I am atheist my hubby is atheist.....MY mom is catholic........Michael (my son) is the first grandchild and I love the bond she has with him except for the religious part. My mom has taken my son to church (although I've asked her not to) she talks to him about god a lot (I've asked her to tone it down, because i want him to form his own opinion rather than being "taught" religion). He tells me things like God will be mad at me for not believing in him. That our family will be separated when we die because we'll be going to hell. I asked him why would he want to give his trust and love to a being that is capable of hurting his family. If god is so wonderful, then why do we have so much death and destruction in the world? He said it's the devil. I asked him then why doesn't god destroy the devil. he said he didn't know, but would go ask his nana. ~sIgH~
Next you might want to ask him why Nana's opinion on things carries more weight than yours.
I had a problem with my ex taking my daugther to a cult like church. He terrified her about a lot of different things. She didn't believe me but Santa Claus she did believe when he told her, No god is not in just one church, if you believe in god he is everywhere, not just in churches period. She was less than five at that time.
I was driving with son today we we were talking about me being an atheist (he knows what that means)....i told him i don't mind if he believes in god, but i want him to make his own choices and if he chooses to believe in god then it's because that is what he truly believes to be the truth, and not just cause his nana does. It's is so complicated at this age ...haha =)
Young children are not capable of making a rational decision about whether god exists, that's why the churches want to indoctrinate us when we are very young and impressionable.
You are far more accepting than I would be if my mother was discussing religion and taking my child to church with her. I would absolutely prohibit her from behaving in this manner, no matter how good and caring her relationship is with my child. This would be a 'hands-off' policy with me.
My daughter was raised as an atheist, but she was taught about religions when she was older and could start to formulate her own ideas on the subject. She toyed with the idea of god for a bit, but came to her own conclusion very quickly that it simply did not make sense to her. She is a confirmed atheist and a member here on T/A, I'm proud to say.
Hopefully, your influence on your son will a have greater impact than what your mother is trying to teach him, but it is a tricky situation when these ideas are embedded in a young mind. I would set stronger boundaries, but that of course is your call. Your are the parent, and what you say should be respected by other influential adults in your son's life.
Huh. I'd be having a serious sit down with grandma at this point. Why cause a child so young to carry this worry and grief over family separation based on the religious beliefs of an afterlife? I'd nip that in the bud.
It is sad that he says things like that to you but I am sure it is confusing for him as well. As a teenager I was very religious and harped on my mother a lot about her lack of interest in religion. My youth leader kept telling me that not all "good" people go to heaven and thus I was always afraid of who would go to Hell and Heaven in my family. Looking back on it now and seeing the turmoil I went through it was quite inappropriate for my youth leader to be burdening an adolescent with such guilt ridden dilemmas.
Be patient though. The older I became and the more I learned about the world, the more I began questioning my beliefs in religion with the scientific facts that I knew to be true. I am now an atheist, which also stresses my mom. She really just has no desire to join the debate either way. At least I don't harp on her anymore though.
Thank you for your comment...I will be patient and hopefully he'll come around......My mom also won't enter into and discussions with me about religion.....Whenever a topic comes up...i.e. religion, politics...she shuts down and doesn't wanna continue the conversation the minute it isn't going her way.....It's impossible to have a conversation with her ..haha =)