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Elizbaeth

What to do in place of religious traditions

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I have a deep nagging desire to have big celebrations on all the holidays, and I love family traditions and miss the ones I had growing up. The problem is that almost everything that tied my family together was religious in some way, and I haven’t come to a good conclusion on how to mesh the community and tradition of religion with what I actually believe. I’ve even gone so far as to consider being “culturally religious” so that I can have all the social and traditional benefits of belonging to a church community. 

 

Anyone else felt felt this way? How did you solve it and give your family tradition? 

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30 minutes ago, Elizbaeth said:

I have a deep nagging desire to have big celebrations on all the holidays, and I love family traditions and miss the ones I had growing up. The problem is that almost everything that tied my family together was religious in some way, and I haven’t come to a good conclusion on how to mesh the community and tradition of religion with what I actually believe. I’ve even gone so far as to consider being “culturally religious” so that I can have all the social and traditional benefits of belonging to a church community. 

 

Anyone else felt felt this way? How did you solve it and give your family tradition? 

I can definitely relate. I don't think it's the best solution but I think I have a good one;

Celebrate the values and treat the stories as value-teachers rather than facts of history. I don't know how real Jesus and the Biblical stories are but they do have a whole lot of value and teachable-moments to them. I'd consider doing what Stefpai does--teach them as stories to be learned from rather than historical fact. If your sons ask "Hey Mama is this Abraham fellow really the father of nations?" then you might honestly reply "I don't know but does that really matter? Something happened thousands of years ago to inspire the story and (insert value/lesson learned here) is certainly something applicable to modern times". 

I'm a Roman Catholic, but I'm not a religious Roman Catholic in the sense that I have a firm belief in God and the infallibility of the Church. I think there's a whole lot to be learned and I don't discount somebody for having a firm religious belief so long as it isn't irrational (i.e. they don't just say "because X told me to" or "I would be beaten otherwise" or whatever kind of consequentialist crap they might have) but I'd tolerate a lack of an answer (i.e. they don't "know" why they believe but simply do) because that's a significant step towards honesty and humility.

I don't have a lot of family I'd want to see involved in my future family's lifecycle, but I might have in-laws I would want to see. If they were especially religious, I'd be all right with that so long as they don't bully my children (or give me any cause to believe they would). It's fine if "Grandpa" teaches the story of, say Abraham, as historical fact and I treat it as something that might be true and highly exaggerated because this teaches my children that I am not infallible and don't have all the answers--and I'm humble enough to admit that. Simultaneously I'm not rejecting the good value that can be learned from these culturally foundational stories, just opening my children to the very real possibility that they're either false or exaggerated. 

And ideally, I don't care if my children are Roman Catholics or not; what I care about is them having solid and correct moral values with the clarity to see how they can be applied to everyday life and plausible workplace, school-place, or whatever environments. It's not the faith in God, Heaven, and Hell I care about it's the wisdom of having the lessons derived from them. 

However I am making this "general plan" with the impression my children will have an IQ around 120, as mine is 145 and assuming my future wife is at least 120 then most likely our children will be smart if not geniuses. If my children are unlucky and are born with average or poor IQ however, I might have to rethink the above plan because they might never be capable of abstract reasoning to the same degree we can. Of course I seriously doubt this bad hypothetical will come to pass (as a man I'll greatly reduce the chances by both selecting a smart woman and also making sure no one damages my children IQ via beatings, bad food, or whatever) but it's not impossible. 

I suppose I ought to ask, how intelligent do you think (or know) your sons are? Are they smart (110+), normal (95-105), stupid (-95), or something above or below? I don't know if it's possible to accurately guesstimate a toddler's IQ but I think you could get a rough estimate based on your's and your husband's IQs and how easy/hard it was to each your little ones the basics. 

I am mainly asking because you may need to be extra careful about exposing your children to wrong beliefs/opinions because presumably a smart child could figure it out him/herself. 

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Family dinner. Game night. Going to a show. There's plenty of traditions. One of ours is watching Christmas Vacation on Black Friday.

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Family dinner! Totally.

I would like everyone to put their phones down for a while too, but I doubt I will be able to accomplish that for more than very short times.

Vacation. Eating out. Outings. Child sports, and similar activities. Many traditional celebrations are secular, but I get it. 

There is an old Jewish tradition mostly unpracticed, that when something good happens to someone, that day every year, they have a Thanksgiving and invite friends over. Get 5-6 people doing this and your years isn’t that empty anymore.

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After listening to some of "12 Rules for Life." and life being identified as Evil by Tolstoy, better perhaps to remain ignorant of things and proceed as "normal". Recommedation was something a bit different, from picnics and family dinners. SNAFU FUBAR"Saving Pvt Ryan". SNAFU "The Pacific".

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I suggest putting the replacement of religious holidays to the UPB test. If everyone in a society suddenly gave up religious holidays, what would happen? Hedonistic festivals of Netherlands and Sweden? Morbid gluttonistic gatherings of Japan and China? Petty and sour family dinner conversations of France and Czechia? Materialistic Christmas markets with a pinch of truck attacks of Germany and England?

...Or maybe you could go to midnight mass, light a candle, enjoy listening to the hopefully angelic latin songs, sitting on the freezing benches beside your fellow peasant stumbling through life, spending a couple hours empathising with a dead guy on a torture device, and being glad that you are not in an atheist shithole.... Just a thought.

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GLUTTON BOWL!!!!!!. :thumbsup: kobayashi greatest athlete to ever live. Whether eatting cow brains or his speciality hotdogs. Also that Japanese gameshow "Endurance" looks interesting.

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How about a weekly family night? When I was a kid, my mother, sister, and I would go out every Tuesday night to a restaurant. It was short-lived, though, because my mother could no longer afford to do it. Hopefully, if you go with this option, it'd last for many years.

It doesn't have to be on Tuesdays. Pick any day of the week you wish. You can go out to a restaurant or prepare a special meal, then watch a movie or play a game. 

 

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I was raised by atheists, and i am an atheist myself. The only place religion was part of traditions where at my school. Once during Christmas and once during Easter we went to church. Traditions in my family may have sprung from christian and heathen traditions, but we do it because we enjoy it. We get invited to multiple holiday feast at my mother in law, and i will carry out that tradition too, when she cant do it any more. In my community there are often public events in the small towns we live next to, and we often meet friends and family during these events. My partner/boyfriends family have a summer tradition where they set up a tent in their backyard, hire a band, and then they have a huge grill party, where the entry fee is either lots of beer or a bunch of food, everyone comes to the party, both kids, adults and elderly, it is extremely cozy and fun. I hope it helps :) 

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I’ve been MIA for a while just because i try not to always be on the internet, but I’move read over your responses and have thought about them all. 

 

@Birdiefly @Mishi2 @RichardY I think that all of you have said what I was mire if less hoping to hear. I have had a hard time with this simply because I saw a lot of hipocrisy and lies that we’re lumped in with all the good. I’ve really been loathe to toss out all the beautiful, meaningful traditions in totality and I guess I wanted to know that other atheists have successfully implemented the traditions of religion without the lies. Thanks for the feedback, guys! @RichardY your second post was quite funny. 

@Siegfried von Walheim You give wonderful responses! I think my children are brilliant - I don’t have an IQ year, and they’re both very young, but both me and my husband have high IQs, and when I watch my kids I see them figuring out the world quickly and studying things very intently. This does comfort me - I feel less anxious about introducing them to the religious traditions. I would really hate for them to miss all the richness and beauty of the holidays. 

 

@S1988 @shirgall @Jot @Jsbrads I love all of these suggestions! I would only say that I was looking for suggestions about the “big holidays” rather than weekly traditions. 

@Tyler H It probably meant a lot of negative things. It was my FOO, and I have very little in common with them now. 

 

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Winter solstice, summer solstice, first day of spring, first day of fall, Memorial, Veteran’s, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Arbor Day...

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18 hours ago, Elizbaeth said:

@S1988 @shirgall @Jot @Jsbrads I love all of these suggestions! I would only say that I was looking for suggestions about the “big holidays” rather than weekly traditions. 

The big holidays around here are still Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and birthdays. We're just not religious about them.

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Perhaps you can tap into your creative side and invent your own holiday. Who says you have to limit yourself to conventional ones? For example, you can create a holiday called [insert your surname here] Day and have the day focus on anything significant to you and your family.

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