when should I tell my kid religion is BS. she goes to a catholic school :(

This is a really weird situation to explain. I live in the city, like downtown in the city. Public schools here are awful. I live in a nice neighborhood, but the school my daughter would have to go to is so ghetto. I made the decision to send her to a …..catholic school. It went against every fiber of my being. I even lied to a nun and said I was catholic. (That’s what us atheists do right? We lie, cheat, steal, murder). I live here because its very close to school for me and makes my life oh so much easier. When I move to and area with decent schools this WILL NOT continue. There aren’t other private schools that aren’t religious anywhere close. Not even new charter schools. I wouldn’t home school her, if I wasn’t so busy with school myself.

Whenever she speaks about god I always tell her other options. I have talked to her about so many different religions and taught her that its fine and people can believe whatever they want. That there is no right and wrong (yes there is). She is 6 ½, but I think she is pretty bright (yes everyone thinks their child is). I have told her about gay people. I pretty much told her there are some boys that like to kiss boys and girls that kiss girls, and they even get married. She said “that’s gross” and I told her “yeah well then don’t kiss girls, but there isn’t anything wrong with people who do.” I really want her to be a well rounded decent little person.  

She is really my mini me. She loves science so much its makes me so proud. We go to the book store and instead of getting books with stickers and shiny covers she opts for books about space and insects. I really have gotten to the point where I want to tell her what I believe and why. When I explain anything to her she is so interested in it. She is so inquisitive I feel like this is holding her back in a way. I think she has the mental capacity to understand it. I don’t want my daughter to be some brainwashed Christian. I feel like I’m harming her in some weird way by not telling her. I really just want to know what other people think about what I should do. I can’t exactly ask anyone I know they all think I’m an abomination. Is there any harm in waiting? I don’t think my daughter would say anything in school. I guess I think if she knew, when she was learning about religion in school it would really make her understand better. The more you learn about religion the more it sounds like crap if you listen in the right way ya know? Ughhh perplexed

Views: 109

Comment by Meghan McWilliams on July 12, 2011 at 10:51pm
@Arcus haha. I go to school for psychology and neuroscience....i know many methods.
Comment by Artor on July 12, 2011 at 11:04pm

I was your kid once. My parents sent me first to a Baptist school, then later to a Catholic one. They weren't particularly religious, and we never went to church, (outside of school functions) but the church schools were better funded than the public schools available and had better teacher-student ratios. But I was interested in science and folklore of other cultures, and by 6th grade, I was an avowed atheist. A bright kid is going to have a hard time reconciling all the contradictory bullshit religion teaches with the self-consistent and observable facts of science. Make sure your kid gets a good science education, from yourself if necessary, and all will be well. I'd have a talk about the consequences of speaking out in the lion's den, though. Be wise and avoid trouble if you can.

As for Arcus' comment above, he must be a huge asshole, or a behavioral psychologist.

Comment by Patty J on July 12, 2011 at 11:10pm
Only you know your daughter. It seems that she would be able to understand your choice to be an atheist. But people in catholic school aren't so forgiving to free thinkers. And they might try and contradict your explanation, if she brings up atheism in school.  So its a tough decision and I'm sure you will tell her when the moment is right. Perhaps when she understands that others are not as open minded and forgiving as you. Shes a bit young. But she also seems pretty mature for her age. Hope this helps. Good Luck!!
Comment by Michael J. Davis on July 13, 2011 at 12:32am
Let her figure it out herself.  She might resent being told what to believe.  I know I would have resented it at that age.  If you feel compelled...then just gently nudge her in the atheist direction with some hints about your own views.  But only nudge.  And gently.
Comment by Michelle Rhea on July 13, 2011 at 1:33am
I started telling my son about religious beliefs and religious stories/myths when he was about 3. We were in Texas at the time and I knew he would eventually experience proselytizing via teachers, family, etc. So I told him the stories first, all the most popular bible stories. We discussed them critically, asked questions, etc. I considered it an "innoculation". We also looked at other religions' myths (living and dead religions). I told him that I used to believe in God (Christian) and how it felt to feel that way (the good and the bad), and I told him that I no longer have a belief in any god due to zero evidence. I concluded, "no one knows and, ultimately, it doesn't really matter which god or gods one does or does not believe in. What matters is how we are in this world, how we treat others and how we treat ourselves." I also told him he would have to make up his own mind about "God".  I took him to a few Humanist and atheist events as well as to Unitarian Universalist services, and his step-mother took him to a Baptist church. This allowed him to see that there are good people (and bad people) regardless of theistic stance. Just be open and honest with your child. Good luck!
Comment by Rick on July 13, 2011 at 3:54am

Seems thatyou’re providing the balance necessary to keep her from being brainwashed. Any
learning about religion is probably equivalent to the lies history books teach kids
when discussing thanksgiving or other subjects with controversial histories. When
she’s older, shell look back at what she learned and compare it to her
understanding of the world and reality and dismiss it the same way we did with
our censored and skewed version of thanksgiving and the like.

Comment by Gordon Duffy on July 13, 2011 at 4:32am

As soon as possible. There's a reason they want to preach to the little kids - so their nonense seeps in before you reach a level of rationality.


The problem with waiting respectfully wondering when to tell her is that the nuns will not be waiting. They'll be pumping unadulterated "this is the truth" into her mind hoping some of it sticks.


It is heartbreaking everytime you hear someone has to send their child to a religious school. I dread to think how bad the other schools must be to make that the better choice!


Just be honest, as early as possible.

Comment by Hany on July 13, 2011 at 7:21am

Let the idea of "free will" go smoothly over the time to your daughter's head...

as "AKICKTOTHEEYE" said, we should teach our kids how to think not what to think.


believe me, by the time she is 18, there will be no religions.. you can see now, religions suffering to stand with the science.

Comment by Gary C on July 13, 2011 at 8:06am
My son goes to a Catholic school, (long story) and knows the religion is BS.  A number of adult members of my local Atheist meetup group also graduated from the same school!
Comment by Peter on July 13, 2011 at 10:35am
Hopefully some time down the road, when your child has grown in to an adult, she will recognize and appreciate the sacrifice you are making. I think you are doing the right thing too. Just help her keep an open mind and be there as a role model. When the time comes, you can both go through the bible. This will in no doubt raise questions for her. When she gets answers from you and a teacher, she'll see the difference in logic.

I hope everything goes well. Good luck!


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