Children cruelty and religion
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08-03-2012, 06:05 PM
Sad Children cruelty and religion
Hey all !

I'm a french girl and I grew up in a strong atheist family (my father is kind of an agnostic but my mother is quite a strong atheist and all my family on my mother side, which is big actually, is atheist since generations) and so, I never got baptized and did my communion. And actually, despite everything you could hear about the laic state, in my tiny little hometown in the countryside in Lorraine (which is one of the regions where the law of separation of the State and the church does not apply) it was quite rare.

Actually people weren't that religious but baptism and communion was just a thing "to do" because everybody was doing it... But my parents didn't want such a thing, I was going to the catechism because it was during school and you had to have a "special note" to escape from it (and I had all my friends here so...)

And what happened ? When the catechism teacher asked us if we remembered or baptism or if we saw pictures of it, what we felt and things like that... She asked me. So, naturally I answered "I'm not baptised"... She looked at me like if I was the devil and just ignored me until the end of my primary school XD ! Her reaction didn't really bother me, but what bothered me was the social reject I had from the other children. And the worst part was they didn't even know what was a baptism, what was it for, what it meant, they started bullying me.

My parents even told me that one day I came home crying because my fellow little friends told me that because I wasn't baptized if I would die, I would be burry in the forrest (yeah, I don't know why I made such a big deal XD)

But my point is, children are generally selfish. They are quite mean to each other in the early ages because they didn't got the moral sense and empathy yet (I study education). And most of all, sometimes, religion gives them more reason to bully people.

My questions, interrogations are : have you experienced the same thing ? (from a bully or a bullied point of view) If not, what, do you think, should be done to teach religion to children without creating new ressources to isolate children of other beliefs ? Do you think there is subjects in religion that should be avoided at a young age (like violent topics or too serious topics) ? Do you think children should be baptized at a young age, as an adult ; can they cope with the implication of that act (even if I don't believe in God I know that it is quite important for a believer) ?

Questions directed to everyone of course ^^

A little anecdote : my older brother was quite sad as a child of not having a godfather (in french, “godfather” doesn’t spell like god + father, but is a totally different word with no religious connotation) and my uncle made “a contract of godfather” so he would not be sad anymore x) !

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09-03-2012, 02:18 AM
RE: Children cruelty and religion
I went to a private catholic school when I was young (so long ago) and we had a school mate who wasn't baptised, when we realized it was no big deal actually, some said she should get baptised some said she should wait, some didn't even cared (me included), she eventually yielded to peer pressure and got baptised. But my school isn't a very good example, bullying wasn't a big issue, actually is not a big issue in my country and though there's some (I was bullied a lot Sad ) it's not as traumatic as it looks in the US for instance.

But I remember that the fact she wasn't baptised was weird, she's the only person I know wasn't except for a jewish girl I once met, that weirdness was a topic of conversation and made her more popular, so it worked pretty well for her Tongue

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09-03-2012, 04:24 AM
RE: Children cruelty and religion
I was babtized when I was 6.
I pretty much grew up on the country side in bavaria (Germany) so catholic religion was a given. Pretty much everyone was babtized and my mother had a chrisitian phase so... yeah...
Now about the bullying.
At the end of the street there lived a family with two daughters. And I like playing with them because they were pretty smart. They seemed a little different but very nice. Once I was asking them something about a TV show (I was allowed to see something for an hour IF something would be on) and they said they don't have a TV. But they had LOTS of books. The other time I asked about church and they said they are not going, they don't believe in it.
Just saying that was when I was about 6 or 7.
I never felt the need to bully them but for some reason shortly after, every time I went there to ask if they can come out to play, they where "not home", "studying", or something else.
Was kinda the other way around, normally it's the religious people who do that.

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09-03-2012, 04:48 AM
RE: Children cruelty and religion
Nach_in > that's nice for her indeed ^^ It's odd that children found that "weirg" I mean, I'm sure we were really different, all of us, on different subjects, but still the baptism part was the weirdest XD !

Leela > aw, bad for you >< indeed, normally we would here that from an atheist person but I think there is as much close-minded people in the non-believers than in the believers...

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09-03-2012, 05:07 AM
RE: Children cruelty and religion
(09-03-2012 04:48 AM)The French Frog Wrote:  Nach_in > that's nice for her indeed ^^ It's odd that children found that "weirg" I mean, I'm sure we were really different, all of us, on different subjects, but still the baptism part was the weirdest XD !

Leela > aw, bad for you >< indeed, normally we would here that from an atheist person but I think there is as much close-minded people in the non-believers than in the believers...

Well, it's not that odd, in a small town in a catholic school a non baptised girl is something really rare, I think she was the only one, so the weirdness sprouted out of the statistical oddity she was, same thing happened when a black women moved into town, here in Argentina there are almost no black people, so it wasn't a racist thing, because we don't have racism towards black people here as there are non, so it's out of curiosity that we stared at her :/

a little anecdote: One day my sister and I saw an albino black women, that was the strangest looking person I ever saw Big Grin

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09-03-2012, 06:33 AM
RE: Children cruelty and religion
I'm not surprised that you experienced the bullying--too often, children are taught that differences between 'self' and 'other' are to be frowned upon, especially in such a place as a religious school. I've never had religious bullying towards me. I was baptized as an infant, but I think it's unfair to do that to kids--it's a way for religion to "lay claim" to children and begins their indoctrination, and potentially deprives them of the opportunity for their own self-actualization... How many kids as they grow up hear their parents tell them, "you were baptized such-and-such faith" and the kid then thinks s/he must remain in that faith?

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09-03-2012, 09:11 AM
RE: Children cruelty and religion
Religion shouldnt be taught in school. its brainwashing. you are what adults tell you you are w/o a choice. I had a heated debate with this 17 yo mormon a few years ago. i was getting a snowball and she was pushing her mormon bullshitt on me. I told her god is a fairytale and she went crazy. you need to come to church with me and this and that. I told her the only reason she was mormon was because her parents were. she denied that was possible. i asked her how a 17 years old knows there is a god but einstein couldnt prove it. it was like talking to a brick wall. she was trying to give me her mormon bible to take with me."here its free. you dont have to bring it back"
of course she gave me the most used line by religious nuts: "do you think its a coincidence that you are here and we met. this was god sending a message"
Im usually really mean to religious people, but since she was only a kid, i was fairly nice, at least by my standards. i told her 90% of people believe in god so the odds of me meeting one of you isnt a message from god but a daily fucking occurrence.
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09-03-2012, 09:32 AM
RE: Children cruelty and religion
(09-03-2012 09:11 AM)satan69 Wrote:  Religion shouldnt be taught in school. its brainwashing. you are what adults tell you you are w/o a choice. I had a heated debate with this 17 yo mormon a few years ago. i was getting a snowball and she was pushing her mormon bullshitt on me. I told her god is a fairytale and she went crazy. you need to come to church with me and this and that. I told her the only reason she was mormon was because her parents were. she denied that was possible. i asked her how a 17 years old knows there is a god but einstein couldnt prove it. it was like talking to a brick wall. she was trying to give me her mormon bible to take with me."here its free. you dont have to bring it back"
of course she gave me the most used line by religious nuts: "do you think its a coincidence that you are here and we met. this was god sending a message"
Im usually really mean to religious people, but since she was only a kid, i was fairly nice, at least by my standards. i told her 90% of people believe in god so the odds of me meeting one of you isnt a message from god but a daily fucking occurrence.

lol, mormons are trollbait, luckily there aren't many around here, otherwise I'd loose all my time making fun of them Tongue

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09-03-2012, 09:51 AM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2012 09:54 AM by Starcrash.)
RE: Children cruelty and religion
I was a Catholic baby, and so I was christened in my youth. I was a protestant Christian as a child, and I was baptized again. Nowadays I think nothing of it, and it hardly matters if I was baptized or not.

If my daughter wanted to get baptized, I'd say "go ahead, I don't care" because I honestly don't. It's more important for kids to belong to a group than it is for us adults, so I'd promote many things that help her fit in --- even if that means she does things that I don't approve or like. Especially if those things are benign or harmless.

I also support an education in all religions. Here in the United States, many of us learn about Greek and Roman Mythology in school. It would be useful for our kids to get an education in Christianity and Islam, too, in the same manner (information without preaching).

By the way --- I love your signature. It is even more beautiful in French than it is in English.

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09-03-2012, 11:18 AM
RE: Children cruelty and religion
I was very much bullied by religious family and "friends" through most of my late childhood and teens.

I was raised in a Pentecostal family and when I was about 11 I started asking questions that made my family uncomfortable. At first they tried to explain things to me but their answers never satisfied me and usually brought up more questions.

Eventually my pastors and even my parents began to tell me that the reason I had so many questions was because I was sinful and that it was separating me from the glory of god and heaven.

I was always an outcast at my church which I was forced to attend a minimum of two evenings a week as well as sunday mornings. I was thought of as weird and bad by the church kids and as a bad influence by the parents because questioned so much.
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