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JWs - My 5 year old is in tears...

 
 
Eorl
 
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 06:13 am
...because her best friend from pre-school told her she couldn't come to her birthday party...turns out her parents are Jehovas Witnesses.

I gotta ask...what kind of God wants this?

(My wife mother was a JW so she never had parties as a child. As you can imagine, she's thrilled with this latest irony.)

(Please don't give me the reason. I know all that crap. Apparently "the head of the preacher man" has invaded my daughter's pre-school.)
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,631 • Replies: 24
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 06:49 am
Aw, poor kid.
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 06:52 am
It really is silly. Why not offer to take your daughter and this little girl out for a lunch (don't call it a party) and a trip to museum or zoo? They can have their own special day together without the dogma.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 06:54 am
Eorl--

Maddening for a parent, heart-breaking for a child, and a part of real life.

I'd couch my explanation as "Best Friends House Rules" rather than getting into an alien theology.

At least her friend isn't dying because the parents don't believe in "drinking blood" and are forbidding a transfusion.
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happycat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 06:57 am
Eorl - oh yeah, JW beliefs and practices are weird. What if you just re-issued the invite to the little girl as just a play-date rather than a "birthday celebration?"

My best friend's mom is a JW and instead of "celebrating" her b-day, Mother's Day etc., they just refer to the gifts given as "things they give her just because they love her." This satisfies the daughter's and grandkid's need to celebrate, yet keeps with the woman's religious doctrine.
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 07:08 am
Of course, this may give the little girl a great chance to rebel one day. I have a friend who grew up in strick Kosher househould, she was forbidden to eat any non-kosher food and never accepted pieces of birthday cake (could have been made with lard). As an adult she nows eats everything and even refers to shrimp and pork eggrolls as her "freedom rolls".
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baddog1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 07:20 am
Re: JWs - My 5 year old is in tears...
Eorl wrote:
...because her best friend from pre-school told her she couldn't come to her birthday party...turns out her parents are Jehovas Witnesses.

I gotta ask...what kind of God wants this?

(My wife mother was a JW so she never had parties as a child. As you can imagine, she's thrilled with this latest irony.)

(Please don't give me the reason. I know all that crap. Apparently "the head of the preacher man" has invaded my daughter's pre-school.)


Eorl: I know you're hurting for your young one & rightly so. You ask for no reason(s) so I won't offer one. Just please be careful not to generalize as there are plenty of believers who find this action as appalling as you do! How about offering an ice-cream party? Ice cream always helps! :wink:
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 08:32 am
If, as you say, you know the reasons JWs don't celebrate birthdays. And if, as you say, you've been around Witnesses, you must know that we will happily find almost any other reason to celebrate:

Rainy day party
Sunny day party
Teacher gave me a star party
Teacher did not give me a star consolation party.

So what's your rub?
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 08:34 am
No God wants a child in tears. The tears thing has nothing to do with the religion; it is simply a situation your child does not understand. All you simply need to do is explain the situation to your daughter. Her friend would love to attend her birthday party, however, her religious beliefs do not support celebrating birthdays. You can still be friends ….blah blah.

I look at it as an excellent opportunity to discuss diversity and differences in people with your child rather than a situation to complain about a particular belief.

I had a friend in elementary school that was JW. We had similar situations - we were simply taught to respect each others beliefs and then we played normally as children. The only differences were at celebrations/holidays she would get a regular piece of candy or cookie rather than one that focused on the celebration at school - we found ways to work around it - sort of like how Green Witch makes suggestions to.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 09:05 am
One of the wildest, hardest partying womanizers I know is a JW one weekend a month. Wink Seriously - he puts on the suit and does the door-knock thing.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 09:12 am
Green Witch wrote:
It really is silly. Why not offer to take your daughter and this little girl out for a lunch (don't call it a party) and a trip to museum or zoo? They can have their own special day together without the dogma.


This is a very fine idea.
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Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 09:15 am
Linkat wrote:
No God wants a child in tears. The tears thing has nothing to do with the religion; it is simply a situation your child does not understand. All you simply need to do is explain the situation to your daughter. Her friend would love to attend her birthday party, however, her religious beliefs do not support celebrating birthdays. You can still be friends ….blah blah.

I look at it as an excellent opportunity to discuss diversity and differences in people with your child rather than a situation to complain about a particular belief.

I had a friend in elementary school that was JW. We had similar situations - we were simply taught to respect each others beliefs and then we played normally as children. The only differences were at celebrations/holidays she would get a regular piece of candy or cookie rather than one that focused on the celebration at school - we found ways to work around it - sort of like how Green Witch makes suggestions to.


Excellent advice and rationale. No reason to sugarcoat this as it will happen again next year. Understanding something is the first step to getting over your upset.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 09:19 am
Absolutely. Teaching your children to respect another's beliefs, whether you agree with them or not, is good parenting. Period.
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echi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 10:07 pm
bm
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Aug, 2007 08:58 am
Yeah, thanks everyone. We did all the right things, we arranged the play date, we took the opportunity to teach her some stuff, but she's still disappointed and I'm still annoyed about it. It's her first real friend, she hasn't made that kind of connection with a child her own age before this.

I've pointed out before (and I'm yet to be shown I'm wrong) that people only respect those aspects of others opinions (or religions) that are compatible with, or at least do not conflict with, their own. Publicly, I have to pretend to respect this kind of nonsense, but I don't. I doubt the poor kid's parents will truly respect my atheism either, in fact I doubt they'll even pretend to.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Aug, 2007 09:43 am
Eorl wrote:
Yeah, thanks everyone. We did all the right things, we arranged the play date, we took the opportunity to teach her some stuff, but she's still disappointed and I'm still annoyed about it. It's her first real friend, she hasn't made that kind of connection with a child her own age before this.

I've pointed out before (and I'm yet to be shown I'm wrong) that people only respect those aspects of others opinions (or religions) that are compatible with, or at least do not conflict with, their own. Publicly, I have to pretend to respect this kind of nonsense, but I don't. I doubt the poor kid's parents will truly respect my atheism either, in fact I doubt they'll even pretend to.


I disagree that people only respect those aspects of other opinions (or religions) that are compatible with , or do not conflict with their own.

As I stated before I had a friend when I was young that was JW and we did not have an issue. We simply respected that she did not celebrate things the way we did and try to accomdate that for example - providing cookies without Santa on it at Christmas or giving her say a candy bar instead of a chocolate heart on valentine's day. I had no issue and did not cry because of it.

Also, on A2K I have seen both - people unwilling to respect others thoughts when they differed from theirs and others that said outright I do not agree, but respect where you are coming from.
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Mame
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Aug, 2007 10:31 am
Eorl wrote:
Yeah, thanks everyone. We did all the right things, we arranged the play date, we took the opportunity to teach her some stuff, but she's still disappointed and I'm still annoyed about it. It's her first real friend, she hasn't made that kind of connection with a child her own age before this.

I've pointed out before (and I'm yet to be shown I'm wrong) that people only respect those aspects of others opinions (or religions) that are compatible with, or at least do not conflict with, their own. Publicly, I have to pretend to respect this kind of nonsense, but I don't. I doubt the poor kid's parents will truly respect my atheism either, in fact I doubt they'll even pretend to.


Well, a little disappointment is okay and she will make other friends. Not to make light of it, but also not to make too big a deal out of it. Life's full of disappointments, so this was a fairly easy one to start with.

And I disagree with your second paragraph in its entirety. In fact, I take exception to it. I don't know which people you are referring to, but I am disappointed to be included in your generalization. However, I suspect my disappointment will soon dissipate.
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Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Aug, 2007 07:37 am
Yeah, I know, it's no biggie, hardly the greatest crime religion has ever committed, but here I get to vent, while in RL I'm diplomatic and polite and put on a show of respect. Hypocritical, but we all do it. It prevents chaos (here, at least).

In Iran, if a married man is "seduced" by a 14 year old girl, then the penalty is death by hanging for the girl. I do not respect this because it conflicts with my humanist sensibilities (beliefs, if I must). Hands up who thinks it's OK, just because another religion says so? If not, why not? Nobody has demonstrated to me that they respect beliefs that conflict with their own. The shape of biscuits is not a conflict. We can all accept and absorb trivial differences.

If this example isn't good enough due to the complex relationship between Sharia Law and Iran's legal system, what about JW's that would allow children to die rather than accept a blood transfusion? How about you Christians, do you respect Wiccans even while you attempt to kill them as your god commands you must?
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Aug, 2007 07:20 am
Eorl - I can thoroughly understand the need for a safe environment to vent so please vent away!

However, I think the example you used is a bit extreme - most reasonable people would not condone or respect the death penalty for what you state and similar type examples regarding religion. That is a far cry from celebrating birthdays to not celebrating birthdays.

I can give you one of my examples. I do not believe in abortion, however, since this is more a moral belief, I would respect some one else's decision to have an abortion.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Aug, 2007 07:45 am
My part of the world is full of mini-malls, strips of stores just off the highway.

Recently a woman's clothing store converted to a Naughty Underwear Shop. At the other end of the strip mall there was a Bible Book Store.

A newspaper reporter asked the owner of the bookstore for his opinion of his "reborn" neighbor. He replied that he felt the woman who owned the Naughty Underwear Store was a good person. He disagreed with her decision, but he was not going to speak for or against her business. This was up to the public.
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