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Marms
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:42 pm    Post subject: Asperger's and God Reply with quote

...

Last edited by Marms on Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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ictus75
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't say it's her "lack of empathy" at all. And she's not that different from many kids her age anyway when it comes to God & religion. As far as Aspies and religion/God, well, IMHO (and a generalization), I think many of us are more pragmatic in the way we see the world (how could someone die for sins I don't have?). The idea of "God" seems a little far fetched in the scheme of things. And as you said, your daughter may be feeling a bit "if God is so great/good, why did she make me this way?" Don't shove religion down her throat, or she'll hate it even more. Keep things open and accessible and she may come around, but then she may never. We all have free will (which makes absolutely no sense, because if God knows everything we will do, then we really don't have free will because our lives are predetermined, just sayin'…).
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FalsettoTesla
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Asperger's and God Reply with quote

Marms wrote:
My daughter is 12 and has Asperger's. We are Christians and try to get her interested in church. The problem is she couldn't care less about "loving Jesus" for dying for our sins. I guess it's the lack of empathy that goes with Asperger's but it's a real problem with me and her outlook on the world. She is at a point where she hates everything, doesn't want any help and is ashamed to be " weird". I'm at a loss. She's so much as said God must not love her to make her this way. No amount of reassurance and talking does any good.


I disagree that not wanting to go to Church/being interested in religion is a lack of empathy. Some people don't believe in God, and that is a legitimate world view that doesn't inherently indicate a lack of anything (other than belief in God). It's offensive to non-religious people to make that connection.

Also, it sounds more like your daughters problem isn't religion related, but more related to depression and self-esteem. Have you tried therapy (family, or individual)? Have you tried getting her involved in any non-religion based activities? For example, say a group that is related to an interest she has, drama, minecraft, painting, math etc?
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OliveOilMom
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of kids go through a phase like that where they hate everything, etc. Especially everything their parents like. Some kids of Christian parents go through a phase where they don't believe in Christianity anymore, or say they don't, then come back. Others really don't believe and this is the first time they have actually realized it and spoke up about it.

I would say to just let the religion aspect go for now. As important as it is to you, your relationship with your daughter is more important and you don't want to mess it up by pushing her about something that is ultimately her decision.

You can force her to go to church with you but you can't force her to believe. Forcing her to go to church, I think, will cause her to associate it with bad feelings and will also cause resentment towards you.

There is nothing you can do to make her believe or not believe. It really has nothing to do with AS because there are people with AS of all religions and no religion. It's just the individual person's beliefs.

If I were you, I'd drop the religion thing with her for now and focus on things that she might enjoy. Tell her that there are times that it's important to you to go to church as a family and ask her if she will go with you then as a favor to you, not as a declaration of belief. That's simple courtesy of her to go with you during those times and it's also a good lesson to teach now, that sometimes you do things for others that you don't enjoy because it's the nice thing to do.

All you can really do is wait and see what she decides later on. I live in a very small town in the middle of the Bible Belt. Everyone is Evangelical Protestant Fundamentalist and most of the parents really force it on their kids. I've heard of parents burning books and CDs that belong to their teenagers because they don't fit with the parents religion. I'm not saying you would take it that far, but many do. I've met more athiest and agnostic kids since we have moved to this town than I ever did when I lived in Birmingham. It's almost like backlash because it was pushed on them so hard. So, you really want to avoid giving the impression that you are pushing it. Also, the bigger deal thats made of her not being Christian now, the more difficult it would be for her later if she does believe again.

My opinion is to just make it a nonissue for right now.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Asperger's and God Reply with quote

Marms wrote:
My daughter is 12 and has Asperger's. We are Christians and try to get her interested in church. The problem is she couldn't care less about "loving Jesus" for dying for our sins. I guess it's the lack of empathy that goes with Asperger's but it's a real problem with me and her outlook on the world. She is at a point where she hates everything, doesn't want any help and is ashamed to be " weird". I'm at a loss. She's so much as said God must not love her to make her this way. No amount of reassurance and talking does any good.

Look to yourself, first. Is your own personal testimony sound? Do you "Walk the Walk' as well as you "Talk the Talk'?

How about your church's leaders? Is there any possible reason that any exceptionally bright 12-year-old might perceive even the smallest iota of hypocrisy in any of the Sunday-school teachers, deacons, elders or pastoral staff?

Consider this: Many people think of me as an atheist simply because I have no patience for religion. None of them seem to care that as I was growing up, I encountered more than a few liars, cheats, drunkards, gamblers and bullies in positions of church authority, no matter what the denomination. To top it off, whenever my father stopped beating me long enough to simply lecture me, he would shout every piece of Christian doctrine he could think of in the most twisted way, and then start making up a few 'Christian' rules of his own.

I'm not saying that this is what your daughter sees, but that by the time I was her age, being a Christian was just one more hoop I had to jump through to keep people off my back. Six years later, not only did I leave my father's house for good, but I walked away from Christianity for the next 30 years! Sure, recently I've gone back, but I'm currently just attending church to make my wife happy.

Maybe there is still a chance that you can bring her back, but it will take more than just telling her; you will have to exemplify Christ's love in all that you say and do before you can even begin to convince her that Jesus loves her. If you do not show the Fruit of the Spirit -- that is, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control -- every waking moment and in all that you do, then she will notice the slightest deviation and immediately know that your own 'Walk' is not 100% sincere.

From that, it is only a single synaptic leap to her own departure from a faith-filled life to a life of cynical agnosticism, or worse.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Asperger's and God Reply with quote

Marms wrote:
My daughter is 12 and has Asperger's. We are Christians and try to get her interested in church. The problem is she couldn't care less about "loving Jesus" for dying for our sins. I guess it's the lack of empathy that goes with Asperger's but it's a real problem with me and her outlook on the world. She is at a point where she hates everything, doesn't want any help and is ashamed to be " weird". I'm at a loss. She's so much as said God must not love her to make her this way. No amount of reassurance and talking does any good.


Let me ask you this. http://bible.cc/romans/12-2.htm The verse in the king james version says "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" but yet Christains conform to this world every day, through its sins, its lies, its perditions, through the hatred of the poor, and love for this world. http://www.wnd.com/2006/10/38377/

Jesus Christ is against deceptions, lies and those who bare false witness but children are encouraged to white lie. I ask why? You are asking your daughter to believe in a moral code but at times you want her to break the moral code that you preach. She may be thinking this but does not know how to word it. If she is then I will word it for her. I will ask why are you putting her into a contradiction of moral standards? Why do you deceive when the bible clearly says not to at all?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, I have AS and I was raised in a very "Christian" home. My problem was always that I would read very clear, logical statements in the bible that made perfect sense to me, and than witness behavior in church and in my supposedly Christian home that was contradictory to what I read. I could make sense of the bible, but I couldn't make sense of the behavior, so I would ask questions and instead of being met with insightful answers, everyone, including church officials would respond out of anger. I was constantly told that I had no faith, or lacked the ability to believe because I "questioned the bible" (not true, I questioned people's responses to the bible). To me, this was illogical and made no sense because frankly it WAS illogical and made no sense. In retrospect, I now see that I was probably right the majority of the time, but everyone else felt like doing whatever they wanted and behaving however they wanted even if it was in direct contradiction to the Word of God. Now that I'm an adult, I've chosen a denomination that tends to practice what they preach, or at the very least they acknowledge when they are wrong and try to repent. I personally find that the bible makes a lot of sense to me, it's the church that has always brought confusion to my Christian walk.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lady_katie wrote:
Hello, I have AS and I was raised in a very "Christian" home. My problem was always that I would read very clear, logical statements in the bible that made perfect sense to me, and than witness behavior in church and in my supposedly Christian home that was contradictory to what I read. I could make sense of the bible, but I couldn't make sense of the behavior, so I would ask questions and instead of being met with insightful answers, everyone, including church officials would respond out of anger. I was constantly told that I had no faith, or lacked the ability to believe because I "questioned the bible" (not true, I questioned people's responses to the bible). To me, this was illogical and made no sense because frankly it WAS illogical and made no sense. In retrospect, I now see that I was probably right the majority of the time, but everyone else felt like doing whatever they wanted and behaving however they wanted even if it was in direct contradiction to the Word of God. Now that I'm an adult, I've chosen a denomination that tends to practice what they preach, or at the very least they acknowledge when they are wrong and try to repent. I personally find that the bible makes a lot of sense to me, it's the church that has always brought confusion to my Christian walk.


I see a lot of behaviors that went against the bible. I've always thought it was me and my fault. I thought it was me who was misinterpreting the bible. The bible frowns against lying but we're all encouraged to white lie. Why? How do I reconcile this? Fnord, do you have an answer as well?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cubedemon6073 wrote:
I see a lot of behaviors that went against the bible. I've always thought it was me and my fault. I thought it was me who was misinterpreting the bible. The bible frowns against lying but we're all encouraged to white lie. Why? How do I reconcile this? Fnord, do you have an answer as well?


These are the kinds of questions that I've always asked as well. I eventually just came to believe that the bible means what it says, and that it's people who complicate it. I personally don't think that you misinterpreted. If the bible frowns upon lying, than it frowns upon lying. It's as simple as that, as far as I'm concerned.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:27 pm    Post subject: Asperger's and God Reply with quote

What if someone told you that starting tomorrow, you would have to face the east, kneel, and pray to Allah. If you are incensed by the idea of this it is probably because you dislike someone forcing their beliefs on you. Maybe your daughter feels the same way.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Asperger's and God Reply with quote

Marms wrote:
She is at a point where she hates everything, doesn't want any help and is ashamed to be " weird". I'm at a loss. She's so much as said God must not love her to make her this way. No amount of reassurance and talking does any good.


12 is a hard age. From a human perspective, assuming God must not love you if He made you "weird" is not an illogical conclusion. And from a 12 year old perspective, feeling ashamed for being "weird" is also understandable.

At this point, I would worry less about her current religious and/or spiritual beliefs and more about building her self-esteem and her sense of security. Many Christians believe that faith is given by the Holy Spirit, so trying to force your beliefs on her is not going to help. In fact, it may make her feel even more alienated.

Teach her by example in your behaviors. Love her unconditionally. Jesus taught tolerance and mercy. My personal belief is that God understands she has AS. Her personal relationship with Him is not your concern, but your personal relationship with her is. I do not believe you will ultimately have to answer for her choices, but you will have to answer for your own. If I were in your shoes, I believe that treating her with unconditional love, compassion, and mercy is what I would want to answer for.

I do not mean to belittle your faith or beliefs in any way. But I have seen force-fed Christianity lead to rather sad results on more than one occasion. And I don't think that is the way it is supposed to be.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/psyched/201205/does-autism-lead-atheism

I can completely relate to this article. I don't think it takes a human to run a universe, because things happen whether we want them to or not.
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Ilka
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is kind of funny. My daughter is 12 yo and she has Aspergers. My husband and I are agnostic. She wanted to become Catholic. This was a BIG issue. Because we think religion is as bad as cancer, so we would never expose our daughter to danger knowingly. We came to an agreement: when she turns 18 years-old, if she still wants to become a Catholic, she can do as she pleases. In the meantime, she can read the Bible and we can discuss it with her, but no church.

A lot of people with Aspergers is agnostic or atheist. Religion just does not make much sense, and people with AS needs that things make sense.

My daughter is going through the same of feeling weird and being angry, but we just keep telling her how amazing she is, how intelligent she is, ow special she is: working on her self-steem. She usually feels better afterwards. Maybe if she gets into some sort of activity she is good at it will increase her self-steem. My daughter just started music today (she joined her school band) and noticed she is very talented (her photographic memory and musical hearing helped a lot!). She was thrilled!
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:29 am    Post subject: Re: Asperger's and God Reply with quote

Marms wrote:
My daughter is 12 and has Asperger's. We are Christians and try to get her interested in church. The problem is she couldn't care less about "loving Jesus" for dying for our sins.


Good for her! Shows she is thinking for herself and not accepting the religious bullshit you are trying to shove down her throat.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:34 am    Post subject: Re: Asperger's and God Reply with quote

TallyMan wrote:


Good for her! Shows she is thinking for herself and not accepting the religious bullshit you are trying to shove down her throat.


Inappropriate and unhelpful, TallyMan.
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