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Does your child have the right to compel another child to discuss their religion?

Is there any way a child can discuss their religion in a school setting or on the playground with children of different beliefs that does NOT, in one way or another, force them to either out themselves or remain silent (which is viewed the same as outing themselves)?

When someone encourages their child to openly discuss religion with other children or fails to teach their child that there are other beliefs and that they probably know people who have them, aren't they essentially encouraging their child to force other children into this uncomfortable situation?

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NotPanicking

Asked by NotPanicking at 6:27 PM on Mar. 26, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 50 (417,609 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • My children discussed many religions and went to many churches with that being said a discussion is different from correcting. I always taught the guys if it comes up talk about it hear what they have to say but do not be bullied or bully into being wrong.
    pinkdragon36

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 6:33 PM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • Children do not see these type of conversations as adults do, they don't see it as forcing anyone into believing just passing on what they have been taught.
    older

    Answer by older at 6:37 PM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • Children do not see these type of conversations as adults do, they don't see it as forcing anyone into believing just passing on what they have been taught.

    The wouldn't see hounding a gay child until they feel like they have no choice but to admit they're gay as forcing either. Doesn't make it right.
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 6:38 PM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • Does your child have the right to compel another child to talk about their religion?

    No. I have always taught my sons that religion, or lack thereof, is a personal matter. They understand that they can decline to discuss their beliefs if asked, and they also know that they cannot expect someone else to discuss their beliefs with them. I have taught them that it's okay to ask, to say, "May I ask what you believe?" if they are having a discussion that might warrant asking, but know that just as they have the right to refuse to discuss it, so does the other person.
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 7:47 PM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • My child does not have the right to compel another child to do anything or discuss anything, period. She knows what "that's enough" or "I don't want to talk about that" means. The problem comes in because kids aren't that good at picking up subtle signals like body language that might indicate discomfort. So if another kid doesn't say he or she isn't interested in the discussion, I wouldn't expect my daughter to know that. Maybe you're referring to older kids, because I can't pinpoint a time when my preschooler has ever purposely discussed religion with anyone. I don't push her to talk about it, but I haven't discouraged the topic, either.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 8:03 PM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • No-no child has any right to try to compel another to discuss something so personal as spiritual beliefs. However, kids are master manipulators and learn early how to bully their peers about things like this.
    My child being the victim of such things.....I know this first hand.
    We have always taught our kids that these are discussions best left alone or discussed outside of school. And if need be...walk away and say it's too personal too discuss.(we live in the bible belt-being atheists we realize this will be tough for our kids)
    We teach them to be respectable and that we all believe differently and thats ok.
    When a child follows another around, taunting him, some kids don't know how to handle that pressure. They will buckle especially to please their peers.
    sahmamax2

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 9:19 PM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • MamaK88

    Answer by MamaK88 at 9:54 PM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • I agree with pink dragon, I would hope my Los would never make someone uncomfortable or bully some one with different beliefs. That said I think if the subject comes up why not discuss it? My oldest has a million questions I would t want to hinder her by telling her certain things shouldn't be discussed, but also explaining its only okay if your trying to learn not convert or bully.
    skinnyslokita

    Answer by skinnyslokita at 10:15 PM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • I am not sure how you compell someone to discuss something with you. There are times when you have to walk away or change the subject or say no, I am not participating in this. It takes two to have a conversation. If one does not play, there is no discussion.
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 10:27 PM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • I am not sure how you compell someone to discuss something with you.

    You don't understand how bullying works?
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 10:29 PM on Mar. 26, 2013

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