This subject hits very close to home at this time in my life. I have a 5 yo daughter who just started school.
After reading these posts, I have noticed that the "militant" stand is not being discussed. I am one who views religion as a drug and a scourge of civilizations. To ask if I would allow my child to go to church is akin to asking if i would allow her to try some meth. "well, she could snort some under my supervision, but I would never let her shoot up"
I don't feel that keeping my daughter away from church is the same thing as making her go to church any more than "not-doing heroin" is a form of drug abuse. I will do everything ion my power to keep their brainwashing away from my daughter until she is able to develop some critical thinking skills and cultivate a bit more solid foundation of skepticism.
I will teach her the belief systems of the various religions, but I will do so in the same way that we(here in the US) learned about Paul Bunyan and Babe the big blue Ox, as various folk lore and regional tales. I was raised as a xtian, and moved from religion to religion looking for the "right one" until I finally realized that most(most used simply to avoid hyperbole) religions have a few things in common: they aren't real, they are set up as a means of control, most involve an early indoctrination to make that particular brand of bull shit stick.
We all know the stories of children of fundies who became atheists, and children of atheists who became fundies. Do you all really believe that trying to shape your children's ideology is of any real significance? If you can teach them anything teach them critical thinking skills.
I agree with this. I don't have kids yet, but I have lots of experience and education in early child development, so I know a lot about kids.
I want to teach my children how to think for themselves. Both my family and my husband's family are religious, and I know that our kids will be exposed to Christianity. And I'm ok with that. There are actually a lot of beautiful things about it. And if my kids had questions, we would answer them truthfully. We would let them decide what they want to believe. I want to guide my children to be good people, able of independent thought- but I don't want to control them.
What I would worry about most is if they went to youth group as a teenager and were pressured into "being saved" or something. I remember how emotionally manipulating youth groups could be, and adolescents are very impressionable.
I recall at one point being afraid for my father's soul due to attending a Baptist Church. It wasn't long after that enough stories had accumulated to lead me to say, "Uh no." and move on. As a parent, I would guide them through being skeptical about the claims. Not in telling them to reject the claims, but asking them questions that are certainly leading. "How could someone get air to breathe in a Whale's stomach?" In my head I'm picturing that as teaching them to be skeptical of claims and to weigh the claims rather than accept any information given by someone claiming authority. Next on Future Jerry Springer, a guy who wouldn't let his kids become Christians! [Crowd = "Booo!"]