Should Religion Be Forced Upon Children?

@wolfie34 (26816)
United Kingdom
December 12, 2006 2:48pm CST
When I worked in a school, one child was NOT allowed to join in with anything to do with Christmas, he was only 4 and didn't understand he was being excluded when all his friends were enjoying the play and the Christmas celebrations. Is is right to force religion onto children?
5 people like this
29 responses
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
14 Dec 06
It is not right to force religion on a child but nor is it right in a child's eyes to be segregate that child from others. I am not Christian. I am Pagan/Wiccan. And we do not celebrate Christmas. It is my responsibility as a parent for my child to understand our religion. But I also make sure they respect other religions as well. Just because you don't like chocolate, doesn't me I don't. We all are different and this they understand. The wonderful thing about the school my children go to is the acceptance of other relgions. And when I find there is a problem of it being forced to a certain religion, I do address it. Most recently, my daugther brough home a "Christmas" tree to be decorated and bring back to school after the weekend. Well, we don't have a "Christmas" tree....we have a "Yule" tree. the difference of only the religion. So, in recognition of the different relgions, going around the tree, my daughter wrote Happy/Merry...and all the different relgions she knew about on the calendar. I think this was a great way to tell all those that do not celerate Christmas to enjoy their celebration AND helped to remind those that are Christian that there are other relgions in school. I would never want my child exluded from a Christmas party because of our religion. But I would also want her to understand the difference so she could celebrate along with them. :) Great question!
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
14 Dec 06
Thank you so much for your response, very much appreciated, rated.
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
31 Dec 06
Thank you wolfie for the best response, it is very encouraging to know I am doing something right. :) And thank you barbara for the wonderful compliment about me being a great mom. A mom does not hear that very often and when we do, it feels pretty darn good. :) And I agree also...if the rest of the world thought this way, it would be more peaceful. But that is when the saying comes in..."One step at a time." Hopefully, with each generation it will get better. And the fact that I have seven children I teach this way, they will grow to teach their children the same and so on. :)
25 Jan 07
I'm also a witch and my daughter is raised that way but we talk about other beliefs and their celebrations and we celebrate Christmas and Easter with my family as they are Christian. I have to agree I think you are doing the best for your daughter.
1 person likes this
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
14 Dec 06
i am deadset against religion being forced on a child..meaning I disagree completely with a parent/caregiver ordering a child to follow their faith/religion....I think children should be educated on the basics of various paths and then let them decide when they are old enough to follow whatever they like if anything at all....Wehn it comes to my kids if they want to join in on my celebrations or what to know more (and they have over the yrs) then I am happy to share with them and teach them/include them etc....but i never force them to participate...like when I go back home and would visit the Buddhist Temple i never MADE THEM come with me, if they wanted to they were more than welcome to...when they go to their grandparents up north they are given the option to go to church with them, they dont have to but they are more than welcome to....I think its a mistake to demand that a child in your care follow in your footsteps...they are their own person so naturally they may not agree with what you believe or they may question it which is a good thing...to deny them variety is a shame and in the end a very negative thing IMO
2 people like this
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
14 Dec 06
Thank you for your detailed response, rated, appreciated.
• India
14 Dec 06
It is not right to force religion on a child but nor is it right in a child's eyes to be segregate that child from others. I am not Christian. I am Pagan/Wiccan. And we do not celebrate Christmas. It is my responsibility as a parent for my child to understand our religion. But I also make sure they respect other religions as well. Just because you don't like chocolate, doesn't me I don't. We all are different and this they understand. The wonderful thing about the school my children go to is the acceptance of other relgions. And when I find there is a problem of it being forced to a certain religion, I do address it. Most recently, my daugther brough home a "Christmas" tree to be decorated and bring back to school after the weekend. Well, we don't have a "Christmas" tree....we have a "Yule" tree. the difference of only the religion. So, in recognition of the different relgions, going around the tree, my daughter wrote Happy/Merry...and all the different relgions she knew about on the calendar. I think this was a great way to tell all those that do not celerate Christmas to enjoy their celebration AND helped to remind those that are Christian that there are other relgions in school. I would never want my child exluded from a Christmas party because of our religion. But I would also want her to understand the difference so she could celebrate along with them.:) Great question! + - !
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
14 Dec 06
Thank you for your detailed, interesting response to my discussion, rated and appreciated.
@katcarneo (1433)
• Philippines
14 Dec 06
of course all parents feels it's they're responsibility to teach their children what they think is right, and the parents of this kid are just doing that.they're just practicing their freedom to exercise their religion and of course since a child is too young to choose his own, the parents do that for him. in my case i had to go through the same thing but usually we just dont go to the parties. when we're asked to make christmas cards for art class i'd make something else. not a birthday card, though, because we don't celebrate birthdays either. so basically it's also the responsibility of parents to explain the why's. when the child gets older then he could make his own decision.
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
14 Dec 06
Thank you for your response, rated.
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
14 Dec 06
When I was a child, my elementary school, junior high school, and high school did not have "Christmas Celebrations", because not everyone was a Christian. So instead, since the celebrations always took place close to the commencement of 'winter recess or break' it was always considered the winter break celebration. But, then I went to a school that had an almost equal blend of Christian, Jewish, and a small amount of other religions present in the student population. My children have always attended schools that never had a "Christmas celebration", but rather a "holiday celebration", It is more inclusive this way and no one feels bad. Your question asks if it is right to force religion onto children, and the answer is it is not right to force religion on anyone--adult or child. And in the same respect, isn't having a Christmas Celebration in a school (that is non-religious facility) forcing religion on all the children there? Aren't they catering to the majority religion and creating an atmosphere that is not all-inclusive?
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
14 Dec 06
Yea my kids school doesnt have Christmas celebrations either, they have the Winter Concert and so on but they do their best to leave religion out of it and I honestly think thats how it should be...if you are goin to cater to one religion in a setting like that you need to cater to all of them IMO and lets face it, the diversity when it comes to something like that is just too great to pull off pleasing everyone ya know...
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jan 07
I do not believe that religion should be forced into religion. I think that baptizing babies is wrong. Baptism is you showing your choice & dedication to serve God. How can a baby make that choice? I also believe in teaching religious tolerence to children, exposing them to all different religions, and letting them decide whether or not to become any religion at all.
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
25 Jan 07
LOL! I got worried there, thinking, ooops what topic debate did I start, then I saw your next response ;0) Certainly made me chuckle, thanks for er, this response!!!!
1 person likes this
@lovedude (4456)
• India
1 Jan 07
not they should not forced.. but we can see it specially during christmas and eid
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
1 Jan 07
Thank you for your response, appreciated, happy new year!
@kareng (7980)
• United States
31 Dec 06
I say no. At this age a child has no idea what is going on but he/she knows she has been left out. This isn't fair to a child. My husband was catholic when we married. I was baptist. We went to both churches for several years. One day he said that my church made more sense to him and he converted. We had children and let them choose. We did not insist on them being baptised in the Baptist church. Our oldest was even christened in the Catholic church after birth and later baptised in the Baptist Church. This was her choice.
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
1 Jan 07
Thank you for your response, appreciated.
• United States
15 Dec 06
I think it is up to the parents. I'm not relgious though, and will never force it upon my children. It was forced upon my parents, and they decided when they had kids not to do that. I'm glad they did.
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
29 Dec 06
Thank you for your response.
@kawillow74 (1417)
• United States
15 Dec 06
I don't think it is fair they did take hollowween away from our school district. I am not sure want they do now because my kids are both in high school no I didn't think it was right at all for either kids.
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
15 Dec 06
Thank you for your response.
@lovein (345)
• India
14 Dec 06
Religion is your work. Yes- You will be able to force it , if children start to work after they are born. Upto 12 years children do not do any work, all work is done by you. No religion till 12 years of age. thanks
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
15 Dec 06
Thank you for your response.
@adroit777 (236)
• South Africa
14 Dec 06
FORCED??? Don't quite get it. Because I love my children, I tell them and teach them the TRUTH. They gladly recieve it. It's not debateble. A lot of people have opinions about stuff that dont concern them. Opinions are like noses. Everybody has one!
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
14 Dec 06
In some religions, children are FORCED, take arranged marriages for one. We all have opinions yes and they shouldn't be forced onto others. Thanks for your response.
@exchange (949)
• Australia
14 Dec 06
all religions force there viws on to people of all ages all religions are cults cults brainwash people into believing in something that is not true
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
14 Dec 06
Great response, I am not religious myself and often wonder why and how people take religion so seriously they inflict it on others.
@sunshinecup (7881)
14 Dec 06
I am a Christian but, I have taught my girls no one knows for sure when Jesus’ birthday really is. We celebrate it in December because the Christians from a long time ago wanted to convert the pagans back then so they picked a time that was a celebration for them for something else and took it over. So we really should celebrate everyday as if it were Jesus Birthday and be kind all year round. My girls also know Christmas is many other holidays for other groups. My youngest in second grade and knows about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa already. Their school has been very supported by picking a day each week to explore different celebrations, it's under History. They also don’t have Christmas parties, they have “Winter Break is Coming” celebrations. I think this is a very clever way to insure all children are included in all the activities. They don’t use Santa and Christmas trees, they use snowmen, snow flakes and things like that to decorate with. Maybe you could pass this idea along to your school for next year so another child doesn’t feel left out.
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
14 Dec 06
Thank you for that, appreciated.
@sj_chaudhry (1537)
• Canada
14 Dec 06
Religion is alla bout beliefs and it comes with practice. and it begins from childhood..if somebody practices his/her religion ut they allow their children to do any thing they want then after growing up he will not follow the religious practice because he will not believe in it. So, parents teach their children what is being taught in their religion. if in their belief Christams is not a big deal then ofcourse they will not allow their child to clebrate it. For instance, you go to other believer's holy occasssion, where you couldnot understand what the celebration all about and whats the history behind it. i think you wont and you wont allow your child to go in such celebrations...dont you..??
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
14 Dec 06
Thank for taking part in my discussion.
1 person likes this
@ZowieR (942)
• Canada
14 Dec 06
its not right to press a religion, you kids have to choose for them selves, but you cant exclude them from a religion either. keep it open, I dont follow a religion and neither did my father, I like what religions teach the kids but saying prayers in school is horribly wrong
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
14 Dec 06
Thank you for your view.
1 person likes this
@lisan22 (191)
• United States
14 Dec 06
I don't even understand the big deal. It's not like Christmas holds any real meaning for the majority of the people who celebrate it. It's become more of a time to give and help rather than a celebration of Christ's birthday. I think people have become over sensitive. As for religion, I don't think religion is forced onto most children. When parents take their kids to church, yes, they learn things about religion but it's also a social activity. I don't see anything wrong raising your child into the religion you believe in. That's not force. When they become a teenager if they don't want to go - then fine. No biggie. Where are you at, though, that children start school at 4?
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
14 Dec 06
Thanks for your response! appreciated.
@starr4all (2865)
14 Dec 06
For thanksgiving and christmas, the school is having two rooms for the kids. The one where everyone gets to participate and then the other room is for the kids that there parents don't want them to participate in holiday festivities. I think this is wrong. Let the kids have fun. they don't understand. (This is my sons kindergarten class).
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
14 Dec 06
It was very very hard to take a back seat, children of that age do not understand and when they are excluded it is very upsetting. Thank you for your response.
@Jetdanet (1032)
• Portugal
12 Dec 06
I think its nope to that question. I think if we want to a child being interessed on a religion we have to make him learn by indirect ways, we have to be smart to do that.
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
12 Dec 06
Thank you for your response.
@katyzzz (2902)
• Australia
25 Jan 07
It's good to be tolerant and learn to experience other things. This little boy's parents were too strict. Shame