Is religion important for development?

Katherine - posted on 12/07/2010 ( 28 moms have responded )

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Ok so I kind of stole this. Do you think your child should have religion or spirituality in their lives?



Does it hinder development if not? As far as morals and values go.



How would you explain not having religion? Would you teach your children or inform them about it or other religions?





Btw, I really dislike the word "religion", I prefer "spirituality."

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Tracey - posted on 12/08/2010

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Having worked in schools for the last 8 years I can honestly say that I have seen no difference between the religious kids and the non religious ones in terms of development, happiness, emotional maturity, quality or quantity of friendships or anything else.
The only problems I have seen with religion are when the Muslim kids have to cover up or cannot take part in activities, and then the problems are with the parents arguing with the school not with the children themselves.
Why do I have to explain having no religion - I wouldn't expect a Christian to explain why they have their beliefs.

La - posted on 12/08/2010

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You don't need religion to teach you about morality. People without religion are not heathens. If anything, I can argue that religion has contributed to some morally incorrect practices...look at how many wars are fought over religious differences, look at the crusades, etc. There is still a good amount of intolerance, judgment, and hatred that uses religios ideals as a basis (such as discrimination against homosexuals).

Stifler's - posted on 12/08/2010

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I got married in a Lutheran church but was raised Pentecostal. I don't even go to church now so my son won't. If we did, he'd come with us because who's going to look after him while we're there? I don't think God cares what denomination you are to tell the truth even though organised religions usually have views on other organised religions. Church is about fellowship with other Christians for most people and not about following a certain religion to the tee or labeling yourself Christian, Catholic, Lutheran etc.

Sarah - posted on 12/08/2010

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I went to a Christian high school & they pretty much taught me how to think & what to believe. It was almost like I was taught to be a little robot that couldn't even think for myself. If you listen to this type of music, God will look down on you. If you wear clothes that are too tight, the boys will lust after you and YOU are causing them to sin. We were told not to hug, hold hands, kiss etc. because then it could lead to other things like...god forbid...sex...and then you'll REALLY be in trouble. From what I've seen & heard, we're all made to feel guilty about being a HUMAN and having normal human feelings & desires.



I don't want my son growing up thinking he's a no good, rotten person if he makes a mistake, like listening to....GASP...rock music! I want to him have the freedom to learn about other religions around the world & to make decisions for himself. I don't want to push anything in particular onto my son. I want him to be allowed to have an open-mind. I will teach him morals, ethics, etc etc. I don't think you need "religion" for that.

Rosie - posted on 12/08/2010

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um, NO. in fact i'm somewhat in agreeance with jenny. i think it does alot more harm (when used the way alot of people do) than good. maybe i should state ORGANIZED religion, to me is harmful.

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[deleted account]

No, religion isn't important for development. Considering my beliefs, I do believe that a relationship w/ Jesus Christ is crucial in life, but I know and respect that not everyone feels the same on that. You can certainly have morals, etc w/out God. Otherwise every atheist would be a murderer (just picking a huge sin at random for my example). ;)

[deleted account]

I don't think it's essential that a child has religion in their life. Our son will be taught about other religions at home as well as at school but we will not be raising him in a specific religion - that's his choice when he's old enough to decide.

[deleted account]

Laura that is an excellent point. I was raised in a catholic church and one of the women was outed and banned from the church. I was only little and didn't think she should have been banned. When i asked about it i was told it was because she sinned. Yet we are suppose to forgive right? Its extremely hypocritical.

Jodi - posted on 12/08/2010

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My husband and I are both Agnostic, although to different degrees. He is fine with however I go about raising and teaching my beliefs (and to a point) his beliefs with our children. I will teach my children what I do and believe in the spiritual sense, such as praying or meditating or what have you, but it's more important to me that they be good people, have good values and are happy than that they follow MY belief system. To each their own though, I have no problem with people raising their children to believe and follow their particular religion or beliefs. I DO have a problem with religions that teach intolerance of any kind...that is not good morals or values in my book, but again, if that's how you want your child to be raised that's your choice.

[deleted account]

I don't believe in organized religion. I'm spiritual and believe thats important to teach my child. But as for sin rules and regulation to get into heaven....its teaches shame guilt and remorse. i would rather teach my child peace love and harmony.

Katherine - posted on 12/08/2010

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@ Amanda, I changed to Lutheran when I married too! We do the same thing, church on major, important holiday's. My daughter attends Sunday school also.

Amanda - posted on 12/08/2010

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I was born and raised catholic. I hated going to church. I hated Wed nights. I hated pretty much being forced to have to learn something I didn't have a lot of intrest in. I told myself I would never force my kid to do something they hated.

I changed my religion to Lutheran when I got married. All of my 4 children are Lutheran. We don't go to church every week. We don't talk about God daily either. We do however own a bible. My kids all say a prayer with me before bed. I answer questions when they ask but other than that we don't do much religious stuff. Or spiritual.

I don't think it's necessary. We do go to church on Christmas Eve and Easter. But if the kids wanted to go more than I'd take them. But they don't really get into to a whole lot. I don't think it makes or breaks your child with or without religion. It's a parents personal opinion. Mine is to do without. :)

Stifler's - posted on 12/08/2010

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I think if you go to Church your kids should go with you and be part of the family, they can choose not to go later or whatever. But my kids will do what we do until they grow up and make their own money and move out. We don't go to church so why would I baptise my son like people have asked if we are or make him go to Sunday school? On another note, why on earth would kids choose to follow any religion if they were never brought up a religion?

[deleted account]

@Katherine - Urgh, 1st year uni flashbacks, but I think I get what you're asking...maybe.

So, no, my child is not being brought up in any religion. She will learn about religions because they are integral in understanding history and culture. All religions are equally nice (in their good bits) and stupid/harmful (in their vast crapness) in my opinion, so we'll teach her that (and by that I mean, we'll try and teach her about each religion in an unbiased way, if you can do such a thing, they believe this, they do this etc) and we'll explain to her why we don't agree with any of them.
She will be taught morals and values based on being a good person and the law. I think its better that a person does the right or nice thing because it is right or nice not because you'll be punished or rewarded in heaven.

And yes I'd explain it all to her. I want a child who is curious and asks for explanations. I don't want to raise a blind follower.

I must have been tired when I read this last night because the question makes a lot more sense this morning! LOL

Lady Heather - posted on 12/08/2010

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I am agnostic and my husband is atheist. He's actually really anti-church. I am not because I went as a kid and I like the community aspect of things. I just can't believe that way or any way I guess, so I don't go. Seems like the wrong thing to do. My kids are welcome to choose a church if they want to. I plan on teaching them about major world religions (in basic terms) and if they ask to check it out, I'll take them.

I don't think you need religion. Most people have an innate sense of what is right and what is wrong. Basically, things that hurt others are wrong. That's really all you need to know. Well, in my opinion anyways.

I'll just explain to them that people believe in different things and mummy and daddy don't go to church because they don't believe in god. But some people do and that is okay also.

Spirituality to me is more a connectedness to the earth and other people and a feeling that there is something greater than ourselves out there somewhere - not a god per se, but a larger meaning. I think spirituality is something easily taught through an appreciation of nature and helping others and all that jazz, so I don't think you need an organized religion to learn that.

Jessica - posted on 12/08/2010

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Definatly not. My daughter will be taught about all religions but not raised on one. I would like for her to have an open mind about things and be able to think for herself.

Jenny - posted on 12/08/2010

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Religion hinders mental development because it conveys the message that the answers are found. I want children to find them on their own.

[deleted account]

No, I don't think having religion or spirituality is essential in raising a child. I believe you can still teach a child good morals and values without having to introduce them to any kind of god. I don't plan on explaining why we don't have religion but I will be more than happy to explain why other people do (in a respectful way). I'll teach him about any religion he asks about and I'll encourage him to learn about any and all religions and faiths out there.

Katherine - posted on 12/08/2010

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Oh yes, I know what you mean. I was spanked for not going to church. I was grounded, and dragged one time.

Minnie - posted on 12/08/2010

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For us spirituality involves our beliefs- but the religion part was doing motions to please others involved with the religion. So as to appear spiritual. Know what I mean? It was all very spiritually abusive and legalistic.

Katherine - posted on 12/08/2010

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Oh, don't even get me started on Catholocism. My parents raised me so ass backwards.


Thanks Lisa, wow did I butcher this post. As far as morals and values go sometimes "religion" or spirituality is important IMO.

Minnie - posted on 12/08/2010

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I'm Christian so we do teach our girls about our beliefs.



But we personally believe that the 'religion' that we were involved with IS detrimental to development. Intrinsic to fundamental independent baptists (or the ones we were involved with) is a belief that you need to hit your children to raise them properly. There is no grace for children, no knowledge of age-appropriate behavior, and children are set up for failure. Basically the goal is to raise robots who don't question authority. Sure sets up girls for healthy relationships in the future. They also berate you and call you prideful for not wearing dresses as a woman. Women are definitely seen as less than men. They'll deny it, but you see it everywhere.



So I would say we have spirituality, but not religion. Right now, after how scarred we are, I cannot see myself setting foot in another church again.



I think it is important to understand that there are a multitude of belief systems on this planet- so it is good for children to learn about the different religions.

Katherine - posted on 12/08/2010

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Sorry, maybe this will make it clearer:
The sociology of religion concerns the role of religion in society; the practices, historical backgrounds, developments and universal themes of religion in society.[1] There is particular emphasis on the recurring role of religion in all societies and throughout recorded history. The sociology of religion is distinguished from the philosophy of religion in that it does not set out to assess the validity of religious beliefs, though the process of comparing multiple conflicting dogmas may require what Peter L. Berger has described as inherent "methodological atheism".[2] Whereas the sociology of religion broadly differs to theology in assuming the invalidity of the supernatural, theorists tend to acknowledge socio-cultural reification of religious practise.

Modern academic sociology began with the analysis of religion in Durkheim's 1897 study of suicide rates amongst Catholic and Protestant populations, a foundational work of social research which served to distinguish sociology from other disciplines, such as psychology. The works of Karl Marx and Max Weber emphasised the relationship between religion and the economic or social structure of society. Contemporary debates have centred on issues such as secularization, civil religion, and the cohesiveness of religion in the context of globalization and multiculturalism. The contemporary sociology of religion may also encompass the sociology of irreligion (for instance, in the analysis of Secular Humanist belief systems).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology_o...

Iris - posted on 12/08/2010

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I do not think that my children NEED religion in their lives.

No, I don't think it hinders development in any way. On the other hand I think it can hinder development (spiritually and emotionally) if a child is taught that only one religion is good and others are bad/fake.

I have been asked by my older daughter why I never go to church. I tell her I don't believe in religion. But I also tell her that many people do, and in different religions. I tell her a bit about the differences of the religions out there and that if she is interested we can get books for her to read.

I'm not going to force my opinion upon them, and I'll not discourage them in their search. I believe everyone has the right to find their own spiritual path. I start disagreeing when some peoples believes are being forced upon me, but that doesn't happen too often.

What I think is important to teach children is morality, empathy, generosity and courtesy.

[deleted account]

I believe it is important to be spiritual, but religious? Not so much. I am a very spiritual person and I love studying different religions. However, because I do look at all the different types of religions, it's hard for me to choose one and stick with it. My husband doesn't quite agree, I don't think, but I will at least teach my daughter to be tolerant of all religions. Whatever she chooses to practice will be her decision, and I will not be one to force her one way or another. I will teach her respect of all living things so that she won't be one of these people who run around setting cats on fire and throwing puppies out windows of speeding cars.

I think being religiously tolerant and spiritual would be a better thing to teach than to drill it into a little one's head that one religion is better than all the others and that everyone else is going to "hell" or whatever a particular religion may constitute as such, or that religion shouldn't exist at all because there's nothing to base it on and it's all just silly stories to make people act better. Just seems like a religiously tolerant child will fare better in this ever-changing world than one who is not.

Charlie - posted on 12/08/2010

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No , I think they should have a sense of self and an awareness of others .

No , how could it hinder development ?

The same way I explain any human difference .

[deleted account]

Why would it hinder development? Development of what?

I'm an athiest. I'm not religious or spiritual. Obviously I don't think I'm lacking in anything.

And who am I explaining my none spirituality to? and in what context? I am not religious. I do not believe in a god or gods. I base my life on what I think is right and moral, not because I fear punishment or think I'll get additional reward. I accept that when I die, I'm gone, so I better live and enjoy existance now.

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