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Old 11-06-2008, 12:00 PM
Jodi is offline
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 10,786
I guess I would ask how much you value your relationship with this cousin and her family. Because when -- not if, when -- her parents find out you are supplying her with reading material you know damn well they don't want her to have, you may well find that you have seriously damaged your relationship with her parents and ended your relationship with her. I would also point out that expecting her to keep your arrangement secret from her parents is another thing her parents may well object strongly to, regardless of the subject on which you ask her to not tell her folks.

I'm not weighing in on the relative worth of skepticism and fundamentalism, except to point out both those terms cover a lot of ground. I think you can certainly leave your own books out in your own house for her to look at when she's there, and you can certainly let her know you're open to discuss any issue with her at any time, and you will be honest about what you believe, or don't believe, or why. But to directly and intentionally undermine her parents and how they are trying to raise her, because you don't agree? That is miles beyond your role, and any parent would seriously resent it.

I mean, just flip the situation around for a minute. What if you were trying to raise a skeptical child who questions unsupported beliefs and rejects the idea of "god", and you found out her cousins were spending money to buy her a nice new library of religious, anti-skeptic books to have for her very own, and telling her not to tell you about it?

It's not a religious issue. It's a parenting issue. You are not this child's parent, and IMO you owe it to her parents to not undermine them is so direct and intentional a way.