Well, it seems that this account is generating some genuine interest from several angles. I hope this interest will bring beneficial things to discussions. I hope to post weekly discussion topics, but don't shoot me if we skip around, sometimes I just don't get good material. If you have something of interest, post a link to a JE suggesting it for a future discussion. Hopefully we won't fragment at that time for a discussion about it, but who really cares.
Following is a post I am copying from an atheist discussion email group I belong to. It is quite long, but you get the gist pretty quickly. She brings up some good points and she obviously cares a lot about her child(ren).
What would you do if you were in her shoes? How far would you go to support your children and retain your individuality? Those of you who have raised teenagers can chime in about trying to pull something over on them and the limitations of genuine support versus going through fake motions.
Maybe since this is our first discussion you could also discuss your upbringing as related to this topic.
Background: I made my decision in my early 20s to choose a non-
religious path. My family, including, my mother, know how I feel but
we do not discuss it very much. My family will not push me towards
religion, although my mother would like it very much. My father
passed when I was 18. My sister is not judgmental and supports
whatever decisions I make.
I am a single mom to an adopted older child, a beautiful 9 year old
girl from Ukraine. I am traveling to Russia to adopt my second
child, another girl between the ages of 5 to 7. I adopted my first
child 2 years ago. I want to keep an open mind as to allowing my
daughter to make her own choice as far as religion is concerned but I
am finding it difficult to lead her in that direction.
I have permitted my daughter to attend services with our neighbors
and she has attended functions with friends of several religious
persuasions. To date she has been introduced to Catholic,
Presbyterian and 7th Day Adventist. She appears to like attending
religious services as it provides a stability she missed in the
orphanage but it is very difficult for me to urge her and when she
discusses things she has learned from religious friends I merely
listen. We don't discuss anything from a religious point of view at
My background is Catholic. My uncle is a priest and I attended a
private catholic girls school in Pennsylvania. Two of my daughter's
adopted friends (girls), one from Ukraine, the other from Bulgaria,
are both receiving first communion this month. It was difficult for
me to purchase congratulatory first communion cards but I got one for
both girls and bought a McDonalds certificate for both. This is,
after all, their celebration. We were invited to attend a party for
one of the children after the ceremony. At first I thought we should
not go but then I reasoned that it would be unfair to keep my
daughter away because I don't believe, although I received first
communion myself when I was her age. My mother saved my first
communion veil and wants me to give it to my daughter. My daughter
will ask questions at this party and will probably want to receive
first communion herself.
I went so far as to inquire at the Catholic Church in our community
about introducing my daughter to catholicism. I am trying to keep an
open mind but, again, it is very difficult. I was told that in order
to receive first communion, my daughter would have to attend CCD
classes for at least a year but first, she would have to be baptized
in the US in a process called "conditional baptism" since there are
no records from her orphanage of her ever having been
baptized. In order to do that I, as the parent, must attend classes
and supposedly must be a practicing Catholic, which I am not. I have
never taken my daughter to Sunday services either, or any religious
services for that matter, except for my nephew's wedding. My sister
says if I want to give my daughter an option I must bite the bullet
and start attending services for her. I love my daughter very much
but when I read the materials the CCD coordinator at the church gave
to me I cringed. I remember all the prayers in the leaflet but there
are so, so many philosophies there that I disagree with.
So at this juncture I have done nothing, and don't know if I will do
anything at all. I need to come to grips with my dilemma, however,
as I am approaching my second adoption and will face this problem
I was afraid to say I had no religion in my dossier (and the upcoming
dossier, including homestudy) because I felt both countries, Russia
and Ukraine, both Russian orthodox countries, would frown upon such
an acknowledgement and not permit me to adopt. Same thing for the
homestudy agency (which is religious) and the adoption agency I am
using. Neither know anything of this.
This is my first post of this kind. I am an elementary school
teacher in Maryland and a non-religious individual.