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To refuse the offer of a bible from local church for dd to commemorate starting school?

(260 Posts)

I have just received a round robin email from the school where dd has just started in reception. It says that as per the last few years the local church will be giving each child a bible to commemorate starting school, and to advise the office if for any reason you do not wish for your child to have one. I have replied saying no thanks as feel rather uncomfortable with this, but is this normal practice? I know that the school follows the standard guidelines for R.E. etc, but I am aware that the deputy head (who teaches one of the reception classes) is very active in the local church. She runs bible lessons after school one afternoon a week, and the church have an active presence at the school by doing the gardening in the flower beds and odd maintenance jobs. Am I reading too much into the bible thing or is it a tad pushy?

halloweeneyqueeney Mon 15-Oct-12 18:55:14

"It's not exactly hard for anyone who wanted one to buy one FFS"

very true, although I don't think many christians bought their own, they're usually given

The ones I had as a child were gifts, and our current one was given not bought

MaryZed Mon 15-Oct-12 19:00:31

But if you don't want one, just say "no, thankyou" [baffled]

MaryZed Mon 15-Oct-12 19:00:57

It's not like the kids are coming home with one and you are having to prise it out of their fingers and send it back lest they be polluted.

Tabliope Mon 15-Oct-12 19:01:46

I'm not religious and my DS is anti-religion but he still wanted a bible. It helps also with GCSE RE which he has to do and his free one meant I didn't need to fork out for one. Get it and stick it on the book shelf. I had one given to me in high school. It's such small print I can't imagine any small kid being interested in reading it. I might get round to reading bits of it.

ontheedgeofwhatever Mon 15-Oct-12 19:04:59

Don't turn it down. Its a lovely offer.

I have the Quaran and the bible on my shelves and they were both given to me. The bible by a church when I was leaving primary school and the Quaran much more recently by people from our local mosque. I have occasionally looked at both and quite like having them.

mymatemax Mon 15-Oct-12 19:07:11

unless you have particularly strong religious beliefs then I would happily accept, after all its not your gift, it is for your daughter. She can always get rid of it later if she doesnt want it.

Viviennemary Mon 15-Oct-12 19:07:58

If it's not a church school I think you were within your rights to decline. But I don't think it will exactly do any harm.

S'up to you really, isn't it. Take it or leave it. No need to get annoyed or stressed over it, it's just a free book that you had the option to decline.

seeker Mon 15-Oct-12 19:11:43

But doesn't everyone have a bible anyway? [baffled emoticon]

noblegiraffe Mon 15-Oct-12 19:13:33

It's not really suitable for 5 year olds is it?

aufaniae Mon 15-Oct-12 19:26:09

No seeker I don't. Why on earth would you expect me to have a copy of a bible? I'm a third generation Atheist, it's not something we just have knocking about.

Do you have a copy of the Koran? The Bhagavad Gita? The Dasam Granth?

No? Why not?

aufaniae Mon 15-Oct-12 19:29:47

"it's just a free book that you had the option to decline."

Has no one ever heard of marketing?!

All those freebie products that companies hand out, they do that our of the kindness of their hearts just because they think you would like some stuff do they?

Or are they handing out promotional gifts?

A free bible is a promotional gift if ever I heard of one! And it wasn't offered to the parents, but to the children.

I would get really annoyed at this tbh. It looks like the Deputy is using the school as a recruiting ground for her church, and the Head is letting this happen.

Mrsjay Mon 15-Oct-12 19:32:26

I can hardly see a bunch of 5 year old marching off to church on their own every sunday confused

Yes seeker I have a bible at home in fact I have a few <lapsed christian>

aufaniae Mon 15-Oct-12 19:34:11

You don't need to go to church to believe though do you? It's about what's in your head, especially as a child who has no say over whether they go to church or not.

aufaniae Mon 15-Oct-12 19:36:41

The only person my age I know socially, who I think is likely to have a bible at home is SIL, as she's an RE teacher.

(An atheist RE teacher, that is.)

seeker Mon 15-Oct-12 19:39:45

"Do you have a copy of the Koran? The Bhagavad Gita? The Dasam Granth?"

The first two, yes of course. The third, no, but I should. I also have Shakespeare, the Concise Oxford Dictionary, Brewer, an atlas and a wide selection of classic novels in English. And a lot of poetry.

The Church has offered this to the children through the school. The school are asking if you want it. It is hardly indoctrination.
I am an atheist, my husband is a Christian. Whatever the children decide for themselves in the future (at the moment they are both VERY keen on God) it's important that they have a decent cultural understanding of religious festivals nd practices. Therefore we have a Bible and a Qu'ran on the shelf and we look things up if we want to. They also have books of myths and legends. I wonder what it is you fear will happen if they read Christian stories...?

ScarahStratton Mon 15-Oct-12 19:42:09

I still have my bible that I was given when I started school. Having said that, I agree entirely with Grimma that a dictionary would be a far more suitable book.

I wouldn't take it, it's pretty much proselytizing. Everyone claiming it 'isn't an evil book' probably hasn't actually read it either, it's a disgusting book full of murder, child abuse, racism, rape, genocide, incest, unscientific and immoral nonsense.

Mrsjay Mon 15-Oct-12 19:42:56

I don't think it is rare for R E teachers to be athiest after all the are teaching about all religion and moral issues, DD got the R E prize this year she doesn't believe in god,

noblegiraffe Mon 15-Oct-12 19:43:58

So your 5 year old gets her brand new Bible. You sit down excitedly to read it together. What story would you pick to read first? Noah the drunk? Jezebel getting eaten by dogs? Lot having sex with his daughters? I mean, there are so many to choose from.

As for weather children have a say whether they go to Church or not, I sat happily through a Harvest service yesterday, next to my believer husband who hasn't attended for years, because the CHILDREN wanted to do it. It seems like there are many people here who are deciding for their children, assuming that children don't have a spiritual side until they are in their teens...

Whether not weather (blaming iPad)

Freaky, and so is Shakespeare...

Mrsjay Mon 15-Oct-12 19:46:14

History is full of murder poverty plague rape we don't ban history books do we

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