Monday, July 14, 2008

Hate the sin, love the sinner.

Sean did a pretty good job of countering this person's misconceptions about atheism. Now it's my turn. Typing up long responses in comments makes them difficult to read (imho).

said... While I am not one of those Christians who try
and beat you over the head with their beliefs, I do stand firm to my

Ok. I'm not one of those atheists who is trying to take your God from you. I stand firm on my position that the extraordinary requires extraordinary evidence.

I think the problem that most aethiests have is two-fold, first, not unlike me
in my younger years, you can't stand the thought of authority telling you what
should or should not be done. There is a deep seeded resistance, an innate
rebellion, in all of us that defies authority.

This sentence, just by itself, tells me you have no clue why anyone here is an atheist. If that were the only reason someone were an atheist, then their position would be precarious and deserving of examination/skepticism. You have absolutely no clue what I, or anyone else, was like as a child. Therefore, trying to imply similarities is unfounded. I was, at it happens, the "good kid". I have no "deep seeded" rebellion in me. What would I be rebelling from? How could I rebell from something that doesn't exist? To a certain extent, you are correct in your assumption that I enjoy autonomy. The question becomes: What is it that you have against it. You'll contradict yourself later on. But, to sum up this part of you're wrong about why I am an atheist. And,'re probably wrong about, pretty much, everyone who posts/reads here.

Secondly, again not unlike me, you have probably been exposed, at one time in
your life or another, to "bad regligion." Only in the past 5 years have I
realized that there are probably more churches and "religious" entities that
miss the mark of Jesus than who hit it, probably far more that miss.

Sure. We've all been exposed to bad religions. The problem I see is that I can't see much net good in any of them. They all proclaim to be the "one true church", which means there are thousands of "wrong churches". Almost every sub-sect of Christianity was the jumping off point for a more extreme version of their faith. It's interesting, to me, that you'd be so willing to toss a fellow Christian under the bus because they, in your assessment, "missed the mark on Jesus." It's not their fault we don't believe in God any more than it's YOUR fault. I've better reasons for my atheist position.

I am a Christian who has a spiritual relationship with Christ, I am NOT a
religious man.

No offense, but...if I had a dollar for everytime I've heard that one. To me, it's the equivalent of trying to pick up a girl by saying, "Come here often?" ;)

Scripted, regimented, legalistic, screaming in your face "religion" is not what
Christ taught and if someone claiming to be a Christian has offended you because
of these types of behaviors, then I apologize.

The problem (aside from the whole lack of evidence for existence of a deity) is that an honest person realizes that they have absolutely no certainty about what Christ did or did not teach. So much of the Christ story is based upon older myths and written a few hundred years after the fact. There are no primary resources. The best you can say is that the Bible contains what other people (with their own agendas and experiences) think Jesus might have said two hundred years before writing it down.

Christians should hate the sin, love the sinner, and that's what I attempt to

Do you not see how totally condescending that statement is? As Sean said, "Hating the sin and loving the sinner is an abhorrent idea. It allows you to hate a part of a person, but make yourself feel good, excuse yourself from bigotry. “I hate what you are but I love you”. "
It's one of the most dysfunctional statements I've ever seen. It's too close to a man saying, "I hit you because I love you, baby." Additionally, if that's the kind of love being offered, then no thanks. I'll pass. Love me for who I am, not for who you want me to (or profess I should) be.

So, with all that said, I would say this to the original comment posted.
Spanking is a personal preference. I think the main key to discipline is having
the child know that you are the parent and you are in charge and what you say goes.
It doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't explain why you are doing what you are doing, but it does mean the child should obey.

Wow...all that warm-up to talk about spanking? You're entitled to your opinion. But, I completely and totally disagree with the bolded part of your claim. Parents are not always worthy of respect or adoration. Surely you wouldn't make the claim that an abusive parent is justified in beating their child because the child needsto understand that the abuser is the parent and the victim is the child. See...I think the main key to discipline is to teach your child that there are consequences for every action. Some consequences are wonderful and some are tragic, with many in between. There is no developmental rational for spanking. If your child is old enough to understand consequences, then there's no need to spank. If your child is too young to understand, then it's cruel to spank. Spanking is violent. Put it in a pretty dress and drag it out to's an act of violence between a child and an adult.

As far as the co-sleeping, the problem I have with it is from a
psychological point of view, not from a sexual perversion aspect. Bonding with a
child is vital to them becoming emotionally healthy adults, so having them close
by in the early months of life is a good thing, but at some point, children need
to develop independence and I do believe that this sleeping arrangement thwarts

I can show you hundreds of studies that invalidate your claims.

Even if on a smaller scale. There is also something to siblings bonding
separate and apart from the bonding with parents, and with all of you in the
same room, it is difficult to have that true bonding.

Do you have a problem with adults who share tents or trailers with their children while camping? What about those who can't afford more than a one bedroom place? No child is forced to sleep in a co-sleeping arrangement in this house. If you'd read a bit more objectively, then you'd have noted that I said co-sleeping is optional and seasonal. No one in this house is forced or required to sleep together. What exactly does "bonding" mean to you? Also, above, you claimed that independence and autonomy from authority was a bad thing. Now you're advocating that independence is the goal. Interesting.

Finally, with regards to the church, baptism, etc. I really seems like most
people in this blog have had bad experiences in the Catholic church. I'm shocked
(sarcasm). The Catholic church has probably done more damage to the Christian
faith than just about anything (maybe other than televangelists)else. I would
just ask you to find a local church that believes in the Bible and Christ, not
in a man or woman, and who loves the sinner and hates the sin. And Sean, we can
all get along if we just respect each other, but at the same time hold true to
our beliefs. God bless everyone and have a great day!

I'm not touching this with a You are really something.


Karen said...

@drob: I would
just ask you to find a local church that believes in the Bible and Christ, not
in a man or woman, and who loves the sinner and hates the sin.

@Pmomma: I'm not touching this with a You are really something.

I'll touch it -- hard -- with the back of my hand. I was raised Catholic and didn't have any particularly unpleasant or disturbing experiences with the church; but as I reached late adolescence I realized they were really big on ritual and rules and really short on sense.

So, figuring that my problem was with the layers of ornamentation Catholicism puts on Christian belief, I followed drob's suggestion and attended a church that believes in the bible and Christ. In fact, I attended several of them. Seriously. For several years. And then I found out, and was absolutely astonished by, the fact that my fellow church members ALL believed in the literal truth of the bible. Wow! It just never occurred to me that anyone with a high-school education would be that ignorant.

At that point it was breathtakingly clear that Catholic Christianity was one form of BS, and biblical Christianity was another form of BS. A bit more studying revealed that the churches "in between" each had their own shades of BS. But all those beliefs are short even the tiniest bit of corroborating evidence.

So, it's BS all the way down. And nobody's church is more or less full of it than the next person's.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Sean bows graciously - "I am here all week"

Betsy said...

Why does the rebellion thing always come up?

If we had issues with authority, we wouldn't hold down jobs, obey the law or pay taxes. A surprisingly high percentage of us manage to do those things.

The problem people like this have with people like us is that we actually sit and think about what "authority" asks us to do - is it reasonable, does it make sense? If it is not reasonable, what are the consequences or benefits of going against it?

Not Catholic, never been catholic, went to one mass in my life and rather liked the ceremony (before I knew what the wafer deal was about ;), but I went to "bible believing" churches for 27 years where people claimed to love the sinner and hate the sin. It pretty much just boiled down to hate. (And I think Sean's reply to that is spot-on.)

CrypticLife said...

"As far as the co-sleeping, the problem I have with it is from a
psychological point of view, not from a sexual perversion aspect. Bonding with a child is vital to them becoming emotionally healthy adults, so having them close
by in the early months of life is a good thing, but at some point, children need to develop independence and I do believe that this sleeping arrangement thwarts

Drob is parroting a commonly held assertion, but I wonder if he/she really has thought about the impact of this? Is this "independence" always such a good thing, given the rates of delinquency and juvenile crime?

I'm not saying sleeping separately necessarily leads to bad things, but simply that if you're just looking at argument without evidence you could go either way. Traits such as "independence" are not usually purely positive: they can be taken to excess. Do you really value independence so highly? Is there not a value to also being able to work well within a group?

I suspect most of the resistance to cosleeping is a fear of the difference of it. That's fine -- I'm not telling anyone they need to cosleep, and if anyone came out and just said they're nervous about it because it's different and they don't know what the results would be, that's a valid point. Any change involves risk. Additionally, some parents simply don't like the idea. That's fine too.

What's not fine is when people make claims that it's not fine for my family, based purely on fears they themselves have.

The idea that atheists are simply being rebellious is based on the image of an atheist as a young teenager. It's a bit of a silly idea when applied to adults, as there's really not much to be "rebelling" against for most atheists. We generally accept the authority of the state quite well.

Whether religion is "bad" does not enter into my personal evaluation of whether a god exists. I've been exposed to relatively good religions with nice, friendly people. The ideas, however, are ludicrous. I spent lots of time in Sunday school class as a child learning about aspects of Christianity and thinking to myself that no one actually believed it.

I will disagree with Possummomma on one point. Drob doesn't actually say that parents are always deserving of respect. Drob says the key to discipline is for the child to know you're the authority. Force is certainly one way to achieve discipline, regardless of whether the parent is deserving of respect. Of course, as PM points out, it also is a good way to kill initiative and independence when done correctly. When done incorrectly, it fosters resentment and various delinquent behaviors. While I don't favor banning spanking entirely, I'd discourage its use generally.

Angela said...

I was never tied in any way, shape or form to Catholicism, and I still turned out atheist. Denying the existence of god solely because of a bad experience in church has nothing to do, imo, with real atheism. Most atheists are very intelligent people who have taken years to think through their views, rather than simply saying, "This is just another example of someone else wanting to control me, so forget it!"

As for the rebellion thing, I really can't say if I'm more or less rebellious than anyone else. Rather I just find it necessary to question things before going whole hog for or against them. An example for you: in first grade I refused to say the pledge of allegiance because I didn't want to ally myself with something that, as a child, I couldn't fully understand. Was that early rebellion? That part of my brain hasn't changed in the 28 years since. [shrug]

Anonymous said...

@drob: I hate the rebellion angle. "You don't wanna believe in god because you want to do whatever you want!" No, actually. Dead wrong. To rebel against godly authority we would have to actually believe that that authority exists. We don't. We can't rebel against something that does not exist. Though if we lived in true Christian society that followed the laws and rules of the Bible, I WOULD rebel against that. The god of the bible is not a god I would worship, even if he did exist.

Bad religion. Yes and no. I've been to tons of churches, because my mother could never find one that fit HER beliefs. Wanna know what that told me? There is no "right" religion. There is no "one". One Baptist church can be wildly different from the other Baptist church right up the street, nevermind the many denominations. And then the many many other religions, that people feel just as strongly about as any Christian does for their Christianity. Even after we settled on a church, she would come home from a service and say, "You know, the pastor was wrong about this part..."

Hate the sin, love the sinner. That love is a pretty empty and useless sentiment when you then turn around and try to take away my rights to marry whom I wish and have control over my own family and bodily decisions. To me, love--TRUE LOVE--is acceptance, compassion, tolerance, a desire to see the other person succeed and be happy.

...main key to discipline is having the child know that you are the parent and you are in charge and what you say goes... No. No no no no no. Discipline is for teaching consequences, in oder to help a child determine right from wrong. My father was the parent and in charge of me. I was abused--sexually, emotionally, physically--for the first 11 years of my life. I didn't tell anyone because he said not to, and he was the dad. My children WILL NOT fear me. They will not be taught that grown ups are always right. If they feel something is wrong, they have every right to question authority, even mine.

Co-sleeping/bonding - I have 18 cousins, three brothers, one sister, two children, and a stack of books a mile high that say you're wrong.

Until I visted Paris this year, I had never set foot in a Catholic church. And then, I only went for the architecture and artwork. I was born and raised Baptist. Was baptised, "born again", read the Bible every night through most of my childhood, teens, and early twenties. I got the tingly happy God loves me SO MUCH feelings, I believed without question, had nightmares about the Rapture and tribulation--so bad that I stopped sleeping in my room and took to sleeping on a loveseat with the TV on. I used to believe I was being attacked by demons because I would wake in the night and be unable to move or scream, sometimes coupled with visions or nightmares, and I would pray and pray and pray until it was over (turns out it was some kind of sleep paralysis, which is much easier to deal with now that I know what it really is.)

Xena said...

While not a parent, I cannot see anything wrong with co-sleeping. Especially with how busy parents and children seem to be.

In a thread long ago, p-momma mentioned how other people's children seem to tire her out because they wanted to be entertained. I've had the same observation, but more likely, they just want attention. With how busy parents are with keeping their kids busy, sometimes I think they forget to really pay attention to their kids. It seems like settling down and reading and cuddling and singing and then sleeping would be a perfect way to actually give kids attention. And real concentrated attention. Not the take 'em to the park and talk to the other mothers attention.

Just an outside observation. I never slept with my parents as a child and do not feel that I suffered a bit. But I do remember feeling bad for the neighbor kids whose mother barely acknowledged them accept when they did something bad.

Kevin Greene said...

I just can't figure out from the comment what authority it is that I'm presumed to be in rebelion with?

It can't be a god because I'd first have to believe such an entity existed. 'I'll show you Zues!'

I suppose he means against a church which is something that at least exists but why the presumtion that they have any authority?

Berlzebub said...

@ Drob:
I'll respond in the order of P-Momma's quotations of your comment.

1. I question authority. There's a big difference between that and defying it.

2. In the past five years I figured out that religion itself is a proverbial security blanket. It has no basis in reality.

Oh, and look up hubris, and the no true scotsman fallacy.

3. Christian... spiritual... Christ. How is that not religion?

4. Above (#2) you say that you don't agree with their actions, but now you apologize for them? I appreciate the sentiment, but someone apologizing for the actions of someone else makes the apology empty. Besides, I've honestly never had a Christian offend me. Frustrate, irritate, and make me want to "head meet desk", yes. Offend, no.

5. This part can be translated as "You may be a nice person, but since you don't follow a book written by ignorant people 2,000 years ago you're going to Hell." What you're speaking of seems more like pity than love.

6. Why should they? Because you're older? If you can't explain why they shouldn't do something, perhaps you should rethink the rules. Otherwise, you're simply saying "You should obey me because I'm bigger than you and can hurt you."

7. "I do believe" is not an argument. It's an opinion, and several others have pointed that out.

8. As P-Momma and others have pointed out, they don't always cosleep, and they aren't required to. I would think of them more as "family bonding".

9. I've never had any bad experiences with the Catholic church. It wasn't until I was almost 30 y/o that I attended mass, with my girlfriend who is now my wife. My family is a combination of Pentecostal and Baptist, and I was taught that Catholics are going to hell, because they aren't what a true Christian should be (sound familiar?).

Why should I even bother? I'm perfectly happy with introspection and finding my own way. I don't need someone telling me how I should follow an outrageously outdated book that has so many errors in it that it probably isn't close to the original anyway.

The irony of your comment is how it came off to me. While you probably feel that it embodies "hate the sin but love the sinner", it comes off as smug superiority to me. It seems that you believe that you have figured out the correct beliefs, found the right church, and have all the answers. In reality, it all falls apart when you can't prove your deity exists, that Jesus was divine (if he even existed at all), and/or the Bible is even correct.

ESCartist said...

If I may on the 'rebellion' angle:

Lately, there has been a substantial amount of research done, and the evidence is building to suggest there is actually a 'god-cortex' in the brain, that is, a region of the brain which is dedicated to processing and storing an individual's sense of 'Truth'. If this research continues to be verified, it puts the whole notion of 'personal relationship with God' in a whole new perspective for us non believers-

You have to understand that this cortex in these people's brains, this voice, is as real as any of us are- for them. They assume because they have this 'God voice' in their head, we all have this same 'God voice' (Because the little cortex in their brain honestly believes in is channeling some universal power and thus asserts such).

Thus, to them, they assume that we all have the exact same 'God voice' in our heads giving us the same emotional and self-conscious feedback they have, and we've just 'chosen' to ignore it- hence the notion of rebellion.

Personally (and I speak only for myself, although I'd be interested in knowing if you all have similar experiences), My 'mentor' ('God Voice', whatever) survived my deconversion as strongly as ever, he merely admitted that "He was not master of the universes destiny, merely my own" (in that his perceptions of what is True and what is not ultimately color and control my reactions to my environment around me). This notion that our internal, subjective sense of 'Truth' can de-couple from some ultimate omnipotent universal consciousness is what is utterly and completely beyond the grasp of theists, in my humble opinion.

Does this make any sense, or do I sound as crazy as I fear? (I'm not use to posting publicly about such deeply personal and subjective cognition, but I'm honestly curious if this resonates with anyone else;) )j

Humanist Mama said...

You handle these types of commenters so well. I have had a small influx of religious commenters to my measly blog and they're driving me crazy. I can't stand talking in circles, but they just don't seem to listen! Anyway, great job...and sorry to vent :)

fsmismyhero said...


You don't sound crazy at all. I understand exactly what you are talking about. When I de-converted I also realized that the "god voice/feeling" was just apart of myself the whole time. This was by far the most interesting part of my journey to atheism as it gave me a deeper understanding of myself and ability to better analyze my choices and emotions. Pretty cool stuff! :)

On the co-sleeping topic, I don’t really know if I agree/disagree with it as I do not yet have any children. I do NOT however think it is harmful. I would occasionally hop into mom and dad’s bed when the evil invisible alligator would hide under my bed. (Still not sure where I got that idea from!) Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has studied this from the perspective of the parents. What kind of impact (if any) does sharing your bed with a child has on a marriage/partnership?

MnM&miniMnM said...

"Rebellious" little atheists......jelous much?
I have heard this overused line waaaaaay to much. So in his younger years drob questioned authority and thought for himself? So, what happened? What in the world made you give up your autonomy; your ability to think for yourself? The promise of immortality that can never be verified? or did you just conform because all of your friends were doing it to?
If all your friends were jumping off a bridge.......

CrypticLife said...


My children (3 sons), wife and I all sleep together, so I can give you something of an idea.

It does change the dynamic somewhat in that we and the kids tend to go to bed at the same time (9 pm, roughly). My wife and I will sometimes get up later and stay up, and sometimes will just fall asleep.

The inconvenience of having to prepare everyone for bed at essentially the same time probably impacts us more than the other issue everyone is thinking about when they ask the question: how do couples who cosleep handle sex?

Not having kids, you might be surprised how deeply they sleep. Quite a bit could be done surreptitiously. Also, keep in mind that the bed is pretty large, and on the floor. Still, if you're really going to go all out, it's best to relocate to another room in the house, perhaps even one especially designed for the activity (:P j/k).

I'm not sure if other couples argue in bed, but we certainly don't, and would feel restrained from it.

Incidentally, my kids got the idea about the monster under the bed too, which is really odd since 1) they're already sleeping with us, and 2) the bed's on the floor! What are they imagining, a monster made of paper?


Yup, you sound loony. Well, not entirely. I don't have any "God voice", but I could certainly imagine how one might exist, and it would explain some of the wacko beliefs a bit better. That one could still recognize that the "voice" is not "God" is reassuring.

Psychodiva said...

Patronising git

Betsy said...

re cosleeping - we don't, simply because hubby and I too jealously guard our time alone and it's difficult for us to sleep with little elbows and knees kicking us constantly.

However, I have no issues with it and I have to admit that there is no better "cure" for my mommy stress than a snuggly nap with my kids - stuffed animals, cozy blankets and a few story books and whatever frustration I've had with them melts away. When hubby is away, I happily cosleep with them.

The problem comes when I just watch them sleep rather than sleeping myself.

Anonymous said...

What kind of impact (if any) does sharing your bed with a child has on a marriage/partnership?

I suspect that it is what you make of it. And, I can only speak for my family. If you start out feeling uncomfortable with sleeping with your kids, then co-sleeping is probably going to impact the relationship negatively. This goes the same for, maybe, one parent who wants to versus one who doesn't. For us, it was kind of strange because we never really planned to co-sleep. I breastfed all the kids and co-sleeping made it so much easier. The baby woke, Pdad would roll over to the little bedside changing table we made out of a portacrib and checked the baby's diaper. Then, I'd lie on my side and nurse the baby. More often than not, we'd just fall right back to sleep. I tried the conventional crib sleeping arrangement and found that I can't go back to sleep if I get up and walk around or sat in a chair to nurse. I'd just wake up all the way and get maybe two hours of sleep out of twenty-four hours a day. P1 and P2 enjoyed being in their cribs on occasion, while P3 never slept in hers and with P4, we just didn't even try.
Anyway, back to your question: Pdaddy and I feel that it actually adds time for us to relax and talk without the television or computers interrupting. If P1 and P2 come in to sleep or help get someone to sleep, they join in the conversation. It's really a time of calm reflection of the day for us.

I will say that, though I'm clearly okay with co-sleeping, I couldn't be sexual with Pdad in the family bed/nursery. Noooooo. We have a master bedroom for that. I think it would be really, really inappropriate for us to have sex in a room with our school aged kids.

Pdad and I see it this way: our kids will eventually leave and have their own families. The time is going by so fast that both of us feel that we need to treasure every moment. As excited as we are that P1 and P2 are growing up and doing new things that don't always include us, I'm glad we have the memories and moments that we've created. I don't think that ever hurts a marriage.

Gramomster said...

Hubby and I coslept with both kids, also due to breastfeeding, as well as a belief that by creating a strong bond of trust when they were soooo little, they would more easily move into independence. With both of them, they moved into their own beds at about 1 and 1/2 - 2ish. Partly, they weaned, partly the new baby came (in the case of number 1) and partly, staying on the bed with the H-bar was getting to be too challenging for me and the hubby.

I too, P-momma, couldn't go back to sleep if I got up and walked around or sat in a chair to nurse. Roll over, hook-em'-up, all was well. With the infants, obviously, as they are 2 years apart, we pulled off the sex thing. I totally agree that it is fully inappropriate with anyone at or nearing school age. But, a king size mattress on the floor with one little teensy thing.... well, let's just say there's plenty of room left over.

As to the independence thing... check and check.

ESCartist said...


Considering that my mother is a clinically diagnosed schizophrenic (And a religious zealot, interestingly enough), I'm fully prepared to admit that I've got at least some of the 'loony' gene in me. Hell, the clinical definition of schizophrenia is a disconnection between one's mental reality and the consensus reality, so I believe its fully possible that the condition itself is a side effect of this 'God/Truth' cortex being over developed (as to, say, have the ability to take control of an individuals inner monologue as the 'voice of god' so to speak.)

As they further isolate this portion of the brain, I'm going to be very interested to see if there is any form of correlation between its development/size/connectivity and an individuals propensity towards religious propaganda and or schizophrenia.

Anyways, great thread as always pmomma, sorry for the thread-jack:)


DropsofJu said...

Can some body explain what co sleeping is? What is it some new theory of bed time stuff? I have never heard of it before this blog. I gather that it's just everyone sleeps in one bed but why if you can afford not to? Third world places, ok I can see that but like why would you do that in the United States in a home like possummommas?

Do you need special stuff to do it when the baby is firstly born? You could sqaush them if you aren't careful. What about suffocating.

Anonymous said...

DropsofJu said...
Can some body explain what co sleeping is?

It's just as it says: co-sleeping = sleeping with, sleeping together

What is it some new theory of bed time stuff?
New? No, not at all. In fact, it has been the standard in most cultures until the late-19th century. Think of it this way, do you think native americans had different tents for each child? What about pioneers? I don't remember what the actual statistic is, but the WHO (World Health Organization) used to project that it was practiced in about a third of the world in 2002.

I have never heard of it before this blog.
Really? I
I gather that it's just everyone sleeps in one bed but why if you can afford not to?
It depends on the family and their circumstances. Comfort levels play a factor as well. There are some, as you've seen here, who practice it for their infant, but transfer kids to independent sleeping at a certain age. Others, like us, keep it very flexible. In some cases, only one parent co-sleeps. There are so many variables.

As to why anyone with means would practice it, I guess it's because it has very little to do with money or status. It's about bonding with your child and being in tune to their needs, both emotional and physical, 24/7. There are many, many benefits. We had preemies. Each one of our chidlren was early. Co-sleeping or "kangrooing" are recommended because preemies who sleep on their mothers have fewer incidents where they forget to breathe. The constant rise and fall of the parent's chest is like a physiological reminder to breathe. There is less risk of SIDs (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and a noticable difference in the over-all health of children who are allowed to co-sleep. There's a lot of physiological justification for that. For example: If my kids get sick, I know it immediately. If P2 starts having trouble with his asthma, I hear it and we can treat it before it gets bad. Kids who co-sleep are, contrary to popular belief, less likely to be afraid of the dark and better sleepers.

I won't argue that there's not a payoff for me or my husband. I've talked about the reasons we enjoy it.

Third world places, ok I can see that but like why would you do that in the United States in a home like possummommas?
Again, it's not about your house or your income. People who DON'T co-sleep aren't bad parents and I'm sure they love their children every bit as much as I love mine. It's not a contest. But, FOR US, it's time we cherish and it's what's best for our kids and our situation. That's it.

Do you need special stuff to do it when the baby is firstly born?
Nope. Actually, it requires a lot less "stuff". :) We always had a crib in the nursery and a basinet or basket that we could put into the rooms we were in during the day. But, really...all you need is a few more pads to catch diaper over-flow at night or spit up. Other than, you don't need extra items. A company called "Arm's Reach" makes little cribs that you can adjust to the height of your bed so that baby can be with you but not in the same bed. I think it's a waste of money, but I know some moms who loved them.

You could sqaush them if you aren't careful. What about suffocating.
It's really a non-issue. So long as you don't have too many pillows or super, super soft bedding it's not bad. And, you really don't roll over your child. As I said above, when you co-sleep, you develop a very honed sense of where the children are and how they are sleeping.

Just for the record, though, because I don't want P1 and P2 getting teased...sleeping in the same room as they wish is not the same as sharing a bed with everyone. Our nursery room has a set of bunks, a twin bed, and a queen sized mattress on the floor. During school, the older ones tend to go back to their rooms. It's really just a lot of fun if you're a close family. You can do movie nights without worrying about waking the little ones to carry them to bed. It allows us to keep tabs on one another with no interuptions. And, it's been a time when we've had the best discussions with the kids. Guards go down and people relax when they're comfy. :)

I also want to say that I am in no way suggesting that our method is the only method or something everyone should try. I don't think people are bad parents for not co-sleeping. I don't think they're selfish or anything of the sort. There's no one, right answer.

yuyay said...

You could sqaush them if you aren't careful. What about suffocating.
It's really a non-issue. So long as you don't have too many pillows or super, super soft bedding it's not bad. And, you really don't roll over your child. As I said above, when you co-sleep, you develop a very honed sense of where the children are and how they are sleeping.

Actually, I'm curious if there have been studies on the safety of infant co-sleeping. I know it happens all over the world in large numbers so any tragedy is just a blip in the numbers, but the first time I heard of infant co-sleeping, it did not end so well. A woman I knew in Argentina lost her first child when she rolled over and smothered her while she was sleeping. They were co-sleeping out of necessity, not choice. They lived in a slum (called a villa miseria there) and co-slept to keep warm, so too many pillows and super soft bedding were not an issue. I wonder how much the smaller bed and cold affected it.

Now I know this one anecdote does not negate the success that billions of people have had, but it does make me wonder about the safety of it all. Has anyone done any research on the safety? As for me, I would be comfortable and fully plan to have our infant(s) in the same room with us but given how deeply (and out of tune with everything around me) I sleep I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing the bed.

redd said...

Here's an article about the research into co-sleeping.

We co-sleep/slept.
Oldest son only came in if he wet his bed, or had a nightmare...he was always welcome, but he had a high degree of self sufficiency from early on, and he chose to sleep in his bed more often than not.

When my next son came along, he co-slept for nursing, for about the first year or so. When he developed asthma at the age of 2, I was afraid I wouldn't hear him in the middle of the night, so when husband was gone, our son slept with me. My husband works nights, and so is used to being up until 5-6 am. The nights he was off, our son slept in his crib, since there was an awake adult nearby.

As he got older, my middle son chose his bed more often, until he was around 7, and decided that he was a big boy. He only ever slept with me again during occasional nightmares.

Next son...same pattern. nursing, then asthma fears kept him sleeping with me/us. He still comes into my room to read with me before bed (he's 11 now) and most often, he will lay next to me for 10 minutes after lights out, then kiss me goodnight and go to his own room. Maybe 2-3 times a month, he'll fall asleep.

I think the key to developing independence in kids is to support their venturing forth, but always give them a safe harbor to come back to, if/when they need it. This of course applies to more than co-sleeping.
I can assure anyone who doesn't have kids..."sleeping like a baby" is a most unrestful sleep! They toss and turn and make little noises all night long...I don't think there was any way I could have "forgotten" they were in the bed with me. They also seem to have an instinctive need to sleep sideways on the bed...feet on one parent, head against the other! YOU try sleeping deeply when you're being kicked in the stomach, or head butted in the chest!

Gramomster said...

Yes yes yes! The sleeping sideways! We called our daughter the H-bar because of that. And she'd stretch out all long, so hubby was clinging to one edge of mattress, and I to the other. She was as sprawly and comfy as could be.

redd said...

Regarding the whole ignorance about atheism...
Do you really believe that all of us gave up on eternal salvation for ourselves and often, for our children, ON A WHIM?!
What arrogance to assume that only those with faith have thought the whole thing through..the rest of us apparently just got a wild hair up our collective asses one day.

I became an atheist at the age of 38. That's 38 YEARS. This was not a teenage rebellion; you can be sure that I didn't leave my church or my faith without much thought, prayer, research and meditation.

I have been to mass several times with catholic friends, and even belonged to a catholic youth group, but I was raised lutheran. I have a jewish godmother, and also visited temple a few times. I attended a christian school, with lutherans, baptists, catholics, methodists, etc. as classmates. I became one of the JWs as an adult, and now belong to a pagan homeschooling group. Being in the deep south, I've been exposed to several varieties of baptist and pentacostal churches, and my husband's family is presbyterian.

So, I'd venture to say that I've learned much about a wide variety of faiths and belief systems...and I agree with's all bullshit; it just comes in different wrapping paper.

As Robert Ingersoll said " every religion the priest insists on five things -- First: There is a God. Second: He has made known his will. Third: He has selected me to explain this message. Fourth: We will now take up a collection; and Fifth: Those who fail to subscribe will certainly be damned."

aimee said...

Since people are leaving comments about co-sleeping, I was wondering if I could get some advice on potty training? I have a daughter who turned 3 a week ago. She is showing no interest. The "Once Upon a Potty" video only taught her the word "poo-poo" and nothing else. She is very smart and knows what she is doing, but I just can't seem to get her to do her 'business' in the potty. Any tips? I thought girls were supposed to be easier!

Anonymous said...

Aimee -

I don't think there is anything you can do! Honestly, I tried EVERYTHING with my son. He was nearly four, and I needed him out of diapers before he started preschool, but nothing I did worked. I exhausted every trick in every book. Then one day, he jumped up, ran to the toilet, and was using the potty from then on.

My daughter, same thing. I wasn't as aggressive with her, thinking maybe that was where I went wrong with my son. (There was a lot of pressure from family and friends to get him trained when he was 2, and I felt like a horrible failure when his 4th birthday rolled around.)

Anyway, I took my time with my daughter. We would try something for a week or so (rewarding sitting on the toilet for x minutes with a piece of candy), and when it didn't work, we would take a few weeks off and try again. We started this as soon as she showed interest, around 2 years. My husband got frustrated a few times, but I stuck with being patient and reminding myself that it wasn't a big deal.

And to make this comment EVEN LONGER. What seemed to work was buying her her own little potty and putting it in the living room. It was an adjustment, having her jump up and pee during dinner, but it worked! And when she jumped onto it off the couch and spilled pee all over the carpet...well, that was when we (I) decided it was time for the little potty to "break" and transition to the big one. :)

Anonymous said...

Yuyay said...Now I know this one anecdote does not negate the success that billions of people have had, but it does make me wonder about the safety of it all.
There've been many studies. You can find some of them indexed here:

There were some studies conducted by crib manufacturers who said co-sleeping was dangerous. I can't imagine why they're against co-sleeping? *wink* But, that study has several problems that Dr. Sears explains in the link that Redd provided.

Safe co-sleeping is safer than leaving an infant in a crib. Now...what is "safe" co-sleeping? For one, you don't ever want to co-sleep with your infant while you're intoxicated. Since being drunk takes away sensation and makes someone sleep very, very heavy, it's probably not a good idea to get into a bed with a baby.

Using a firm mattress.
Making sure there's no gap between the top of the mattress and the wall. And, generally, just employing a little common sense. :)
You don't have to cosleep in the bed with an infant, either. We have a sensuously comfy recliner on our couch and that's where I slept with all the kids when they were newborns until about a month old. The other safety "feature" is making sure your older kids aren't in places where they could kick or hit baby. That's why, for us, having the nursery with a queen sized bed was wonderful. The other kids could still sleep on the bunks of toddler bed.

aimee said...

Sorry for asking the potty question here. I didn't mean to take this in another direction :(

aimee said...

About the hate the sin, love the sinner, that sounds a lot like my in-laws.
They'll say things like, "It's not that we hate the gays, it's just that we don't like their behavior or choices."
Or fill in the blank with just about anything else that goes against christian beliefs.

Anonymous said...

It's perfectly fine, Aimee. I didn't mean to imply that it wasn't. It's just funny, to me. :)

I plan on typing a response for you as soon as the laundry is done.

Corbie said...

Oh, dear! If only Drob had thrown in something about "hating God," we could have had the whole "Real Reasons People Are Atheist" trifecta:
1. "You haven't found the true Christian/church/belief system." - check.
2. "You're rebelling against God/society/your parents/authority." - check.
3. "You're angry at/hate God." - missed.

Along with the "hate the sin, love the sinner" condescension, I really looooove "I know you and your motivations" condescension. (/sarcasm)

Anonymous said...

Sorry it took me forever to get around to this. I have to admit that I just plain forgot. :(

Since people are leaving comments about co-sleeping, I was wondering if I could get some advice on potty training?
Certainly! Though, I'm not sure I have better advice, on that topic, than what you've likely received.
I have a daughter who turned 3 a week ago. She is showing no interest. The "Once Upon a Potty" video only taught her the word "poo-poo" and nothing else.
From what I understand of physiology in children, we really shouldn't expect a child to be completely trained until four. And, it looks like there's a wide range of normal. We've had them trained as young as two-and-a-half and as late as...well, P4 is almost four and we just recently got him "trained" (which, for me is when you don't have to use the night diapers for accidents). If she's showing no interest, then trying to make her use the potty might backfire. You don't want negative emotions associated with this. But, that's not to say you shouldn't encourage her to use a potty or regular underwear. Just don't let it become a battle of wills. With one of the kids, I got into the habit of just getting them to come in while I was on the potty. We'd sit and talk and next thing you know...success. :) I think of it this way: if you'd done things the same way for three years, then it would take you a while to change and have a good reason to change, right? Same with kids. When you change a diaper, the kid gets, give them the attention elsewhere.

She is very smart and knows what she is doing, but I just can't seem to get her to do her 'business' in the potty. Any tips? I thought girls were supposed to be easier!

Girls have been easier in my experience, but not very much. I would just make potty time a relaxing "chat with mommy" time. Put the little potty seat (if you have one) on the floor in front of you OR sit on a tub ledge while she sits on the potty. We bought fun, foamy soap that the kids got to use if they used the toilet. We got charts with star stickers. And, those were the end, it was just something they decided.

aimee said...

Thanks for getting back to me on that.

Anonymous said...

FYI - modern scholarship does not agree with your statement that what we know of Jesus comes from things written hundreds of years after the fact.

Most scholars believe, for example, that the Gospel of Mark was written between 65-68 A.D., and other NT documents were written much earlier.

Berlzebub said...

FYI - modern scholarship does not agree...

References and citations?

Berlzebub said...

@ deathtotheworld:
(Sorry for the double comment, but I was about to leave work when I read the last one.)

Most scholars believe, for example, that the Gospel of Mark was written between 65-68 A.D., and other NT documents were written much earlier.

That gospel was written over a lifetime, approximately 30 years (I'll find a citation if necessary, but my internet is acting up, now), after Jesus supposedly died, and I have seen no corroborating evidence from outside the NT that Jesus ever existed at all. Without outside corroborating evidence the Bible is just another book.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Add to that the fact that all we do have are copies of those early texts now I don't have the reference handy but these copies from memory date anywhere from the first to the third century (could be wrong)and were created by amateur scribes.