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To not let DD attend religious class?

(40 Posts)
Natsku Sun 13-Mar-16 14:58:30

DD5 told me today that she wants to go to the religious class at daycare that the other children go to. Its not like R.E. where they just get taught about religion, its the local priest coming in and teaching it like Sunday school at a church and we're not Christian so I'm not keen on her being taught it as if its fact but on the other hand she feels like she is missing out and hates being made to join one of the other classes when her class is having 'Holy Class'

So would it be U to continue opting her out or should I just let her go so she can be with her friends and not feel left out?

WorraLiberty Sun 13-Mar-16 15:01:10

You've forgotten to tell us how old she is.

WorraLiberty Sun 13-Mar-16 15:01:54

Unless DD5 means she's aged 5 and not that she's your fifth daughter?

<< Confuddled >>

Mistigri Sun 13-Mar-16 15:02:12

I would let her do what she wants.

My kids went to a catholic primary - I'm an atheist, they're not baptised. I gave them entirely free choice whether to attend catechism class: my DD wanted to (and at one point even considered getting baptised), my DS didn't. They're now teenagers and DD in particular is a fervent atheist - so much for brainwashing ;)

msrisotto Sun 13-Mar-16 15:02:19

I am atheist but think YABU. It's really important to learn about religion, it won't indoctrinate her. Even better if she learns about lots of different religions. I grew up in a christian school with christian parents etc etc and I never really believed.

ChalkHearts Sun 13-Mar-16 15:03:12

Not easy.

Part of me wants to say let her go. Because she wants to and it won't hurt.

But the other part of me knows I wouldn't want my DC taught Christianity, because we're not Christian and I want my DC to appreciate that.

So, I'm not sure smile

theycallmemellojello Sun 13-Mar-16 15:04:51

I think if she wants to go, that's your answer I'm afraid. FWIW I think that if Sunday school/RE class typ-indoctrination worked then church attendance would be a hell of a lot higher in this country! For years, all RE lessons were as you describe - but it clearly hasn't rubbed off on the general population.

ChalkHearts Sun 13-Mar-16 15:05:42

In fact I am sure. If you replace Christianity with any other religion the answer (for me) would be no.

So therefore the answer (for me) would also be no for Christianity.

Religion taught as RE (world religions) is very different to religious class by a priest.

MrsJayy Sun 13-Mar-16 15:07:04

Let her go If she is keen to learn as long as you say you do not believe in God

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 13-Mar-16 15:10:46

I'd let her go.

Not because I'm religious but because I think home influence will have a far greater impact i.e you can tell her Noah and the Ark is just story.

I went to a state school but for the whole 7 years of primary I said prayers every single day in assembly. A priest used to visit regularly and hold the assemblies. At high school once a week, but by the time I was 12 I quite simply did not believe. Don't recall ever believing, in honesty.

I liked the Old Testament stories though.

notamummy10 Sun 13-Mar-16 15:17:15

I'd let her attend the class, I mean what harm can it do?

That1950sMum Sun 13-Mar-16 15:24:56

Let her go. She's just listening to stories. She'll feel like she's missing out otherwise. My DD loved religious assemblies at school when she was little bug it didn't turn her Christian! I'm glad she knows the stories because they are part of our culture and general knowledge, but I'm also glad that at age 10 she doesn't believe any of it.

Sirzy Sun 13-Mar-16 15:28:36

Her faith doesn't have to be the same as yours. Let her gom she will make her own decisions in time.

Natsku Sun 13-Mar-16 15:31:49

I definitely want her to learn about religions but in the plural sense, instead of being taught just Lutheranism. Once she's in school she'll go to Ethics class instead of the Lutheran class and world religions are covered in a different class. But in daycare there isn't any other option except for miss out and there's still another year and a half of daycare before she starts school.

Unless DD5 means she's aged 5 and not that she's your fifth daughter?

Yeah she's 5, sorry about the confusion, still not really sure how these mumsnet abbreviations are supposed to work

PurpleDaisies Sun 13-Mar-16 15:32:59

I'd let her go. She probably is more interested in being with her friends than the actual religious aspect of it. You can reinforce that you don't believe it's true at home, but at some point she'll make up her own mind on what she believes anyway.

If it helps, plenty of people get exposed to religious teaching as children and go on to decide it is nonsense. smile

Floggingmolly Sun 13-Mar-16 15:37:10

Why do other people's opinions matter? If you really don't want her to go, just don't let her go. If you need validation for that choice rather than having the courage of your convictions, I'd have to wonder why you're giving it headspace in the first place.

ollieplimsoles Sun 13-Mar-16 15:37:35

Personally, I wouldn't be happy with her being taught that what is in the bible is factual.

I would want to teach her about religion in a 'some people believe' style.

Natsku Sun 13-Mar-16 15:42:06

Why do other people's opinions matter? If you really don't want her to go, just don't let her go. If you need validation for that choice rather than having the courage of your convictions, I'd have to wonder why you're giving it headspace in the first place

Because I'm not sure, I'm going back and forth in my mind whether to let her or not so thought some opinions could help steer my mind to a decision.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Sun 13-Mar-16 15:45:16

Natsku I assume you're not in the UK - that system is similar to the one in (our part of) Germany, except that it wouldn't even occur to a Bavarian (theoretically state not religiously affiliated) Kindergarten to offer the "miss out" option.

My nearly 5 year old has mainly picked up from Kindergarten that "One of the Gods is dead because he wanted to be king and the other king killed him, but in a really mean way with nails not with a sword in a fair fight, which wasn't... fair" shock

But seriously, DC3 is my 3rd kid going through this system, we reinforce at home that some people believe X and some Y and some Z and some just don't know but like the stories... Mummy and Daddy think its all just stories like Hansel and Gretel and Snow White, but some of the stories are quite good ones, and some are scary and some are sad, and some we can learn something from - that doesn't mean they really happened...

Going from my own background (religious parents actively involved in their church, being told not to question what I didn't understand whenever I wanted to - question... religious schools with shed loads of compulsory worship and religion taught as truth:

I'd say that a thoroughly religious schooling is a damn good way to raise a good atheist, as long as you live in a relatively free society grin

So I'd let her go.

Also the stories and cultural references are useful groundwork if she is to have any hope of understanding literature and history.

Natsku Sun 13-Mar-16 15:51:55

Schwab I'm in Finland, State Lutheran religion so all the daycares and schools have Lutheran lessons or Orthodox in Eastern parts.

I had a very religion upbringing too, dad was a Baptist minister (in the UK) and I feel quite resentful for some of that, though not all.

Cultural references is a very good point though, I wouldn't want her to not be able to understand so much of literature where it references the Bible, or films like The Life of Brian. I thought I'd maybe teach her Bible stories myself but not sure if I'd really want to do that. She just believes everything she's told though - I let her go to the Christmas service after she begged and she came back telling me that she wants to be Mary and give birth to Jesus and was a tad obsessed for a while. But maybe if I reinforce my own non-beliefs at home it wouldn't be so bad.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Sun 13-Mar-16 15:53:58

As an aside, once at school they don't really learn the Judeo-Christian stories if you select the "Ethik" option here, which means you have to catch them up on those at home for the sake of their cultural capital, which sits a little uncomfortably as an atheist...

I really wish there was a book that presented those stories in the same way as, say, the Usbourne book of fairy tales, well told and illustrated but without the evangelistic overtones and perhaps intermixed with creation myths and stories of "the gods" from other religions, but I have never been able to find anything quite right...

On the other hand Ethik does actually teach ethical behaviour and empathy and about other religions and cultures, which the kids in the Catholic or Evangelical classes seem to miss out in order to fit in preparation for First Communion and very straight religion classes.

originalmavis Sun 13-Mar-16 15:54:31

If she doesn't go she will pine for what she thinks she is missing.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Sun 13-Mar-16 16:03:08

Natsku my DC2 is very literal about things and had a big crisis at age 6 (yes I know, maybe that will make people roll their eyes, but he did) because he loved his Kindergarten teacher, and he loved me, and we were telling him different things. He (unlike DC1 who grasped it effortlessly) could not hold in his head the idea that two people with utterly opposite beliefs could both not be lying, and could get on. For a while he believed what he heard at Kindergarten and said he couldn't love me and have me as his Mummy if I didn't believe in Jesus shock

I just had to keep saying the old "I love you and I'm afraid you're stuck with me as your mummy, Sabina believes that what she says is true but there is no way to find out what is really true in this case, its just what she thinks. I think it isn't true. You can think whatever you like and I will still be your mummy and Sabina will still be your teacher. You can change your mind every day if you like."

He came through the other side but it was a difficult couple of weeks and a bit young for an existential crisis shock grin

Now he's a fervent 8 year old atheist and still has to be reminded sometimes that everyone is allowed to believe what they like, but he's getting there - I think its been good for him in the long run to get his head around the rather mature concept that people can believe diametrically opposed things without either being all out evil liars, or absolutely definitively, provably "wrong".

Natsku Sun 13-Mar-16 16:12:43

That's the kind of situation I'd worry about happening with DD Schwab or, if my efforts to teach her my own non-beliefs work, that'd she tell the other children that its not true and upset their parents. Plus I really thought there would be other children opted out so she wouldn't stand out but she is the only one in the whole class.

Very glad she's going to go to Ethics class in school, sounds similar to how it is in Germany, they actually get taught about ethical behaviour and how to make your own decisions and thinking about others and being respectful of others and all that. Quite excited about having dinner table debates with her when she's older!

betsyderek Sun 13-Mar-16 17:16:49

I loved school in the 70a (born 73) and 80s. Hymns and prayers gave me a chance to relax and clear my mind from some scary things at home. The thought of a nice kind God cheered me immensely. I didn't really believe it but liked the cosiness of the routine.

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