Somehow I feel priviliged when I read the stories here. I was brought up in a non religious household, I have never been inside a church unless it was a funeral or baptism. I didn't think it was odd as a child. My dad was a flaming communist, which also colored my oppinion on religion and politics. But that was really not the point of this blog entry, and yet it is.
I like any other parent, teaches my children what I believe to be the "truth", and my honest oppinion on Religion is, that if I was talking to an all-powerful invisible entity called Brian, I would be locked away, but if my invisible friend is called God, it's okay.
I had never expected I would run into a brick wall with my children. I recall this specific episode when my oldest daughter still had 'religion-class' in school, and they had been given this "quiz" that was to be used for later discussion in class. It had questions as 'what do you believe', 'do you believe in angels', and 'what do you think happens when you die'. (I might add that I live in a multicultural part of town, and loads of religions mix here, Hindu, Muslim and Chrisitianity being the biggest.) So my daughter answered these questions with 'nothing', 'no' and 'nothing' and so forth to all the questions.
I was made aware of this when I was called up at work, asked to come to the head masters office right away. I came there thinking something was terribly wrong, nothing short of the child bringing a gun to school or something similarly horrible. What I found was the child clutching the "quiz" outside the head masters office. I didn't get to ask her about anything before we were called in, and I was sat down and told that my daughter had made a scene in her religion class, and had been down right snotty. I asked what the problem actually was, and it turned out to be the questionaire where she had either answered no, or nothing. I just stared at it and the child, not really understanding what the problem is, and then the head master said, 'she refused to answer the questions, and then had a rotten attitude about it when she was asked to redo it.'
I just remember I was really confused, because best i could see, the child had answered her questions just fine. And seriously it's a damn religion class (yes those are mandatory) not like it was a math test and the child had written 'not worth my time bitches' or something.
Well the head master told me that no one believed in nothing. And then it dawned on me, the reason that she had been kicked out of the classroom for being snotty was because she had insisted that she didn't believe in any God in any shape, form or name. Or angels, reincarnation or heaven.
A long story short, I told the head master that we didn't believe in that rubbish in my household. Took my child and left, and i was furious! It turned out into a month long discussion between the school and me, which resulted in me pulling her from religion classes for the remainder of the year. I was seriously angry that her being non-religious was written off as being "smart" and "attention seeking".
Funny how being non-religious was seen as an anti-statement of some sort. When neither my daughter or myself made any attack against any belief sets. Honestly i think they are all equally stupid, I don't really distinguish in who think they are the most righteous.
I am really writing all this because I saw people here struggle with children and Atheism, I wish I could tell y'all that it's not a problem, but i know that a whole lot of people is completely ignorant to the fact that you can chose not to believe in anything.