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My daughter,12, asked if she could go to church with a friend who invited her tomorrow. My daughter is athiest. She said her friends is fun and nice. I said yes. But I am uncomfortable with her hanging out with people that believe in " magic."

Summer72 7 Apr 14

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You should celebrate this event! This is when your daughter starts learning that everyone is not raised the same way as she is! Regardless of her beliefs (or yours pressed into her) she needs to have exposure to it. Are you afraid she may come home believing in god?

I remember going to Sunday school as a kid not much younger than your daughter. My parents were both Unitarian. When I complained about the classes and stuff they did and said... My folks both said... "Fine! You don't have to go anymore!"

WTF? It was THAT easy? They explained they wanted me to be exposed to everything and then let me make the decisions... With regard to my beliefs. I remember struggling with what to believe in my mid-teens. Most everyone I knew believed in god. The older I got, the more I doubted the existence. When I started reading about ancient Roman history... I then realized how christianity started.

You shouldn't tell your daughter what to think and you shouldn't be uncomfortable. It is best that she know the differences now so she can more easily deal with her own future possible uncomfortable situations when they arise.


Good conversations will grow from this. In particular, there is a warm sense of community at most churches that is very sure to point out ways to achieve that fee,ing without religion!


The best way to ensure that your daughter is able to make up her own mind about what she believes is to allow her to experience many things,which may be confronting to you. Make sure she knows what you believe in ( or not) and why, then talk to her about what she sees and hears with her friend.


You can tell your daughter what and why you believe what you believe in. She has to make her own choices. If you forbid something you add a tabo quality to it that makes it more desirable. You can not force people to believe anything. You daughter will make up her own mind. If her thought process is not challenged at one point or another, she will really not know what her true beliefs are.


Getting a few hours alone on a Sunday morning is worth it

Nice to know that someone can be relied on to always put their own self interest first. LOL

@Fernapple yeah - that’s a pretty funny response!


It’s important that we let them decide for themselves. My 12 year old considers himself an atheist and my 15 year old more agnostic. They go to church all the time with friends and with my ex. It doesn’t bother me a bit.
They have fun with their friends and that’s what they get out of it, nothing from the message.


In a sense we all do - can you repair or build all of the gadgets you use? Then it's magic. Religion is just a way of explaining the world that most of us no longer see in those terms. I'm pretty sure an atheist child is well immunized. Depending on where you live, your child will need skills and familiarity to cope with the magic-believers if she's going to hold a job etc.


@Allikat what don't you understand? If religion is magic, which I'd agree with, then they are both attempts to explain the world. People suddenly confronted with say an aeroplane, who've never seen any technology, tend to assume it's magic, right? So a child who is an atheist, will most likely find all 'magic' equal, ie. there isn't any, it's all explicable through science etc.


I’d use it as a learning experience. Tell her to listen to how crazy it sounds and it may actually reinforce her atheism


I have twin daughters, they were invited by their best friend to go to church, when they were around 12 y.o. They came home laughing and shaking their heads, I ask them what was up, they said that they couldn't believe that people actually believe those lies.

Mine too. Old enough to see the ridiculousness of the whole outfit.


Let her learn and grow as a human. Sitting through a church service is boring at worst, and shel6l learn some western civ. Stuff at best. Knowing the basics of how religion works is important. Id also recommend some opportunity to see other parts of your community like a mosque, a hewbrew temple, etc...


At 12 they should be able to learn the key questions:

How do you know that?

Isn’t that what all religions claim?

How do you know - really know - you’re right and the Muslims are wrong?


These are good questions. But I wouldn't advise my kid to ask them at a religious service she was invited to by a friend. Be respectful. Ask those questions privately.

@OHJim yes absolutely. If you air those in public you’re going to get a reaction. But if they have them in mind I found they inoculate the kids from nonsense. My kids used to occasionally end up in church services through school etc and they were well prepared to evaluate the claims they heard...

@OwlInASack mine were never in a church and politely refused their Catholic grandmother's invitations from age 4 to 9 or so, after which she didn't try again. We did take them to several 'cultural events' including a harvest festival CofE and a Nativity play on Xmas Eve, in churches. Then suddenly as teenagers they became almost daily companions of a lonely girl in between their ages whose family had gone from regular old Methodist to serious Fundamentalist as result of the suicide of their son. It taught them a lot about tolerance and friendship, and believe helped both families enormously.

@Allamanda yeah mine have one of those grandmothers too tho she’s been quite a lot more persistent. She wrote my daughter a proper ‘come to Jesus’ letter when she turned 18. My 17 year old is shitting himself!


If you don't allow her to be friends with believers, she will wonder what she's missing. Let her go. When she gets back you may want to have a debriefing just in case she has questions, but don't press her.


I wouldn't worry about it... In fact, I'd go with her... Just because...


I think it's really not serious.we visit zoo that doesn't mean we settle


Most of the Women I Enjoyed Sex with... were/are Believers of Magic. They are not going away. I attended church and church functions while being atheist... your daughter is not going to catch fire if in the shadow of a church. You must Understand that Friendship is Stronger than god and religion. She must learn that too... the early age... the better Human being she will be. A Tolerant, Caring, Experienced Child... with Friends.


I understand your fear. My ex-wife, who is also an atheist took our son to church for a number of years, had him baptized. As he got older, he began to realize the folly of church and religion. He turned away from the concept of religion at about the age of 12. Exposing children is a way for the child to find his / her own path.


it sucks but there is really nothing you can do. My daughter is referred to as ‘the Satan worshipper’ in her school, constantly bullied, and mocked because of her belief
Several kids have been suspended due to making fun of her.
Her response is to wear more pentagrams

I told my daughter not to tell people at school that she is atheist.


Encourage her to go to as many churches and temples as you can, then ask her to evaluate them. The first time you go to a magic act you may think it is wonderful and amazing, but if you go to five or six and then honestly ask which one is best....


All of my kids have done that. They also found it rather boring. They loved free donuts and drinks though. It didn't change their mindset at all. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure it drove them to be more steadfast in their atheism.

LilaQ Level 3 Apr 20, 2019

Twelve is pretty young, and your daughter is at an impressionable age. I’m sure that her friends’ parents will be there, too.

If I were in your particular situation, I would not deny her from going, but would instead ask her if she wouldn’t mind if I’d accompanied her. In this way, you can both discuss and question the entire church experience afterward.

If her friend and her parents are evangelical, that may be uncomfortable for you; but, if you're really knowledgeable about the fallacies of their faith and are prepared to defend your atheism with cohesive arguments, in the end they may be more regretful that you for having tried to ply your daughter with their religious fantasies.


If she likes it, then what?

That's up to her.


good chance to see and learn. hopefully you can have a good discussion about it after to examine what she saw and how she felt.


remind her to take it as seriously as she would take a harry potter movie: fun, entertaining, magic, not related to reality.


I'd say that will happen anyway, and better without interference. One of the few incentives to join a religion when you didn't have one, is overbearing and controlling parents who may set the child up for needing an authority figure.

@Allamanda i don't think such a reminder would be pushy or overbearing. "don't you dare join a religion!" would be. and i cannot guarantee that a 12-year-old won't be entranced by an introductory church visit. i wouldn't know. at 12 i'd never been in one. i have since. there's a lot of glitter sometimes. it depends on the church.


@genessa yes impossible to say without knowing the family. But kids now are immune to glitz as well, due to media advances! Church is still boring I'm sure.

@Allamanda i don't think kids are immune to glitz. kids are still kids. and anything new is potentially exciting.



Let her go, go with her yourself if you can.
I found that my children, brought up atheist , found religious services both amusing and childish. All the repetition, the intoning, the sheeplike devotion.
Also, if you forbid it, it gives it a Forbidden Fruit taste. Let her go and talk, about it afterwards.

Tilia Level 7 Apr 20, 2019

Ehhh....I can understand your concern, but she isn't going to get inundated in a cult. She's just going b/c she likes to hang with her friend. I would sit her down before she goes and tell her while her friend might be fun, and want to hang with her, there are people there who might judge her for her non-beliefs. I would also follow up afterward and ask her what she though about the experience, in a nonchalant, laid back way.

When she got home, I asked her if there were any snake charmers. She laughed. She said it was strange to see that so many people believe in God. She said it was an different experience but she enjoyed hanging out with her friend afterwards. I guess I'm just be very skeptical of church people.

@rcc0780 You should be - but tweens are running on a whole different wave length at that age. Sounds like she is still grounded, and had a good time with her friend. Honestly, the other girls parents will probably stop it if it continues. Christians don't want logical people to point out how stupid their delusion is, esp to their kids. In which case, it will probably help to cement her beliefs since you are not the bad guy, and she gets to see how the religion inadvertently discriminates and hurts relationships.

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