Welcome to Atheist Discussion, a new community created by former members of The Thinking Atheist forum.

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
#1

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
Hi everyone,

So my sister was telling me today, her and husband were thinking about wanting to have myself as a 'God father' to their son. My sister started by saying, so was going to ask you, but I don't know how you feel on the matter. I told her the basic firebrand stuff, as an Atheist, I said all that shit is a joke. She says, while then I guess we can't have you do it. I responded it shouldn't be about religion at all, so you have a party, put some blessed water on the babe and Jesus saves. I said that's just all bullshit, it won't change anything for her son. I told her teach him, how to rely on himself and not need religion as a crutch. My sister responded, while that's the 'tradition'. She shut down about it, because as you all know, she had no answers to my facts or questions. I told, yes the tradition should be, good without faith and God. My sister, is not super religious thankfully, but just is that 'traditional have to have faith, because we all learned that way kind of thinking'. We were talking about how everyone is dealing with the Pandemic. She states 'while COVID was in the Bible , right as plague? I said no, that's all made up stories, an epic in a way. I think my sister was really hoping, I would share the same views on faith, some reinsurance.

I told her at the end of the day, this is her decision, I won't be involved in anything religion related. I said why waste your time, enjoy your time with your family, not worrying about anything religion related. My family has always known I strongly dislike all aspects related to religion or faith. They don't debt me ever anymore, as I leave them with too many questions about their faith. Also, because they don't want to think about the very hard questions, we Atheists ask them. Do you agree I handled this good, by telling her I wouldn't do it? Do you every feel, your too tough on the believers in your family? As anything with religion, I just can't stand it. Also my passion about Atheism really comes up, when my family talks about anything with religion, so it makes me not even double think, when someone asks me something like the title. Godfather is referred to as in the Catholic faith.
The following 2 users Like Tomatoshadow2's post:
  • Minimalist, Cavebear
Reply
#2

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
Sounds like they know where you stand on religion. Just put it aside for one day and do the right thing by your sister.
The following 4 users Like TonyAnkle's post:
  • TheGentlemanBastard, c172, Thumpalumpacus, adey67
Reply
#3

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
This sort of thing, while religious in context, tends to be more about the actual impact you can have on the child life: the parents see you as somebody they can trust, and in some circumstances i believe if anything happened to the parents you would become the guardian of the child? [I might be wrong on that latter part].

The religious aspect of course is dumb-ass BUT that doesnt mean you have to object if we look at the other areas where you can have a direct impact on a childs life.

Im an Atheist, and have mentioned to others before that i got married in a church [saying all the god stuff] BUT the actual thing was I wanted to marry my wife, whom I love and can put aside my views for on a special day due to the important part of actually being married - if that makes sense. i've also attended Christmas services with my parents because it makes them happy, despite them knowing full well I'm not interested in the message, but it makes them happy to have the whole family there etc.

In short - i would do it. Just saying a few meaningless words, to atheists, and becoming a "godparent" doesn't mean you believe anything - its the actual important part you need to think of: the family trust you to be in this position of potential guardian of their child, which is awesome when you think about it.
And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?
The following 6 users Like OakTree500's post:
  • SYZ, Dom, c172, Thumpalumpacus, brunumb, adey67
Reply
#4

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
(11-24-2020, 09:38 AM)OakTree500 Wrote: This sort of thing, while religious in context, tends to be more about the actual impact you can have on the child life...

...In short - I would do it. Just saying a few meaningless words, to atheists, and becoming a "godparent" doesn't mean you believe anything - its the actual important part you need to think of: the family trust you to be in this position of potential guardian of their child, which is awesome when you think about it.

I agree with this approach.  If your sister and brother-in-law have asked you to be their new son's "godfather"
I wouldn't take the high road and refuse the offer.  It's actually an honour that they've chosen you above all
others, as they obviously regard god-parenting as very significant in their kid's life.  

The role of a godparent is merely a spiritual one, without any legal obligations, responsibilities or rights.
A parent may request in their Will that the godparents become legal carers should the parent die. In making
the ultimate decision though of who becomes the legal guardian of a child, a court will always consider what's
in the best interests of that child.

As a matter of interest, me and my former wife agreed to be godparents to one of our friend's kids (although of
course I was an atheist at the time).  That was more than forty years ago, and I've not even seen the kid once
in all that time—nor our former friends, the kid's parents.

—Don't sweat it mate; just go along with it, if for no other reason than family harmony.      Nod

PS:  Humanists often use the term guideparent for a similar concept in that world-view.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
The following 5 users Like SYZ's post:
  • OakTree500, Dom, Inkubus, Thumpalumpacus, skyking
Reply
#5

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
My sister asked me to be godfather to my nephew Brian during the early 1970's. I'm not sure why, but the boy admired me a lot. I don't know if it was because I was a Vietnam veteran or if he just liked my hunting stories or my impromptu "lectures" on the natural world. When he was finished with grade school (Catholic), his parents were going to send him to a public high school because they could no longer afford a Catholic school's tuition. They next time I spoke with Brian I told him that I had received this news with some relief, because now he would no longer be subject to any more Catholic indoctrination. It was then that he learned that I was involved with comparative religious study and well on my way to becoming an atheist. I recommended that he read Thomas Jefferson's letter to his nephew Peter Carr on the subject of religion. He did so and, to my satisfaction, became a freethinker. I don't know exactly when he made the transition, but he's an atheist now.
“I expect to pass this way but once; any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” (Etienne De Grellet)
The following 6 users Like Gwaithmir's post:
  • mordant, Dom, Inkubus, Thumpalumpacus, Chas, adey67
Reply
#6

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
Quote:Do you agree I handled this good, by telling her I wouldn't do it?


Yes.  Family can be a royal pain in the ass.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
The following 1 user Likes Minimalist's post:
  • TonyAnkle
Reply
#7

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
So your Catholic sister wants an atheist to be her child's godparent? If she knows you're an atheist, I'm puzzled why she would even want this. My own child was baptized Catholic - this was before I dropped religion. The godparent goes to classes prior to the ceremony and then promises in front of the priest and congregation to help raise the child as a good Catholic.
If she said "well then I guess we can't have you do it", go with her decision of not having you do it and move on.

-Teresa
There is in the universe only one true divide, one real binary, life and death. Either you are living or you are not. Everything else is molten, malleable.

-Susan Faludi, In the Darkroom
Reply
#8

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
Quote:I'm puzzled why she would even want this.


Trying to nudge him back into the fold?  Just a guess.  The one thing about religitards is they never give up trying to spread their bullshit.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
The following 1 user Likes Minimalist's post:
  • Tres Leches
Reply
#9

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
Surely she can find someone else who would be a more appropriate godparent. It does seem a bit tone deaf for her to ask, though.

-Teresa
There is in the universe only one true divide, one real binary, life and death. Either you are living or you are not. Everything else is molten, malleable.

-Susan Faludi, In the Darkroom
Reply
#10

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
I was godmother two two kids belonging to an old friend. It wasn't about religion, the custom in that area of the world (Germany) was at the time that the godmother sort of "adopted" the kids, took an interest in their development and more often than not took the children in in case the parents died or something. It was an Ersatz mom position.

I did correspond with the kids until they were married and then lost track of them, but at that time they didn't need a social backup for their parents anymore. 

I didn't look at it as a religious thing, and it wasn't meant to be. It was meant to be an insurance of sorts for the well being of said kids in case something happened to their parents, and it was a serious responsibility.
[Image: color%5D%5Bcolor=#333333%5D%5Bsize=small%5D%5Bfont=T...ans-Serif%5D]
The following 4 users Like Dom's post:
  • SYZ, Thumpalumpacus, Chas, jerryg
Reply
#11

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
Yes I get the sense that god parenting is as much a cultural as a religious thing in some areas. It is an alien concept to me and my US midwestern fundagelical background. But in that environment, everyone is up into everyone else's business anyway, invited or not. So a controlled / offered mechanism is preferable to that.

My main concern with such an offer would have been no so much the religious / ritualistic overtones as such, as to what degree the offering parents would expect me to embrace them or take them seriously. I would have been very clear up front what I could and could not do in that regard. If it was really mainly about a parenting backup that I was able to commit to, then I could ignore or deflect any religious aspects. I don't think it's any more legitimate for atheists to think they're going to get theist cooties, than it is for theists to think they're going to get atheist cooties, out of such arrangements.
Reply
#12

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
(11-24-2020, 08:20 AM)Tomatoshadow2 Wrote: Hi everyone,

So my sister was telling me today, her and husband were thinking about wanting to have myself as a 'God father' to their son. My sister started by saying, so was going to ask you, but I don't know how you feel on the matter. I told her the basic firebrand stuff, as an Atheist, I said all that shit is a joke. She says, while then I guess we can't have you do it. I responded it shouldn't be about religion at all, so you have a party, put some blessed water on the babe and Jesus saves. I said that's just all bullshit, it won't change anything for her son...

Why such great drama over a simple request, what's wrong with a polite no.
The following 1 user Likes Inkubus's post:
  • TheGentlemanBastard
Reply
#13

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
(11-24-2020, 08:02 PM)Inkubus Wrote:
(11-24-2020, 08:20 AM)Tomatoshadow2 Wrote: Hi everyone,

So my sister was telling me today, her and husband were thinking about wanting to have myself as a 'God father' to their son. My sister started by saying, so was going to ask you, but I don't know how you feel on the matter. I told her the basic firebrand stuff, as an Atheist, I said all that shit is a joke. She says, while then I guess we can't have you do it. I responded it shouldn't be about religion at all, so you have a party, put some blessed water on the babe and Jesus saves. I said that's just all bullshit, it won't change anything for her son...

Why such great drama over a simple request, what's wrong with a polite no.

But why potentially fall out with your family over their silly beliefs? Surely it makes sense to be a good brother, and a role model for the boy... Blood is thicker than water at the end of the day.
The following 3 users Like TonyAnkle's post:
  • SYZ, Thumpalumpacus, adey67
Reply
#14

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
(11-24-2020, 06:30 PM)mordant Wrote: Yes I get the sense that god parenting is as much a cultural as a religious thing in some areas. It is an alien concept to me and my US midwestern fundagelical background. But in that environment, everyone is up into everyone else's business anyway, invited or not. So a controlled / offered mechanism is preferable to that.

My main concern with such an offer would have been no so much the religious / ritualistic overtones as such, as to what degree the offering parents would expect me to embrace them or take them seriously. I would have been very clear up front what I could and could not do in that regard. If it was really mainly about a parenting backup that I was able to commit to, then I could ignore or deflect any religious aspects. I don't think it's any more legitimate for atheists to think they're going to get theist cooties, than it is for theists to think they're going to get atheist cooties, out of such arrangements.

I don't actually know whether they were atheists or not, but I never heard a religious word from them, nor did they ever go to church. There were 3 kids and the idea was to keep them together in the event of parental death, and with someone who cared. Sometimes actual relatives are picked for that role ( one of my aunts was also my own godmother) and sometimes good friends. The kids also know who their godparent is and where to go if in need or trouble. It makes everyone feel safe.
[Image: color%5D%5Bcolor=#333333%5D%5Bsize=small%5D%5Bfont=T...ans-Serif%5D]
The following 2 users Like Dom's post:
  • Bucky Ball, mordant
Reply
#15

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
It's mostly a symbolic *honorary* question.
No high-horse drama is necessary.

"Thanks for trusting me sis. If what this means is 'Will l be around to support your kid, should that become necessary' .. sure, I can promise you that".

What's the big f'ing deal ?
The following 6 users Like Bucky Ball's post:
  • SYZ, TonyAnkle, mordant, TheGentlemanBastard, Paleophyte, Chas
Reply
#16

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
(11-24-2020, 08:27 PM)TonyAnkle Wrote:
(11-24-2020, 08:02 PM)Inkubus Wrote: Why such great drama over a simple request, what's wrong with a polite no.

But why potentially fall out with your family over their silly beliefs? Surely it makes sense to be a good brother, and a role model for the boy... Blood is thicker than water at the end of the day.

I can't think of a more effective way of falling out with your family than pointing out how silly their beliefs are.

Sis: Would you be godfather to my son?

TS2: Thanks for the invite sis but given my well known stance on religion I think it best I decline. Love you darling, see you soon.

Job done, no drama.
The following 2 users Like Inkubus's post:
  • TonyAnkle, TheGentlemanBastard
Reply
#17

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
Agreed with those that recognize that a godrelative is just basically a special family friend you can trust with certain "family" things. I have a godmother who is a decades-close friend of my mother. I think she's nominally Catholic, but for all I actually know, she may be atheist. I don't care. She's good people. She's watched me grow, and taken good care of my mother, and we don't talk religion.

For me, "godmother" is about as religious as "Christmas".
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”
-Carl Sagan

"The best counter to extremist speech is not censorship. The best counter is more speech." -Thumpalumpacus
The following 2 users Like c172's post:
  • TheGentlemanBastard, Chas
Reply
#18

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
(11-24-2020, 08:59 PM)Inkubus Wrote:
(11-24-2020, 08:27 PM)TonyAnkle Wrote:
(11-24-2020, 08:02 PM)Inkubus Wrote: Why such great drama over a simple request, what's wrong with a polite no.

But why potentially fall out with your family over their silly beliefs? Surely it makes sense to be a good brother, and a role model for the boy... Blood is thicker than water at the end of the day.

I can't think of a more effective way of falling out with your family than pointing out how silly their beliefs are.

Sis: Would you be godfather to my son?

TS2: Thanks for the invite sis but given my well known stance on religion I think it best I decline. Love you darling, see you soon.

Job done, no drama.

You missed out the bit where sis says "Well thanks for putting your non belief before the feelings of your family."
The following 1 user Likes TonyAnkle's post:
  • SYZ
Reply
#19

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
Is It an offer you can't refuse?
The following 1 user Likes no one's post:
  • skyking
Reply
#20

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
The responsibilities of a "godparent" varies a lot depending on the parents and the person in question. It can be anything from a pretty secular auxiliary parent to a much more spiritual mentorship role. Given that your sister seems to think that COVID is in the Bible I'd guess that it was more toward the spiritual side of things.

That said, you could likely have found a more tactful way to decline. Start at "I'm not sure I'm qualified for what you have in mind." and decline on the basis of being a damned infidel if she's going the whole faith route.

A few years ago my sister, who is christian-lite, asked if I'd be the trustee on her life insurance policy. In the event that she and her husband contract a bad case of dead I get her kids. No faith involved and she's aware that I'd be useless at religiosity if it was.
The following 3 users Like Paleophyte's post:
  • SYZ, TonyAnkle, Bucky Ball
Reply
#21

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
Where I'm from godparenting isn't a religious duty but simply the anointing of someone to step in when shit hits the fan. I'm not a formally-named godparent, but my nieces and nephew know that when SHTF they can come to me for help, advice, etc.

If the parent asked that I'd see after their child's religious upbringing in the event of catastrophe, I would have to politely refuse on ethical grounds. Stripped of its religious element, I'd say "sure" -- kids are fun, especially when you can hand them back to their parents when they get enervating.

I do agree that making a big deal out of it is not good. If you couldn't do it for whatever reason, a simple "I'm sorry, but I can't" would likely be better than delving into the reasons and possibly provoking what could be a hurtful conversation. It's an honor, but if it's one you don't feel you can carry out, leave it at a polite refusal with a "thank you all the same" attached.
Freedom isn't free.
The following 3 users Like Thumpalumpacus's post:
  • TheGentlemanBastard, Bucky Ball, Dom
Reply
#22

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
For me, it would hinge almost entirely on what they thought the role of a godparent was.  If it was to promise to help perpetuate their religion, then I would decline as being unqualified.  If it was to promise to participate in the child's life and to be there for them, then I would humbly accept.  Deadpan Coffee Drinker
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
The following 4 users Like Chas's post:
  • Thumpalumpacus, Dom, Bucky Ball, isbelldl
Reply
#23

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
(11-24-2020, 08:20 AM)Tomatoshadow2 Wrote: Hi everyone,

So my sister was telling me today, her and husband were thinking about wanting to have myself as a 'God father' to their son. My sister started by saying, so was going to ask you, but I don't know how you feel on the matter. I told her the basic firebrand stuff, as an Atheist, I said all that shit is a joke. She says, while then I guess we can't have you do it. I responded it shouldn't be about religion at all, so you have a party, put some blessed water on the babe and Jesus saves. I said that's just all bullshit, it won't change anything for her son. I told her teach him, how to rely on himself and not need religion as a crutch. My sister responded, while that's the 'tradition'. She shut down about it, because as you all know, she had no answers to my facts or questions. I told, yes the tradition should be, good without faith and God. My sister, is not super religious thankfully, but just is that 'traditional have to have faith, because we all learned that way kind of thinking'. We were talking about how everyone is dealing with the Pandemic. She states 'while COVID was in the Bible , right as plague? I said no, that's all made up stories, an epic in a way. I think my sister was really hoping, I would share the same views on faith, some reinsurance.

I told her at the end of the day, this is her decision, I won't be involved in anything religion related. I said why waste your time, enjoy your time with your family, not worrying about anything religion related. My family has always known I strongly dislike all aspects related to religion or faith. They don't debt me ever anymore, as I leave them with too many questions about their faith. Also, because they don't want to think about the very hard questions, we Atheists ask them. Do you agree I handled this good, by telling her I wouldn't do it? Do you every feel, your too tough on the believers in your family? As anything with religion, I just can't stand it. Also my passion about Atheism really comes up, when my family talks about anything with religion, so it makes me not even double think, when someone asks me something like the title. Godfather is referred to as in the Catholic faith.

My parentally-assigned Godparents were very religious. It never meant much to me. I visited them once or twice but stopped after too many "please speak Grace" demands at meals that I declined. I sent holiday cards and occasional letters. One day I received a card saying that if I didn't "participate" they would have to "forget me".

Well, they WERE rich. But I never replied. Fuck them!
I came to a fork in the road, and I took it!
Reply
#24

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
I would have said that I was flattered and honoured to be their child's godfather but I would have added the caveat that I could only be a godparent on the understanding that I would only be a secular role model. 45 minutes of sprinkling water and listening to burbling incantations to sky daddy verses a childhoods worth of exposure to humanist thinking is a small price to pay.
Justaminute   The whole point of having cake is to eat it! 
The following 2 users Like adey67's post:
  • TonyAnkle, skyking
Reply
#25

Sister asked me to be 'God father' to her son
The thing is guys as a very passionate Atheist as well, I don't feel comfortable, putting it aside, because I don't believe it. I don't even attend funerals or weddings. @Tres Leches Yes I'm still puzzled why she would even ask, she has known I've been an Atheist. I also even said while I can do without the religious stuff and that's when she said 'there's tradition though'. Yeah a tradition of bullshit, to indoctrinate people. It also makes it very hard for me to see my sister bring her kids into religion. Putting in their minds with more magical fairy tales. I told her teach her kids how to live without the crutch of religion.
The following 1 user Likes Tomatoshadow2's post:
  • Tres Leches
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)