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Oh boy...

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So, my niece and I are very close. She's a freshman in high school. Her mother (my step-sister) and I are also close. My step-sister and I are both atheists. My niece is very religious, thanks to her dad's side of the family beating it into her skull (I'm talking crazy stuff, not just "god exists" and leaving it at that). Last year, I had a talk with her about paleontology and dinosaurs. She said she doesn't believe dinosaurs ever existed because they're not mentioned in the bible, and because her grandma on her dad's side told her that "dinosaur bones are tricks put there by Satan".

Well, she came to me just now on facebook and said she now believes in dinosaurs. I laughed it off, thinking she was just being silly. She then said, "yep, they're in the bible!"....I poo thee not. So, having read the bible a couple of times through, I tried to recall. The best I can come up with is the mention of Leviathan and Behemoth, and her being taught that by somebody who twisted that to mean dinosaur (likely her grandma).


What do I say? I messaged her mom, just to let her know what was going on and see what she thinks is best. I don't want to break her heart and rob her of her faith. If she gets there on her own, great, but I don't want to force that on her. How do I approach this delicately?

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Since she's not an adult and lives with her parents, unless she specifically comes to you and asks, I would just let it go.

I suspect all you'll accomplish if you talk with her about it is confuse her and piss off your family.

In a few years, when she goes off to college, then sit her down and discuss it...

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Lol, so it's wrong for her to be religious? Maybe I read your post wrong

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[quote name='Boner Champ' timestamp='1353626037' post='2012307']
Lol, so it's wrong for her to be religious? Maybe I read your post wrong
[/quote]


You did. I do not care if she believes in a god or not. I do care if she believes objectively false information such as dinosaurs and humans once lived together. I don't want to say anything that will make her feel like I'm attacking her religious belief, but I do want to educate her when it comes to things that are totally separate (like the science of dating dinosaur fossils back millions of years rather than a few thousand, like she seems to believe right now). It's obviously a touchy subject, and I don't want her to feel attacked.

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[quote name='Boner Champ' timestamp='1353626037' post='2012307']
Lol, so it's wrong for her to be religious? Maybe I read your post wrong
[/quote]

Yep.

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Dragons (Tanniyn) were also mentioned multiple times in the Bible. This can be portrayed as 'dinosaurs'.

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Oh so you're telling me The Hobbit is real too?

brb gonna go eat second breakfast

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Well..... Republicans apparently still believe in trickle-down economics.......

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[quote name='Anybodyhome' timestamp='1353681186' post='2012622']
Well..... Republicans apparently still believe in trickle-down economics.......
[/quote]

and then of course somebody brings politics into it....better than increasing the deficit
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[quote name='SteveSmithOwns' timestamp='1353688937' post='2012700']
and then of course somebody brings politics into it....better than increasing the deficit
[/quote]

But the trickle down economics first introduced by Reagan ultimately resulted in the debt increasing by 188% (relative to GDP) over the course of his 2 terms....

[url="http://www.skymachines.com/US-National-Debt-Per-Capita-Percent-of-GDP-and-by-Presidental-Term.htm"]http://www.skymachin...dental-Term.htm[/url]

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[quote name='Anybodyhome' timestamp='1353692662' post='2012774']
But the trickle down economics first introduced by Reagan ultimately resulted in the debt increasing by 188% (relative to GDP) over the course of his 2 terms....

[url="http://www.skymachines.com/US-National-Debt-Per-Capita-Percent-of-GDP-and-by-Presidental-Term.htm"]http://www.skymachin...dental-Term.htm[/url]
[/quote]

not that i'm supporting tickle down economics...but government spending is affecting us more than anything right now. 5 trillion in debt from Obama's 4 years...not the right direction to go

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Puts touchy subject in The Lounge so it doesn't become a Tinderbox thread.



Becomes a Tinderbox thread.

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How about you applaud her for asking questions and forming her own interpretation of the bible and ultimately how she views religion? Sounds to me like she's a smart kid at a very important time in her life where she is forming her own opinions and it ultimately will not matter how you, her mom or her grandmother's view is different than hers. Let the kid be a kid and encourage her to be her own person regardless of how others view it. There is no need for you to step in with a "this is right, this is wrong" attitude. Sounds like her grandmother already tried that approach and that didn't stop her from trying to find her own way.

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I would generally give her all the options without picking one.

"you know, lots of people believe this, while others believe this, and still others....." "you will have to grow up and decide for yourself" "you will hear stuff at school, church, peers, and later at college"

That way, you can be a cool uncle, without troubling her, or upsetting the rest of the family.
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[quote name='stirs' timestamp='1353712171' post='2013057']
I would generally give her all the options without picking one.

"you know, lots of people believe this, while others believe this, and still others....." "you will have to grow up and decide for yourself" "you will hear stuff at school, church, peers, and later at college"

That way, you can be a cool uncle, without troubling her, or upsetting the rest of the family.
[/quote]


That's along the lines I'm thinking. She is an extremely smart girl, so she'll eventually, at the very least, be able to compartmentalize beliefs from scientific fact (she'll have to, she's considering biology for her college major).

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It's a really touch and go subject - especially at that age (and with her background). You hate to see children being raised in a 'think like this' format, but both sides are guilty of it.

Just be as open with her as you can without going into the doghouse with the family.

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approach this stuff like you would if you are on the side of the road. if you know the road leads to a bridge that is out, step up and say something.
if you know the road meanders and goes in many directions, then it's ok to be quiet unless the person pulls over and asks for directions. otherwise, the hardest thing is to trust them.

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[quote name='KBRed' timestamp='1353663086' post='2012571']
Dragons (Tanniyn) were also mentioned multiple times in the Bible. This can be portrayed as 'dinosaurs'.
[/quote]


From what i remember you're right, but it also means the devil himself. A dragon would be considered satan too. So who knows, that might confuse her even more.

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Leave it alone.

Just what I would do.

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this is getting move to tinderbox in 5...

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