Positive exposure to Christianity for autistic teens?

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Gee, May 5, 2019.

  1. Gee

    Gee the mail never fails

    That's a hell of a title.

    My family wasn't exactly anti religion growing up, but we didn't go to church often enough for any of the kids to really be indoctrinated to Christianity. My 14yo sister has been attending church with a friend lately and seems extremely interested in it.

    Where do I start providing her with information less coated in a bias of church interpretation? Is there a sort of good diving point for her? Apps, books, videos, websites?

    I don't care that she's finding a place for religion in her life. I'm a little jealous honestly. But because of the area we live, I am worried about her exposure being something that can turn into ignorant hate if not provided multiple sources for the information she's getting.

    tldr: Wholesome easily digestible Christian teen content recs
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  2. Acey

    Acey no foot tall against the wall

    I’ll definitely ask my parents if they have any recs—I’m no longer a Christian myself but my parents both are, and they’re both very much of the “love thy neighbor and don’t be hateful or bigoted” variety and have serious issues with their faith being used in the name of hate, so they might have some good resources for her! (They’re specifically Episcopalians, for the record, but I’m sure they could find some non-denomination-specific stuff!)

    EDIT: I will say that a lot of the explicitly teen-focused Christian sites I’ve seen are, uh...bad. Lots of shit that you really do not want an impressionable teen picking up. So if we find anything good online, it will probably not be catered specifically to teenagers (though it’ll be understandable to and digestible by a teenager, of course). I hope that’s okay.
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  3. Acey

    Acey no foot tall against the wall

    Actually, a few quick questions first:
    1. What’s her reading level?
    2. Do you know anything about the church she’s been attending (denomination, beliefs, whatever)?
  4. KingdomByTheSea

    KingdomByTheSea Well-Known Member

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  5. Gee

    Gee the mail never fails

    Her reading level is about 3rd or 4th grade. Dense paragraphs tend to give her trouble.

    I'm not sure what church it is at the moment . In all likelihood Baptist.

    I'll read through some CoC stuff and take a look. Thanks guys!
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  6. KingdomByTheSea

    KingdomByTheSea Well-Known Member

    Make sure you look for United Church of Christ, because Church of Christ is (confusingly) an entirely different denomination. They might also have material for a younger audience that would fit better with her reading level!
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  7. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    since i'm a quaker myself, recommending the 'quaker book of wisdom' smacks of prosteletyzing, but it's mostly about nonviolence and helping others. i think book lists maintained by quaker sites and churches would be a good resource for you to find things for her, because quakers have been focused on civil rights and the peace movement since the beginning, that's kind of our Thing. so she wouldn't be getting sly little doses of racism or homophobia slipped in there with the love-for-god-and-mankind stuff.

    stay FAR away from jehovahs witness stuff, btw -- they love to descend in a flock whenever they hear there's a christian teen, but the only reason my parents didn't throw out the pamphlets they piled on me was so that we could sit down together and pick them apart for terrible takes. they're full of ideas like 'boys and girls can never ever be friends so they should just avoid each other until marriage' and 'all media but ours is out to Tempt You Into Sin'.

    religion can be an incredibly positive influence in a kid's life, but only if it embraces questioning and exploration, because those are things kids naturally do.
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  8. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    seconding the recommendation to look into quakerism - I was raised quaker, and though I don’t quite consider myself one now, a lot of the ideas are still very meaningful to me and I think it was a good religion to grow up in.
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  9. Acey

    Acey no foot tall against the wall

    That might make it a bit tricky in terms of literature/websites, at least for me.

    Is she okay with children’s media? Because if so, I genuinely recommend VeggieTales. It’s little-kid-focused but genuinely enjoyable for teens and adults, and the morals it espouses are all good ones about love and kindness and being a generally good person even in the explicitly Bible-story-based ones, so I think that’s probably a good thing to suggest if she’s not going through the “kids’ things are DUMB” phase that a lot of teens go through.

    And while I don’t know a lot about Quakerism, all the Quakers I’ve met have been genuinely good folks who fight for what’s right, so consider this a tentative thirding of researching that! I’ve also had good experiences with Episcopal churches as a rule, so that’s another denomination that might be worth researching (although idk how chill the Episcopal churches in your area are—the one I was baptized in back in North Carolina was very progressive, and given North Carolina in 1993 that’s possibly a good sign, but I’m not sure if there are weird fringe groups).

    Sorry I can’t be of more help!
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  10. Gee

    Gee the mail never fails

    I think videos would be good! I'm going to research some youth-friendly quaker-adjacent stuff, too I think.

    I've never seen veggie tales but she might be into it if it's been pirated to YouTube. I wish there was like. A JoJo Siwa of Good Fair Progressive Christianity. That would be like. Top tier.

    Thank you again everyone for stuff!!
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  11. Alexand

    Alexand Rhymes with &

    Is your sister into podcasts at all? And, would she be interested in more of a combined science-and-faith podcast? Because I've enjoyed getting into The Liturgists Podcast lately - both the podcast itself and the community surrounding it seem to have a really positive relationship with Christianity. One of the co-hosts, Science Mike, is an autistic Christian-turned-atheist-turned-Christian, and he seems like a pretty cool dude on the podcast and his social media. Like, the kind of person who's got that healthy, compassionate type of spirituality figured out. I mean, I've only started listening to The Liturgists Podcast, but I've seen other people say that discovering it helped them a lot...

    I don't know how appropriate or inappropriate the podcast is for a 14-year-old, though. I really have no sense of that kind of thing. I haven't heard anything like, sexual come up? I mean, it's a science and faith podcast... Maybe listen to it yourself first? I'm going from the oldest episode to the most recent. The early episodes are specifically about like, the Bible and worship and faith and doubt and stuff, so that seems like it'd be directly relevant to your sister's interests right now.

    UPDATE: Actually I totally forgot that a Bible discussion can, in fact, get pretty sexual. So...now I feel silly brushing that possibility off in the paragraph above. As if there wouldn't possibly be sexual content in a podcast where the Bible is discussed. The Bible, that book where sex happens.

    So...scratch that, there Are in fact episodes of The Liturgists Podcast that are inappropriate for younger audiences. But there are also episodes that aren't. So uh, I guess really do listen to an episode before sending it to your sister.
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
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  12. 3strim

    3strim Professional Accidental Rater

    Adding onto this: there is a prominent Quaker Youtuber who is open about her faith and often talks how she's appreciated that while she was growing up (especially as she is also a disabled lesbian).
    Eventually she decided to put out a video explaining what Quakerism is in her experience, so I don't know how much it falls in line with Jesse and Seebs' experiences (also considering she's in the UK) but if you want to add it to the resource pile:

    She's got more videos about it as well, such as how her wedding went and I think one about going to a Quaker school, if you feel like bingewatching.
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