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MASHAMOO Posts: 1,667
12/16/12 12:09 P

My family hasn't given gifts at Christmas for 25 years. It's made Christmas a lot more fun for us. There was no "withholding" for misdeeds; nobody got presents anyway.

It works for us. Your mileage may vary.

GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
12/12/12 12:53 P

Amen, Candace! emoticon

ENERGY25ME1 Posts: 10
12/12/12 12:20 P

Yes, I have just recently thought about not giving gifts to my family for Christmas this year because I believe we miss the mark as to what this season is all about. It's very nice to get gifts and give gifts to others but after all the exchanging then what? I just wish we could get back to the real meaning of Christmas; let's love, laugh and give our service to others less fortunate than ourselves. There are people out there that are really struggling to maintain a healthy life and other people out here spending thousands of dollars on family members that don't even need/deserve anything! That's my opinion, people can and will do what they choose to do regardless of what's going on in the world around them. I just pray and wish we could stop being selfish and serve others that really, really need help all year round not just at Christmas time.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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11/30/12 8:15 A

"Those skeletal remains actually have been proven to be hoaxes"

-I suggest you do some better research. They have not since 1912 and Piltdown man. Which was exposed as a forgery. The hominid fossils found since are genuine of which there are 30 different species. Creationist websites often use outdated information and half truths to perpetuate lies to the scientifically illiterate. Scientific measurements (such as DNA and radiometric dating) are far more available and accurate today than they were a century ago and quite effortlessly weed out fossilized forgeries in our modern time. So no, they have not been proven as hoaxes, that is a flat out lie. Using piltdown man or other fossilized forgies by advantageous scientists from a century ago would be the equivalent of someone taking a religious relic that was proved as a forgery and using it to disprove the Bible. It's just not intellectually honest.

Sorry, just had to get that out there. It irks me when people use creationist websites that misrepresent evolution. They're so terribly written that they even go as far as flat out lying about what evolution actually states when all you have to do is read the actual theory to see they are lying, piltdown man aside. They don't even tell the truth about what the actual theory states. Put it this way, I would have to take any information with a grain of salt if it came from some sort of an anti-Biblical book or site. I would realize that the author was probably going to misrepresent the Bible; stretch the truth, give half truths or flat out lie to convince the reader ( my Biblically-illiterate self ;). It's better to research the topic yourself and read from both sides of the argument to get to the bottom of the truth. Know what I mean?

I apologize if I made any offense. I just love a good debate but I mean no ill will and enjoyed discussing these nitty gritty topics with you. ;)

Yes yes. Cheers to that and Happy Birthday, hope you have a wonderful day. emoticon

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 11/30/2012 (09:04)
GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
11/30/12 7:04 A

Those skeletal remains actually have been proven to be hoaxes, filed down and reassembled from various skeletons to "prove" the theory, and a live clam was said to be like 60, 000, 000 with the carbon dating method, but...*sighs* You're right. This could go on forever.

*extends hand*
Truce then? Shall we go for a virtual walk?
I don't know about you, but I could use a drink. My birthday is next Saturday. Let's meet for a e-tini. emoticon

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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11/29/12 7:37 P

Argh. I had a big LONG reply addressing all your points and answering your questions. I was about finished and I accidently closed the window but it made me realize we could debate theology until we are both blue in the face and feelings get hurt and wind up no better off than when we started, so perhaps it's for the best. And I do apologize if damage has already been done, I didn't mean to insult you personally, that wasn't my intention. It's difficult for me to describe how I view religion without it being taken personally.

So I'll try to sum up my whole point without the many off topic side debate which would be, what you may perceive as a lie and manipulating children, others may not. What I perceive as a lie and manipulating children, you (and others may not). You do have to kind of expect that when you are critical of the way other people parent that you open youself up for equal criticism about your own parenting. You cannot tell other people they are crossing the line when you have done the exact same thing in your OP. That's hypocritical, no? What if I had started a post questioning the indoctrination of small children with their parents religion? I'm quite certain it would be ill received and I could not tell people they have crossed the line when they became critical of my own parenting without have 4 fingers pointed back at me.

Honestly, they're your children. You can choose to raise them how you feel is fit and right. I'll do the same with my own. But your OP came off as you passing judgement on the way other people parent, you have to accept that other people may in return not see some of the things you choose to do as the most "moral" option. Telling children that a god exists and is judging their naughty and nice behaviour is no different than other parents telling their kids about Santa judging their naughty and nice behaviour because *to me* (my personal opinion) both are imaginary characters.

And I had to address this; sorry... but I accept evolution because I understand it. I've studied it. I've seen the actual empirical evidence for it. There is no "faith" involved. It is based on the fossil record, position in the strata, DNA evidence, biogeography, developmental biology, morphology, vestigial limbs, fishbians to fishapods, drosophila, comparative anatomy, embryology, bacterial evolution, evidence in Italian wall lizards, Russian silver foxes, guppies and domestic breeding. A scientific theory does not last 150 years if it is false because of the competitiveness of the scientific community and the scientific method. There is literally mountains of well documented evidence from various fields of science that fit together perfectly. DNA and radiometric dating evidence that wasn't even available in Darwin's time confirmed his findings. There are 30 different hominid fossils that show the streamline progression from apes to humans.

Your question is like asking, have you ever been on the moon? Well, how do you know its not made of cheese?

If that were true, there would be verifiable evidence to support species were the direct result of a creator being. There is not. No more than the moon is made from cheese.

***that still turned out being long, apologize for the lengthy read***

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 11/29/2012 (20:12)
GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
11/29/12 3:56 P

I beg to differ. You don't know WHAT I tell my children or how I tell them, and to assume that I do is wholly insulting. I like you. I do. I like your posts, and you have had some excellent advice, and I appreciate it. However, in this case, you are out of line. I do, in fact, tell my kids, "I believe" or "We believe"...I do not FORCE my beliefs on them, but I do want them to learn about what I believe, because I do believe it is the truth. I do believe that I have evidence that He IS more real than another small g god...My children too, have prayed and had prayers answered, and not by me. To God, it is not a finite crime, obviously. Everything-EVERYTHING is laid out in the bible-rewards and consequences for our choices. How can obedience be sincere with the threat of discipline, is basically what you are saying...My kids know that if they are disobedient, they get privelages taken away, but if they obey, there are rewards. NO MATTER WHAT, I will provide for their basic needs, and I will always love them. However, even though I can forgive and show mercy, and extend grace, that only goes so far. This is the lesson that the bible teaches us as well. The wages for disobedience is death, but the reward for obedience is eternal life. Does that mean that God doesn't love everyone? Does it mean he hates those that disobey him, that disobey the laws that he's laid before us? Not at all. That's why he sent Jesus. He loves us and doesn't want anyone to perish in eternal torment. Just like-I would rather NOT have to discipline my kids. I just want them to do what I tell them to do because I know what is best for them and I want them to do what's right for right's sake.
I do not find the logic of the Bible circular. I've read through it several times. I don't study it as much as I should, but I am interested in why you think it is a lie. You(and any other non-believers) think it's a lie because you don't believe in it? How is that logical? You(also any other non-believers) think it's a lie because you've never had a personal experience? I have to go there...Have you ever seen something evolve from one thing into another? There are many species that look similar, because of the same class or genus, but there is really no real evidence of evolution being anything more than (an extremely flawed in my opinion) theory. Science, real science, can disprove the assumptions of evolution, but yet people, a HUGE number of people accept at as fact yet not many people question them and go right along and say, "Oh, yah. That's right. That's real science right there." However, they believe they have tangeable evidence. I believe ALL of nature is tangeable evidence of an Intelligent supreme creator, but-people choose not to see it...I respect that right, but to say that what I believe is a lie and imaginary is not showing respect at all to my faith, which, once again, I do not believe is "blind" faith.

You don't see because you choose not to see. That's how it is with a lot of people.

BERKANA_T Posts: 138
11/29/12 3:47 P

Santa still comes to our house, and my dd is 15. Santa has always come, and always will, and ALWAYS brings present for everyone, adults and children alike. Why? Because it's fun.

When my dd was younger, we taught her that the concept of Santa was very real, and that it was very real because people made it real. Whether some jolly man living in the north ever existed in some form or other (and many folk stories do have a basis in truth) is irrelevant. We taught her that it's good to give to others. It makes us feel good to give gifts, and it makes the receiver of the gifts feel good. We always emphasized giving to those who had less than we did as well.

That being said, my dd came very close one year to losing all the Christmas presents that I had bought her, because of a very serious misdeed right before Christmas.

GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
11/29/12 3:18 P

I do not find it damaging to teach my children what I believe. I believe it to be the truth, and I word it as such. "I believe that..." or "We believe that..." They get taken to church because I think it's good for them. I was taken to church, as were my siblings. When my kids are old enough, of course they are free to explore for themselves, but I think it is perfectly acceptable to give them something to believe in. Once again, though, I do NOT believe that my faith is "blind faith." That is merely your opinion, and I can respect that. I believe I have evidence, or personal confirmation, for my faith. Faith is a personal experience, and a personal choice. I am not forcing my kids to believe anything-just teaching them what I believe to be the truth.

I believe teaching what we believe is just as important as an education. We make our kids go to school. They don't necessarily want to go, and they don't see the importance, and they may choose to not learn anything while they are there, but we can always hope that something sinks in. We cannot make them go to college, because that's a decision they have to come to when they reach adulthood. The exact same goes with teaching about a faith, either by sharing what you believe with your kids or taking them to church, or temple, or mosque, or whatever a person's place of worship is. When they reach adulthood, then they are free to continue to follow in the faith, if that is their choice, or choose not to-as that is also their choice. No matter what my kids choose when they are adults, I will always love them. I will not shun them if they decide, "Mom, I really don't know if I do believe in God." Will I be disappointed? Well, duh. Will I ever stop being available for them? Not if I can help it.

(Answered before I had a chance to REALLY read what you posted.)

Edited by: GLITTERFAIRY77 at: 11/29/2012 (15:57)
LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
11/29/12 12:36 P

We never told dd that she had to be good to get a gift from Santa. We didn't sing that song or threaten her with coal or switches. That is not part of our Santa tradition at all. Santa brought one gift and filled a stocking. It was a small part of our Christmas celebration. Those items were never withheld. I would have been more likely to not give her gifts from us as we are the ones in charge of discipline not Santa but there was never anything dd did that was bad enough to do that.
Dd actually didn't like Santa so it was the Christmas Schnauzer who delivered to our house. We also had the dog fairy (tooth fairy) and the Easter beagle come to our house. Dogs are just nicer I guess.
Dd stopped believing/pretending about Santa or the Christmas Schnauzer several years ago.

Edited by: LOUNMOUN at: 11/29/2012 (12:40)
JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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11/29/12 11:15 A

I'll give you a better example. I freely admit I don't know whether or not gods exist. I cannot prove they don't. Let alone prove one particular god exists. I will have no problem admitting this to my children. I will tell them that people have different beliefs about the topic and it is up to them to discover what they believe. I want my children to explore different beliefs. I want to be there to guide them and provide resources for them to research because at the end of the day, none of us have actual proof either way. It is up to them as individuals to decide what they believe and I wont pretend based on my own research and experience that I hold the truth. I cannot fathom telling my children that their only choice is to believe or burn when I have no proof that that is even true.

To me; the bigger lie between Santa and a personal god (heaven, hell all the beliefs that go along with that) is lying to our children and claiming to hold knowledge that our "beliefs" are the only true beliefs while others are not. That imo, is far more detrimental to a child's pysche than playing pretend with them and admitting when the gig is up. Raising children who don't know the difference between personal beliefs and actual knowledge is harmful.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 11/29/2012 (11:26)
JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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11/29/12 11:02 A

But that's the point. You teach them it as "truth" when there is no evidence that your god is any more real than another god. Rather than just saying this is what *you* personally believe. You teach them if they do not believe it is true then they will suffer eternally for a finite crime; choosing the wrong religion or skepticism. What choice does that really give them, children who are very literal in their intrepetation and very trusting of adults to decide for themselves if that is what they believe or not? How can a belief be sincere with the treat of torment? You better believe if I was a child and someone told me I was going to be tortured for an eternity for not believing what they taught me, I would sure as heck try my hardest to believe it.

Don't get me wrong, I am fine with other people having different beliefs as long as they are not harmful. What I do see an issue with is essentially lying to children and telling them they have a choice between two imaginary places to spend eternity when you have no evidence either place exists outside the circular logic of the Bible.

To me; it is a far worse lie than playing pretend with our kids about Santa because you give them no real choice in what to believe and that belief is based on blind faith. Faith is toted as a virtue in the Bible. Believing things without evidence and when I say evidence, I refer to objective evidence. Any proof at all that a creator being has any effect on our environment. If your god is supernatural but yet can influence the natural world, there would be evidence of that. There isn't. Prayer has been studied and the conclusion shows that prayers had no real influence on the outcome of reality. Why else would people of different faiths claim their prayers are answered when they don't worship the same god as you, why would they have documented cases of miraculous medical recoveries? Why do even people of no faith have cases of miraculous recoveries?

Anyways, going off on a tangent here... the point is; you have no knowledge and neither does anyone else on this planet that their faith is true. If they did, we would have the empirical evidence to back up those claims. Telling your children that you *know* your faith is the correct one, giving them no choice (unless you consider a choice between a box of chocolate cookies or a spanking an actual choice) but to believe that faith is essentially lying to them. Telling them relatives are floating around in bliss after they die, is lying to them because you don't know any of that and all it is is a sugar coat of death.

Faith is merely an accident of geography and early childhood indoctrination. There is no choice to believe. Any institution that threatens torture for those who do not conform (which is what it is, no matter how it's presented) is not the sort of "moral" institution I would want to be a member of and even if I was, I think I would understand the difference between my beliefs and truth.

MAMISHELI53 Posts: 16,145
11/29/12 10:37 A

"LIKE", Raptormelon!

GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
11/29/12 10:26 A

I do understand that Christmas was origninally actually celebration of the birth of Mithra, and that there were also the celebrations of the Norse fertility god, Yule-which is where we get "Yule-tide greetings." The idea of the Yule log and the 12 days of Christmas are all very pagan, as well as the Christmas tree, wreathes (Wiccan and Druid in origin)...I know that the Catholic church tried to accomodate those practices by adopting them, which I think was a HUGE mistake. I am teaching my kids about that now because I feel they're old enough, and am going to leave it up to them whether or not they want to continue having a fake Christmas tree.
I wasn't really aware of the incredibly pagan roots to a lot of the traditions until recently.

As far as me being a Christian, I don't believe it is "blind faith" because I believe I have seen and experienced answered prayers-the biggest being when a couple years ago, I had a grape sized lump in the back of my neck and it scared the crap out of me. It was there for a few days and I was an hour from calling the doctor's office to have it checked out. I was watching a program and I don't know if you're familiar with the concept of a "word of knowledge" but anyway, the host was praying and said specifically, "There's a lump in the back of your neck and it is disappearing right now." I went to touch the back of my neck, and it was smooth. It was normal. Just that fast. Call it coincidence if you want to, but I call it evidence.

I am doing my best to teach my kids Christian values. I do not teach them they'll go to heaven if they're good because that's not what the bible tells us. I teach them what the bible says-that our righteousness is as filthy rags, without the covering of Jesus. I teach them that Jesus came to Earth for the express purpose of being the final sacrifice for our sins. I teach them that everyone sins, but through faith in Jesus, we can be made "clean." The bible says that Jesus is the ONLY way to get to Heaven. Everyone makes mistakes. The only perfect Christians are the dead ones...who have made it to the other side. We have no hope to ever be perfect, but we can do our best to obey what God tells us is right and do our best to not do what the bible lists what not to do. It's a process. It's a learning experience. It's a relationship, rather than religion.
Hell is a choice, and yes, I am teaching that to my kids, because that is basically what the bible teaches. God is not willing that ANY should perish. He lays two choices in front of us. Life with him, or life without him, and if we choose life without him, we are choosing hell.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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11/29/12 9:58 A

And we also don't celebrate the holiday season the way it was originally intended. It was originally an amelgamation of various Pagan holidays. Holidays evolve, it doesn't matter how they were originally intended. What matters is how we choose to celebrate them.

In our society, lying is sometimes necessary and in certain situations it is even thought to be more moral to tell a lie than to give the brutal honest truth. My children will be lied to by people. They will be lied to by people they are close to. They will need to understand that they can't trust everything people tell them. Would you rather raise skeptical children or children who think everything they hear is the truth? Would you consider white lies to be harmful?

In Asian countries children are taught that it is more moral to deny when you have done a good dead because it is considered more modest. So what is more moral in that situation? The lie the children/adults tell when they deny that they have done a good dead, or promoting modesty? The point is; lying is subjectively viewed as good or bad depending on the context or culture. It isn't always so black and white. The concept of Santa could even be a considered a gentle way to teach a very important life lesson, that you can't trust everything people tell you. That you should question what you're taught and told and get to the bottom of the truth yourself.

I see that you are a Christian. Is there any real difference between what I do with my children and you perputuating an ancient myth as truth? One of which there is no more evidence for than there is for Allah? For Isis? For Vishnu? For any of the other thousands of gods that primitve man has invented to explain what he did not understand since the beginning of record history. And if anything, the facts and evidence contradict what your holy book states. That out of all those gods/deities your god is the only true one. Do you also tell them they will go to Heaven if they're good? That they will go to Hell if they're bad or do not comform to your religion even though you have absolutely no proof either place even exists? Do you tell your children that when a relative dies that they are floating around in a magical place of bliss and they'll get to see them again? Even though as far as anyone of us *know* no such place exists and when our brains (which are responsible for our consciousness) die, then everything that made us who we are dies as well. Even though the concept of an afterlife is little more than the creation of men trying to conquer their innate fear of death and their own mortality.

If your children come to you with questions about your religion. Will you tell them honestly that you don't know whether or not this god exists or if the stories in the Bible are true or not? That you just have blind faith? Will you tell them that they should also have blind faith and just believe things for which there is no proof or evidence? That being unquestioning and believing whatever they are told/taught is a virtue?

I am honest to my children on all fronts and all hard topics. I tell them what we know, what we don't know. What they should discover for themselves. I envy their ability to still believe in magic and to still possess a strong enough imagination to believe these things could possibly be real. It was a wonderful experience to me, I will not deprive my children of the same experience. When they figure it out and start asking questions, they will be answered honestly.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 11/29/2012 (10:13)
GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
11/29/12 9:28 A

Like I said, that's your choice and I can dig it, but that's not what the original idea was-which is why I also posted the link to part 3 of that four part series. I also don't like the idea that we have to lie to our kids to perpetuate Santa, and I feel that it does something to their sense of trust. That's just my personal feeling.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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11/29/12 9:05 A

Ummm... I don't threaten my kids with Santa not bringing them presents if they exibit undesirable behaviour. They're children, it's not their fault if they're unruly, it's mine for not parenting them properly. That is also not the reason I want them to make positive choices because of threat of an imaginary authority figure. I want them to understand the rewards of making positive choices and the consequences of making negative choices.

I do Santa with my kids because it's something that myself and my husband found fun as children. The fact that our parents played along just made it more real and magical to us. I didn't feel lied to or lost trust in my parents when I unravelled the fairytale. I understood that they played along with it because it made the game fun and more believable.

So no, I don't enforce or encourage that "naughty or nice" concept, it is impossible for a child to have enough impulse control to control their behaviour the entire year. It doesn't even come up in how we celebrate Santa. I don't see anything wrong with the value in the song in a metaphorical sense. It's true for the most part. If you try to be a good person then you're more likely to be rewarded for your positive behaviour. If you behave unkindly then you're more likely to experience negative consequences for your behaviour but I enforce this value regularly for my children through a system of *immediate* logical rewards and logical consequences.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 11/29/2012 (09:30)
LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 26,673
11/29/12 9:02 A

"What's the point of teaching them about Santa if we're not going to enforce the values that we say that Santa has?"

Santa has values?

GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
11/28/12 5:50 P

Just to clarify...I totally love Santa as a fairytale. I allow my kids to watch Santa-themed movies. It is fun to PRETEND, and we put emphasis on the pretend.

GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
11/28/12 5:39 P

...for your kid if they had misbehaved during the year? If you believe in Santa, if they had been particularly rebellious, would you get them gifts from you, but when it comes to the gifts they wanted from Santa, not buy them and get them coal or switches instead?
Why not?

"You better watch out.
You better not cry.
You better not pout.
I'm telling you why.
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He sees you when you're sleeping.
He knows when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good
for be good, for goodness sake.
He's making a list.
He's checking it twice.
Gonna find out who's naughty and nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town.

I mean...that's what we teach our kids when we tell them that Santa exists. What's the point of teaching them about Santa if we're not going to enforce the values that we say that Santa has?

I know many people say "It's fun for the kids." Do what you're going to do. I just don't see the point of encouraging a kid to be good so they get presents from Santa, if they're going to get presents from Santa even if they're not good.

Personally, we don't "do" the whole Santa thing, and never have.
Here's part of the reason why.

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