How much choice in religion should my child have?

Discussion of raising your family in the pagan tradition.
phantess8

How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by phantess8 »

So here's a question... How much of a choice should my child have in choosing a religion?
I know the simple answer would be 100%. But here's my story...
My six year old daughter is my everything, but I understand that she's going to grow up with her own beliefs and opinions. I do what I can to teach her what I believe without imposing them on her. Unfortunately, after one year in a public school in the south, my daughter is already saying such wonderful things like, "If I dont go to church I'll go to hell." My immediate reaction was "What the f*ck are they teaching her at school?????" So much for separation of church and state. But not wanting to be the evil parent that stopped the pledge of allegiance at school I decided to handle the situation at home.
I sat my daughter down and told her what I believed. I told her that I believe that God watches us and that she (I refer to God as Mother and I've explained it to my daughter as God being everyone's and everything's Mommy) rewards and punishes us as needed. I also told her that was what I believed and that she could either believe it or not but that I would love her regardless of what she chose. She seemed to accept it and moved on.
Months later she's asking to church again. I dont agree with it, but its what she wants. I have no problem with taking her to church. I think its important for people to have some form of religion in their lives. What I do have a problem with is the potential for religious brainwashing at such an early age. Do I allow her to go to church? At what point do I step in and say no and if I do will that make me the brainwasher by forcing my beliefs onto her and putting down christianity? Of am I just reading into the whole situation too much all together? What are your thoughts and opinions? What has worked with you? I'm just trying to get a general consensus of how other people handle situations like this before I make a final decision.

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Re: How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by Ravencry »

I believe you should tell her that you don't believe in what they believe. Teach her that the earth (as mother) is your church. Teach her the respect for it, that it will supply you with all that you need.

My friend in my circle has a daughter. Her daughter works with her during any magick ritual. Last circle, her daughter helped her invoke the spirit of water. She also made her own witch's bottle. I think teaching your daughter through arts and crafts and playtime helps.

You could start off by teaching her about magick. She will probably be like 'No, thats fake' but teach her all that you know. Have her help you in rituals, take her on nature walks, if you can have a cat, allow her to choose herself a familiar.

In her curiosity for church, I think you'll just have to be nice, but firm, and tell her 'Mommy doesn't believe in that.' When she's older, about 15, and she still wants to, let her. But for now, just include her. This child of my friends is so fascinated with it, she's truly a great child :D

And you don't have to brainwash her. Raising her to respect all beliefs is wise, as you have already done, but its not brainwashing to raise her in your traditions. She's going to choose her own path when she's a teenager, no matter what you do. So let her experience how you practice.

I hope that this helps!!!

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Re: How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by shadowx »

You also need to teach her that schools often teach misinformation. I work in one, im not anti establishment but from science, english, history and of course religious education falsities are taught purely because the text book says it is true when in fact the research is wrong. How many moons do we have? 2. How do magnets work? No-one knows at all, just guesses. Can energy be created or destroyed? Yup. If a school can teach the wrong thing in a field as researched as science then it can be wrong in RE too.

Make her understand that hell is only what SOME people believe in, at school they teach it as fact when a, it is a lie, and b it is a relative minority that believe it ;)

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Kitty
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Re: How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by Kitty »

As a teenager I agree with both posts here but i would say 15 is too old to first 'let' her go to church and 11 is probably a good age but I think she'll probably grow out of it anyway .. particularly when wou're younger religion is really pushed on you. I used to repeatedly get detention for not praying during prayer - I would be perfectly respectful but my mother was always writing me notes detailing why I wasn't going to detention.
She'll probably get her own ideas when philosophy or RS starts being discussed - In England they start at around 8 or 9.
If she really feels christianity is right for her then she will probably find a way around what you say as well so I'd wait for a couple of years and if she still asks then look for a non-radical church for her to go to where they teach the religion with minimal brainwashing.
I think children are capable of being independant in religion far younger than people think. At nine I decided to follow Buddhism - I only stayed with it for 2 years but I've broungt the teachings with me and still follow many of them - it's the first reason I became egetarian too.
xx

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Re: How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by Starwitch Stone »

I hope I'm not repeating other posts (I know I should read them all first, but...)

Please consider keeping your child out of church, or being extremely selective about what church you allow her to attend. They do, in fact, brainwash Christians. They repeat the same things over and over again until the thoughts are trapped in your brain. My younger sister has been attending church since she was born. Look at the nonsense she writes on Facebook these days (and this is after she married a Christian guy who believes that women are inferior to men, so now my sister also believes that.) Below is a pathetic Facebook conversation started by my sister, Cassie. She believes herself to be a bad person (and a good person, oddly enough), a sinner, etc. She is actually a VERY good and nice person who has never been addicted to anything and has rarely done anything that would be considered "sinful" by Christians. Yet, she still considers herself to be sinful and bad. And how could she not, when the church has drilled that idea into her brain so many times?!

(BTW, "Larry" is our father and "Angela" is our other sister, whom Cassie adored while growing up.)
Cassie: I am so grateful that I have a Savior who pulled me out of my sinful desires and addictions and has set me on a solid rock. I pray that everyone can know not only His saving power and mercy, but understand the necessity for His justice as well. God is so great.

Larry: Sinful desires...addictions? Oh yes, you are a real wicked person. UTTER NONSENSE! If your beliefs are making you feel like you are a bad person, please reconsider those beliefs. They may not be the solid rock you think they are.

Cassie: I don't feel like a bad person. I am a bad person. I "feel" and am saved from my bad personness. The only one who's opinion matters to me whether I am a "good person" or a "bad person" is God and since I've been TRULY saved, He sees me as spotless. He sees me as a "good person" if you like.

Risa: Oh it IS good to see our sin (well that part's not so great:) and know we are seen by God as good and ARE good through Christ Jesus:)!!! Yes!

Cassie: ‎:) I know right! I am much happier knowing I am a sinner than when I thought I was a good person. It's lovely.

Larry: Well okay then...as long as you're happy, I'm happy. :-)
My sister is totally brainwashed, despite the fact that her two older sisters, her father, and her brother are all non-Christians and she knows we are intelligent people. But there's no getting around the brainwashing if you attend church. I allowed my step-daughter to attend church ONE TIME with my mom and her little cousins. TO THIS DAY (several years later and after many talks about the issue) she still believes that abortion should only be legal in cases of rape (as if it's just sooooo easy to prove that someone raped you, right?). I've told her plainly about my own situation with my ex, the psycho/killer, and how I was pregnant with his child, and how, had I NOT had an abortion, I would be raising a murderer's child right now, and he would have a reason to come around when he gets out of prison in a couple of years. But she's already been brainwashed. The church handed out fetus dolls the day she went. They gave little fetus dolls to all the children and preached about abortion being a sin, etc.

Please don't let your child go to church. We need people in this world who think for themselves. The Christian religion (and some other traditional religions) are what is destroying our Earth. They don't give a damn about the planet, the animals, the plant life... all they care about is getting into heaven after they die and avoiding hell. They are totally self-centered and they seem incapable of seeing the larger picture.

Also, it's been proven that the younger you are when you attend church, the more likely it is that you will remain a Christian for your entire life. (Article)

Here's one more sorry-ass Facebook conversation from my sister with the sorriest parts in red:
Cassie: Are you a "good person"?

Bob: define good?

Brandon: I tend to think im a good person

Cassie: I was watching that MSNBC thing where they catch guys who meet underage girls online and then go to their houses and try to have sex with them. There was one guy who, as they were arresting him, said, "No not me, I'm a good person!". I find it interesting how we define "good person". I used to think I was a good person until I realized that I lie, cheat, steal, and hate just as much as the next "good person" without the redemptive power of Christ. Now I know, I am absolutely NOT a good person and am so thankful that God does not give me exactly what I deserve.

Brandon: Well he gives us wht we need when we need it, not when we want it. Like partners in marraige for example.

Bob: Hey Cassie, There are a lot of mixed up people out there who hurt children and do not understand the wrong in what they do. If you look up cognitive distortions, they truely think they are good people, it is all the other people out there. My second comment is you are one of the nicest people I know, and have an incredible family who is equally sweet and nice. Just because you are human and occasionally fall prey to some qualities you find less attractive doesn't mean you are not a good person; You recognize them and make every effort to seek forgiveness and improve yourself. If you didn't, you would not be mentioning them on FB. In my opinion, you are a VERY GOOD person, not perfect, but a very good person!! Funny, your conversation is close to our Homily at Mass this past Sunday. Great thought provoking conversation!!

Angela: We base everything we say on WORDS. Words which have definitions, and then there are definitions of those words that made up the original word. And then there are definitions of THOSE words. Good means so many things, rather than ask myself if I am a word based on lots of other words, I just like to say what I know...
I am a female human being.

Cassie: Haha.... um... thanks Ang? I feel like that whole comment was a buncha words :P

Bob, while I appreciate how nice you think I am... :)... I would have to disagree that I am a "good person". Sure, if you compare me to real murders or rapists I seem pretty sweet... but I am holding myself to a higher standard. People are corrupt and it's really not that great of a compliment to give myself if I say I'm better than another corrupt human being. The Bible and Jesus is my standard. If I am not living up to the goodness of God, I am not a good person. I will never be a good person and I am ok with that. In fact, I am glad I can see it that way now. It makes being a Christian... possible.

Brandon: we shouldnt base what a good person is based upon the looks of the person. take food for example. some of the worst looking food is some of the best tasting food EVER!!!! makes sense i think. i say words talk but actions walk.

Angela: But again, what is good? I looked it up, and there were so many definitions including one that said good meant "upper-class."
Honesty - now that's a word I can get behind. If you stick with that word all your life, I think you'll be pleased.

Brandon: im sticking with what the bible says. but i do seem to have to use the dictionary more and more as the days go by. i dont think its that im getting old or forgetful. but my job brings out all these big words ive never heard of. so it seems to be my best friend.

Angela: Ok how does the Bible define good?

@ Cassie... it is always good to strive to be the best you can be, and to be humble... Ironic, because I am sitting here thinking if you are not a good person, then I am really not a good person!! I think your measurement of good is higher than mine, which is probably why you are such a good person in my eyes. Again, a very interesting conversation...

Cassie: Ang I know you know the answer to that... but I would point you anyways mostly to the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5-7 ish. Try to live up to the standard of good in the Bible and see if you (meaning me as well) are good. Not only can we not murder, but we cannot hate. Not only can we not rape children, we must not think of having sex with anyone but our spouse. No "white lies", we must NEVER lie... on and on.
So, in the sentence above, Cassie judges my sister, Angie (a very sweet and good person who helped raise Cassie) and basically tells her that she isn't good. This is how your own child could turn on you. If your allow your daughter to attend church and practice the Christian faith, she will eventually decide that YOU are a sinner and she'll almost certainly put a wall between you (like my sister Cassie did with the non-Christian people in her family.) They are taught that they should not be "yoked with unbelievers" and they are told that pagan religions are Satanic.

Maybe you could let her go to a Unitarian church instead. She'll be exposed to many different faiths there and wouldn't be brainwashed to believe she is a bad person who can only be saved through a belief in Jesus Christ.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9.
Being a good person and performing charitable acts makes no difference to Christians. You can hurt all the people you want, as long as you believe in Jesus. It's outrageous to me.

If I were you, I would teach your daughter the truth about Christianity, how Christians have tortured and killed so many people. How they keep reproducing despite the fact that humans have overtaken the planet and are destroying it. How a murderer can go to heaven, while a pagan who is a good person will supposedly go to hell, according to the Christian belief. How the Bible promotes and condones child abuse, wife abuse, selling your children into slavery, stoning people to death for minor sins like working on the Sabbath. How there are two Adam and Eve creation stories, but the churches almost always tell the version that promotes the inferiority of women instead of the version that claims that men and women were created together from the clay. How nearly all of those stories were stolen from earlier civilizations such as the Sumerians, yet they claim them as their own stories handed down from God. Just read the story of Moses and the Pharoah and talk about how utterly ridiculous the entire story is, from beginning to end, and how Christians are so brainwashed that they believe it to be fact. I could obviously go on and on about this topic, but I'm sure you've heard enough.

Let us know what happens.
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Traumwandlerin
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Re: How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by Traumwandlerin »

I would look up some Christian groups that are not fundamental and talk about a more liberal Chrstianity. Hope you find such groups in your area. If she sees some good and normal Christians, she will loose her fear of hell and probably loose interest in Christianity.

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Re: How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by Starwitch Stone »

I just found this article, which goes into detail to explain how the Christian church brainwashes it's converts. This is great material. It's going to be a very good resource for me:

Born Again Brainwashing

So if you do allow your daughter to go to church, hopefully you can at least share this information with her so she'll understand what's happening.

StarWitch
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Re: How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by Traumwandlerin »

Really, is it that bad in the US? I've visitied church for many years. It didn't brainwash me, I never was afraid of going to hell, I even did a lot of voluntary works and visited workshops and the like. I know a lot of nice Christians who were not brainwashed. Of course, I know others, but in my opinion they did brainwash themselves.

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Re: How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by Starwitch Stone »

The Fundamentalist churches and Catholic churches are worst about it. The more liberal the church, the less likely they brainwash your children.
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Re: How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by Starwitch Stone »

phpBB [video]


The preacher actually brought up killing witches! This is from the documentary Jesus Camp, which is a sickening movie to watch (as you can see).
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Re: How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by Kitty »

0_0 Wow
I am literally speechless
I have never seen anything like that before - I'm going to guess this is a culture thing - dunno much of accents but it looks like the South ? I know the South is very radical with christianity.
Personally I do think christianity is one of the worst religions - full of hypocrisy etc - but there must be some more liberal churches even if they are more difficult to find. You could sit her down and talk about all the crimes of christianity as well and see if that changes her mind ?
xx

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Re: How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by Ravencry »

I went to Mormon camp when I was younger and got banned because I liked nature too much :P So much for Bible-thumping camp.

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Re: How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by Riverwich »

The christianity is forced on you in the south (US) During my brief stint as a christian I at a, don't know how to word this, Holy Roller establishment, I (we) lasted until the priest (whatever??) said I WANT YOU PEOPLE WHO NEVER GET UP AND DO ANYTHING TO GET UP AND DO SOMETHING. No need to BEAT my BROW, I know where the door is. Worship my way, my time, my decision, NEVER went back. . .

The video is shocking. No child should be reduced to cowering and tears to please the almighty, don't care what religion you practice. Never take an innocent, pure soul and make it a slave, to anything.

Sorry if this is a rant, I live here, I see the brainwashing, makes my soul sad. Hold that child near and dear to your heart, and show them the places our earth mother has provided.

I've never felt closer to my Goddess than when solo canoeing on a wild stretch that cannot be reached on foot.

Blessed be

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Re: How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by Riverwich »

BTW your original post said your daughter is 6

YOU are her world

Make it count

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Re: How much choice in religion should my child have?

Post by Ravencry »

Yes, that video disgusts me. And Starwitch, what that man did to your sister is simply unforgivable, making a great, good woman believe that she's evil. These are the aspects of the Christian religion that sickens me, makes my heart weep and the soul mourn.

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