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#181 of 240 Old 09-08-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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I was raised by very devout catholic parents. I attended catholic school back in the days when there was still an abundance of nuns. I knew from the time I was 7 years old that I did not believe in the catholic church and that I would never be catholic, at that point largely because woman can't be priests. My parents were of the "you must attend" variety, and forced their religion down my throat until I was old enough to move out. I loathed their approach to religion.

I believe strongly that everyone walks their own spiritual path. I'm theologically Quaker, but for logistical reasons, we attend a UU church.

I don't care whether or not my kids believe in God. They have their own decisions to make. I would be hurt if they end up in a religion that treats some people as less than others, based on gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.
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#182 of 240 Old 09-08-2006, 06:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EFmom
I would be hurt if they end up in a religion that treats some people as less than others, based on gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.
I realize that my children will and should make there own decisions, but I, personally, would see this as a failure on my part as a parent. I hope that I succeed in teaching my children love, compassion and fairness. If they find a religion that holds up those ideals in speach *AND PRACTICE*, then I'd be OK with that.
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#183 of 240 Old 09-08-2006, 06:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EFmom
I was raised by very devout catholic parents. I attended catholic school back in the days when there was still an abundance of nuns. I knew from the time I was 7 years old that I did not believe in the catholic church and that I would never be catholic, at that point largely because woman can't be priests. My parents were of the "you must attend" variety, and forced their religion down my throat until I was old enough to move out. I loathed their approach to religion.

I believe strongly that everyone walks their own spiritual path. I'm theologically Quaker, but for logistical reasons, we attend a UU church.

I don't care whether or not my kids believe in God. They have their own decisions to make. I would be hurt if they end up in a religion that treats some people as less than others, based on gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.
I have to get out the door in a minute, but your post reminded me that there was a thread awhile ago with a Q&A and returned what religion you were most likely to be compatible with. I'll try to remember to find that and bump it up.
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#184 of 240 Old 09-08-2006, 07:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty
OK...

I have been contemplating asking this question, until now I resisted the urge. But I can't resist any longer. So here goes....

Why is it that so many of you would be disappointed or upset if your children became "Christian"? Why is the Christian God the one that you really don't want your children to worship? Why would it be different if they were to begin worshiping nature, or Buddah, Allah, Baal, or any other god?
Buddha was not a god. He was "awake." I would not be disappointed if my Dd became a buddhist. I would be disappointed if she became a Christian because I was once one myself and am now repelled by it. It would just be hard for me to deal with it, but I would. It's not my choice, but just like a devout Christian guides her child to that belief system, I would guide her away from it. Just like most Christians would be disappointed if their child denied Christ and lived a life of "sin," I would be disappointed if she chose a Christian life or anything particularly religious. I'm don't think there's a way for me to be more specific without being insulting, which I don't want to do. I don't want to insult others, I just wanted to answer the question.
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#185 of 240 Old 09-08-2006, 08:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
You know, as an extremely leftist, crunchy, *jesus was a hippy* Christian --- I find it is hard to fit in anywhere sometimes I certainly would NOT fit in with the conservative/fundie/republican crowd to ANY degree (they would probably physically harm me).... but when I tell *crunchy* people I am Christian, I see them slowly backing away, terrified looks in their eyes before I explain myself.

I am A Christian who chooses Jesus as MY personal savior, not yours, not anyone else's -- that is for them to decide or not. I try to walk with love, I don't care what you do in your bedroom or who you want to marry. I recognize every woman's body as her own and will stand up for her right of choice over matters involving her body. I don't care who gets married as long as it is two consenting adults. I ABSOLUTELY DETEST PRESIDENT BUSH and probably every.single.one. of his beliefs and policies....

...but, I am still a Christian. I reject most *organized* religion because I think that spirituality is such a personal and unique thing and my relationship with God (as I believe God to be) is unlike yours, or his, or hers, or anyone elses.

I also subscribe to the belief that *all paths lead to God* in the sense that if one is pure of heart and devoted to their God as they believe God to be, even if God is nature, or whoever, then they are walking with God.

I study the Buddhism philosophy as well.

The point of this whole novel is that I don't care if my daughter believes in *my* God or not -- but I do think faith is really important --- I will keep our home and minds open to any path which walks in love, and believes in treating everyone as you/they wish to be treated. Any path which is based in kindness and in respect for self and for others and their choices. My personal belief and choice as Jesus as my savior is just that, a personal belief.

....I would though, go mental if she became a conservative republican You're on your own there kiddo.
This is a really beautiful post, CC
I feel the same way (except I don't self identify as Christian, but I respect your position on that one).


but........................ I think you might be Hindu
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#186 of 240 Old 09-08-2006, 10:54 PM
 
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Was that quiz perhaps the one at Beliefnet? This quiz is actually how we discovered that Mike is a Liberal Quaker; he was skeptical at first, until he read some literature from our local Meetinghouse. He said, "If I didn't know that these people had been around for more than 300 years, I'd be sure that they were reading my mind!"

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#187 of 240 Old 09-08-2006, 11:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
Was that quiz perhaps the one at Beliefnet? This quiz is actually how we discovered that Mike is a Liberal Quaker; he was skeptical at first, until he read some literature from our local Meetinghouse. He said, "If I didn't know that these people had been around for more than 300 years, I'd be sure that they were reading my mind!"
Yep, that's it!
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#188 of 240 Old 09-08-2006, 11:16 PM
 
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yes, it's very important to dh and i that our dd and any future children believe in God/Jesus. We follow Jesus message of Love as set out in the Bible and we follow it because we believe it's the truth. This does not mean we don't respect other religions or even that we don't see good in them. We just don't believe they are the way to heaven.

I would not hate or reject my DD if she chose otherwise, but I would be heartbroken.
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#189 of 240 Old 09-08-2006, 11:33 PM
 
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i am a Christian but i can answer your question kidzaplenty about why so many would be disappointed if their kids became christians.

the bible says they will know we are Chrisitans by our love for one another - but the Christian world is instead know by our sectarianism with different denominations and infighting and splits etc

we are supposed to preach the "gospel" which dictionary definition is "good news" but instead we condemn everyone who isn't like us.

we picket, condemn, scorn, won't talk to or associate with certain people, don't take up our issues in the voting booth but in a public way where it is offensive to others.

we (I am using "we" in a very generic sense and certainly this does not apply to MDC parents) spank our children, bend their wills to ours and let them cry it out so they learn who is boss and what the rules are. we feed them and do everything on a strict schedule with no regard to their needs so we are not inconvenienced and we call this "raising kids God's way"

We have schools that punish children for simple infractions like their skirt being an inch too short or their hair being an inch too long and we tell them they can't wear this or that and can't listen to or see this or that and make all sorts of hypocritical rules that are concerned with outward appearances rather than the heart.

We tell our teens and young people that they cannot date or can't date without prior permission from someone or can't date before age 18 and we shun them and think they are "backslidden" a heathen, if htey do otherwise even if it's ok with their parents. Then we tell them they can't dance at their wedding reception. Basically we have churches that abuse authority.

Need I go on?? Unfortunately IMHO there are many other spiritual paths out there whose followers are more closely following Jesus and the Bible by living peacably and caring for others and living in love and who are more "christian" than many professed christians except for their lack of belief in Christ as Saviour.

Since the above is the experience of many Christians and many "former' Christians, I can see why they don't want to be Christians. I personally don't call myself a Christian. Am I a follower of Christ? Yes!! But I hope I am not anything like what our society considers a stereotypical Chrisitan to be. You will notice in my first post on this thread that I identified myself as a follower of Jesus message of love in the Bible.

FWIW on behalf of Christianity I apologize for all of the lack of love and compassion and ability to disagree peacably that comes out of christians and the church.
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#190 of 240 Old 09-10-2006, 07:26 AM
 
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I've entered very late into this thread, but for me, I've always felt that I don't have any right to 'impose' or 'raise' my son to accept a particular religious/spiritual path. I would in all honesty consider this a violation of his rights. Ultimately I want him to embrace his own autonomy. As his parent, I will hopefully equip him with the tools to explore religion/spirituality independently from my influence. When I refer to my influence, I mean not dictating that 'this is right, no that is wrong'.

For me personally, organised religion has never played a fundamental role in my life. If I have encountered spirituality, it has been via my own choice to explore it. As a female, from my own research I can honestly say that I see no place for myself within organized religion that wouldn't involve sacrificing my own identity in some way.

I must add though, that I will raise my son to understand the importance of living an ethical, compassionate existence. But I do not believe that I need organised religion in order for him to adopt this ethical/compassionate existence. Ultimately, it *is* a personal choice.
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#191 of 240 Old 09-10-2006, 07:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Attached Mama
FWIW on behalf of Christianity I apologize for all of the lack of love and compassion and ability to disagree peacably that comes out of christians and the church.
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#192 of 240 Old 09-10-2006, 10:22 AM
 
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Wow, Attached Mama-- Would you mind if I forwarded that to my inlaws?

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#193 of 240 Old 09-11-2006, 01:00 AM
 
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i don't have any control over whether you forward my post do i? but am curious why you want to...
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#194 of 240 Old 09-11-2006, 01:04 AM
 
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must add that all those things i wrote about are NOT in the bible - please add that to whatever you forward.
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#195 of 240 Old 09-11-2006, 02:22 AM
 
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The short answer is that I don't care if my (hypothetical) kids believe in God.

But I do feel strongly that I don't want them to be either athiests, theists, agnostics, or really anything by default. Without independant thought and understanding and exploration. I would try to buffer them from any influence of that kind, of people and groups that say explicitly or implicitly "Of course you should believe X, not Y." I would encourage exploration.

I would want there to be some aspect of religious activity and ceremony involving the whole family, in a flexible way that isn't so much about belief per se.

I am also planning on seeking some practices that I think would be useful for a kid's spiritual development. Like we might go to Quaker meetings sometimes, and also spend some time in nature in a quiet listening way.

And I'd hope to foster spiritual community whenever possible.

Sometimes I think I should start doing this stuff now!
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#196 of 240 Old 09-11-2006, 08:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sphinxie
But I do feel strongly that I don't want them to be either athiests, theists, agnostics, or really anything by default. Without independant thought and understanding and exploration. I would try to buffer them from any influence of that kind, of people and groups that say explicitly or implicitly "Of course you should believe X, not Y." I would encourage exploration.
I know a number of atheists, agnostics, humanists etc. (with and w/o children) and none of them really speak of their belief system with just anyone. Most keep it to themselves and I have never met one who has told anyone they should believe X and not Y. My personal experience has been that people who have come to this kind of understanding have done it through much processing and exploration. They are logical, critical thinkers and telling someone to believe or not believe something goes against their core values.

I find it ironic though that I would presume the majority of them would feel the same way about people in organised religions as you do about them. Preaching and trying to convert and a black and white view of the world seem to me to be a part of some organised religions and is not in the mindset of those I know who do not have religion in their lives.

There really are so few atheists or agnosits in the U.S. statistically. I can't imagine anyone of them telling a child that isn't their own "There is no God". But I see the reverse all the time. (From God, to Jesus, to Santa Clause.)

I would venture to say though that none of us want anyone else's religious beliefs (or lack thereof) pushed on our children.

edited to make more logical sense...
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#197 of 240 Old 09-11-2006, 08:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Attached Mama
i don't have any control over whether you forward my post do i? but am curious why you want to...
Because they have a really hard time understanding why I'm so offended by their particular flavor of Christianity, and why the idea of them teaching my children anything about religion *terrifies* me.

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#198 of 240 Old 09-11-2006, 05:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by xaloxe
I find it ironic though that I would presume the majority of them would feel the same way about people in organised religions as you do about them. Preaching and trying to convert and a black and white view of the world seem to me to be a part of some organised religions and is not in the mindset of those I know who do not have religion in their lives.

There really are so few atheists, agnosits, theists in the U.S. statistically. I can't imagine anyone of them telling a child that isn't their own "There is no God". But I see the reverse all the time. (From God, to Jesus, to Santa Clause.)
Heheh, Xaloxe, that's not quite my situation! I think you will understand what I wrote a lot better if you keep in mind that when I say "atheists, agnostics, and theists" I am referring to pretty much everybody... a theist is someone who believes in God or gods.

Regardless of US statistics, in my social groups there aren't clear lines between religious and areligious people. And there are lots of atheists and agnostics, and theists too. As common as evangelists may be there are none in the social groups I live in, so that high level of pressure is just not a factor.

But anyway, I was popping back in here to add that on the other hand, some people's personalities simply aren't geared for that sort of exploration, so I could also be okay with that too if it was for intrinsic reasons.

ETA: there are some other details that would be interesting to discuss but I think they would be irrelevant to the parenting aspect of this discussion.
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#199 of 240 Old 09-11-2006, 05:40 PM
 
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Great post, Attached Mama!

Xaloxe wrote, regarding atheists and agnostics:
Quote:
My personal experience has been that people who have come to this kind of understanding have done it through much processing and exploration. They are logical, critical thinkers and telling someone to believe or not believe something goes against their core values.
I almost agree with you, except for the "not believe" part. I agree that people who don't believe in God are opposed to anyone, including themselves, telling anyone what to believe. But I know several atheists who are quite happy to tell everyone that they SHOULD NOT believe in God. In fact, they feel compelled to shout down anyone who is trying to speak about h faith and to criticize that person as stupid, immature, guided by mushy feelings rather than correct thinking, illogical, and/or brainwashed. Certainly, not all the atheists I know are like this. But some are. Methinks they doth protest too much and are secretly afraid that the believers might be right. :

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#200 of 240 Old 09-11-2006, 06:24 PM
 
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Methinks they doth protest too much and are secretly afraid that the believers might be right. "

Sheesh, using that logic I could say every person who has approached me trying to convert me is "protesting too much" and is secretly thinking the non believers are right.:
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#201 of 240 Old 09-11-2006, 06:32 PM
 
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Of course I care I want my kids with me in heaven.

 
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#202 of 240 Old 09-11-2006, 06:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nankay
Methinks they doth protest too much and are secretly afraid that the believers might be right. "

Sheesh, using that logic I could say every person who has approached me trying to convert me is "protesting too much" much and is secretly thinking the non believers are right.:
Basically what it comes down to, time and again, is that many believers don't believe in atheists.
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#203 of 240 Old 09-11-2006, 06:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EnviroBecca
Certainly, not all the atheists I know are like this. But some are. Methinks they doth protest too much and are secretly afraid that the believers might be right. :
They are probably strong atheists/rationalists who can't grok the cognitive dissonance that believers practice on a daily basis. It can be very frustrating. I get frustrated with Christians in that way sometime, but my experience with my parents shoving religion down my throat from day one has made me very hands off in terms of what others believe. Just like you will find Christians who don't talk about their religion to others, you will find atheists who want to convert everybody. That's just life.
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#204 of 240 Old 09-12-2006, 07:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sphinxie
Heheh, Xaloxe, that's not quite my situation! I think you will understand what I wrote a lot better if you keep in mind that when I say "atheists, agnostics, and theists" I am referring to pretty much everybody... a theist is someone who believes in God or gods.


Ok, ok... I know what a theist is, yet somehow I managed to read over it in your post and still use it in mine! It all makes much more sense to me now that you have so clearly pointed out my flawed interpretation.

Note to self: there's a reason you wake up an hour before the kids, because it takes you that long to wake up. Don't reply to posts until you've achieved that goal. I've learned a valuable lesson today. Oh, and re-read them, for once.

I will still stand by my post, excluding the addition of theist.
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#205 of 240 Old 09-12-2006, 07:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by EnviroBecca
I almost agree with you, except for the "not believe" part. I agree that people who don't believe in God are opposed to anyone, including themselves, telling anyone what to believe. But I know several atheists who are quite happy to tell everyone that they SHOULD NOT believe in God. In fact, they feel compelled to shout down anyone who is trying to speak about h faith and to criticize that person as stupid, immature, guided by mushy feelings rather than correct thinking, illogical, and/or brainwashed. Certainly, not all the atheists I know are like this. But some are. Methinks they doth protest too much and are secretly afraid that the believers might be right. :
It's an intersting thought, and as Nankay pointed out, are those who are most vocal and feel qualified to adauciously tell someone else what to or not to believe the most insecure in their belief system? It could very well be insecurity, but for some I know it can also be a struggle for acceptance and understanding in a society so inundated with symbols and thoughts from a select few religions.

Trying to take this back to the topic at hand... it does bother me that at certain times of the year it seems a large number of USAmericans make assumptions that everyone and their children hold the same religious views as they do. I have vivid memories of being wished specific holiday greetings and feeling very alienated as a child and youth because we didn't celebrate theirs.

Again, I want to raise confident, intelligent, kind, creative, empathetic, critical thinkers. They will find their own path and hopefully take responsibility for themselves and their own actions. If they can do this, with or without religion, it doesn't matter to me if in the end I've accomplished my goal.
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#206 of 240 Old 09-13-2006, 04:17 PM
 
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Nankay wrote:
Quote:
Sheesh, using that logic I could say every person who has approached me trying to convert me is "protesting too much" and is secretly thinking the non believers are right.
Oh, absolutely! I grew up in an area with lots of fundamentalist Christians, and not only were they zealous about wanting to convert everyone, they were determined to prevent anyone from explaining other beliefs (even if those were not the speaker's own beliefs, for example when we learned about Islam in order to understand medieval history) because they were terrified that if their children heard about other beliefs, they would adopt those beliefs. Their faith is in fact so weak that it is threatened by the mere knowledge that anyone believes anything else!

Lisac77 wrote:
Quote:
They are probably strong atheists/rationalists who can't grok the cognitive dissonance that believers practice on a daily basis.
Cognitive dissonance is a conflict between one's actions and one's beliefs. I can understand pointing that out to a person: "You say you believe nonmarital sex is wrong, yet you keep doing it!" The kind of atheist harangue I'm talking about is when someone responds to a person who mentions belonging to a church by saying, "You go to CHURCH?! I thought you were smart! What, do you believe there's a big sky-monkey controlling everything you do?!" That is a direct quote. These are not people who are interested in finding out my actual beliefs and practices; they stereotype all people who believe in God as dimwits and make no distinctions among us.

But like I said, most of the atheists I know are not like that. If EnviroBaby grows up to be an atheist, I'll be okay with it as long as he's not a bigoted and rude atheist. I don't want him to be bigoted or rude no matter what belief system he adopts.

Edited to add: I think the above atheist harangue actually reflects the ATHEIST's cognitive dissonance: She respected me and considered me intelligent (action) but she believes that Christians are stupid and unpleasant (belief), so now that she knows I am a Christian she has to change her actions (disrespect me) to bring them into line with her beliefs. I do understand that many atheists think belief in God requires cognitive dissonance because science "disproves" the possibility of God, but those who bother to ask me how I deal with that question will learn that I don't, in fact, live in a state of cognitive dissonance about it: I believe that the laws of science were written by God, who is not a physical entity, so not only is there no scientific finding that could prove to me that there is no God, but the continual revealing of the wonders of the universe continually increases my amazement at God's design.

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#207 of 240 Old 09-13-2006, 04:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bright
What would happen for you if someday one of your children doesn't believe what you believe?
Answering the question you posed to Kidzaplenty... It would be very heartbreaking and sad for me. I want my children to know the joy and peace of salvation and having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I'm not the absolutely literal type who believes that there is an exact, precise set of doctrinal facts and musts that someone has to either accept or not. But I want very much for my children to have faith. Ultimately it is their choice, of course. All people must make that decision for themselves. And you cannot force it or require it. Such is the nature of faith. But, as to whether I care, of course I do. A lot!

Perhaps it would be easier for the non-religious folks to understand it by considering a parallel from their own beliefs. Think of something that is important to you? Might it be environmentalism? Human rights? Something that is central to the core of who you are and that you feel is vital for you to pass on to your children. Then ask how you would feel if your child grew up and became head of a company that was destroying the environment or if s/he grew up to participate in a racist group or one that fought against gay rights. Would you care? Of course.

All of us do have deeply held beliefs and ideals about right and wrong. We try to share them with our children and raise them accordingly. I don't think anyone here would say that they want their kids to grow up and decide for themselves whether or not to be racists, and whatever they decide is OK with them... (Said with tongue planted in cheek, but to illustrate a point.)

Religious faith is a vital thing. Teaching our children and sharing our faith as they grow is as important as anything we teach them and raise them to be. I'd venture to say it's the most important thing, since it's the only one we believe to be eternal.
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#208 of 240 Old 09-14-2006, 11:41 AM
 
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Monkeys4mama you seem to be equating my atheism with someone bent on destroying something. If I am uber-enviromentalist and my dd works for an oil company drilling in Yellowstone, she is trying to destroy what I am trying to protect. If I believe in god, but dd doesn't , what is she destroying exactly? How is she working directly against what I believe ?
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#209 of 240 Old 09-14-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeys4mama
...
Religious faith is a vital thing. Teaching our children and sharing our faith as they grow is as important as anything we teach them and raise them to be. I'd venture to say it's the most important thing, since it's the only one we believe to be eternal.
*wonders why I'm not dead, then*
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#210 of 240 Old 09-14-2006, 12:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeys4mama
Religious faith is a vital thing. Teaching our children and sharing our faith as they grow is as important as anything we teach them and raise them to be. I'd venture to say it's the most important thing, since it's the only one we believe to be eternal.
Interesting post. I actually agree with you, from a slightly different perspective.

It is vital to me and my dh that our children require a certain level of evidence from any authority which purports to represent truth. This authority could be the government, a teacher, a community leader or a religious figure. I do not want my children to believe something *just because*. I want them to live a thoughtful life, meaning they have questioned and thought and researched about their beliefs - be they religous, scientific, ethics, etc.

My major issue with religion as a concept is that religion often claims exemption from standards of evidence we regularly apply to every other facet of our lives. Religions often claim truth, but then offer only faith as proof - and then claim that faith itself without proof is the core of truth(!).

I have no issue and in fact embrace the times when religious authorities discuss the more esoteric/abstract philosophical issues surrounding human existence. What I take issue with are those individuals who claim that their religion has facts and figures to back up the religious philosophy and those facts are not supported by peer reviewed evidence based scientific approaches.

THis issue, for me, is CORE to how we think, make judgements on who to believe and trust, and frankly, live our lives. It is how we actually think (vs what we actually think). So in fact, it is an important lesson I want my children to learn - and would be very very disappointed if they didn't learn it.

Siobhan

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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