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Should We choose our Childs Religion?


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#46    GreenmansGod

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 04:00 PM

No I don't think anyone should force a belief system on anyone. You don't need a religion to be a moral person.  I was raised by parents that were atheist and agnostic.  I am a moral person, and was one before I became a Pagan.  
Everyone has their own Path.   You can teach your children about your religion, give them access to learn about other belief systems and in the end they will make the choice that will fit in their life.  If you give them a good understanding of all religions it will save them from falling into cults.
I have one kid that turned Christian on me. He is happy so I am happy. I even went to church with him for his baptism and much to his surprise I behaved.  He was really never raised with a particular religion.  I didn't become Pagan until he was a teen and I would have never even thought about forcing it on him.  I taught him about it along with other religions.
The only thing I forced my kids to do was read.  I guided their reading but never actually picked books for them other than handing them a book saying this is cool check it out.  
Many people who come to Paganism were forced into a belief system as children.  Some have no idea about other religions and  they are lost.  I tell them to go and look into all religions and decide what makes the most sense to them.  If they still want to become Pagan I am glad  to help them out.
Religion is like a pair of shoes, it has to fit.


Edited by Darkwind, 05 July 2005 - 04:07 PM.

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#47    The Raven

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 05:03 AM

This is a touchy topic, and I've posted in it before in another thread like many others.

You should NEVER choose your childs religion. NEVER. Just beacause -- for example -- you were born and raised Christian, doesn't mean your child is going to be a Christian, or even wants to be a Christian.

Instead of just throwing a religion at a child, let the child learn. For example, instead of talking about God, ETC around small children, talk about other things. Try and keep your religion out of the matters until the child either knows enough to make their own choice and have a say in the matter or you know the child is ready.

Forcing beliefs on a child is no different than a priest trying to convert a town of "heathens." Knowledge of all religions and beliefs is vital if anyone wants to find their true path, and keeping religion out of their face until they are ready is the only way someone can have an easy job.

Growing up Christian, I believed everything I heard from my parents about religion; although it wasn't a whole lot. I believed I would go to hell if I did anything bad to people, and constantly asked God for forgiveness in my head for anything I did that I thought might be wrong; even wrong thoughts. Now, having learned about all the religions and taken a fairly neutral stance, I can make an educated choice. If you want your child to be able to make an educated choice, I highly advise against forcing anything upon them.

Don't just believe in something because you want to, because it sounds nice, out of fear or out of love; believe in something because you can feel it's truth and message in the core of your being.

Darkwind, once again, I strongly agree. ^

Edited by The Raven, 06 July 2005 - 05:04 AM.

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#48    Sherapy

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 01:45 PM

Darkwind and Raven, thankyou both for such heart felt suggestions, I agree with both of you. I too have a child that chose a religon that was not what I would of chose but it is his right and in spite of it I do the same as you darkwind that is embrace and honor his path, I agree with  know all the religions don't be afraid of them but in the end the only truth you should follow is the one you find in your heart.  I am not familiar with Pagan what is that?????? Namaste Sheri Berri


Raven I was raised Catholic for the early years of my life and I could identify with you I  didn't sleep much  I was terrified if I died I ws going to Hell, My youth should of been filled with joy and wonder not nite terrors, Thank God for my grandmother who told me God was in my heart and never look any where else or believe otherwise, I do the same for my kids,  Some religions (not all) can be very crippling for many years we have to as parents really put thought into this, I came from a generation that had serious issues with there lives due to religion, I don't think its childs play.




#49    JMPD1

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 01:48 PM

My wife and I agreed that our daughter would be allowed to choose her own path.  To that end, we have studied (the 3 of us) different methods of worship, and have attended services for several, including RC.

When she has a question about a certain type of religion, we research and find the answers together.  One day, she will choose a path that is correct for her, and we will support that choice.

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#50    Sherapy

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 01:51 PM

QUOTE(JMPD1 @ Jul 6 2005, 06:48 AM)
My wife and I agreed that our daughter would be allowed to choose her own path.  To that end, we have studied (the 3 of us) different methods of worship, and have attended services for several, including RC.

When she has a question about a certain type of religion, we research and find the answers together.  One day, she will choose a path that is correct for her, and we will support that choice.

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JMPD that is a very excellent idea, I would do the  same . Namaste Sheri berri




#51    sublime_serenity75

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 05:04 PM

My wife and I are agnostics.  I'm very spiritual in that I like to meditate adn read esoteric writings.  We plan on letting our children pursue their own spiritual path.  We will encourage them to pick and choose very carefully and to be very careful of those that are very dogmatic in nature.  What matters to us the most is that our children find one that leads them to personal fulfillment.

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#52    Sherapy

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 05:36 PM

QUOTE(sublime_serenity75 @ Jul 6 2005, 10:04 AM)
My wife and I are agnostics.  I'm very spiritual in that I like to meditate adn read esoteric writings.  We plan on letting our children pursue their own spiritual path.  We will encourage them to pick and choose very carefully and to be very careful of those that are very dogmatic in nature.  What matters to us the most is that our children find one that leads them to personal fulfillment.

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I like this idea too, I thimk the beauty of this enviorment is that your kids experience two differents paths and they get along this will go along way when they are in the world. The school that  I have my kids in teaches from all different religions to eliminate discrimination, the philosophy is when you know about another you aren't afraid of them. Its up to us now as parents to define a new spirituality. It begins in the home.




#53    Purplos

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 08:04 PM

There is nothing wrong with telling your own child "This is what we believe to be the truth." and then teach specifically about your spiritual beliefs.  I do think that parents have the responsibility to teach their children about all paths/walks of life/religions and be supportive of what their child choses to do with their life.

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#54    Sherapy

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 08:22 PM

QUOTE(Purplos @ Jul 6 2005, 01:04 PM)
There is nothing wrong with telling your own child "This is what we believe to be the truth." and then teach specifically about your spiritual beliefs.  I do think that parents have the responsibility to teach their children about all paths/walks of life/religions and be supportive of what their child choses to do with their life.

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I agree with you its unavoidable in actuality to avoid teaching what we believe for a time anyways they are defined by us until they begin to define themselves anyways, good point.




#55    CrisK

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 10:53 AM


I think is more important to give a solid base of values and principles to a child, than letting a church do that for you.

Your personal experiences, believes and traditions will always influence the education that you will provide to your child, even in an indirect way.

I 'have been baptised orthodox and my children will. Sometimes this not a choice. But I will have the responsibility to teach them to recognize the values and principles that will adopt in their lifes.

Love, for example, is the central idea of all the religions.......but none of them have the ''property rights''.

I think that travelling towards your goal is more important (and fascinating) that the goal itself.




#56    Funi

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 11:07 AM

my parents are Orthodox christians
they didn't turn me into one cos they let me choose when i grow up
my choice was NO RELIGION!

"Home? I have no home. Hunted, despised, Living like an animal! The jungle is my home. But I will show the world that I can be its master! I will perfect my own race of people. A race of atomic supermen which will conquer the world! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!" Bela Lugosi in Bride Of The Monster (1955)


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#57    JMPD1

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 11:13 AM

To Purplos & ChrisK:

Do you think that you will be able to discuss other paths with your child(ren) fairly and without bias?  

I'm not trying to be confrontational, just asking because it would seem to be a difficult route to take.
For example, you practice your faith, and so does your child.  You try to illustrate other religions/faith, and say that your child may choose a different one.  What happens when the child asks "Why do you believe in 'Religion X'?", so how do you answer?

Also, with my own child, I've noticed that she tends to 'mirror' my own opinions.  Example:  we had gone to see the latest Star Wars movie.  When we left, she was chattering away about the movie, and then asked me what I thought about it.  Without thinking, I responded "It was ok, nothing really spectacular", and her response was "yeah, me too", and then began a critique of what was wrong with the movie.

It started me thinking that she is entering a stage in her life where she wants acceptance from those around her, and is willing to change her opinion in order to 'fit in'.  After speaking with my wife about this, we both decided that from now on, we let her state her opinion, before offering ours.  

OK, digression over, but the example serves.  The question remains:  Can you impartially discuss other religious choices with your offspring?  Or, do you think, however, that your responses to questions about other paths will be biased?

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#58    Purplos

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 12:33 PM

QUOTE(JMPD1 @ Jul 7 2005, 07:13 AM)
To Purplos & ChrisK:

Do you think that you will be able to discuss other paths with your child(ren) fairly and without bias? 

I'm not trying to be confrontational, just asking because it would seem to be a difficult route to take.
For example, you practice your faith, and so does your child.  You try to illustrate other religions/faith, and say that your child may choose a different one.  What happens when the child asks "Why do you believe in 'Religion X'?", so how do you answer?

Also, with my own child, I've noticed that she tends to 'mirror' my own opinions.  Example:  we had gone to see the latest Star Wars movie.  When we left, she was chattering away about the movie, and then asked me what I thought about it.  Without thinking, I responded "It was ok, nothing really spectacular", and her response was "yeah, me too", and then began a critique of what was wrong with the movie.

It started me thinking that she is entering a stage in her life where she wants acceptance from those around her, and is willing to change her opinion in order to 'fit in'.  After speaking with my wife about this, we both decided that from now on, we let her state her opinion, before offering ours. 

OK, digression over, but the example serves.  The question remains:  Can you impartially discuss other religious choices with your offspring?  Or, do you think, however, that your responses to questions about other paths will be biased?

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I certainly can, and do, discuss other religions with my son (he is only 7, so its basic stuff).  I don't go to church and am not demonstratively religious in everyday life.  I have explained my views on what happens to people that die and we had an extensive talk on what other people think happens too.

I am huge on learning for learning's sake, so I think I personally will be rather good at letting them explore other faiths.

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#59    CrisK

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 12:35 PM

QUOTE(JMPD1 @ Jul 7 2005, 01:13 PM)
To Purplos & ChrisK:

Do you think that you will be able to discuss other paths with your child(ren) fairly and without bias? 

I'm not trying to be confrontational, just asking because it would seem to be a difficult route to take.
For example, you practice your faith, and so does your child.  You try to illustrate other religions/faith, and say that your child may choose a different one.  What happens when the child asks "Why do you believe in 'Religion X'?", so how do you answer?

Also, with my own child, I've noticed that she tends to 'mirror' my own opinions.  Example:  we had gone to see the latest Star Wars movie.  When we left, she was chattering away about the movie, and then asked me what I thought about it.  Without thinking, I responded "It was ok, nothing really spectacular", and her response was "yeah, me too", and then began a critique of what was wrong with the movie.

It started me thinking that she is entering a stage in her life where she wants acceptance from those around her, and is willing to change her opinion in order to 'fit in'.  After speaking with my wife about this, we both decided that from now on, we let her state her opinion, before offering ours. 

OK, digression over, but the example serves.  The question remains:  Can you impartially discuss other religious choices with your offspring?  Or, do you think, however, that your responses to questions about other paths will be biased?

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As I said, you cannot be impartial. You have your own believes, views, traditions.
I was baptised when I was baby, I have made my own choices when I was 12 (I am an atheist), I always defend them, because I think they are right. But I do not want, in any way, impose them to the others. And I am always listening, I always search.

If I will be able to make my children wonder, search and have their own believes (whatever they are ), then I will succeed in their education.

Everyone has his own ''Truth''.

And I am very glad to hear that these matters are part of the family discussions. Not everyone does it you know.

There is enough hate between people for their ''differences'' in politics, religions, sexuality.







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