How will religion factor into your parenting, if at all?

Terrill - posted on 08/16/2011 ( 64 moms have responded )

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I am an atheist and my husband is agnostic but I have decided that I want my children to learn about a variety of religions and can therefor make their own decisions about what they believe. I won't put them into a religious school, nor will I have them baptised but I will take them to church occasionally and when they are old enough, have discussions around the major religions just so they understand the basics. How will you deal with religion with your children?

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Rabecca - posted on 09/12/2011

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My faith is such an important part of my life and I want that for my kids as well but something I learned very early on from my own mother who is closer to God than anyone I have ever met is that yes you lead your children to the water but they have to drink of it themselves because if you dont let them then its not really thier realtionship with God its just a imiage of there parents when the most important part of ones faith is having a personal realtionship with God
we dont believe in baptizing babies because that a choice the person makes for themselves but we do have a dedication which basically is stating to God that you will raise them according to his laws and teach them of God but then later one once the child has reached a age where they can deside if they want to be baptized and its a comitment they take on for themselves not one someone made for them

[deleted account]

I pretty much agree with Teresa. We are also a Christian family. We are in church 3x a week. We talk about God and listen to Christian music. But I will welcome and encourage questions and exploration. Faith will mean nothing to my children if they do not find it on their own. They cannot live on mine, nor do I want them to.

Alessia - posted on 01/20/2012

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We are an atheist family as well. Religion in our household is regarded as wonderful, fascinating mythology. Our oldest, 5 1/2, is currently fascinated with Greek and Roman myths. I studied world religions and art history extensively so our house is chock full of iconography, literature, and religious texts from all over the world. The kids know that other people believe in gods or goddesses but that mom and dad don't. Until they are old enough to do the research and decide for themselves, religion in our home is simply a great source for bedtime stories.



Also, I just wanted to add something for the posters who believe that if you're raised godless you end up some sort of degenerate mass murderer with no manners. False. Both my brother and I grew up with parents who let us find our own way. My brother ended up being all about Buddhism, and I am the Scientific Atheist who resembles her Jewish mother. Neither of us have criminal records, both college graduates, me graduate school. He's marrying a wonderful girl this year and I have two amazing boys and a great husband. Neither of us are frothing at the mouth looking for victims or have ever been on America's Most Wanted.



Point is, religion and morality are not mutually exclusive. It is very easy to live a good life without having to look up at the clouds for guidance. The power of the human conscience, evolving now for over 2 million years, is greater than any boogeyman story forcing you to behave.

Krista - posted on 01/19/2012

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So Vanessa...are you saying that there is absolutely no mention of eternal punishment in Hell in ANY of the Christian doctrines? Because that seems like a fairly strong fear-based incentive to me...



If your faith provides you with joy and not fear, then that is great. Good for you -- I'm happy that your faith is a source of strength for you. But to deny that there is ANY fear component in the Abrahamic religions, or in the overwhelming majority of religions that have existed throughout history, is disingenuous.



As well, I highly disagree that you cannot teach about religion if you are not a believer. I am not British, but I am still perfectly capable of helping my child learn about the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. What you seem to not be understanding is that atheists are not suggesting that they're going to teach their children about every other religion out there. What they are saying is that they are going to help their children discover that information. So, using myself as an example, if my child asks me about Buddhism, then I will suggest that we go to the library and do some research on that faith, and I will help him obtain that information, and let him come to his own conclusions. I would never presume to teach my child about Hinduism, for example. I know nothing of it, so what on earth could I possibly teach him?



Besides, even if we do have biases, do you not have them as well? What will you say if your kids ask you about Islam? Can you honestly sit there and say that you would be LESS biased than an atheist would?

Cynthia - posted on 10/12/2011

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For us its not about religion....its about our belief in God....simple as that...religion complicates....

This conversation has been closed to further comments

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Tara - posted on 06/14/2012

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When my child is old enough, I will teach him about religion. He will be free to choose as he pleases.

Jennifer - posted on 01/26/2012

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I like to give people room to be and become in my life as I am first very aware of my own imperfections and struggles. I see my own struggles not as a reason to be condemned (nor others struggles either) but rather as more reason to be compassionate and non judgemental to others. I just really love seeing others encouraged and becoming their best because I have felt the great freedom of that in my own life.. its seeing and accepting people where they are at and loving them to where they are going. Its really all I feel I can do and be to anyone or anyone else could be to me because I am aware of my limitations and realistic. I believe the best in others and try not to rob others of expressing their best because of any blocked perception.. I know my errors and seek to grow through them.. I allow others the same. Hmmm... Yeah. I choose to take experiences to heart, rather than personally. Religion and difference is so tragic.. its costly and sadly a hard topic.. again to me its not about who is "right" or "wrong".. its about open discussion based on mutual respect. Its about "who you are and why you come to see life that way"... No matter what faith or belief or standards you hold, its never okay to use that to hurt others out if vindictive hatred and slander and fear.. never. That is another thing in my home. My son will have different ways of seeing the world in ways I never have.. and it would be tragic to have to lose a great person and relationship because of fear and difference.

Jennifer - posted on 01/26/2012

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I encourage my son to truly get to know a person based on love and desire to understand. That helps to see through labels. I do personally out of my own desire choose Jesus as my savior but in that still accept that others have different ways and beliefs that deserve understanding and the golden rule applies for all people "Treat others the way you would want to be treated"... I had so much struggle in my teenage years understanding where my heart was at and felt that control and being rejected for needing to seek and find my own way was a devastation.. I encourage others and myself that whatever faith (title) you choose.. use that to bring light and love and not hatred and control. Its hard as others may not accept you or like you and that is just life.. We create battles sometimes that I don't personally see as relative and if we change our focus off of "who is right and who is wrong" to "how can I better get to know and understand you" I think that we could build bridges rather than burn them. I love the Bible and accept prayers and love from others in different faiths as well. If that is wrong then well, I guess I am wrong.. but I just know how it feels to be rejected because of a personal difference or just being excited on your faith and the other end.. for not being certain of what you believe.. I think if you go into things trying to "save" others.. you miss opportunities to love and just bring a change in yourself and truly connect with others. Yes, my faith is in Christ Himself.. not in any building or denomination. Through that I can really see beyond titles and personal choices and its sad how much hatred comes from all sides when truly to me its not what its about. I met a beautiful girl when I got sent away in high school that was an atheist.. and she was great. She was brutally rejected and a bible was thrown at her in school and she was tormented with threats of going to hell. Now.. then beyond that I got to hear her story.. her life and the basis from where she had made her decisions. She has reasons and it broke my heart and made me see.. that even Christianity has some changes to make.. there are mistakes in all circles and all walks of life, as in we all hurt others.. we all are learning and unlearning .. and its how we handle them.. I want to use my faith to grow personally to bring love to others. I would never want others to feel as though I was rejecting them .. if they choose to do so to me then that is there choice. I cannot control that. But I can choose to love and just handle my own self. I do bring my son up in my faith.. but I do not allow it to be rooted in fear of differences. People have rejected me as well for my faith and alot of that was just a notion based on prior experiences with others or a past unmended and that is just going to happen.. I take that rejection and difference in and choose to deepen by it.. as in this was a reminder of how better to seek to understand.. I think sometimes we use our faith and religion as a bases to condemn others. Now if someone is intentionally harming me or trying to then based on intellect and protection against the behavior I may have to go away and seek to just distance.. but thats derived from behavior not a personal choice of faith. People deserve to be known for who they are and have their story heard.. whatever your choice to be titled in faith I hope its in efforts to bridge gaps and seek understanding not stay in a mindset that what is different is to be feared.

Alessia - posted on 01/26/2012

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Sorry Vanessa, but I just think it is funny when theists use that whole passive-aggressive "I know where I'm going so good luck to the atheist" argument. It's laughable to threaten someone who doesn't believe in your mythology with that specific form of punishment. It's as though an Odinist was threatening you with denial into Valhalla. You'd just look at them and say, "ok, then!"



I also find it funny that you refer to the Bible as a "history" book. While it does draw upon historical places and possible people, the Bible, while a fascinating book of stories and allegory, is nowhere near a "history text". I may go so far as to call it Historical Fiction, but as actual, factual, evidenced history...that's a stretch. Even biblical scholars and historians balk at the idea that The Bible is factually historical. So it's not just me, the eeeeeeevil atheist, saying it.



I also find it fascinating that you are completely content in your ignorance about other religions, cultures, and world around you. Studying and learning about other religions is a wonderful way of learning more about yourself and your beliefs. The world is an amazing place, with so many different stories and legends, from thousands of different cultures. Wouldn't you want to pass such wonderful knowledge to your children? It doesn't make you any less Christian to be aware and knowledgeable of other faiths. I've studied world religions, traveled the globe and sat in some amazing churches, mosques, and synagogues, and I'm still an atheist. You shouldn't feel threatened to open your mind and your worldview. Especially if you want your children to be citizens of Earth, instead of the little box you have chosen to live in.



Bottom line, I was laughing because I cannot understand how someone can just be so willfully "uncurious" (for lack of a better term) of the world and the cultures around them, and would just rather sit in their little cubby making passive-agressive threats to those who choose to think outside the box and appreciate the world for the vast vessel for learning it provides. I can respect someone for "not knowing", but to be willfully ignorant and uninterested, is a shame.

Vanessa - posted on 01/26/2012

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that's real cute that you got a laugh out of my honest response, I thought we were all adults, if you don't want to have a good debate about any topic then keep laughing at people

Vanessa - posted on 01/25/2012

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I did not deny eternal punishment, I just guess I'm not afraid of God or dying, because I know where I'm going, and by keeping God by me everyday, even though life can sometimes "suck" so to speak, I'm just not afraid of hell and I'm happy He has helped me find my way back to Him, I do not believe because I fear, I believe because I have faith, the Bible is not just a history book to me, it is, yes, but I believe it is the truth and how this world and us humans came to be, it's not just an ordinary text book to me, and because I'm not a history major or know anything about any other religion, I too would not be able to teach my children anything "worthwhile" about another religion, because I do not or would not share that "other" religions faith, I get the idea of choice for your children, but it doesn't matter what I say about God to an atheist, I just know where I'm going so good luck to you

Jennifer - posted on 01/25/2012

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Sorry for all the typos. I guess I understand not believing or wanting to as I was that and fully have no judgments on that. I am able to have relationships with others and love even though there are differences. Is that wrong? I know not all are like that but my view is that we make it a battle because we choose to. When we make everything a debate and war we miss the opportunity to hear others and get to know someone who is in a different place or has a different view. I am expressive in my faith but never pushy or rejecting.. my son LOVES science and said to me at the age of 7... mom? Maybe God put Evolution in motion so both are kind of right.. hmmm... could be? maybe? Gotta love that working wonderful mind that is not afraid to wonder though!! Hope that keeps going!! There are great people out there.. christians too that absolutely do not hate others.. but like everything else in life.. those that hate or push or use their beliefs to hurt others get all the stage and the rest just *sigh* suffer trying to just love.. One of my best friends was an atheist (still is I think).. and I tell you what.. I know her stories and I hear her heart.. its not too far fetched to question such an existence and I don't think God is as offended as people are.. :) In fact I think He quite understands.. I say no matter what it should all boil down to respect for another person.. I ACTIVELY teach and show that in my home and that is one thing I want my son to understand.

Jennifer - posted on 01/25/2012

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I grow in my own personal faith in my home with my kid.. and teach and invite but I encourage 110% for him to seek knowledge in the world around him as well and ask open ended questions. I love Jesus on my own (but I came from atheism in my own decision).. and I do not always grab tight to all of "christianity" as a religion or title.. I want my son to have a faith derived from his own heart and desires and not from my pushing or commanding him to be.. I have great friends from different faiths and how I see it.. if its true faith then the title means little.. it should be used to bring together and connect others.. I accept people from any background and I am more interested in people and their stories.. I was hurt brutally by people in religion when I was not sure what I personally thought in my heart and mind and I don't condone bashing from any corners.. I think its sad that christianity in itself has become that way and I don't agree.. so my child will be introduced to my faith of choice, encuraged to seek to understand others and theirs and grow in his own. After all what faith would I have if I had to control my kids every decision? I wonder out loud along side my kid and will never discourage him to love science, other faiths and squelch his love for all people.. ever.

Krista - posted on 01/22/2012

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Click on "Most Recent", just to the right of "Replies", Vanessa, and that should show you the most recent responses.

Vanessa - posted on 01/22/2012

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when I open this page I cannot get to page 3 of the discussion, so I cannot reply to the responses, sorry.....

Vanessa - posted on 01/17/2012

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wow, the atheists do not understand the ONE AND ONLY GOD that we Christians believe in, how can they say that we must fear Him and only do things or the right (correct/moral) things out of fear, we do it out of love for our Savior and what He has done for us and what we know we should do while we're on this earth, I pray and talk to Jesus everyday and He is more of a friend than some big powerful scary being, these people who are having their children choose and they are going to teach them about all religions, well I'm sorry but you cannot teach anything worthwhile about any religion if you do not believe its teachings, anyone can read a book to a child but you're biases are always going to be there, my parents kind of gave me a "choice" too, they are Christians, but I drifted away from Jesus Christ as I became a teenager and young adult and even (my opinion) stupidly thought I was an atheist, because I thought I was going to try to figure out the world, yea right, by keeping God close to me and my family everyday, our lives are heading in a much better direction and He has gotten us through so much in the past year, that I could never deny His positive presence in my life

Jenna - posted on 01/10/2012

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I am devout in my faith and believe that many issues that arise in parenting can be dealt with by turning to God and the teachings of Jesus. Obviously, therefore, I will teach my children my faith and we will practice it. At some point in their life they will have to choose what they believe. I hope they choose what I believe, but I know that the possibility is very real that they will go their own way. I will still feel that I raised them the best way I knew how by relying on my faith as a guide.

[deleted account]

well i was raised christian as was his dad and so i would at least like my son to attend some church services once he is older. i don't expect it to play a large part, in that i wouldn't put him in a christian school or force him to pray everyday. i would just like him to know about christianity and be exposed to it a bit so that he can make his own decision about religion and level of involvement in it

Meghan - posted on 01/10/2012

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I believe that a person's relationship or experience with God-whichever one they chose- is their own choice. If one day my son wants to attend church or develop his own spirituality I will support it. Until then I plan to learn about every different religion out there and my only expectation is that he is kind, open minded and caring.

Amanda - posted on 01/06/2012

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I will teach my children about god but I will not make them go to church. However if they choose to go to church they may. That's how I was raised and I've been to church before but it's just not for me

Ary - posted on 10/17/2011

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We're an agnostic atheist family. My husband's mom and my mom are religious. We don't purposely expose them to any church services or anything like that, but each of our moms are permitted to take the kids to church with them if they want to. But our kids are still young, so it's hasn't yet become an issue. Both of them are, however, very interested in science and evolution, and they have a pretty good grasp of the basics. We've talked about it, and we agree that they will absolutely have the freedom to attend church services, and that we will answer any questions that they have to the best of our ability. But we're not really going out of our way to introduce them to religion, as that doesn't really make sense to us. I was raised Catholic, and was never exposed to any other religion, and I was able to work out for myself that I don't believe in deities at all. And I don't think any amount of exposure to any religion would have made a difference, as I never really believed in the first place, even as a young child.

Johnny - posted on 10/17/2011

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Jessie, I definitely think that it's always good to discuss religious diversity and belief, no matter when it happens. I wouldn't "wait" to start discussing these things, although I think I frequently probably tend to discuss issues that are just over my child's head. She just nods and smiles, perhaps some sinks in, although I may also just confuse her. As I type this she's looking at me through the wrong end of the binoculars, so we may have a ways to go :-)



I will say though, that kind of hurt isn't something you can protect your kids from, no matter what the source. It did hurt, but it was also an instructive lesson for the rest of my life. It wasn't the last time I lost a friend over religion. Judaism, Christian fundamentalism, Mormonism and Islam have all been an excuse for various people to behave like twits.

Jessie - posted on 10/17/2011

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Oh Johnny, that is rough. I suppose you are right, there probably isn't too much you can do to prevent those happenings, or make them any easier for that matter. Would you fall, then, into the camp of waiting until children are a little bit older to start talking about religion? Or are you glad your parents gave you at least some understanding of religious diversity (even though I completely understand that, in that situation, it would do very little)?

Johnny - posted on 10/17/2011

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It can happen at any age. My next door neighbour who was my best friend went to a Jewish private school and I went to the local public school. After the first day of kindergarten she came home and told me that she couldn't play with me anymore because I was a gentile. You can imagine the confusion and hurt of a 5 year old. And the struggle my parents had explaining it to me. It is no easier to explain ethnic hatred and xenophobia to a child than it is any other reason for why kids are mean. The explanation of the difference in religious faiths (of which I was already pretty aware) did nothing to help me understand why we couldn't play together. I was just waiting for my other friend, a Catholic, to give me the same bad news.

Jessie - posted on 10/17/2011

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I think religion should be discussed around the time kids start school, only because that is where they will most likely be faced with the beliefs of other families. I agree, you can't expect a young child to understand the deeper complexities of religion, but I think giving them an understanding that people believe (or don't believe) in different ways is important. I remember when I was young my best friend came out of our first grade class bawling because someone told her that if she didn't believe in Jesus she was going to hell (she wasn't raised with a religious background of any sort, so this was news to her!) In retrospect I think her parents should have discussed religion with her a bit more, and the other parents should have explained that there were other people who believed in other ways. Your never going to be able to save your child from all of the hardships of their first real interactions with other children, but I want to try and give a basic idea of the real world before it slaps them in the face. It was funny, because I was raised catholic, but I remember my mom telling me well before I went to school that our church wasn't the only one, and people could believe many different things (her quote was 'everyone believes differently, just like everyone has a different favorite color. All of the colors are pretty, but everyone has one they like a little bit more'). That being said, I totally understand, Kristal, that it is difficult to know when children are ready to start learning these lessons! Mine is still only 30 months, so I really haven't confronted those issues just yet. I am wondering if anyone knows of some good literature on teaching young children about religion?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/17/2011

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I started explaining different religions to my older daughter at 5 years old. I just started on monotheistic religions and left out the bit about how children are sinless until they reach 12 in Islam.

Kristal - posted on 10/17/2011

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I think it's great to let a child be an individual and believe what they want to believe (as long as it is positive). However, I'm not sure on when it should start, maybe when they reach puberty. My 4 year old knows God made her but that's as far as it goes with her being that age I wont start explaining different religions and this and that. I just personally think it's too much for the younger kids to comprehend.

Jennifer - posted on 10/12/2011

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My husband and I are both Lutherans and are therefore raising our children in the Lutheran Church. This said, I was raised in the United Church and my husband was raised in the Mormon Church. We are open to our children finding their own forms of religion as long as they are following their hearts and not blindly accepting of what they are told. We are raising them to have a voice and know when and how to use it, so questions are encouraged (and answered to the best of our abilities!)

[deleted account]

"The thing that bothers me is that when those of us who are religious say anything like that to the non-believers, we're forcing our beliefs on them. But it's okay for them to say it to us?"

I would like to see an example of how you were just discussing your faith and a atheist/non-theist told you that was forcing it. Because generallly that's not how I see conversations go but naturally i've not heard everything at this point.

We reject the claims of religion for lack of evidence. If someone tells me their religion is true, i want to see proof. That's actually normal. In all things in life, we base our decisions on evidence. You may accept your own religion on faith but to convince anyone else, it still goes back to evidence.

[deleted account]

"We as believers do not adhere to some fairytale to get our kids to have manners. Really!! how rude and belittling can you get it really has nothing to do with keeping our kids in line it has to do with thier salvation "

To the non-theist, that's the fairy tale and it's also the coercion. Do right or you'll be punished eternally for a finite crime.

Jessie - posted on 10/11/2011

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What a fascinating debate! I was raised Catholic, my husband Lutheran. While he is very spiritual, he tends to avoid organized religion on a whole. I still have some love for mass (more of a cultural connection, then spiritual), and consider my faith to be grounded in Christianity, without dogma. We will not raise our daughter in a church, rather, as many other mothers have said, try and give her a breadth of religious knowledge. We will do this not simply to grow her own faith, but to teach her tolerance and respect for all peoples and their faiths. I believe it is legitimate for someone to raise their children in a faith that they posses, it can be a corner stone to family life, as well as connection to your culture and your community. My only amendment to this would be if the way that faith is practiced breeds elitism and hate. I don't believe any religion is inherently intolerant, but I do believe plenty of people twist and skew people's faith in order to further their own agendas. This is something I will strive very hard as a mother to teach my daughter to be aware of: I want her to be in touch with her spirituality, recognize and respect the beliefs of others, and ALWAYS question what others may simply accept as fact.

Jessica - posted on 09/20/2011

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I don't begrudge the non-believing their right to be non-believers. I don't even begrudge them the right to believe my beliefs are myths and fairy stories. The thing that bothers me is that when those of us who are religious say anything like that to the non-believers, we're forcing our beliefs on them. But it's okay for them to say it to us?

Lets all just practice a little common sense before we pick the words we're going to use to reference something as important to people as faith and religion, that's all.

Tah - posted on 09/20/2011

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And mariah that is exacty why as christians we raise our chilldren in the way that we as chrisitans believe they should go because when they grow up and are your age, if they haven't been raised to adhere to any religion or practive it the odds are they won't just fall into it. What you have said is very insulting, rude, close-minded and demeaning. Apparenty they also didn't teach you to have respect for others and the fact that we are all different and beleive different things, so the turning out alright thing...subjective....

Sherri - posted on 09/20/2011

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I am with Jessica and Rabecca as well I find that someone would call my religion a fairy tale appalling ultimately calling it fake and untrue. Way to slam and belittle everything that I value and hold so close to my heart and my children's hearts.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/20/2011

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I'm with Jessica and Rabecca (I had to cheat on the spelling) I grew up Catholic and I wasn't taught anything to keep me in line and it was the same for my brother. And HE got into a lot of trouble.

It's not fair to call the Bible or anyone's religion a fairytale either. Even my husband who is probably one of the biggest Atheists will admit that there is probably some truth in the Bible and other religious beliefs.

I teach my daughter to respect other people and their beliefs and their differences (We don't have much of a choice since we're the really different ones right now being Americans in Canada LOL) We shouldn't try to change people to believe like we do or think like we do.

Jessica - posted on 09/20/2011

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I agree Rebecca. It's one thing to be a non-believer, and it's perfectly acceptable to have the belief that the Bible is a work of fiction, but referring to it as a fairytale used to browbeat children into submission is offensive. It's no wonder there's so many atheists in the world if that's how they all view religious faith.

For me, it's not about right or wrong, it's about belonging to a community of like-minded people. There's so much divisiveness in this world, I want my son to grow up knowing there is at least one community that will welcome him no matter what.

Rabecca - posted on 09/20/2011

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I dont understand why if you are not a believer you would have to be insulting to others that are. We as believers do not adhere to some fairytale to get our kids to have manners. Really!! how rude and belittling can you get it really has nothing to do with keeping our kids in line it has to do with thier salvation and so many different things, knowing they have a father in Heaven that loves them and that this life is only a stepping stone,which I can reason that those for those who dont believe or cant grasp these concept have a hard time with these things being part of todays world but for us its about Faith knowing these things to be true not needing to see to know that he is guiding our lives blessing us and our kids.

Misty-Lynn - posted on 09/16/2011

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I completely agree with Terrill on this one. I am Pegan but have a Atheist Father and Catholic/Protestant mother, I was raised as an Atheist at home, but went to a Catholic school mostly through elementary school (Gr. 3-8). I was never baptized - nor where my siblings - for the same reason as to be able to choose my own path & belief when I was old enough to.
I haven't formally taught my children anything about religion yet as I believe they are still sort of young to really understand without "brainwashing" them, mostly what I have taught through my religion are the basic morals to live by through life which are all pretty much the same morals that ALL religions teach.
When they start to become curious I will start to explain on what I go by but also make sure they understand that other people believe other stuff as well. I will make sure as they are much older then now the basics of each & every religion as possible and how to learn & respect each one, for none are wrong.
I will encourage them to believe whatever notion or belief that they choose to believe and hope that this will later help them in life....this way they are not pointed to the path they follow but more find the one that feels more comfortable on their own.

Jessica - posted on 09/16/2011

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We are a semi-religious Jewish family. We don't currently belong to a synagogue, but attend services at my parents synagogue. We plan on enrolling our son in Jewish pre-school and day-school if our location when our son is of age makes it possible. Either way, he will also be attending Hebrew school, which is like the Jewish equivalent of Sunday school. I'm already starting to teach him Hebrew, and will encourage him to continue to learn Hebrew as well as Yiddush.

I don't see the problem in raising my child in a strictly Jewish household. While he is under my roof, his spiritual guidance is up to myself and my husband, and this is the way we are choosing to guide him. If, however, once he is out on his own and wishes to explore other religions, it's up to him, and I won't think less of him or disown him for finding his spiritual home within a different religion. Half of my family is Christian, so he will be exposed to at some point anyway.

[deleted account]

I am leaving it to my mom in law to take my son to church and help me to teach him about religion since i am not a practicing catholic. he can decide on his own how to proceed once he is done with communion but i honestly am not religious at all. I do want my son to know about God and his teachings just as my parents did for me.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/14/2011

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Well last year my older daughter attended a Catholic school and went to church nearly every Sunday with my parents (sometimes with me, but as a Care Aide I worked a lot of Sundays) I worked in a predominantly Jewish assisted living centre and took care of a Muslim man who is married to a Catholic. My husband is an Atheist one of my friends is Wiccan. My older daughter is being exposed to nearly every type of religion already. So we'll just include it in her learning.

Tah - posted on 09/12/2011

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because im not jewish, muslim etc and im not raising them to be...but that doesn't mean other religions aren't discussed. my son is 14 and reads about other relgiions but his base is christianity and it's what he beleives. Sydney is 9 does she hear the discussions yes, but she is being raised on both sides as a christian and right now she isn't interested in discussing other religions. She beleives in God, she loves gospel music and if she asks or wants in on one of the conversations that goes in at the kitchen counter while we are cooking, eating, or cleaning then she is more than welcome. I don't see it as any different than atheist NOT taking their children to a temple, mosque, native ceremony etc...It doesn't matter what you are or aren't there will be some prejudice in what you teach to your children regarding what others beleive. We as christians beleive that it's our job to raise our children teaching them about God, faith etc so to us, not doing so wouldn't be right the same as to an atheist raising your child to beleive wouldn't be right. The truth is, your children usually(not always) follow what the parents do and what they are exposed to. If you don't take your children to church they most likely won't turn 18 and say "i think ill go to church today'..Yes some christians stray from going to church every sunday, or bible study on wednesdays but the people who I know as adults do come back to it...and in the meantime they never stopped beleiving in God like some of the women here. It was more of hey im grown and out the house so ill go a couple sundays a month, but as they start their families and get older and start really dealing with life they come back.



It's not a conversation that was evr taboo in our home growing up, my father discussed other religions with us and where they started etc because he studied those things and by doing so came to the conclusion that he did in fact beleive in God, He was raised catholic and in his studies realized that there were parts of that doctrine that to him weren't fitting and so he is baptist and raised us that way. We went to Catholic schools though, but we were involved in our church as well as learning what catholics believed but no we didn't get communion when we went up for mass at their church, but making the sign of the cross didn't hurt anything....learning about purgatory even if we don't beleive in it didn't shake anything, so yes it can be a open discussion and if i still lived in Philly they would be a private or catholic school right now, but we would still certainly raise them in the way we beleive they should go as christians while encouraging their own relationship with God because that is key.







http://www.circleofmoms.com/just-debates...

[deleted account]

Im doing what my mother did with me leaving my kids to make up their own minds about religion. Im not going to force them to sit in a church.

JuLeah - posted on 09/11/2011

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If you will take them to chuch, why not Temple, Mosque, Native ceremony, Wicca ceremony….. if you wish them exposed to religions then don’t limit yourself to Christian based only

We are Jewish and my daughter attends Hebrew school. That will be a base for her, but she is exposed to all others as well

All have things to add, good points to make and most have the same message using different words

I want her to understand our way is one way, just one of many. All are valid. What we offer might not work for her in the long run and that will be okay. I want to teach her to ask question, not blindly follow and obey. I want her to question, search, debate ... she might try on many hats before she finds one that fits ... it is all okay

[deleted account]

Religion is not all that important in our home. I can instill good morals and values without having a sense or organized relifion. However, I was raised in the Jewish faith and still identify myself as a Jew. But I don't practice the holidays and everything gorwing up was forced upon me "for resepct of the grandparents". I refuse to do that to my son. He can find his own faith when he wants to.

Leeann - posted on 09/10/2011

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my husband is southern Baptist me i'm more of agnostic myself. my children believe in god and angels, and i help to encourage that, but there are multitude of other religions that i try and talk to them about, in the end its their choice, no one but them can make it for them, and i'm am okay with that.

Bernadette - posted on 08/25/2011

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Toni, sometimes I have gone to click on a rating and sometimes if the internet is a bit slow or something, and the page hasn't finished loading things will move and suddenly the cursor isn't where you thought it was. I have clicked on the wrong thing many times because of this - you think you are clicking on one thing, and then everything moves just as you click. Just thought it could be an explaination because I read your post and don't see how it could have been rated as funny either. Maybe she meant to click helpful or nice?

Starfish - posted on 08/23/2011

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I've always been open with my daughter about religion. I want her to make an informed decision, no matter what it may be, when the time comes. I consider myself and Agnostic Theist. Though I know Wikipedia isn't the best source, for the sake of brevity, "An agnostic theist believes the proposition at least one deity exists is true, but per agnosticism also believes that this proposition is unknown or inherently unknowable".

That's pretty much it for me. But I continously teach my daughter about everything, from Atheism, to Hinduism, to Christianity. She's been to Pagan gatherings and Sunday school both, and I like to think this keeps her mind open, and when she's ready, she won't move blindly into any belief.

Lacieann - posted on 08/22/2011

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I don't have a particular religion, I wouldn't call myself an athiest though. Religion doesn't play any real role in my raising of my children. If/when my kids have questions about religion (any of them) I will do my best to answer them and if they choose to follow a particular faith I will support them. Though I don't think I'd do it well if they picked satanism or one of the extremest oppressive faiths.

[deleted account]

I had my son baptised for my grandmother and so that he could go to a catholic school (They simply are better funded with a lower class size) This being said I am an agnostic and my husband a very serious atheist.

Religion plays zero part in our day to day lives but I fully intend when he's older to teach him about other religions and that he is to respect everyone of there beliefs, no matter how odd or silly they may be. (Having forbade my husband from ever talking about religion to him it's mostly up to me) When he's old enough he can decide for himself but he'll have to go through what I did. To turn away from a religion you must understand it first.

Sherri - posted on 08/22/2011

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Well my children are enveloped into our religion from the moment they are born. They are baptized as infants, go to CCD by 1st grade, receive their first communion and first penance by 2nd grade. Attend church services every Sunday.

However, they have also learned about other religions through their friends. So I am happy they know about ours and other religions. They also teach quite a bit about different religions in school.

[deleted account]

I'm still being told who has marked my posts it was a Brittany harmon she marked my post but made no comment, I was really tired last night we had a rough night Wednesday so I was just being a little defensive really :-)

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