Religion in schools

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  • Religion in schools
  • Premier Icon totalshell
    Subscriber

    its okay for your daughter to believe in a fat bearded bloke in a red suit but not to take part in a religious service the basis of which is pivitol to the calendar and in this instance the reason she had pancake day and will be tucking into chocolate eggs in 3 weeks and not been able to sleep with excitement on the 24th december

    our daughters go to a catholic school in the grounds of the catholic church, they ve been to mosques and synagogues this week they ve been tasting halal and kosher foods to highlight that infact there are no differences in taste just in preperation and the reasons behind that.. all seems fair and laudable to me.

    i’m not relgious as i m from yarkshire and there is only one god

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    totalshell – Member
    its okay for your daughter to believe in a fat bearded bloke in a red suit but not to take part in a religious service the basis of which is pivitol to the calendar and in this instance the reason she had pancake day and will be tucking into chocolate eggs in 3 weeks and not been able to sleep with excitement on the 24th december

    These pivotal parts of the calendar which over right the previous festivals of mid winter and spring, where many old beliefs and mythologies are rolled up into a modern idea.

    Schools should go to churchs, mosques, synagogues etc, in the same way they go to farms, zoo’s and exhibitions. To look, observe and understand whats going on.

    There was a great quote from Miroslav Volf ()http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miroslav_Volf)

    Once you separate religion from power, then religion can be politically, publicly engaged and you don’t have either secular exclusion of religion nor religious domination of society but you’ve got a vibrant, pluralistic society debating the nature of the good life.

    If it could stand on it’s own 2 feet and not interfere with a lot of what is going on then it would be easier to get along with.

    If parents want to send their kids to religious schools then fine but just make sure they are going to cover the whole curriculum Jewish school redacts exam to remove evolution questions

    I’m very atheist and am against the indoctrination and labelling of children. My wife’s Catholic and our son’s baptised. It doesn’t really bother me as I’m sure he’ll be intelligent enough to see the evil in religion and the beauty in science for what it is. Whenever my wife says our son’s a Catholic, I make sure to point out he’s a Tory, a staunch supporter of Exeter Chiefs and believes strongly that the free market works with extremely limited government intervention.

    I went to a CofE prep school so know enough about religion to make it laughable.

    Even though I went to a CofE school a few years ago (I’m 30 now), we learnt about Jews, Hindus, Muslims and the other ‘main’ religions.

    See the morning as an education in what Christians believe for your daughter and not her selling her soul to a god. Enjoy it for what it is. Overcoming her nerves and reading to a crowd!

    nealglover
    Member

    I’m very atheist and am against the indoctrination and labelling of children.

    Followed by,,,

    My wife’s Catholic and our son’s baptised. It doesn’t really bother me

    😕 Not sure I understand the logic there.

    Basically this is a complete non issue.

    According to you, obviously for the OP it isnt.
    It seems many people on here are part of those “default” 70%.

    I’m very atheist and am against the indoctrination and labelling of children.

    Followed by,

    My wife’s Catholic and our son’s baptised. It doesn’t really bother me

    Not sure I understand the logic there.

    Because being baptised means no more to me or him than a little splash of water. Very different to indoctrination.

    He goes to a non-denominational public school. If he was going to a school where it was explained to him that anyone from a different faith was going to hell blah blah blah then … well, he wouldn’t.

    nealglover
    Member

    Ok, so your not that bothered about the labelling of children if the label doesn’t mean anything to you.

    So anything religious is fine as none of it would mean anything to you.

    It means a lot more to you wife obviously.

    Premier Icon richmars
    Subscriber

    Just have confidence in your daughter having the intelligence to make her own mind up. After all, that worked for you, and I’m sure you were subject to the same pressures.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Lots of folk have their children baptised or christened so that they can get them into nearby denominational schools because they feel they’re performing better educationally – of course, whether this is true or not is another debate. Heck, I even considered it myself as an option for putting the little fella into a local Catholic school. Other than that, it wouldn’t mean anything to me.

    surfer
    Member

    The problem lies when a society at large associates morality and religion too closely. This can be seen by the fact that the church has some default seats in the house of Lords, primarily to offer moral guidance. This is not to say that it is a bad idea to have some seats reserved for those whose main concern when considering legislation should be that of morality and society; but it is bad when that view point comes solely from that of a religious perspective, and only one religious perspective.

    +1

    nealglover
    Member

    Other than that, it wouldn’t mean anything to me.

    I’m not suggesting it should.

    But as far as religion “labelling” goes, it’s a pretty big one surely.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Hypothetically speaking…

    I would be doing it totally hypocritically (as do, I assure you, many others who do the christening/church on Sundays/etc) to get my child into a “better” school. I’d have to turn up to Mass most Sundays. Maybe help with a bit of chippying in the church for free sometimes, bring a cake every so often and stick a fiver in the collection basket. Not much effort really. My child wouldn’t be going around with a big “I’m a Roman Catholic, Bite Me” t-shirt all the time. Everyone would look at his uniform and me going to Mass saying “Yeah, you’re only doing it for the schooling…” and they’d be right and I’d have to live with that. But millions all over the country do the same every week – and it really means bugger-all to them in the grand scheme of things because they feel they’re getting a better education for their children and we all know that’s THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER!!!! No-one I know whose child goes to a Catholic school really believes all that shite – the most I could say is that some are agnostic bordering on atheism-lite (rather than STW style atheism, say). I’d assume that without the push from the parents (which mine wouldn’t get), the “indoctrination” wouldn’t take hold. That’s pretty much my experience when discovering after losing my dad (who was the one who pushed us into church and was the “believer”) in my teens that actually, my mum didn’t really believe most of it – I soon got sense. I haven’t been inside the door of a church (other than for organised displays of hypocrisy for friends) since I was around 15, IIRC.

    The churches (CofE and RC) need arses on pews on a Sunday – and if it has to get this by better schooling (again, I’m not advocating it) – then that’s what it does. If Catholic schools weren’t out-performing their non-denominational counterparts, their respective chapels would be mostly empty.

    grum
    Member

    I don’t see any possible justification for indoctrinating children into religion, and the state certainly shouldn’t be funding it. If people want to be religious they should be given the choice as adults.

    I was brought up a Christian and went to Christian schools and it caused me a lot of anguish when I decided I didn’t believe in any of it. Even late on in secondary school you were made to feel like a troublemaker if you didn’t want to attend church services, and this was at a state comprehensive with no strong religious affiliation.

    BlindMelon
    Member

    I am going because she will be proud of herself and she wants to share that, happy enough with that.

    You are thinking too much about it. What you have said above is all that matters.

    Children should have RE to better understand that people may or may not have a belief. Then let them draw their own conclusions.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    Interesting replies, disappointing lack of religious nutters threatening me with Hell though.

    I guess my kids are sharp enough to work stuff out for themselves. I went to a RC primary school and soon sussed out my own views. They will do the same in time. Like I say though, I welcome them being taught about beliefs, just a bit uneasy that it would appear Christianity is taught to them as the religion, rather than just one of many.

    Bless you all for your contributions! 😉

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    We are non religious, kids go to a CofE aided school, and Guide/Scout groups linked to local churches.

    They sometimes go to church through these links. It hasn’t done them any harm. They learn about all religions at school and through the media, not all of it positive. Neither child has any indication of being religious one way or the other.

    It strikes me that parents who have issues with religion in school or wider society may have some issues of their own. Refusing to learn about and try different experiences seems to me to blinkered and just as fundamentalist as the extreme end of any religion.

    grum
    Member

    It strikes me that parents who have issues with religion in school or wider society may have some issues of their own. Refusing to learn about and try different experiences seems to me to blinkered and just as fundamentalist as the extreme end of any religion.

    🙄

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    It strikes me that parents who have issues with religion in school or wider society may have some issues of their own. Refusing to learn about and try different experiences seems to me to blinkered and just as fundamentalist as the extreme end of any religion.

    My experience is that many atheists* know the bible/Christianity better than many “Christians”, and generally rather a lot more about other religions than “Christians”.

    *people who have consciously decided they’re an atheist while living in a western ‘Christian’ country, rather than people who are simply without a belief in a god.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Refusing to learn about and try different experiences seems to me to blinkered and just as fundamentalist as the extreme end of any religion.

    We learn through observing and studying, there is no requirement to partake, especially when there are multiple things to study.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    MoreCashThanDash – Member

    Refusing to learn about and try different experiences seems to me to blinkered and just as fundamentalist as the extreme end of any religion.

    There’s a difference between learning about religions and learning religion.

    grum
    Member

    I wonder how it would go down in schools if kids were made to ‘try out’ being a Muslim.

    It’s not trying out different experiences it’s trying out one experience and learning a bit about some others.

    surfer
    Member

    Refusing to learn about and try different experiences seems to me to blinkered and just as fundamentalist as the extreme end of any religion.

    No its not and that’s probably one of the most stupid things I have read on here.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    There’s a difference between learning about religions and learning religion.

    you have summed up my feelings much better than I have managed to! The learn about other religions, then learn Christianity.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    anagallis_arvensis – Member
    Basically this is a complete non issue.
    According to you, obviously for the OP it isnt.
    It seems many people on here are part of those “default” 70%.

    As people have mentioned, kids are wise enough to figure it out for themselves.

    Of all the people I know that go to church and take religion seriously, the main influence in that has been their parents.

    Talk of indoctrination in schools is well wide of the mark.

    ps I’m non-religious, i’m one of the ones that figured it out when I was 11/12 year old.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    grum – Member

    I wonder how it would go down in schools if kids were made to ‘try out’ being a Muslim.

    Like this idea, you do it on rotas right? Monday you’re a muslim, tuesday you’re a christian, wednesday you’re a buddhist, thursday you’re a hindu, friday you’re into shinto, Saturday you’re an atheist, and you chill on sunday. (no offence to judaiism, I picked shinto because it rhymes with into)

    Sure, kids are smart enough to figure things out themselves, but does that mean it’s OK to try to brainwash them? On teaching time?

    Premier Icon totalshell
    Subscriber

    some of the views expressed above are frankly stunning. i m not a church goer kids go to a catholic school ( wife and family are catholics)

    to dismiss people who believe as DD does is insulting to me. i have seen thier faith been incredibly comforting to the MIL and her sister who was literally a sister.

    i ve never met a more inspiring thoughtful person than the MIL’s sister. she was open honest and frankly the most interesting woman i ve ever met.

    her faith was strong unquestioning and supported her through caring for desperate folk in desperate times.

    i never heard her once speak of religion or for or against any faith or lack of it.

    religion as she practised it was a way of life that meant giving everything she had practically and emotionally in support of others

    we should be grateful that there are people such as her who make enourmous lifetime sacrifices for others.

    if this thread was around peoples sexuality it would have been closed long ago for the bias and insults.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
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    Northwind – Member
    Sure, kids are smart enough to figure things out themselves, but does that mean it’s OK to try to brainwash them? On teaching time?

    How exactly does this brainwashing work? During prayers for 2 minutes every day, or during the couple of events you go through and the prep for that(basically first communion, confession and confirmation(we did a play about the dangers of drugs, which was about 80% of it)) not quite sure how that fits in with brainwashing myself.

    btw I also went through a period in my 20s when I was completely non religious and absolutely opposed to it. But well then I grew up and realised what actually happened.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    to dismiss people who believe as DD does is insulting to me

    Most people who actually attend church each week (~2% of the population IIRC) will believe, although not perhaps what you’d expect them to believe and (in England) they probably won’t be fundamentalist or evangelicals).

    Most people who tick the “Christian” box on the census (~70% of the population) won’t believe. Sadly, this figure is the one used to maintain the influence religion has on policy and education (in England) rather than the ever-declining church attendance figures.

    grum
    Member

    we should be grateful that there are people such as her who make enourmous lifetime sacrifices for others.

    Lots of non-religious people do good stuff too – I’m not sure what your point is. You could argue people who do good deeds without the supposed reward of going to heaven are more altruistic.

    if this thread was around peoples sexuality it would have been closed long ago for the bias and insults.

    Where are the insults? And sexuality and religion are hardly the same are they – one is innate.

    not quite sure how that fits in with brainwashing myself.

    All you’re arguing there is why religious indoctrination isn’t that bad. Are there any reasons why we should do it though?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    How exactly does this brainwashing work? During prayers for 2 minutes every day, or during the couple of events you go through and the prep for that(basically first communion, confession and confirmation(we did a play about the dangers of drugs, which was about 80% of it)) not quite sure how that fits in with brainwashing myself.

    It’s called conditioning, You live in a CHRISTIAN country, schools of no faith have a CHRISTIAN worship, CHRISTIAN religious programming hits TV. It’s all conditioning to lead people to continue to believe in something. It may not be brainwashing, thats what some of the distant uncles on my missus side of the family are into which is all a bit more sinister but just a more extreme version of that.

    It was a great point made above, that people would think differently if kids were being marched off to other religious institutions.

    I would much rather see religion in schools taught like history, geography or english lit discussing the merits and points of the cases. Understanding traditions and significance of those in world events. Looking at tolerance and understanding and how to accept that other people may not believe in the same version of history, concepts or ideas and that it’s OK.

    It’s also important to understand that a society can function without religious guidance and is capable of it’s own moral compass.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    All you’re arguing there is why religious indoctrination isn’t that bad.

    That’s my point, the reaction outweighs reality.

    grum
    Member

    Yes but just because it isn’t that bad – that’s not a good reason for doing it.

    And personally I think it is quite damaging that we are taught to equate things like morality, social conscience, community spirit etc with religion – because people realise they don’t believe any more a lot of the other stuff falls by the wayside too.

    We should be able to teach kids to be good people without threatening that the magic man in the sky will get angry if they aren’t.

    Dunno about primary schools, but middle schools are supposed to teach about different faiths as part of RE. Ideally part of the curriculum should involve visiting mosques, churches, Gurdwara, synagouges etc. but of course this is restricted by local availability and time in the school day. Even adult atheists can learn a lot from talking to practitioners of particular religions.

    English schools do not necessarily have a Christian bias. The enthusiasm in observing a particular festival can depend on the predominant religion of the pupils at that school.

    Most people quite like a bit of pageantry, and that’s what a lot of religion is. You can have a bit of fun without actually believing.

    Its the Jehova’s Witnesses kids I feel sorry for. They’re not allowed to take part in anything.

    grum
    Member

    Dunno about primary schools, but middle schools are supposed to teach about different faiths as part of RE. Ideally part of the curriculum should involve visiting mosques, churches, Gurdwara, synagouges etc. but of course this is restricted by local availability and time in the school day. Even adult atheists can learn a lot from talking to practitioners of particular religions.

    I bet they don’t actually go and take part in a service at a mosque or synagogue though do they? And on a regular basis?

    I’ll be very surprised if they do. I certainly didn’t at my schools. We were taught about other religions but essentially taught that ours was the right one.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    that’s not a good reason for doing it.

    Well in society there are people that believe it is a good idea, in tolerant society, we try and accommodate these people.

    Faiths schools, only make up a certain percentage of schools, they aren’t every school so there are options for people if they want to. Plus as has been mentioned, you can opt your children out of the religious parts if you like.

    grum
    Member

    Well in society there are people that believe it is a good idea, in tolerant society, we try and accommodate these people.

    By the same token – shouldn’t they be tolerant of people who don’t think it’s a good idea and not try to force it upon them? If religious people want to indoctrinate their children I suppose that’s up to them – but no way should it be state funded or happen at normal state schools.

    Faiths schools, only make up a certain percentage of schools, they aren’t every school so there are options for people if they want to. Plus as has been mentioned, you can opt your children out of the religious parts if you like.

    My school wasn’t a faith school, and we still went to religious services and had prayers in assembly etc. And you were made to feel like a troublemaker for opting out.

    nealglover
    Member

    I was brought up a Christian and went to Christian schools and it caused me a lot of anguish when I decided I didn’t believe in any of it. Even late on in secondary school you were made to feel like a troublemaker if you didn’t want to attend church services, and this was at a state comprehensive with no strong religious affiliation.

    In contrast, I went to a Catholic Primary and then a Catholic Secondary school.

    When I decided around the age of 14 that I didn’t want to attend Church anymore it didn’t cause me, or anyone else, any anguish at all.

    School were perfectly understanding about it, and already had arrangements for those who didn’t want to attend.

    My Mum, who is Catholic, was also understanding about it, and knew it was my decision to make and was happy as long as I was happy.

    I wasn’t made to feel like a troublemaker by anybody, and had the freedom to make my decision and do what I felt suited me.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    And you were made to feel like a troublemaker for opting out.

    Not my experience.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    English schools do not necessarily have a Christian bias.

    They do. By law.

    My Mum, who is Catholic, was also understanding about it, and knew it was my decision to make and was happy as long as I was happy.

    When she’s in heaven, you’ll be in hell.

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