Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How important is it to teach children about religion?

Yesterday, someone asked me a question about religion, and how it correlates with being a parent and raising children.
"How important is it to teach children about religion?"
Very important, but not yet.
I want my children to learn about religion; learn about ALL religions. I want to teach them about religion with an open mind. I don't believe in a God, and neither does my husband. We don't want to teach our children that there is some guy watching their every move, telling them they won't get into heaven if they mess up, or they have to pray to get what they want. There are so many different people in the world with so many different religious views. I want them to know they exist, and it's okay to be different. If they want to be religious, that is perfectly fine, but I will never tell them, "This is what we are, this is what you are, this is how it is, and this is the only way." Because that just isn't the case.
Kids are smart, but impressionable. Gullible. They're not ready to learn about any religion right now, because they will believe you.
They believe sensational stories. When people teach children about the bible, they tell them over-glorified fairy tales, then tell them the fairy tales are true. They build it up into the biggest and best thing, and then they grow up and build their lives around that. As an example, if I told my 3.5 year-old son that his Daddy is a secret superhero and goes out to fight bad guys every night, I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that he would absolutely believe every word I said. You don't need to lie to them about something that is going to affect the rest of their lives. It is entirely possible to be a good person, without being influenced by any form of religion, and that's why I refuse to teach them about religion until it can be discussed with an open mind.

Let me be clear, though. I have no problem with people raising their children with religion. I'm not here to change anyone's mind, or to tell them they are wrong. I won't tell my children not to play with your kids because you believe in God, and I certainly won't teach them that you're wrong because you believe in God. We just do not believe in any God, and raise our children accordingly.

  • I don't tell my children to pray to God to get what they want, I teach them they have to work for what they want.
  • I don't tell my children to pray to God for the health of them or anyone they know, I teach them that there are doctors and scientists who will do their very best to make them or their loved ones feel better.
  • I don't tell my children that God is watching them or watching out for them, I teach them that there are consequences for the things they do, whether that is immediate or further down the line, good or bad.
  • I don't tell them they won't get into heaven when they die because they committed a sin they didn't know was a sin, I teach them to learn right from wrong, and to apologize for what they did. I teach them to learn from their mistakes.
  • I don't tell them to thank God for all they have, I teach them that their Daddy works very, very hard to earn money to get us everything we have.
  • I don't tell them that God is the only way and anyone who doesn't believe in God is wrong, I teach them that everyone is different and everyone believes in different things, and that being different is good.
  • I don't tell them God loves them more than me or their father, I teach them and show them that we love them more than anything, and we want the absolute best for them.
I am a good mother, I care for my children immensely, and I do my absolutely best to do right by them.
I don't believe that telling them about God is beneficial to their well-being, and I don't think I'd be doing right by them if I told them there was a God.
I don't believe in God, your God, or any God.
I believe in communication, kindness, love, and honesty. If you disagree with me, that's fine!! But do not try to convince me or condemn me for what I believe or don't believe in.

I would love to hear from you! Please let me know what you think in the comments, but please, keep it civil!

Twitter: @itslikemusic