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  1. #11
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    My parents took me to church, so I had the opportunity to learn, but whatever I believe nowadays is whatever I have decided was right rather than reflecting their beliefs. Since my beliefs have deviated from theirs, it's been hard at times... especially because my mother fears I'm going to hell. The thought is hard for me in that my soul might be lost, and frustrating for me because I feel like she can never understand me and thus our connection is weakened. My mom was never a good "discusser of ideas," and any time I had a different opinion in my family, I felt like my voice was undermined/dismissed. So for many years I never allowed myself to openly share what I believed with them.

    My own kids have been raised within the church, and my ex has beliefs similar to my mother's. But we are both a bit different in that we allow our kids to speak their minds and explore and examine and criticize. We want our kids to be open. I think I do better with the "openness" thing since I am not holding a particular belief set as 100% true per se, so no matter where my kids end up, what matters to me is HOW they work through it, not necessarily what conclusions they arrive at.

    I am really happy with my eldest right now. He does claim to be a Republican (which in my area is synonymous with being Christian) right now because I think he agrees with the Repub stance of some of the social (and thus "moral") issues that are prevalent in our society... but he's ranted to me a great deal about beliefs in the church that he thinks are stupid from a rational viewpoint, and he's always open to explore a new idea. That is all I really want for him. Even if he differs from me, I want us to be close by being able to share our thoughts and feelings about faith and similar matters, without shame or fear of rejection.

    The same with my other children too. I want them to be empowered and equipped to challenge ideas and challenge themselves, so as to come to better conclusions about what they think life is worth living for.


    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater
    Spencer's nine points were:

    1. By trying to raise sinless children.
    2. By telling children they are specially called by God- from birth- to ministry.
    3. By using religion as punishment.
    4. Saying "God told us to" as your reason for parental decisions.
    5. By having a constant fear of what is normal.
    6. By lying and consistently making ignorant statements.
    7. By obsessing on Satan and demons.
    8. By ignoring culture, and isolating your children from it.

    I think #1 and #8 are the most common mistakes that parents make in attempting to pass on their religion.
    I agree with all of this. Not all of it was EXPLICIT in my environment growing up, but it was IMPLICIT... and because I am sensitive and intuitive, it was all the same to me. I grew up very scared and self-loathing because of how I felt like my culture viewed me, and because I had trouble getting outside validation so that I could trust my inner compass.

    I hate how the church often opts out of culture. My kids are learning how to navigate WITHIN culture.

    I also hated how I grew up being afraid of the world, and then realizing later in life that the world actually was not as ugly or dangerous as I had been told -- there were some very beautiful things in life to experience and share. I realized the people I left behind lived more in fear and for a long time I had been living in that same shadow.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #12
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    I grew up with believing parents and I would say the number one behaviour on their part that encouraged me to keep the same faith was consistency and lack of hypocrisy. They lived what they said they believed - and my father died secure in his faith.
    Having said that, they were not at all 'in your face' about what they believed. Certain standards of behaviour were expected, etc, but we weren't a family that sat around having deep and meaningful conversations about the bible or God.
    As I grew older, went to university, etc, it became much more important to me to work things out for myself and I found that a firm belief in the bible, good teaching, believing friends, etc were vital.
    My sister has rejected the faith that we were brought up with and I find it hard to understand how our lives can have taken such different paths.

  3. #13
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    I grew up with vocally believing parents. I'm not really sure what lead to me "turning away" from the faith. I feel like putting it that way really disrespects my own choices in the matter - as if the only reason I'm not religious now is because my parents made bad choices? I see many, many, many reasons not to be religious and many poor examples of religion aside from my upbringing. Religion just didn't make sense to me, and still doesn't. I see a trend for less common/less severe religion and I hope it continues, because in my mind it will make the world a much better place. If I have kids I hope they'll at least think about the matter without blindly accepting any faith.

    However, I can tell you some things my parents (mostly mom) did that I wouldn't wish on any kid, even if it would "scare him away" from religion:

    -violated my personal space and freedom by restricting access to and taking away gifts/personal property because it was "evil". I'm talking things like sailor moon (yes, really), pocahontas (talking tree=demon), anything with unicorns/dragons/whatever in it, and so on. she saw demons in everything - god forbid the word "demon" or "devil" was ever mentioned - even in the context of being slain by good guys! even as a child I knew this was ridiculous.

    -being ridiculously overprotective about sex. as in, I wasn't allowed to listen to the spice girls because they dressed sluttily. I constantly got lectures about how very sinful it was to have sex before marriage. I wasn't allowed to read a lot of books because they mentioned two characters having sex out of wedlock (not described, mentioned - and yes that cuts out a lot of books, since I was reading at an adult level very early on). I gave my sister a book for christmas a few years back, when she was about 16-17, and mom confiscated it because it mentioned (not described) sex. Keep in mind my sisters go to a low-income school and neighbourhood - it's not exactly classy or proper. This hasn't been a rare occurance, unfortunately.

    -forced me to go to church every week and when I falt-out refused, attempted to bribe me. I absolutely hated the experience and it certainly didn't make me more religious.

    -continually made comments about how sinful "certain lifestyles" were. If I had been gay I would be pretty bitter about it by now, I'm sure

    -making comments about how God hates this and that behaviour, and trying to guilt-trip us into behaving so we wouldn't make god sad

    -teaching the bible as literal truth and encouraging us to refuse to think about any alternatives because we'd become "brainwashed" (yes, the irony). told us that scientists were trying to "trick us" and showed us a ton of "creation science" videos giving "arguments" against evolution.

    I'd certainly like to think that even with more moderate parents, I'd still end up with my current beliefs, and given my personality I do strongly believe this is so. Still, I'm all for the cause of not fucking up kids anymore than necessary, so good luck.
    -end of thread-

  4. #14
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    My parents are believers. My Mom prayed with us every night. We didn't go to church every Sunday and I wasn't force fed Christianity. I didn't know a 'real' God until I was out on my own thousands of miles from home (after college). I don't remember really looking for him, just a cry for help here and there when I was all out of options, alone, and scared. So, was it my parents influence in my childhood that guided me to him? Did I find him on my own? Did he find me? ...or maybe we collided. lol I dunno. I just know when it happened and it was far from a church or a bible.

    Through it all: flying by the seat my pants, chasing dreams down all of those roads less traveled, the "try and fail and try agains" that eventually worked out, the fears, the tears, the excruciating pain of failure, falling flat on my face, and somehow picking myself up by the bootstraps made me realize one thing....

    it wasn't humanly possible for me to overcome and accomplish all that I did on my own. Who am I? I'm just a girl. It was miraculous really. I don't believe the sun, the moon and the stars aligned just right. I believe God hears our simple prayers and has tremendous humility for those of us that try.

    So my parents were a good influence and taught me good things, but all-in-all I have to say my life experience and the world around me is evidence enough for me. This song really speaks to me in regards to that,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7Bs1YF83-I

  5. #15
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    The West is based on four pillars - Ancient Greek philosophy, Judaism, Christianity and the Enlightenment.

    To understand Western philosophy, religion and modern life, it is necessary to understand the four pillars. And it is important to understand the conversation between them.

    If we can't understand the conversation, we are driven back to superstition and narcissism.

    And in particular we are driven back to the New Age and astrology and fake personality tests like MBTI.

    This is a failure of education, but worse, it is a failure of nerve.

    And what a tragedy, for we live in the richest and most profound civilization the world has ever seen.

    All we need to do is broaden our horizons and we can see from the smallest atom to the furthest reaches of the universe, from our deepest psyche to the social forces that direct us every day.

    All we need to do is to learn to hear, taste, feel and see the civilization that gave us birth.

    All we need to do is come home.

  6. #16
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    I don't really know the answers to this other than I think there is a difference between passing on faith and passing on religion. I want to do the former without necessarily doing the latter.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
    http://www.revoltingvegetables.com

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Religious parents teach their kids to believe in religion because they believe its the truth and necessary for optimal personal happiness, just like most parents in the West raise kids to believe that democracy/capitalism/etc. are the best systems of belief for either intrinsic or utilitarian purposes. Brainwashing is an integral aspect of parenting; you just object to what the kids are brainwashed into believing. All else being equal, religious people tend to be happier than the non-religious, so I'm glad that my nieces and nephews are being raised to believe in a religion.

    I'm an agnostic, raised in a religious household; my lack of belief has much more to do with being an INTP and having OCD than with anything my parents did.
    Religious people more happy than non religious? I believe you... in the same sense that a person high on drugs is more happy than someone sober

    Living in a fantasy has its appeal, I'd rather be slighly less "happy" and have the truth than believe some fairy tail, its fake happiness... and what happens when the fairy tails over?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    There seems to be this presumption that it is impossible to teach children that one religion is true without brainwashing them. This is simply not true. I know many parents who are raising children in the Christian faith and simultaneously developing them into bright individuals that are not afraid to ask tough questions and demand intelligent answers.
    That is exactly what brainwashing is! Teaching them that "this is true" and not considering for a moment that it isn't, not showing the other side

    Now if you were to say teach them ABOUT a religion and then let THEM decide if its true then that wouldn't be brainwashing

  8. #18
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    when I read the title of the thread, my reaction was "... like an STD?"

  9. #19
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unique View Post
    Religious people more happy than non religious? I believe you... in the same sense that a person high on drugs is more happy than someone sober
    I was raised on that "religious people are more ultimately happy" stuff. And people using studies to say that people who pray are happier overall or have faith in something.

    But those people aren't necessarily Christians, or Christians in the way some other Christians would define it. And of course we still have to discuss what you mention -- whether happiness is more important than truth per se. Cobb was happy at the end of Inception, and probably in a deep and enduring way... but some people would complain that his version of reality might not have been 'true.'

    Living in a fantasy has its appeal, I'd rather be slighly less "happy" and have the truth than believe some fairy tail, its fake happiness... and what happens when the fairy tails over?
    That's one issue. I've watched the "happy people" really sink like stones when they get hit by something that they can no longer dodge. It's difficult for them.

    And the other weird thing... after spending my whole life in Christian culture, where I was trying hard to believe that the faith made people "happier" and "better" than others, that has not really been my experience in my 2-3 years outside the church. Yes, I think certain people ARE happier in that environment, especially for people who hate ambiguity. They have a support structure and world explanation that helps them face life day to day without feeling adrift... but in my experience, those people also tended to stagnate, and they lost out on diversity and new experience.

    I still think there are some unhappy wanderers outside the church, getting themselves into all sorts of trouble and they're kind of miserable and lost and not sure where to go next; but I've also met a lot of enlightened people from all faiths and walks of life, and I find them so much more enjoyable to spend time with. Because they're not only deep and meaningful, but also open and appreciative of diversity and wondering what might come next in life. I also felt like they were more dependable and trustworthy, because they were committed to ME as a person rather than to some abstract ideology. So often in the church, I felt like people got sold out for beliefs... because the members thought that was the best way to love people. I just have a different opinion, theoretically AND experientially.

    So as far as "happy" goes, I'm more inclined to think it is the PERSON and not the faith bringing the happiness per se, it's the attitude the person carries into it, and also their finding beliefs and worldviews that align with who they are and allow them to become more who they already are. I met a lot of unhappy people within the church as well as outside of it.

    PS. I've never heard fairy tales about fairy tails before.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #20
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I was raised with a very strong belief and knowledge in the Bible. Utimately what led me to leave my faith was the radical nature of that particular religion (Jehovah's Witness) which failed to adress my needs in any sensical way. All in all, I feel enriched by my earlier beliefs, they have given me a set a symbols through which I can understand the world that I believe are much richer than can be found being raised completely secularly.

    My children are being raised now as Lutheran (Missouri Synod). I have mixed feelings about this, but all together I feel positive about it. There is a lot of good in holding Christian ideals. The negative in the more conservative denomenations is intolerance. There's a lot that goes into an intolerant, inward mindset. I think that the only thing that make a well adjusted person religiously intolerant is ignorance, which is something that is very often promoted in Christianity. I'm just making sure that my kids have a wide view of the world, and I think they'll find their own way just fine.

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