Part of letting kids chose their own identity is trusting that they will not change their values for the worst.
But, sometimes kids get a little lost, and it is up to the parents to help them try to be kinder and more understanding towards others.
Redditor karrie-2021 encountered this very issue with her daughter. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for banning our daughter from attending a specific church group?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“A bit different from what you’d usually hear, I guess, but it’s causing a real rift in our family.”
“My husband and I have three kids, Jacob (17M), Daisy (16F), and Ben (13M). About a year ago, Jacob came out as gay and started dating a boy from his school.”
“We were happy he discovered his identity, and there were no problems from me and my husband. I didn’t think Daisy and Ben had a negative reaction, either. Our family is about kindness and respecting all walks of life, so I wouldn’t have tolerated it if so.”
OP’s daughter was trying to find her own interests.
“Anyway, Daisy has become more interested in Christianity since going to a church camp two years ago.”
“She’s part of some Christian clubs at school, and she sometimes goes to church with her close friend Mia. My husband and I aren’t really religious, but we don’t see anything wrong with it.”
“Well recently, Mia’s church has been in the local news for some homophobic actions (I won’t be specific for privacy). I told Daisy that she’d obviously have to stop going, and I expected her to agree.”
“Instead she blew up, and yelled that most of her friends were there, that she was planning a mission trip to Mexico (not sure we would’ve allowed that), and that she was being punished for her brother’s choices.”
“I offered instead to drive her (and any interested friends, like Mia) to one of the non-hateful churches in the area, but she declined.”
“She feels I’m persecuting her for her faith beliefs, but I see it as asking her to uphold our family standards. She is welcome to be Christian and active in church, but she can’t hurt Jacob in the process.”
“AITA? My husband is refusing to get involved, so it’s up time to decide how to handle it going forward.”
OP added some edits.
“Editing to add some context: I see some people basing my hubs.”
“My husband isn’t Daisy’s biological father. My husband got me pregnant with Jacob in high school, we didn’t stay together, and I conceived Daisy with the next guy I dated.”
“We kind of started seeing each other again when Jacob was a toddler, and we got married when I got pregnant with Ben. We never hid this from Daisy, but she’s been doing the ‘you’re not my dad’ thing lately, which is why my husband is staying out of it.”
“It hurts him a lot. Daisy’s biological dad passed away about 10 years ago, but he was never in her life.”
“Also, I had no clue Daisy’s church was homophobic, and I wouldn’t have let her attend if I knew. Maybe I didn’t check well enough, but hindsight is 20-20.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“’Punished for her brother’s choices.’ Not sure where she failed biology because homosexuality exists in every facet of nature. You are trying to keep your child out of a hate group, not the faith itself. You aren’t blaming all Christians for the extremism of that one church, so your kid can get off that nonsense. Absolutely NTA.” ~ ValhallaSpectre
“NTA because her now believing her brother’s homosexuality is a choice is a huge red flag for me about her continuing to go to this church. They taught her to see homosexuality as a choice. I think it’s good mom is trying to pull her out.” ~ kateluvsthe80s
“People who are homophobic are usually also great believers in traditional roles, propagating sexism and misogyny. Daisy will soon find out what persecution feels like first hand the first time she wants to do something different or outside of those traditional roles for women as defined by her church.” ~ Emergency_Yard_6009
“Yeah and her saying ‘you’re not my dad’ to her step dad isn’t very Christian as Joseph was Jesus’s step father and he loved and respected him.” ~ teeny_tiny_teacup
“Yep, Daisy is getting the belief that being gay is a choice from somewhere and it’s clearly not from home. This church is a terrible influence, and will hurt Daisy as well as Jacob.” ~ my_best_space_helmet
Some are worried about how Daisy will react to OP’s language and rules.
“Ok, I agree NTA and I’m a pretty anti-religion atheist but hear me out. We’ve seen enough fundie parents try to force their religion on their unconsenting kids. Yes, she’s only 16 and technically OP CAN force her into cooperating but that never really works out well.”
“I completely think this church sounds terrible. I completely think Jacob should feel safe and welcome in his own home. I do not think Daisy is in a place to judge her brother. But, forcing her to go to a different church won’t fix this.”
“I’m sorry I don’t have an alternate suggestion. I’d just say tread lightly so Daisy doesn’t become radicalized. These people THRIVE on feeling persecuted.” ~ Momma_tried378
“Someone commented this.”
“‘These people THRIVE on feeling persecuted.'”
“Can confirm about the last sentence. Modern nationalistic Christianity was built on the us vs them scheme. The more you tell her she is wrong, the harder all her church friends will confirm that she is right.”
“They will see this as she is being holy and the rest of the fam is being manipulated, used and possessed by evil forces/demons.”
“They will discredit you in her eyes. The church will tell her that she is a pure child of god and the devil did this to her fam to test her faith.”
“OP, sign her up for therapy, NOW. Find a therapist who has neutral or secular beliefs, and get her there. Don’t ever indicate that the reason is to persuade her to change her beliefs.”
“That will NOT work. Really. she is obviously going through something. Church seems supportive to her, give her better support. That is the only thing that will help her see the toxic soup she is playing in.” ~ stary_sunset
This is a tough position to be in.