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I have two young children, and wonder what your thoughts are about teaching religion to children. Why should I, or why shouldn't I?

I'd like to know if there are benefits. I am, however, open to anything as long as there is a good, valid explanation why I should introduce this concept to my children.

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    Oct 25 2011: Instead of thinking about teaching one religion, I would request you to briefly go through all the major religions around the world, take out the best lines in them, and convey them when your children commit any mistake or asks questions, may be the most stupid ones,by relating it to particular writing and saying. This way, they will be learning as well as respecting every thing on this earth and will grow up as responsible citizens. All religions have something great to say.
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    Oct 24 2011: I would say that it is good to teach your children about religions.
    To do this it would be helpful if you know those religions yourself.
    Maybe you do, so you tell about the role it plays in various cultures.
    It is better as they aren't ignorant as they grow up and interact with all kind of believers.
  • Oct 24 2011: Hi Ravi,

    I know it's a difficult idea, but I think it should be left up to your children whether they want to learn religion. I went through Catholic school at my local church and got confirmed, then walked right out the door and never came back. I have my issues with religion, but I won't deny that I resented being forced to participate without being able to voice my opinion and that it played a part in me walking away from it. You can introduce your children to your religion, get them to ask questions, and take them to worship, but it should always be a choice for them, never a requirement.
  • Oct 23 2011: I say no.

    I am an aethist, but I think its important to be open minded to all things including religion.
    However, I believe that religion should be a choice.
    I believe children should be raised to think independently, learn to empathize with others, and be willing to make mistakes and be wrong about something.

    I don't disapprove of religion in general, but I do disapprove to what it does to some people.
    If someone approaches religion as an ultimatum, then they see the world in more or less black and white terms.
    This is good, this is bad. This makes it hard for those individuals to accept new ideas, or empathize with those who are different. Many wars and deaths result from religion because people are unable to accept that they might be wrong.

    I think religion should be treated as you would treat any book or comment. You should take it as a recommendation rather than absolution. It outlines many words of wisdom, but it is not always right. You might disagree with a certain segment, but it adds upon a new point of view. If your child continues to accept the existence of a god, then it is his or her choice. You just outline the mechanisms that enable them to make their own choice.

    I hope this helps. =)

    The mere fact that you asked this question is a good sign of your ability as a parent
    best of luck
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    Oct 22 2011: I'm pretty sure a lot of people will tell you it's a horrible thing to teach children, but it comes down to what you really believe and how to present it in a way that allows children to understand your passion for your beliefs but also be free to explore and choose for themselves. Let's be honest, true belief can not be forced on anyone and the harder one tries to push something on you the more you will resist, so allowing open discussion and freedom makes it far more likely that children will really listen to you and take what you say into consideration. I personally think indoctrination is the wrong approach, education and self exp;oration is the right one.

    The other thing to think about is are you really teaching a religion or are you hoping to foster a relationship? I am Christian and I don't follow a religion, and by that I mean a set of rituals, rules and observances that will lead to a reward, right living or moral rightness. I have a relationship with a living God who is a person to me. I feel there is a decided difference in how one approaches talking about a relationship as opposed to a religion. I won't be trying to get my kids to pray so they won't go to hell, I want them to pray so they can get to know Him, just like I want them to talk to me. Just a thought. Good Luck and Higher power bless.
  • Oct 22 2011: hi i was born into a christian family and was always a christian in my passport :-) but i am quite open minded to relegions and beliefs as i truly believe through personal experience that there is a higher power .
    i think its a good thing to teach children morality and history which is in essence what religion trys to convey.
    religions were formed to help humanity understand and set a code of conduct for humanity to follow to attain higher levels of consciousness during certain key points of growth of humanity.
    so i think its a good idea to teach children religion but also philosophy so as to help them to develop a questioning mentality and to not believe in everything blindly i guess :-p