Friday, June 06, 2008

A Child's Right to Not be Religious?

So we've talked about raising children within faith, we've talked about exposing them to other faiths, and we've talked about raising children pan-religious in hopes that they will someday seek and find their own paths, without feeling we have coerced them into believing as we do for fear of parental or social disapproval.

We're a very religiously/ spiritually interested bunch though, and I notice that this isn't the same for everyone. My husband for example has a 'relationship' with 'something bigger than he is' and while he experiences some energy connections and has had some unexplainables occur, he is not what I would call overly religious.

My kids, seem to be following in dads footsteps. They enjoy the high energy of special events, but I can't say there is any real reverence there. It's a game to them. To bring them into sacred situations is to invite disaster, and cause things to be handled carelessly if not downright disrespectfully. When dealing with sacred objects, and things that cannot be replaced, this can be dangerous.

This is pretty much the same result I got when trying to get hubbs involved in some spiritual pursuits. Blatant irreverence. They just don't seem to "get it" nor do they have the desire to slow down to try.

When they do have religious or spiritual needs, they will come to me quietly on their own terms with their questions, but once those concerns are addressed, they are satisfied and don't seek out religious learning the way they seek reading, or music.

Which leaves me asking, if a kid doesn't show any indications of religious interest, is it brainwashing to ingrain religion in them through teaching, creating ritual, habits and creating a psychological reliance on belief? Eg. using religious/ spiritual means as coping strategies for life stress without knowing if other methods would be equally effective for the individual in question.

Why or why not?

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