Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby fig tree » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:23 am


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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:35 pm


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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:24 pm


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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby puppha » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:02 am


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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby Hickersonia » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:47 pm

Hickersonia
http://hickersonia.wordpress.com/


"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby darkestmatter » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:52 pm

I hope you don't mind me wading in on this but I can only speak from accompanying my best friend at school to her Christian events etc. When we were kids she became interested in Christianity and it ramped up into a fervent fundamentalism until she was asking not to take part in science lessons speaking about the big bang or any discussion about Charles Darwin who she kept saying was nothing more than a fraud. I'm pleased you haven't tried to pull your child in the opposite direction to your wife but I would be very wary indeed. Indoctrination I consider incredibly wrong. No child should be forced to think one thing over another and I believe that they should be left to make their own choices and be offered the opportunity to learn more if THEY want to.

It is a little worrying about her trying to attack Buddhism in a insidious way by telling your daughter things in private. There was an interesting ebook I read called "A Buddhist Critique of Fundamentalist Christianity". I wouldn't necessarily suggest giving it to your wife or attempting to read it to your daughter but I do think you need to have a really serious talk and explain just how damaging she is being. I'm absolutely sure that she will not want to speak about it but you really need to make sure she at least hears you. She cannot forbid you from taking her to the Vihara and if she does attempt to do so then simply say that if that's the case then being her father she's no longer allowed to go to Church either.

I feel for you. I really do. Fundamentalist Christians are really no fun at all and the amount of times I would be at an event and be chatting to someone to then have them simply turn to full on proselytizing was ridiculous. You should never have to be so virilent in pushing your religion on someone else. It's not on and tends to warp people.
“You are your own teacher. Looking for teachers can’t solve your own doubts. Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside. Knowing yourself is most important.”

― Ajahn Chah

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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby puppha » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:34 pm

Dear Hayden,

You are welcome to comment of course. I recently read the ebook you mentioned. It's very good, it reveals a lot of flaws in Christian beliefs, using mainly the bible itself! Unfortunately, a few of his interpretations from the bible are not entirely correct. But it really gives a lot of insights and helps you to answer/understand a Christian fundamentalist!

The real issue here is fundamentalism. Strong beliefs in 6000 years old Earth, faith healings, impeding armageddon, balck and white thinking, etc. This is really taxing to live with someone like that. Fortunately, she recently stopped talking too much about those things to me, I think she realised she is just erecting a wall between us by doing that.

I now tend to see it a bit like someone afflicted with paranoiac schizophrenia. Someone may for example be certain that he has been adbucted by aliens who implanted spying devices in his body before being sent back to earth, and the CIA knows that and spies on him days and nights. You can say whatever you want to such a person, he will stick to his beliefs. You can show him a scan of his body showing there are no alien devices and he will tell you they don't appear on human instruments, etc. If you find an argument he can't counter, the last line of defense is to assume that a trick has been set up to fool him (and that you are probably on the alien's side, BTW).
That's exactly the same for Christians. The bible contains so many contradictions it's difficult to list them all. On almost every page of a bible, there are footnotes stating there are some doubts about certain words, or that some early manuscripts have something different, etc. Yet those funny born-agains just can't see that and think there are no errors in the bible.
Science has proven that the structure of the brain is not fixed, wires between neurons can change and the whole wiring of the brain can be modified if given enough time. I think this is what happens for fundies, they just convince themselves they are right for long enough to wire their brain in a different way, and then their brain just either ignores the evidence or immediately constucts a "rational" explanation for it (i.e. compatible with their beliefs).

She once started a discussion about creation vs evolution. That was quite a debate, and she explicitely mentioned at one point that she was happy to have creationist websites and TV programs so that she can teach the alternative to our daughter! Gasp... I have to admit I had a chill in the back when she said that... But I am getting myself informed, especially reading throught the EvC forum: . It is VERY scientific and hard to follow for lay people, but for what I can see, any single creationist argument has been rebutted. It is a very good forum because both sides can post freely, and it because very easy to see which side brings the scientific, evidence-based arguments and which side falters in the dark after a few pages of posts on a given subject.

This whole turn of event had this merit: I started to investigate deeper into the origins of Christianity, the bible, the psychology of religions, politics, the manipulations of the corporate world, the vast interventionism of western countries into so-called developing countries and Christian missionary activites. If my wife didn't turn fundamentalist, I would probably never got interested in those.

With Metta

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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby puppha » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:38 pm

I forgot to mention! 2 days ago, I was doing my meditation early morning in my office. My daughter woke up, came and saw I was meditating, so she waited outside. I told her to come in and asked her if she wants to meditate.
She said yes, so we did a bit of meditation together. I did a little guided meditation on metta bhavana, I think she appreciated it!

Sadhu!
:buddha2:

With Metta

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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby darkestmatter » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:32 pm

I'm glad that she's realising by herself that having the CHOICE is what matters. Evidently she can tell that that is what matters and if you keep it up she's going to rebel against her mother and ask her to stop trying to force things upon her. Creationism I find utterly bonkers and silly so I never really manage to have a debate about it as I normally begin to smirk which then turns into a belly laugh when someone says that evolution is ridiculous. I'm pleased you manage to keep it level as you're a better man than I. Keep doing what you're doing and I'm quite sure that just as Buddhism says that counter anger with love, it will always win out in the end.
“You are your own teacher. Looking for teachers can’t solve your own doubts. Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside. Knowing yourself is most important.”

― Ajahn Chah

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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby Bakmoon » Tue May 15, 2012 3:59 am

The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby Kim OHara » Tue May 15, 2012 7:52 am


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Aloka
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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby Aloka » Tue May 15, 2012 9:56 am

I just thought I'd mention that at Buddhanet there's a Buddhist studies section for children of different ages.




and also there's a 'Kids Page' on the site with various activities.

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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby manas » Tue May 15, 2012 11:11 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby puppha » Wed May 16, 2012 2:18 pm


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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby manas » Wed May 16, 2012 8:25 pm

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby puppha » Thu May 17, 2012 9:10 pm


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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby puppha » Mon May 28, 2012 9:52 am

Yesterday, my wife went to church with our daughter and a "brother in Christ" she invited to our home this week-end.
While at church, my daughter borrowed my wife's iphone and sent me a text message saying that she would like to come with me to where I go on Sundays! That was quite a surprise because I already brought her once to the Vihara and she didn't like it, so I was not bringing her anymore.
Sadhu!

Unfortunately, my wife took it quite badly. I think she can't contemplate our daughter being anything else but a fundamentalist christian. She said it quite plainly after coming back from church: she said that I can bring her there if I want to because I am her father, but if she can't bear it, she will leave both our daughter and myself to "our things"! Sad.

Also, we are going through a rough ride these days. To cut a long story short, she revealed to me that she cheated on me about 3 years ago and had sex with a stranger. After disscussion, I then said that I forgive her, but if she does it again that will be the end of our marriage. A few days later, I told her that I am ready to give her my trust again and start afresh, as I don't want to spy her emails, phone log, etc. as she initially suggested. But there is still a lot of tension, and this undercurrent of religious incompatibilities compounds the problem...

Yesterday, for the first time ever I mentioned to her that maybe buddhism has some benefits. Like maybe I have been able to handle the news of her infidelity with as much serenity as possible. She essentially took it badly, saying that I glorify myself, etc. She said she wants to take a week off away from our daughter and myself! Then in the evening she came back crying, saying she is sorry to hurt me. I held her in my arms to reassure her, as I love her and I am unhappy to see her upset, but frankly I am getting fed up of her fundamentalist ways.
That was probably not very skillful of me to mention the benefits of buddhism in connection to the rough ride we are going through, I wanted to show her that Christianity has not a monopoly of goodness, in a situation that touches her directly. But yes, that was probably not skillful. I will not do that again.

In the evening, my daughter asked me to read her one of the buddhist books I bought for her telling the story of the Buddha. It looks like she is getting really interested, and I did nothing special for it, I was the first to be surprised!

With Metta.

:buddha1:

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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby Reductor » Tue May 29, 2012 6:01 am

Huh-boy.

Your wife sounds like a deeply conflicted person; you and your daughter have my sympathy.

About that quip of leaving you and your daughter to your "things". When I read that in conjunction with the "brother-in-christ" and the past infidelity, you know what comes to mind?



But I don't think she'd actually leave your daughter. The more grief for you.

:hug:

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Re: Help! How to raise a child in an inter-faith marriage?

Postby hanzze_ » Tue May 29, 2012 6:49 am

Puppha,

I would not brother to much. You daughter is just your daughter and she might have a good chance with this situation. It might be also a good possibility to practice Dhamma with patient and lesser fear that others might fall into the wrong way. Actually children are very open to honestly and resolute way's. Also a resolute way in regard of a deeper meaning of Silas is something that brings it's attention.

The situation you are in, is a situation you have to live on, or to carry it out. I guess it's always better to watch want makes one actually fear or worry.

And another thing, I know it's not very popular, but a simply natural thing. If a wife does not follow the ways and the tradition of the husband, such a relationship will never be a health. But that is another thing, that's the relation between you and your wife.

It's not good to excuse one relation with the other and in return. It's good to separate those relations in ones thinking. There is no must behind anything but there is always good benefit to put virtue above all other things.

Do not think to much about the others, think about your attachments and the real reasons of your problem, that is what you can change with secure and not hurting others.


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