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I have been divorced for almost five years. I have primary custody of my sons, 11 and 12. I teach my boys to "always question- never be a 'sheep', or someone that follows blindly." Their father is a hardcore, churchgoing Christian, so we do not agree, obviously, on many points. For those of you that are in a similar circumstance, how do you keep the peace yet maintain your stance? Their dad has already accused me of "sending our children to hell". Holidays are a nightmare. Thoughts?

pinklotus18 6 July 19

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Just explain to him that there is no Hell or Heaven for that matter. Simply, there is just no such thing as a God, it's just an illusion in an individual's mind. And, Jesus, well, he lived years ago, has nothing to do with people in today's world. Let your boys make up their own mind - whether to believe in God and Jesus, or not. Tell them to think logically and make informed choices. The Bible's stories are hard to believe, like Jesus walking on water, or changing water to wine, coming back to life, etc. and like mother Mary was a virgin and had Jesus, that's just not possible. Or Noah and his arch, it's not possible to tame wild animals and get them on to a boat and from different continents. I'm surprised there are so many people still fooled by religions.

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Just explain to him that there is no Hell or Heaven for that matter. Simply, there is just no such thing as a God, it's just an illusion in an individual's mind. And, Jesus, well, he lived years ago, has nothing to do with people in today's world. Let your boys make up their own mind - whether to believe in God and Jesus, or not. Tell them to think logically and make informed choices. The Bible's stories are hard to believe, like Jesus walking on water, or changing water to wine, coming back to life, etc. and like mother Mary was a virgin and had Jesus, that's just not possible. Or Noah and his arch, it's not possible to tame wild animals and get them on to a boat and from different continents. I'm surprised there are so many people still fooled by religions.

0

Little you can do with a father like that. When I divorced, she remarried and my son I noticed was going a lot to church. I was living 735 miles away so I will go visit and he will come in the summer... well, and did not surprised me a lot since my uncles did the same thing in their youth... Reason he was going to all kinds of church activities was because that is were the girls were. So he get invited to all birthdays, cookouts, movieouts, parties, etc, etc, etc. Keep and eye on them for sure and find what is on their minds... I was relieved for sure. Now an adult, he don't go to church... and I don't ask... so he don't need to tell. Good Luck.

1

Re. Xmas/Easter or whatever holiday - if your children are of age to choose which parent they wish to be with then your children are old enough to choose who/where they want to spend these holidays. Leave it up to them. Choice is empowering. Sounds like you’ve provided them with a good base of reality to go by. The Christian hypocrisy will become glaringly apparent and nothing the father says will affect them. Kids are very sensitive to this.

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Condolences. This makes me appreciate more that my ex and I are roughly on the same page, (more or less) in terms of theology.

1

Encouraging your sons to be skeptical is important. Critical thinking is a skill that few have. Stand your ground. You’re kids deserve the chance to make up their own minds about their religious stance.

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Bible thumpin door knockers came to the house wit kids in tow. What would you have said to the party (kids and/or adults)?

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How did dating go after you agreed to go out together? Was there no warning the father would act this way?Love tends to blind those who overlook possible ,the excitement of forming a couple,the engagement, and the wedding,with later realities that neither of you are going to change.

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Well, granted I don’t have any kids. So you can take my opinion with a grain of salt. I pride myself on reading people and situations with pretty damn good accuracy. So here it goes:

Your boys are old enough by now to make their own choice on their beliefs. I’m assuming you’ve already had a sit down with them about the situation. Maybe not with the dirty details. But with facts that there is a difference in your ex’s and your belief system. I don’t know if they see the tension between you and your ex. But if they do, then I would say get their feedback on what’s going on. See how they feel about it. And that will be your next stepping stone in the situation.

Depending on their answers, I would TRY to have a -rational- conversation with your ex. Bring up points that neither of you should push their belief systems on the kids. If the kids want to believe in Christianity, you shouldn’t push them towards atheism and vice versa.

I’m under the firm belief that we should all CHOOSE to believe in what we want. Religion, to me, is what he believe in to bring us comfort in the afterlife.

And as for holidays, the two of you broke up for a reason that couldn’t be resolved. And that’s ok. But even if the two of you are 100% civil to one another, the kids are going to feel the rift. But, if he’s the reason that the holidays are hell, then he should be told that if he can’t be civil for the kids then custody needs to be revisited. Holidays for kids should be a joyous occasion.

In any case, good luck and I hope things can be worked out amicably for the kids’ sake.

Leo716 Level 6 July 19, 2018
2

My ex-wife was a theist and during that time, whenever my daughters would have a question that dealt with history and science, she would always suggest that my daughter's talk to me about it. If there was something that pertained to theology, my ex-wife would operate under that guise. However— as my daughters have become older, they are now free thinkers. They would ask me, why does it say one thing in the Bible, but science says something totally opposite. Then I would just tell them the truth and hope that they would make up their own mind. My ex-wife now is an agnostic. I told her give it a few more years and she'll be an atheist lol. It really depends on the parenting set up between you two. If he's uncompromising with his religious position, it can make for a problematic situation for sure. My ex-wife and I are very good friends, so it makes for great parenting—even during the time when our outlooks on religion were different. So, with all that being said, if your ex-husband is open to the fact of you providing different information and allowing your children to question naturally, then your children should be in the mental place to make cognitive choices regarding their critical thinking.

1

So why does that bother you about hell it is just a makebelieve place used to control people just like Krampus and Santa Claus are control devices. I am a single dad my kids do not know their mother she has schizophrenia and is a full-fledged nutcase. If she could she would hire a hit person to get me. She has this long drawn out story she tells people actually she tells anyone that will listen. She includes how I had said f... her demigod, which I had never said. In her twisted mind, she uses this to try and justify that I am an evil person.

azzow2 Level 9 July 19, 2018
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It depends upon how literally an 11 and 12 year-old will interpret "always question- never be a 'sheep'" when in comes to their time in school. As a former teacher, I can attest that there is nothing worse (a waste of time) than trying to teach an immature persons (youths), who have been empowered by their parent(s), and the current society's views that they (kids) have the same rights as adults.

0

It sounds like you have a hard and difficult road ahead of you. Just hang in there. I divorced about 5 years ago as well, but mine was a very amicable separation. My ex and I are still best friends.

You have the courts and the bulk of society stacked against you right now. If challenged maybe you can defend against any religious based accusations by explaining that you are allowing your son's to see all sides and make up their own minds as the mature into adulthood. Good luck.

t1nick Level 8 July 19, 2018
1

Ouch. Was similar for me. The ex told the kids mommy & daddy divorced because daddy was an atheist, although I was still on the fence at the time. She then went on to enroll the kids in what I have ever since referred to as Children of the Corn school. At least you have primary custody. The kids are in their 20's now and I can only wonder how much differently things would've turned out if I was afforded more opportunity for influence. As has already been pointed out, all you can do is your best.

@pinklotus18 it was this K12 operation outside Spokane, where my 1st impression was that every 6th kid was named Jebediah or Isaiah and they'd dress like they were trying out for Little house on the Prairie. The kids still use that name for the school.

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Yikes.

4

I think you are in the same boat as many people on this site. I know of one, in particular, who has shared her story with me and it is a nightmare for her (I'm sorry). She is raising a young son. Her ex is extremely manipulative and still tries to control her. There is no compromising in her situation. Thankfully, she has custody and the ex comes to visit periodically. It's always an ordeal and upsetting for her son. She is doing her best to raise a critically thinking person. I think that's all you can do. Stay the course. Kids deserve to have both of their parents and I'm sure dad, through his delusional X-tianity, loves them too. Maybe you can come to an agreement with dad that you'll agree to disagree and let the kids make up their own minds about what they choose to believe and try to focus together on co-parenting. I hope this is helpful.

Great answer

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