Questions 12-16

Question: How much, if at all, do you talk to your kids about religion or in any way influence beliefs on them? -vk0
Question: Do you think a lot about (trying to)/avoiding influencing some beliefs on them? -vk0
Question: How do you react to others influencing your kids with beliefs? -vk0
Question: How the f*ck should one approach the problem with religion when raising kids. Deny it, ignore it, or encourage it? –NewOne
Question: What would you mandate teaching children in schools (about religion) if you had the power? –Bones

Answer: Lot’s of questions about children and religion. So let’s hit them all at once!

Having two young kids of my own, the prospect of religion weighs heavily on my mind. Sooner or later my oldest will come home one day from school and talk about God. It’s inevitable so I believe it has to be addressed. I have already started talking to other non-religious parents on how they deal with it. I have my own thoughts on the matter, but I’m always looking for other opinions. So here’s gasmonso’s plan of attack for that ever-present problem called religion:

Firstly, I plan on NOT avoiding religion. That is one of the worst things you can do. It’s like not talking to your kids about sex/drugs and hoping that they will learn about it on their own. You’re a parent so do your damn job! With that said, what do you do?

Religion to me is like any other topic in history and can be discussed as such. My kids will learn about Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Atheism, and others. Of course it will be up to my wife and I to teach them, but we’re up for the challenge. Our goal is to educate our kids enough so they can make important decisions like this on their own. If they choose to be Christians, Muslims, or Jews, that’s fine with me provided that they came to that decision after some serious thought and understanding.

Now with that said, you’re kids are away most of the day at school and under someone else’s influence. This can present a problem unless your kids are equipped to deal with this. Hopefully, if we’ve done our job right, your kids will be able to think for themselves and entertain other people’s beliefs and traditions. I remember when my kids were born and my mother was very disappointed that our kids were not going to be baptized. I simply said that it was none of her business and if my kids choose to be baptized when they are old enough to understand what it is in the firstplace, then I’ll support them 100%. Basically, protect your kids until they can fend for themselves and teach them to think independently.

The last question is interesting. If I had the power to mandate religion in school, I would teach it just like any other piece of history or current event. I think the problem with today is that religion is NOT talked about enough. It only causes deeper divides among the various faiths.


9 Responses to “Questions 12-16”

  1. Agnöstic says:

    You’re lucky that your wife supports you in this. My catholic partner and I are completely opposed on this issue – I 100% agree with your method, however, part of my marriage vows include the infuriating statement that I must agree to bring any children up catholic.

  2. Your Father says:

    My father is a Christian and my mother is a Jew. They never talked about religion, and when I asked all they said was, “no one knows, you should decide for yourself.” We never went to church or temple, and my parents are hardly theologists, so there answers to my questions never got too in depth. From ages 6-10 I went back and forth, but at about 10 I figured that all religion was more than likely wrong. I have been an atheist ever since.

    I’d have to say that this method has got to be the best. Don’t teach religions or atheism, teach free thought (the children will more than likely end up agnostic/atheist anyways).

    As a side not, both of my parents believe in god, but they would never argue belief. My dad used to tell me that religious beliefs mean a lot to some people and I shouldn’t go around trying to instill my beliefs in others. I never listened to that part. If people are doing stupid things, someone should tell them.

  3. DavidH says:

    This is an issue I have been thinking about a lot recently, as I’m an atheist but am head over heels for a Lutheran. Religion hasn’t been a problem at all except for the fact that I have absolutely no idea how we would be able to raise kids together without coming to resent eachother’s (non)religious influence on the child. I know it’s obviously something we need to discuss and work out ourselves, but I’m curious to hear from others who have actually gone through the process.

    Specifically, is there anyone who is an atheist raising kids (past or present) with a Christian who regularly attends church? What do the children do – do they have to attend also, do they have to attend maybe half of the time, do they get to choose whatever they want? How have you dealt with questions from the children? Do you just both tell them what you believe? I keep envisioning a scenario where my kid hears both points of view, decides Christianity is NOT the way to go, and my wife resents me for preventing the child from accepting Jesus, or something along those lines. How do you avoid that? Anybody done it successfully?

    OK, I’ll stop vomiting questions now.

  4. Scott says:

    “Now with that said, you’re kids are away most of the day at school and under someone else’s influence. This can present a problem unless your kids are equipped to deal with this. Hopefully, if we’ve done our job right, your kids will be able to think for themselves and entertain other people’s beliefs and traditions.”

    More Christians need to remember this.

  5. Shaze says:


    To anyone dating/married to a religious person;


    There is no such thing as a stable relationship when people stop respecting the other person. Love does NOT conquer all things. Respect yourself before all others, and communicate your expectations and needs with your balls (or tits) hanging way out there.

  6. matt says:

    Amen to that shaze, but its a bitch to find a cute atheist chick in the bible belt.

  7. Shaze says:


    The trick is to have really good drugs. And besides, ugly chicks are WAY more willing to be freaky than hot chicks. Either lower your standards, or move to a Blue state. :)

  8. Doug Ramsey says:

    My daughter’s best friend Caitlin’s parents had the attitude that they would let her decide for herself right up until the point that she started to get interested in becoming a Christian.

    At that point she was forbidden from having anything to do with my daughter. Sad, but often parents who claim to have open minds are the most bigoted of all. “My child can decide for herself”, trusting that no one would be stupid enough to actually CHOOSE religion.

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