Author Topic: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...  (Read 16645 times)

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bopper

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #45 on: October 05, 2013, 06:56:03 PM »
At my church, groups can use the facilities. These groups do not have to be religious in nature.
We have AA type meetings, Aerobics, SAT study, etc.

If the group is for a member then I believe the cost is lower.

Anyway, you thought you were joining a local playgroup that happens to meet at the church, not a religiously affiliated one.
If you want to take your child to church, you could do that on Sundays and have them go to Sunday school.
If they insist on having a religious service, then that is going to cause you to leave.  I can't imagine they would think that a good thing!


I would talk to the leader and say "I joined this playgroup because it had kids my kid's age that were from the local area.  I get my spiritual needs met elsewhere (your bed on a Sunday morning, another church, another religion, etc) so am not looking for a religious service.  If you all would like to add a service after playgroup that would be fine for those who are interested. Let's leave the playgroup the way it is."


jaxsue

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #46 on: October 05, 2013, 06:56:19 PM »
When my son started school he was invited to an after school kid's club held in a church hall. I was repeatedly  assured it was a non religious affair, purely social and fun. My lovely imaginative son started having nightmares about his fingers falling off and it turned out that bible stories were being told and the one about getting leprosy back if you weren't grateful enogh was worrying him. End of kid's club for son.!

Off topic but important :: Someone is telling that story very, very wrongly. No one got leprosy back! Luke 17:11-19, if anyone is interested.

Yep, wrong info! All those years in Sunday School weren't for nothing: I know my Bible stories very well!  :)

EllenS

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #47 on: October 05, 2013, 09:58:02 PM »
When my son started school he was invited to an after school kid's club held in a church hall. I was repeatedly  assured it was a non religious affair, purely social and fun. My lovely imaginative son started having nightmares about his fingers falling off and it turned out that bible stories were being told and the one about getting leprosy back if you weren't grateful enogh was worrying him. End of kid's club for son.!

Off topic but important :: Someone is telling that story very, very wrongly. No one got leprosy back! Luke 17:11-19, if anyone is interested.

True, but I think if the organizers are lying to the parents about the content of the group, we can assume they are getting quite a few other things wrong, too.

In any event, if ChurchyMom in the OP is neither the organizer nor the keyholder, as was clarified upthread, it is pretty likely this was not initiated by the church itself. The only thing that would make this tricky is if the mom making the suggestion has some kind of official role.

A suggested activity by another mom, no matter what the content, (Junior Bungee Jumping or a knitting circle) that you don't want to do, can simply be declined with "no thank you, I like it the way it is."  If the majority wanted to do the knitting, or the bungee jumping, or the Bible stories, and a minority does not - then you form two groups.

johelenc1

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #48 on: October 06, 2013, 05:44:16 AM »
I think everyone is over-thinking this.  Since the question was asked - just reply, "we're good with the way things are right now.  We aren't interested in changing it."

Maybe the mom is just feeling it out - seeing if people are interested.  It may not be a problem at all if people say no.  I wouldn't assume all kinds of motives or hard feelings if people say no.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #49 on: October 07, 2013, 04:00:14 PM »
I think everyone is over-thinking this.  Since the question was asked - just reply, "we're good with the way things are right now.  We aren't interested in changing it."

Maybe the mom is just feeling it out - seeing if people are interested.  It may not be a problem at all if people say no.  I wouldn't assume all kinds of motives or hard feelings if people say no.

POD.  Answer only the question that was asked.  A simple "We're happy with the playgroup as it is now" is all that is necessary.

Golden Phoenix

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #50 on: October 07, 2013, 05:35:08 PM »
she just wants to make sure the kids won't be too distracted playing to enjoy the church activities.

This stood out for me. It isn't a case of two parallel activities - services and playgroup. In her mind, the church activities are replacing the playgroup. That is hijacking and I would speak up.

"Hijacker, I do not wish to replace the play activities with church activities. If you would like a children's church group, please organize a separate one."

Yes, it's not even that she wants to throw out the Sesame Street characters and replace them with Noah's Ark figures. It sounds like she expects the children to stop playing, and participate in the services (as appropriate for their age).

This is not an acceptable change to put forward without consultation, even if everyone in the play group belonged to the church, let alone a mixed group. As Lady_distain says, you need to respond to the hijacking. I like her wording.

Pod to this for me.

At a younger age i was a youth leader in a local playgroup held in a church hall. At the end of the play and craft time we had a small "religious education"/service period of about half an hour, the toys and tuck shop were put away and we focussed on that.

The difference is that one leader was our vicar and the other was our lay preacher. Everyone knew in advance about the religious instruction and could chose whether or not to send their kid to make friends in a place that had such a strong religious theme.

As an adult now, if someone tried to take over my non-religious activity and add in a large religious element i would be very annoyed, and also disappointed for my (hypothetical) kid as i would have probably chosen a group with no overt "agenda" or affiliation and now the rules were possibly changing without my input, my kid would have to leave their friends behind.

Also, what about children of other religions?

alis

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #51 on: October 08, 2013, 07:06:19 AM »
The idea has been shot down, less-than-quiet members of the group have spoken up that they do not wish their children to be exposed to explicit church-led activities.

From what I have since read, the church never brought this up - the outspoken mother who happens to be a member of the church did. She has a bit of a tunnel vision when it comes to her religion and forgets that we aren't all her denomination of Christian (and was quite shocked to hear some of us were atheist!)

Curly Wurly Doggie Breath

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #52 on: October 08, 2013, 07:09:03 AM »
OK, she was 'shocked' to hear it but what was her thoughts afterwards.

Did she understand or not?

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alis

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #53 on: October 08, 2013, 07:11:02 AM »
She said "oh, well I guess we'll just do something on Sundays then I guess" (which is something none of us plan to attend) and then hasn't really said much after that. I don't think she's very happy right now.

Curly Wurly Doggie Breath

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #54 on: October 08, 2013, 07:12:42 AM »
OK :)

Problem solved :D

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Curly Wurly Doggie Breath

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #55 on: October 08, 2013, 07:14:20 AM »
does she really expect anyone to turn up on Sunday? does she realize what Atheist means ? lol

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iridaceae

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #56 on: October 08, 2013, 07:21:05 AM »
She said "oh, well I guess we'll just do something on Sundays then I guess" (which is something none of us plan to attend) and then hasn't really said much after that. I don't think she's very happy right now.

Tough noogies. Tunnel-vision anything (except maybe getting the serum to Nome) is a bad idea. Springing this on people is a bad idea. She could use some "get real lady" moments in her life.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #57 on: October 08, 2013, 10:13:09 AM »
I have never heard the word "proselytize" used in a positive way by someone outside the religion being promoted.  Actually, I have never heard it used in a positive way by anyone.  Christians in my part of the world (and I am one) who want to speak positively about discussing/promoting their religion use the term "evangelize" or "share".

In my part of the world "proselytize" is always used to mean "aggressive/inappropriate forcing of religion on an unwilling audience"

I can see that. I just checked an online thesaurus and the fact that one of the synonyms that came up was "brainwash" was not very encouraging...

I don't hear "evangelize" as necessarily softer but I understand how it could depend on the place you live in and the background of the one hearing it.

Someone in my church who is a cradle Episcopalian once joked that the word evangelize makes us cringe so much that you'd offend less people if you dropped the "F" word during the service.

And I would be annoyed if I was given the impression that the church was offering this space with no strings attached, but then after people started being comfortable with the arrangement, wow, look at those strings!
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

White Lotus

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #58 on: October 08, 2013, 01:10:32 PM »
Just a quick note to point out that religion, even in the US, isn't about two teams, the Christians and the Atheists, and if you aren't one, then you MUST BE the other.  Lots of other religions around. I gather OP is overseas, and Christians might be unusual in the native population, so I can kind of understand the gaffe ("everybody from the US or UK, NZ, Oz, etc. must be Christian") but I see this so often -- and there are so many people who don't fall into either "camp" --  I do feel the need to mention this.  Glad it worked out for you, OP.

hobish

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #59 on: October 08, 2013, 01:40:25 PM »
She said "oh, well I guess we'll just do something on Sundays then I guess" (which is something none of us plan to attend) and then hasn't really said much after that. I don't think she's very happy right now.

Tough noogies. Tunnel-vision anything (except maybe getting the serum to Nome) is a bad idea. Springing this on people is a bad idea. She could use some "get real lady" moments in her life.

Totally off topic :) I like how you put that. My husky was very close to being called Togo after the dog that led the sled team that got the serum to Nome.
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
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