My fiance currently sends her 4 year old daughter to a church based kids group once a week. They are required to memorize bible verses every week that the instructors sign off on. I have made it clear my disgust of the whole thing but my fiance says she sees no problem with it since believing in god causes no problems. I have asked her how much she knows about the crusades, inquisitions, witch hunts etc that have killed millions in the name of god. Well as most christians she has no knowledge of the topics. Even her knowledge of her own bible is very poor, again as it is with a majority of them.
She told me I had better not push my atheist beliefs on her. I told her I wouldnt do that with my own 8 year old daughter since she is too young to understand it all but when she is older if she has questions I will talk to her then. When I asked my fiance why she doesnt teach her all parts of the bible instead of just the parts they want you to hear she says she doesnt want her hearing the bad stuff. As with most believers whenever you try to talk to them about what is in the bible they cut you off because they dont want to hear it.
I have bought my own daughter books on evolution and astronomy hoping she will become interested in science and as she gets older will understand the lies that is religion. Luckily she isnt exposed to religion very much since my ex doesnt attend any church services. It just makes me sick that a little 4 year old is being brainwashed. I just hope she sees through it all as she gets older.
I was just wondering if anyone else out there has had any experiences similar to this.

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Not quite the same, but similar enough, I hope.

I live in a community where Christian parents must basically brainwash their children or else face social suicide. Though the church power isn't very... 'powerful' here, what areas of life it does dominate it holds with an iron grip. I remember when I told my first big lie. I claimed I was Christian in school to avoid the bullying. This is relevant because the bullies, and myself, were only SIX.

These same kids, I knew all throughout elementary, middle and high school, and let me tell you, you probably have the right to be disgusted. These bible kids either grew up to be ignorant sheep or incredibly rebellious druggies. If you care for your ladyfriend's kid at all, and you trust my experience growing up and watching these kids for years, immediately take action and take the kid out of that group.

As for the selective teaching, I think that's just a human fault...

As an atheist, I encourage this. I think that the best place to look for pro atheist material is the bible. I made sure that both my nephews can tell the Jesus story identifying every character and plot twist in Jesus Christ Superstar- the topic of "how much of this story is bullshit?" has never come up- but they are seven and ten years old, it's bound to come up one day and I am sure I can find creative age appropriate materials to help them on their journey. It is better to let them ask, and to correct them when they get something wrong. If they ask the historical evidence of the biblical stories- then I can tell them, if they ask for Gods view on slavery, giving to the poor or who to stone to death then I can tell them and show them where in the bible it says that. At least that is the deal I have with their parents.
I have managed for years to evade the topic of what I believe. I do NOT however think that it is appropriate to tell them that what is in the bible is true and probably in poor taste to demand that it is not. I think of it the same as sex education. I can't control the child's' view on sex but if the school is going to teach abstinence only, say that condoms increase the chance of disease and pregnancy- well, then I will educate them myself. Remember that if this girl knows the bible well, then she will be very well armed when Mormons or JWs come to the door. She will be welcomed in any church community but can easily evade the garbage they teach. It is the people who have no idea what the religions say, what the believers do or what the evidence is who end up buying into it. It is no coincidence that the members of every skeptic group are far more educated on the bible than the general public or even the churchgoing public. And keep in mind that the late great Christopher Hitchens had the same exercise as a child and he credited highly for his skills in the years to come.

If you can't say what is messed up in the bible just hand the book over. You can't go too far into that crazy book without noticing that there is some foul stuff in there. Or you can compromise- for every two hours she spends in church she can watch a five minute cartoon for "thethinkingathiest" or "darkmatter2525" or "nonstampcollector" of your choosing or she can take the FFRF religion test- that is if education is the goal.

What exactly is the goal here? Is the goal to make this girl a Christian because Christians are better people? Just to be part of a group? Mental exercises? A cute boy? When I was a teenager my brother and I went to a new church every week, belonged to three church communities and both became reverends in the Episcopal church before age 18. Now religious arguments fall off of us like thrown Styrofoam and we don't even need to bring emotion into it. We simply know the bible better than the people who try to convert us- we know the proper counter to every argument they use and we know the counters to the counters they use. we know what they will say before they think it and we have counters to that lined up- because we studied it. on our own time we watched the debates and the Atheist Experience and we graciously invite in every Christian that comes to the door and even go to church once in a while. We have no fear. In the end we atheists have on our side reason and truth. If you teach those two things alone in sufficient quantities you can trust her to go anywhere and come back reasonable

I don't yet have kids, but I imagine that a part of their well-rounded education will include world religion.  Regardless of the belief aspect, religion drives the behavior of others around them, and they will need tools to approach this behavior.  I don't, however, imagine this eduction will involve shipping them off to a class on christianity once a week at the expense of lessons on other religions, topics, and critical thinking.  That being said, it was in these classes at a later age, that both my boyfriend and I started to notice the sting of hypocrisy in some wide-sweeping statements that they made.  Fortunately, despite their best efforts, our parents and teachers taught us to question, doubt, and explore,  and that is a bud that may grow into skepticism.  A more effective approach with your fiance may be to ease up on objecting to what she is doing, and instead suggest further educational activities and outings that promote critical thinking.  There are several fun activities for kids of all ages to help them start to explore the world.  Then you're not pushing your so-called "atheist beliefs," but rather promoting family bonding, learning, and growth.  Just be careful not to overtly juxtapose these activities with your previous discussions regarding the kids group - if you do, be prepared for some massive counter-control and rationalizations.


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