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Old 11-06-2008, 12:20 PM
Skald the Rhymer is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 27,555
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.
True. But so what? I can stand up for her and give her some respite, or be secret best friends with her. I believe I shall ask myself what Peter Griffin would do, and choose an opposing course.

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?
I was a really bad parent, so probably I'm the wrong person to say this, but I should hope that I'd be honest enough with my kids so that they would come to me with any doubts. Moreover, her parents have already made it clear that they don't intend to deal honestly or fairly with her.

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.
No, I owe it to the little girl and to myself to be a non-jackass.

I'm not encouraging her to lie. I don't even plan to encourage her to be an atheist. Nor do I plan to encourage her to confront them with her skepticism, because frankly all that'll get her is more punishment. I am, however, inclined to agree with Mrs. Rhymer that it would be nice for her to have a clean, well-lighted place where she can sit and read without getting any shit. She is going to get endless shit on her skepticism this weekend in particular (big religious convocation she will be required to attend, and big family get together afterwad during which there will be public prayer centered on the state of her soul). She's going to get endless shit till she submits, and I want her to have a safe harbor, because nobody gave me when I was that age and getting yelled it for wondering aloud about the theory of evolution.

To me, this is analogous to providing a voice to a gay kid whose family insists that fags & dykes all go to the hottest part of Hell. I know my extended family, and that's the kind of crap some of them are readying.