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Thread: Religion and your children...

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    #1

    Question Religion and your children...

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    Last edited by SAMSET; 05-11-2010 at 04:45 PM.
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    #2
    It is an interesting question & something I have thought about a lot. My parents were both raised Catholic and stopped attending in there 20's because of some fundamental differences in their beliefs and the church's teachings. Because of the strong rift I only attended church on the holidays when we were visiting my grandparents. It was weird not going to church/temple of any sort while all of my friends did. When I was in 4th grade a friend took me to her UU church after a sleep-over and I fell in love. I felt like I belonged, comfortable, welcome- things I had never felt in the intermittent services I had attended before. I begged my parents to take me back the next weekend and they have now been active members for almost 20 years.

    While I was in RE (religious education) in middle school our curriculum was actually studying all the other major religions of the world, and being in Atlanta that gave us the opportunity to actually explore the worship services of these groups. At the end of this 3 years we worked with a mentor- another adult, not a parent, in the church community- to create our own religious statement. At least one person in that group became Catholic, Jewish and Wiccan with a mix of many in between.

    It was a truly life changing experience and I think that teaching your children that there are many 'right' ways to get in touch with 'God' or 'Holy Spirit' or whatever you believe in then you are not forcing their hand. Just be ready to be supportive if they choose a path different then your own.

    Wow that was really long winded- this is something I have thought about A LOT if you can't tell!
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    DH and I are Wiccan and Rhi will be taught the fundamentals of that from us. We were both raised Christian and we will also answer any questions she has about that as well. When she is about 12 or so, we will allow her to decide what she wants religion wise and go with that. DH and I were both forced into church and when we questioned what was being taught we both got into trouble, so organized religion left a bad taste in our mouths.
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    I say that in terms of whatever your own beliefs are, there is no harm in raising your children that way. It is important, though, to expose them to all the other options (in terms of them both understanding their own choices and also having an open mind about the many other faiths in the world). I would never want children that are raised to believe that our way is the only right way, and that everyone else is wrong. It creates an us/them mentality that I think is dangerous.

    After all, it is not like just because you raise them with a certain religion is going to guarantee that they stick with that one for a lifetime. I and many of the people I grew up with were raised religious, but very few of us ended up going with those religions.
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    I wrote this is another thread today & for the sake of me being lazy, I am going to C&P it here with a little added in.

    We are Christian but I teach my kids about all religions/faiths! I have always been upfront & open-minded about other faiths since I have always questioned what I truly believe in. We've attended many different churchs from non-denominational to Catholic to Baptist to Unitarian Universalist. We celebrate different things including Christmas, Yule & the Solstices, Easter & Ostara, etc.

    I would just explain that everyone has a right to believe as you chose. Tell them what you believe & give examples of what others believe. And let them know that there is no one right or wrong way to believe. The "right way" is what you believe in your heart, imo. And as long as you are not hurting anyone then I am ok with that even if it is something *I* personally do not believe in.

    I do feel that kinds should be raised with faith in their daily lives. But I also feel once they are old enough to question & understand, they should have somewhat of a say in the matter.

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    I think that if it is "your" religion then it is what you feel strongly about and that is ok to raise them with your beliefs they are your children and you are to mold them in what "you" feel is right. But as long as you dont force or push them when they want to go another way then I dont see what the harm in teaching them your beliefs.

    In my circumstance I am not sure what to believe. So I dont say anything about religion but if my 5 yr old talks about hevean and God I listen to him with a open heart...I just feel I wasnt here back then I dont know what happened so I cant say or teach things that I know nothing about.....with that being said dont get me wrong Im not saying there isnt a God ...or something Higher then us I'm just saying I dont know what that is....

    and P.S my parents were very Baptist but quit going to church when I was 5....though I was never allowed to use Gods name in vain or say anything bad about the religion ....I was not pushed in to it either

    My husband on the other hand was forced to the extreme and now has a very bad feelings about religion

    We both believe to teach the kids in being good people, doing whats right, honest loyal....the internal bible if you will
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    I was raised Methodist (Protestant) and am fairly well versed in the Bible. We didn't have a set church when I was growing up until I was about 16. My husband was raised Protestant (which branch, I'm not sure-- there's still some WTF about it...) He and I are both pagan.

    We're still working out the kinks in what we're going to raise our son as. Hubby wants to start introducing church you (like kindergarten age) and then other forms of religion when he hits 13 or starts questioning his own, whichever comes first. I would prefer that we "lay out a table" for him: let him pick his own religion. I don't have any problems with him or hubby going to church, but I'm not going.

    What is this UU I keep hearing about? Someone told me it was a ... conglomeration.
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    I really have gotten a lot of insight after reading everyone's posts...I know religion isn't a simple topic. I guess I have plenty of years to think about this since I don't have any kids yet but, when the time comes, I do want to make the right decision so I have a feeling I'll be thinking about all of this a LOT more in years to come.

    .....I also think this shouldn't have been in debates...but I've seen some religion threads turn ugly so I wasn't sure...but I guess this one was safe
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    #9
    we have taken our children to several different kinds of churches. i want them to make their own decisions on what religion if any that they will follow. my dh is christian and i am making the change to wiccan. my 15 yr old has not made up her mind yet, my 13 yr old is wavering about christian and my youngest is going towards wiccan. she also enjoys nature so she may veer towards druidism.

    i see nothing wrong with raising a child in your own religion, or raising them in several religions. we just prefer them to make their own choice.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by SAMSET View Post
    I really have gotten a lot of insight after reading everyone's posts...I know religion isn't a simple topic. I guess I have plenty of years to think about this since I don't have any kids yet but, when the time comes, I do want to make the right decision so I have a feeling I'll be thinking about all of this a LOT more in years to come.

    .....I also think this shouldn't have been in debates...but I've seen some religion threads turn ugly so I wasn't sure...but I guess this one was safe

    Good luck hun...and your right it is a very very tough decision..I have had that inner struggle myself
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