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 Religion and children

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WormThatTurned

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PostSubject: Religion and children   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 17:57

As you know we have a young child. We have had pressure from parents about having him christened. We think religion is a very personal choice and want him to find his own way when he's old enough and have decided not to have him christened (having a naming party instead Razz ).

I was very surprised at the opposition to this..."he wont be accepted into heaven" etc etc I think we have done the right thing but what are your thoughts on this.
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drewboy
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PostSubject: Re: Religion and children   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 18:12

If you are following a certain faith, they generally have a condition in it that you bring up your kids in that faith.

I was brought up catholic, and then at about 14/15 told I could make my own mind up. I think that is fair enough to be honest, my parents felt strongly about their faith and that bringing me up in that way was not going to do anything to harm me.

Now that I have had the choice, I actually still consider myself to be catholic - however I refuse to be a hypocrite and go to church due to certain catholic dogma.

Bottome line for me I suppose, is that while I understand the "let them decide" line of thinking, if a parent is serious about their faith they should bring their kids up in it too. Kids do not have the ability to think about this rationally until they are a lot older.

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helencbradshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Religion and children   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 18:59

Ultimately, it is up to yourselves, and I am a little surprised you got some opposition too, although that depends on yours and your own families personal religious beliefs I guess.

I think you can rest easy with the old "Heaven" comments...(well unless that is important to you Smile , but then if it was, you would have had him Christened anyway so I guess it aint..!

I would also consider myself to be Catholic, although more of a lapsed Catholic now. Unlike Drew, my parents didn't have a particularly strong faith, despite my father being Irish - my Mum was doing what most parents these days find themselves doing, ensuring we got into a good school and she thought that the best education could be provided at a Catholic School...! So most of the religion I got was from school rather than home.

I think you have certainly done the right thing if religion is not an important factor in your life. Plenty of parents opt for Naming Ceremonies nowadays.
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koshkha

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PostSubject: Re: Religion and children   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 20:09

Wormy,

Stick to your guns - your kid can make his own mind up.

What on earth would be the point in getting him christened (nice frock and candles) if you have no intention of taking him to church and bringing him up as an active Christian. Sounds like the people who are telling you he 'won't go to heaven' would prefer you to act like a hypocrit and go through the motions so they can have a nice party (which you are already offering them).

Do they also give you aggro for not being married?

Any god who'd punish a child for the beliefs (or non-beliefs) of his parents, isn't worth knowing.
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Ciao's Favourite Member



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PostSubject: Re: Religion and children   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 20:17

If I were to have kids, I'd be the same, Wormy.

I consider myself to be athiest, but thinking about it, I'm really agnostic. However, not only would I want my kids to make their own decision with regards religion, but I'd want them to have good religious education so that they have a good understanding of the world's religions.

At formal education, I wouldn't want this to start before secondary school, but perhaps privately at home from earlier.

Religion/faith is a private thing and kids are too young IMO to be "taught" religion before secondary school. All it is at that age/level is indoctrination.

Naming ceremoniesa are the way forward, if you're in to that sort of thing.
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Mauri



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PostSubject: Re: Religion and children   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 20:34

koshkha wrote:
Wormy,

Stick to your guns - your kid can make his own mind up.

What on earth would be the point in getting him christened (nice frock and candles) if you have no intention of taking him to church and bringing him up as an active Christian. Sounds like the people who are telling you he 'won't go to heaven' would prefer you to act like a hypocrit and go through the motions so they can have a nice party (which you are already offering them).

Do they also give you aggro for not being married?

Any god who'd punish a child for the beliefs (or non-beliefs) of his parents, isn't worth knowing.

Exactly right! We took the same decision with our kids...
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spoilt_little_brat

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PostSubject: Re: Religion and children   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 22:04

Mauri wrote:
koshkha wrote:
Wormy,

Stick to your guns - your kid can make his own mind up.

What on earth would be the point in getting him christened (nice frock and candles) if you have no intention of taking him to church and bringing him up as an active Christian. Sounds like the people who are telling you he 'won't go to heaven' would prefer you to act like a hypocrit and go through the motions so they can have a nice party (which you are already offering them).

Do they also give you aggro for not being married?

Any god who'd punish a child for the beliefs (or non-beliefs) of his parents, isn't worth knowing.

Exactly right! We took the same decision with our kids...

It's not so much his family as mine. My nan is VERY religious and is really pushing for it. I was christened and went to Sunday school till I was about 8 years old when I wanted to go out with my friends and not go to church. My nan also said why did we pick the name Caleb if we will not christen him Mad

My mum also is pushing for it, although she is the biggest hypocrit and worst example of a christian I know.

My step-dad however is a pastor in America where they both live and is brilliant about it. He agrees with us that parents only do it for a big party and because its the done thing. He also said that if he had his way he would not do them at his church.

I (and I would hope Jas would too) will talk about religion to Caleb and teach him about ALL the different religions and will let him pick himself, if he wants any religion at all.

Yeah my nan didn't talk to me for about 2 weeks when she found out I was pregnant as we are not married (although we were planning a wedding at the time but it's been put back a year now). She was a 'bastard' as she calls herself and has huge hang ups about it. When I was about 7months pregnant she even was going to give us the money just to get married before the birth lol.

Oh and it was really funny because we got loads of cards from her friends and they all had Mr & Mrs and Jay's surname on them, so she has told everyone we are married. Stupid eh!
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WendyBull

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PostSubject: Re: Religion and children   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 22:13

Blimey, I had 3 of my kids already and was 6 months pregnant with my fourth when i got married! Smile Just got a bee in my bonnet about it, but there is nothing wronmg with being unmarried.

As for the christening thing, none of my kids are christened, they can choose themselves when they know what they want to do/be/follow.
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helencbradshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Religion and children   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 22:29

Lisa, sounds like you both know what you want, so you can't change your Nan's mind but what you are suggesting in terms of religious education seems absolutely spot on to me.

Obviously I dont know what age your Nan is, but it sounds like an age/generational thing, and indeed society's attitudes towards religion and indeed living together while not being married have changed enormously in the last 50-70 years - but she will have to deal with it in her own way.

And she will.
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koshkha

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PostSubject: Re: Religion and children   Fri 19 Oct 2007, 00:29

Why don't you just tell Nan you did it.

God might strike you down with a bolt of thunder...... but I doubt it.
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Paul99ine

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PostSubject: Re: Religion and children   Fri 19 Oct 2007, 02:07

koshkha wrote:
Why don't you just tell Nan you did it.

God might strike you down with a bolt of thunder...... but I doubt it.

Yep....I totally agree wit B on this one.....(and I DID have both my children baptised).....
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koshkha

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PostSubject: Re: Religion and children   Fri 19 Oct 2007, 15:05

Which part were you agreeing with Pauline?

Fibbing to Nana or getting struck down?
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Paul99ine

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PostSubject: Re: Religion and children   Fri 19 Oct 2007, 20:26

Heh...Heh....Now, now....Barbara, I wouldn't want anyone to get struck down....
Like you I think a little white lie would be totally in order and I doubt very much if s_l_b will be struck down for that!
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atticusuk

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PostSubject: Re: Religion and children   Mon 22 Oct 2007, 17:46

Don't see the point in having your child christened if you have no intention of bringing them up as Christians, they can make their own decision when they are older as long as they are made aware of the options open to them particularly when it comes to any decision to get married in church.

My sister is curretly agonising over whether to attend church or not for the sole reason of getting my niece into a church school, apparently the vicar did not accept that attending weddings funerals, christanings and midnight mass at xmas classed you as a regular church goer.

Personally both my children were baptised and one is a believer and one is questioning the faith, that is fine they will make their own decision, I share my own views but make sure that they understand that there are contrary views, as a child interested in Science he tends to find it easier to accept the scientific approach rather than a faith based one.

Alternatively you can always adopt the Bart Simpson approach, lead a life of sin and then repent on your death bed and gai forgiveness. Covers the best of both worlds.
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