God parents

Charlie - posted on 10/07/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I have two godchildren and another on the way but i always feel funny about calling them " god children " because i don't believe in the gods of their various religions .
Is it right to be a god parent for a child if you don't believe in god ?

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Charlie - posted on 10/14/2009

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Quoting Jackie:

Its not right to be a god parent and not believe in god. The role of a god parent is simple. To provide religious teachings to the child if the parent is incapable or passed on. So answer me this, how can you provide the proper teachings if you don't believe in what the parents believe in? You never should have agreed unless you understood what your role was and could provide it. Oh and god parent does NOT mean you will receive the child after parental deaths. You actually have no legal right to the child at all.


The first two are not from religious families and werent chrisitened in a religous ceromony , i think the term is loosly used and while i will teach the children how to uphold their values and and have strong morals i wont be teaching them about a particular god or goddess i personally know my rights and wrongs without any particular book.



The last child who is not yet my " god child " is to be christened in a religious ceromony , i will discuss it with her family , who quiet frankly arent that religious either , and see what they say .



So maybe  i shall call my self their " soul mumma " haha , i think that sounds better and wont offend religious "god parents " :)

JL - posted on 10/14/2009

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I think what terminology you and the parents prefer is up to you all. It is not anyone elses business to tell you and the parents that you guys cannot refer to you as a god parent just because you do not fit the "religious" categorization associated with the term. If you want to call yourself their fairy god parent and wear wings well that is your choice and it is the choice of the parents to choose whom they may for the specific position of being another caring adult and mentor for their children..which is what a god parent is whether you are deeming someone a god parent out of religious reasons or not. I would just be thankful to have someone as loving and caring as you in my childrens lives. And I think it is obvious that god parents have no direct legal claim to anyones children that is why people need to make living wills that designate who they wish to have guardianship of their children.

ME - posted on 10/14/2009

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My son's godparents are my parents...according to my/our wills, my sister and her husband will take over his gaurdianship if something should happen to us. I see those as two different roles, though both know our religious expectations (or lack thereof) for our children.

Jackie - posted on 10/14/2009

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Its not right to be a god parent and not believe in god. The role of a god parent is simple. To provide religious teachings to the child if the parent is incapable or passed on. So answer me this, how can you provide the proper teachings if you don't believe in what the parents believe in? You never should have agreed unless you understood what your role was and could provide it. Oh and god parent does NOT mean you will receive the child after parental deaths. You actually have no legal right to the child at all.

Isobel - posted on 10/13/2009

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Yeah Jodi, it's exactly the same here in Canada...I think it actually is in the States too...you can leave your kids to whoever you want in your will...if push comes to shove it is incredibly easy to over turn. I'm in the same boat by the way...my boyfriend has been raising my kids everyday for years now, but he'd never see them again if I died...it's sad

Sharon - posted on 10/08/2009

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Wow Jodi that SUCKS!



Jodi's definition is right. & I believe, in most churches you cannot be declared a "god parent" if you aren't a member of the religion.



That said - I haven't heard of a suitable alternative phrase for the position of a god parent without the religious aspect. Could you take/send their kids to church without participating yourself? I think you could - it would respect the parents wishes. Although kids will emulate their guardians unless they're much older already and the religion is ingrained.



Since you're friends with them - I would say it doesn't bother you and your lack of religion doesn't bother them. So its a non-issue.

Lindsay - posted on 10/08/2009

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When we picked god parents for each child's baptism, we picked people that were close to us and would be close to our kids growing up. It was more of a special honor than anything else. I wouldn't use it as guardianship(if it had legal standing, which it doesn't) for the fact that they have different god parents and would be split up. I have one god-daughter and it's just more of a sybolic thing to us.

Jodi - posted on 10/08/2009

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Quoting Jean:

I don't think so.
My Mum came from a non religious family but when I was born, she became a solo Mum. She made her Sister and only Brother my god parents. They way we saw it, was if she was to die before I turned 18 (i was born in the 80's) then I would live with one of them.
My son isn't baptised, however if both my partner and I were to die then our son will be in my partner's Mum and Step dad's care. No way would he go to my family.



Jean, this is the problem with the law.  In Australia, it doesn't matter what is in your Will or whether your children have god parents, etc.  Believe me, I know the law on this one - I've had to speak to lawyers about it.  My husband is god father to my son.  It makes no difference on ANYTHING.  He will have absolutely NO legal rights to have visitation with my son if something happened to me, even though OUR daughter is my son's biological half-sister (ok, complicated).  He would have to fight in the courts for that one :(.  It sucks, I know, my Will should mean something.  But it really means absolutely nothing when it comes down to it, even where a half sibling is involved!! 



Anyway, if someone chooses to contest your Will with regard to god parents, etc, then it is very easily over-ridden, and means very little.

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I don't think so.

My Mum came from a non religious family but when I was born, she became a solo Mum. She made her Sister and only Brother my god parents. They way we saw it, was if she was to die before I turned 18 (i was born in the 80's) then I would live with one of them.

My son isn't baptised, however if both my partner and I were to die then our son will be in my partner's Mum and Step dad's care. No way would he go to my family.

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Quoting Jocelyn:

For me, a god parent is basically just another name for "you will be their guardian if we die". It is a traditional role that doesn't really have a "traditional" place anymore (unless you are very religious). So I see no problem with being a god parent and not believing in god.



I would have said the same thing.

Krista - posted on 10/07/2009

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I use the term "godparent" loosely. To me, it's basically entrusting your child's health and well being to that person in the unfortunate event that something should happen to you and no one else (next of kin) is able to care for them.
My godson hasn't even been baptized yet. I don't know if he will ever BE baptized and I still consider him my godchild.
My son was baptized for the sake of my father-in-law, who is devoutly religious. He's a wonderful man and I'd do anything to make him happy so I baptized my son. He didn't care what religion.......just that it was done.

Jodi - posted on 10/07/2009

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My children both have god parents and these were people we chose when we baptised our children. Part of the role of the god parent is to make a commitment to the child's religious education and upbringing within the church. At least one of the god parents had to be a confirmed Catholic. I am pretty sure most religions require this similar commitment.



I think, over time, the term 'god parents' has taken on a different meaning, with less emphasis on religion. However, a god parent has no legal entitlements if something happened to the parents of the child (with regard to custody, well not in this country anyway). I know that one, because my ex freaked that our son's god father is my current husband and he was all freaked out that it meant Rob would get custody if something happened to me. The law doesn't recognise god parents.



Do I agree that you should be a god parent if you don't believe in god? It really depends on how you were appointed a god parent. If it was a Naming ceremony, that is a common non-religious ceremony these days, and I don't see an issue because you weren't making a religious commitment. If it was a baptism or christening, then no, you probably shouldn't be.

Jocelyn - posted on 10/07/2009

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For me, a god parent is basically just another name for "you will be their guardian if we die". It is a traditional role that doesn't really have a "traditional" place anymore (unless you are very religious). So I see no problem with being a god parent and not believing in god.

Jeannette - posted on 10/07/2009

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I think that would be up to the parents. If they know your beliefs, or lack thereof, and they still want you to be the God parent...then they think highly of you no matter!

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