It seems like such an innocuous request, they will say.
How petty are you?
Why can't Grandma just take your baby to church and and let her friends see her grandchild?
But it's not nothing.
And it's not simple.
It's the mind of your child we're talking about here... and you know how great the church is at indoctrination and brainwashing. That is the fact that makes a church the most frightening place on the planet for our children's minds. The insidiousness aimed at the sweet, sweet hearts of our children.
Nothing I or anyone can write can address every possible scenario so I'll have to speak in generalities. But I stand by these words regardless of age, race, religion, etc...any characteristic.
Does Grandma have any rights here? Of course not, though we love our family members and we want to preserve our relationships as much as possible. The problem is that when religion is added to the mix, religion causes our family members to lose perspective. They lose their ability to think, our beloved relatives. Their fear and emotions get extraordinarily twisted and our loved ones get mired and inflexible in their dogma.
You're going to read lots of people saying to you that it's OK and that there is a compromise. I would love to believe this. However my experience shows the opposite. One allowed visit leads to more and more requests, more and more pressure to challenge your stand on the issue: just a few days of VBS, just a nice program of children's music, just a quick visit for donuts, songs, a musical, a play, Christmas, Easter egg hunts. One visit will never be enough. It is truly a slippery slope...the entire time with you feeling like an ogre for standing on your sincerely-held decision to shield your children from indoctrination, indoctrination that is specially-designed to net children.
You want to be nice, who doesn't want to be nice?, but the cost is simply too high.
The church has set up an us vs. them paradigm and your beloved mother or father is, in their mind, fighting the good fight for their deity. It's extremely painful in the family dynamic, and a middle ground doesn't exist, sorry. I wish there was a compromise.
Let The Kids Decide
YES, sure, let them decide... once they have the ability to recognize propaganda, false claims, logical fallacies, once they have a general appreciation of basic science principles, and as soon as your family has had MANY conversations about religions and deities and our country's culture of religion, once your children are able to recognize propaganda. Otherwise your children might be attracted to the sweetness and treacle that is designed to appeal to good and sweet children who mean well and who want to do the right thing.
As in all things, trust yourself and your instincts.
I do take a hard line here. I know.
But the battle is, unfortunately, real. Our children's minds and hearts are at stake. We owe them.
What do you think?
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