I totally had a WTF moment with my smart, funny, inquisitive and skeptical 6 year old daughter today. While having a conversation about what time dinner was going to be, she stated, quite frankly, that her friend from school wants her to go to CCD with her. Having had a bit of good old fashioned catholic fear-mongering doled out to me as a child, I am VERY apprehensive about letting her go. My husband is also of the same ilk, and thinks it's a bad idea. Our daughter, however, really wants to attend. I think she's a much too young and impressionable to be going to this type of indoctrination. We still have Santa in our lives, so I know she's still open to fantasy, and may fall into the trap. We are the ONLY family in our area (to my knowledge) that are "out" as atheists, and I fear she'll go with the crowd on this issue, as we are surrounded by "proper" church-going families. Any ideas on how to handle this issue??

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What is CCD?
It is the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. CCD is the basic teachings of the Catholic church. These classes are taught to school age children to learn the basic roots of their faith. Basically, it's Catholic Sunday School on Wednesdays (or whatever day it's on....here it's Wednesday).
I don't allow my daughter(5yrs) to go to church with her grandparents. It's just a rule in our house. She learns about all religions in a safe environment: our home. It's up to you though, it's good for children to be religiously literate in today's society, so if you went with her so she could see what it's all about then I would say it wouldn't hurt. I just don't trust other people teaching my kids about other religions. That's the parents jog, in my opinion. Some suck at it though lo
Thanks, Jen. My daughter has been to church 1 time before, when she was 4 with a friend, and HATED it. She was bored. The only other time had been for a wedding. Again, bored. We have been teaching her at home about different religions and including the "dead" ones (Greek and ancient Roman mythos, Egyptian rites, etc). We also have a strong science dialog in our household and she actively participates in this as well. I just do not feel right sending her off to what I know from my own personal experience will be hard-core indoctrination. Especially since I will be unable to be there.
*Job* not jog lol....

that's great that you are already doing that! you have laid out the foundation for questioning what true and what is myth....science shows us where to look for that awe and wonder that we try to create with religion...if you are already doing that she should be ok, but she is still impressionable at the age of 6, i wouldnt let her stray too far from the nest quite yet, especially alone, but that's my opinion. my husband always reminds me when my daughter wants to believe something silly that "we are raising our children to live their own lives". we may not like how they turn out, but we always have to keep that in mind.
Pasting in what I posted earlier:

I might recommend going with your daughter to CCD; and following up with some exposure to other religions; and of course make sure she is aware of your views.

Keep in mind that indoctrinating children to atheists views without letting them reach their own conclusions can be just as bad as religious indoctrination. Paraphrasing a quote I saw someone: Teach them how to think, not what to think.
Sounds like you're already giving her the principals of some religious variance. I would work to try and present Christianity in the same light as you have presented the other religions.

I really do think that if the church will let you accompany her, that would be best. That way if she has questions, you can answer them instead of the teacher. Also, you will have seen and heard the same information as her so you can put it in the right context.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm unable to attend CCD with her. We have many relatives who are still believers, and she has gotten into conversations within our family about the beliefs of Grandma and Aunties. We have been VERY open minded about the different religious beliefs that exist. We work with a considerable amount of persons from overseas, so she has been exposed to various cultures and belief systems outside of traditional Western Christianity, including Judaism and Muslims. She's definitely getting an education.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm unable to attend CCD with her.
Oops, sorry, missed that comment.

Is it because the church won't allow it?

I'm not sure what to say. I guess in your scenario I wouldn't want to send it a kid unaccompanied.
It's not that the church wont allow it (although they do frown on parents being present--another red flag), but I am forced to work late on Wednesdays, and cannot go.
Stumbled across a possibly related article on Opposing Views this morning: Should Skeptics Send Their Kids to Church on Sundays? by John W. Loftus (author of "Why I Became an Atheist").
Thanks! That was a good article.


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