My Wife is reading "Learn From a Great Teacher" to my oldest daughter.

by garyneal 36 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • garyneal

    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.

  • Scully

    If she's going to read her propaganda to your child, then perhaps you should read something to her that isn't propaganda.

    Or, alternatively, knowing the way the WTS uses leading questions in its indoctrination material, maybe your daughter could do with some gentle de-briefing, asking her how the chapter made her feel and letting her know that while it's ok to learn about what people believe, it isn't necessarily true (like Santa Claus - your wife will approve of that) but it's each person's responsibility to figure out what they want to believe for themselves.

    BTW, you might want to ix-nay the chapter about how Satan and the demons like it when we touch ourselves (Chapter 9 or 10 if I remember correctly) it's so NOT appropriate.

  • steve2

    I think you're on an unpleasant hiding to no where. I'm always astonished that a married couple can be miles apart on important issues such as what to teach children. Having said that, I also believe children are so much more resilient that we give them credit for: Keep hoping your daughter grows up with more than a few active brain cells and that as soon as she gets older she'll realize what a load of rubbish her dear mother has been teaching her.

  • carla

    BTW, you might want to ix-nay the chapter about how Satan and the demons like it when we touch ourselves (Chapter 9 or 10 if I remember correctly) it's so NOT appropriate.----I don't remember all the details of what is in that chapter but if someone had ever talked to my small children (or read) about some of the stuff jw's talk about (their meetings about oral sex, anal sex, etc...) I think I would really have killed someone by now or at least be in prison for trying. To me it is tatamount to exposing a minor child to lude material. I think all jw's who bring their kids to those meetings should be seriously looked at by social services and the elders should be arrested. The mental images brought about by literature is not really that different than seeing porn. Ever wonder why men prefer porn and women read romance novels? the romance novels are at times racier than men's magazines but women process things different than men. Men are more visual and women are language/word. That's why whispered sweet nothings work better on women and women in lingerie are what men like.

    You could read or tell her about Job celebrating birthdays, wifey can't complain about you using a bible story but she still will. jw's forget that at one of the parties mentioned in the bible someone got to live too, now that is reason to celebrate! You could start calling your anniversary 'the birthday of your marriage' or ask daughter how an anniversary is different from a birthday? there really is no difference of course. Wife will say marriage was instituted by God or something but then what are children? chopped liver?

  • garyneal
    BTW, you might want to ix-nay the chapter about how Satan and the demons like it when we touch ourselves (Chapter 9 or 10 if I remember correctly) it's so NOT appropriate.

    OMG! I need to take another look and see. Yeah, angry or not, if I find it I am SO going to point it out to the wife.

  • lovelylil


    When this book came out, my kids (around 6 & 8) at the time asked me what a vulva was? I thought they meant volvo like the car but my daugther spelled it to me and I was like where the heck did you hear THAT word? She told me the great teacher book. I showed it to my husband and we threw the book in the trash.

    I believe there are 2 chapters with language not appropriate for kids. I will see if I can find it in my notes. Lil

  • lovelylil

    Here is one Chapter 10 pages 60-61. edited to add start at page 59.

  • PSacramento

    According to the bible there were only TWO birthdays in the 1000's of years that it spans.

    Freaky eh?

    LMAO !

    When Moses received the Law from God, was there any mention of Bdays?


    When Jesus spoke to his apostles or even his questioners, did he ever prohibt Bdays? or any anniversary?


    What does Paul say about anniversarries or celebrations to the Romans?

    Ah yes:

    Romans 14: 5

    5 Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. 6 Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God.

  • PSacramento

    Of course if your wife things she knows better than Paul or that the writing department knows better than Paul or Jesus or Moses or God, well...

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Thanks for bringing up Romans 14, PSac. I was going to mention that, as well. It is unambiguous. Don't judge people based on the holidays they choose to celebrate. Period.

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