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My baby, Santa & God

My wife is an atheist & I am an antitheist. Our 2 month old was born & is currently an agnostic.

We are divided on the subject of Santa. She wants our child to enjoy the tradition, but I believe it sets her mind up (during a vital period of development) to believe extraordinary claims without extraordinary evidences.

I had hoped to use Santa as a testing ground for her interaction with the masses. Such that; while she will not believe in Santa, she could could learn to 'fake' belief enough to blend in with her peers.

I want her to be happy & healthy, but we will be raising her in the bible belt of the south. It would be nice if she weren't ostracized, at least until she could rationally choose such a lifestyle of intellectual separation.

Nothing is set in stone. Any ideas from those who've already walked this path with their children would be much appreciated.

I read "Parenting Beyond Belief" by Dale McGowan for some insights to raising my three kids (6,4,and 1). There is a chapter specifically on Santa Claus that I liked. I will summarize it here:

Everyone eventually grows out of the Santa story. Let your kids enjoy Santa and celebrate the opportunity to watch them come out of their skin with anticipation. When they eventually grow out of the story, use that as an opportunity to discuss how they used to believe without a doubt, and as they collected evidence (or lack of), they slowly realized it was just a fun story.

"Our 2 month old was born & is currently an agnostic"

If she has let you know this already she is clearly gifted.

"I had hoped to use Santa as a testing ground for her interaction with the masses. Such that; while she will not believe in Santa, she could could learn to 'fake' belief enough to blend in with her peers."

If you think Santa is a problem, you have a much bigger problem than thatů.in April, you'll have to deal with the mother of all fraud-the EASTER BUNNY. How do you deny the existence of a six- foot bunny? The radical right fringe of Christianity does not particularly care for Santa Claus, anyway. We want to create a world where people don't have to 'fake' anything to be left alone. If you are going to bend over backwards to please bible belt morons, you could tell her not to use big words around them, either. But I would opt for telling her not to give a fiddler's fart what anyone who is dumb enough to believe in Santa thinks.

I refused to pass on the Santa BS story to either of our kids, but it is so ingrained into the culture, the kids pick up on it and choose to buy into it because it is to their advantage to believe in a fat guy that gives them a bunch of cool shit. When you point out that it's a BS story, they simply refuse to believe you.

This is quite common.

My childhood experience is that I bought the story foisted on me by my parents, and when I figured out it was a hoax, I was pissed and felt humilliated. At this very time, I was being indoctrinated into Xianity in Sunday School, which I recognized as being exactly the same con game...... grown-ups attempting to extort 'good behavior' from me via carrot stick and badly written fairy tales.

I immediately rejected religion entirely, (won't get fooled again)at 7 years old, which worked to my advantage because I was terrified by the hell fire threat.

I've an Atheist ever since, despite growing up in a Missouri style evangelist environment.

Santa Claus and Sunday school is what made me an Atheist.

How confusing is that?

Have fun, I have really enjoyed being a parent. And I'd also recommend explaining sex the first time they ask.

I am an atheist with 3 kids ranging from 1 to 5. There is no point in not doing santa as far and I'm concerned. It won't make her more susceptible to excepting evidence without proof. Excepting evidence without proof is already hardwired into her brain. Nothing you can do at a very young age will change that. It's an important part of development. That why you have to be so careful about any sort of religious indoctrination, especially up to age 7.

She'll outgrow Santa without any damage or predisposition to religious belief. In fact, you can point to santa, the easter bunny ect later and say things like "You know how to you used to believe in "insert imaginary figure" but now you know it's silly? That's how I think of god".

Another key point, since you like me live in the heart of the bible belt is, be the first person to tell her about christianity and jesus. If you don't do it someone else will and you won't like it. My kids watch Veggie Tales, they know bible stories, but they know them as stories. It's silly and fun, but my son will tell you "You can't live in the tummy of whale", and I didn't tell him that. At age 5 he has enough reasoning skills to pick out at least some nonsense. I don't fully know if he still believes in Santa or not. You just don't give the bible stories any more credence than you do Sponge Bob. HTH

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