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Vent on religion and gifts


Forum: Atheist and Agnostic Parenting

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  • 1 Post By melkissa2004
  • 1 Post By AlixJ20

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  #1  
November 27th, 2011, 05:57 PM
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My husband and I were both raised in relgious families, he was even sent to boarding school because his parents wanted him surrounded by their faith. My mother is a minister.

So it's no big surprise that neither of us are religious and are choosing to raise our son without religion. We don't really identify with Athesist or Agnostic titles, just say we "aren't religious".
My basic view is I will respect your religion, please respect my decision not to affiliate myself with any faith.

With that said, since our son was born my family and friends have been very respectful in giving us gifts.
My husband's side of the family is a different story however. UGH! Some child's bible picture book, a Noah's arc pj set, a bib with a cross, a rattle that say's Jesus loves me. Luckily all these items were sent from people that we have little to no contact with, so I simply put them in a bag to be taken to a local thrift store.

However for months my mil has been raving about this quilt she is making. She even showed me several of the squares. They had bears and ducks and stuff on them. No big deal, I liked it fine.
At Thanksgiving she showed me the almost finished quilt. Several of the squares now say Child of God, I love Jesus as well as have scripture and crosses sewn onto them!!!!
GAH!
What to do? I HATE it, I HATE the idea of it. I don't want it anywhere near my child or even in the house. I know he can't read and it's really just another blanket. But it's the principle of it all. It irritates me that she is making this while knowing we aren't religious. And because we see her often I feel obligated to use it for something. I want to throw it in the trash.

What would any of you do in this situation?
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  #2  
November 28th, 2011, 07:01 AM
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I would just put it away in a closet and say it's so pretty you'd hate to mess it up by getting spit up or dirty diaper messes on it if she asks.
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  #3  
November 28th, 2011, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrowe70 View Post
My husband and I were both raised in relgious families, he was even sent to boarding school because his parents wanted him surrounded by their faith. My mother is a minister.

So it's no big surprise that neither of us are religious and are choosing to raise our son without religion. We don't really identify with Athesist or Agnostic titles, just say we "aren't religious".
My basic view is I will respect your religion, please respect my decision not to affiliate myself with any faith.

With that said, since our son was born my family and friends have been very respectful in giving us gifts.
My husband's side of the family is a different story however. UGH! Some child's bible picture book, a Noah's arc pj set, a bib with a cross, a rattle that say's Jesus loves me. Luckily all these items were sent from people that we have little to no contact with, so I simply put them in a bag to be taken to a local thrift store.

However for months my mil has been raving about this quilt she is making. She even showed me several of the squares. They had bears and ducks and stuff on them. No big deal, I liked it fine.
At Thanksgiving she showed me the almost finished quilt. Several of the squares now say Child of God, I love Jesus as well as have scripture and crosses sewn onto them!!!!
GAH!
What to do? I HATE it, I HATE the idea of it. I don't want it anywhere near my child or even in the house. I know he can't read and it's really just another blanket. But it's the principle of it all. It irritates me that she is making this while knowing we aren't religious. And because we see her often I feel obligated to use it for something. I want to throw it in the trash.

What would any of you do in this situation?
I haven't read any of the responses here yet so pardon me if I'm repeating anything.

In most cases I would support just taking things you don't want to a thrift store. (I assume the gifters don't know.) But in this case, since your MIL is putting so much time into it, I would suggest speaking up now. Tell her you appreciate all the time she has put in, and compliment her work, but say that it is just something you won't use. Since she knows you are not religious, I don't think you have to justify it. Just tell her you plan to donate it if she still gives it to you, or suggest she find someone else to give it to.

I hope it works out well.
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  #4  
November 28th, 2011, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melkissa2004 View Post
I would just put it away in a closet and say it's so pretty you'd hate to mess it up by getting spit up or dirty diaper messes on it if she asks.

Personally, I like this route. Keep it in the attic for a time when the child has grown up and is able to make their own decisions on faith. They may not care for the rhetoric on the item, but would cherish it for the thought and time it took to make.
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  #5  
November 28th, 2011, 09:57 PM
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Thanks for the replies. We'll probably just put it in a box somewhere and hope she forgets. I do like the idea of keeping it for when he is older.
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  #6  
November 29th, 2011, 08:23 AM
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Hey! It's good to see a familiar mommy here! The whole Christmas season this year is part of the reason I've decided to join in here. We celebrate the commercial stuff, but not the religion... my IL's are religious, and we encounter awkward situations on a regular basis...

We did what you are planning, they gave older DD an Ark shirt... and I put it aside for when/if she goes to their house. She's only 3, so I don't really care, I know they aren't preachy to her, and they somewhat understand our views, but still, they can't seem to help themselves...
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  #7  
December 7th, 2011, 09:12 PM
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If she is very pushy and you'd rather not deal with any drama, you could put it away, and only bring it out when she is over. That way she can think that your son is using it.
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  #8  
December 15th, 2011, 06:40 PM
JustLiz's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I would personally just use it like any other blanket. I think our kids are smarter than we give them credit for. It will be no secret to your child that your in-laws are religious, and you will have to discuss it with your children at some point anyway. You can always explain that this blanket was a gift from Grandma and these are her beliefs, etc. My aunt and uncle are VERY religious (evangelical) and it was always clear to me as a child that 1. my parents did not share their beliefs and 2. I was to respect them/their beliefs. I got a lot of religious paraphernalia from them over the years and just acknowledged it and moved on.
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  #9  
January 19th, 2012, 06:59 AM
YukiSumah's Avatar French Canadian
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Quote:
a bib with a cross, a rattle that say's Jesus loves me.
Wooaaaa you would NEVER find these kind of things here in Qc!!!
Ahahaha that's crazy!!
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  #10  
February 18th, 2012, 10:07 PM
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Glad i read this, i would have never thought to bring it up to make sure people know how i will react. Today i asked my mom if she plans on getting my kids religious based stuff, she said yes of course with a creepy happiness to it and then said jesus loves the children. I just straight up told her she should respect my beliefs and that i would never buy her an atheist themed shirt when i know she is christian. I told her she can go ahead and get it but it'll be a waste of money because i won't allow anything like that around my child. I actually expected her to say no because i didn't realize she was like that.
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