to have some dark depth that–because of childhood naivete or what-have-you–wasn’t aware of before, is the worst kind of paradox.

    I respect your decision. And it’s good your parents did too (hopefully).

    Have a good one.


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