Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
10-04-2013, 07:28 AM
Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
I'm an atheist and have been since I was very young. My wife is a christian and comes from a very strong southern baptist family who is heavily involved in the church. We've been married for 13 years and really our differences didn't matter until we had children.

We've got two kids, 4 & 7 years old. I told her I would back off and let them make their own decision about religion but when they are old enough and start asking heavy questions, I am going to tell them what I think. So it's like a very slow storm building in the household as I feel the need to protect them from religion and my wife feels the need to have them involved a good bit while they are young.

They attend a baptist private school, mostly because we live in southern Louisiana and the public school system is questionable. Also because my wife wanted them in a christian school. The rhetoric is high and I'm not crazy about it.

I just received this email below from a school official about chapel today. Granted my oldest son is in 1st grade, so he will miss it this year, but it will come around again next year I'm sure and I really don't like the idea of it. It's indoctrination through immersion, peer pressure and authority and I believe it is absolutely ludicrous to subject children to this at any age younger than 12 or so.

"Dear Parents,

I wanted to take a moment to give you information about our upcoming chapel service tomorrow. I will be speaking to students in 2nd-4th grade about the difference between knowing about Jesus and really knowing Jesus. We will also discuss how Jesus knocks on the door of our heart but we must answer to let Him in. At the end, I will talk about the ABC's of salvation - Admit, Believe, Confess. At that time, we will have a few minutes of prayer. Students will have the opportunity to talk with their teacher or parent (if you attend) to share if they want to accept Christ or simply to ask questions. They will not be pressured in any way.

I wanted you to know this to especially encourage you to attend this week. If you can't attend, please follow up with your child and ask what they learned in chapel. I believe that some of our students are ready to make this life-changing decision and need the opportunity to do so.

I would also ask that you take a moment today or tomorrow to pray for our students"


I'm thinking maybe I don't freak out, it's not going to happen until next year. Do I throw the gauntlet down with my wife and say I'm not standing for this? Do I simply pull my child aside and tell them not to feel pressured to commit to anything they aren't sure about? Do I simply hold my kid out of school that day and take him to do something fun?


Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-04-2013, 08:01 AM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
(10-04-2013 07:28 AM)jasonetc Wrote:  I'm an atheist and have been since I was very young. My wife is a christian and comes from a very strong southern baptist family who is heavily involved in the church. We've been married for 13 years and really our differences didn't matter until we had children.

We've got two kids, 4 & 7 years old. I told her I would back off and let them make their own decision about religion but when they are old enough and start asking heavy questions, I am going to tell them what I think. So it's like a very slow storm building in the household as I feel the need to protect them from religion and my wife feels the need to have them involved a good bit while they are young.

They attend a baptist private school, mostly because we live in southern Louisiana and the public school system is questionable. Also because my wife wanted them in a christian school. The rhetoric is high and I'm not crazy about it.

I just received this email below from a school official about chapel today. Granted my oldest son is in 1st grade, so he will miss it this year, but it will come around again next year I'm sure and I really don't like the idea of it. It's indoctrination through immersion, peer pressure and authority and I believe it is absolutely ludicrous to subject children to this at any age younger than 12 or so.

"Dear Parents,

I wanted to take a moment to give you information about our upcoming chapel service tomorrow. I will be speaking to students in 2nd-4th grade about the difference between knowing about Jesus and really knowing Jesus. We will also discuss how Jesus knocks on the door of our heart but we must answer to let Him in. At the end, I will talk about the ABC's of salvation - Admit, Believe, Confess. At that time, we will have a few minutes of prayer. Students will have the opportunity to talk with their teacher or parent (if you attend) to share if they want to accept Christ or simply to ask questions. They will not be pressured in any way.

I wanted you to know this to especially encourage you to attend this week. If you can't attend, please follow up with your child and ask what they learned in chapel. I believe that some of our students are ready to make this life-changing decision and need the opportunity to do so.

I would also ask that you take a moment today or tomorrow to pray for our students"


I'm thinking maybe I don't freak out, it's not going to happen until next year. Do I throw the gauntlet down with my wife and say I'm not standing for this? Do I simply pull my child aside and tell them not to feel pressured to commit to anything they aren't sure about? Do I simply hold my kid out of school that day and take him to do something fun?


Any thoughts would be appreciated.


While the public schools may be questionable, there is no question that the Baptist school is ugly.

It will be far easier for you to enhance their education if the public schools are lacking than it will be to fight the brainwashing of the Baptist school.

Pull him out of there, send him to public school.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Chas's post
10-04-2013, 08:26 AM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
Your kid is seven. I don't know how you can phrase "Don't feel pressured and don't commit to anything you're not sure about" to make it stick. He WILL be pressured. And maybe he'll ask a few questions and get some half assed answers and he'll have more questions but won't ask them because he doesn't want to be *that* kid and everyone is already looking at him funny. I know that happened to me and I was way older.

Or maybe he'll just see how much fun other people are having and just participate because, hey! Fun times!

You shouldn't underestimate those people's abilities to indoctrinate children.

Also, it would be funny if it wasn't so terrifying:

"LET JESUS IN. EVERYONE WILL DO SO. EVERYONE WILL BE HERE. But no pressure."

[Image: killing-floor-screen-banner.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like DancingSkeletons's post
10-04-2013, 08:37 AM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
Chas said it!!! Pull him the f**k out of there, NOW, period. If you don't, it might take him YEARS to shake that rubbish loose, it did me!
My brother once told me if I ever had children he'd take them to church against the wishes I had just laid out for him that my child be allowed to simply make it's own mind up what to believe. I love him, and I understand that he'd be doing what he thought was good for his neice/nephew, but he will NEVER be allowed the chance. I'll be on it like a hawk. But I don't have to live with my brother, you have to live with your wife! Still, I'd side with the child, which means keeping it as far from religious nonsense as possible, no matter my own consequences!!!

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes TheGulegon's post
10-04-2013, 09:13 AM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
That is the defination of being between a rock and a hard place my friend. I feel for you. I grew up in the south, SE North Carolina, also in the bible belt. My Ex was only quasi-religious, or christian in title only, so it wasn't so bad for me. I was also religious at one time, but started questioning after having children. For me, I countered with watching animal programs, science programs, and discussion. Create an atmosphere of questioning and reasoning. Not only with religion, but with everything, kids learn more from watching, and observing than with just listening. Well..some kids. So when they notice how you approach problems, and if you involve them in the process, they should develop the same habits.

Being in the south, there is no way to hide them from the religious influence in my opinion. They will be exposed to it, irregardless of what you try to do. So I think it's best to build their critical thinking skills , and let them formulate their own arguments.

My thought process was more on the lines of them thinking for themselves, not necessarily mirroring what I thought. I had to also recognize that they may choose religion, but for me it was important that THEY choose, not me, or anyone else. I will love them either way.

Also, their are many atheist that came from religion, and not all because of bad circumstances. It is not the end of the world if they are exposed. Who was it that said "reading the bible was the best way to become an atheist" ? Also, discuss this with your wife, she has to be involved, to be fair. It will not end well if you are pitted against each other.

I think new parents want so bad for their children to not make mistakes , or not get hurt, they forget that they themslves went through similar circumstances and turned out alright. My brother who is a design engineer used to complain to me about his son's academic performance in school, seems reasonable. But he would be in fits about it, stressing, fighting with his son,etc...till I reminded him he graduated from H.S. with like a 1.9 or 2.0 GPA. And was high most of the time. Now he has his master's in Elec. engineering. He came out fine. In the end, all we can do is help guide them, try to give them the tools to help themselves. More than likely, they will be ok...

BTW, both my daughters are non-believers now, and when their good intentioned relatives preach to them, they just smile, nod their head, and wink at me. And sorry for the long post, hope it helps.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-04-2013, 09:19 AM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
That is the plan, but all in due time. I want to work both of them out of there and into the magnet school program here. It's a tough line to walk. My wife is ignorant believer. I say, ignorant because she is like the rest in that she can't be reasoned with easily. She blows off any anti religion talk as if I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, though she can't really explain why she believes, where Christianity came from, etc etc. It is very frustrating and unfortunately like TheGulegon stated, I feel the need to side with my children. Most of my friends are non believers as well and say, just give it time, the kids ask questions and I will have my opportunity to pull them slowly back to reality, Or they say they're young, and we turned out fine, so don't worry about it now...etc etc. Meaning, that they will come around when it's time They will ask questions and probably do the research on their own.

I have thought, that with me never mentioning anything remotely religious with my kids and my wife doing all of the ministry work in the home, the kids will have some sort of balance. They will notice that Dad's not gung ho on God & Jesus and that maybe it's not so important. I am really deep down just trying to hold out until they are old enough where I can be honest with them about it. At that point, if my wife is unhappy, she can go find someone else.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-04-2013, 09:22 AM
 
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
Pull the kid out. I'd rather go to a questionable public school than a school where there are no questions asked, just indoctrination.
Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes That Icelandic's post
10-04-2013, 10:09 AM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
(10-04-2013 09:19 AM)jasonetc Wrote:  That is the plan, but all in due time. I want to work both of them out of there and into the magnet school program here. It's a tough line to walk. My wife is ignorant believer. I say, ignorant because she is like the rest in that she can't be reasoned with easily. She blows off any anti religion talk as if I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, though she can't really explain why she believes, where Christianity came from, etc etc. It is very frustrating and unfortunately like TheGulegon stated, I feel the need to side with my children. Most of my friends are non believers as well and say, just give it time, the kids ask questions and I will have my opportunity to pull them slowly back to reality, Or they say they're young, and we turned out fine, so don't worry about it now...etc etc. Meaning, that they will come around when it's time They will ask questions and probably do the research on their own.

I have thought, that with me never mentioning anything remotely religious with my kids and my wife doing all of the ministry work in the home, the kids will have some sort of balance. They will notice that Dad's not gung ho on God & Jesus and that maybe it's not so important. I am really deep down just trying to hold out until they are old enough where I can be honest with them about it. At that point, if my wife is unhappy, she can go find someone else.



If she's going to be active with them on the religious front, then I see no reason why you must sit on the side line simply because your wife get's her panties in a twist.
If every time a theist got offended because someone questioned their beliefs stopped that person questioning their believes, then nobody would ever question anyone's beliefs.

Perhaps even getting active with your kids on the religious front now. pr-emptive strike so to speak.

I don't talk gay, I don't walk gay, it's like people don't even know I'm gay unless I'm blowing them.
[Image: 10h27hu.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes earmuffs's post
10-04-2013, 10:47 AM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
I was thinking the same thing - Thank you for putting it into that perspective. I'm fine with her belief, but would really prefer she keeps it to herself. Before we had kids, we rarely went to church. By "we" I mean, both of us, because I went to support her as well as to reinforce my belief that it's ridiculous.

As the kids were getting older, she wanted to get more active in going to church to get them involved. She explained if we're not going to church all the time, then I want my kids in the baptist school. Well, now she is wanting to go to church much more often. I go sometimes so the kids don't resent her for making them go. Hell, if she's gonna take them to church more, maybe we can pull them from the baptist indoctrination school right?

You're right, I'm sitting here on the sideline. Time I speak up a bit. We need to come to an agreement that if the kids want to get in to religion, they can at their own pace and she shouldn't be immersing them in it. I agreed to keep my mouth shut, but if they are going to be indoctrinated like this, maybe it's time I start the pre-emptive strike by getting them to question things a bit. Maybe not the 4yr old, but my 7yr old is the one I'm worried about now.

I do subtle things like, when my son says, Well, Jesus is the boss, I say, well, when he shows up he can be the boss, but for now, in my house, Dad's the boss. Stuff like that, or when they say things they've heard at school, I just not and say Oh really, that's interesting.....
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-04-2013, 12:01 PM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
(10-04-2013 10:47 AM)jasonetc Wrote:  ...She explained if we're not going to church all the time, then I want my kids in the baptist school.

I'm thinking that if they go to church with you all the time, and you take the time afterwards to make them think about what they just heard, the result would be much better than not going to church at all and going to a baptist school.

[Image: killing-floor-screen-banner.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes DancingSkeletons's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: