Sunday, February 10, 2008

I don't wanna...

Mina came home from school on Friday begging me to join Awanas.

Just fucking shoot me now.

If you've read a post of mine here and there, you would know by now I am not what one would call "religious". Pretty much the polar opposite if we're going to split hairs here.

At the beginning of the school year, the school sent home a flier about an informational meeting for Girl Scouts. When I asked Mina if she was interested, she looked at me as if I had offered a steaming pile of shit for dinner.

"No way, Mama. They make you potty in the woods!"


I guess she thinks the Girl Scouts are some kind of hippie commune living off the land or perhaps some sort of militia. Who knows where she gets this stuff.

I want to tell her that Awanas is basically just Girl Scouts sprinkled liberally with jesusdust, but that would probably only make her want to go more.

Mina told me that Bethany does Awanas, and Bethany is her "very best friend" so NATURALLY Mina wants to do it too. I know you can't always pick who your kid wants to hang with, but why oh why did my kid have to pick to most jesus-y kid in her class to latch onto?

Jim and I are so torn on this. On the one hand, we don't want to keep her from making her own decisions in this arena. On the other, I don't want Mina coming home with a hundred plastic fetuses and a mailng list.



samuel said...

Tell her that, not only does Awanas make you potty in the woods, but they also make you wipe with tree bark.

jewgirl said...

oh, girl, I have missed your blog.

such a conundrum, oy. I don't know what I would do in that situation. how do the girls manage being so close without j-dawg in the equation? she's not a conversiony christian type, is she?

whatever you decide it's going to the be right decision. you're such great rents, so authentic. you know who would be fabulous to ask... politits.

keep us looped, yes? yes.


Earth Muffin said...

We've been there. Last year Big M. wanted to do Cub Scouts. We were not thrilled, but we did end up letting him join. His enthusiasm didn't last and he was pretty darn happy after his last meeting. He chose wrestling this year instead, which was much less painful for us. If you end up letting her do this and it truly sparks her interest, chances are she'll start asking you questions about your religious choices. This will be a great opportunity to impart some of your concerns without it seeming like some big fat "NO!" in her face. Big M. has been to church with his grandparents and has a couple of friends that are pretty religious and he has asked us questions about our beliefs. It's led to some pretty decent discussions. He knows where we stand and that we're ok with him checking things out as long as it's his choice and not someone forcing it on him.

It's crazy when they start developing minds of their own, isn't it? As Jew Girl said, keep us posted!

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

After perusing the website and knowing how you feel about religion (I feel the same as you BTW) I would be inclined to put my foot down on this one. Hard.

The word "evangelism" sticks out pretty strongly in their program outline.

Just tell her your family has different beliefs than her friends family. Like if you were Jewish would you let her go to Catechism?

Having no religious belief IS a religious belief and it's every bit as valid as being a Christian.

SkylersDad said...

I would let her go and tell her that this is the only special place where she gets to repeat all of mommy and daddys "bad words". Just to see what, you know, happens...

Old Crone said...

That's a tough one. I think I would tend to put my foot down on that, but with a good explanation as to why, such as this goes against our beliefs. It's a tough question though, because saying no can definately make the grass look greener on the other side. Sorry I'm really no help.

Bubs said...'s the deal.

AWANA is scary as hell if you're an atheist, or liberal Christian. Think Jesus Camp scary.

We let our kids go, briefly. They wanted to go with friends. They both did great, memorizing bible verses for prizes, singing, etc. But we discussed it with them every night, and they had a strong sense of what we believed the whole time, and within weeks they realized it was wacky and asked to stop going.

The final killer was the discussion of all the groups NOT going to heaven, and Jews were at the top of the list, followed by Hindus and everyone else. That did it for my daughters--they had a bunch of Jewish friends, and realized immediately how ridiculous this theory of salvation was. It was ultimately a good learning experience.

At some point you have to have enough confidence in your own beliefs, and enough faith in your ability to influence you kids, and faith in their ability to see through bullshit.

Good luck.

Grant Miller said...

I've heard people ask about this group before, but never had a clue what they were talking about and I was too scared to ask.

Thanks for clearing it up.

Tanya Espanya said...

How did I miss this post?! Okay, I will continue to scroll up and see what happens.

I'm atheist, and plan to raise my son this way, but it's also good to expose kids to other beliefs...but but but...

Jenna said...

Shit! I just looked at their website, and read "The best evangelism tools to reach unsaved children, youth and families" thats fucking brainwashing! Starting at 2 years old??!?!?! Crazy. Im so glad we live amongst the commies and heathens on the left coast. I would totally deem that an inappropriate activity for my kid. She shouldnt have to think about crap like eternal damnation during childhood. Its cruel!

Coaster Punchman said...

I don't have kids so it's impossible to say what I would have done. Having attended one Awana meeting when I was about 10 left such an imprint though that I might have thought twice before letting them go.

I don't know. If you tell a 6 year old NO! is that the same as telling that to a teenager?

They're just SO much more impressionable the younger they are that it would scare me too much (knowing how the Awanas are out to scare kids into believing as they do.)

I think Bubs' approach sounded the most logical, and that's pretty much how you handled it, so props to you guys.

What a tough situation. I would definitely share you concerns with Bethany's mother, and respectfully request that she (and Bethany too for that matter) no longer discuss these matters with your daughter.

Dale said...

Or you could insist she wear Marilyn Manson t-shirts to each one and star of David earrings.

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