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Howdy Mamas.

My ds and I went to his orientation for Karate tonight and I was rather pleased w/the teacher and his "old school/Hawaiin style" of teaching as he called it and the way he spoke to the parents and children...firm but fair.
However, he mentioned that there would be a prayer at the beginning and end of each class. I am spiritual, not religious (I was raised p/t by a strict Baptist Grandmom and church/organized religion is not for me) and I do not want anyone's religious beliefs forced upon myself or my ds, as I find it offensive. I was surprised to see the prayer.
The instructor is a Vietnam Vet, has police officers in his class and is a fan of the U.S. All okay, but the "prayer" struck and odd cord w/me. I just don't see how it fits into a self defense class for 6-10 yr olds or anyone for that matter.

Here it is, what is your take on it?

"Oath of Allegience"

Almighty and Eternal God
Protector of all who put their trust in Thee
Accept the humble homeage of our faith in Thee
The one true God.
Bless our efforts to preserve the integrity of these United States,
a Nation founded on Christian principles.
Enlighten our rules, guide our lawmakers,
protect the sanctity of our homes and bless our efforts in these exercises
whose sole purpose is developing our bodies to keep others mindful
of Thy Commandments.
Give us perserverance in our actions, that we may use this as a means
to keep close to You, the one true God.
In the name of Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Amen.
 

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Wow! That's a pretty specific prayer. I usually don't mind something about 'God is wonderful, thanks for our blessings, help us be good people..' but I would not deal well with that particular prayer. My DS was in karate for three years and we never did any such thing. Would it make you feel uncomfortable to object to it? Is there any other local place to take karate?
I certainly don't appreciate religion forced on me and definitely NOT on my impressionable children! Good luck!
 

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It is too much for me. I would not participate with this dojo.
 

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I'd drop the class, personally.

It reminds me too much of Jesus Camp, that documentary about a Christian camp that aimed to prepare children to battle for Christ, and showed them performing some musical number in military fatigues, and praying to inspire lawmakers?

Even if that's not the drift of the instructor in your dojo, the tying together martial arts and the defence of the nation's Christian principles creeps me out.
 

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As a pagan, I'd be asking for my money back. "The one true god?" Etc. etc. It's about Christians, for Christians, with no room for anyone else, and aside from the fact that it's not my religion, the whole religious superiority thing is not a message I want to be sending to my children. It's karate, not bible camp.
 

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I'd be looking for alternatives.

If you need to ... and I understand the practical challenges and pros and cons of any activity ...

If he has the children say it ... I would suggest to my child that he not say it and stay quiet.
If the teacher is the only one saying it, I would tell my child that it is important to the teacher's own beliefs and to be quiet and respectful as whenever someone else is praying.

I would explain the parts of the prayer in conflict with my beliefs, thus why I would not say that prayer. I would encourage him to examine the words of the prayer critically but also to attempt to understand why someone would say these words with good in his or her heart. A basic lesson about that religion.
 

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If you feel very uncomfortable with the prayer, then seek out another gym.

Or,you can teach DS that different people believe different things, and explain what you believe. I'm assuming that participation in the prayer is optional and that your DS could choose to listen and not recite it.

HTH.
 

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Quote:
As a pagan, I'd be asking for my money back. "The one true god?" Etc. etc. It's about Christians, for Christians, with no room for anyone else, and aside from the fact that it's not my religion, the whole religious superiority thing is not a message I want to be sending to my children. It's karate, not bible camp.
what she said. and also

Quote:
As far as I know karate is not of Christian origin
no way would i personally feel comfortable w/that. in fact i would have likely walked out as soon as he started talking about it.
 

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If you're uncomfortable, ask for a refund. I'm a Christian and I wouldn't want my kids to have to say that prayer. In our house the kids pray if they want, how they want. This is why we're not church people. I think it's inappropriate to require a prayer like that before this class.. even if the business is owned by a Christian. Not illegal, but not appropriate.
 

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I took many kinds of martial arts for many years and never heard anything like that. I would definitely look for another school, not so much because I disagree with the sentiments in the prayer itself (though I do), but because of what it says about the instructor's attitudes. Most martial arts classes do have some sort of philosophy that kind of goes along with teaching the physical moves, and I would be concerned that a philosophy would permeate this class that is not what I want my child learning.
 

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I am religious but not christian. That prayer would make me uncomfortable. It wouldn't come from my heart.

Another way to think about it, though, is that you are exposing your child to different views, which is a good education. To me it would depend on if it felt like the rest of the class was going to be about karate or indoctrination into christianity.

Does it feel ok to you?? You probably already know the answer.

g.
 
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