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Children and religion

Alan Day 05 Oct 06 - 04:12 AM
John MacKenzie 05 Oct 06 - 04:26 AM
skipy 05 Oct 06 - 04:51 AM
GUEST,Jon 05 Oct 06 - 04:59 AM
George Papavgeris 05 Oct 06 - 05:00 AM
Dave Hanson 05 Oct 06 - 05:07 AM
Paul Burke 05 Oct 06 - 05:09 AM
Wolfgang 05 Oct 06 - 05:26 AM
skipy 05 Oct 06 - 05:53 AM
GUEST 05 Oct 06 - 06:04 AM
Grab 05 Oct 06 - 08:11 AM
wysiwyg 05 Oct 06 - 08:22 AM
BuckMulligan 05 Oct 06 - 08:28 AM
Emma B 05 Oct 06 - 08:30 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Oct 06 - 08:35 AM
skipy 05 Oct 06 - 08:49 AM
Wesley S 05 Oct 06 - 09:02 AM
BuckMulligan 05 Oct 06 - 09:09 AM
Big Mick 05 Oct 06 - 09:10 AM
Wesley S 05 Oct 06 - 09:20 AM
Wolfgang 05 Oct 06 - 11:20 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Oct 06 - 11:32 AM
Alan Day 05 Oct 06 - 11:40 AM
Big Mick 05 Oct 06 - 11:48 AM
Peace 05 Oct 06 - 11:52 AM
Scoville 05 Oct 06 - 12:04 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Oct 06 - 12:08 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 12:47 PM
Big Mick 05 Oct 06 - 01:05 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 01:16 PM
Big Mick 05 Oct 06 - 01:31 PM
George Papavgeris 05 Oct 06 - 01:38 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 01:46 PM
Emma B 05 Oct 06 - 01:53 PM
George Papavgeris 05 Oct 06 - 01:59 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 02:00 PM
George Papavgeris 05 Oct 06 - 02:06 PM
Big Mick 05 Oct 06 - 02:12 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 02:15 PM
George Papavgeris 05 Oct 06 - 02:17 PM
Wesley S 05 Oct 06 - 02:17 PM
Big Mick 05 Oct 06 - 02:20 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 02:21 PM
Big Mick 05 Oct 06 - 02:21 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 02:22 PM
George Papavgeris 05 Oct 06 - 02:24 PM
Big Mick 05 Oct 06 - 02:35 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 02:35 PM
MMario 05 Oct 06 - 02:35 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 02:39 PM
Big Mick 05 Oct 06 - 02:46 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 02:56 PM
Big Mick 05 Oct 06 - 03:12 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 03:30 PM
GUEST 05 Oct 06 - 03:44 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 03:46 PM
number 6 05 Oct 06 - 03:51 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,Jon 05 Oct 06 - 03:54 PM
wysiwyg 05 Oct 06 - 03:54 PM
number 6 05 Oct 06 - 03:55 PM
MMario 05 Oct 06 - 03:57 PM
George Papavgeris 05 Oct 06 - 03:57 PM
GUEST 05 Oct 06 - 04:03 PM
wysiwyg 05 Oct 06 - 04:04 PM
Emma B 05 Oct 06 - 04:04 PM
akenaton 05 Oct 06 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,Jon 05 Oct 06 - 04:12 PM
MMario 05 Oct 06 - 04:14 PM
Wesley S 05 Oct 06 - 04:16 PM
akenaton 05 Oct 06 - 04:18 PM
MMario 05 Oct 06 - 04:21 PM
Wesley S 05 Oct 06 - 04:25 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 06 - 04:26 PM
akenaton 05 Oct 06 - 04:27 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 04:35 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 06 - 04:36 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 06 - 04:39 PM
akenaton 05 Oct 06 - 04:40 PM
Big Mick 05 Oct 06 - 04:48 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 06 - 04:49 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 04:51 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 06 - 04:53 PM
akenaton 05 Oct 06 - 04:55 PM
katlaughing 05 Oct 06 - 04:57 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 05:01 PM
Wesley S 05 Oct 06 - 05:03 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 05:04 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 06 - 05:10 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 06 - 05:17 PM
akenaton 05 Oct 06 - 05:24 PM
The Villan 05 Oct 06 - 05:25 PM
Wesley S 05 Oct 06 - 05:34 PM
Jeri 05 Oct 06 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,Orren Wilcox 05 Oct 06 - 05:34 PM
akenaton 05 Oct 06 - 05:35 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 06 - 05:40 PM
Wesley S 05 Oct 06 - 05:43 PM
akenaton 05 Oct 06 - 05:56 PM
akenaton 05 Oct 06 - 06:00 PM
Wesley S 05 Oct 06 - 06:09 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 06 - 06:12 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Oct 06 - 06:28 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 06 - 06:30 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 06 - 06:33 PM
Alan Day 05 Oct 06 - 06:39 PM
Jeri 05 Oct 06 - 06:46 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 06 - 07:02 PM
Big Mick 05 Oct 06 - 07:16 PM
Ron Davies 05 Oct 06 - 08:57 PM
George Papavgeris 05 Oct 06 - 10:26 PM
The Villan 06 Oct 06 - 12:40 AM
Joe Offer 06 Oct 06 - 01:18 AM
Paul Burke 06 Oct 06 - 05:37 AM
MMario 06 Oct 06 - 08:44 AM
Jeri 06 Oct 06 - 11:08 AM
Amos 06 Oct 06 - 11:31 AM
Big Mick 06 Oct 06 - 12:10 PM
PoppaGator 06 Oct 06 - 12:31 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Oct 06 - 12:44 PM
MMario 06 Oct 06 - 12:49 PM
Mrrzy 06 Oct 06 - 12:58 PM
Jeri 06 Oct 06 - 12:58 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Oct 06 - 01:03 PM
Mrrzy 06 Oct 06 - 01:04 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Oct 06 - 01:07 PM
Mrrzy 06 Oct 06 - 01:12 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Oct 06 - 01:24 PM
PoppaGator 06 Oct 06 - 01:26 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Oct 06 - 01:30 PM
Emma B 06 Oct 06 - 01:32 PM
MMario 06 Oct 06 - 01:37 PM
Mrrzy 06 Oct 06 - 02:28 PM
Amos 06 Oct 06 - 02:28 PM
Little Hawk 06 Oct 06 - 02:46 PM
BuckMulligan 06 Oct 06 - 02:50 PM
Little Hawk 06 Oct 06 - 02:55 PM
BuckMulligan 06 Oct 06 - 03:09 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Oct 06 - 03:19 PM
Little Hawk 06 Oct 06 - 03:30 PM
MMario 06 Oct 06 - 03:37 PM
MMario 06 Oct 06 - 03:39 PM
Jeri 06 Oct 06 - 03:52 PM
BuckMulligan 06 Oct 06 - 03:57 PM
Little Hawk 06 Oct 06 - 04:08 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Oct 06 - 04:11 PM
Amos 06 Oct 06 - 05:14 PM
BuckMulligan 06 Oct 06 - 07:29 PM
Little Hawk 06 Oct 06 - 08:06 PM
BuckMulligan 06 Oct 06 - 08:52 PM
Little Hawk 06 Oct 06 - 09:08 PM
BuckMulligan 07 Oct 06 - 08:42 AM
Little Hawk 07 Oct 06 - 02:04 PM
BuckMulligan 07 Oct 06 - 04:25 PM
Little Hawk 07 Oct 06 - 04:38 PM
Mrrzy 10 Oct 06 - 02:42 PM
Little Hawk 10 Oct 06 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,winterbright 10 Oct 06 - 10:41 PM
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Subject: Children and religion
From: Alan Day
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:12 AM

I recently had a visit from a Jehova's Witness, nothing unusual about that, but with him was a little girl of about five.
As adults we have the opportunity to choose our religion or not choose it.We can also choose the religion that meets our requirements.
Children in religious homes do not get this choice, the parents religion is rammed down their throats almost as soon as they can speak,these poor kids are brainwashed from an early age. I respect that children should be brought up to respect good and evil,but why should they not have a chance to choose or not to choose their religion when they are older and more fully understand the choices available to them.
Al


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:26 AM

I might be tempted to report said knocker of doors to the social services, that's no way to treat a child, dragging her around with you while you knock on people's doorsteps, and harangue them with your pet obsession. Not only that but the uncouth response that JW receive at some doors is not fit for a child's ears.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: skipy
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:51 AM

They make me puke, as do all funderMENTALists!
Skipy


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:59 AM

Children in religious homes do not get this choice, the parents religion is rammed down their throats almost as soon as they can speak,these poor kids are brainwashed from an early age.

I'd say the same for strongly athiest parents whose children might be brainwashed from an early age there is no god.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:00 AM

Two issues here. First, the general one about children having choice of religion - and I can only speak from a Christian (mainly Orthodox) perspective of course. A Christian believes that having been admitted into the Church pretty much guarantees passage to the "better place" provided you have not committed serious sins. In the case of children, who have had limited opportunities to sin yet, this means that in the case of accidental or otherwise early death, being "in the Church" is a guarantee of Heaven in itself (I am using the term "admitted into the Church" on purpose here - in fact for some dogmas like RC or Orthodoxy one has to be actually baptised, and thereafter tutored by your Godparents up to adulthood).

In centuries past, when child mortality was much higher, this "guarantee" was a major factor in parents choosing to indoctrinate their children - and have them baptised - early. The reasons have largely elapsed now of course, but the practice remains.

Of course, even I managed to loook cute at 8 months old being immersed into the fond and displayed starkers for all to see before being anointed with oil on all (ALL) my importants parts while bawling my heart out. The imagery of doing the same as a teenager or older doesn't bear thinking! (OK, you do have late converts of course, and they are dressed in a white robe while being immersed, but still...).

But the issue of the JWs dragging a kid along on their door-to-door canvassing is something else altogether. This is not part of the child's indoctrination or religious education; the child is there simply to impress the adults opening the door; it is a selling technique, and the child is being EXPLOITED. Pure and simple.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:07 AM

These gits take children along in the belief that people won't tell them to fuck off in the presence of chidren.


eric


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Paul Burke
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:09 AM

Parents inevitably pass on their beliefs to their children, it's difficult to imagine a way of NOT doing so. The important thing is that any society that belives in choice must provide a way by which they can learn to make that choice later in life.

Religions have always attempted to apply (to a geater or lesser extent) emotional pressure on young people not to apostatise- this varies from parental disapproval, through rejection by their birth culture, to in some cases attempted or successful murder.

It must be made clear to the leaders of organised belief systems that any pressure beyond the mildest is unacceptable. How to get that across in the presnt climate of confrontation is another matter.

In that context, I am very grateful to my Catholic parents, who expressed only their personal disapproval and fears for our eternal future, when almost all their offspring opted for a humanist/ atheist belief. It may have comforted them that we have largely retained the ethical and moral framework which they belived derived from religion, and which we believe derives from a rational view of human society.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Wolfgang
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:26 AM

I'm a strongly atheist parent (and my wife as well), but we send our daughter to religious instruction (liberal protestant) for we think that, firstly, a background of ethics does her well (I find close to nothing wrong with a liberal Christian ethic) and, secondly, that the stories of the Bible are a part of our cultural heritage like the brothers Grimm tales. When she asked me if there is a God, I told her the truth, namely that there are people who believe there is one and that there are people who don't believe there is one and that her parents don't believe there is one. She quickly said that she also does not believe in God and I told her that she should wait with such a pronouncement until she will be much older.

I don't know what is so bad about Jehova's witnesses for they never come to my door, I also don't know how (or if) they indoctrinate their children, but at the first glance I cannot see much wrong with taking children to adult activities like watching football or going to a folk festival or going from door to door.

But I do strongly object to any permanent scars and mutilations done in the name of the parents' religion to childrens' bodies. If they want to do that as adults I don't mind.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: skipy
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:53 AM

I am an atheist, throughout my service career (25 year) I stood outside churches whenever I had to go on a church parade. When Gulf war 1 came along I was the first in the Royal Air Force to get "ATHEIST" stamped on a set of tags.
However my children are free to make their own choice and I have not in any way interefered on that subject.
On the subject of f***ing JWs, my mother, father & auntie all where!
Skipy


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 06:04 AM

Checkout a great duo called "Truckstop Honeymoon". Their song "Witnessing" is hilarious.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Grab
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 08:11 AM

Shouldn't this be BS section...?

What kind of alternately amused and angered me was an evangelical woman dragging her kids around with her, who chose to stop outside our place and give them a major telling-off before knocking on our door. Amusing from the point of view of hypocrisy, angry from the point of view of inflicting that on kids (who clearly don't want to be there).

I don't have a problem with evangelicals doorstepping - if they want to do that, then fine. And if the kids want to participate, then again fine - I know that me and my sister went round stuffing Christian Aid envelopes through doors with my mum when I was a kid, and we thought it was good fun. But forcing them to come along when they don't want to - no way.

One point though Alan - you don't *know* that the kid was bring "brainwashed". As Wolfgang says, there's nothing wrong with taking kids to church or whatever when they're young, so long as you give them total freedom to choose their own path when they're old enough to make a decision. I know a lot of the more "fervent" churches *do* lean harder on kids, but it's not a guaranteed thing - depends on the individual church and the individual parents.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 08:22 AM

I took my son along leafletting apartments and subway stations for local Dems' political action. We ALL take our kids along to SOMEthing.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 08:28 AM

I think people with any kind of beliefs whatsoever should be prohibited from raising children. Let the little buggers wake up on their eighteenth or twenty-first birthdays and go find out everything for themselves.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Emma B
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 08:30 AM

Although christianed into the high Anglican church at infancy I was brought in the tradition of my Granmothers Evangelical Mission and "winessed" in the streets from almost as I was old enough to stand and sing in public!
I made my own decisions about organized religion in my early teens = to the sadness of my mother - but have retained the love of singing a good rousing come-all-ye song and, I hope, some of the more tolerant aspects of Christianity


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 08:35 AM

Thanks for your measured statement, Wolfgang. I generally avoid threads on religion these days because they rarely show any willingness to respect the beliefs of others. I think that it is natural for parents to talk about their beliefs with their children as they are growing up. After all, how can you possibly separate what you believe from how you live? I say this, talking equally about Atheists and people who believe in God. We all want our kids to find strength and meaning in those things that are most meaningful to us. By the time kids become teenagers, there often is no need for concern that they will just parrot what their parents think. More often, it's just the opposite. They reject what their parents think as being un-cool. And, it seems like the kids who are most likely to reject their parent's beliefs (whatever they are) as adults are those who've been raised in a restrictive, fundamentalist religion. I seem to know more Atheists who were raised Catholics than Catholics who were raised Catholic. I suppose it can turn out the same way in any belief structure that is excessively exclusive and restrictive. I should also add that the present day Catholic church in the United States bears faint resemblance to the church back in the 40's and 50's.

I don't find anything wrong with parents teaching their kids what they believe, or taking them to services, if they attend any. It's natural to want to share what is important in your life with your children, whether it's Mass or a Wiccan ceremony. I respect those on this thread, starting with you Wolfgang, who are confident enough to give their kids the freedom to find their own beliefs as adults.
The "doing" of that is a different matter. If you are atheist, how would you deal with your child growing up to be a nun or a priest?
I have a Jewish friend whose brother grew up to become a priest. Most of us are a lot better talking about being open-minded than doing it. I have a son who is Agnostic, and I've never criticized him for denying his belief in God. I make no attempt to "Convert" him, although I would be joyful if he turned back toward a faith that he was so enthusiastic about as a kid. But most of all, I want him to be happy. He is a very moral, spiritual young man and I am proud of him, as he is of me. We respect each other's beliefs and have no desire to change each other. That's the way it should be in families (and wouldn't it be great if it was that way in the world?)

Good on you Wolfie, and others.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: skipy
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 08:49 AM

We have a hard core bible basher in our village, pleasant enough lady, but she knocked on my door one day last year and said " you do a lot of work for MS sufferers don't you, why don't you hire a mini bus and bring a load to the church next Sunday, we have got a visiting faith healer, he will cure them all"
'nuff said.
Skipy


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 09:02 AM

Ahhh - Mudcatters are so tolerant about everything. Except the religious beliefs of others.

It's easy Alan - if you don't like what the JW has to say - just say no thankyou and close the door.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 09:09 AM

It's certain practices that are in question here, not beliefs - except for the beliefs that command proselytization. Only when those beliefs include "Shove your beliefs into the face of everyone you can, including going out and finding people into whose faces to shove your beliefs," do they become intolerable.

I doubt anyone on Mudcat is the least bit intolerant of privately kept beliefs.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 09:10 AM

This is one of those threads that purport to be one thing, but are actually another. Buck Mulligan got it right.

This isn't about children and religion. It is about attacking religious beliefs.

Quite frankly, it is no one's business. I have every right to pass on my spiritual, religious, political, and social values to my children. It is my right, and it is none of your business, unless you can show abuse of some form. And teaching one's religious values can hardly be termed abuse. Unless you are willing to let me call teaching atheist, pagan, buddhist, or any other value system as abuse.

WYSIWYG made the point. My children have been on picket lines with me, have worked on political campaigns with me, and have gone to church with me their whole lives. I am raising them to be ethical, spiritual, politically aware, and caring individuals. And pity the person who tries to insert themselves into that process and tell me I can't. I made them, and I am responsible to see to it they become responsible citizens, as I see that to be.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 09:20 AM

Well said Mick.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Wolfgang
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 11:20 AM

If my daughter wanted to be a nun I'd remember how much I disliked my parents trying to tell my that my socialist thinking was wrong. I'd be surprised and a bit puzzled but I'd let her go that way.

(But my tolerance has limits: if she'd come home with a Neonazi boyfriend...)

Wolfgang (looking forward to hear her singing at Christmas in the church choir)


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 11:32 AM

You're a good man, Wolfgang. We all have our limits. What if my sons wanted to become Republicans? Or do rap?

Then we'd see how liberal I really am.. :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Alan Day
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 11:40 AM

If you read my posting carefully I am in no way attacking religion or the persons belief who knocked on my door.It is not a discussion about what the JW had to say,he has his beliefs and was trying to spread the word.That is not the subject of discussion, it is about trying to ram religion down childrens throats too early.Let them decide which path they want to tread when they get older.If they wish to follow their parents religous beliefs then that is fine, but at least give them the choice.
A couple nearby became born again Christians and they held prayer meetings at their house and forced their children to attend (both of whome left home)just one example of an extreme case.
Al


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 11:48 AM

Children in religious homes do not get this choice, the parents religion is rammed down their throats almost as soon as they can speak,these poor kids are brainwashed from an early age.

Those are your words. They clearly express your disdain for the practice of teaching ones religious convictions to ones children. There is a graphic example today, with the Amish families of Pennsylvania, USA, where the religious convictions being taught to these children will demonstrate the value of this to all. Children don't possess the ability to "make choices" in the way you suggest. They are taught the values, and beliefs of their parents. It is the way of the human condition, and it is not wrong. The other thing that your ridiculous assertion implies is that when children grow up, they will lack the ability due to this "brainwashing" to make their own determinations as to the road they will trod. There are multitudes of examples in this forum membership to prove that this is ludicrous.

Would all Mudcatters that managed to find their own path and not follow their parents religious teachings please raise their hands.

I don't mean to attack you personally, Alan Day, as I don't know you. But I find the opening premise of this thread flawed, and a thinly veiled attack on people of faith.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Peace
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 11:52 AM

No thank you works well.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Scoville
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 12:04 PM

Parents pass on their beliefs/opinions/etc. about everything on to their children. Mine saddled me with disgraceful taste in music (by some standards) by raising me on folk music.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 12:08 PM

Do scarecrows brainwash their children?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 12:47 PM

" show abuse of some form"
All religion is abuse... cause it's all thought control and domination...

Children shouldn't be exposed to religion until their immune systems have developed enough that they can fight it off.... just like honey. (Except that kids can have honey LONG before it's safe for them to be exposed to religion)

"please raise their hands."
Right FN here, mate...


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 01:05 PM

You make my point, CH. The point is that I shall raise my children as I see fit, and its none of your FN business. Your arrogant comments about religion just shore up your well deserved reputation.

Try reading for comprehension. My point in asking for a show of hands of those who have gone on to a different way of thinking from their parents was to demonstrate that the whole "brainwashing" bit is not so. Parents raise their kids, hopefully teach them a value system, and then the kids grow up and make choices. They find the way based on what makes sense to them.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 01:16 PM

It is my business when you want to try to, for instance use your blinkered belief in some invisible man in the sky to change school textbooks or such to reflect your delusions... then it abso-friggn-lootly is my business... because you're hamstringing the whole human race. Trying to drag everyone back down to your medieval level....

And I read for 'comprehension'... I 'got' what you were after... it's VERY few people who change what they're taught when very young....

Unfortunately.

The ones who do are most likley the ones who are also given antibodies to religion

Arrogant? That's rich coming from you, Mick... So rich that Bill Gates just knocked on my door begging for change....   Casue you seem to think that I'm talking about you specifically....

*singing*
"You're so vain.... You probably think this post is about you... don't you?"

Get a grip Mick.....

And while you're at it stow the personal attacks.... They are unbecoming from someone who wants this place to think of them as a good example (HA!)


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 01:31 PM

For what it is worth, but you will ignore it, Americans For the Separation of Church and State has a very large membership that is Roman Catholic. Roman Catholics, by and large, do not support the teaching of the creation story in public schools, and don't believe that public schools should be in the business of teaching religion, except as a comparative philosophy.

As to your comment that it's VERY few people who change what they're taught when very young...., this is just another example of the intolerant, arrogant and disrespect for others views that causes so many to dislike your posts. You see, it implies that you were able to overcome this, but most of the drones in the world can't. It implies that you see yourself as better and wiser than the rest. But you won't get this, because of your self view.

I am not trying to be anything to this place. What I will do is express an opinion. When I am wrong, I am called on it quite vociferously. As opposed to you, whom most expect will pop off with an arrogant, intolerant post on a regular basis. But enough about you and I. I will not respond to anymore discussion that falls outside of the question at hand.

No one has the right to tell me what values I raise my children with, unless they are illegal. There is nothing illegal or immoral about people living and raising there children in faith communities, ethical communities, whatever. It is an inalienable right to raise ones children with the values that we choose.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 01:38 PM

The unwillingness to "force" any kind of religious belief on one's children is a characteristic of the baby-boomer generation, I think. Though there were "enlightened" (by that standard) parents before, the majority of my parent's generation (including my own folks) passed on their belief system as a matter of course - whether successfully or not, that is another matter; after all, the world had changed and the stimuli different.

So I became a Greek Orthodox, though nowhere near as fervent one as my parents had been; and in adulthood I rebelled against organised Church, because I saw far too many wrongs there to reconcile with my beliefs. But I remained Christian - my own kind of Christian, a sort of humanist one.

Then I married a CofE agnostic (you should see the affidavit she had to sign to be allowed to marry in a Greek Orthodox Church), and suddenly there were these two brats asking questions about God and church and stuff. Infected by the baby-boomer principles, we avoided passing on anything other than a basic humanist belief system. But they saw other relatives being a lot closer to the Church and they kept wondering throughout their early years. And now...

My son at 18 started to grow closer to the Church himself. A lot closer than I would have preferred - but it's not my call to make. And he has chosen to teach his own two children his own belief system, along the lines that Big Mick mentions; again, it grates against my "force nothing" principles, but not my call.

And now my daughter at 21 is showing an interest too. No Orthodox church near us, but there is a Unitarian one, and intends to visit regularly, she says. I will be giving her lifts there, too.

I will never be 100% certain that my "force nothing" approach was best - I wonder if it means some sort of abdication from responsibility. My children seem to have found their own way, but I am not sure to what extent this is my doing; probably very little. Because although our belief systems clearly overlap a lot, they are not identical; there are a few small remnants of the G.O. in me that are not in them.

And I cannot help feeling a little sad about that.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 01:46 PM

"But enough about you and I."
Again... "Blah blah blah, but -I- get the last word"... get bent...

"I am not trying to be anything to this place."
Bull... If Max ever comes to a quick stop, all that's going to be left of you is feet.

"it implies that you were able to overcome this"
You're reading what YOU want me to say (So that you can continue to rail on about what a horrible poster I am, IMPLYING how much better YOU are than me) into what I said.... Study some sociology, Mick.... The vast majority of people in this world take what they're taught at a very young age to the grave with them (Note... I said, nor even implied, NOT A SINGLE THING about me... or even you...)

"There is nothing illegal or immoral"
I think there's a LOT that's immoral about thought control and brain washing.... If I were to ever have my way, one day it'd be illegal too.... And not just in your country, Mick.


"Americans For the Separation of Church and State"
Too bad www.au.org is down.... I'd be curious to see their numbers... Here's their wiki... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americans_United


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Emma B
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 01:53 PM

Ignatius of Loyola

is said to have said "give me a child until he is Seven and I will give you the man"


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 01:59 PM

Out of interest, CH, where do you draw the line between "thought control and brainwashing" and plain education? Is it OK to teach a humanist belief system as opposed to a religion-based one, and why say yes to one and no to the other? You seem very certain about such delineations.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:00 PM

"teach a humanist belief system as opposed to a religion-based one"

Such as?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:06 PM

You pulling my string, CH? I thought it was clear:

That helping people, being charitable and merciful are good; killing people, stealing and lying are bad; and all that, not out of any religious conviction, but simply because they help people and society get along.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:12 PM

George, one would have to have some kind of philosophical base, and a sense of ethics in order to comment as you have asked. It is much easier to just sit back and spew comments that prop up your self indulgent sense of self importance.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:15 PM

Not pulling your string at all, George... I just wanted to make sure I understood what you were getting at... Misunderstandings happen all too frequently in this text-only medium....

The difference?
Such a "humanist belief system" doesn't require blind faith in anything... Nor is it going to try to denigrate historical and or scientific 'fact', and try to replace it with some wishy-washy 'truth'...

It's also not going to be misogynist... Nor will it encourage that ANY human be treated as anything less than human...   nor is it going to incite people to lob firebombs through the windows of people who don't believe in one particular invisible man in the sky or other... It won't encourage people to mutilate their children....

It won't expect humans to live as something other than human.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:17 PM

One...two...


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:17 PM

Alan - I think what you are suggesting just isn't practical.I'd be interested in your views on how people should raise children and not force religion down their throats.If I go to church on Sunday - or some other day of the week - do I leave the kids at home? How old should kids be when you start to introduce these ideas to them? At 15 or 16 are they offered a few different religions of the parents choosing? Should we skip Christmas and the Easter Bunny because these kids aren't old enough to evaluate the evidence for themselves and make a critical judgement?

Just how should we expose our kids to ideas? How have you raised your kids { assuming you have some }? I'll be interested in seeing your thoughts on this.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:20 PM

OK, you have outlined what a belief system isn't, now give us some of what this same belief system is. What would your belief system say about theft? How would that be defined? It is not enough to not be about something, one must also be about certain values.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:21 PM

I'm gonna start singing this about Mick

Some Humans Ain't Human
John Prine

Some humans ain't human
Some people ain't kind
You open up their hearts
And here's what you'll find
A few frozen pizzas
Some ice cubes with hair
A broken Popsicle
You don't want to go there

Some humans ain't human
Though they walk like we do
They live and they breathe
Just to turn the old screw
They screw you when you're sleeping
They try to screw you blind
Some humans ain't human
Some people ain't kind

You might go to church
And sit down in a pew
Those humans who ain't human
Could be sittin' right next to you
They talk about your family
They talk about your clothes
When they don't know their own ass
From their own elbows

Jealousy and stupidity
Don't equal harmony
Jealousy and stupidity
Don't equal harmony

Spoken:
Have you ever noticed
When you're feeling really good
There's always a pigeon
That'll come shit on your hood

Or you're feeling your freedom
And the world's off your back
Some cowboy from Texas
Starts his own war in Iraq

Some humans ain't human
Some people ain't kind
They lie through their teeth
With their head up their behind
You open up their hearts
And here's what you'll find
Some humans ain't human
Some people ain't kind


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:21 PM

George ......... LMAO. Message received ..... LOL.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:22 PM

Outside the scope of this thread Mick.... I'm not about to sit here and type up my ism or ology....


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:24 PM

Sorry CH, my "one...two.." was in response to Big Mick's message (George with head bent and hands over the ears waiting for the bang).

Perhaps you speak from local (North American) experience. But my own Greek Orthodox origins would comply with all you have mentioned, including avoiding misogyny, mutilation and rewriting of history and science; I rebelled against the organised Church, not the belief system.

So, if I teach precisely the same things, does it matter whether I do so out of religious faith or social faith (common sense)?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:35 PM

OK, then within the scope of this thread, absent a "Thou Shalt Not Steal", what would you teach your children about stealing? Is it a bad thing? Always? And if you have a view you are teaching that is counter to what others teach, is that brainwashing?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:35 PM

Religion and faith are two different things....


"including avoiding misogyny"
Really? I did a quick glance around and found this here...
http://dlibrary.acu.edu.au/research/theology/ejournal/aejt_4/Nicolaides.htm
"The Eastern Orthodox Church or Ekklesia however, remains resolute in its stance on the issue of priesthood and allows only males to become ordained as per its interpretation of the Holy Scriptures and Holy Traditions."

So how is it NOT just another "Old Boys Club"?

"I rebelled against the organised Church, not the belief system"
And how did you seperate one from the other? It's the organized Church that made up the belief system in the first place....


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: MMario
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:35 PM

Don't forget that there are Atheist fundamentalists who are every bit as obnoxiious about forcing their beliefs on others as are religious fundamentalists.

the constitution of the USA also states that Congress shall enact no law abrogating the free practice of religion - but most people forget that.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:39 PM

Are we only talking about the USA here?

I certainly hope not


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:46 PM

So, by your last statement I take it that you feel it is OK for a government to outlaw free religious practices, Clinton? C'mon, lad, take a position for something instead of just lobbing grenades. Take a position on theft. Or on a government forbidding worship of deities. Stand for something so you can be held accountable for your beliefs. That is the standard you hold others to. You consistently sit back and point out how stupid others are, and how you are much brighter. I want to hear what positions you stand for, so you can be held accountable for those views.

So .... within the context of the thread .... is it OK to teach children it is wrong to steal?

In order to prevent the "brainwashing", is it OK for governments to outlaw the practice of all religions?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:56 PM

I never said anything about not being able to hit your knees and talk to whatever delusion you want to, have I??? I don't care who you cry out to when you fall from a great height.... Or what mythology comforts you when your own mortality wakes you up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night.... That's not at ALL what we're talking about here Mick.... You're just fishing. (Like you've been taking passive-aggressive lessons from Shambles or something)

I'll give you this one little one... Is it always wrong to steal?   I don't think so...   If yer gonna steal, someday it's probably gonna bite you in the ass.... So steal or don't... It's your choice.

"I want to hear what positions you stand for"
Again, that's not what this thread is about, is it? You can take the rest of your fishing expedition and cram it.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 03:12 PM

Not fishing, Clinton. I just get tired of you jumping into threads and pointing out the disdain you have for others point of view. There is rarely an attempt to be part of a discussion. You simply tell us all how we should think, and then ridicule anyone who doesn't agree. Your post above shows it in spades. You refer to others deeply held beliefs as delusions. A person of intellectual depth probes the arguments, tries to understand the other side, and presents arguments to the counter. They don't purposely seek to offend and belittle. Read George P's posts for an example. But disdain and scorn is precisely what you do, and it is why Max invited you to leave.

So you think stealing is sometimes OK. Is this what you will teach your children when the time is right? What will you teach them is the distinction as to when it is OK?

Values have to have a certain amount of absolutism to them. Life will soon enough teach children the grey areas. It seems to me that a religious base, even when tempered by the views of such as Wolfgang or George, is a far better thing for kids than no training in these areas at all. No morality based training leads to situational morality.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 03:30 PM

"You refer to others deeply held beliefs as delusions."
Why should your beliefs matter a tinkers cuss to me? Why should my opinion of your beliefs matter one to you???

Believing in things that are not there is the dictionary definition of delusional... You want to demonstrate that your invisible man in the sky isn't a delusion, lets see the evidence.   Oh... that's right... There isn't any... So you go right ahead and continue to line up to the All You Can Eat Blind Faith Buffet... I've had more than enough of their salt and ashes, thanks. You can even have my share.

"disdain and scorn is precisely what you do"
Only to things that are disdainful and scornful... Like blinkered religion.

"and it is why Max invited you to leave."
What the fuck ever Mick.... Again, you prove yourself nothing more than a passive aggressive wanker... Get down of your high frigg'n horse and get your tongue outa Max's ass.... Dogs do that... You're not a dog are you?

No wonder so many people have left because of you.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 03:44 PM

Knew there was more to you than you you usually show here Clint.
Agree with you all the way ...Reason always beats superstition.
Indoctrinating children with religion is abuse...Ake


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 03:46 PM

Who's "Clint"?

:-)


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: number 6
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 03:51 PM

I was going to post to this thread ... good subject ... but after reading what has been posted I'll refrain from pointing my view ... not going to waste energy fighting off attacks ... not over this subject.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 03:53 PM

Then why post at all? Just farting up the place, #6?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 03:54 PM

At least the point about some athiests being every bit as likely to brainwash there children has been demonstrated here. I was getting quite worried when my comments were met by Wolfgang's very reasonable athiest outlook and Paul's coments.

As far as I'm concerned, none of us can say with absolute certainty or offer absolute proof as to whether or not there higher powers although individuals may well have reasons to believe one way or other.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 03:54 PM

All I know is, when was the last time a believer started a Mudcat thread bashing atheists?

~S~


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: number 6
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 03:55 PM

Yup .... have to leave a 'smell' at least.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: MMario
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 03:57 PM

I think it would be safe to say that the "average athiest" is more into prosyletizing then the "average theist"


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 03:57 PM

A shower and beer later...

CH, do you really confuse misogyny with prejudice - the Church not allowing women priests? I don't believe that you have led such a sheltered life. Anyway, that is the Church "interpreting", the "Old Boys Club" as you correctly state, not the belief system. And this was one of the reasons why I became disillusioned by the Ekklesia, but not by Orthodoxy. I found it quite easy to separate the two, as one is mainly contemporary and focuses on interpretation and the mechanics of religion, while the other is old, based on the original scriptures and focuses more on the basics of good and bad behaviour. One is people and buildings and stuff. The other one is ideas. Not that hard really.

And remember that good things can come from bad people - you can espouse the former even as you detest the latter. Even Hitler did some paintings - I don't know how good they were, but certainly better than his subsequent actions. I had a sadist for a Maths teacher once - but I still liked Maths, even as I disliked him.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:03 PM

The pope denounced Limbo today.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:04 PM

Mmario, I think it might be "correct" but it doesn't feel like it would be "safe" to say it.

I think what happens is, people come to good ole Mudcat to rip off a rant about some real-world thing, not taking into account that Mudcat is so different from the real-world wrongs one grew up with. Anybody spot anyone at the last Mudcat Gathering they attended, who was shoehorning their kids into a mold of some kind, religious or philosophical? I don't think so, but this IS definitely the place to rant or opine about the practice.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Emma B
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:04 PM

Well "my" Christian upbringing taught me to love the "sinner" but not the "sin"!
However it left me terribly confused what constitued sin!

".....an it harm none" - works for me however nowadays


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:05 PM

once again the "Faith team" escape into the land of gobbledy-gook !!


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:12 PM

Try again, ake. I bet you can not explain your abnormal intolerance for another's belief.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: MMario
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:14 PM

while I will admit that I have never seen proof of the existance of a Creator - I've never seen proof of the NON-existance either.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:16 PM

Mick "No wonder so many people have left because of you".

The good thing Mick is that everytime you run off a Mudcat member at least two more new fresh faces join up just to be near Clinton's warm and bubbly personality. He's drawing folks to the Mudcat like lemmings. So numbers wise we're still going strong.

And Susan - an atheist bashing thread? Hmmmmm........


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:18 PM

My "intolerance" is not for another persons belief, but the indoctrination of children with a dangerous lunacy...Ake


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: MMario
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:21 PM

so the belief that there are things in the universe that humans cannot understand or explain is lunacy? And "dangerous" lunacy at that?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:25 PM

I'm still having trouble understanding gravity. And I can't see it either. So it must not exist.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:26 PM

Alan Day - ALL children have various beliefs foisted upon them by their parents, whether or not the parents realize it. They (the children) may accept it all without questioning for the rest of their lives...or they may in time reject a great deal of it and form or acquire new beliefs.

It's not just a case of religious beliefs either...that's just one aspect of the matter.

People only bitch about it when they see beliefs being foisted on children which are not the same beliefs they themselves would choose to foist upon their children.

I have known more than one person who was brought up as a Jehovah's Witness, believed fully in it till a certain age...and then changed their mind about it entirely and left that religion.

So, do you think it would be nice if some children somewhere were brought up without ANY belief system at all being implanted in them by their parents...............or would it? Would it even be possible to do that when raising children? I very much doubt it. Everyone's conscious view of life embodies a whole matrix of beliefs, and there's simply no way around that, and no way they can't actively or passively pass it on to their children.

Look, it's dead simple. EVERYONE who has children teaches those children to believe in what THEY believe in (whatever the heck it may be). They do it automatically. It happens by example. Children learn by the examples they see in front of them in their own family every day. Later in life they may change their thinking...and many do. I did.

So, live with it. You have no more business bellyaching about the kids of Jehovah's Witnesses than they do bellyaching about how you're bringing up your kids....as long as no violence is done and no civil laws are being broken.

I'll say one thing for Jehovah's Witnesses. They are usually extremely responsible and nice people who make good citizens and don't break laws and commit crimes. Something to be said for that. Do I buy their religious ideas? Not in the least. But I'd rather have them for neighbours than a good many other people I've met.

Your tacit assumption is ("Well, I'm right and they're wrong. My way is better than theirs.") Uh-huh. That just happens to be their tacit assumption too. It's what drives them out to "save" people. Chauvinism all around in other words. Do what you'd like them to do and don't make that kind of assumption about other people.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:27 PM

Oh Fuck....


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:35 PM

"I've never seen proof of the NON-existance either."
That's not how 'proof' works....

"Would it even be possible to do that when raising children? I very much doubt it."
I agree... so the solution is, no more children! I'm all in favour of that! ,-)


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:36 PM

Akenaton, it is my belief that the public school system and the civil society everywhere indoctrinate children in what amounts to lunacy every day of their lives...quite without regard to organized religion. There are many forms of lunacy out there.

What do you want to do about it? Will everything finally be A-okay when everyone in the world believes exactly what you do? Or what any particular person does?

I doubt it... ;-)

Things will be A-okay, when all people decide to live and let live and stop passing stringent judgement upon others whose beliefs may differ from their own.

Never, in other words.

I accept that things will never be A-okay. It's part of life. Things aren't A-okay for animals either, so why should they be for us?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:39 PM

No more children? ;-) Yeah, that would solve the problem after awhile. I'm doing my bit in that respect, Clinton, and I gather you are too.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:40 PM

Sorry LH that was a reponse to Wesley who obviously have much interest in science.

But you are wrong to say that "It's not just a case of religious beliefs either...that's just one aspect of the matter."
This thread is specifically about the involvement of young children in organised religion.

Of course no one could object to parents teaching their children, as long as it was not harmful to them.
The point in question must be whether indoctrination of children with organised religion..full of exclusivity and hatred as it is, is harmful to the mind of an innocent child ...Ake


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:48 PM

Isn't that the nub of it then, ake? Who gets to make the determination as to what is harmful? I say that the values I teach my children, and the values that I ask them to learn are positive. You say they are negative. Who gets to choose? I do. They are my children. I will raise them as I see fit. For you to change that dynamic you will have to prove that I am an unfit parent for teaching those values.

I repeat. The values I raise my children with are mine to choose.
And you are as strident in your atheism as you accuse me of being in my beliefs. You talk about exlusion in the church as you talk of excluding me from teaching my children my beliefs. I believe that is called intolerance, as well.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:49 PM

Well, I sort of both agree...and disagree, Ake. At the same time. That is to say, I've seen children who were brought up very badly by parents in a given religion...in that they learned various forms of intolerance, prejudice, fear, guilt, etc. And I've seen children who were brought up very well by parents in the very same religion, in that they learned good morality, kindness, honesty, responsibility and a good attitude toward other people and society!

So where does that leave us?

I submit that the religion itself is not the problem at all. It, like any tool, may be used for good or for evil. The problem is whether parents use that religion to teach a bad attitude or a good one. The potential for both is there.

You could say that about any belief system. Nationalism, for example....


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:51 PM

"I say that the values I teach my children"
You really need to take everything personally don't you??? Here's a shock for ya... we're not talking about ANYONE specifically....

grok?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:53 PM

Shit. And here I thought we were talking about Woody Allen. I was almost sure of it.

Well, back to the old drawing board... ;-)


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:55 PM

A few home truths for the "faith team".
Religion is not about stars, shepherds, camels and little tiny babies.

It is about torn limbs and bloodspattered cars in Iraq.
Murdered Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.
Young Arab children churned under the tracks of Israeli tanks.
Jews massacred as they sit at their morning coffee.

"Oh come all ye faithfull".....Ake


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 04:57 PM

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for raising me with knowledge and nothing forced, letting me make up my own mind as to what I believe in. Count me as one who did not continue with the mostly Christian based way I was raised.

How can children choose if they are not taught anything to choose from? My kids were raised knowing about Christianity, Buddhism, Native American beliefs, etc. One of them has read the Koran. Another has chosen Buddhism. Regardless they have my support.

But, again, how can a child choose if they have no knowledge? I believe a parent is charged with giving their children a foundation on which to base their lives, whether it be religious, spiritual, or not.

I agree with others concerning the JW...a simple "no thanks" will do.

kat


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:01 PM

One needs to make the distinction I think between teaching and indoctrinating....

Mick, for example, I suspect TEACHES his children (Just to be specific)

Jesus Camp The Movie appears to be closer to indoctrination, by way of example...

There's probably a lot of grey area (If not a lot of grey matter) between the two.....


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:03 PM

Actually Ake - that is one aspect of religion - or should I say the human condition. Tonight I'll be playing a benifit concert at our church to benifit the mission that we built. Here is a partial list of what goes on there:

Services Provided

    The Mission provides services and referral assistance three days a week to the homeless, low income families, and people in transition and crisis.

Homeless Services:

Sack lunches

Clothing / Hygiene Kits

Christmas Chili Lunches

Food Bank: Grocery assistance is provided every three months to low-income families

Clothing Bank: Clothing assistance is provided monthly to low-income families and the homeless, in addition to winter coats and blankets

Infant Formula Program:

Formula and baby food for infants up to one year of age

Clothing

W.I.C. referrals

Assistance with special formula requirements

¨    Other Services:

·   Emergency financial assistance

·   Job placement counseling

·   Health and nutritional counseling

·   Budget and other training workshops

·   Thanksgiving Basket Program -providing the needy with supplies and ingredients for preparation of complete Thanksgiving meals

·   Christmas teddy bears to Mission clients and other community children

Ake - your reality is correct. So is mine.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:04 PM

DANGIT...

I shoulda said "There's probably a lot of gradation (If not a lot of grey matter) between the two"

It's much cleverer

Heh

*Stupid noneditable messageboard*


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:10 PM

Ake, you're picking and choosing examples based only on a prior agenda. You're cherry-picking.

Religion is also responsible for all the positive moral concepts that underly our entire system of civil laws...without which you could not have a coherently functioning society at all. They all originated in the teachings of the major religions.

The examples you gave...

" torn limbs and bloodspattered cars in Iraq.
Murdered Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.
Young Arab children churned under the tracks of Israeli tanks.
Jews massacred as they sit at their morning coffee."

...can be linked to religion, no doubt. They can also be more directly linked in most cases to the interplay of huge competitive financial and political forces as they attempt to control areas of land and strategic resources, dominate groups of people, and build empires. Grand imperialism, in other words, cynically using religion as a very handy and provocative tool to get people whipped up emotionally so they'll go out and kill other people, enabling imperial designs to go forward.

The fighting in the Middle East is mainly about oil. Religion is used to motivate the fighters.

Empire is the real reason for the bloodshed. Religion is the excuse.

Pot Pot and Mao and Stalin killed millions of their own people...in the name of atheism. What will you do with that example?

Not quote it, I suppose... ;-)

Religion is just as handy for achieving good or evil purposes as is any other social concept. It is not good or evil in itself. It is made good or evil by the consciousness and purposes of the people who use it.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:17 PM

Jesus Camp, by the way, is absolutely horrifying. I can hardly imagine religious indoctrination more deluded and potentially dangerous than that. They're preparing those kids to go out and fight a religious war...just the way the most extreme Muslims have done in preparing young people for terrorist attacks.

If I were in government, I would watch them very carefully. They're not breaking any laws that I know of. Not right now. But I would watch them, and be ready to move fast when and if they do.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:24 PM

Wesley...The services you provide are laudible, but have little in common with the aims of Organised Religion which seem to me designed to conserve power in the hands of the people who run the business.
Whether it be Fundamentalist Christains in America, Bush being a typical example, or Mullahs in the Middle East.

The one most important point taught by the "People of Faith" is that "we are different and we are right".

Here in the UK we have the abomination known as "Faith Schools"
Some say that Faith schools don't preach religious hatred, but they do implant and foster in childrens minds that they are different...and children are not different, they are made different by the shite we teach them.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: The Villan
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:25 PM

Both of my daughters have not been introduced to religion. They have not been baptised. They are 11 and 15.
Its up to them to make their minds up.

They have been taught morality which to me is more important. They are well mannered and are a credit to us.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:34 PM

Ake - You are assuming that all people of faith are the same. They're not. If you're not reasonable enough to admit that how can we hope to have an understanding? It sounds like your mind is closed already. Are all athiests alike? Of course not. It's time for you to start looking at people as individuals.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:34 PM

"I think it would be safe to say that the "average athiest" is more into prosyletizing then the "average theist"

Which would be incredibly close-minded, ignorant, and just plain offends me. Where did that bit of prejudice come from!? I suspect the average atheist avoids getting involved in disucssions like this, so you won't even know they're there. This one thinks this war is idiotic, assinine, annoying and something people with serious inadequacy issues keep getting involved in.

I was raised a Methodist. I'm glad of it, since my church was one that encouraged questions. I asked, I learned, and I came to different conclusions than others. I hid these for years, MMario, because to a lot of people, an atheist is an immoral person. I still avoid talking about my own beliefs because I'm afraid religious people will think I don't like them or respect them for their beliefs. I've had friends who were Christians of different sorts, Wiccans, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, New-Agers (?), agnostics, atheists, and probaby some I can't think of right now.

What matters is how people act towards me and others. WHY they act that way, where the GOOD comes from, doesn't matter.

I suspect the majority of posters in this thread should just find a ruler, whip 'em out and get it the hell over with.

As for doorknockers bringing their kids, it sounds like they use them as human shields, thinking people will act nicer if there's a kid there. They don't come to my house anymore. They were here once, and I told them I wasn't interested, talked to them nicely... for almost an hour. They had no kids with them, but it was winter, and their car was running.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: GUEST,Orren Wilcox
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:34 PM

As the first openly declared atheists in my small rural community, I and my family are proud to say that "we are different and we are right"! We don't preach hatred, we just say that anyone who believes in God is obviously a halfwit braindead idiot with no more sense than a f*cking drunk dog, and we hope they and their kind all die off soon because the weird shit they believe in is totally ridiculous.

I am launching a legal action against all levels of government for doing offensive things like...

Swearing on the Bible in court!

Putting the word "God" on money!

Putting the word "God" on national monuments (all of which must be either torn down or altered)

And other horrible stuff like that.

I am disgusted by people praying in church or at home and saying things like "Oh, my God!" when they see a traffic accident happen or are having sex. It must be stopped.

I am going to devote the rest of my life to rooting out these hateful religious fanatics until society has been purged of them and rendered pure.

Please send money. I need help to stop all the religious evil in this land. I can't do it all alone.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:35 PM

Thats just my point LH.
Without the motivators and manipulators, Religion would by now have become a small force for good, like a benevolent form of therapy :0)

Unfortunately in the real world it has become a very great force for evil, and as such should not be taught to our children.,..Ake


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:40 PM

I agree that the motivators and manipulators are the real problem, Ake.

Now let me ask you this. Can religion be used in good and positive ways? Is it used in those ways by many people?

If so, why would your be attack on religion, per se?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:43 PM

"Wesley...The services you provide are laudible, but have little in common with the aims of Organised Religion"

You were right about one thing Ake - we're not an organized religion - we're Methodists. Ever been to one of our commitee meetings?

But if someone in our church gets sick we can be over to their house with a 5 course dinner in minutes. It would make your head spin.

Please try to keep an open mind. You have a lot to learn about organized religions.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:56 PM

And you have a lot to learn about "gravity".

You keep using the phrase "keep an open mind"...Wouldn't that be an oxymoron when applied to one of the "faith team".


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 06:00 PM

LH...Spirituality can be used in positive ways

Organised religion, based on myths, superstition and exclusion cannot...Ake


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 06:09 PM

In 1687 Newton published his work on the universal law of gravity in his book Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica ( Latin:Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy). Newton's law of gravitation states that: every particle in the universe attracts every other particle with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. If the particles have masses m1 and m2 and are separated by a distance r (from their centers of gravity), the magnitude of this gravitational force.
F is the magnitude of the gravitational force between the two point masses
G is the gravitational constant
m1 is the mass of the first point mass
m2 is the mass of the second point mass
r is the distance between the two point masses

Newton's conception and quantification of gravitation held until the beginning of the 20th century, when the German-born physicist Albert Einstein proposed the general theory of relativity. In this theory Einstein proposed that inertial motion occurs when objects are in free-fall instead of when they are at rest with respect to a massive object such as the Earth (as is the case in classical mechanics). The problem is that in flat spacetimes such as those of classical mechanics and special relativity, there is no way that inertial observers can accelerate with respect to each other, as free-falling bodies can do as they each are accelerated towards the center of a massive object.

To deal with this difficulty, Einstein proposed that spacetime is curved by the presence of matter, and that free-falling objects are following the geodesics of the spacetime. More specifically, Einstein discovered the field equations of general relativity, which relate the presence of matter and the curvature of spacetime. The Einstein field equations are a set of 10 simultaneous, non-linear, differential equations whose solutions give the components of the metric tensor of spacetime. This metric tensor allows to calculate not only angles and distances between space-time intervals (segments) measured with the coordinates against which the spacetime manifold is being mapped but also the affine-connection from which the curvature is obtained, thereby describing the spacetime's geometrical structure. Notable solutions of the Einstein field equations include:

The Schwarzschild solution, which describes spacetime surrounding a spherically symmetric non-rotating uncharged massive object. For compact enough objects, this solution generated a black hole with a central singularity.
The Reissner-Nordström solution, in which the central object has an electrical charge. For charges with a geometrized length which are less than the geometrized length of the mass of the object, this solution produces black holes with two event horizons.
The Kerr solution solution for rotating massive objects. This solution also produces black holes with multiple event horizons.
The cosmological Robertson-Walker solution, which predicts the expansion of the universe.
General relativity has enjoyed much success because of how its predictions have been regularly confirmed. For example:

General relativity accounts for the anomalous precession of the planet Mercury.
The prediction that time runs slower at lower potentials has been confirmed by the Pound-Rebka experiment, the Hafele-Keating experiment, and the GPS.
The prediction of the deflection of light was first confirmed by Arthur Eddington in 1919, and has more recently been strongly confirmed through the use of a quasar which passes behind the Sun as seen from the Earth. See also gravitational lensing.
The time delay of light passing close to a massive object was first identified by Shapiro in 1964 in interplanetary spacecraft signals.
Gravitational radiation has been indirectly confirmed through studies of binary pulsars.
The expansion of the universe (predicted by the Robertson-Walker metric) was confirmed by Edwin Hubble in 1929.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 06:12 PM

Well, I have always much preferred spirituality to organized religion, given the choice. However, I've seen many good things done by people in organized religion, so I am not about to condemn it out of hand.

What if a "myth" is simply a symbolic tale? A metaphor? I believe that is the case with most ancient religious tales that have been passed down. I can't help it if so many of the followers today are naive enough to believe a metaphorical tale in a literal fashion.

The story of Adam and Eve, for example, I take as a symbolic tale about the whole human race in a very ancient time...not about 2 individuals. I think it's a story about the consciousness of human beings going through a profound shift to a greater form of self-awareness than is seen in most animals...and possibly it's about changing ecological conditions on the planet also at around that same time.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 06:28 PM

" What if a "myth" is simply a symbolic tale? A metaphor?"

D'uh...   That's not the problem... the problem is when blinkered idiots expect ME to believe it literally, just because THEY believe it literally

And yes... anyone who thinks that the human race 'sprung up out of the ground' about 7000 years ago is an idiot.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 06:30 PM

What is your reference to getting out a ruler supposed to mean, Jeri?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 06:33 PM

Yes, I can understand you would have a problem with that, Clinton. Ditto.

I figure people have been around on this planet for, oh, as much as a million years, maybe. Hard to say, given the very fragmentary information we've got about it.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Alan Day
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 06:39 PM

I have noticed that from my previous posting my remarks are being taken as anti religious,they are not.If someone is interested in religion or not, I am in fact interested in their beliefs and it is a shame that other peoples religion is not more understood by the general public, there may be a bit more understanding if this was the case.
A child can be raised within the context of religious moral code,if you believe in religion or not.To learn right from wrong to try and get on with fellow man and see his point of view.
I am attending a meeting tomorrow based on moral code but my children will not attend unless they request it.To take a child to Church as part of the family is not the reason for me starting this discussion.To take a child with you as part of a sales pitch or forcing a child to learn texts from a religious book parrot fashion is.If later in life they want to take their beliefs further then the choice is theirs to make.
Al


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 06:46 PM

Penis measurement, LH. It was more about Clinton and Mick, and there were some decent posts while I was in the process of typing the long reply, but the religion vs. non-religion (not the subject but the well-worn rut this thread was doomed to fall into) is normally a fight between people trying to prove they're more righteous than their opponent. If the world ever works, it'll be because discussions like this will be more like:

"I believe X"
"Really? I believe Y."
"OK"
"Yeah, cool. Not that different, eh?"

Somewhere, people try to understand each other and aren't competing all the time. Probably on another planet. People come to Mudcat (BS side) to fight. I shouldn't have gotten involved in this version of the religion wars, though. Guess it just bothered me to learn what MMario though of me. I'm gone now.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 07:02 PM

Jeri - Oh, I see. Penis measurement. Heh! Well, that's amusing... I think you're right that most people come here to fight with each other. Pretty sad spectacle, isn't it?

Alan - That last post of yours sounds pretty reasonable to me. I follow your drift, and I'd say I pretty much agree with it. Children are better off not being roped into such activities as you describe.

In the same sense, they are better off not roped into quasi-religious political/social activities, such as was done in Hitler's Germany with the Hitler Youth or in China during Mao's Cultural Revolution with the Red Guards. (The Chinese Communists were positively religious in their fanatical atheistic fervour, ironically enough. They simply came up with new deities: Chairman Mao and The Communist Party. Pol Pot's Khymer Rouge did something quite similar and even worse. It is possible to be utterly religious in your behaviour...though officially without "God"...in the name of destroying organized religion, and it has been done several times now by large political movements.)

The Nazis cut it both ways. They invented a brand new religion: The Nazi Party, the Fuhrer, and the so-called Aryan master race (their holy trinity?)....but at the same time they gave very strong lip service to traditional Christian religion and they used it to motivate their troops and their civilians against "godless Communism" and against the Jews.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 07:16 PM

You are wrong, Jeri. What I object is not the discussion, and never once in this thread did I suggest that I have the answers. I have not said a single thing against atheists, or anyone else. What I object to from Clinton is his habit of summarily pronouncing people idiots and condemning them for their beliefs.

As to the subject at hand, I have said it several times. How I raise my children, the values I teach them, the religion that I attempt to use to show them a moral way to walk the world, that is my business and absolutely none of anyone elses.

I don't care if one worships, doesn't worship, or walks on their hands through glass. How you deal with the world is your business, and doesn't have a bearing on wbether we can be friends. All that is required is we respect and like one another. But when one takes every opportunity to ridicule, and consistently speaks of those around him in disparaging and patronizing terms, then we are going to tangle.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Ron Davies
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 08:57 PM

What Mick says is absolutely fact.

There's a reason Max asked CH to leave. Pity he didn't.

I suspect nobody has left Mudcat because of anything Mick said. However, CH's constant--and vulgar-- hectoring and denigration of others' beliefs may have convinced a few to leave. Hope not.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 10:26 PM

This was a good discussion for a while, but it got noisy and strayed - inevitably, probably - into "is religion good or bad", which was never the subject. To go back to the original issues, I still maintain that for JWs to drag a kid canvassing is exploitation and a sales technique (not even "protection"), even as I acknowledge their right to proselytise their own children.

Full stop. Off to Greece with the family for a long weekend. Me (and my penis) are outta here.

Come along, penis. Head high - we didn't lose.

Love to all.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: The Villan
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 12:40 AM

Well there you go George, instead of coming to support Breezy at MRFC, you bugger off to Greece. :-)

Children should not be forced into religion. They should be allowed to make their own minds up, when they are old enough to act as an adult. Adult - well that depends probably on the laws of the land.

I was forced to go to church in my child years. At 14 I decided the majority of what I saw was a load of bunkem and couldn't be substantiated. Result - I turned my back on religion.

I haven't changed my mind since.

That doesn't mean I don't respect people who follow their religion. However the moment they start to preach to me, I am off.

For me it is all about respect for each other. Something that some religions should take note of.

My children are learning a great lesson from these lunatics who blow themselves up (and any innocent people around them) in the name of their God. What signal does that send out to children?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 01:18 AM

I think most people can't make much sense out of other people's religious beliefs. But what is a religious creed, anyhow? I think it's a way of making sense out of things that don't quite makes sense to us, and of touching realities we can't quite grasp. If a kid is brought up within the context of one religious creed and it begins not to make sense to him when he grows up, he'll reject it - and I really don't think the creed will have done him much harm. And if he isn't brought up in a religious creed, isn't it probable that he/she will be brought up in some philosophical context - and isn't it likely that particular nontheistic philosophy will also have flaws?

What do matter, are the love and values that parents bring their children up with - and those values and that love cross the boundaries of religious creeds. It can be very helpful to bring a child up in the context of a loving religious community - or in any loving community. In every religious denomination, and among Unitarians and atheists and agnostics and even Republicans, I have seen communities that are loving and supportive and healthy for children, and I have seen hateful, unloving, harsh communities in most of those same belief (or unbelief) groups. I suppose discipline (or the lack of it) is part of bringing up every child. There are many schools of child discipline, some religious and some not - all can be loving and encouraging, harsh and demeaning, or negligent.

My former brother-in-law is a Jehovah's Witness, so I sat through a few of his four-hour Sunday meetings with him and his family, and I was impressed. There was a loving, playful, joyful spirit in the congregation, and children were included in everything these people did. Yes, the kids were trained from an early age to go door-to-door, but they seemed to like it. I will admit that I was disappointed with him when he shunned his son who became a Catholic. I hope that changes sometime. Three of his four sons are still Jehovah's Witnesses - my three kids got a Catholic education and aren't Catholic, and the same with all four of my siblings. My stepson was baptized Catholic at his own request at age 11, and left the Catholic Church at 13. Still, I think my siblings and my kids hold to the Catholic social justice values they were taught, and they value the critical thinking techniques they were taught in Catholic schools. I'm homeschooling my stepson, so he's likely to be polluted with that kind of thinking, too.

I used to go door-to-door for the U.S. Government - that's the part of my job I hated most of the time. But the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons seem to like it, even the kids.

-Joe Offer-

Oh, and as stated above, this press release says it looks like the Pope is going to close the doors of Limbo. Anybody want to protest?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Paul Burke
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 05:37 AM

At 14 I decided the majority of what I saw was a load of bunkem and couldn't be substantiated.

I did a similar journey, except I decided it couldn't be transubstantiated.

It's simple, really. No one is going to (willingly) tell their children what they don't believe in. That means they ARE going to tell them what they DO belive in. That's true on a subconscious level, too. So when people tell their kids that, say, bullying and violence are wrong, but in practice are seen to be bullying and violent or supporting it, they are actually teaching them their real belief, that it's OK.

And if the kids don't like bullying, can't hack it as a hard man, tthey'll reject their parents' (real) belief and seek a new one.

Distinguish between the lesson taught, and the lesson learned.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: MMario
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 08:44 AM

Jeri - my apologies if I offended. But my reasoning was thus - according to polls in the US at least about 80% of people in the US have some sort of belief in a deity. Which puts athiests at less then 20% because Agnostics are not included in the 80%. But I have run across far more "rabid athiests" then I have prosyletizers of any faith based religion.

So I should have said "In my experience...blah blah" --

obviously you are not one of them. nor are many other people I know who profess to be athiest. But there are many very vocal and active athiests - and (in my experience) in larger proportion to their numbers then religious.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 11:08 AM

I grew up around people who talk about their religious beliefs as if those beliefs are a given. People assume you believe what they do, if you're in the same community. You learn to 'pass' because you know those people would suddenly despise you if you told them what you believe, but as long as they don't ASK you (which they won't), you can still fit in. You go through military basic training, where the only place you can socialize is at church, so you go, and you just put up with the religion. You suck it up, let it go, and you enjoy the rest of the experience. You work somewhere where they institute a morning non-denominational prayer, and you say nothing, because the majority - your 80% - don't have a problem with it. At least they don't say they do. You hear people casually refer to God in their everyday speech, obviously assuming you share their fundamental meaning. You're in the middle of an intelligent discussion with a co-worker and friend whom you respect, about some evil act done by a religious person, when he says, "At least he's not an atheist." So you think you might say, "well I'M and atheist," but remember you have to work with this guy and don't really want to suddenly become the subject of disdain and hatred, so you suck it up.

I have plenty of reason for hating religion and religious people, but I don't. People who are marginalised and despised can go through life flyng under the radar - in the religious 'closet', so to speak, they can let their anger at the bigotry they feel spill over and be very mouthy and obnoxious, or they can just try to avoid either extreme and just be a decent person who's honest about their beliefs, without making others feel bad about theirs.

As for the Witnesses, indoctrination happens with every single belief of the parents, religious or otherwise. It's the base they have to start with. The worst thing those kids who travel door-to-door with their parents have to face is hatred and abuse from those who answer the door and aren't capable of just rationally saying 'No'.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Amos
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 11:31 AM

I would suggest that the core problem here is in integrity,. A parent who discusses what he genuinely sees with a child does no harm, in my book. A parent who thinks some things are probably valid but doesn't know for sure, and says so, does no harm. A parent who insists that certain imperceivable entities must be seen and given traditional attributes whether one can perceive those things for himself or not is essentially not being truthful, but doctrinaire. '

The problem with doctrinaire teaching is that it disables the judgement of the recipient, who takes things on board "because he has to", and if those things are not true for them, lives a lie thereafter until he or she can come to terms withwhat happened in those transactions. Such an event is not a learning experience, but an implanting experience. An implanted idea is useful in some limited way because you can use it to fend off confusions you would rathe rnot think about. But because such ideas tend to be arbitrary, they are going to fall short of explaining things when the going gets tough. I would much prefer to teach a child the ability to think for herself, an ability on which she will always be able to rely.

A


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Big Mick
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 12:10 PM

Problem with all that great argument, Amos, is that it is built on the premise that the two are mutually exclusionary. Generations of scientists raised in religious homes would beg to differ. In fact I believe that a great many scientists were taught critical thinking while simultaneously being raised with a religion. Many later rejected their early training, laying waste to the contention that somehow they were irreparably handicapped in their ability to come to different conclusions, and others faith was made stronger by the realization that there is much science cannot explain.

But it was a wonderful bit of composition, buddy.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: PoppaGator
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 12:31 PM

Is there any belief system as smugly dogmatic as atheism? The conviction that "if I can't see it, it couldn't possibly exist" is pretty damned arrogant, and everything we've seen in this thread seems to indicate that those who insist on non-belief are among the most intolerant among us.

To me, it's absolutely obvious that Something that surpasses all human understanding could possibly exist, and probably does. Haven't you noticed that Shit Happens ~ shit that you would never have expected? Couldn't it be that there's something going on that our five senses and our piddling little brains just can't perceive?

There all all kinds of believers, and I don't only mean that there are many different religions, each partly right and partly wrong in its attempt to define the Undefinable. It should also be pretty clear that within each of the various faith traditions, there are reasonable and tolerant adherents as well as crackpot hardliners and everything inbetween.

For that matter, agnosticism is usually a pretty reasonable response to the mystery of the human condition, while individual agnostics display different degrees of openness to the beliefs of others.

Secularism, which I wholeheartedly endorse, is not the same thing as non-belief. It's just the reasonable recognition that people's religious beliefs are going to differ, and that the common good requires us to keep our differences to ourselves in the public arena.

Atheism, on the other hand, is something else altogether. In order to maintain the dogmatic belief that an eternal spiritual/metphysical Being COULD NOT POSSIBLY EXIST, it seems to be psychologically necessary for the adherent to steadfastly maintain a petulant and scornful attitude toward all who disagree. Too bad all that energy couldn't be focused in a more positive direction!


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 12:44 PM

"as much as a million years, maybe"
Any millions before that in 'pre-human form'....

"of summarily pronouncing people idiots and condemning them for their beliefs"
You only dislike it when YOU disagree....

"nobody has left Mudcat because of anything Mick said"
You're wrong Ron.... Plain and simple... I could name name, but it wouldn't serve any purpose, because they're no longer here.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: MMario
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 12:49 PM

just be a decent person who's honest about their beliefs, without making others feel bad about theirs.

sums it up for me. a goal for me to strive for.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 12:58 PM

Poppagator, I humblybeg to differ about atheism. It isn't the firm conviction of the impossibility of deity, it is the understanding that deity has no influence on the natural world. You say Atheism, on the other hand, is something else altogether. In order to maintain the dogmatic belief that an eternal spiritual/metphysical Being COULD NOT POSSIBLY EXIST, it seems to be psychologically necessary for the adherent to steadfastly maintain a petulant and scornful attitude toward all who disagree. Too bad all that energy couldn't be focused in a more positive direction.
I say rather that we allow that natural principles, such as those discovered by physics, chemistry, biochemistry and studies of electromagnetism or other means, explain the origins of life, the diversity of life, consciousness and the human experience of it all, without requiring supernatural explanations of anything. Our take is to look, for instance, at the beauty of a cathedral and the plain brick schoolhouses to think that it is the religious, instead, whose energy is regrettably misdirected.

But back to the thread: I live in the buckle on the US Bible Belt, and had to make efforts to counteract the common cultural acceptance of the reality of God (the Christian, oh, ok judeochristian one god to rule them all). Luckily, I grew up exposed to animism, islam, and christianity in fairly equal doses with judaism thrown in in occasional but large doses, so I encouraged my twins to learn all the mythologies, including the bible stories, and whenever they asked a question about the natural world I answered it based on reason and knowledge. They are fine upstanding young atheists who do the right thing because it is the right thing to do in this life, without worrying about invisible intangible beings who may influence some other life we aren't actually living.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 12:58 PM

"Is there any belief system as smugly dogmatic as atheism? The conviction that "if I can't see it, it couldn't possibly exist" is pretty damned arrogant, and everything we've seen in this thread seems to indicate that those who insist on non-belief are among the most intolerant among us."

Excuse me, but how exactly did I come across as intolerant!?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 01:03 PM

"I encouraged my twins to learn all the mythologies"

A wonderful antibody....


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 01:04 PM

Also, the way I treat all religious pushing is to push back roughly as much - say while setting up a play date someone says How about Sunday after church, I might say well, we're atheists, so anytime Sunday is fine, how's about 2:00? And when shall I come pick them up? Whereas if someone comes to my door with christian tracts, I say Oh, yes, I'd love to talk, I'm an atheist, you can try to convert me and I'll try to convert you. Our conversations rarely last very long and they hardly ever come back.
I once spent about a half hour with one of those guys with a huge cross - great story but too creepy, threadwise, I mean!


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 01:07 PM

" the way I treat all religious pushing is to push back roughly as much"

Fight fire with fire right?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 01:12 PM

Right! But smoke with smoke, and spark with spark... I don't go into the conversion mode in response to the aside about church, but I *do* make asides about atheism.
I just want them to realize that it is an existing world view, rather than something they've only heard of but couldn't happen here. It's kind of like coming out of the closet, I imagine. With the chance that the parents, in fear and loathing, instantly cancel any possibility of playdates with my kids.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 01:24 PM

"the chance that the parents, in fear and loathing, instantly cancel any possibility of playdates with my kids"

Fear and ignorance rules a lot of peoples lives.... unfortunately


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: PoppaGator
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 01:26 PM

Mrrzy, you and I don't differ much, if at all, on the subject of accepting science, etc., and I'm probably as scornful of fundamentalism as you are.

Perhaps our most significant difference is that I'm a city kid, and have always lived in one fairly cosmopolitan area or another. If I had that Bible Belt bullshit up in my face all the time, I might feel just the way you do.

I probably overstated my point ~ sometimes I just can't help going overboard ~ but the gist of what I had hoped to communicate is just this: you can't prove a negative, and it's such a waste of energy and of human potential to insist that others adopt your belief that there is no such thing as God. Why not allow that there might be a Creator behind this natural world that operates on scientific principles?

Yeah, sure, religions can be blamed for a whole lot of things that have gone wrong throughout history, but they also have to be credited for a whole lot of things that have gone right. More to the point, humans are responsible for historical events, movements, tragedies, comedies, etc.

I don't believe in Santa Claus, and I don't believe in a God who is an old man with a white beard who sits on a cloud and listens to prayers to determine which football team is going to win on a given Saturday. I do believe that there is a spiritual reality far beyond what we can perceive with our senses, and that it behooves each of us to seek some kind of unity with that mysterious reality.

Oh, and Jeri ~ I wasn't thinking of you at all in my complaints about intolerance. I'm sure you can guess whose comments prompted my response...


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 01:30 PM

"Why not allow that there might be a Creator behind this natural world that operates on scientific principles?"

Because it unnecessarily over-complicates the whole universe...


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Emma B
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 01:32 PM

Fair to say I've never had any "problems" with Jehovahs Witnesses. I live in the last house in a rural community and in (non)Christian charity often invite them in for a drink and the use of the tiolet if they wish. During the last visit, a very hot summers day, I sat by the side of the pond drinking iced orange juice with two very polite women and explained my beliefs at some length - they listened politely but unfortunately one fell over and sprained her ankle when leaving - they ain't been back since!


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: MMario
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 01:37 PM

Mrrzy - I'm curious - your answer of 12:58 implies (or at least leads me to infer) that an atheist can believe in a diety?

I have always understood that by definition an atheist either has no belief in a god or gods; or believes that a god or gods cannot exist.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 02:28 PM

Mmario, atheists relegate the whole issue of deity to philosophy. It has nothing to do with the natural world. There are no gods in reality, and discussions of what can exist outside reality are philosophical.

ClintonHammond/Poppagator, it not only overcomplicates reality to "allow that there might be a Creator behind this natural world that operates on scientific principles" but it is irrelevant to said natural world. If you want to talk about "what" there was "before" the Big Bang, fine. What I object to is the permeation of reality with the idea that deity, in any form, can have any influence on actuality. All that does is take away from human dignity, and, for that matter, human indignity.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Amos
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 02:28 PM

An atheist does not hold a belief in a particular God, but someone who fills this definition can just as well keep his mind open to new possibilities based on new data.

This flexibility is a bit less available to someone who is hard over on a pre-defined answer to the question.

I see two sides to this quandary. On one side, it is imperative to any thinking person that he question authority and examine data for himself, critically, and be willing to accept new data even if it seems to undermine his present models of the world.

On the other hand, it is a matter of integrity to be true to what you yourself know to be true. If you have had a genuine out-of-body experience, in your own view, you would do yourself a disservice to bury it as a mere fantasy because you were told to do so by an overweening skeptical authority figure.

Similarly if you have seen and walked with Jesus in some spiritual plane or other, or talk4ed to God in a compellingly convincing way, you have a sort of obligation not to deny that that occurred, while at the same time being willing to question any conclusions you drew as to the nature of the event.

This is a tricky balance. For one thing the mind is incredibly plastic and can generate completely persuasive 3D, fully sensible views of things that may not even be there in an objective sense. For another thing, sometimes, but not always, a subjective experience like that is more "truthy" than adhering only to the objective standards of comonly-held matter and space.

I think this issue actually reflects the most fundamental dichotomy of the human experience, having a spiritual nature embedded in a material playground and being whiplashed between the two.

My 2 cents' worth, anyway.

A


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 02:46 PM

There are as many different kinds of atheists as there are different kinds of religious and spiritual people....and you can find fanatics, fools, reasonable people, great people, and brilliant people in either category.

It doesn't matter whether a child is brought up in a religion or not. It matters whether a child is brought up with good values or not...and good values are not limited to only one side of the divide that is being talked about in this thread.

I was brought up in an atheistic family, with reasonably good values, all things considered. Those values have served me well, both before I acquired spiritual beliefs and afterward. They have helped me avoid using my spiritual beliefs to harm people.

I'd rather hang out with an honest, responsible atheist than a crook (or an unpleasant idiot) who believes in God. ;-) I'd rather hang out with an honest, responsible member of any religion whatsoever than a crook (or an unpleasant idiot) who is an atheist.

I care about people's attitude a whole lot more than I care about whether or not they believe in some version of God.

Makes sense?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 02:50 PM

surely "There are as many different kinds of atheists as there are different kinds of religious and spiritual people." didn't intentionally imply that atheists can't be spiritual people, right?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 02:55 PM

Well, that's another whole area of discussion, I guess. What do you think? Can spiritual people be atheists?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 03:09 PM

Why not? Atheism (IMO) only holds that the evidence does not support the existence of a deity. Doesn't say anything about "soul" or "spirit" of an individual nohow. Many atheists don't believe in such things, but the great thing about atheism is "no rules," no?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 03:19 PM

" All that does is take away from human dignity"

See above re: Zealots denegrating "historical and scientific fact" with their "mythological truth"....

As if the latter was some how equal to the former


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 03:30 PM

Good point, Buck, good point. I think you're onto something for sure. For instance, Buddhists are both religious and spiritual, but they don't believe in a deity, they believe in a process of spiritual evolution toward enlightenment...enlightenment being a unitive state of oneness with everything.

Then there are Taoists. They don't believe in a deity either, they believe in a harmonious "Way" (the way things are, and the way things function) that can be seen in Nature, and they attempt to live by that Way.

I personally find Taoism to be an excellent way of looking at things.

So, yeah, you can be spiritual (even religious!) and NOT believe in a deity.

Is that the same as being an atheist? Some would say yes, some would say no. That would depend on their personal interpretation of the word "atheist".

I don't think atheism is based on "no rules", exactly. I think it's based on "no rules having been given out by a human-like deity with an identifiable name and personality". But again, it would depend on the variety OF atheism. There isn't just one kind of atheism, no more than there is one kind of religion.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: MMario
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 03:37 PM

???? LH - if Buddhists and Toaist don't believe in dieties - what are all those entries in encyclopidias and sttues, paintings, etc labeled as members of the buddhist and Toaist pantheons?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: MMario
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 03:39 PM

Toaist Pantheon


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 03:52 PM

Taoism was a philosophy that some incorporated into a religion. It still exists as ONLY a philosophy, which doesn't really contradict others - especially not Christianity.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 03:57 PM

LH, the "no rules" comment was mostly a TIC dig at religious doctrine/dogma as "rules." Atheism does indeed have rules (again, IMO) but they're the rules by which the natural world operates, as we understand them based on empirical observation. There may be a variety of philosophies and practices that call themselves "atheisms" but if you get beyond "the evidence does not support the existence of a deity" then you're off into customization country. The answer to the basic question of "does spirituality depend on belief in a deity" is pretty plainly "nope" as far as I can see. Why should it?


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 04:08 PM

That's interesting, Mario. Not the Taoism I know. I would have to assume that there are a number of varieties of Taoism out there...geared to different levels of awareness, I suppose.

My understanding of ALL deities is this: they are allegorical. They are symbols. They are personifications of great concepts. A rather simple person may take the viking god Thor as a literal being, for example. I would take Thor as a symbolic being...a metaphor for a force of order that takes on and defeats a force of chaos (as seen in the thunderstorm).

Statues, paintings, etc...of Buddhas or of any religious figure...serve as a focal point for focusing attention. That's useful for a lot of people. As such, you can take them literally if you wish to, but you don't have to.

They serve to inspire, that's all.

A nation's flag (like the USA's "Old Glory") does the same thing...in a different context. But it's just a piece of cloth or a picture of a piece of cloth, isn't it? So what's going on there? Sounds like a form of religious worship to me! ;-)


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 04:11 PM

"ALL deities is this: they are allegorical"

Don't tell that to the zealots at Jesus Camp!

LOL


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Amos
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 05:14 PM

"This is war -- you're either on the side of OUR allegory, or you're a goddamned Other Allegorist" "Which is it gonna be, kids!!??"


ROFLMAO!


A


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 07:29 PM

LH - I'm not sure I'd subscribe to your usage of "allegorical" (what characteristic do you see them as emobdying?) but I certainly go along with your interpretation of mythopoesis as a universal psychological activity in the human brain/mind. Especially when you get more than two people together. Telling each other stories may well be the earliest "human" activity (yeah, I know there's eating & screwing, but monkeys do that too). (And yeah, I don't know for sure that monkey - or whales or slugs - don't tell each other stories.) The second oldest human activity is probably fighting over the stories.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 08:06 PM

Fights over competing allegorical and symbolic concepts have been going on for hundreds of thousands of years, and still are. ;-) People's problem is, they take their chosen symbols of tribe, nation, religion, culture, and identity WAY too seriously...and fail to respect other people's symbols of the same things.

The same is true in sports events, actually. You take 50,000 fairly normal people, get them all hyped up over some nonsense like two hockey teams named "The Flames" and "The Broncos" (or whatever the hell name someone chose for them)...and those fairly normal people will paint the team symbols on their faces, yell obscenities at the Ref and each other, get into fights with the players, riot, destroy property, and generally make complete asses of themselves over something that, frankly, is arbitrary, was made-up by someone, and doesn't matter anyway. Heh!

How is that much different in sentiment from wars based on ideology or religion? It's different in degree, but not in sentiment.

You're dead right about the nutbars at the Jesus Camp, Clinton. What I do with people like that is...I avoid them if at all possible. Likewise, I avoid little mobs of drunken, hell-raising idiot sports fans who are mad because their team just lost the big game...

I do my best to avoid all literal-minded zealots, whatever the heck their zealotry is based on.

Buck - The religious figure or icon (as shown in a statue, a painting, a representation of a god, a goddess, a saint, or any form of holy symbol) can represent just about anything. As to what it does represent in any one case, you'd have to ask the person who reveres it, I suppose...if they're given thought to the matter.

Statues of Buddhas normally represent the original teacher of Buddhism, Guatama Buddha...or they may represent various other Buddhas (enlightened people) who came after him in that tradition, and they can also represent qualities of the conscious mind, such as serenity, peace, compassion, wisdom, etc. As such, they serve as a focal point for other people to pay respect to the tradition or to focus upon while trying to meditate and reach enlightenment themselves, I would think. They are meant to inspire what they represent.

Really, the use of such symbols is endless in its variety.

Look at all the political symbols in use by America: the flag, the American Eagle (shown on crests and coins), the bald eagle, the "All-Seeing Eye" (a masonic symbol), the Pyramid, the scroll, the Greek columns on public buildings, the Fasces (a sheaf of arrows tied together, symbolizing the strength of many joined together as one), the white star (there are many meanings ascribed to it), the red and white stripes and blue field (blood, spirit, and emotion...or land, sky, and water), the "Uncle Sam" figure, the dollar symbol, and so on and so on. All that is very mystical stuff, much of it going straight back to the Roman Empire and before that to Egypt! What it amounts to is this: they are magical symbols of a state and national religion...one that was formed by a group of Masons and based upon Masonic knowledge going back thousands of years to ancient Egypt and maybe even before that.

That's a religion, and a very potent one. A political religion. America is presently involved in a huge religious war, a world crusade...one which goes far beyond conventional Christianity into some very mysterious esoteric stuff that most Christians know little or nothing about...but the people in command of the $ySStem DO know about it and they are using it very seriously.

So America is doing the same thing that they accuse the Muslim zealots of doing...they're trying to conquer the entire World for the sake of their crazy religion (in which $$$ money $$$ is the holy of holies...the sacred key of power). And they're far more dangerous, because they have ten thousand times as much firepower at their disposal as the Muslims and they are not reluctant in the least to use it.

I'm not in favour of religions being used to conquer and kill people, regardless of which religion it is.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 08:52 PM

Perhaps I was being pedantic in my evaluation of the term "allegory." It's somewhat specific in literary criticism and indicates a literary character representing an attribute of character like "greed" or "charity." It isn't a generic synonym for "symbol."


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 09:08 PM

Oh, I see...

Well, there are quite a few Gods and Goddesses in various traditions that do symbolize attributes of character. This is the case in Hinduism, the Greek and Roman pantheons, and a number of others. The Aztecs and Mayans also had different gods to represent various things...such as a god of war, for example.

Then you have the monotheistic religions where a great many attributes are assigned to one ruling God...while various saints and Angelic figures under that God tend to specialize in certain attributes that stem from that one God. Oddly enough the Judeo-Christian faiths claim to have only ONE God...but...they really have two! The "good" God...God/Jehovah. And the "bad" God...Satan...who is, of course, seen is "smaller", so speak, than the "good" God.

This is just plain silly, in my opinion. A transcendent One God either encompasses everything...or he/she/it doesn't. You can't have a dichotomy in a one-God system.

But that's just my opinion... ;-) It's worth slightly less than a pinch of salt in the grand scheme of things.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 07 Oct 06 - 08:42 AM

I recommend that you don't even try to wrap your mind around the concept of "trinity." (I can't)


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Oct 06 - 02:04 PM

The concept of a trinity is fine with me....for this reason: We live in a physical world of 3 dimensions. I think that has much to do with religious notions of the trinity, which again is symbolic. A static object (like a stool or an airplane, for example) needs at least 3 legs to stand on. A family is a trinity: mother, father, child. Material things exist in a trinity: solids, liquids, gases. Is it at all surprising, given these things, that people would theorize a triune aspect to God as God relates to Creation? Not to me it isn't.

All numbers have significance in sacred traditions. If you posit the idea of God at all...then you are assuming that everthing derives from God, including numbers. You begin with "1"...a seamless unity (before the Big Bang?). The one divides itself into "2", and you have light and darkness...which means you can now see opposites! Major occurrence! The light and darkness interact, and you have progeny....(that is, physical things come into existence)...and there you have your worlds of 3 dimensions.

That's one way of interpreting it.

The ancient Hebrews had the odd idea of taking the trinity (Father, Mother, Child) and officially editing out the female portion and turning it instead into an indeterminate, genderless thing called the "Holy Spirit"! Heh! They must have been VERY patriarchal indeed. I think they went astray there with their symbology. God, to be God at all, must combine the masculine and feminine aspects in an equal fashion.

My opinion, again... ;-)


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 07 Oct 06 - 04:25 PM

actually there are at least four dimensions (duration) and string theory postulates many more, possibly an infinitude of dimensions available in the physical world. I don't think the holy spirit is really a hebrew concept, is it? What amazes and amuses me is the sophistical gymnastics the "church fathers" (Athanasius particularly) indulged to justify a multiplicity of deities in a "monotheistic" cult. It's a "mystery" indeed.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Oct 06 - 04:38 PM

Yeah, there's the 4rth dimension of time, as you say. It's a bit different, because it isn't tactile or physical in nature. There may yet be further dimensions. The Hindus also believe that there is one transcendent God or Divine which is inclusive of all and is inexpressible, and then they have pantheons of gods and goddesses and demons and so on under that...all of which represent various parts of the whole.

I haven't read Athanasius, so I can't comment on that.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Oct 06 - 02:42 PM

Back to the thread: what about not getting children vaccinated, or not letting them learn real science? The Intelligent Design movement in particular (FYI, this is the latest American christiofascist attempt to get creationism taught alongside if not instead of evolution in science classes) has me very worried. Not to mention the latest mumps outbreak here at UVA...


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Oct 06 - 03:33 PM

Oh, I've got some books here about the dangers and historical misuses and screwups of vaccination that would put you in a total nervous collapse, Mrzzy. ;-) You have not even BEGUN to worry yet.


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Subject: RE: Children and religion
From: GUEST,winterbright
Date: 10 Oct 06 - 10:41 PM

I've only just tuned into this and don't have time to read through all the dialogs. However, as a religious educator (Unitarian Universalist), I often recall a story about someone showing their garden to a guest who believed that children should be left to determine their own religion when they were "old enough". The garden was thickly overgrown with weeds. "I'm just letting the garden determine for itself what it wants to be without imposing my thinking on it," was the host's statement.
The point of this (which I hope I haven't garbled with imperfect quoting) is that if parents don't influence their children, then everyone and anyone with whom they come in contact WILL!
Children will most likely decide for themselves what they believe as they grow up, no matter how they were raised. Their beliefs may change over time. But we need to give them something to work from, otherwise they are fair game for anyone who tells them "I know The Way."
One of the things I love about being a "UU" is that no-one in our (widely varied) churches will tell you what you have to believe. It is up to the individual to seek truth and meaning for her/himself. It's not for everyone - but it works for some of us.
The hardest thing, though, for me to get across to the kids I work with is that we need to respect the beliefs of others - even if we disagree with them. Most churches do not tell their children that.

That's all. I may or may not not get back to this thread again, but I sure appreciate the forum format.
Pat G.
Brunswick, ME


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