Am I Wrong to Teach My Kids that My Religion is the Only True Religion?

@ParaTed2k (22980)
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
January 6, 2009 3:30am CST
If you think it's wrong for me to teach my kids that other religions or spiritual paths are wrong, would you try to teach them that I am wrong? If you would then you are merely saying that I shouldn't teach my kids that you are wrong, but it's ok for you to teach them that I am wrong. Something to think about.
13 people like this
54 responses
@owlwings (42003)
• Cambridge, England
6 Jan 09
It would be better if you taught you kids that God is everywhere and that, while you think that your religion is closer to godliness, there is that of God in everyone, no matter what their religion (if any) and that all religions contain some truth. By teaching children that one religion is right and the others wrong, you are showing them that it is OK to condemn others out of hand because they don't go to your church, mosque or temple. It is a very short step from there to condemning because of the colour of their skin or for their race or because they 'speak funny' or look different.
@ParaTed2k (22980)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
6 Jan 09
So what you're saying is, I should teach them your religious beliefs and not my own?
@owlwings (42003)
• Cambridge, England
6 Jan 09
No, that is not what I am saying at all!
@ParaTed2k (22980)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
6 Jan 09
But that is exactly what you said. You said "it would be better" and then you went on to explain YOUR beliefs. What I'd rather do is teach them my own beliefs, respect your right to teach your kids your beliefs and teach them that same respect? We can believe ourselves to be right and leave the whole "and you're wrong" completely out of it.
• India
6 Jan 09
No you are not wrong there, even I was brought up to believe Hinduism as the only true path to salvation and I still believe it. However, you would be wrong if you taught your children to grow up with a tunnel vision, to ignore the sights and sounds of the world around them, to be so proud and engrossed in themselves that they miss out on the fun of seeking knowledge. You would be wrong if you instil insularity in them. However, if you are not guilty of these, then your children will in time themselves learn to seek, understand, learn and appreciate. And if your foundations have been strong enough, they will not stray from the religion of their birth.
@ParaTed2k (22980)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
6 Jan 09
But would you teach my kids that I am wrong if I did raise them with tunnel vision? If so, doesn't that simply mean that it's ok for you to teach my kids that I am wrong, but its not ok for me to teach them you are wrong?
@owlwings (42003)
• Cambridge, England
6 Jan 09
I would not seek to teach your kids that you are wrong. I would seek to persuade them (and you, if I had the chance) that God is everywhere and that He loves ALL of His creation. That doesn't make your religion 'wrong' but it, hopefully, ensures that they will not think of other religions as 'wrong', either.
@ParaTed2k (22980)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
6 Jan 09
But do you see the point? It seems ok in our society for people to tell kids that their parents are wrong, but wrong for parents to teach our kids that others are wrong.
@nupats (3564)
• India
6 Jan 09
hi dear i have a son 4 years i do follow my religion and he does do pooja with us....but i never tell him that other religions are wrong ....i always tell him to fold his hands a bow down whether it is a temple, church or mosque...i tell him we are hindus so we follow it and same way other ppl follow their respective religions..basically i think no religion is above the other it is just that human beings do have different names for worshiping God..
@ParaTed2k (22980)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
6 Jan 09
Ok, but what if I do believe that my own religion is the only true religion? Am I wrong for teaching my kids what I believe?
@nupats (3564)
• India
6 Jan 09
if you already think thats right then wheres the doubt...you are not wrong at all...well i teach my child what i think according to me is correct...so surely you must teach your child what you believe...my grandmother used to believe in Caste system as we are Brahmins by caste so there were lower caste which were considered Untouchables they were not allowed in temples and lots of other things.. my parents do have some reservations in their minds regarding caste system as that had been imbibed strongly into them since childhood...we were told about this in a casual manner and never forced to follow any such thing...so i and like me many ppl do not believe in such things like Untouchable or low caste..but in some remote places such things are still followed ...so it is am ideology that you believe in you think your religion is the the only good one well i don't think that way...we all need to teach our children what is right according to us..once they grow up they do have their own opinions
@owlwings (42003)
• Cambridge, England
6 Jan 09
"Ok, but what if I do believe that my own religion is the only true religion? Am I wrong for teaching my kids what I believe?" There is a very big difference between 'teaching your kids what you believe' and trying to force them (albeit that that is what your religion tells you to do) to believe as you do.
@Springlady (3986)
• United States
6 Jan 09
Hi Para, It is important to teach your children the Truth and that is that God loves them and that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for their sins. It is very important to teach them the Bible and go to church with them and pray with them. There is only one Truth and that is the Truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God bless you!
• United States
6 Jan 09
True peace comes only from knowing Jesus Christ. The world cannot give eternal peace. God bless.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jan 09
It has been proven in my life and in countless other lives as well. There is no peace without Jesus Christ. Without Him, we are bound by our sins and we have no hope whatsoever. He is our only hope and our only peace. I pray you will one day find this kind of peace. God bless.
@sid556 (30989)
• United States
6 Jan 09
So are you saying that the muslims, jahovas & jewish are all wrong because you are so certain that you are right? Spring, are you serious here?
@cynddvs (2950)
• United States
6 Jan 09
I think it is every parents personal choice on what to teach their kids about religion. I don't think it's anyone else's place but the parents to sway the children. My husband and I decided a long time ago that when our daughter is old enough to understand religion we want to teach her about all religions, not just Christianity. We want her to be able to make her own educated decision on what she believes when she is old enough to do so. And this is going to be quite a challenge for us since the majority of our family are very vocal Christians. I'm sure they are going to try to teach her that Christianity is the only "right religion". When that time comes hubby and I will be very vocal about wanting them to butt out and that it's not their job to teach her religion. That's the thing about people of all religions, not just Christians. They think they are doing this wonderful great deed by "enlightening" children about their religion. And it's really noone's place but a parents to teach their children about religion.
@ParaTed2k (22980)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
6 Jan 09
So you are going to teach your belief that Christianity isn't the only true religion. Fair enough. So are you going to tell their grandparents that they can take their grandkids to any kind of activities, except Christian ones? Don't get me wrong, you have every right to teach your kids your beliefs, I'm just wondering if your actions will teach them that not only is Christianity not the only true religion, but the only one to aviod. Do you see what I mean?
@cynddvs (2950)
• United States
6 Jan 09
No that's not what I'm saying at all. I know my daughter is going to be exposed to Christianity and I'm fine with that. I'm even ok with family reading my daughter bible stories and teaching her about church activities. What I am not ok with however is anyone teaching her that if she doesn't believe in one certain religion she is condemned to hell. And that goes for any religion. I don't want her to be scared into believing one religion or the other. Basically this is how we are going to handle things. When someone whether it be a family member or friend teach my daughter about anything about any religion and she questions us as her parents about it we are going to use it as a learning tool. We will explain to her to the best of our abilities why they believe what they believe and what others believe. I'm not going to teach her that any religion is better that the other one or to avoid religion.
@ParaTed2k (22980)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
6 Jan 09
Ah, ok, thanks for the clarification. I agree, it is one thing for others to share their beliefs with your kids, but a far different thing for them to teach them that what you are teaching them is wrong. That's for them to decide when they get older.
@hildas (3031)
6 Jan 09
I think you are right about teaching your Children about your own religion. We have been taught it by our parents over thousands of years. Our Children will have the right to decide if they think it is right or wrong when they are adults. Having a religion of any kind is a good thing and any teachings to children is good.
@ParaTed2k (22980)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
6 Jan 09
I think that is what bothers people, we have been taught by our parents for thousands of years, but that isn't good enough for them. They want to be the ones who teach our kids what to believe and parents just get in the way. You are right, no matter what we teach our kids, there will come a time that they have to decide for themselves. Teaching them doesn't keep them from deciding, it only teaches them that deciding is important.
@owlwings (42003)
• Cambridge, England
6 Jan 09
"You are right, no matter what we teach our kids, there will come a time that they have to decide for themselves. Teaching them doesn't keep them from deciding, it only teaches them that deciding is important." Ah, now you begin to make sense. I believe that we have a duty, as parents, to show our children what we hold dear but that our children have a right to know as much as they are able about their fellow humans - and the gift of wisdom (which only God can give) to make the decisions that are right for them.
• India
6 Jan 09
well you just ended up confusing me more. Well, all i can say is that teach your children to believe in your religion. Teach them very well. Let them know every aspect of the religion and what it commands of its believers. And then when they query you on other religions., just tell them in simple English that it is another religion that other people believe in. Other religions are as true as your.. They are just different ways to reach to the same God.
@ParaTed2k (22980)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
6 Jan 09
But by teaching them that, I am simply teaching them your religious beliefs instead of my own. The question remains, would you teach my kids that I am wrong to teach them that my beliefs are the only ones that are true. If you did teach them that, then aren't you just saying that it's ok for you to teach my kids that I am wrong, but not ok for me to teach them that you are?
@ParaTed2k (22980)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
7 Jan 09
There's no answer I "want" to hear, any answer is good for the discussion. But thanks for the laugh anyway! :~D
@xParanoiax (6997)
• United States
28 Feb 09
Well, it would be more fair of you to say, "I believe and am taught, that my religion is the one true religion and that every one else is wrong. Others might disagree with me, but that's how it is."...instead of putting it so absolutely...but they're your kids...not my kids, so technically I can't tell you how to raise them. *shrugs* as a "unbeliever" though, I suppose it isn't surprising that I'd prefer parents to try to teach their kids about religion in fairer and slightly less rigid ways...but I'm quite aware that it's not my job to tell people how to live and technically none of my business.
• United States
28 Feb 09
Augh. I need to check the dates on these. If I responded twice, sorry, but for some reason your old discussions are popping up in my inbox as if they're new. _
• Philippines
7 Jan 09
I think since your conscious about your kids and their well-being, you should not mess with their minds right now. since they are still young let them experience your religion, give them the chance to know what it is like. then when they grow up and they find a new one, let them be. they are already grown then. just make sure that whatever they see on that religion is the truth in common sense. either way, i don't think god will burn you in heaven if your not a christian.
• Philippines
8 Jan 09
Since your a christian,do you believe that Christ will burn to hell all those that don't believe in him? how bout the natives in foreign land whom have not heard anything about the bible. Do you believe in the Ten Commandments? That anyone who lives by it will be saved. Do you believe that God lives in all of us, meaning one does not have to go to church to ask for forgiveness and talk to the Lord.
@Ravenladyj (22936)
• United States
6 Jan 09
I do disagree with that sort of mindset BUT I wouldnt tell my kids you are wrong, I'd simply tell them I disagree with your methods, explain why I feel that way and end off with a "too each their own but its not how I chose to raise you guys"
@ParaTed2k (22980)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
6 Jan 09
Good answer! :~D That was the meat of the question. For some reason, it seems to be ok to tell kids that their parents are wrong, but wrong for parents to tell their kids that anyone else is.
1 person likes this
@agrim94 (3809)
• India
28 Feb 09
ParaTed2k.. religion is a very personal thing and though people say all wars have been because of land or woman but if u calculate then you would find religion has killed more people than all wars combined . No it is not wrong to teach your religion to ur kids but the only problem comes when you teach ur religion is superior to all other religion and thinking about any other religion is sin or you have to convert other people to your religion. I am Hindu yet we have lots of different people here who are Muslims, Sikhs, Christians , jains and many other religions too and we do participate in each other worships and every religious ceremony.. It doesn't make your god lesser if you do praise or prey to god from other religion.. Well all in end i may say there is only one god and various religions are paths to that God.. Choose any and it would take you to God.. But just don't think the path you took is far superior to others and others should follow the path you took. All religion teach love other humans and not love only persons from your own religion.
• United States
28 Feb 09
They are your children and you should be able to teach them what you believe end of story. If it is what you truly believe then you would be amiss to tell them something else. You would only confuse them and make matters worse in my opinion. I will say that what you live is what they will learn not so much what you say. How does the saying go? Raise up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.... something like that.
• United States
18 Jan 09
It is wrong to teach a child that Any religion is the Only true religion.What you should teach them is the your religion is the Only religion for you. That way when they do learn from another source that there are other religions and that other people follow it, they can respect you and them. In other words they will be of the family's religion but won't bash anyone else's.And if you teach them that You find your religion the Only true one but that there are others, they may not rebel against you when they learn about the other path's. In other words you have a better chance for your kids to remain in your religion even when they are teens.I would Never try to tell a child their parent is wrong in their views. I just think saying you can Only worship this way or else may backfire when they get older.So by keeping it open may keep them worshiping the family way.
@teeaye98 (287)
• United States
9 Jan 09
Religion is just that, religion. I will be teaching my kids based on the religion I practice, but I would never teach them not to respect other's religions. At some point, they will make their own decisions concerning this issue and I want them to be fully aware of what we believ as well as respect others. This is a tough topic. Because in teach ing your children that "your religion" is the only true religion, many people take that as if everyother religion isn't valid. I believe that is wrong. To keep it simple, I think most all religions believe that there is one creator and that we honor him/her. Where you take it from there is up to you. Who is really right, who knows?
• United States
8 Jan 09
If you believe your faith is the key to eternal security then you would have to be a murderous psycho not to share it with your children. If you don't believe it is the key you are a fool for following it. If someone tries to steal your children's faith in a path you believe is their salvation you would be hard pressed to call yourself a parent and not rip them a new orifice for endangering your child's eternal soul. If you have no faith and take offense at someone trying to provide eternal security to your child you are still a murderous psycho with no love for your offspring. Does that answer the question?
@hdjohnson (2981)
• United States
8 Jan 09
As a parent, it is important to teach and impart the things you believe in and show them right from wrong. That is the most important part of growing up for me. For a parent to take their child aside and tell them things they should or shouldn't do. As a young man raised by a single mom and having never known my father. Well my mom asked me one day if my father ever showed up and asked me for help "would I help him." My response, was "NO, why should I help him, when he has never done anything for me or us?" My mom, told me that "I should help him, because I should be willing to forgive him for the things that he did or did not do for me or us, because that is what the love of God is all about. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." So, if you are not aware, I was raised as a Christian. I am 34 years old now, and that memory has stayed with me all of these years. I won't ever forget that lesson, and it is one that I will impart into my 3 children, as the #1 reason and way to treat other people. Just know no matter what you teach or impart into your children; then they will have to deal with someone who hasn't been taught what you taught them to attempt to sway them into believing something differently.
@veejay19 (3590)
• India
8 Jan 09
When we are born into a particular family which follows a particular religion it means that we deliberately choose to do this when we were in the "other world" as we felt that we could evolve into better humans by following that religion.Every human born on Earth follows the same principle and goes forward in his life. It certainly is wrong for us to tell our children that our religion is superior to other religions and that they are wrong. All religions have the same goal ,ie to lead their flock to a better life on the spiritual level even though their methods may be different. Those who say that their religion is the only correct one and that other religions are false have not understood their own religion and are misleading their children and other people too.This is the reason why fanaticism creeps in and creates hatred amongst people and breeds violence and destruction.
• India
8 Jan 09
yes If you teach your kid that only your religion is greater than other than it is wrong becouse no matter which religion you follow every religion is same by the core.you must be a good citizen for the not only for your country but for the world.First of all everybody is human.
@ketybhagat (4125)
• India
8 Jan 09
The kids will understand what you teach them, and what you teach them is important. Make them understand that you are born in a particular religion and staying true to it is important, but also teach them to understand and respect other religions too, for all religions are different paths leading to the same goal, call it Father, Allah, Ahuramazda, Ohm, etc. When parents teach kids to disrespect other religions, they are killing the humanity in the child and then they become animals in the name of religion. Also keep them away from such influences. All prophets have taught to love and respect mankind, no matter of what religion that person is. Teach this to your kids and see them grow up to be wonderful human beings.
@Pose123 (21661)
• Canada
7 Jan 09
Hi ParaTed2k, That is an interesting way of looking at it. Although I took my kids to church when they we growing up, I also taught them to respect other religions and other paths, that they should not judge. If I had kids today, I would teach them to be honest and to live the Golden rule but I would not teach them anything about religion. My belief now is that, rather than being indoctrinated as children, they should make their own decision when they are adults. I am not condemning you or others for your way, just saying that this is the conclusion that I have reached. By the way, we raised three boys and two of them are very much in involved with the church today and it is their own decision. Blessings.