In the past, I've tried reasoning with my wife concerning the reading of religious materials to our children but the reasoning is not getting through. She believes that since my oldest daughter prefers church to the Kingdom Hall (no surprise) that in order to provide any kind of 'true' religious instruction she must read WT material geared to the kiddies. In the past, I reasoned that if she insists on reading material to her that will ultimately trash my way of life then I could do the same. Never-the-less, I understand that my kids will eventually encounter people who will oppose my way of life as well as my wife’s way of life. It is my sincere interest to try to teach them balance and critical thinking skills in all things in regards to religion. Normally, in a non-divided household, this would not be an issue but here we are.
I am about to throw a birthday party for my daughter this week, she is turning 5 and I wanted to give her a nice party at the place of her choosing because the years that follow will consist of simpler (read less expensive) parties. Since my wife is reading the Learn from a Great Teacher book to her, I decided to look ahead to see what it teaches in regards to birthday and holiday celebrations. Sure enough, chapter 29 is devoted to the subject.
I’ve already asked the board before in regards to whether or not I should allow this to even be read to my kids.
Needless to say, I could try to assert my headship card and stop it. But, in the past when I expressed concerns, it turned into a nasty fight where my wife almost left the house with the kids. To think, all this over a lousy book but never the less I learned that it would be detrimental to try to stop it. So I have to inoculate my kids by teaching them critical thinking skills. One of my favorite fairy tales that I read or tell my children is The Emperor’s New Clothes. It is such a fitting tale for religious people of all stripes who go around believing in things that have flimsy support at best and are downright wrong at worst. Last night I told her the story and when I was done, I promised to one day explain its meaning. Of course, she was asleep by then so I just tucked her in and kissed her goodnight.
Regarding birthday parties, the “Great Teacher” book uses a fallacy which I believe to be guilt by association to denounce birthday parties as something Jehovah does not like. As you all know, the Bible only mentions two birthday parties and in both cases somebody lost his head. So something bad happens in the birthday parties mention in the Bible, therefore the Bible condemns birthday parties as bad. That’s like my saying something bad happened in the apartment next door therefore the apartment next door is bad. Reasoning like this falls on deaf ears when expressed to my wife, she’s either unwilling or unable to comprehend it for whatever reason (possibly because she does not want to lose her spot in Paradise Earth TM ). Funny how the Elysian Fields in Greek Mythology are a parallel to this Paradise Earth promised to Jehovah’s Witnesses with the Earthly Hope TM .
Inevitably, my daughters are going to hear that Jehovah hates birthday parties. Considering that my oldest daughter has been celebrating them since she was born and considering how we just casually mention birthday parties like it is an everyday thing, I would imagine that this “revelation” is going to throw her for a loop. The wife is going to try to “do better” with the youngest daughter since she feels like she’s “lost” the older one. However, my wife is not totally consistent with all of this either. Deep, deep down, she sees nothing wrong with it and cannot understand why Jehovah does. Sadly, she has been mentally conditioned not to trust her own reasoning on the matter as it is considered “leaning upon your own understanding.” What a cult this is when another human’s reasoning is considered more “Godly” than your own. Did God not give us all a mind to use for reasoning on things and is it not possible for religious leaders even to fall out of God’s grace? Again, this line of reasoning fails with my wife, even when biblical examples are used to illustrate how religious leaders in the past fell out of God’s favor. That’s something that only happens in the Catholic and in Christendom’s churches, not in Jehovah’s organization. At least that is the reasoning my wife would likely use.
Well, enough of the rant, perhaps some of you can share your experiences related to kids, non-approved celebrations, and how families dealt with them (particularly divided families like mine).
Thanks for reading.