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Why are so many people against the idea of exposing their children to differing religious beliefs?

I don't understand why so many parents buy in to the "absolutely not" attitude when someone starts to talk about teaching about religion. Now, I can completely understand not wanting someone to try and indoctrinate your child, especially if it's a path which you don't believe is right. But I'm talking about teaching the history, culture, general beliefs and traditions and other actual factual information about other religious groups in an effort to bring understanding through education... WHY is this a bad thing? Isn't it better to expose our children to the truth than for them to buy in to propaganda and mis-teachings - which frankly only lead to hate and issues... Is it really SO harmful that your child may understand someone elses beliefs? Understanding them doesn't mean following them - just understanding... Again, why is that a bad thing?

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Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 5:30 PM on Sep. 16, 2010 in Religious Debate

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (37)
  • I am not aginst it. However, I do not know much about other religous beliefs. But I have allowed my children to visit other churches with friends and their families.

    Answer by eluc at 5:33 PM on Sep. 16, 2010

  • How can you choose the religion that is right for you, if you aren't educated about them???

    Answer by skittles1108 at 5:34 PM on Sep. 16, 2010

  • I think a major part of it is an issue of trusting whether or not someone else can teach your child without indoctrinating them in regards to religion and beliefs. These things are personal (unlike say MATH) and each person has their own interpretation. What guarentee do parents have that their won't be something contrary to their personal beliefs(and the beliefs they raise their children with) being taught.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 5:35 PM on Sep. 16, 2010

  • I wish I knew the answer to that because it's a really good question. I don't know why some people seem to think someone having a different opinion or belief than them is such a threat. One of the greatest things about this country is that we are guaranteed the right to our own opinion- that means we have to allow others to believe as they see fit, and in return there is no threat to the right to have our own belief.

    Answer by MaryMW at 5:38 PM on Sep. 16, 2010

  • Skittles - that has always been my belief! If you have never had Coke or Pepsi, how can you pick which one is right for you? Same thing works for religion, politics and any other multi-sided issue... One size simply doesn't fit all so being educated about can only benefit us.

    That wasn't completely my point here though. My point her is more along the lines of - We live in a world FULL of differing views, cultures, beliefs and traditions... In an effort to become a more understanding and peaceable society we need to have the ability to see past someone's obvious labels - Black/White, Gay/Straight, Republican/Democrat OR in this case whatever chosen religion or lack their of that one labels themselves with. Peace is NEVER a bad thing in my mind... And when it comes to things like religion, peace can ONLY come once people understand the truth behind those religious labels.

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 5:39 PM on Sep. 16, 2010

  • I do not think multi-cultured spiritual teachings are a bad thing at all! I am not a big believer of "organized religions" of any particular practice, but I am a firm believer that each culture has spiritual attributes that are absolutely beneficial to those who CHOOSE to take what works for them from whichever teachings they are comfortable with. I do not believe in violent practices, however, as I don't believe in an evil or violent Creator or Supreme Being or whatever you choose it to be. Finding a balance should be left up to the child themselves, in the end. However, some children will be denied that choice in some cases, as they are born into a certain religion and will not have the opportunity for exploration. Exploration as a child is a natural, normal rite of passage for a child (and adults too), no matter if it's finding bugs or climbing trees, and their religious explorations should be no different.

    Answer by CCzChocolateCaf at 5:42 PM on Sep. 16, 2010

  • Because here in the south, there are so few without an agenda that it can NEVER be trusted that they are actually teaching- there is no such thing as religious education, only indoctrination... When my children are OLD ENOUGH to understand different view points they will be explored. Until then, I refuse to allow ANY opportunity for indoctrination to occur.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 5:42 PM on Sep. 16, 2010

  • I will teach my son about only my beliefs as he grows up.. why? because that is what i believe is true... he WILL know not everyone follows the same and there are different religious views. Once he is old enough to decide what he wants to follow then that is his choice....but so long as he is under my roof, he will follow the guidelines that this household follows...

    Answer by JuLiAnSmOmMy317 at 5:49 PM on Sep. 16, 2010

  • I'm not talking about TEACHING religion. Simply teaching them the historical, cultural and traditional beliefs surrounding them. In no way do I feel that every person should learn to follow or live by every religion... But how can we teach our ADULTS to tolerate others if we are raising them in a way that refuses to allow them any exposure to others?

    Isn't refusal to expose a form of indoctrination of and in itself?

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 5:56 PM on Sep. 16, 2010

  • I myself do not claim any religion,my daughters father is christian,If she is interested in that then she can choose to go to church with her father,Other than that I do not plan on pushing any type of religion on my daughter,Its her choice and as she gets older she can decide.

    Answer by mommy16love at 5:56 PM on Sep. 16, 2010

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