The god-mother/god-father Conundrum

16 Jan

At the moment it just seems like I am having a bombardment of babies being thrown at me, just about EVERYONE is either pregnant or have just given birth!

One thing though that I am pondering is “god-fathers/god-mothers.”  Now I am not saying that one day I would definately be asked upon to be a god-mother.  I do not expect it.  But what if someone did ask me!?  Now I know I would say no, I could not be charged with the spiritual/religious upbringing of a child if somehow the parents die, I am a hard core atheist, but how do you say “no?”  How would I explain my reasons as to why I would say no without it being a throat cutting massacre!?

No I do not want to be a god-mother because I do not believe in God?  Is it that simple?  Could there be a kinder way of saying no?



Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Uncategorized


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3 responses to “The god-mother/god-father Conundrum

  1. The Quizzical Observer

    January 21, 2012 at 1:52 am

    I have very similar views to Sandra. I was asked to be a godfather by my brother- and sister-in-law. I said that I’d be delighted as long as it was understood that I don’t believe in any god. I was very happy to interpret the godparent’s role in my own way – so on a practical level, I would be ready to help out in any way I could, all the way up to formal adoption if that became necessary. On a spiritual level, I would be very happy to talk to my god-daughter about religions and deistic faith, sharing what knowledge I have, but would also make it clear that I didn’t share them in any form. I would also want to talk to her about rational ways of thinking, the history of religion and science, current scientific theories about the universe and the planet, etc. On that basis, I was cheerfully appointed, and have a great relationship with my god-daughter. She’s now 12 and we’re talking about all this… I’ve no idea what she will choose to believe, but I will say this. If I’d taken a fundamentalist atheist attitude and backed off entirely just because I had to say some words in a church, then I’d never have had the privilege of a very special relationship with that young person, within which I may be able to help her make an informed choice as to how she sees the world.

  2. Jeff Walker

    January 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I have been asked to be a god parent, and had to decline, as I could not be part of deceiving a child and exposing them to the poison and hatred contained in religion, particularly the Abrahamic trinity of toxic texts and beliefs. I don’t have children, but if I did, I would have sought out godless parents to look after their moral upbringing.

  3. Sandra

    January 16, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I’m a firm atheist…but have 3 god children. Two are my sisters kids and the other is a very close friend. Call me hypocritical but I didn’t want to say no to the opportunity of having an influence on these children’s lives because I don’t believe in a supreme being. The parents of the kids in question believe in god, but know full well that I don’t. However, being close to me, they wanted me to play a part in their children’s lives, and be recognized as a key influence. I was overjoyed to accept their offer, safe in the knowledge that they saw me as the ‘grounded and life teacher’ of all the godparents they’d chosen. Yes I had to say the promises in church, which always feels weird and rather hypocritical, but I, and the parents, know that it’s purely ceremonial, especially in my case, and the teachings and influences I give to their children will be of my own life experiences, and beliefs, should the child ever want ‘the other’ view.
    People reading this may say I’m not a true atheist for accepting these offers, but I don’t see my role as god mother as detracting from my scientific beliefs. I know what I believe, and I know what I don’t.
    Similarly, as an atheist, you could say I should never attend a church wedding, religious funeral, christening, celebrate Christmas, Easter (in the Christian sense)…and so on and so forth. But I do all these things. I don’t pray during any ceremonies I attend, but I’ll be respectful to the service I’m attending, for the love of the people who’ve invited me. I chose to accept the role of godmother to these children, mainly out of respect to the people who asked me. They’re both very close to me, and it wouldn’t have been a problem for me to refuse, but I didn’t want to say no. I feel truly honored to be asked to play this role, and to impart my wisdom and influence on these little people, and I know that my sister and friend, have asked me because of who I am, not what I believe.


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