Thursday, June 12, 2014

Opinion: Children and Religion.

Most people are born into a religion, taught of the ways for that particular religion and stay in that one till they die. From cradle to grave.

But there are people who deviate from that somewhat straight path. Some are born into a "liberal" family that believes a child should be given a choice in what religion they wish to practice. This would lead to a childhood of learning various religions hence giving them a good basis to choose from.

Mozart asked me what do I think would be a better way.

First note: I am not waving a flag telling you to convert into another religion.

Second note: I believe in religious freedom.

My personal belief is that a child is born into a religion but with the freedom of learning about the others on their own initiative. And upon reaching adulthood, they should be given the option to convert, if they want to.

I do not think most parents are equipped for the second option because I doubt they can be that impartial or knowledgeable. They will find it hard to not favour one religion over another.

Yes, there will be the exceptions but not many.

I remember someone mentioning to me how in Indonesia you can have parents that practice different religions. And upon reaching adulthood, the kid can choose. That person went on to say how religion A involves singing (which somehow represents fun) while B involves being scolded for not reciting the holy book properly or skipping prayers. This would definitely make someone choose A over B.

Third note: If anyone can confirm if the above practice is true in Indonesia, or not, do leave a comment.

My thoughts: If someone is as easily influenced by such trivial matters, do you even want them to eventually be a representative of your religion?

But it also proves my belief that a child should be born into a certain religion but with the freedom to learn and choose later on when they are mature and with knowledge.

After all, my religion is supposed to be about free will. Not about force, right?


Launna said...

I believe in religious freedom and that children need to follow thier own paths. They are their own people, I am just here raising them. ... neither of my children were baptized until they were 8. If they decided to change I love them no matter what and I support them ;-)

Whimsical Youngster said...

Very thought-provoking. I believe in people having free will, but when is it appropriate for a child to choose a religion? At what age? I believe it is important that a child should be adult, where he can make mature decisions about his religion.

Love your writing, by the way!

Laila N Mysis said...

Ooooh. Fun.

I kind of understand what you mean about a child having religious freedom. But I also understand how a parent might not want to facilitate that - I mean, generally, when one practises a religion, they do so because they believe it's the One True Path, and I guess it would hurt to watch a littlie under your responsibility choose another one.

Well, you said it perfectly, I guess. Raise them in your religion, but allow them to learn about others. I wouldn't encourage them, personally, but if they do, I wouldn't stop them. And there wouldn't be any point in forcing them to be a part of a religion, because then it's not true belief, is it?

Thumbs up for thought-provoking post :)


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