Now that you are EXJW, what do you teach your children about Spirituality?

by LyinEyes 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • Deist

    In a letter (1787) giving advise to his nephew, Peter Carr, Thomas Jefferson wote in part regarding religion,

    "Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion. Indulge them in any other subject rather than that of religion. It is too important, and the consequences of error may be too serious. On the other hand, shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."

    Jefferson also advised to read religious writings in the same way one would read any other book. Consequently, extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence, "Examine, therefore, candidly, what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it."

    Some great thinkers since Jefferson, including Einstein, had a form of spirtuality (Deism),

    "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God." --Albert Einstein

    Another thinker, Carl Sagan, said, "A religion that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by traditional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge"

    Needless to say, the religion of the Watchtower Society is not it.

    Lastly, in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with not being sure, or not believing in God either--far better to simply be a decent human being than to espouse a faith and be a hypocrite.


  • Big Tex
    Big Tex
    He is a pill that is for sure

    I had to smile because your son reminds me so much of myself. I thought of things that my other friends never did. Your son sounds so similar it gives me goosebumps.

    Our children have made the transition eagerly. They hated being Witnesses and they've embraced the different philosphies with joy and happiness, particularly the holidays (not surprising). Nina reads from the New Testament, particularly from the Gospels because she wants them to hear the words of Jesus himself and not filtered through some Watchtower. I bought a bible that has 8 different translations for the New Testament and their favourite is something called "The Message" it is venacular, almost slang and is very easy to understand. It personalizes Jesus in a way that a 6 and a 9 year old can relate to.

  • Billygoat


    I don't have any kids. Yet. One of these days...

    I just watched a pregnancy and birthing special on TLC last weekend. They showed EVERYTHING. Everything. So I don't see me having kids anytime soon. *shudder* Ow.

    I think this is a great thread though. I love hearing everything that y'all are doing. You sound like great parents. And I mean it. If mine had been like y'all, I wouldn't be so screwed up.

  • blackout

    I have been in a hole about this one, recently the subject of birthdays came up, My son was keen on the idea, my daughter said she would have a party but not a b'day, when I asked her why, she couldn't tell me, but I'm sure it's because she holds some guilt over the very word. This makes me wonder what other dub teachings she holds onto.

    I have yet to teach the children anything else, have just said we don't believe that any more, I really feel though that it is time to give them something else to anchor them, or they may decide it is the TRUTH after all. That would just break my heart.

  • heianderen

    Please, first excuse me for my poor english.
    About your son problem, I think that is not usual for such a little boy to worry about metaphysical/existencial subjects: the universe, god life and death, etc... Had he ever take a inteligence test? I think that there is a high probability that you son is a gifted one. There are also a lot of gifted individuals that had been confused with ADDH.

    I think you can find a professional that can attest if your son is gifted. If this is true he will need special care and education to fullfill his special emocional/intelectual needs.

    I know I little about this theme (I don't like to label anyone) but for practical purposes, I think there are a lot of people that share some special caracteristics that can be labeled in this way. And then sometimes suffer a lot for not knowing their diference.

    I hope that this would help you. About the spirtual side I think that the other friends at the forum can help you better than me.

    Your sincerely,

  • LyinEyes

    Big Tex,,,,,,,,,,yeah my youngest is always wanting to know these deep things. Guess what he asked me today....... He said, "Mama, who was the first kid, Jesus?" I said no it was Abel, Adam and Eve's son. He said," but isnt Jesus Jehovah's son?" I said yeah, but he was made into a man, not a child,,,,,,I think. He then said," well, was Satan good at one time, and what was his name then?" I said yeah he was a good angel at one time, but I don't know what his name was before . He then said,,,"Mama,,,,,, why did Jehovah put Satan down here on the earth? That doesnt seem like a good idea". I laughed a bit to myself and said, "you know Chance, I really don't know why he put him down here with us, but I know he couldnt stay in heaven, he got kicked out........ but I wish I could answer that question as to why he is here and not put somewhere eles". Then he started talking about his Pappaw's chickens. Another subject I am equally in the dark

    My oldest son, thinks he knows it all.......just kiddin', but Jake the 16 yr old, has the attitude that I have, we seem to be on the same growth pattern!!LOL

    We both think that we should be the best people we can be, and not judge other religions, or any other's beliefs for that matter. He made an interesting point when he was 14 and we were just coming out of JW. He said, how do we know that the Buddist or Islamic people are not right ? Maybe they are the ones with the truth about who the higher power is. That was a strong statement , to me because he was open minded enough to think that if there is a God, he would love all of mankind, maybe he manifest Himself in different ways to other nationalities ...But to say we are the only ones, speaking of Christains, that have favor in God's eye, just doesnt seem to fit God's love. I personally think that religion is a nice way to help you , if you want it, but not necessary , express your spirituality.

    But in the end I think God will read all hearts, of the believers and the ones who were too afraid to believe in something that maybe they didnt feel they deserved. I think we really are like alot of lost sheep in many ways.

    Billygoat, thanks for the compliments on being good parents. It is a joy for sure , and so scarey at times too. I wish I had all of my babies with what I know now. No JW to get in the way, things would have been easier. I would give you some advice,,,,,,,when you have children, charish the days, they go by much too fast. Being in the borg, it seemed we always had a year or two left in this sytem and we didnt plan and we drug ourselves to all the meetings, tired and unhappy.... I wish I was happy like I am now, when they are were younger. I wish I had those baby years back,,,,,, instead I hate to say I remember how miserable it was trying to deal with them at all those meetings , field service, and I hate it. When you have a child, you should be able to rest , relax and enjoy that baby without the burden of what the brothers think you should be doing. They used to make me so sick, always expecting me to do more. I swear sometimes I wish they had a couple of kids with ADD like my last two have, and see how they would deal with it. We were the only couple with children in our whole hall. The other 2 elders didnt have kids at all........ but they thought they knew what we should be doing. If I could go back................words can not be said , what I would say to them right

    I love to watch the TLC and discovery,,,,,,, i still love to watch babies being born. I hope to one day go to nursing school and work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit........ Chance was 2 months early and stayed in the NICU for 2 months and it was the most moving experience of my life....seeing all those tiny babies being loved and taken care of with such a delicate touch. Those nurses are what saved my son's life, the doctors made the big calls, but they were there to watch his every breath, any change they called me right away. I am a nurturer, and I love to stay busy, I love the medical field, so I hope I can go to school before I get too would be so much fun to study again, to get real hands on experience.

    Billygoat you and Mozz, are going to be wonderful parents, and you will and should,,,lol.. spoil any children you have. You should buy a puppy to start with good training.

  • Abaddon

    Essentially as a parent you have to decide whether you are going to actively pass on what ever religous beliefs you have or not, or try to actively pass on your lack of religion, or not.

    As even the religious beliefs adopted by cult survivors after their withdrawl from a cult are largely dictated by culture and location (we'd be kidding ourselves to believe otherwise; how much do you know about Hinduism?), and thus can be in quite a few respects arbitarty, this is not a light or inconcequential decison.

    Unless anyone of us is willing to claim their particular espousal of belief (including unbelief) is 100% right, it is of questionable morality to force a specific belief pattern, be it religious or otherwise, on a child.

    One can certainly be honest about one's own beliefs, and engage in conversation about them - it's only natural. But personally, I find the idea of 'planting' beliefs (or unbeliefs) in a kids head distasteful. It was done to me, and I'd really rather it hadn't.

    My kids live with my ex-wife, who is a near as damnit inactive Witness now, but one who is still in the cult in her head in that she still moralises and rescricts like a Witness. My daughters and stepson take advantage of the fact they can talk to me like a human being. I am always careful to state I don't care what they believe in, provided they are happy and aren't kidding themselves. At the same time I'm quite open about my beliefs. My step-son 'believes it', but it's not with any conviction, my 12 year old daughter thinks there are many petty restrictions, and has what I describe as an assumptive belief in god (i.e. never been exposed to another possibility), and my 10 year-old is keeping her own council on the subject, but once summed it up unprompted at the age of 7 as 'silly'.

    I don't see my role as bringing them up to believe a certain thing, but bringign them up with the capacity to make an informed choice of what to believe.


    She is homeschooled, so she's not influenced to be violent or drug addicted as she gets older.

    That can help, but only if the education she receives is well rounded. She has to 'go into the world' at somepoint, and if you are willing to delay that through homeschooling, as a parent, that's your call. But to imagine that it doesn't have disadvantages with regards to socialisation and maturisation is dangerous, as well as to imagine it acts as a super-dooper protectant. If drugs are a forbiden mystery to her, she's incapable of making an informed choice when she has to. I may be seeing linkages in your statement that are not in your mind though.

    Remember, the decisions that Witnesses make when they elect to use home schooling are based on the concept the world is a demon-infested scum bucket of corruption, doomed for destruction, where contact with normal people should be minimised as they are a 'bad influence'. This is just unsavoury milleau control, a culty thing. IF (not saying it is, the schools where you are may be lousy, you might be a qualified teacher electing not to work, there's all sorts of good reasons for home schooling) you're homeschooling for those reasons... hello? I don't think that's the case however!

    From the sounds of it, you are actually being very broad-based in your home schooling, which is a fine thing.

  • greven

    learn them to make informed choices. To do research before plunging into anything. The choice should be theirs. I can warn them though. BTW, I do not have any children...maybe later in life, I am still young (24).


  • Roamingfeline

    Hi Abaddon, Long time no argue, eh? lol Good to talk with you again. Actually, we started home-schooling our daughter for very practical reasons. We were traveling too much between continents to put her into school without it being very disruptive. I am a stay-at-home-mom, and educated quite well, so I can teach her at least the basics, and we can find the rest in libraries, textbooks, etc. Here in America, the home-schooling population is growing by leaps and bounds, and it's not just for religious fanatics anymore. (Or as the political comedian, Mark Russell put it the other night, "It's not just for white supremacists in Idaho anymore")

    Now that we are settled in one place, we are making sure she gets socialization through community-offered outings, like the local aquatic center, community center, non-religious based homeschool groups, etc. She takes guitar lessons at the town music shoppe. We belong to a large family who she sees often, also.

    We object to public schooling, as in the State we live, the public schools are in a horrible mess. Funding is again being cut to them, and the state of the school system in Missouri is just deplorable. Yes, she is not maturing as fast as the public schooled children, but I look on that as a Good thing. As far as the drug education goes, believe me, she has three grown sisters, one whom has explored that issue quite nicely, who can teach her the pros and cons, and I do believe the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to drug use, although I'm sure you're quite ready to debate that issue, lol. I firmly believe that learning from parents far exceeds anything which can be learned from peers and peer pressure. No roomful of 10 year old's is going to have the life experience to be telling another ten-year-old how to live properly for the good of their health and well-being. And alot of teachers today grew up in an atmosphere of recreational drug use themselves, so they're not going to be teaching my child what I wish them to learn.

    That goes to another issue of public schooling. Once you enter your child in public schools, the government views your child as THEIR property. MANY school officials, and I say this by experience, look upon the parents as not having any more say in their children's upbringing. They take on the role of a socialist government, trying to tell the parents how they are to raise and teach their children. I'm totally against this mentality and behavior. And I've seen it for myself when my older children were in school. No way will I give in to the US government's new "socialist regime" way of thinking and lawmaking.

    Okay, enough of my soap box speech. Again, good to talk with you, Abaddon. I hope you and yours are doing well.


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