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Old 11-06-2008, 12:11 PM
Sateryn76 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,679
Originally Posted by Jodi View Post
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.
I agree with this. I'm an atheist from way back, and I cringed when I read about the situation with your niece. But she's your niece, not your daughter.

The repercussions from this will be worse for her than the original punishment. When the parents find out, you will more than likely be cut off from her, and she will lose her main outlet for reason. I say, better to keep her around than to risk losing her entirely.

Also, I think this is a battle she needs to fight herself. As said above, leave your books around to borrow, talk with her about your thoughts, and be there for her.

I'm sure you would never intend it to, but something like this may make her into a pawn in the battle of yours and the parent's about faith and reason. That would be unfair, and a little uncomfortable for her, to say the least.