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I already have four godsons from before I became a Buddhist and made my acceptance that there is no God about five years ago.

Yesterday my neighbour's son asked my partner and myself if we would be godparents to his new son and we both said yes but as I was driving away it suddenly dawned on me that in the Church of England that the role of godparent is very heavy on the God and Jesus element.

Is there any way of reconciling the two, being a Buddhist but also being a godfather? I could stay there a pay lip service but would also feel like I was being a bit disrespectful to their faith.


  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    I'm curious to know what are your neighbor's ideas as to what you and your partner, as godparents' expectations of you as their kid's godparents? Things have changed quite a bit. Do they expect you to be the guardians should anything happen to them? If you google what does a godparent do, you'll find a lot of things that probably should've been made clear between you and them.

    Godparents can definitely be expected to strengthen the kid's 'faith' in the parents' chosen religion as they grow up, among other things. Probably would be a good idea to have a talk with them.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yes, I was going to suggest asking the parents what, exactly they expect from you?
    Look up "Traditional duties of being a GodParent" online, find a few resources, create a document, and give it to them, explaining that the contents, traditionally, are what is expected of anyone taking on this task. Is this what they want?
    It's also very much worth advising them you are not a christian (you don't need to go into details if you don't want) but that you are 'strong' on morals, good conduct and are aware of what it takes to set a good example.

    Ask them to read the document in their own time, and come to any decision after some thought. Reassure them you won't be offended if they change their minds, and are happy for them to come to their own decision.

    Leave the ball in their court.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    3rd talking to the parents about what they expect. Here, it is largely an honorary role, there is little actual expectation even though the promises might say otherwise. I should say, that is how it largely works in my family and in my experience. I'm sure others take it much more seriously. My Godparents are not remotely religious folks, and while I was baptised I am obviously no longer Christian. We maintain a close relationship, but just because we like each other, not because of obligation.

    My oldest son was baptised, as we were young parents and did what our parents expected us to do, lol. But I have no expectation of my son's God parents, and I would hope that considering my son is almost 21, they would give him the freedom to live his life with his beliefs as he sees fit, lol.

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