“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Feb 16, 2014
DEAR AMY: I am a 12-year-old boy in a strict Italian Catholic family.

Recently I have been reading lots of Jewish texts. I want to start conversion to Judaism after my 13th birthday in March, but I don't think my parents will be supportive. I haven't actually brought it up yet.

Should I say anything, or should I hold my peace until moving out of the house in five years? Honestly, I don't think it can wait that long.

There is a burden on my heart that can only be eased by freedom to worship at a temple, celebrating Shabbat and keeping kosher. Whenever I make the slightest reference about Judaism my mom says, "You're not Jewish, so stop talking about it!"

Recently I tried celebrating a Jewish holiday and my brothers and sisters teased me. I want to convert and be finished with my conversion before college and celebrate Judaism for the rest of my life.

I have thought deeply about this for a long time -- almost a year. What do you think I should do? How would I go about telling them (if that is the right idea)?-- Confused

DEAR CONFUSED: Your parents are already aware of your interest in Judaism, and I hope they choose to support this important spiritual journey. If it is possible for you to do so, you should meet with your local rabbi to find out about the process of conversion and to gather his wisdom about how to approach this with your folks. If your family members are regular church goers, you could also seek to speak with your church's youth pastor or parish priest.

At some point you are going to have to speak with your parents about this. You should start the process by asking them, seriously and sincerely: "I would like to explore converting to Judaism. Will you support me in doing this?" Asking them outright: "Will you support this?" may prompt a "yes."

If they dismiss your effort at conversion, you may be able to get them to compromise by allowing you to attend Jewish services without converting.

DEAR AMY: Facebook has created problems with unwanted guests. We are seniors living in the mountains. Everyone wants to visit our area. Facebook friends say, "We are coming to visit you," (not your state or your city, but you)! They do not wait to be invited.

We do not know many of these people and live remotely by choice. With Facebook and GPS they are able to land right on our doorstep. Then they would like us to drive them around, take them to dinner, pick up the check, etc.

Some will intrude for days! Yes, we are open to FB friends but not as guests. How do we head them off at the pass?-- Weary in the West

DEAR WEARY: I hope you are exaggerating. First of all, turn off the "location services" in the settings area of Facebook. There is no need for every Facebook friend to be able to geographically triangulate you and land on your doorstep. Don't say exactly where you live and don't let FB disclose it either.

Most important, you really need to learn to say no. It's simple, really. You just say, "Sorry, we don't want to have houseguests."

DEAR AMY: This is a suggestion for "Drowning in Baby Supplies."

I am an aunt to 13 nieces and nephews. Birthdays, Christmases and special occasions can get expensive for me.

I decided that at age 5, instead of giving a present I put money into an investment account for them to receive when they are 18.

They can use the money however they wish, be it to buy a computer for college or help buy their first car.

In a card, they receive the monthly statement showing their account, in which I discuss how investment values go up and down, and teach them risk tolerance and adjusting investments accordingly.

Although my gift is lame while they are too young to appreciate it, I become the coolest aunt when they get a huge check on their 18th birthday.-- Aunt Money Bags

DEAR AUNT: This is a fantastic idea. Thank you.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#2 Feb 16, 2014
1- I doubt you came to this decision on your own. And you're a little young to decide your faith for the rest of your life, and to assume you'll move out for good at 18. Have a frank discussion with your parents and religious leader.

2- I didn't realize facebook gave my address to all my friends. Now I've got to worry about jamwow and Mattie showing up and violating me in my sleep.

3- Yay for you? Buying presents for all 13 nieces and nephews got too expensive, but you can afford to give them all monetary gifts?

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#3 Feb 16, 2014
LW1- hahahahaha! Amy is obviously not Catholic. Right around the time that someone is supposed to be confirmed, he says to his parents "I would like to convert to Judaism" and she thinks that they will say "sure"? I laughed so hard that tears started rolling down my face.

My husband's cousin converted to Luteranism (Catholic-lite) in his forties and his Mother still asks "how could he do this to me? What did I do wrong?"

Worst advice columnist EVER.

Wait until you are 18 and out of the house, get some real world experience, then make whatever conversion calls to you after some soul searching and in-depth studying. I don't think that conversions should be made lightly.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#4 Feb 16, 2014
L1. LOL. This sounds like the proverbial case of un unstoppable force coming up against an immovable object.
If she is a devout Catholic, I highly doubt moms is going to be too keen on the idea of you going to temple.

Claremont, CA

#5 Feb 16, 2014
LW1 - What is Amy smoking? No, your parents and your priest are NOT going to be open to your conversion. If you try to meet with a rabbi (how, pray, will you do that at age 12 or 13 without parental consent?), your parents are probably going to ground you until your 40th birthday.

What you can do is keep reading and learning. You can convert after you turn 18, but please be prepared to deal with a rift with your parents. If your faith is stronger than that, do it.

LW2 - Why is your address available to everybody on FB? And why can't you tell people that they are not welcome unless specifically invited?

LW3 - I can see how buying presents can be expensive, but giving money is less so. You can't buy a $10-or-under present without looking cheap. You can, however, put $10 into a bank account for the kid and not look cheap. Of course, it only works in understanding families.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#6 Feb 16, 2014
L1 Something is wrong with this letter. The first sentence describes a strict Italian Catholic family and although the subject is faith, neither teh word priest nor church appears in the letter.

If you are having a criss of faith- and that is what LW describes- such that he no longer believes Jesus was the son of God, died for men's sin's etc, he should be talking to the priest. He will get resistance , of course, but testing a matter of faith against a knowledgeable adversary will either strengthen him or the LW talk himself out of it. Besides, his parapets are likely to give much more credence to an earnest conversation with Father John than from the LW.

L2 One more reason I don't do FB.

However, my brother apparently ordered something on line from Nordstroms and gave his email address. Now when he goes into Nordstroms in the mall he gets ads on his email/smartphone from Nordstroms about stuff in the department in which he is standing.

Creepy. There goes the GPS function on my phone

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Feb 16, 2014
PEllen wrote:
L2 One more reason I don't do FB.
Do or don't do facebook. That's your choice. However, this is dumb reason. Facebook only knows what you want it to know. Facebook does not collect info on you that you don't enter. Facebook knows my name, email, city, and where I went to school. Cause that's what I let it know.

No address, birthday, phone number, religion,

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 Feb 16, 2014
PEllen wrote:
However, my brother apparently ordered something on line from Nordstroms and gave his email address. Now when he goes into Nordstroms in the mall he gets ads on his email/smartphone from Nordstroms about stuff in the department in which he is standing.
Creepy. There goes the GPS function on my phone
I never have the GPS on my phone turned on unless I am actively using it, otherwise its a needless drain on the battery, That being said, the tory about your brother? Creepy and awesome at the same time.
blunt advice

Livingston, NJ

#9 Feb 16, 2014
2. For your Facebook status put "well we just got ourselves 2 large dogs (insert picture of mean dogs showing their teeth). Training them not to poop all over the floor and attack strangers is going to take some time. All the noise from the nuclear plant down the road freaks them out."

Hancock, NY

#10 Feb 17, 2014
1: I have a deep aversion to the idea of a child (anyone under the age of 18) making a serious and committed decision about religion - any religion. I don't think a 12 or 14 year old has lived long enough to make that kind of decision even if it's the same religion their parents practice. I would not allow any of my children to make that firm commitment until they were adults either. As far as I'm concerned, they could study any religion they wanted (except those making animal or human sacrifices or that kind of thing of course) but they could not become a full member until they were fully grown adults and were of an age to be legally responsible for that and other important decisions in life. I just feel it's important to make INFORMED decisions in this kind of situation and I don't think a teenager is experienced enough to do that. I know I would be very unhappy if my adult child made a decision to join some religion for which I have little or no respect but I'd also recognize his/her right to make that decision and I would not give him/her a hard time over what I might think of as a poor choice but I know my husband would find it difficult and perhaps impossible to keep his mouth shut. :-)

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