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coast of Borneo

Image by angela7dreams via Flickr

I have nowhere else to turn. My kids are being raised to be religious fanatics and there’s not much I can do about it. I’m fully aware that any resistance I put up to their Mother’s indoctrination will push them in the other direction.  Choice wins over force everytime.

Am I being melodramatic and oversensitive?  Perhaps

First, I’m probably hyper sensitive in this area for a few reasons:

1. I’m gay. While it wasn’t the only reason for the divorce, it was a big part obviously. That makes me in believer eyes a double danger to my kids. Gay and apostate. Also, if it matters…I didn’t leave my ex or cheat on her. I did decide to come out to her and admit it. Then, she filed for divorce. I’m single right now.

2. My ex moved my children out of state. I fought it in court and lost. Although I tried not to involve the kids in the battle, they know it happened and they know Mom won.

3. I’ve taken my sons to every church father-son campout; I drove 6 hours to take my daughter to a Daddy-Daughter event; I’ve always attended sports games and teach an art lesson in my kid’s school classrooms once a year. I still see them 2 weekends a month. I’m very involved even though I’ve had to bear the brunt of the distance and I’ve never shied away from church related events.

4. I try to never mention the religion directly, but have tried to teach them to think for themselves…sometimes successfully and sometimes I fumble and it’s obvious I’m talking about the church. I try not to though. I want my life as free from it as possible and I try to give my kids a taste of that as well.

5. My son just wants to fit in with the other family. And this is the age that that is important. He has several cousins his age on that side. My ex’s family are the type of believers who will never have any significant calling but are as blind and gullible as they come. They glorify naivete and disdain learning. It’s a classic case of what I originally found so endearing has become my nemesis. We’re talking smug, only read what we already believe, everyone not with us is against us, type of people here. Portions of my family are the same. I don’t care so much WHAT my kids believe, but I do care HOW and WHY. Watching them turn off their brains is tough.

6. I know every divorce causes a choosing of sides and you can’t expect family members to NOT have a relationship with your ex, but mine have done it with particular flair. Relatives of mine who my ex really didn’t like rally around her and they suddenly have a relationship that didn’t exist before, their status of believers being the only common denominator.

7. I know my kids DO talk to me about things they’d never feel comfortable talking to their Mom about. Their bodies and puberty, etc… And their Mom is a lunatic when it comes to nudity and their bodies. Unfortunately I see that rubbing off on them….

8. I keep trying to remind myself that I was exactly like my son at 13 and it took me until 38 to figure it out. My Mom was fanatic believer and my Dad very laid back. I followed my Mom’s leanings. How can I expect him to be any different?  It think it just kills me because I want a better relationship with my son than I had with my Dad.

9. It’s one of those cases that I feel like if I give an inch I’ll have to give a mile. I’ll soon be driving 6 hours to take my kids to church for 3 hours and then driving back for 6 hours.