Truth or (How) Dare (You)

By Rebeldad Brian Reid

Of all of the balancing acts carried out each day -- work vs. family, time with kid one vs. time with kid two, the need for sleep vs. the need for exercise, eat in vs. order out -- one of the ones that still vexes me is the response to judgmental comments from the parenting peanut gallery: explain vs. ignore.

This came up a few weeks ago when I let it slip that we were a formula family. There is an excellent medical reason for this -- physicians for both my wife and our daughter said nursing was out of the question at the time. And while neither my wife nor I has been chastised in person lately (the little one is old enough to render the whole formula/breast thing moot) it brought back memories of all the questions we did receive about our choice of sustenance. What's the proper response? A polite "buzz off"? A detailed medical history?

Formula is only the tip of the iceberg. Having kids appears to give total strangers license to quiz you on almost everything. "Where are the girl's socks?" "Are you going to do anything about her size?" "Hope she has sunscreen on." "It's too bad that you can't be home with her all of the time." And so on.

There is generally a good answer to all of these questions, but there is rarely a brief answer, and I'm constantly torn between the impulse to defend my parenting decisions, which are not made willy-nilly, and the desire to disengage as quickly as possible.

I'll leave it to you folks: How do you handle the line between expressions of concern and plain, old prying?

Brian Reid writes about parenting and work-family balance. You can read his blog at rebeldad.com.

By Brian Reid |  October 25, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Conflicts
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You can pretty much guess how I would handle it. CHOMP!

BTW First!

Posted by: nonamehere | October 25, 2007 7:58 AM

I really like Hax's response: Wow. Though I doubt I would/could ever limit a teed-off response to one word.

I recently asked someone who knows me well and whom I trust why people don't say such things to me. She told me that anyone who knows me even slightly knows (or guesses) that I would not put up with it. As to why I've never had a stranger tell me to cover up when breastfeeding, couldn't say. If I can go all Blanche for a second, I have always relied upon the kindness of strangers. I expect decent treatment and usually get it. I'm shocked (or angry) when I don't and I say my piece if that's the case.

And, as we discussed last week, it's also to some degree the confidence game. If you like like you belong somewhere doing exactly what you are doing, very few people question it.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | October 25, 2007 8:13 AM

That last sentence should read "if you act like you belong somewhere doing exactly what you are doing, very few people question it".

Posted by: WorkingMomX | October 25, 2007 8:14 AM

I like to think that if I were in a similar situation, I'd keep my chin up, look the self-appointed parenting cop in the eye, give a straight answer, and mentally dare them to say anything else. Luckily, I have never had to deal with any rude comments on how I'm parenting. Or, at least, I've never noticed them.

Basically, my feeling is, who cares what some random stranger thinks of your parenting style? How you feed (clothe, discipline) your child is your business, nobody else's.

Posted by: newsahm | October 25, 2007 8:26 AM

I don't usually get too many questions/statements from friends/family (or even complete strangers) about my parenting choices. With respect to friends/family, like WorkingMomX, I suspect it is because they know better than to say anything to me. Not that they agree with everything I do. I'm sure they just reserve their comments about my parenting skills until when I'm not around!

I will say this, since becoming a parent, I've become a lot more sensitive about even hinting at criticizing the way a person is parenting. Not that I think I was completely insensitive prior to being a mom, but I do remember (pre-kids) wondering what the fuss was all about when my SIL wouldn't budge at ALL (even on Christmas day) with my niece's sleeping schedule. I now know better. Schedules are sacred.

Posted by: londonmom | October 25, 2007 8:26 AM

Yeah, I give it back to people. Like when my sister told me exactly where and when to have my wedding - I told her when she was paying for it, she could have an opinion.

Or when my DH's aunt told us we had to send the kids to private school. I told her when she was paying for it, she could tell us where to send our kids.

I am much more polite with the inlaws. But my DH isn't quite the same - like when his dad told him how easy it was for him to do all the research for DHs sister's car on line, etc. DH said: Oh, so when we're in the market for a new car, we should call you so you can do all the research? FIL said: well, it's easy...and I think finally understood what DH was saying.

But, workingmomX, it may be similar with me - people know that I'm pretty opinionated, and don't really say things to me. I mean, when I was nursing my DS everywhere, no one ever said anything to me. If I got dirty looks, I didn't see them.

If you're confident with your choices, you shouldn't get shaken when someone questions them. HOWEVER, as we all know, sometimes we make decisions, and aren't exactly sure we made the right ones. We should own them, no matter what they are, once they're made, though.

Yeah, my sister used to say things to me about nursing. I didn't fly into her about using formula, though.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 8:42 AM

Brian, Brian, Brian,

You are dumber than a tree stump!

Once, again (duh) the TRUTH is the best way to go. Tell the people who REALLY GET NEED TO GET LAID, BIG TIME, that you don't give a rat a$s's what they think.

HOW HARD IS THAT DO TO? Why are you twisting IN THE WIND to get the approval of STRANGERS for your parenting skills??

Do you ask strangers to rate your bedroom skills??

Pathetic, really pathetic.

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 8:47 AM

I'd just love to have an electrical zapping sort of answer when people intrude with inappropriate comments. Mostly I stay silent because there's no point in getting drawn into a discussion. And it's often amazing how people will keep talking to fill the space until they work themselves into an embarassing corner. Still, I wish Santa would bring me some snark for Christmas this year.

Posted by: anne.saunders | October 25, 2007 8:48 AM

True, Anne, sometimes the best thing to do is to let people dig their own hole.

Or just say: did you just say what I think you did?

Or: I'm not sure that's any of your concern.

Or: offer them your kids.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 8:51 AM

I think we've done this topic myriad times. Question, where do YOU draw the line in speaking to someone about what they are doing with their child? Would you say something to a person who was yelling at their child in a store? Would you say something to someone who was spanking their child in the store? Would you say something to someone who was allowing their child to misbehave and damage property? Just curious about where the line is on the other side.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 25, 2007 8:53 AM

It depends on who is doing the intruding.

Relative strangers are best ignored. I mean, why bother with someone you may never see again? Unless the comment is truly agregious -- especially if it is made in front of your children, and you need to set an example for them.

Family members are far, far harder. Because it is important to draw the line with them, so they don't continue making the same mistake, but obviously you need to do it diplomatically for the sake of longterm relationships.

The hardest for me is family members who bug my children to eat more or randomly make inappropriate comments about how much (or how little) they weigh. Since I was anorexic in high school and fought hard to recover from it and not be so conscious of my weight or others', it pushes my buttons when others comment on my kids' eating/weight.

A less important subject that also drives me batty is when visitors make suggestions about how my house is decorated, the fridge is organized, the temperature in the house, or what kind of dishes we have. I feel like saying, "This is my house!!! I can do whatever I like!"

I think you can probably get away with witty comebacks if you use a humorous tone, but I have not quite mastered that one.

Posted by: leslie4 | October 25, 2007 8:58 AM

Off Topic -- In case anyone missed the news yesterday, Irish Girl had her baby. YAHOO!

Posted by: leslie4 | October 25, 2007 8:59 AM

Moxie: good questions. Really, I recently had this discussion with my DH. Apparently, his sister got angry when his nephew was misbehaving and my DH disciplined the nephew. Sister didn't want anyone else to discipline.

Which I think is CRAZY. If he's misbehaving, then someone should say something.

If no one says anything, and mom is the only one who can discipline, what the heck are you teaching the child? You're teaching the child that it's okay to do bad things, as long as mom (or the person who's allowed to discipline) isn't watching.

If I'm in a store (or on the playground), and I see something, typically, I will say something politely to a child. I've never had any parent tell me I'm out of line. Just pretty much let the kid know someone is watching.

Like when I got a phone call about DS who apparently pulled someone's hair on the bus. A mom called me about it, and I promptly called son - he was SHOCKED that I knew about it - as if I have cameras all around him. Really, what we found out, was that this other kid was pushing him or something - so he was just fighting back (we teach him not to, but, ya know).
The mom never called me back after I left a message, though.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 9:00 AM

moxiemom - great question. I actually had this come up once though it is a bit of an exterme. In conversation with a colleague, this person (a dad) commented on how he and his wife get out every Saturday morning for a golf lesson. Knowing that he had three young children, I asked what he did with the kids during this time (in the context of - which club do you belong to - they must have babysitting). He answered that he leaves his children home alone during this time and that his EIGHT year old was old enough to watch the younger kids - 4 and 6!! I was floored. I muttered something about how I thought that was against the law in VA, but didn't really say anything else. I never followed up with anybody about it and otherwise didn't know what to do. Call child services? I thought that was too exterme, but to this day, I wonder if I should have been more forceful. Actually - I KNOW I probably should have been more forceful, but curious as to what other people would have done.

Posted by: londonmom | October 25, 2007 9:02 AM

O Scarry, many blessings on your new baby and you! May he grow into a stalwart son who will bring your family joy.

Posted by: abu_ibrahim | October 25, 2007 9:07 AM

"Or: offer them your kids. "

I rise to the floorfrom the great sovereign state of Zenobia to nominate this as "Quote of the Month".

NOTE TO LESLIE: If Fred can not or will not perform his duties, FIRE him and replace him. HOW HARD IS THAT???

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 9:08 AM

OK - I am going to throw this one out there...Just read an article about a mom in Indiana who apparently put whiskey in her child's bottle to get her to sleep. While this is wrong, wrong, a thousand times wrong, she at first said she just put whiskey on the baby's gums to ease her teething. Back when I was growing up, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, this was not uncommon. What do you think???

Posted by: Catwhowalked | October 25, 2007 9:12 AM

I don't think I would make a comment to a parent unless the child seemed to be in physical danger... ie, Excuse me, your son seems to be turning blue in the face/ have his hand stuck, etc.

I used to wait tables. One day, two boys were running up a flight of stairs with lollipops in their mouths. All I could picture in my mind was one of them falling and getting their airway blocked. I stopped them and asked them to carry the lollipops up the stairs, and promised to replace one if they dropped it. I didn't yell and thought I was very non-confrontational. Their mother was at the bottom of the stairs putting a baby into a stroller and when she looked up she almost had my head. My manager had me apologize "Maam I'm sorry I spoke to your sons" and thinking (and even sorrier you'd rather have them choke). I'd still do the same thing if I had it to do over.

When is the proper time to directly address a child? And how would you react if another adult addressed your child?

Posted by: sabiba | October 25, 2007 9:13 AM

sabiba

"I'd still do the same thing if I had it to do over."

You have asked and answered your own question. Case closed.

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 9:18 AM

Leslie - I sympathize. I get tons of weird, bizarre unsolicited parenting advice from my MIL everytime she comes to visit and I especially hate all the advice about what the kids should, shouldn't eat, how much they should eat, questions about why they're not eating, etc.

My classic comeback is to look at the advice-giver in all seriousness and say
"Oh, I wasn't aware that you were a nutritionist. Where did you study?"

It works in most situations.
"Why isn't that baby wearing sunscreen?"
"Oh, are you a dermatologist? Where did you study?"

"Why doesn't she have a sweater? don't you know that it's going to be cold out today?"
"Oh, are you a meteorologist? How interesting. I haven't seen you on our local station. What time do you do the weather?"

"You should read to him more."
"Oh, I wasn't aware that you were a developmental psychologist. You know, I was reading this interesting article in the American Journal of Psychology. Wait, let me get it for you...."

Posted by: justlurking | October 25, 2007 9:20 AM

I'm with anne. I pretty much keep my mouth shut. Strangers don't deserve a response, and family members are impossible to reason with. We take their advice in stride--sometimes it's awesome, and sometimes it sucks. We ignore the bad advice instead of saying "Gee, that would never work in a million years, and it's insulting!" I let most things slide.

BTW, people have been saying "Wow" to mean "I can't believe you just said/did that" long before Hax latched onto it. It's one of my all time favorites. I use it with my husband frequently, but I would never assume a stranger would understand the full meaning.

Posted by: Meesh | October 25, 2007 9:23 AM

The main reason I insisted my kids where a helmet when they rode a bicycle was not because I feared they would wreck and get a head injury, but I was afraid of all the sabiba types in my neighborhood ratting me out to CPS.

Lollipop risk??? Where is Ralf Nader when you need him? Give me a break!

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 25, 2007 9:30 AM

I think moxiemom has a good point about seeing things from the other side. Your concerned, thoughtful comment or question can be taken as intrusive or rude by other parents. You could always err on the side of politeness and assume that the other person means well and is just a social moron. Or you could assume that those comments are meant to insult you and react accordingly.

londonmom, the man you were talking about could have responded "Oh, we're just going to lock them in the closet with some of our expired medication," because he might have taken offense at your question.

As we have discussed many times, most people probably mean well. The ones who don't mean well are obvious, and they deserve the full range of snide comments discussed here.

Posted by: Meesh | October 25, 2007 9:31 AM

"You could always err on the side of politeness and assume that the other person means well and is just a social moron. "

Or. You you could ask them what medical school and/or other professional schools they attended.

I don't get it. Why is it so hard to tell someone to MYOB?? What is going on?

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 9:39 AM

londonmom - that's a crazy situation. I'm going to have to think on that. That is a scene that could go very, very wrong and then how do you live with yourself if you could have made a difference, at the same time, what happens if you call CPS and they take the kids away? It really is a tough call. I have a number of friends who don't install and/or use their car seats properly. I've tried to gently point out that they aren't in properly and have been straight up with a few because I knew I would never forgive myself if they were in an accident and the child was injured. It seems my advice was well received, but who knows. I agree that some people are jerks with the "why don't your kids have socks on" but I also think we are a society where everyone minds their own business so much so that many children who need help get lost. How often do we hear after a tragedy that all the neighbors thought something was up but no one said anything? It is tough though.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 25, 2007 9:41 AM

Why is it so hard to tell someone to MYOB?? What is going on?

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 09:39 AM

It's not hard to tell someone to MYOB. It's easy. Just like it's easy to tell you you are fat, lazy, mean, and rude. Most of us don't feel the need to be rude ALL THE TIME and we put the extra effort in to restrain our mouths and laugh off the trivia.

Why is it so da*n important to you, chitty, to communicate to every moron you encounter that he truly is a moron?

Posted by: anonfornow | October 25, 2007 9:45 AM

Maybe a good solution when someone else is doing something you think is dangerous is to say (nicely), "Wow, have you ever thought what an 8 year old would do if a fire started? Or what if the 8 year old got hurt? How could the younger kids help him? That's why I don't leave my kids alone..."

The law in DC is that kids must be 11 to stay alone. They must be 13 to watch younger kids.

Posted by: leslie4 | October 25, 2007 9:49 AM

Maybe a good solution when someone else is doing something you think is dangerous is to say (nicely), "Wow, have you ever thought what an 8 year old would do if a fire started? Or what if the 8 year old got hurt? How could the younger kids help him? That's why I don't leave my kids alone..."


Posted by: leslie | October 25, 2007 09:49 AM

Leave off the "that's why I don't leave my kids alone" and it sounds a lot less snarky. If your goal is persuasion rather than finger-wagging, that is.

Posted by: anonfornow | October 25, 2007 9:52 AM

moxie: they don't just take the kids away (at least they don't in the US - I would presume the UK is similar). There isn't enough space for the kids the state does have, they aren't likely to want to take more.

They only take kids away if there is total and complete neglect - i.e., the kids aren't eating, or something like that. For kids of professionals, who do a reasonably good job raising the kids - they wouldn't take them away - they might make them go to counseling, have some sight visits, etc., though.

Yeah, my mom gave us whiskey as kids for our gums - but not in our bottles. That's insane.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 9:55 AM

Brian, since you are a model parent, or at least you play one on this blog, and considering that breast feeding is a major issue concerning parenting, I do believe that you owe us here in the peanut gallery an explanation of why your babies were't breastfed. Saying the physician told you "it was out of the question" is a cop out. If you explained it to your readers, I think they would give you more respect for the decision you made than if you left it in the "none of your beeswax" catagory.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 25, 2007 9:57 AM

sabiba: if my kid's doing something wrong, I would want them to say something - at least to me, if they didn't feel right to say something to the kid.

We have an email list in the neighborhood - and from time to time I get emails re: there was this high school kid driving too fast, or whatever. YES, I would WANT to know if it's my kid - I would want the kid to know that people are watching. THAT'S what it means when to say: it takes a village.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 9:57 AM

"Most of us don't feel the need to be rude ALL THE TIME and we put the extra effort in to restrain our mouths and laugh off the trivia.'

OH, MY GOD!! How could I forget the CARDINAL RULE of the people-pleasing Queen Bees - The heck with the truth, thou shal't not be rude!!

OH, NO! It's the end of the world!!!

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 9:58 AM

When I was growing up, we lived in a great, friendly neighborhood. The parents pretty much knew each other, so if you were up the street misbehaving, mom knew it by the time you got home! It wasn't considered butting in, just everyone watching out for each other.

Posted by: Catwhowalked | October 25, 2007 10:00 AM

When strangers have offered unsolicited advice, I usually shrug it off, and ignore them. I don't see the point of getting bent out of shape over people whom I will never see again. My mother did crack me up once, when my son was about a year old. We were at the eatery at a mall, and she was having a soda. The boy wanted some, and she said he could take a sip from her cup. I had no objections, it was just a sip, but a woman at the next table came by and chided us for letting the baby drink soda. My mother laughed and said something to the effect of "I am always amazed that you Americans get so huffy over kids and soda, but by the time your kids are 13, they are smoking marijuana instead." Which of course, I don't agree with, but it was a really good comeback to a nosy stranger.

I have found that dealing with relatives is harder. With my mother, I just don't argue. She makes suggestions, and I just agree with her, or nod my head, or, if I really don't agree, don't say much at all. Then I continue to do things the way I choose to do them, regardless of what she said (although sometimes I do take her advice, if I think it's good). This may be a little cowardly, but it is so much easier than arguing with her, and frankly, it works for us. My husband noticed that, and now, when I agree with him on something, he will ask if I really agree, or if I am doing to him the same thing I do to my mother. LOL.

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 10:52 AM

"Saying the physician told you "it was out of the question" is a cop out. If you explained it to your readers, I think they would give you more respect for the decision you made than if you left it in the "none of your beeswax" catagory"

I disagree. Brian does not owe anyone any other explanations. The choice was obviously for medical reasons, and no one needs to know anything else. Plus, Brian is not anonymous on this blog, and does not need to reveal PRIVATE medical details about his family. People who want to know more are just being NOSY.

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 10:55 AM

"The law in DC is that kids must be 11 to stay alone. They must be 13 to watch younger kids."

Posted by: leslie | October 25, 2007 09:49 AM

I am not able to verify this online. Care to provide a link?

Most jurisdictions have no law regarding the age a child may be left alone. Probably because that depends a lot on the maturity of the child. I know plenty of 7 or 8 year olds who are mature enough to be left home alone for a few hours, but I also know a few 12 year olds who shouldn't be left alone for 30 seconds.

Posted by: afsljafweljkjlfe | October 25, 2007 11:01 AM

actually, that is completely false, afswhatever. Mostly everywhere they have recently (past 10 years) been passing those types of laws, because they can't do anything to the parents unless and until there is an actual law that has been broken. And many family services agencies were trying to do something to show parents that they couldn't leave children alone - and while a 10 YO may be able to be left alone for a period of time, they probably shouldn't be looking after too many young kids.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 11:10 AM

Here's another question: Couple are raised in different religions, fall in love and get married in a civil ceremony because, by adulthood, one partner has become completely unreligious. Agnostic parent has ceded any/all decisions re child's religious upbringing to the other parent -- provided the agnostic parent never has to be involved in any way whatsoever in that aspect of child-rearing. However, agnostic parent's religiously-observant relatives and family friends never miss a chance to ask the other parent, in front of said young child, if s/he will be raised in their own religion, or to ask me if I would like to attend their faith.

FWIW, I was the child in this repeated scenario, and it was hard when I was little to understand my parents' resistance when pressured by relatives et al. (not easy for parents to explain to a little one in nuanced terms, either). Also, the moderately-religious parent stated firmly to all the busybodies that no, I was not going be raised in their religion, and that the decision had already been made -- although that didn't stop the questions till I was about 10.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 11:13 AM

Emily, Brian has the choice to share his personal experiences with his passion for parenting and offer information that could be a significant asset to others in a similar situation. He is the host of this blog, and as a leader in the catagory of parenting, has a great opportunity to educate and help the people who make up his readership...

Or he could be a weanie and say "I'm not telling", but what good will that do?

Anyway, it's his choice to make.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 25, 2007 11:18 AM

"The law in DC is that kids must be 11 to stay alone. They must be 13 to watch younger kids."

Posted by: Leslie Morgan Steiner '87 | October 25, 2007 09:49 AM

"I am not able to verify this online. Care to provide a link?
Most jurisdictions have no law regarding the age a child may be left alone."

Posted by: afsljafweljkjlfe | October 25, 2007 11:01 AM

I dunno about DC or Virginia or "most jurisdictions," but Maryland Annotated Code, Family Article § 5-801 says.

"(a) A person who is charged with the care of a child under the age of 8 years may not allow the child to be locked or confined in a dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle while the person charged is absent and the dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle is out of the sight of the person charged unless the person charged provides a reliable person at least 13 years old to remain with the child to protect the child.

"(b) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both."

As Lawyer Sharky says in The Golden Helmet, "Clunkus. Bunkus. Skunkus. It is the law."

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | October 25, 2007 11:24 AM

Oh, and regarding what I do for unsolicited parenting advice, it really depends on the nature of the advice, the quality of the advice, the situation in which the advice was given (if I've got my hands full with ankle-biters, probably not a good time to distract me with unsolicited advice), and my relationship with the advice-giver.

Generally, I'll make a split-second decision which response:
1. "Good lord, that's brilliant! I wish I would have thought of that years ago!" Unfortunately, I don't get to use that response very often since most unsolicited advice is awful. But every once in a while, I get a gem. P.S. If you're going to give advice, please try to give advice that is actually good.

2. "Thank you." (said flatly and with zero emotion.. no irritation, no gratitude.. nothing) and then turning away and getting back to whatever I was doing before the unwanted interruption. I find it works nicely with strangers who give stupid advice.

The tactic is beyond reproach (how can it be impolite to say "Thank you"?), but it conveys very nicely the message of, "I completely ignored whatever you just said, I plan on ignoring anything you say in the future, your commentary was as unwelcome as it was brainless, and anyway in 5 minutes I'll have forgotten that you even exist. Have a nice day."

3. "I considered that, but here's why I chose to do it this way instead." This is reserved for family members or simple explanations. For instance, when my oldest was a baby, I had the following conversation when she was crying once:

Friend: "You should let her cry it out."
Me: "I considered that, but she doesn't tend to cry unless she's in pain, so crying it out wouldn't help." (I burped her and she shut up. Miraculous.)

Posted by: afsljafweljkjlfe | October 25, 2007 11:26 AM

mehitabel: I have a friend whose dad is jewish, mom is catholic, her and her sister were adopted from china (in the late 60s) and were raised catholic (my friend married someone jewish).

Her dad is a practicing jew, always has been, they were raised knowing about judaism and were raised catholic (said friend told me it was due to promises to birth mom).

I have another friend who married someone jewish and had two kids - she was raised catholic. They divorced, and as far as I know, she has full custody (he may have supervised visits - maybe). So she said she'd raise the kids as jews, but I don't think they are. And, she got remarried to a catholic and they had a kid. That one's being raised with some sort of religion, I suppose (she didn't like the catholic religion, one reason she had said they'd be raised as jews).

To me, things get really complicated really fast. Surely, relatives, et al, have no say in the matter. But, what I've seen from many friends, who got married to non jews - their committment to the religion wasn't so great to begin with, hence, they married outside faith. But they still wanted to raise kids jewish - so - wait - you're not committed enough to marry someone in the faith, but then what I have seen is that they don't even know how to have a jewish home, etc, since they weren't so connected in the first place. I've seen spouses being supportive, but they don't always know what to do.

When in grad school, I was very serious with a catholic boy. He said he'd help me raise our kids jewish . It just didn't feel right to *me* (I had done a little research on the idea, too). I couldn't reconcile it all.

One has to figure out what is most important to *them* and then figure out if the mate fits that (i.e., my DH and I are committed to a jewish household, as well as many other things - have the same values/ideas about life, etc).

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 11:27 AM

"He is the host of this blog, and as a leader in the catagory of parenting,"

Brian writes a GUEST COLUMN for this blog and there hasn't been a scintilla of parenting (or any other kind of) leadership from him.

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 11:28 AM

atlmom1234 said:
actually, that is completely false, afswhatever. Mostly everywhere they have recently (past 10 years) been passing those types of laws, because they can't do anything to the parents unless and until there is an actual law that has been broken.

But I found this:
"Most States do not have regulations or laws about when a child is considered old enough to care for him/herself or to care for other children. Currently Illinois and Maryland have laws addressing this topic. States may have guidelines or recommendations. These guidelines are most often distributed through child protective services and are administered at the county level."

-- see http://nccic.org/poptopics/homealone.html

Posted by: colwalterkurtz | October 25, 2007 11:29 AM

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppbreastfeed/?msg=69364.2

"Ask them if they want some beandip"

from a pro-breastfeeding site, but useful for any prying opinionated questioner.

Posted by: lovea51 | October 25, 2007 11:30 AM

"Ask them if they want some beandip"

Ha, ha! Righteous!

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 11:32 AM

"Couple are raised in different religions, fall in love and get married in a civil ceremony . . . . However, agnostic parent's religiously-observant relatives and family friends never miss a chance to ask the other parent, in front of said young child, if s/he will be raised in their own religion, or to ask me if I would like to attend their faith."

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 11:13 AM

What difference does it make whether one is raised Episcopalian or Presbyterian or Baptist or even Catholic or Mormon? As long as she believes in Christ, she will be saved. So what are the agnostic parent's religiously-observant relatives all bent out of shape about? This is like folks in the Byzantine Empire killing one another over the difference between "homoöusion" and "homoiousion".

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | October 25, 2007 11:37 AM

We haven't encountered such busybodies in our community, but if we ever do, I've got a stock answer for them: "This is how our parents raised us, and we turned out all right." This answer does not insult the questioner, nor is it rude like, "Mind your own business!" Now, if someone persists with, "Well, times have changed since you were a child," I can remind him of Gandalf's words in the Lord of the Rings: "Good and evil have not changed since yesteryear - nor are they one thing among men and elves and another among dwarves."

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | October 25, 2007 11:39 AM

Matt, the agnostic parent's religiously-observant relatives really did believe that I would not be saved unless I was raised in their religion.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 11:40 AM

mehitabel

"Matt, the agnostic parent's religiously-observant relatives really did believe that I would not be saved unless I was raised in their religion."

Matt and your relatives are correct. If you are not "saved", you will burn in a fiery lake forever and ever and ever and ever.

And ever.


Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 12:03 PM

"Matt, the agnostic parent's religiously-observant relatives really did believe that I would not be saved unless I was raised in their religion."

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 11:40 AM

Catlady, Revelation (the Apocalypse) tells us that there's this book called the "book of life," full of names. The names were written in the book 'way back when the world was created. If your name is in that book, you'll be saved. If not -- oh me, oh my! All these religiously-observant relatives -- have they had a chance to peek into the book of life? If not, they don't know whether they themselves are gonna be saved, let alone you. Tell them to read chapters 17 and 20 of the Apocalypse.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | October 25, 2007 12:04 PM

"If you are not "saved", you will burn in a fiery lake forever and ever and ever and ever.

And ever."

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 12:03 PM

Oh, yeah? Then how come Dante has Judas, Brutus and Cassius freezing their tails off, getting munched on by Satan in the ice-cold, windswept lowest circle of Hell?

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | October 25, 2007 12:09 PM

"Then how come Dante has Judas, Brutus and Cassius freezing their tails off, getting munched on by Satan in the ice-cold, windswept lowest circle of Hell?"

Is there a movie on DVD? I don't have time to read the book.

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 12:14 PM

Hey, Matt, just so you know, I've worked in the 9th circle of hell and it's not all that bad.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | October 25, 2007 12:15 PM

mehitabel- I have a friend who was raised Catholic (not very religious) and married an agnostic. When they had a daughter, she wanted her daughter baptised and raised in the faith. But not ultra conservative. The agnostic husband was OK with this but refused to participate. In his view, he would prefer the child have no religion but respected his wife and in laws. They are not particularly religious anyway but she will go to weekly mass and religious lessons but not Catholic school.
altmom- I know a lot of jewish/christian inter faith couples. Jewish people get very upset when their children marry non Jews and some Christians get upset. But mostly the Christian in laws don't care enough because like you said if they married someone of another faith they were not too religious anyway. But my cousin married a Jewish man in her late 30s. Personally, I was very happy for her and was glad she found a soul mate. But her parents were pretty mad. I was surprised because it wasn't as if anyone in the family had gone to mass in years (except for weddings, funerals, baptisms etc...) But I kind of agree with you, if you marrying some one of a different religion, your probably not too religious to begin with. I saw this case years ago when this Christian women married a Jewish man. The women converted to Judaism and they had two girls. They were raising their kids pretty religiously but not ultraorthodox like Husiditic (sp? ) Jews. Anyway, the wife decided she did not want to be Jewish any more, which I can understand because it is hard to give up what you believe in. But then they got divorced and she won custody .She later married a christian person. They wanted to raise the kids christian but the father took them to court for spiritual custody and won. So he got them every Friday from sun down to sun down on Saturday. He was completely responsible for taking them to Hebrew school and stuff. I guess they did not keep kosher because he would have zero control on what the mother does in her own home. But some people were arguing that the kids should be Christian because they predominately lived with their mom. I actual think they should have remained Jewish because you don't want kids to be one religion one day and a different one the next day. Also I really respected the father's committment to his faith and his kids.
Matt- I think your Jewish, right? I guess my only comparison is it like saying a Husiditic (sp?) Jew is the same as an ultra reform Jews. Same religion but very different flavor. Not to mention that Mormonism is really different then any other Christian faith in the fact they don't think Jesus was divine. They also believe in many gods. I think their interpretation is Jesus was born of human parents and became the god of this world but there are other worlds and other gods. They also think they can become gods. Again, very very different religion even though they both involve Jesus.

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 12:20 PM

The religiously-observant relatives and family friends were older family members, and are all dead now, so I don't expect to be conversing with them (at least not in this lifetime). Also, they were not exactly what one would call intellectuals -- ignorant bigots would be closer to the mark. The few surviving family members are all agnostics, so don't care about my religious views provided I don't impose mine on them.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 12:23 PM

"Then how come Dante has Judas, Brutus and Cassius freezing their tails off, getting munched on by Satan in the ice-cold, windswept lowest circle of Hell?"

Is there a movie on DVD? I don't have time to read the book.

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 12:14 PM

No need to read the book. You just have to look at the picture:

http://jade.ccccd.edu/Andrade/WorldLitI2332/Dante/inf_dore_34.028.jpeg

Notice the icicles hanging in the foreground. notice how Lucifer, who is chewing on the traitors Judas, Brutus and Cassius, is resting his elbows on the frozen lake. Notice the air traffic controller in the tower telling the flying pigs that is is safe to land now that Hell has frozen over (just kidding about the pigs!).

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | October 25, 2007 12:24 PM

The law exists in GA, or my mother in law has been referring people to DFCS unreasonably for years.

Hey, Matt, in Judaism, that book of life is updated yearly. How could anyone have written a book thousands of years ago that could have everyone's name in it? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Does it have exact dates in it too? wow.

Oh, and in Judaism, one can't be in hell for more than 12 months, that's the time frame - then you go to heaven. That's why one only says kaddish (prayer for the dead) for 11 months after a parent dies - it would be rude to do it for 12 months (inferring that your parent is one of the ones who would have been so horrible as to have to get the maximum sentence).

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 12:25 PM

Chitty you're on a roll today...lol.

Back on topic: I'm always shocked when I hear people say that they received unsolicited advice for really trivial things. I guess I don't understand the thought process behind that.

Emily, I use the same tactic with my mother, grandmother, aunts, great-aunts. Everyone has an opinion in my family, and some of their advice can be quickly relegated to the "old wives tale" bin. I thought it was a Hispanic thing, but then I met my MIL...same thing different country.

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 12:33 PM

Matt

"No need to read the book. You just have to look at the picture:"

Land o' Goshen! One of those guys is our very own pATRICK! Who'd have thunk it!

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 12:33 PM

Just a clarification from my post earlier - this was a conversation I had with a colleague when I lived in VA (who also lived in VA).

I wasn't close at all to the colleague, so I didn't feel like I could really speak frankly with him. But I couldn't help but think - shouldn't I do something? What if something were to happen to those children?

Leslie - I really wish I had thought to say something like what you suggested. My problem in these situations is that I'm usually just so shocked by the statement that I lose my ability to come up with a good response.

Posted by: londonmom | October 25, 2007 12:35 PM

foamgnome: I think you mean chasidic (although it's a hebrew word, so really, since it's a different alphabet, you can spell it differently...and there's no sound like the 'ch' in the word in English).

Jews see the intermarriage thing differently than Christians, I think. If you marry 'out' as they say, in Judaism, people are upset because then they think that the laws/customs/etc will not be carried forward. Studies have been done to say that by the third generation, the kids are no longer jewish in any way. For Christians, the difference, from what I understand, is that the kids won't be 'saved' because they won't be baptized, etc. But also, from what I understand, I thought that Christians believe that Jews have a place in 'their' world (Anne Coulter not withstanding).

Most of my friends are involved with intermarriage - the jews married non jews, the non jews married jews. Go figure.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 12:38 PM

londonmom

"My problem in these situations is that I'm usually just so shocked by the statement that I lose my ability to come up with a good response. "

I really, really like the previous "bean dip" response.

Next time I encounter a Nosy Parker, I'll say "Would you care for some bean dip - it's made with my breast milk?"

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 12:40 PM

Nothing better than a discussion of the Inferno. The ol' frozen lake is nice, of course, but I prefer hanging out by the river (as my user ID might suggest).

Posted by: acheron2112 | October 25, 2007 12:41 PM

"Once, again (duh) the TRUTH is the best way to go. Tell the people who REALLY GET NEED TO GET LAID, BIG TIME, that you don't give a rat a$s's what they think.

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 08:47 AM

Chitty, I share your philosophy. Fortunately, we don't have a whole bunch of uber-competitive uptight moms out here who feel it necessary to tell other moms how to raise their children. There's a real libertarian feel to Arizona, people live and let live...until you break into their homes, then they shoot you.

Posted by: pepperjade | October 25, 2007 12:43 PM

OH, MY GOD!! How could I forget the CARDINAL RULE of the people-pleasing Queen Bees - The heck with the truth, thou shal't not be rude!!

OH, NO! It's the end of the world!!!

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 09:58 AM

New flash: your opinion doesn't rise to the level of "truth" just because it's yours. Like a**holes, everyone has one. What do you gain by being rude? Only the disdain of a few more people. It doesn't make you any more truthful. It makes you a *itch.

Posted by: anonfornow | October 25, 2007 12:48 PM

We were a formula feeding family, too. Most of the time, snotty commenters refrained from saying anything...but a few times really got my goat. A few of my not-so-nice responses:
1. Well, it was either formula feed her or hate her for causing deep depression. We decided life was better.
2. The boob nazi's made me do it. (and watch quizzical faces)
3. I've never been the best at anything, why start now?

Posted by: jenna.moritz | October 25, 2007 12:50 PM

altmom- yes, I meant chasidic. The people in the long black coats and hats. Matt's interpretation is all Christians are the same. I argue not really just like all Jewish denominations are not the same. I think most Christians are not that very religious and don't really care when they marry a Jewish person. Also I think Christianity is a little different. I don't think even for fairly observant Christians, they think of it as keeping a christian home. And of course Jesus was Jewish. So that is nice. I think some object simply because it is different. But most seem to get over it. Even my cousins parents came around and decided loving their new SIL was more important.

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 12:51 PM

"For Christians, the difference, from what I understand, is that the kids won't be 'saved' because they won't be baptized, etc. "

The point is not where you are spending the hereafter. It's how you live your life now, and why. The kids won't be saved because, although they might be taken to church once or twice a year, belief comes from the example set by two believing parents.

Posted by: anonfornow | October 25, 2007 12:51 PM

"Hey, Matt, in Judaism, that book of life is updated yearly."

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 12:25 PM

So? Does that mean your friends and relatives get to peek to find out whether you're included in the latest update? I can see it now: "Book of Life Version 2007.01."

"How could anyone have written a book thousands of years ago that could have everyone's name in it?"

The Author would have to be Someone who could see the future out to the end of time, and know just who would decide to believe and who would not. (This is the Arminian view. According to the Calvinists, the Author decided at creation whom He wanted to save, and sees to it that they decide to believe.)

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | October 25, 2007 12:53 PM

anonfornow

"What do you gain by being rude? "

Is that what it's all about? Being "good"?Another manufactured, worthless competiton for women to buy into because they have been brainwashed to be "nice" at all costs?

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 12:54 PM

"Couple are raised in different religions, fall in love and get married in a civil ceremony because, by adulthood, one partner has become completely unreligious."

"What difference does it make whether one is raised Episcopalian or Presbyterian or Baptist or even Catholic or Mormon? As long as she believes in Christ, she will be saved."

Matt,

Not all religions in the world are variations on Christianity. Which I know you know, but you may have overlooked in your haste.

Posted by: maryland_mother | October 25, 2007 12:55 PM

foamgnome: it's funny really. If it was that important to you - then raise your kids and SHOW them how important it is. Don't just get angry when 20 years down the line they don't stay within the faith.

Funny story tho - my friend was about 35 when she got married and found the jewish clergy less than happy to help her out when they found out she was marrying someone who wasn't jewish. She whined: it's not my fault that my parents raised me with not so much religion that it didn't matter to me. She was *35* remember.

i mean, there's SO much wrong with that sentence - I couldn't even begin to answer it. Suffice it to say, I just listened and nodded.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 12:55 PM

matt: um, so it doesn't matter one iota what I do, either I'm in there or I'm not?

I prefer to have different ideas on religion, that's all.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 12:57 PM

"How could anyone have written a book thousands of years ago that could have everyone's name in it?"

Dunno, but I would be willing to have sex with this guy just for the DNA.

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 12:57 PM

"New flash: your opinion doesn't rise to the level of "truth" just because it's yours. Like a**holes, everyone has one. What do you gain by being rude? Only the disdain of a few more people. It doesn't make you any more truthful. It makes you a *itch."

Anonfornow, why must the person receiving the unsolicited advice adapt his/her response so that he/she isn't rude to the busybody? Sometimes people need to be told what they can do with their "advice"...why should I care if I gain their disdain?

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 12:57 PM

I never understood why non religious people want to be married in a house of worship if they don't participate. Like FIL is set to marry for the third time. He wants to get his second marriage annuled. Just like he did with his first marriage. So he can marry in the Catholic church. If you don't agree with the church's teaching on marriage, why would you want to get married there? Seems weird. Why not pick a religion that jives with your beliefs.

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 12:58 PM

"What do you gain by being rude? "

Is that what it's all about? Being "good"?Another manufactured, worthless competiton for women to buy into because they have been brainwashed to be "nice" at all costs?

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 12:54 PM


Why do you interpret civility as a gender issue? It's not about being nice. It's not about women. It's not about brainwashing. It's about how people function successfully in social settings, and it's about not wasting your own time.

Those with king-sized chips on their shouders, waiting for someone to screw up so they can lambast them with their version of the truth, don't function well. Those who tend to ignore idiocy and don't waste their energy on snappy retorts tend to sell more ice to Eskimos, have greater financial security, and less anxiety. Don't kid yourself that you are some honest happy person when you are merely an a**hole with no friends spewing ugliness on a blog.

Posted by: anonfornow | October 25, 2007 1:02 PM

"If you don't agree with the church's teaching on marriage, why would you want to get married there? "

For the ATMOSPHERE. I'm an atheist but got married in a church. Nice accoustics, elegant setting, music - nothing wrong with that.

Posted by: Bertrude | October 25, 2007 1:06 PM

anonfornow

"Don't kid yourself that you are some honest happy person when you are merely an a**hole with no friends spewing ugliness on a blog."

Would you care for bean dip - it's made with my breast milk?


Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 1:07 PM

"I never understood why non religious people want to be married in a house of worship if they don't participate."

Tradition and family play a very important role in this decision...

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 1:08 PM

Matt - not even getting into REAL cross-religious marriages, I once dated a guy who was a member of the Church of Christ. I'm catholic, and after about 2 days he informed me he was nervous about our religious differences, and how our families get along. You see in Church of Christ (or his particular church) they teach their followers Catholics are pagans. So the mere fact that we both believed in Jesus just wasn't enough for him. I ended up marrying an atheist, and it's working out swimmingly. My parents are now atheist, and his are still Christian with Catholic friends, so we all get along with our inlaws excellently. He doesn't badger me about religion, and I go to mass and worship in the way I choose to.

Unsolicited advice - my grandmother (who's been desperately pestering all her married grandchildren for great-grandchildren) recently informed me not to clean out the kitty litter anymore, since she was nervous about it causing damage to any potential future children I might or might not have. I've told her before I'm not having kids, but I didn't argue the point. I just had to laugh, the fact that I'm using preventive measures AND may not in fact be able to get pregnant by normal methods not withstanding, Grandma was worried about the health of any potential future grandchildren I probably won't have. Nodded my head and smiled.

And...
[What do you gain by being rude? "

Is that what it's all about? Being "good"?Another manufactured, worthless competiton for women to buy into because they have been brainwashed to be "nice" at all costs?

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 12:54 PM ]

My gawd, I actually agree with chitty for this single post (I'm sure it won't last). I am sick of women having to be "nice" just b/c they are women. It's not a competition though chitty, society and men expect it from us. Try being a woman and walk around at work not smiling. Bye bye promotion, hello getting called a b@#$ or worse just because you didn't stop to smile at everyone.

Posted by: _Miles | October 25, 2007 1:13 PM

"For the ATMOSPHERE. I'm an atheist but got "arried in a church. Nice accoustics, elegant setting, music - nothing wrong with that."

I strangely understand this attitude. If you are an atheist, it has utterly no meaning so what the hell. If you are of faith it is offensive. But given an atheist viewpoint one place is as good as another.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 1:27 PM

Oh, and in Judaism, one can't be in hell for more than 12 months, that's the time frame - then you go to heaven. That's why one only says kaddish (prayer for the dead) for 11 months after a parent dies - it would be rude to do it for 12 months (inferring that your parent is one of the ones who would have been so horrible as to have to get the maximum sentence).

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 12:25 PM

Wow, when we Catholics mess up, we get the full afterlife sentence...reminds me of the Jewish stand-up comic who did a bit on Rosh Hashana vs. Lent and pointed out that Christians even pay retail for sinning.

Posted by: educmom__615 | October 25, 2007 1:28 PM

"Wow, have you ever thought what an 8 year old would do if a fire started? Or what if the 8 year old got hurt? How could the younger kids help him? That's why I don't leave my kids alone...
---
Very likely the parents HAVE thought about it and have concluded (erroneously) that the 4 and 6 year old will (a) call the parents and (b) follow the fire evacuation plan that the parents think they have drilled into them. My response in that situation would be "Wow, you're brave. Aren't you afraid one of your neighbors will figure it out and call CPS?"

Posted by: jcadam | October 25, 2007 1:28 PM

Try being a woman and walk around at work not smiling. Bye bye promotion, hello getting called a b@#$ or worse just because you didn't stop to smile at everyone.


Or you may just be an unpleasant b#tch who blames men and society for all of your problems..........

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 1:29 PM

"Oh, and in Judaism, one can't be in hell for more than 12 months, that's the time frame - then you go to heaven."

That sounds like a pretty good rule to me. Maybe I'll convert.

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 1:33 PM

"For the ATMOSPHERE. I'm an atheist but got "arried in a church. Nice accoustics, elegant setting, music - nothing wrong with that."

I strangely understand this attitude. If you are an atheist, it has utterly no meaning so what the hell. If you are of faith it is offensive. But given an atheist viewpoint one place is as good as another.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 01:27 PM

Well, count me as offended. I can understand someone from a family with at least nominal religious practice getting married in a church, to show respect for the family and follow tradition, but I'm really bugged by people who treat churches (and synagogues and mosques) the same as they treat the local fire hall.

Posted by: educmom__615 | October 25, 2007 1:35 PM

"Oh, and in Judaism, one can't be in hell for more than 12 months, that's the time frame - then you go to heaven."

That sounds like a pretty good rule to me. Maybe I'll convert.

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 01:33 PM

I hear you Emily. The more I hear about Judaism, the more I like it!

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 1:35 PM

Would you care for bean dip - it's made with my breast milk?

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 01:07 PM

I can't reach the bean dip. The chip on your shoulder is protruding 8 feet in all directions.

Posted by: anonfornow | October 25, 2007 1:38 PM

My gawd, I actually agree with chitty for this single post (I'm sure it won't last). I am sick of women having to be "nice" just b/c they are women. It's not a competition though chitty, society and men expect it from us. Try being a woman and walk around at work not smiling. Bye bye promotion, hello getting called a b@#$ or worse just because you didn't stop to smile at everyone.

Posted by: _Miles | October 25, 2007 01:13 PM

Your workplace sounds worse every time you describe it. Update your resume and get to an employer that rewards results and teamwork.

Posted by: anonfornow | October 25, 2007 1:40 PM

Posted by: educmom__615 | October 25, 2007 01:35 PM


I agree, but my point is that an atheist couldn't care less if you were offended. I think it is contemptous really.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 1:41 PM

For the ATMOSPHERE. I'm an atheist but got "arried in a church. Nice accoustics, elegant setting, music - nothing wrong with that."

I strangely understand this attitude. If you are an atheist, it has utterly no meaning so what the hell. If you are of faith it is offensive. But given an atheist viewpoint one place is as good as another.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 01:27 PM

Well, count me as offended. I can understand someone from a family with at least nominal religious practice getting married in a church, to show respect for the family and follow tradition, but I'm really bugged by people who treat churches (and synagogues and mosques) the same as they treat the local fire hall.

Posted by: educmom__615 | October 25, 2007 01:35 PM

If the churches agree to do it, and take the money, aren't you angry with the wrong party? (Parties?)

Posted by: maryland_mother | October 25, 2007 1:42 PM

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 01:29 PM

Et tu, pATRICK? You must think some nasty thoughts of your female employees who don't smile. Who said I blamed ALL my problems on man? I just take a lot of crap when I don't smile. When I'm lost in thought, I've had people later accuse me of being sad or angry. This without a single word uttered. I seriously doubt men have to deal with the same thing. I didn't say it's their fault, just a societal issue equally shared by men and women.

Posted by: _Miles | October 25, 2007 1:43 PM

"I can't reach the bean dip. The chip on your shoulder is protruding 8 feet in all directions."

You can't reach the bean dip because of my big nursing boobs!


Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 1:43 PM

If the churches agree to do it, and take the money, aren't you angry with the wrong party? (Parties?)


That is a valid point. If one was a member and the partner was atheist I would say ok but if both were then someone should step in and say find another venue. Hopefully it would be the parents or the minister/rabbi/priest.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 1:44 PM

Well, count me as offended. I can understand someone from a family with at least nominal religious practice getting married in a church, to show respect for the family and follow tradition, but I'm really bugged by people who treat churches (and synagogues and mosques) the same as they treat the local fire hall.

I don't know. I'm an atheist, too - if people like us respect those religious sites and behave like we're supposed to in there, why do you care?

Posted by: StickyNote | October 25, 2007 1:46 PM

Et tu, pATRICK? You must think some nasty thoughts of your female employees who don't smile. Who said I blamed ALL my problems on man? I just take a lot of crap when I don't smile. When I'm lost in thought, I've had people later accuse me of being sad or angry. This without a single word uttered. I seriously doubt men have to deal with the same thing. I didn't say it's their fault, just a societal issue equally shared by men and women.

Who knows what really happens? This is a blog and we don't have any of your coworkers to sample. You could be right or you could just be someone who has a chip on their shoulder and thinks the world is out to get them. I have found the second to be more true than your conspiracy stories angle.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 1:47 PM

Did anyone else feel the earth stop moving? pATRICK agreeing with me?

I think that deserves a Tim Tam Slam. Who's with me?!

Posted by: maryland_mother | October 25, 2007 1:47 PM

Posted by: maryland_mother | October 25, 2007 01:42 PM

Good point -- it's offensive on many levels, I guess.

Posted by: educmom__615 | October 25, 2007 1:47 PM

I don't know. I'm an atheist, too - if people like us respect those religious sites and behave like we're supposed to in there, why do you care


Because you AREN'T respecting those sites. They are temples of God whom you don't think exist and the people who worship there you think of as ignorant. Hardly respectful at all.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 1:49 PM

Did anyone else feel the earth stop moving? pATRICK agreeing with me?

I think that deserves a Tim Tam Slam. Who's with me?!


Posted by: maryland_mother | October 25, 2007 01:47 PM

Ha! Take an aspirin and the sick feeling will go away. It did for me.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 1:51 PM

Posted by: StickyNote | October 25, 2007 01:46 PM

Mainly the hyprocisy. Not that there aren't plenty of 'religious' hypocrites, but it bothers me when someone perpetuates a deliberate falsehood.

Posted by: educmom__615 | October 25, 2007 1:51 PM

MM-Good point. The priest who married us would not have agreed to marry an aethist. But does marry interfaith couples as long as they promise to raise the kids Catholic.
StickyNote- I said I did not understand it. Not that I was offended by it. But the reason it probably offends some people is that marriage in the Christian faith and other faiths is a sacrament. It is not just a legalization of a union. It is a public acknowledgment of your love but it is also a promise to love one another as Christ loved the church. Or in other faiths, a deeply spiritual union blessed by God or another deity. If you simply just want the back drop because it looks pretty and elegant, it is more like you want a Hollywood set. So it is making a mockery of what is sacred about a religious wedding. The religious wedding is not about the building, the music, the atmosphere but about the prayers, the blessing and the belief that something spiritual is happening there. As far as family pressure, understood. Families can assert all sorts of pressure where it is none of their business.

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 1:53 PM

Posted by: educmom__615 | October 25, 2007 01:51 PM

Yep, it's almost like sticking your thumb in someone's eye. Why would an atheist be so hypocritical? There are many different beautiful places to get married.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 1:53 PM

pATRICK,

First you have to go and look up what a Tim Tam is, then we can discuss whether this moment rates aspirin (make mind Aleve, please) or something different.

When in doubt, go for dessert.

Posted by: maryland_mother | October 25, 2007 1:54 PM

and the people who worship there you think of as ignorant. Hardly respectful at all.

You don't know what I think. Interesting, though, that you assume I think you're ignorant :-)

Mainly the hyprocisy. Not that there aren't plenty of 'religious' hypocrites,

Boy, you got that right!

Posted by: StickyNote | October 25, 2007 1:55 PM

I've written about it before, but I still really love my SIL's advice when older son was a new baby: "Everyone is going to tell you how you should take care of your kid. Some of it will be good suggestions, but a lot of it won't be. Just nod and say thank you. You can think about what was said, and if it makes sense to you, try it and see if it works with your kid. If it does, great. If it doesn't, try something else. If the advise seems stupid, or just doesn't make sense with your kid, you can ignore it."

I've gotten into arguments with one of my sisters over how to raise my kids. She has no children, but has had several more-or-less disasterous attempts at being a step-mother. She stopped giving me unsolicited advise after I pointed this out.

It really hurt her feelings though, and our other siblings felt like I was too mean to her. That's really rare, as she's usually the "mean one" of the family, and I'm usually the "peacemaker".

I also had the situation of a very young child left alone at home. Another sister, a single mom very, very serious about fitness. Before a car accident messed up her back, she did triathalons, and worked her way up to marathons. Even ran the Boston marathon once. But she'd leave her apartment to train at 5am, and leave her sleeping daughter (as a baby, pre-schooler, and young elementary) alone. I worried and prayed, but took no other actions. I felt my sister was a really good mother in almost everything else, so calling CPS wouldn't have been in my niece's best interest, and saying anything to my sister would have been counter-productive.

When it's family giving unsolicited advise, it can be really hard to deal with.

Posted by: sue | October 25, 2007 1:56 PM

hear you Emily. The more I hear about Judaism, the more I like it!

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 01:35 PM

I always did wonder why Christians don't follow more of the Jewish traditions. After all, Jesus was an observant Jew. Why not follow his example? I have a friend, who is Jewish, who once told me that at the second coming, we Christians would not find Jesus at church. Because he would be at the Synagogue attending Jewish services instead.

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 1:56 PM

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 01:56 PM

Didn't you say you went to religious grade school and high school? and yet you act like you just cracked open a bible for the first time.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 1:59 PM

So, again, on which party is the burden greater?

The atheist(s) for wanting the venue, or the religious personnel for granting permission to use the property as a backdrop?

I'm leaning towards the people who accept the check. It's one thing to ask and be denied, it's another to take the money and provide the service.

Hmm, that parses poorly and I'm not feeling up to correcting it. I'll let the grammar wizards have a go, instead.

Posted by: maryland_mother | October 25, 2007 1:59 PM

Emily, historical the big divide between Christianity being a runagade (sp?) Jewish sect and a religion of predominately gentiles came with St. Paul. Basically in the ministry of Jesus, to become one of his followers you had to become a person who kept the commandments (or observed Jewish law). Basically it became a numbers game. They could not get enough Jews to follow Jesus because they wanted to be traditional Jews. They couldn't get enough gentiles because they mostly did not want to get circumised. Again according to Jesus, you had to keep the covenant of Abraham. So St. Paul had the brilliant idea of opening the new religion to the gentiles in masses but in order to do that, he dropped the circumision requirement. Thus the start of Christianity dropping its Jewish heritage. Over time, most of the Jewish practices were dropped so that there are Christians today who have no idea that Jesus was Jewish or know what that actually means. Some churches still hold a special mass to remember Jesus' bris or naming ceremony. But that is only a few churches and even with that there is little real understanding of Jesus' connection to the Torah.

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 2:03 PM

"They are temples of God whom you don't think exist and the people who worship there you think of as ignorant. Hardly respectful at all."

Come on, Patrick. Not all atheists believe that people of faith are ignorant-- they aren't all of the Hichens variety. And not all faithful people believe that all atheists will burn in hell. And a lot of people just don't know, and make no judgment about people who have found an answer that works for them.

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 2:03 PM

The atheist(s) for wanting the venue, or the religious personnel for granting permission to use the property as a backdrop?

How would the religious guys know - surely, the atheist would not reveal his lost-sheep self?

I actually got married in a church (husband is Christian). I let the pastor know quite freely about my opinions - he didn't seem to mind and adjusted some of the ceremony accordingly. I don't mind the general references to "God" and such, as long as I don't have to play along too actively.

Posted by: StickyNote | October 25, 2007 2:04 PM

To the atheists, it's just another building. It's not their responsibility to preserve the sanctity of a temple to a being they don't believe exists. It's up to each church to set standards for use of the temple of God that preserve its sanctity.

Posted by: anonfornow | October 25, 2007 2:04 PM

Emily

"at the second coming, we Christians would not find Jesus at church. Because he would be at the Synagogue attending Jewish services instead. "

Hope Jesus yanks me out of that fiery lake on his way to Temple!

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 2:04 PM

ha, ha, emily, so true.

Foamgnome: matt seems to know a bunch about judaism, but he isn't jewish. Don't know what he is.

It is interesting, tho, how Christianity takes most of what Judaism says and changes it ever so slightly - like the hell thing. It's not dwelled on much, in any event, cause what you do while you are on the earth is what is important - not what will happen later (and, in all honesty, we don't know the answer either). I like the do good cause it's the right thing to do stance, not the do good so you don't burn in hell thing. Doesn't quite sit right with me.

Emily: maybe you can check out jews for jesus? They're not really jews, tho...

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 2:05 PM

The Tim Tam Slam (or Tim Tam straw) is the practice of drinking a beverage by sucking it through a Tim Tam, an Australian chocolate-covered biscuit. The practice is done by sucking through a Tim Tam with both ends bitten off.

Funny! Now here we go again. I (gasp)agree again. They should not be taking money if the intent is just to have a nice backdrop. Aspirin #2 coming up

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 2:05 PM

Patrick, unfortunately women are routinely judged upon their appearance/demeanor more so than men are...and not just in the work place.

I am very much aware that my appearance plays a role in my success in government and media relations, though it's my ability to deliver that keeps me in my position. It's not about a chip on the shoulder--it's about a double standard that is sometimes subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle. Nothing new here. Calling a woman a derogatory name because she points this out...well, that kinda plays right into the double standard. And women frequently do need to make a conscious choice about how far they can push. Fortunately, I work on behalf of a male-dominated industry and a woman is expected to have a backbone...I fit perfectly.

Posted by: pepperjade | October 25, 2007 2:06 PM

I did go to Catholic school. Unfortunately, among Catholics, Bible reading has not historically been encouraged. It was actually prohbited for a very long time, because the Church wanted to be the one to interpret the Bible for the people, rather than allowing them to read for themselves and come up with the wrong (ie not HRCC sanctioned interpretation). So my religious education comes from a little Bible reading and a lot of texts about Catholic and Protestant theology.

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 2:07 PM

altmom-Christianity probably copies a lot of Jewish ideas because it started as a Jewish group. Not just because Jesus and the disciples were Jewish but because they were people of the commandment. I think Jesus and his followers thought they were enlightening or improving the already establish Jewish faith. I don't think they were trying to create a whole brand new religion. But the Christendom today really doesn't look that much like the ministry of Jesus. It actually looks more similar to the ministry of St. Paul.

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 2:08 PM

Foamy,
Thanks for that very thoughtful, and information response to my question. You are always so helpful.

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 2:10 PM

I like being Catholic. I've told my kids that I'll support the wedding if they find a Catholic priest to marry them. If not, I doubt I'll show up at the ceremony. It's their choice.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 25, 2007 2:11 PM

I actually got married in a church (husband is Christian). I let the pastor know quite freely about my opinions - he didn't seem to mind and adjusted some of the ceremony accordingly. I don't mind the general references to "God" and such, as long as I don't have to play along too actively.

Posted by: StickyNote | October 25, 2007 02:04 PM

This is more of what I am talking about. The nuance is in what you mean by atheist. If you are a firebreathing hitchens nut that's one thing. If you are just ambigous about religion and finding your way that's another. I was the second type when I was married. We couldn't get married in our present church becuase we were not memebers but the pastor married us at a nice gazebo. I would have no problem with the second and probably no problem with a christian marrying an athiest in a church if it was important to the christian spouse.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 2:13 PM

"at the second coming, we Christians would not find Jesus at church. Because he would be at the Synagogue attending Jewish services instead. "

There's a slight timing problem with this pithy, errant statement. If the second coming occurs on Saturday, Jesus might be at the Synagogue. No one will be in church. If the second coming occurs on Sunday, Jesus might well be at church, but he won't be in the Synagogue. Pick your day, but there won't be a day in which all the Christians are at church, all the Jews are at Temple, and we get to put Jesus in the role of preferring one group over the other. He's a uniter, not a divider.

Posted by: anonfornow | October 25, 2007 2:17 PM

Right, and other things I heard - that in creating a more 'popular' religion (to play on what you wrote above, foamgnome), they took away the requirements of praying three times a day (so now you only really have to go on sundays and holidays).

But the really interesting thing was what Anne Coulter said on the big idea - to donny deutsch not long ago. That Jews were just imperfect Christians - is something I've NEVER heard. I always heard that Christians have a 'place' in their theology for Jews (why many Christians support Israel). She was definitely quite rude. And the next day defended herself!

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 2:17 PM

"Emily: maybe you can check out jews for jesus? They're not really jews, tho..."

Thanks, Atlmom. If I were to join a church, it would probably be the Unitarian Church. I tend to believe a little of everything, but not everything of anything (if that makes sense).

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 2:20 PM

GutlessCoward wrote: "I've told my kids that I'll support the wedding if they find a Catholic priest to marry them. If not, I doubt I'll show up at the ceremony. It's their choice."

In other words, you'd pay (bribe) your children to get married in your faith, but if they refuse to bend to your will, you'll turn your back on them on their wedding day. Whatever happened to loving one's children unconditionally?

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 2:20 PM

If you are a firebreathing hitchens nut that's one thing. If you are just ambigous about religion and finding your way that's another.

I don't know, Patrick, with all due respect, it's not really up to you to decide what kind of an atheist is an acceptable one (to a religious person, at that). I'm not a firebreathing H. , but I am most definitely not ambiguous about religion either (feel quite strongly against it, in fact).

Posted by: StickyNote | October 25, 2007 2:20 PM

I was Christian when I got married. We got married in a Catholic church, by a Lutheran minister on Reformation weekend. The church didn't seem to have any qualms taking the fee and certainly missed or didn't mind the irony of the proceedings. I picked the church because it is where I went to college and it was lovely. I still belonged to my home church which was out of town.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 25, 2007 2:21 PM

"Pick your day, but there won't be a day in which all the Christians are at church, all the Jews are at Temple, and we get to put Jesus in the role of preferring one group over the other."

But if it occurs during Monday night football, who will he be rooting for?

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 2:22 PM

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 02:17 PM

ANN COULTER needs to shut up and do what she does best -skewer liberals at will. She has ABSOLUTELY no moral authority making statements concerning christianity.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 2:22 PM

almom-never heard about what AC said. But I don't know too many Christians that think that way. In fact, since we divorced so much of our Jewish roots, I think most Christians just think of Jews and Christians as being different religions. They probably have slightly more understanding to Judaism because Jesus was Jewish (even if they don't know what that means exactly) then say Islam or Buddhism. Also in the US, they probably just know more Jewish people then say Hindus. Except for a set few phrases like "Jesus was the King of the Jews", I don't think Christians focus too much on the early Jewish connection to Christendom. Like I said, Christianity has evolved to be very different then Jesus' teachings. Not just the love your neighbor part but the actual part of to be his follower one must be a person of the commandments.

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 2:23 PM

"Pick your day, but there won't be a day in which all the Christians are at church, all the Jews are at Temple, and we get to put Jesus in the role of preferring one group over the other."

But if it occurs during Monday night football, who will he be rooting for?

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 02:22 PM

The Redskins. Without Question. Next?

Posted by: anonfornow | October 25, 2007 2:23 PM

If you are a firebreathing hitchens nut that's one thing. If you are just ambigous about religion and finding your way that's another.

I don't know, Patrick, with all due respect, it's not really up to you to decide what kind of an atheist is an acceptable one (to a religious person, at that). I'm not a firebreathing H. , but I am most definitely not ambiguous about religion either (feel quite strongly against it, in fact).

You proved my point in an odd way. I have every right as a faithful person to decide. YOU went to a house of worship with contempt in your heart and that's wrong. To me it is similar to a devout christian getting married at a strip club. Both acts are highly hypocritical.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 2:25 PM

1) Jews are *supposed to be* worshipping daily - so Jesus probably *would* be in synagogue, regardless of day of week.

2) Foam: don't you guys study the 'old' testament? To us, it's just the testament, but still. Christians should know as much about Judaism as Jews. Of course, I've read a Christian bible only once (and not much of it) and the translation was eye opening, to say the least. MUCH MUCH different language than is taught in Judaism.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 2:27 PM

In other words, you'd pay (bribe) your children to get married in your faith, but if they refuse to bend to your will, you'll turn your back on them on their wedding day. Whatever happened to loving one's children unconditionally?

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 02:20 PM

It's not turning your back to refuse to attend a ceremony conducted by someone you do not believe has the authority to conduct it. If you believe in apostolic succession, e.g., the power to marry comes from the priesthood as handed down through St. Peter, then a marriage ceremony conducted by anyone other than a Roman Catholic priest is not a marriage in the eyes of God.

Why is only the child's choice and views deserving of respect? His child can marry as he wills. He can choose whether to attend. Love does not dictate that parents OR children bend to each other's wills. Love dictates mutual respect.

Posted by: anonfornow | October 25, 2007 2:29 PM

Mehitabel, if my children decide to do something against my will, they are the ones turning their backs on me. Right?

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 25, 2007 2:29 PM

Getting back to my original question, namely how to deal effectively with relatives, neighbors and family friends who are pressuring a parent to raise a child in their own religious tradition rather than what the parents believe. How do you say "No" to people who genuinely believe the child will not be saved otherwise?

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 2:32 PM

This link is to a US Dept of Health and Human Services page regarding laws or rules or suggestions about leaving kids alone at home. Apparently there really are only two states with laws - Illinois and Maryland....

http://nccic.org/poptopics/homealone.html

Posted by: vblackwelder | October 25, 2007 2:32 PM

altmom-Well, I fully admit to NEVER having read any translation of the bible in its entriety. But I think Roman Catholicism teaches the least amount of the old testament. A lot goes to what Emily said about its historical stance on keeping the parishoners ignorant so they can interpret it as they want. Now, I think it is just that they give the Sesame Street version of the old testament. Meaning giving such a water down version of the key stories-Noah and the flood, Gensis, etc... I actually have studied the bible as literature, historical Christian church, and number of other courses on the writings of Christianity and the historical and cultural traditions. Just because I find in fascinating. I would still say I am vastly ignorant compared to a theology scholar but more versed then the average Christian. Also Catholics, in general, are not taught that the bible is the literal truth. So we are OK with evolution etc... I was always taught that the bible is a story about the relationship between the God of Israel and his people. But most Christians forget that in the old testament, they were NOT the chosen people. No one likes to be on the losing side. :) DH went to Catholic school for 12 years. I am always amazed about how little he knows the old testament. Frankly, he must have been asleep most of the time. Because he did not know a lot about Catholic theology either. He knew the big stuff but did not know the little details.

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 2:33 PM

Do you then view your grandchildren as illegitimate, GutlessCoward? Where does it end?

Posted by: MaryL | October 25, 2007 2:33 PM

In other words, you'd pay (bribe) your children to get married in your faith, but if they refuse to bend to your will, you'll turn your back on them on their wedding day. Whatever happened to loving one's children unconditionally?

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 02:20 PM

Hmm, I think i disagree. I think love is a two way street. If my child were to be married in some way that violated my faith. A Hindu wedding comes to mind, I would not go. I would go to the reception, i would pay for it if appropriate but I would refuse to involve myself in a wedding that violated my faith.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 2:33 PM

You proved my point in an odd way. I have every right as a faithful person to decide. YOU went to a house of worship with contempt in your heart and that's wrong. To me it is similar to a devout christian getting married at a strip club. Both acts are highly hypocritical.

Oh, boy, Patrick, I am beginning to see why a lot of people on this blog have a problem with you. Let me disengage from you for a while, while you may go and pray for some tolerance in your heart...

Posted by: StickyNote | October 25, 2007 2:34 PM

GutlessCoward, No. They are exercising their First Amendment right to freedom of (or from) religion.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 2:34 PM

Oh, boy, Patrick, I am beginning to see why a lot of people on this blog have a problem with you. Let me disengage from you for a while, while you may go and pray for some tolerance in your heart...

Funny that you say I should pray for tolerance when you have none.....

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 2:36 PM

Of course, I've read a Christian bible only once (and not much of it) and the translation was eye opening, to say the least. MUCH MUCH different language than is taught in Judaism.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 02:27 PM

I can think of at least 5 different translations of the Bible off the top of my head. The tone and language of each translation is slightly different. Some are very old (King James was done in the 1600's). "The Book" translation is only a few years old and has very modern language. I don't think there is just one standard "Christian" Bible.

Posted by: klynnwilder | October 25, 2007 2:38 PM

Stickynote, if pointing out the hypocrisies of your actions makes me "intolerant", then guilty as charged. You came to the wrong place if you expected a "well that's your right, it's your life" kind of reponse. This is the big leagues. If you can't handle it, go blog somewhere else.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 2:40 PM

GutlessCoward, Would you refuse to attend the christening or confirmation (or bris or Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or other ceremony) of your grandchild if s/he was of a different faith? Would you love that grandchild any less for not being raised in your faith? This was some of the prejudice and pressure I encountered while growing up, and believe me this sort of bigoted behavior simply alienated me even further from the faith of my paternal family -- and I can totally understand and sympathize with my father's reasons for abandoning it.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 2:44 PM

They are exercising their First Amendment right to freedom of (or from) religion.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 02:34 PM

In seventh grade we learned that the First Amendment prohibits the federal legislature from making laws that establish religion or prohibit the free exercise of religion. It's a stretch to interpret a prohibition on Congress as relevant to a decision by a parent to attend or not to attend a wedding ceremony next June.

Posted by: anonfornow | October 25, 2007 2:46 PM

"Do you then view your grandchildren as illegitimate.."

I think legitimacy has more to do with a legal marriage rather than a spiritual marriage.

But nothing can prevent me from loving my grandchildren no matter the circumstances of marriage, religion, birth, or adoption.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 25, 2007 2:46 PM

Getting back to my original question, namely how to deal effectively with relatives, neighbors and family friends who are pressuring a parent to raise a child in their own religious tradition rather than what the parents believe. How do you say "No" to people who genuinely believe the child will not be saved otherwise?

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 02:32 PM

Such a good question, mehitabel. Unlike with zealous interference of other varieties (why aren't you breastfeeding ?!?) which can be settled (see, the kid is thriving) you can't ever prove that there is/isn't salvation and have a definitive "leave me alone" card. One can embark upon firm, persistant ignorning and if necessary, saying the topic is stricken from further discussion and enforced by physically removing the children from the situation.

Posted by: MaryL | October 25, 2007 2:47 PM

klynn: i just meant that it was interesting that they were translating the same words, and the language was vastly different. Of course there are different translations...
pATRICK: would you not attend a Hindu marriage no matter what? Or only if it was your kid?

And what does:

i would pay for it if appropriate

mean? Does that really mean that you are ONLY PAYING for the wedding if it's your daughter and not your son??????

SO SEXIST. Does that mean the son inherits 100% of your wealth, too? I mean, that's the 'tradition' (I *SO* want to say that to my in laws one day...)

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 2:48 PM

There are some here who I really don't understand why they show up. In fact, there's at least one who vowed they weren't returning at all (but has continued to post).

They are IMO nothing more than argumentative trolls, doing their best to disrupt peaceful conversations and beating everyone else over the head with their "I am right, everyone else is wrong" attitude, and not afraid to browbeat anyone who dares to voice a differing opinion on nearly any subject.

You know who you are.

Posted by: johnl | October 25, 2007 2:48 PM

Thanks, JohnL, for being on my side :-)

Posted by: StickyNote | October 25, 2007 2:51 PM

oh, yeah, i HATE when people cite the 'first amendment' as if they have the right to say anything at all, and I am obligated to hear it.

If it's not the government shutting you up, then that's that. Anyone can tell you that no, they don't want to listen to you. If it's not the govt, then you have no first amendment rights.

Like, I can boo you off the stage if I want - the govt has no say in the matter. the world is not obligated to listen to you cause you have an opinion.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 2:52 PM

Funny that you say I should pray for tolerance when you have none.....

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 02:36 PM

Patrick, I LOVE your version of "I know you are, but what am I?" Can you now follow it with a Nyanyanyabooboo? But of course, "this IS the big leagues" is code for that. You must have been the president of your debating club. What incredible and compelling arguments you give. I am totally convinced!!

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 2:52 PM

"Foam: don't you guys study the 'old' testament? To us, it's just the testament, but still. Christians should know as much about Judaism as Jews. Of course, I've read a Christian bible only once (and not much of it) and the translation was eye opening, to say the least. MUCH MUCH different language than is taught in Judaism."

I'm not foamgnome, but I just wanted to say that the Old Testament in the Bible does not include all of the books in the Torah. Having said that, we (meaning Catholics) place greater emphasis in the New Testament.

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 2:54 PM

But GutlessCoward, if a grandchild is not of your religion, don't you believe his/her faith is less good, and that this might affect his/her afterlife?

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 2:54 PM

Using the afterlife to justify why we are mean to our friends and family in this life is just wrong.

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 2:56 PM

Wow someone showed up to post before the blog was taken down and didn't just punk post after everyone was gone. You know who YOU are.........

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 2:57 PM

"Hmm, I think i disagree. I think love is a two way street. If my child were to be married in some way that violated my faith. A Hindu wedding comes to mind, I would not go. I would go to the reception, i would pay for it if appropriate but I would refuse to involve myself in a wedding that violated my faith."

But isn't love a big aspect of your faith? You choose to violate that aspect?

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 2:58 PM

Good for you pATRICK. I think the Christian attitude here is to not support your children in any endeavor that isn't fully pro-Jesus. Showing them compassion or love in something you don't view as sacred is only going to give them the impression that as your children you love them no matter what their faith. It's good to know hate in the name of Jesus is still going strong. And I'm sure we agree the only good atheist is one who's dead and burning in hell. But then again, I'm Catholic and a liberal you would probably like to put me there too...just have to kill me first.

Posted by: _Miles | October 25, 2007 3:03 PM

But isn't love a big aspect of your faith? You choose to violate that aspect?

That is a good question. You have overlooked a couple of things though. One love of God is first, love of neighbor/child is second. Breaking your vow to God by engaging in a ceremony that puts others ahead of him is an obvious higher violation of your faith.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 3:06 PM

I'm not foamgnome, but I just wanted to say that the Old Testament in the Bible does not include all of the books in the Torah. Having said that, we (meaning Catholics) place greater emphasis in the New Testament.

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 02:54 PM

ACtually it does. The torah is the first five books of the bible:Gensis, Exodus, Leviteticus (sp?), Numbers, and Deutromonmy. The Christian or Catholic bible includes the entire Torah (Hebrew) or the pentateuch (Greek) and goes beyond that. But your right that Christianity focuses on the New testament. Depending on where you study, Christians do study both the new and the old but put a greater emphasis on the new. Again, Jesus did not fulfill the Jewish prophecy of the messiah. If your Christian you believe he transcended the Jewish prophecy by creating a symbolic state of Israel in the after life.

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 3:06 PM

Posted by: _Miles | October 25, 2007 03:03 PM

Where you get that is beyond me. You are a catholic but you are willing to engage in worship of other deities? Perhaps it's okay to you as a catholic to worship Hanuman the monkey God but not me.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 3:11 PM

Love of God is first, love of child is second.

Poor child.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 3:11 PM

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 03:11 PM

Attending your child's wedding is not worshipping another deity. If they pray or something, you don't have to participate. It's only a religion if you believe it is and give it credence over your own heart. Otherwise it's no different from a secular ceremony. If you don't believe your faith can stand up to watching other people practice their faith, you have some issues of your own to sort out.

Posted by: _Miles | October 25, 2007 3:14 PM

To play devil's advocate for a moment: if God is everywhere, why is it any more hypocritical for an atheist to be married in a church than an outdoor gazebo?

That said, I've observed Unitarians conducting Native American-style ceremonies and I found myself very uncomfortable with the idea that you can borrow pieces of religion apart from the larger culture/belief system. (Here we'll purify ourselves with the smoke of burning sage but conveniently ignore that Native Americans are still fighting to regain land that was unlawfully taken from them.)

That said, I have learned a lot from being included in religious ceremonies conducted by other faiths. My presence at an Episcopal Church (or a Hindu marriage) doesn't make me any less Quaker, but I'm a better educated Quaker.

Posted by: anne.saunders | October 25, 2007 3:14 PM

Love of God is first, love of child is second.

Poor child.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 03:11 PM

Not true! They go hand in hand. They are not exclusive. I will always love my child but I will not do things that violate my faith. I would not ask my child if he/she were a strong hindu to take communion. Loving someone does not mean surrendering your values.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 3:15 PM

pATRICK-OK do you not go to a wedding of a friend, neighbor or colleague of a different faith. I do all the time to honor the people. I don't consider myself as partaking of their religious ceremony. But appreciating their wedding as loving act that I was honored to witness. As far as paying for a wedding, I can see having constraints but not going is just sort of mean. Unless you seriously don't ever go to a wedding, baptism, barmitzvah, confirmation or whatever of someone other then your faith. Your invited as a guest. Not necessarily to join in the mass or service.

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 3:16 PM

Foamgnome thanks for the clarification.

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 3:18 PM

AS:Anne I can't speak about all faiths but for Catholics even though God is everywhere, sacraments are not preformed every where (which includes the outdoors). Again a sacrament is an outward sign that provides an inward Grace. Even though God is in the grocery store it is not a sacrament to go buy some cold cuts. Does that make sense?

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 3:18 PM

pATRICK, Now you know why some of my father's relatives didn't love me as much. My upbringing conflicted with their faith.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 3:19 PM

How do you say "No" to people who genuinely believe the child will not be saved otherwise?

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 02:32 PM

Firmly. Repeatedly, if necessary. Recycle the pamphlets they mail to you.

Posted by: maryland_mother | October 25, 2007 3:23 PM

Just a bit of personal history.
My spouse came from a very small family (1 sibling, 1 uncle, 2 cousins)
We paid for everything (and I mean everything) for our wedding, because spouse's family was opposed to me.
Spouse's relatives confirmed they were told not to attend wedding.

Spouse let their family know in no uncertain terms that this was a make or break decision.
This this rejection would pretty much end their relationship.
Parents relented and attended ceremony in a non-sectarian college chapel, but chose not to attend reception.

Posted by: chemguy1157 | October 25, 2007 3:26 PM

Maryland Mother, I was referring to relatives and family friends who encountered my parents face-to-face and pressured them to raise me in their faith, not my mother's (which was what my dad agreed to). My mother stood her ground all those years, but it made me a bit of an outcast at paternal family gatherings. And the hard sell was most unattractive in terms of making me interested in their faith when I was older and had freedom of religious choice (First Amendment).

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 3:26 PM

"Not true! They go hand in hand. They are not exclusive. I will always love my child but I will not do things that violate my faith. I would not ask my child if he/she were a strong hindu to take communion. Loving someone does not mean surrendering your values."

If they go hand in hand, then isn't loving your child (a child who is not of your faith) a violation of your faith?

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 3:26 PM

"That said, I have learned a lot from being included in religious ceremonies conducted by other faiths. My presence at an Episcopal Church (or a Hindu marriage) doesn't make me any less Quaker, but I'm a better educated Quaker."

I liked this last part of your post.

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 3:30 PM

All I can say is some of you guys have some tough relatives. My own family and in laws are starting to look good. :)

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 3:30 PM

foamy

"Even though God is in the grocery store it is not a sacrament to go buy some cold cuts."

ANOTHER nomination for Quote of the Month -this month must be some kind of record.

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 3:31 PM

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 03:26 PM

That's the biggest problem with religion; today and ever. It's used to divide people. It should be used to accept people, of all faiths. So what if you think your neighbor is going to Hell because he doesn't read the same bible as you? Does that mean you should hate him or disrespect him? Or patronize him and try to convert him? People with real faiths should know faith does not come externally, it comes from within. You can't really convert someone. They need to find it in their heart. If you get them to say out loud that they follow the same belief as you and attend the same Church as you it doesn't necessarily mean that you or they really have faith or really have a guaranteed ticket to whatever kind of heaven you believe in. I wish people would just accept everyone for who they are, and focus on doing good in this world and making it a better place instead.

Posted by: _Miles | October 25, 2007 3:33 PM

My presence at an Episcopal Church (or a Hindu marriage) doesn't make me any less Quaker, but I'm a better educated Quaker."


Really? I would say it makes you a wishy washy quaker who has just attended a service that denys your God and breaks one of the ten commandments. When you are involved in offering praise to the Monkey God what do you do then? Excuse yourself?. Hindu and Buddism are the only ones I think are off limits.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 3:35 PM

Well, I see we went from "people who don't believe something shouldn't appropriate it for aesthetic reasons" to "going to any ceremony conducted in any faith other than one's own is evil."

How did THAT happen?!

BTW, most organized Christian denominations believe that most of the Torah is sacred (I think there are some disputes about a couple of minor books) and they should be taught as part of faith practice, that Jesus fulfilled the messianic prophecies AND paved the way for the salvation of Gentiles, that using sacred spaces or texts while denying their sacredness is a desecration...

and ordinary Christians who are doing their best to live a life set by Jesus' example will help the less fortunate (the poor, sick, depressed, grieving, scared); be kind, non-judgemental, tolerant, modest and patient; be willing to admit that we just don't know it all, NEVER refer to Jews as 'not-yet-perfected-Christians' -- how offensive!!! -- and acknowledge that we mess up, and we're sorry when we do.

Because I don't think we qualify for the one-year-max sentence to h-e-double-hockey-sticks.

Posted by: educmom__615 | October 25, 2007 3:36 PM

Maryland Mother, I was referring to relatives and family friends who encountered my parents face-to-face and pressured them to raise me in their faith, not my mother's (which was what my dad agreed to).

I was subjected to that sort of thing too, but they simmered down once there were additional grandchildren. I was the first on one side of the family (the side to which I am much closer, interestingly enough). I think my feeling closer to them had to do with the fact that the religion wars had been settled by the time I was in kindergarten. They had thrown up their hands and realized that badgering my parents wasn't going to ensure getting to see me. That my parents were adults, and MY parents, so it was time for them to zip it.

Were you the first grandchild, too?

Posted by: maryland_mother | October 25, 2007 3:36 PM

"if a grandchild is not of your religion, don't you believe his/her faith is less good, and that this might affect his/her afterlife?"

Mehitabel, I'm not sure that my own sorry ass will be saved. If it is, it will be at the mercy of my creator, not because I deserve it.

As far as favoring a child because of the faith that they prescribe to is so not me. I judge people according to the good works they do. Nothing good ever came out of Making a conscience effort to love somebody less because of their faith. What would be the point?

Some things are best left up to the Holy Spirit!

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 25, 2007 3:39 PM

"Really? I would say it makes you a wishy washy quaker who has just attended a service that denys your God and breaks one of the ten commandments. When you are involved in offering praise to the Monkey God what do you do then? Excuse yourself?. Hindu and Buddism are the only ones I think are off limits."

Off limits to what????

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 3:41 PM

Again a sacrament is an outward sign that provides an inward Grace.

I think many people who are members of denominations which are less focused on the sacramental don't really understand this about the Catholic faith.

Even though God is in the grocery store it is not a sacrament to go buy some cold cuts

Love it! May I use it?

Posted by: educmom__615 | October 25, 2007 3:41 PM

Someof you (especially Miles) have faith mixed up. I don't think others who are not my denomination are going to burn in hell. That is up to God, who i know will make the right decision. But I am not going to sacrifice my faith and its teachings because it makes someone uncomfortable or in the name of tolerance and no one of any faith should. Tolerance does not mean sacrificing your beliefs but accepting that others have different beliefs and that is a BIG DIFFERENCE. I won't go to a hindu wedding anymore than I would ask a conservative orthodox jew to a movie during his observance of sabbath. In some people's eyes he would be "intolerant" or "rude" for not going .Most of this is just axe grinding as it is every time this blog gets bogged down on this topic.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 3:44 PM

educ_mom:Your welcome to it.

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 3:45 PM

I would say it makes you a wishy washy quaker who has just attended a service that denys your God

No, Quakers believe there is "that of God" in everyone. Even Hindus and Buddhists. I must treat them accordingly, with love and respect. Who are you to decide how God chooses to reveal himself? I try to be open to God's messages regardless of where they come from (even from you).

Posted by: anne.saunders | October 25, 2007 3:46 PM

"Love of God is first, love of child is second."

But the thing is that God will always forgive. The child, perhaps not.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 25, 2007 3:47 PM

Aww pATRICK, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't agree with ANYTHING I put in the textual world. I'll go on accepting you, you go on hating who you want. Your choice to attend your child's wedding or not, I just don't think attending a wedding of a different faith damns anyone to burn in hell for eternity. Difference of opinion. I'm glad you know for certain what gets us in or not in to the pearly gates, most of us admit to know know what The Almighty has in mind.

Posted by: _Miles | October 25, 2007 3:48 PM

" I would say it makes you a wishy washy quaker who has just attended a service that denys your God and breaks one of the ten commandments. When you are involved in offering praise to the Monkey God what do you do then? Excuse yourself?. Hindu and Buddism are the only ones I think are off limits."

Interesting. My sister was "saved" and belongs to one of the most dogmatic, nut-job, fire & brimstone, Jews-have-horns & tails, "Elmer Gantry" type churches in the South. She IS permitted to attend weddings, christenings, and funerals, etc. in other houses of worship. Her respectful attendance (not worship) is not viewed as "denying her God". God can take it.

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 3:48 PM

"No, Quakers believe there is "that of God" in everyone. Even Hindus and Buddhists. I must treat them accordingly, with love and respect. Who are you to decide how God chooses to reveal himself? I try to be open to God's messages regardless of where they come from (even from you)."

Congratulations on sidestepping the worshiping of another deity part of my post and throwing in some red herring sentences. So you have your offerings to the monkey god ready and in hand when you go?

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 3:49 PM

Maryland Mother -- wasn't the first grandchild, just the first not of my father's family's faith.

GutlessCoward -- no matter how flowery your words, you've still made it clear you'll show preference to a child who adheres to your faith, and turn your back (at least for weddings and other religious events) on those who don't. That's favoritism, not loving your kids equally.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 3:50 PM

I'll go on accepting you, you go on hating who you want. Your choice to attend your child's wedding or not, I just don't think attending a wedding of a different faith damns anyone to burn in hell for eternity. Difference of opinion. I'm glad you know for certain what gets us in or not in to the pearly gates, most of us admit to know know what The Almighty has in mind.


Your axe to grind is so tired. I never said any of those things-YOU DID.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 3:51 PM

What I don't get pATRICK is simply attending a wedding of another faith is not partaking or celebrating another deity. It is just observing another faith in action. There were lots of non Catholics at our wedding (friends and family alike). The non Catholics did not accept the host, as they do not believe in it. But they attended to be watch and witness the marriage of a family member or a friend. Haven't you ever been to a Seder dinner or over a friend's house to light the menorah? Or visited a mosque? Doesn't make you Jewish or Muslim. Just a visitor. I did not pray in the synogogue or the mosque but I felt honored to be invited. Why is your child's wedding any different?

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 3:52 PM

So, do you think my parents should've raised me in my father's family's (and family friends') faith -- even though my parents didn't want to? Or should I have succumbed to the pressure and converted to it once I was old enough, in order to get into ma paternal relatives' good graces and be more loved by them?

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 3:54 PM

Foamgnome, i addressed this and the WAPO ate my post. I would attend just about any christian denominational service, i would attend a jewish service, i would attend an islamic service. I would NOT attend a hindu or buddhist service becuase they worship idols pure and simple. That to me is a critical violation of my faith.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 3:56 PM

Should read, "into my paternal relatives' good graces" (good speller, lousy typist!).

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 3:56 PM

Miles, that's what i really don't understand in any way, proselytizing. It is so not a jewish concept (in fact - converting is very discouraged!).

I mean, if you think your way is the way, then great for you. Celebrate that. But you have no right to tell *me* that *my* way is wrong. I mean, we're probably both wrong. Spend your time feeding the hungry, tending to the sick, doing whatever - why spend your time and money on something that probably isn't going to happen (i.e., me converting to your way).

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 3:57 PM

"I would NOT attend a hindu or buddhist service becuase they worship idols pure and simple. That to me is a critical violation of my faith."

My sister's church considers Catholics to be idol worshippers - BIG ONES. She attends functions held in Catholic churches.

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 3:58 PM

Several people have said that they wouldn't attend their child's wedding if the child were marrying in a religious ceremony of a different religion.

When my sister decided to marry a man who was divorced, she couldn't marry in the Catholic Church, so she made all the arrangements with a minister of some other Christian denomination. My mother told my sister that she wanted nothing to do with the wedding if it wasn't Catholic. My sister was very hurt, but determined to marry the man she loved, and to live her life as she chose.

Our mother was *crushed* when the wedding invitations went out with only Dad's name listed as the bride's parent, as if he were a widower. Mother attended the wedding, and arranged for the couple to have an extra week at the parents' timeshare condo in Hawaii, and a bottle of champagne and bouquet of flowers were waiting for the newlyweds when they arrived.

The whole family was *really* relieved that our mother backed down from her stance. It could have caused a permanent rift.

If you've made such a statement, maybe you'll really do it. But I hope you'll do what my mother did, and attend the wedding for the sake of your whole family. And I hope you'll have more grace than my mother, and not cause hurt feelings all around beforehand and then have to back down from what you threatened.

Free advice - worth what you paid for it.

Posted by: sue | October 25, 2007 3:58 PM

OK, I really got to go but altmom, Christians don't think of it as proselytizing. They think of it as evangelism, which means to tell the story (The Gospel). In simple terms, they generally do this out of love. And I say generally because I can't speak for all Christians. It is like if you knew about this really great deal (salvation), wouldn't you want to share it with people that you care about and maybe even some you don't. I, personally, feel very uncomfortable with evangelism because it sort of walks a fine line of intolerance. So I interpret it to tell the story to people that actually want to hear it. I think the best form of evangelism is to live a Christian life (to the best of my ability-which often means failure) because actions speak louder then words. I always have an open invitation to church or discuss my faith with friends but I don't force it on anyone. But we are commanded to according to the bible to evangelize. I personally, don't waste my time on people who actively don't want to hear the story.

Posted by: foamgnome | October 25, 2007 4:03 PM

Sue good for her. She was more extreme i think because it was in the christian faith and she denied going to it because it was not in her denomination. Some Catholics consider Protestants heretics. I obviously don't agree with that but if they could not in good conscience come. I would respect that.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 4:03 PM

"Foamgnome, i addressed this and the WAPO ate my post. I would attend just about any christian denominational service, i would attend a jewish service, i would attend an islamic service. I would NOT attend a hindu or buddhist service becuase they worship idols pure and simple. That to me is a critical violation of my faith."

Just out of curiosity Patrick, would you attend a Catholic ceremony....our saints are sometimes refered to as "idols" by some christian denominations.

Also, do you know anything about Hinduism and Buddhism besides the Monkey God reference? If you did, then you'd know that there is only one creator being. You'd also know that these are two very different religions..you can't just lump them together like you do. I would echo Anne's earlier post..knowing about other religions makes you a better Christian/Jew/Buddhist, etc.

By the way, this is the first time I've heard someone equate Buddhism with idol worshipping.

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 4:05 PM

foamgnome, that was a good concise answer. I am not in an evangelical church but i do understand that part of their faith.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 4:06 PM

I would NOT attend a hindu or buddhist service becuase they worship idols pure and simple. That to me is a critical violation of my faith.

pATRICK, it's not a violation of MY faith. I'll accept that it's a violation of yours (with respect). Quakers have a long tradition of religious tolerance. And I agree with other posters who recognize the difference between attending and worshipping. I'm not handing anything to a monkey diety anymore than I'd accept the "body of Christ" at a Catholic communion when I'm not Catholic.

Posted by: anne.saunders | October 25, 2007 4:07 PM

"I'll go on accepting you, you go on hating who you want. Your choice to attend your child's wedding or not, I just don't think attending a wedding of a different faith damns anyone to burn in hell for eternity."

Wow.

A lot of people here seem to be bringing a lot of judgmental baggage to the table.

I'll counter Sue's story with my own. My husband's uncle is a priest. My parents sat us down, told us they loved us, also told us they would not be attending our wedding if it was performed by a Catholic priest. We decided between ourselves - with no pressure from anyone - to marry in a nondenominational service. DH's uncle did not attend and we didn't expect him to attend. It was never discussed. We knew.

This doesn't have squat to do with love or hate. It has to do with respect. DH's uncle loves me, my husband and our children. My parents love me, my husband, and our children. They also each have their own individual relationships with God and we respect that. No one held any grudges, pitched any fits, made any threats, or forced anyone to do anything. Adults disclosed to each other how they felt about something important to them. I respect them all for how they handled it. Oh - and, most of all, I respect all other family members for shutting the heck up and never discussing what occurred or what they might have done. Given the level of venom attributed to others on this board with whom some of you disagree, I'd be very surprised if some of you could handle a disagreement of this import with as much grace as our families handled it.

Posted by: MN | October 25, 2007 4:11 PM

sue: interesting story.

I'm surprised that your mom didn't know til the invites were sent out.

I mean, we paid for the wedding, so NO ONE's names, except for OURS were on the invitation. Who was offended by that? MY SISTER. Don't ask me why. I have no idea.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 4:11 PM

"By the way, this is the first time I've heard someone equate Buddhism with idol worshipping."

But not the last. These wackos get emotional and physical erections by condemning people to the fiery pit.

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 25, 2007 4:13 PM

Foamgnome I think that there is a difference in how Catholics view proselytizing and the way that is viewed by some Christian denominations.

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 4:13 PM

Also, do you know anything about Hinduism and Buddhism besides the Monkey God reference? If you did, then you'd know that there is only one creator being

No, that is partly correct. These other deities are manifestations of the one creator being. They also worship trees etc. Hinduism is a collection of many religions. Buddhism is silent on God.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 4:15 PM

MN, please forgive my ignorance, but was your husband's uncle the priest forbidden by his religion from attending his nephew's wedding because it was in a different faith? Or was it a personal decision on the uncle's part? I'm glad for your sake that your family was more civil than mine, as I wouldn't wish the religious pressures we endured on anyone else.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 4:16 PM

MN, that is exactly how I would feel that it would be handled. Where all this hate speech comes from mystifies me. But you were more astute than me, it is the baggage and hurt feelings some people bring to this conversation.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 4:17 PM

CHITTY, you sound more and more like STRAWBERRY23 in your childishness...

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 4:20 PM

pATRICK you didn't answer my earlier question: "would you attend a Catholic ceremony....our saints are sometimes refered to as "idols" by some christian denominations."

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 4:20 PM

I think that religious people should be honored if atheists decide to marry in their church. After all, it's a wedding -- a serious thing. If someone wanted to get married in my house, I'd be surprised, but it would certainly honor my house.

Posted by: eleanor.hubbard | October 25, 2007 4:20 PM

pATRICK you didn't answer my earlier question: "would you attend a Catholic ceremony....our saints are sometimes refered to as "idols" by some christian denominations."


Yes and I have because Jesus is the centerpiece of your denomination, the saints parts don't concern me in the least.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 4:22 PM

You sound like a very sane individual altmom. I agree. However, don't agree with foamgnome precisely. I don't share the specifics of my faith with anyone but close and personal family and friends who might get to know ME better by understanding how I perceive my religion. Otherwise, if people want to know more about my faith there are plenty of better sources than me. And I think anyone that professes to have a superior knowledge of the Bible should keep that knowledge to themselves unless specifically called upon. I know atheists whose knowledge of the Bible is far superior to many other Christians; obviously it does not make their faith stronger.

Posted by: _Miles | October 25, 2007 4:22 PM

Wow, interesting how today's blog turned to the discussion of religion and (in)tolerance.

FWIW, my family has a number of stories in that area:

- my mother's brother (my uncle) is a Roman Catholic. His oldest daughter, my cousin, married a Byzantine Catholic. At the time, my uncle was out of work and told my cousin that he'd give her the best wedding he could pay for but it would be a small one. The groom's family offered to throw a huge, lavish wedding IF the couple got married in the Byzantine church. They did, and my uncle refused to go to the wedding because he believed his daughter sold out her faith for a lavish wedding. They're back on solid ground, but it took years.

- my parents were married in the rectory of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Denver - Mom's Catholic; Dad wasn't. So they weren't allowed to marry in the church building, proper, just the rectory. But a number of people in his north Louisiana home town still held it against him that he even went on to "Catholic property" to get married.

- my brother and his wife were married by a Justice of the Peace, because they got married on two days notice. No, she wasn't pregnant - her parents believed that if a child is 18 and a high school graduate said child must vacate the house and be self-supporting. She didn't have a lot of choices for how to get by. My parents wouldn't let her live with my brother, but if they got married and had nowhere else to go my parents would let them live at the parents' house. (My brother played my parents like a piano on that one, but it came back to haunt him when the divorce happened.)

- DW and I got married in a Catholic church with a full mass. We invited friends and family of all different denominations (and some of no denomination). A good time was had by all. A Jewish friend of mine decided to take communion, largely because he'd always wondered about it and figured he'd never get a better opportunity. I thought that my MIL was going to have a stroke during the reception when she found out that Howie was Jewish! (The priest told her not to worry about it; he laid on the theological explanations as to how it doesn't count if the person isn't a Catholic in good standing.) A Muslim friend was going to join him, but lost his nerve at the last minute and got out of line.

Point? Why do I have to have a point?

Oh, here's a point: YEAAHHYY for Irishgirl! Congrats on the newborn; hope you're all doing well.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | October 25, 2007 4:26 PM

My sister and her wedding were in Oklahoma. My parents live in California. When Mother said she was having nothing to do with the wedding, my sister took her at her word and handled everything by herself. I think our dad probably wrote my a (small) check to help with the wedding expenses.

After the invitations went out and Mother changed her mind, travel arrangements had to be made at the last minute, but *everyone* was so glad!

One of my fondest memories was sitting with Mother and both sisters on the day before the wedding, all of us hand-sewing pearls on the wedding dress. That just wouldn't have been the same without Mother. She taught all of us to sew.

Posted by: sue | October 25, 2007 4:26 PM

"Yes and I have because Jesus is the centerpiece of your denomination, the saints parts don't concern me in the least."

Thanks for your response. It seems to me that your reluctance to attend a Hindu wedding stems more from the fact that Jesus is not the "centerpiece" of their religion, than the "idol worship" part.

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 4:28 PM

I can't imagine not attending a service because it wasn't Catholic or Baptist or Hindu or whatever. Why is attending and sharing in what the two people are celebrating a violation of your faith? If you are not participating in the ceremony then what's the problem? If you won't attend a Hindu wedding, then I would assume that it would also violate your faith to socialize with such people. This is part of why I quit religion all together. I think it may cause as much damage as it prevents. And, FWIW, I think Jesus would probably go to his friend's Hindu wedding - he didn't turn anyone away.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 25, 2007 4:28 PM

Yes in some ways, but the absence of worship of GOD is the sticking point. That is why i would go to a jewish or islamic service.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 4:30 PM

pATRICK, would you attend a secular wedding ceremony conducted by judge or other official?

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 4:32 PM

If you won't attend a Hindu wedding, then I would assume that it would also violate your faith to socialize with such people.

Not in the least. Worshiping is much different than socializing. Jesus socialized with the samaritans and they were despised by the jews.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 4:32 PM

eleanor.hubbard, it would depend on the reason the atheists wanted to get married in the church. If they just wanted a "pretty place", then, no, it's a little flattering that they recognize the physical beauty of the place, but kind of offensive that they miss the spiritual beauty of it.

(Kind of like noticing the girl with the big rack but missing the fact that she's got a sharp mind, great personality and heart of gold. Sorry, but you're focusing on only one small part of it.)

(Similarly, if someone wanted to get married in my house, I'd want to know why. If they thought it was just a cheap place they could easily trash without serious repercussions, then I'm sorry, but, no.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | October 25, 2007 4:34 PM

pATRICK, would you attend a secular wedding ceremony conducted by judge or other official?

LOL, this is starting to sound a lot like Green Eggs and Ham. btw yes i would absolutely.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 4:35 PM

Yes in some ways, but the absence of worship of GOD is the sticking point. That is why i would go to a jewish or islamic service.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 04:30 PM

No disrespect here. I'm just trying to understand. Do you mean the God of Abraham that these three faiths hold in common. Would that place religions from other traditions but with a single Supreme Being off limits? Say the Creator of most Native American traditions? Or is it the multiple (or absence of) dieties that's the problem.

Posted by: anne.saunders | October 25, 2007 4:35 PM

I have to put my two cents in my own personal story :-) We're now planning our religious ceremony (after three years of marriage)!

Sorry....back to the topic at hand.

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 4:36 PM

No disrespect here. I'm just trying to understand. Do you mean the God of Abraham that these three faiths hold in common. Would that place religions from other traditions but with a single Supreme Being off limits? Say the Creator of most Native American traditions? Or is it the multiple (or absence of) dieties that's the problem.

Yes. The problem i have with Hinduism are all the deities and buddhism does not worship God. American Indian? hmm never thought about it but i suspect no due to the strong paganism i know of in native american indian culture.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 4:39 PM

"Not in the least. Worshiping is much different than socializing."

How is going to a wedding worshiping? You don't have to participate - you are simply witnessing their celebration. You may opt out of the worshiping, the same way that Protestants often go to Catholic services, but refuse communion.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 25, 2007 4:41 PM

MN, please forgive my ignorance, but was your husband's uncle the priest forbidden by his religion from attending his nephew's wedding because it was in a different faith? Or was it a personal decision on the uncle's part?

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 04:16 PM

For one thing, and although I appreciate that you didn't suggest this, no one in our respective families approaches life with a list of X being forbidden and Y being permitted. That is a very negative way to view faith, duty, obedience, and determining what actions will most honor God.

Every act is a personal choice. If you believe, it's a choice to honor God or not. His uncle and I have not discussed it, but I surmise that he prayed about it a good deal and determined that it would not be suitable for him, as a priest, to by his very presence lend the power of the Roman Catholic church to a ceremony led by someone not ordained by the Roman Catholic church to perform it. He owes a duty to the RC church as its representative.

You have a lifetime to celebrate and share your love with two people. Some of the people who are the most vehement about who should be in attendance at a wedding wouldn't even notice if parents and family members support the marriage as the years go by. Give me the lifetime of love and support, rather than the 2 hours or less a ceremony takes. You learn who really is family when the rubber hits the road, not by who shows up for the party.

Posted by: MN | October 25, 2007 4:42 PM

patrick, you really need to read c.s.lewis or maybe not since he might not be "your" religion and therefore what he has written not worth reading. he talks about worshiping different faiths & even worshiping the monkey god you are so concerned about. take a look at his book "the last battle" which is the last of the narnia chronicles. talks about faith and worship. who has it & who does not.

Posted by: quark | October 25, 2007 4:44 PM

How is going to a wedding worshiping? You don't have to participate - you are simply witnessing their celebration. You may opt out of the worshiping, the same way that Protestants often go to Catholic services, but refuse communion.

EXACTLY! but if Communion was required would they still go? Wouldn't that cross the line? It's the same for me, being there would be a violation of my faith in NOT worshipping other Gods or being in a service that worships other Gods. Communion is a rite but they BOTH worship Jesus and God. Being in a completely different faith service is different

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 4:45 PM

MN, back in the bad old days, rules about not entering another faith's house of worship were far more rigid than they are today.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 4:46 PM

You may opt out of the worshiping, the same way that Protestants often go to Catholic services, but refuse communion.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 25, 2007 04:41 PM


Gotta comment on this one. I have never refused communion. I am not permitted to take it in the Catholic church since I was not baptized into the Catholic faith. So at every funeral and other family wedding, I'm forced to sit in the pew as one not worthy. THIS is a bone of contention in our house, LOL. We keep those conversations out of ear shot of our kids, the neighbors and all other family members. I'm pretty sure the dogs know how I feel about it.

Posted by: MN | October 25, 2007 4:46 PM

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 4:48 PM

"But the really interesting thing was what Anne Coulter said on the big idea - to donny deutsch not long ago. That Jews were just imperfect Christians - is something I've NEVER heard. I always heard that Christians have a 'place' in their theology for Jews (why many Christians support Israel)."

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 25, 2007 02:17 PM

Jesus: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
-- from the New Testament, John 14:6

COULTER: "No, no, no, no, no. I don't want you being offended by this. This is what Christians consider themselves, because our testament is the continuation of your testament. You know that. So we think Jews go to heaven. I mean (Jerry) Falwell himself said that, but you have to follow laws."
-- from the transcript of her interview with Donny Deutsch

Got that? "Jews go to heaven." There seem to be two possibilities here. One is that Ann Coulter, Cornell '84 cum laude, Order of the Coif, is more liberal than Jesus, allowing some people to "cometh unto the Father" not by Jesus. In this, she is in good company -- not just Jerry Falwell but Pope John Paul II. Two is that Ann Coulter really means, "we think perfected Jews go to heaven," and her "perfected Jews" are Christians, so there is no conflict with John 14:6. I wonder whether Ann Coulter, Cornell '84, is a Calvinist or an Arminian, or if she even knows the difference.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | October 25, 2007 4:49 PM

The funny part of all this is that Muslims in the mideast generally will not allow infidels to set foot in the mosque or sometimes the city. I'm sure that's okay with all the "tolerant" people becAuse that's "diversity". LOL

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 4:50 PM

I wonder whether Matt asks everyone he meets at a party where they matriculated and in what year.

Posted by: MN | October 25, 2007 4:52 PM

ANN COULTER is nutty. Useful for attacking liberals but nutty.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 4:52 PM

"I wonder whether Matt asks everyone he meets at a party where they matriculated and in what year":

MN, that's brilliant!

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 4:53 PM

A friend of mine converted to LDS (Mormon, to most). He was married in the Temple in Salt Lake City. His parents were NOT allowed to attend the wedding of their only son, because non-members of the church are not permitted into the Temple.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | October 25, 2007 4:53 PM

being there would be a violation of my faith in NOT worshipping other Gods or being in a service that worships other Gods.

I mean, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Worshiping is something that you actively do. It is not something that happens to you when you enter a house of worship for any faith. You are entitled to feel as you do, but I don't see how attending and NOT worshiping would be any different than watching a Hindu wedding on t.v. I love going to celebrations of all kinds. I enjoy learning about the different rituals and meanings and celebrating! It makes my life richer.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 25, 2007 4:54 PM

MN, I'm going to ask this as respectfully as I possibly can but why would you attend and support a church that excludes you from their sacraments?

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 25, 2007 4:56 PM

MOXIEMOM, fne but how would your friends react if they HAD to take communion as part of the wedding?

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 4:59 PM

"The funny part of all this is that Muslims in the mideast generally will not allow infidels to set foot in the mosque or sometimes the city. I'm sure that's okay with all the "tolerant" people becAuse that's "diversity". LOL"

This is not OK with me, don't make these general assumptions. I want reciprocity...if you can build a mosque and worship freely in my country, then I should be able to do the same in yours.

Posted by: MV_78 | October 25, 2007 5:00 PM

"But if it occurs during Monday night football, who will he be rooting for?"

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 02:22 PM

The Pope is seated, reading in his study, when a Cardinal bursts in, all excited.
"Your Holiness, I have good news and bad news!"
--"What is the good news, my son?"
--"Jesus Christ has returned to Earth."
The Pope puts down his book and rises from his desk, overcome with happiness. Then he pauses to ask, "What could possibly be bad news at a time like this?"
--"He's in Salt Lake City."

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | October 25, 2007 5:01 PM

Moxie, I think you read MN's post too quickly (it's a busy time of day!). I understood her to say that she can take communion in her own faith, but not at a Catholic church -- by which I inferred that she is Protestant.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 25, 2007 5:02 PM

MN, I'm going to ask this as respectfully as I possibly can but why would you attend and support a church that excludes you from their sacraments?

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 25, 2007 04:56 PM

moxiemom,

DH is blessed with a large extended family. We attend weddings and funerals in the Catholic Church. As for all of us, there are not enough of the first and too many of the second. The church to which we belong, and support, does not exclude from communion anyone baptized in the Christian faith.

Posted by: MN | October 25, 2007 5:11 PM

Mehitabel - thank you for the kind and gracious way in which you pointed out my error.

Oh, gotcha MN - I wouldn't take offense. As a Protestant at a Catholic college, I was never included in communion even tho a priest said I could if I wanted to. I decided that if they didn't want to offer their communion to me, I didn't want it. Don't take it as not worthy, take it as an indicator of someone who doesn't believe in transubstantiation (sp). Technically, they (Catholics) shouldn't partake of communion when they are in a Protestant church as it should be essentially meaningless to them.

Patrick, I have never been to a wedding where the guests HAD to do anything. If I HAD to take communion, I'd be glad for the snack and drink service. Communion is only sacred if it is received in the same spirit in which it is offered. Even though I don't believe that Jesus was the son of God, I'd take communion if someone insisted - like I said, snack time.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 25, 2007 5:29 PM

"I am not permitted to take it in the Catholic church since I was not baptized into the Catholic faith. So at every funeral and other family wedding, I'm forced to sit in the pew as one not worthy."

MN, don't take it personally. I don't think Catholics would say you are unworthy. The reason they don't allow non-Catholics to take communion is that non-Catholics do not necessarily believe in transubstantiation, ie, that the bread and wine have been changed into literally, the body and blood of Christ. Catholics believe that when you say Amen when receiving the Holy Eucharist, that you are affirming this belief. If you don't believe that, then you should really not take communion.

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 5:33 PM

"Even though I don't believe that Jesus was "the son of God, I'd take communion if someone insisted - like I said, snack time."

LOL, moxiemom, although I will wager that many would be offended by your attitude. When I was in high school, I was invited by a friend to go on a church retreat with her. I did not realize how much evangelizing would be going on, and went willingly only to discover that the whole weekend, the newcomers (the church members were encouraged to bring friends who did not belong to the church) would be subjected to all sorts of arm-twisting about joining the church. Our first exercise when we got there was to go out and take a quiet walk, and to then get together with the whole group and tell everyone how we had experienced God during that walk. Even then, I was pretty agnostic, so I honestly stated that I was not sure that there was a God, and that although it was a beautiful day and I had a nice experience with nature, that I was not sure I could say that I had had any revealing experience about God. So of course I was attacked, and questioned and prodded, and finally told that nobdoy was going to lunch until I was convinced of the existence of God. I was immediately convinced. Nothing like starving people into submission. LOL.

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 5:44 PM

I'm sure I probably shouldn't respond, but it's interesting to me that many great Roman Catholic people I meet respond in this manner. I'm glad DH gets it and always has.

I understand why and it's interesting that you both say, don't take offense or take it personally, LOL. I am fully aware of the theological underpinnings regarding transubstantiation. No priest has ever asked me whether I believe in it. Guess what? I can imagine nothing more offensive or personal than suggesting that I am not a Christian, and THAT is what the denial of my baptism by the Roman Catholic Church really means. There is nothing more personal or offensive one could say to me. Really.

Posted by: MN | October 25, 2007 5:44 PM

Emily's right. Catholics believe that the host and wine actually become the real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ during the Mass, via the miracle of transubstantiation. Anyone who does not believe this miracle occurs (basically, the Roman and most other rite Catholics, as well as some nearly-Roman Episcopals and Lutherans) should not take communion, because it's, well, sacreligious.

But I gotta tell you, as a Catholic in good standing, I'm bugged by the way some priests enforce this rule. When STBX's grandmother died a few years back (the woman was in the convent and left months before final vows, married his grandfather, had a passel of kids, and her home was decorated in Early Cheap Vatican Knock-off), the priest saying the Mass made a special point of reminding us, in his most condescending voice, that only Catholics in Good Standing were eligible to receive Communion, and those who were not should remain seated (oohhhh, nasty!) -- my SIL, a good person and an Episcopal, turned almost purple.

ArmyBrat, you reminded me of my parent's wedding story. Mom's Lutheran & Dad's Catholic, and they had to get married 'outside the rail' -- and apparently my grandmother was afraid they were going to make their only daughter get married in the church basement! And my dad's mother wore black -- since Dad was marrying a Protestant!

And you don't have to have Mass with communion at a wedding. I didn't, and we were both in good standing (I'm sure my grandmother would tell me that's why my marriage didn't go well). I just hated the way it broke up the ceremony and made it longer, and the way everyone would justify it as meeting their 'Sunday obligation'. I can be an ornery cuss.

Posted by: educmom_615 | October 25, 2007 5:53 PM

MN,
I agree, MN. Fundamentally, it is offensive. Of course it is.
FWIW, I don't take communion at Catholic services because I don't believe in that particular aspect of their theology (as well as others). And if I am less worthy to them, then so be it.

What can I say? People are human, and their religious constructs are as fallible as their humanity. To me, the idea of God supercedes all these rules and dogma. To me, God is something we cannot see directly. We are too limited, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. We cannot say what exactly God is, only what we perceive him to be. So other people's judgment on me does not really have much of an impact. In the end, you know who you are and what you are, and if you feel connected to God, nobody can really take that from you.

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 5:55 PM

And, I forgot to say, I didn't like the exclusion thing then either, even then.

Posted by: educmom_615 | October 25, 2007 5:55 PM

"the priest saying the Mass made a special point of reminding us, in his most condescending voice, that only Catholics in Good Standing were eligible to receive Communion, and those who were not should remain seated (oohhhh, nasty!)"

Yipper. I've heard this speech and been looked directly in the eye more than once, LOL. BTW, the divorced and remarried Catholics in our family pay it no mind, LOL, but I don't want to feel as though I'm being sneaky and breaking the rules, particularly at a funeral, of all events.

Posted by: MN | October 25, 2007 5:57 PM

I mean, at the Episcopal church I attend, people who don't want communion are welcome to come to the rail, cross their arms and receive a blessing. Much nicer and more inclusive (dare I say, Christian), don'tcha think?

Posted by: educmom_615 | October 25, 2007 5:59 PM

and on a lighter note, educmom, you still have me laughing over your description of your STBX's grandmother's home furnishings:

"Early Cheap Vatican Knock-off".

Posted by: MN | October 25, 2007 6:00 PM

"When STBX's grandmother died a few years back (the woman was in the convent and left months before final vows, married his grandfather, had a passel of kids, and her home was decorated in Early Cheap Vatican Knock-off), the priest saying the Mass made a special point of reminding us, in his most condescending voice, that only Catholics in Good Standing were eligible to receive Communion, and those who were not should remain seated (oohhhh, nasty!) -- my SIL, a good person and an Episcopal, turned almost purple."

Interesting story. I have a counterpoint. Years and years ago, my mother became very ill and almost died. She had been married in the Catholic Church to my father, but later divorced and remarried. When she was on her deathbed, practically, a priest in the hospital stopped by to offer her communion, and she told him that she was not eligible to receive it because of her divorce and remarriage. The priest told her that if she truly wanted it, there was no person on earth that could rightfully deny her communion, and he gave it to her. I am sure that was a sacreligious act by him, but man, what a good guy. She later recovered, btw.

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 6:00 PM

Yeah, MN, I think that's what my SIL was thinking too. I felt so BAD for her!

I did see some divorced & remarried relatives in the line -- but what do I care? It's one thing to take communion if you're not on board with the Real Body & Blood thing (and I'm not going to bust out on anyone for that one either, although I think it's not exactly OK), but it's another to say that you only get your 'Christ chex' if you were a really good little HRC.

If I didn't need my little group prayer fix, I'm not sure I would EVER go to ANY church!

Posted by: educmom_615 | October 25, 2007 6:07 PM

mean, at the Episcopal church I attend, people who don't want communion are welcome to come to the rail, cross their arms and receive a blessing. Much nicer and more inclusive (dare I say, Christian), don'tcha think?

Educmom,
I do think that is a beautiful gesture. I really liked the Episcopal Church that I attended in high school. The services were beautiful, and I felt that the atmosphere was more open, tolerant, and inclusive than the Catholic Church.

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 6:09 PM

MN - it's not your baptism they don't accept, it's your lack of first communion or having attended any Catholic religious education. If you wanted to say, convert to Catholicism, it's pretty likely they'd accept a baptism from a previous Christian faith. But when you take first communion it's all about accepting the trans-whateverthatreallylongwordis. And nobody's REALLY stopping you, but same as some religious people wouldn't like atheists getting married in their Church, I don't imagine Catholics want somebody who doesn't really believe or accept the communion in the same way as them taking it. That make sense?

Posted by: _Miles | October 25, 2007 6:15 PM

Yes, Emily, it really is a wonderful little church community. Even though I teach at my parish's school, I feel like I get more spiritually out of this Episcopal church.

Well, except for the Masses with the children. They're still so sweet and innocent, and it's so heartwarming.

Gotta go -- bye now!

Posted by: educmom_615 | October 25, 2007 6:16 PM

OK. Off topic. But I need some advice. I am toying with the idea of getting tickets to Spamalot, maybe after Christmas. The baby will be about 3 or 4 weeks old by then. Do you think I am wasting my money, and that I will be too tired or sleep deprived or hormone crazed to enjoy it?

Posted by: Emily | October 25, 2007 6:26 PM

Emily, I like that priest. Sounds like he was thinking like Jesus and bringing comfort. Glad your mom is well.

Re: Spamalot - could go either way. You could be so glad to get out and have hte time of your life or you could still be bleeding, wearing those giant pads and have nothing to wear and end up a weeping mess before you even get out the door. Don't know if you are planning on nursing, but depending on how much the baby is feeding, your boobs just might explode if you are gone too long! Oh, the Humanity! Good luck - its supposed to be a great show and I understand why you'd want to make the effort!

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 25, 2007 6:42 PM

pATRICK, would you attend a secular wedding ceremony conducted by judge or other official?

LOL, this is starting to sound a lot like Green Eggs and Ham. btw yes i would absolutely.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 04:35 PM

Yes in some ways, but the absence of worship of GOD is the sticking point. That is why i would go to a jewish or islamic service.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 25, 2007 04:30 PM

I would NOT attend a hindu or buddhist service becuase they worship idols pure and simple. That to me is a critical violation of my faith.

I think pATRICK mistakes his attendance as a guest at someone else's wedding ceremony as an invitation to switch faiths. I doubt anyone is actually giving pATRICK's religious beliefs any thought whatsoever. Someone simply wanted him to share in their happy event.

But, whatever.

I find this funny because the deacon of the local church went to his son's wedding. The bride is Hindu. He said it was an amazing experience, and he was glad he was able to be there. They did two ceremonies. He's now a proud grandpa-to-be.

Posted by: maryland_mother | October 26, 2007 9:18 AM

Emily,

It would be great for you to get out of the house, feel pretty, and be frivolous for the evening -- IF you can stay awake. I bought the tickets and slept through most of Cats, btw, LOL.

Miles, If a priest doesn't want to serve you, he's not going to serve you. There is no anonymity at a family funeral as there might be for tourists taking communion at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Fundamentally, I'm not interested in being a rule breaker. I'm interested in worshipping with, and being ministered to by, those who respect the conversions of other Christians. Among other things. But that's what's pertinent to this topic.

Posted by: MN | October 26, 2007 10:30 AM

Late to the conversation.

I will talk to the child directly or interfere if there is an immediate high risk of injury or if my child, my family, or myself (or our property) are being affected. I will talk to the parent if someone else or someone else's property is being affected greatly, and let the parent decide what should be done.

I will thank someone who is looking out for my child's well-being as long as either there is no "you're a bad mom" attitude, or if there really was a real danger (like the time Iliana almost jumped four feet off the playtoy at 17 months while I comforted her twin who had been hit by an older child - but another parent said something to her). Sometimes they are a little more paranoid than I am (twins make you laid back, and my kids seem to be better at climbing than most kids their age), but as long as I feel the intention is friendly I stay laid back.

People who, say, comment on whether my twins are dressed the same or not, or the folks pointing out that my babies weren't wearing socks during the "I can take my socks off!" stage - don't get the attention the don't deserve.

~~~~~~~~~~~
"it's all about accepting the trans-whateverthatreallylongwordis." Transubstantiation - exactly. When you receive communion in a Catholic church, you are acknowledging that the bread and wine are literally the Body and Blood of Christ and not just a symbol. To receive Eucharist without believing this is essentially to lie with your actions.

A better way for the priest to have handled this would have been to invite non-Catholics to come forward for a blessing, with their arms crossed over their chest. This is what my agnostic DH does at Mass every Sunday. There is no reason for those not receiving to remain seated, and no reason to focus on the exclusion rather than on the maximum inclusion possible given the difference in beliefs. He does sound like a jerk.

Posted by: ethele | October 26, 2007 2:22 PM

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