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Religious education
March 9, 2010
3:28 pm
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gettnthere
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My husband and I are not at all religious, but have decided to send our daughter to a local anglican school. It's seems like a fabulous place. For the first time in her long life she is being introduced to God and the philosophy of creation. Knowing full well this is the school bent, I was a little apprehensive at first but I have to say that this has added a completely new dimension to her young mind. She is learning to pray which I completely underestimated in terms of it's practicality for a young child. I was talking to the Vicar of the school who teaches all of the classes in Christian studies and he was saying many parents complain about the religious side to their education. I appreciate and repect laws regarding this in a public school, but we chose this school and with it comes this philosophy. I just thought I would share here how pleased I am so far with this choice. I may not always be, but I am very happy that my daughter is being encouraged to consider existance and being at the moment. Just thought I would share and see what others might have to say about it!!

March 9, 2010
4:00 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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I agree with you. part of education is getting exposed to new ideas. and finding out that other people think differently than you do and that it is okay.

March 9, 2010
7:31 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hopefully she will take with a grain of salt the parts about:

1) Women are the daughters of Eve who brought about the fall of humankind from the grace of God.

2) That therefore we are all intrinsically flawed and pretty much doomed to spend eternity in Hell unless we take extraordinary actions.

March 9, 2010
10:35 pm
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CraigCo
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The Bible is contradictory, full of violence & divisive in nature. Religion has been used throughout history to control people via fear & intimidation tactics.

Personally, I would not choose to subject children, nor anyone for that matter, to such dogmatic teachings.

March 9, 2010
10:57 pm
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gettnthere
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Thanks for all of your thoughts and opinions-I appreciate it. Very interesting and all very valid.

March 10, 2010
6:55 am
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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I do not send my child to any religious institution, that would scare me, instead I teach her to depend on upon herself and her wisdom and her gut feeling, that is what helped me in life, myself and my mind and my will...its funny cause I used to pray but always felt as if I were praying to a wall, when I stopped doing that, I felt a release, almost a spiritual thing if you will, a freedom of feeling shamed and trapped and as if I were nothing...

it is interesting, I do like to read bout religion, but it does scare me alot at the same time, keeps people at war, makes enemies and such...

March 10, 2010
7:41 am
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gettnthere
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Yes I agree it is a very personal choice...

March 10, 2010
10:27 pm
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andii
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What I like most about the "religious" schools is the teaching of self discipline, self respect, and respect of and for authority. Thanks to trial lawyers and sue-happy people, our public schools cannot seem to teach this adequately.

I'm not sure the adam and eve scenario, or many of the stories in the old testament really matter. What seems to matter is how we live our life, not where we came from or the laws which ancient cultures adhered to.

The religious schools seem to teach a good way of life. Turning to prayer and God in times of strife is surely a much healthier alternative to drugs, alcohol, over eating,etc. I think my main concern would be the indoctrination of a gung-ho bible thumper. They drive me nuts and turn people away from God though one could never tell them that. They won't listen. It must be peaceful to actually live the life that Jesus meant for us to live.

andii

March 11, 2010
8:14 am
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gettnthere
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Well Jesus was a radical and amazingly contemporary. It's just the church run by people we have to be wary of in my opinion. I totally agree about bible thumpers. But at the same time, western civilization is based on the laws of the old testament ie 10 commandments. But yeah, I agree I like the idea of prayer in a free flowing way. My daughter is actually focussing on thought, almost existentially, when she prays. But then she has moments of deep personal insight. These are very short, she is very young, and they are as public or as private as she wants them to be. There is no pressure from our side, more over we are interested and she teaches us something she is learning. What I like is that she is being deliberately encouraged to consider beyond the literal. But that's just me/us and so far we are happy with that. More than. I just think that approached thoughtfully, Christianity or any religion can encourage philosophical thought which I do not think is ever a bad thing. Again though, that's just me and what seems to be working at the moment for us...

March 11, 2010
7:52 pm
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I see a vast difference between "religious education" and "religious indoctrination". It is the latter that I abhor.

Taking a young child's mind and forcefeeding it one and only one set of religious beliefs in a totally biassed way without any encouragement to challenge or critically think about the rationality of such beliefs is criminal, in my opinion. This is religious endoctrination.

Religious education on the other hand involves the study of all the world's religions great and small in an unbiassed and a constructively critical way. Such studies should, IMHO, involve the division into two major categories of all religions into theistic and non-theistic belief systems. The theistic religions could then be subdivided into the two categories of those who preach the existence of a personal God and those who preach the existence of a non-personal, all pervasive, totally integrated God. At the end of such a formal study of religion, a school graduate is then in a much better position to choose what to believe and what to discard.

All of life involves a journey through birth, growth and then decay unto death. On the way hopefully we seek and find our own authentic self. Religious education ought to foster that journey not hinder it as does religious indoctrination - IMHO.

As an example, this video illustrates this by discussing the doctrine of the Virgin Birth of Jesus.

The question that I am raising is: 'Do denominational schools present biassed or unbiassed, balanced religious education to our children?'

From a religious stand point, do we want to bias our children towards believing as we do? If so why? Do we believe that we possess absolute truth in our respective religious scriptures? If so then we might be a part of the 'problem' rather than part of the 'solution'.

In this regard I think that this video is worth watching.

March 11, 2010
8:32 pm
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truthBtold
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All I know is that if I could turn back the hands of time as a child, I would have surely appreciated the expereince or being exposed to all sorts of different religious/spiritual belief systems and then given the freedom/option upon myself to come to my own conclusions - concentrating NOT on where all of these different religious views differed....but - more importantly what they all had in common.

Same goes, I suspect in just the simple teachings in school.

Alwyas concentrating on what is different - even in pre-school and kindergarten.

Apples? Oranges? Pick just One!

Why? (I ask?)

Why pick just one over the other?

What's up with that all/nothing, either/or, black/white thinking anyway?

Isn't that just some kind of left-over antiquated thinking midset anyway? Either/Or, Black/white, - All/Nothing - PLEEZE! Give me a break already.

Folks, especially the younger ones growing up nowadays are much more intelligent and sophisticated than all of that now - you know?

(I think that they pretty much see through right it, to tell ya the truth and to be quite honest.)

As if somehow or in someway - ONE is better than the other?????

Are they not BOTH fruits?

Apples? Oranges?

See.......that's my thinking......

Pretty sophisticated indeed nowadays.....these young minds today to be able to decipher, to ascertain, to claim in fact, these major differences and in doing so, also appreciate and recognize - the similarities just as easily.....with (hopefully) not a bias towards either.

That's wisdom in the making.....in my book! Hope for the future!

March 11, 2010
8:43 pm
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Apparently 'Chocolate Sauce' have produced a series of books for children called 'Now I Know' in eBook form that cost $1.99USD each.

These books, based upon the teachings of a 11th century Buddhist master, are aimed at helping children find "different methods for finding happiness for" themselves "and others".

Though I haven't read any of these children's books, I very much doubt that this series is promoting anything other than a better way to live than is presently being experienced by many of our species on this planet. I respect the word of Matthieu Ricard, a world recognised scientist, who says this about the 'Now I Know' children's book series.

If anyone has read these 'Now I know' eBooks, I would appreciate their opinion of the worth of the series.

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