>Religion and 6 year olds…

>I don’t like my son having Christianity “forced” upon him… He is in his first year in primary school, and they’re only teaching him about Christianity.  There’s many religions out there, and I feel that he should be allowed the choice of choosing whether to pursue religion or not, and also – WHICH religion.

Only teaching  6 year olds about Christianity in school and saying “it HAPPENED” is making them believe in it, and only because they’ve been told it’s fact.  Much like children believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy – because they’ve been told by adults that these are real.  It’s the same with religion.  My son looks up to his teacher as an adult he can respect, and as someone who teaches him.  Yet, she is teaching him about Christianity, and being a Christian, and the Bible – like it’s factual.

I don’t think kids of 6 should be getting taught about religion in school.  They’re too young in my opinion.  His Dad however, isn’t too happy that I told my son the other side of the story… that the stuff in the Bible may not have happened.  However, it’s just what some people believe, and other people believe in other things.  I don’t want him thinking Christianity is the only thing out there.  We live in northern Scotland, so other religions/cultures etc aren’t that common up here as other areas in the UK, however even still, what if a Muslim child joined his class.  Would the children all tell him his beliefs are wrong?  Because after all… they’ve been taught that Christianity is the way… that Jesus happened, and that Jesus was real and died for us (and his school isn’t a religious school or “faith school” – though now I’d beg to differ…

Even back in primary school myself, I debated these issues myself with teachers.  I told them back in primary 5, 6 and 7 that only teaching about Christianity was wrong – Not allowing children informed decision making. My parents always allowed me the freedom of choice.  My Mum told me she was a Christian and had been Christened as a child – though she wasn’t a baby.  She was old enough to know what she was doing.  Mum told me there were other beliefs out there and I was free to follow whichever, if any, religious path I wished.  I ended up choosing none.  I have no religious beliefs whatsoever.  I don’t believe there’s anything out there other than the universe… stars, planets… alien life? Hehe… well, you never know!  There may be!  I do believe in aliens.

I don’t mind religion or religious people at all, or their beliefs.  I just don’t agree in it being forced onto people, and I feel this is what is happening in a lot of schools.  Why only teach about Christianity?  Yes we were a Christian country, but times have changed… and we say we now believe in freedom of choice these days.  If that’s what we as a country believe in, then let us give our children the choice.  I think if we taught children about other religions too, just maybe there’d be less religious hatred?  If kids were brought up being taught about different religions and beliefs, that they’d be more open to accepting them?

What age is the right age though?  I don’t know… I can’t answer that.

My son is six years old.  He believes in Santa and the Tooth Fairy because he’s been told they exist.  Now he believes in God, and baby Jesus, because his teacher has told him that God and Jesus existed.  What if I was a Muslim parent?  Yes my son is caucasian, as am I.  I could still have firm Muslim (or another religion) beliefs.  Surely parents should also be asked if they wish their child to have religion taught to their children – especially if it’s going to only be one religion specifically.  I am pretty sure most Buddhists or Muslim families or whichever alternative religion, would not like their children only being taught about the Bible and Christianity in school, with their children being told THAT religion is what happened…

Religion will always be a debatable and tricky subject to broach.  I’d quite like some replies to this post… probably a bit controversial – the topic of religion is a lot of the time!

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5 responses to “>Religion and 6 year olds…

  1. >oooh first topic we disagree on, or maybe just the first controversial post you've written!Whilst I agree that it should not be taught as fact, I do believe that a state religion is important; it instils some morals in the population and guides our legal system, and should therefore be taught in all schools.Firstly, there are not enough hours in the day to teach every religious option and any that were missed would leave the school open to being sued or taken to court for religious discrimination.Secondly, I believe it is the parents job to, as you have done, tell the child that there are other options. School is not there to parent your children, it is there to educate them, religion is something that the parent(s) should discuss with the child.On the subject of age, I believe children should start thinking about religion as soon as possible. Kids are naturally more in tune with their spirituality, much more so than adults, and therefore it is an ideal time to start considering their beliefs.

  2. >When you say that there's not enough time to teach them about all religions… leaves them opened to being sued etc. What about only teaching Christianity though? Surely that could be also classed as discriminating against other beliefs? Therefore it also could be lawsuits waiting to happen?What bothers me more about the whole teaching the kids Christianity though, is being taught like it is fact – a given. When of course, it is not. It's beliefs…

  3. >I think it's important that kids are taught about religion, especially in the UK with their being so many different religions, but i disagree with teaching them it as fact if you know what i mean. they should be taught that there are lots of religions that all belief different things and Christians believe this etc etc, not that it is fact and God exists and that this religion is the only one, or this religion is the right one or anything like that.Children are people and should be allowed to make up their own minds about what they believe not be told what to believe.

  4. >Thanks for the comment on my similar post – not quite sure how you came upon my blog but I am glad you did as it means I have found yours too!!!

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