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Raising Kids Without Religion... A cop-out?

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posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 01:50 PM
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I don't keep my kids from hearing perspectives of others (even that of my christian parents), but I also teach them to not settle on a belief just because someone else has.

When my parents were visiting this summer from Africa, I allowed my young sons to go to church with them a few times, but I also told them to not be talked into anything that would make them uncomfortable.

When the ex and I seperated a few years ago, I had to stay w/ my parents briefly and they tried imposing their beliefs onto our lives by "requiring" that we go to church (which I refused to do) and telling my children the same stories about jesus that i had grown up (which looking back on was the equivelent of lying to children about santa claus). I made the choice to not disrespect my parents, but rather moved into a tiny place where we were cramped, but no longer being imposed upon w/ the christian belief.

I respect and love my parents, but they, along w/ the majority of christians I have known have this sense of self superiority vibe that is disguised in words of "Jesus is who made me so great." *pukes* I am "great" and I did it on my own
and I want my children to rely on their selves and what they feel inside of them rather than placing their trust on a man who they have never met bc he lived 2,000 years ago.

[edit on 7-8-2008 by justamomma]




posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by Clearskies

Following God's ways are pretty much just 'common sense' to children, but, at the age of accountability, they should have knowledge of how to discipline their lives
to live in accord with spiritual reality in God.


I;m confused. It seems like you're saying you feel that you have to teach them how to do something they already know?



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 01:51 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


You're blessed!
I didn't go to church and wasn't instructed in the 'ways of the Lord'.
My Christian friends thought I was the cool one at parties and singing rock and roll,
running away UNTIL I became a drug addicted, girl who everybody thought was 'easy'.
I couldn't understand the difference between us, but, now I see it.
They were going to college and were 'hard to get', respectable girls!

I was starting to play the fool and I'm sure, they learned a few lessons at my expense!



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 01:53 PM
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As said above religion does not equal morality or spirituality.
When the first human had the thought of a higher power there was no religion that existed, then later more agreed with that person and created a following known now as religion.
If we can discover our own truths without being clouded by fear of judgment then we truly would have found our faith. And finding that thing that means something to you is the most important faith that exists.

I'd never take my child to any organized religions worship grounds, why show kids other peoples ideas to choose from instead of having their own.

Teach them well and all paths lead to the truth...



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by asmeone2
That's a common misconception I hear from Christians when this issue comes up.

The goal of my descision isn't to be "cool" and it isn't "providing zero guidence." It's simply guiding into understanding the difference between god, as he is, and god as man makes him out to be.


I understand what you are saying and I wouldn't consider my view on the matter to be a misconception because I understand such a scenario is not an absolute.

If you truly have no solid beliefs in God or believe that all roads lead to God (as a couple possible examples) then it is understandable to not raise your children in any certain way. However, if you are confident in your spiritual path, then it really makes no sense to not provide your children with the foundation for that belief and let them go from there.


And also, I don't know if you were trying to imply this or just how I interpreted your post: That sense of discipline your mom put in you as far as material values isn't central to any one religion, either. That's simply good sense in child rearing.


It was done to juxtapose what I see occurring more and more in society compared to my own upbringing and how it relates to the topic: I see so many parents focused on what college their children will attend, if they have the right clothes, are they keeping up with the Jones, all while neglecting spiritual matters when dealing with their children. Of course it is good sense in child rearing to instill the belief there is more to life than hedonistic pleasures and material success but so many parents today seem to consider such things more important than eternal matters.

I don't get the impression you are/would be such a parent so kudos to you.



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by Clearskies
 


Well, the funny thing is, after all that, I still didn't accept Christ until I reached adulthood. My parents never forced me into it or beat me over the head with it but they did provide me with a solid foundation and did not tell me what to believe but instead why to believe it. It was actually something completely different that finally led me to Christ but the solid foundation I received was a huge factor in my walk.



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 02:19 PM
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I understand what you are saying and I wouldn't consider my view on the matter to be a misconception because I understand such a scenario is not an absolute.

If you truly have no solid beliefs in God or believe that all roads lead to God (as a couple possible examples) then it is understandable to not raise your children in any certain way. However, if you are confident in your spiritual path, then it really makes no sense to not provide your children with the foundation for that belief and let them go from there.


I said misconception because a lot of the Christians I meet in real life seem to think that my goal is to prevent them from any spirituality, or that I'm speakign under a false pretense and my only goal is to prevent them from becoming Christian.

If they want to become a Christain that is fine by me, but I would want it to be something that came from their heart, NOT something they did just because they were afraid of going to hell, for example.

I beleive that God comes to anyone who sincerely asks to know him, and then they come to a religion after the fact, to further their understanding of that relationship. For many people this is Christianity. A close friend of mine is in the process of converting to Judiasm because she feels that is what God wants her to do.

My goal is just to instil enough foundation in them that whatever beleif they might choose, it is a sincere choice.




It was done to juxtapose what I see occurring more and more in society compared to my own upbringing and how it relates to the topic: I see so many parents focused on what college their children will attend, if they have the right clothes, are they keeping up with the Jones, all while neglecting spiritual matters when dealing with their children. Of course it is good sense in child rearing to instill the belief there is more to life than hedonistic pleasures and material success but so many parents today seem to consider such things more important than eternal matters.

I don't get the impression you are/would be such a parent so kudos to you.


I agree 100%. Beyond what is being discussed here, my biggest goal for them is to teach them not to take what they have for granted. They are too young now but I plan to take them to farms, museums, ect. and how to cook, sew, and garden, to teach them the effort that comes behind what we appear to have so easily.



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by AshleyD
reply to post by Clearskies
 


Well, the funny thing is, after all that, I still didn't accept Christ until I reached adulthood. My parents never forced me into it or beat me over the head with it but they did provide me with a solid foundation and did not tell me what to believe but instead why to believe it. It was actually something completely different that finally led me to Christ but the solid foundation I received was a huge factor in my walk.


Actually that illustrates my whole desire for the kids.

I don't beleive that anyone can have the proper context to actually appreciate a religion until they have lived as an adult.

(edit for clarification)

[edit on 7-8-2008 by asmeone2]



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by asmeone2
I don't beleive that anyone can have the proper context to actually appreciate a religion until they have lived as an adult.


I'll spare you my personal history but I can agree with that. As a child in terms of religion, you are like a passenger in a car just going where the driver takes you. As an adult, you are capable of the critical thinking and analysis of truly understanding why you believe what you do.



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


A child has no concept of dying, let alone an afterlife. It makes no sense to try to steer his actions based on what happens after you die, because he has to grow into that understanding first.



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 02:41 PM
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You've done the right thing. The world needs more mothers like you.



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 02:56 PM
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My father was a jehova's witness ( no longer left of own free will) my mother was a christian.

i myself do not believe in any form of mass religion current available on the planet.

i grit my teeth at school here in the U.K when the head teacher bashes on relentlessly about GOD and religion to my children girl 6 boy 4,

Whenever they ask me , or the subject of the teaching arises i tell them both that many many people believe in different things,

I tell them they might be right but they also might not be , i tell my daughter that when she feels ready she must seek her own answers, she must weigh up all the available evidence and come to a conclusion for herself.

Even tho religious at the time of my upbringing this is what my parents did for me .. they let me draw my own conclusions without forcing any particular belief upon me.

Yes at the age of 34 i still have no solid conclusions tbh only a plethera of information to wade through.

But i would rather be adrift in the sea of truth, than drowning in man made lies



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 03:00 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 

Unfortunately, and for many, religion hijacked morality. I consider myself a moral person and don't need religion to make me a better person. I respect religions and its followers but don't like being frowned upon if I say I'm spiritual. Like you, I have a family of devout Catholics. As a matter of fact, I was a lucky altar boy. I say lucky because nothing happened to me (if you know what I mean). I guess because my father was very involved in the church.

And yes, I felt pressured by a private school that involved religion even in science class. Whenever I had a curious question, the priests would only say "it is like this or like that because the Bible says so." It was not enough to satisfy my overly developed sense of wonder.

In closing, I would rather have my mind open by wonder than closed by belief.



[edit on 7-8-2008 by manticore]

[edit on 7-8-2008 by manticore]



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 03:04 PM
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Originally posted by asmeone2
Some background. When I had my kids I talked to my mom, who is a very devout, and very evangelical, Christain, and explained that I did not want her to attempt to witness to the children. I was very careful to explain that I was not trying to exclude them from her own religious beleifs but to prevent them from learnign to follow a beleif system dogmatically. If they were to follow any religion, I want it to be because they have a conviction to do so, not because some family member follows it or someone has pressured or scared them into it.

Her opinion is that this is a cop-out because I do not intend to teach them moral values in accordance with any religious values (specifically, hers.) I beleive it is more of a cop-out to attempt to force children to beleive as you do, instead of allowing them the opportunity to live a bit and form a sincere dedication to their faith. I would think that God would want true converts, not drones.

Thoughts?


By raising you the way she did she was following the Lord who commanded her to do so:


Ephesians 6:1-4 ESV Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. (2) “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), (3) “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (4) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Proverbs 23:13-14 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (5) You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (6) And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. (7) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (8) You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. (9) You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Luke 2:48-52 ESV And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” (49) And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (50) And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. (51) And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. (52) And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

Luke 18:28-30 ESV And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” (29) And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, (30) who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

John 9:3-5 ESV Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. (4) We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. (5) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

2 Corinthians 12:13-15 ESV For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong! (14) Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. (15) I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?

Colossians 3:20 ESV Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

1 Timothy 5:3-4 ESV Honor widows who are truly widows. (4) But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. (2) For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, (3) heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, (4) treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, (5) having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Colossians 3:20-24 ESV Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. (21) Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (22) Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. (23) Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, (24) knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Proverbs 1:8-9 ESV Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, (9) for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.

Proverbs 30:17 ESV The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.

Proverbs 7:1-3 ESV My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; (2) keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; (3) bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

Leviticus 19:3 ESV Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 ESV “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, (19) then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, (20) and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ (21) Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

Exodus 20:12 ESV “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

Exodus 21:15-17 ESV “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death. (16) “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death. (17) “Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death.

Titus 2:3-5 ESV Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, (4) and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, (5) to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

Deuteronomy 4:9-10 ESV “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children– (10) how on the day that you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, the LORD said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’

Deuteronomy 11:19 ESV You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Joel 1:2-3 ESV Hear this, you elders; give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers? (3) Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.

Psalms 78:2-8 ESV I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, (3) things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. (4) We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. (5) He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, (6) that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, (7) so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; (8) and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Psalms 103:13 ESV As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

Proverbs 10:1 ESV The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

Psalms 112:1-2 ESV Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! (2) His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 03:06 PM
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Originally posted by manticoreAnd yes, I felt pressured by a private school that involved religion even in science class. Whenever I had a curious question, the priests would only say "it is like this or like that because the bible says so." It was not enough to satisfy my overly developed sense of wonder.


I went to a christian school and encountered the same thing. With the exception of a couple teachers (who have impacted my life in a great way), my curiosity was often rewarded by being sent to the principal's office.
I was tired of always hearing "god works in mysterious ways".. I would never "cop out" on my kids with such a close minded statement.


In closing, I would rather have my mind open by wonder than closed by belief.


Beautifully stated



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 03:08 PM
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Originally posted by asmeone2
reply to post by AshleyD
 


A child has no concept of dying, let alone an afterlife. It makes no sense to try to steer his actions based on what happens after you die, because he has to grow into that understanding first.


That's rather silly to say.

Aren't you still your mother's child? Do you comprehend "dying". Just because you graduate high school and move out of the house doesn't mean your not your mother's child still.



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by manticore
reply to post by asmeone2
 

Unfortunately, and for many, religion hijacked morality. I consider myself moral person and don't need religion to make me a better person. I respect religions and its followers but don't like being frowned upon if I say I'm spiritual. Like you, I have a family of devout Catholics. As a matter of fact, I was a lucky altar boy. I say lucky because nothing happened to me (if you know what I mean). I guess because my father was very involved in the church.

And yes, I felt pressured by a private school that involved religion even in science class. Whenever I had a curious question, the priests would only say "it is like this or like that because the bible says so." It was not enough to satisfy my overly developed sense of wonder.

In closing, I would rather have my mind open by wonder than closed by belief.



[edit on 7-8-2008 by manticore]


My family was actually Evangelical.

I have a little bit more respect for Catholics. It seems like the Evangelicals change their doctrine at a whim, to suit whatever the "will of God" is, wheras Catholics at least seem to stand on what they beleive. (correct me if I'm wrong.) I have to also say that the Catholics that I've known are much more willing to live and let live, and don't take criticism personally like many Evangelicals.



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 03:12 PM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


I think you misunderstand me.

I don't understand the exact mechanism of dying, nor what happens afterwards, but I understand that it means the soul leaves the body, which children can't understand before a certain age(which varies from kid to kid.)

They are my kids regardless if they understand that or not. My point was that the beleif should match what the child is capable of understanding.



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 03:13 PM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


With all due respect, she was actually following what John, Timothy, Luke, Moses, David, ect. wrote down.



posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 03:15 PM
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i have a child, i have no religon, i spit in the eye of religon, it is just a method of control and a need to belong in some people. school will polute their minds with religious rubbish. i have studied most religons (am just working my way through the koran), i try to teach my sisters children, who are not religious at all, the importance of religon in understanding how the rest of the world works and as historical significance, whilst i fight for freedom of choice, i do not want my children (3+5) to follow any sort of religion (hypocritical i know), it is worth preserveing their freedom of choice which is lost once a religion is adopted





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