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A dilemma posed by a reader:

I have a daughter who just turned one. And I have been thinking about this dilemma since long before she was conceived. I have always liked the idea of “godparents.” Of course, being an atheist, I don’t like the god in there and their role wouldn’t be anything god-related. I posed this question on a bulletin board for atheist parents, and it didn’t really get much response. There was an “earthparent” kind of theme or “non-godparents” and a few others, but nothing that really jumped out at me. Surely, I’m not the first to wonder what kind of substitute term we atheists could use?

A lot of people would say, “Well, you don’t need them at all.” Or “You don’t need a label.” Originally, we had planned to have a little “celebration” at her one-year birthday that would officially recognize/name the “godparents.” But because I couldn’t think of a label, we didn’t. And now I regret it. I want people to know who I consider my daughter’s sort of “chosen” mentors and who would be charged with caring for her if we die while she’s still a child (other than what’s in our will). And I want to even be able to ask the potential “godparents” officially. They don’t even know I’ve ever considered it.

My husband just says I overthink everything. I thought I should just let this (minor) atheist battle go. But since her birthday last weekend and the nagging feeling that I want to do this for her and for me and for them… I can’t.

Any thoughts?

I would think you could have people fulfill the Godparent roles without necessarily using the label… but I would also pause at using that word.

Perhaps we just need to borrow a term from another language

Are there any Godparents reading this who go by another name?

Has anyone been in a similar situation and found a workable solution?


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]