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Old 01-12-2003, 05:11 PM   #1
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To give or not to give (Religious Choice)...

Do you think that parents should give children the choice of believeing in (god)/having a religion?

--To expand: (based on Catholicism) Having children baptised, having them attend church, Catholic school, etc. vs. exposing children to various gods and cultures/allowing them to make their own decision/not mentioing religion whatsoever and allowing them to make up their own minds as to what to believe in....

I think ultimately that discovering god for oneself is ideal, but if not really pushed (i.e. school, palce of worship, instruction) will the child really come to know/appreciate/discover god?
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Old 01-12-2003, 05:22 PM   #2
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i've never understood people who consider religion a choice to give their children. if they really believe in a particular faith, set of ideals, why would they withhold that from their children?
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Old 01-12-2003, 06:46 PM   #3
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The answer is easy. If a parent is not willing to educate their children in matters of the faith, there are plenty of other (both religious and commercial ventures) ready and willing to fill the void.

It never makes sense to me why parents would educate their children about everything except faith.

Bottom line, who do you want to parent your children on faith - you or the world?
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Old 01-12-2003, 07:13 PM   #4
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Most parents raise their children in their faith or belief system.

I do know parents who are agnostic and let their children attend services with neighbors.

As you read this ask yourself this question, is your faith/ religion more of a consequence of how/where you were brought up, or is it a conscience decision on your part based on inquiry for wisdom and peace. If you were born in Saudi or Afghanistan would you be Muslim?

More important than raising children in a particular faith, is to raise children with values, love, compassion, and tolerance.
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Old 01-12-2003, 07:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
The answer is easy. If a parent is not willing to educate their children in matters of the faith, there are plenty of other (both religious and commercial ventures) ready and willing to fill the void.
Sad but true.

For those out there who are Christians, we are directed in Proverbs to "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it".
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Old 01-12-2003, 07:52 PM   #6
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I think a parent should explain their religion to their child, perhaps take them to church (I'm using Christianity here as an example) a few times, but not necessarily force them to participate if they don't want to. I used to go with neighbors when I was a young'un, but it just didn't do anything for me.. I don't believe that giving a child a choice is necessarily withholding your religion from them, just giving them an option to make up their own mind. I was brought up with no religion at all, but I don't think my understanding of God is lessened (I know several of you would disagree)... Anyway, if/when I have kids, I'll go the "expose them to many cultures and let them make up their mind" way. I'd hope they'd find God on their own, and I think ultimately discovering him on your own is more fulfilling. But that's just my heathen opinion
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Old 01-12-2003, 08:36 PM   #7
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"Choice," per se, is not a concept that youth will understand. Hence, in Catholic education, at least, religious education is taught at an essentialist level. Competing Catholic concepts, such as personalism and God-inspired evolution, are not taught until they are more mature. I would suggest teaching your children your own belief system--and since you seem to value open-mindedness, introduce that value when they are older and can appreciate it.

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Old 01-12-2003, 11:28 PM   #8
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As a Christian there is a certain responsibility to spread the word. Especially to those you love and care about. But it is also not about force feeding and brainwashing. I'm the son of two ministers and I've been fortunate that the faith was never forced on me. Many children of the clergy are force-fed religion and either wind up hating it and turning off faith or become little mindless robots who can only spout dogma (in the bad sense of the word). I was brought to church and sunday school up until I was old enough to stay on my own (since both my parents would be out of the house on Sundays to their respective churches). After that it was my choice as to wether to go along with the faith I was brought up in. After several years and much though and soul searching I chose to accept the Christian faith and now several years later with continuing study (including looking at other religions somewhat though less than I would like) I remain a believer.
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Old 01-13-2003, 02:35 AM   #9
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I think it is a responsiblity for a parent to introduce their child to their religion. It is their resp. to their church and to their children. Alot of children who arent brought up in a church will never go as an adult.
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Old 01-13-2003, 09:36 AM   #10
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I think the parents should leave the choice up to their children. So what if their child does not follow their religion? Besides, having people of different religions under the same household will lead to understanding and accepting each other's religious beliefs.

And if a child's parents are religious, but the child chooses to not be religious at all, I think that'd be fine as well.

If the child does follow their parents' religion, fine, just so long as they weren't forced to. Nobody should be forced to follow a religion.

Again, it all boils down to understanding and accepting each other's religious beliefs. If my future children's religious beliefs are the same as mine, fine. If they aren't, that's fine, too.

Angela
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Old 01-13-2003, 11:19 AM   #11
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Hmmm. I beleive there is a huge gap between teaching your children faith and forcing them to believe. Frankly, I doubt you can force your children to believe for any significant period of time.

If we are not teaching childred our faith, what does that teach our children? That it really isn't that important to us. And for some, maybe that is true. If we take an "all roads lead to God" approach - sure, one belief system is as good as the next. They are essentially lifestyle choices.

As a Christian, I believe Jesus Christ when He said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." If I do not teach my children properly, I must stand before a Holy God and account for my actions.
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Old 01-13-2003, 11:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Screaming Flower
i've never understood people who consider religion a choice to give their children. if they really believe in a particular faith, set of ideals, why would they withhold that from their children?
Right on.

Do you think kids growing up in split-religion families have it harder? My best friend's mom is Protestant, her dad is Catholic. Dad goes to church every sunday w/o a gap.. my friend stopped going b/c her mom doesn't go. She still has a healthy belief system but went to Church last Christmas & said she missed it. What do you guys think about this?
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Old 01-13-2003, 12:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by oliveu2cm
Do you think kids growing up in split-religion families have it harder?
Probably harder than is ever reported, especially on such an important area as faith. It is very difficult to measure what a child's life would be like with one consistent message vs. a child's life with a mixed message.

I'm sure there are plent of antecdotal stories to the contrary.

I grew up in an Episcopalian/Russian Orthodox household. If you asked me if I had a harder time because of the split religion, I would have answered "NO", primarily because I didn't care about the Truth (I was not a believer). If you ask me today, I have wondered what it would have been like to have the peace, joy and security in Christ then that I have today.
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Old 02-26-2003, 09:01 PM   #14
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When I was 14 and a member of (at the time) a strict Baptist church, I actually had a very spiritual experience. I raised my arms a cried out in the Holy Spirit. The Baptist camp counselors made fun of me in front of the other kids and proceded to tell me I was going to burn in hell for blasphemous behavior. I discussed it with my parents because I was never going back to that church, not because I was embarrased, but I truly had a moving conversion. I kept my faith and left that church and the Baptist religion behind. My son is not of any paticular religious persuasion since I always instilled faith instead of religion. He attends various congregations and is happy in his own faith. You have to instill faith and love and the rest will follow.
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Old 02-26-2003, 11:18 PM   #15
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Re: To give or not to give (Religious Choice)...

Quote:
Originally posted by The_Sweetest_Thing
Do you think that parents should give children the choice of believeing in (god)/having a religion?

--To expand: (based on Catholicism) Having children baptised, having them attend church, Catholic school, etc. vs. exposing children to various gods and cultures/allowing them to make their own decision/not mentioing religion whatsoever and allowing them to make up their own minds as to what to believe in....

I think ultimately that discovering god for oneself is ideal, but if not really pushed (i.e. school, palce of worship, instruction) will the child really come to know/appreciate/discover god?
I think that parents should be accepting of their child's choice of believing in God/having Religion after their child finishes their Religious education.

Having been sent to church without parents as a child, I feel I missed out on something. I say this because eventually, I didn't attend church - but stopped at the donut shop instead. When I married my husband we married at a church in his faith (protestant) instead of mine (Catholic). Then I decided that our children would grow up attending his church, but after being a non church goer since childhood it took a bit to actually get to church and we finally started attending one last fall (Bono saying a prayer after visiting my daughter during the Oct. 30, 2001 Elevation concert was the beginning of my journey to Church). My children are 11, 10 and 2. I didn't have them baptized as babies to go throw the motions, I felt hypocritical doing that if I wasn't attending. Now they can choose to be baptized themselves when they are older.

Anyhow, I'm not sure if there is a child anywhere that WANTS to go to church. If they aren't pushed to, then they may not learn enough to find it later. After they finish the Religious education of their familyís beliefs, then they shouldn't be pushed into anything but let free to make up their own minds.
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