Advanced search think that religion wouldn’t be so prevalent if parents and schools didn’t indoctrinate children?

(93 Posts)
WhatALoadOfOldBollocks Mon 11-Jul-16 16:41:20

Just that really. I was brought up in a religiously neutral environment (at home at least), which allowed me to make my own mind up, yet so often children are raised according to the beliefs of their parents, which is fair enough if the teachings are taught as theories rather than facts. I have often wondered how many people, if raised in religiously neutral environments, would choose faith over science for want of a better phrase. My theory is that more would reject than adopt faith if not indoctrinated from an early age, but that's just my musings.

CaoNiMa Mon 11-Jul-16 16:43:34


MrTumbleForPM Mon 11-Jul-16 16:44:11

My first biscuit

PotteringAlong Mon 11-Jul-16 16:44:18

Schools don't indoctrinate children.

ReallyTired Mon 11-Jul-16 16:47:44

My husband and is sister were brought up as atheists and now both of them have become Christians.

There is no such thing as a religiously neutral environment. As parents all we can do is to bring up our children to be tolerant and respect those who have different beliefs to them.

branofthemist Mon 11-Jul-16 16:48:40

Surely you could say that about any subject. Parents can not be neutral about everything.

I was brought up in a very strict catholic family and was also encouraged to decide for myself. It was made clear that the adults had all chosen to carry on attending church Into adulthood. But I was free to choose myself. I went to a catholic school as it wa a the best in the area. School was the same. No forcing or indoctrination.

After studying theology at a-level (a catholic sixth form) I decided Catholicism wasn't for me. Despite my education and upbringing I still made the decision for myself.

My family accept it and I accept their religion. No problems caused.

Thelyingbitchandthewardrobe Mon 11-Jul-16 16:49:14

It's none of your business how families raise their children. Your way is not the best way.

Glad you're happy with your choices. Let other people be happy with theirs. Don't try indoctrinating me!

corythatwas Mon 11-Jul-16 16:49:49

I was raised in an agnostic household where it was not considered good form to discuss religion (or politics or anything else that people might get excited about). Became a Christian around the age of 7. Can't remember anyone ever trying to persuade me.

I'm quite keen on science though. Dinosaurs and stuff. Most Christians are not anti-science. Some of the greatest scientists have been deeply religious. Just saying.

scaryteacher Mon 11-Jul-16 16:50:11

I was raised in the CofE, and am confirmed. I did a BA in Theology and Philosophy,and am agnostic verging on the atheist, much to my Mum's disgust. I retrained to teach RE when I was 35. The very best RE teachers are atheist/agnostic because we see it as an academic discipline, as opposed to belief. That said, one of the best I ever worked with was a Wiccan.

lucysnowe Mon 11-Jul-16 16:50:19


PurpleDaisies Mon 11-Jul-16 16:55:59

I have often wondered how many people, if raised in religiously neutral environments, would choose faith over science for want of a better phrase.

Bad news for you-scientists can be have a faith too. It isn't simply one verses the other.

If the parents hobestly believe something to be true, why would they not tell their children about it? Especially if it has a big impact on the way they live their lives. As long as the children are free to make their own choices and encouraged to investigate different faiths (and none) what's the harm?

pearlylum Mon 11-Jul-16 16:58:38

Schools do indoctrinate children, they tried to indoctrinate mine, I had a lot of unpicking to do at home.

SouperSal Mon 11-Jul-16 17:00:03

Schools don't indoctrinate children

Should be no problem stripping religious instruction from the daily routine then.

Dozer Mon 11-Jul-16 17:00:44

Schools absolutely do indoctrinate: prayers, teaching christianity as fact and so on.

Dozer Mon 11-Jul-16 17:01:41

In some areas church attendance is also hugely boosted by school admissions IMO.

corythatwas Mon 11-Jul-16 17:03:54

Some do, some don't, Dozer. While assembly is compulsory, it does not have to incorporate prayer or any other religious act and doesn't in all schools; RE should be taught as facts about what people believe and this is how it is taught in many schools.

SouperSal Mon 11-Jul-16 17:04:41

Depends where you are in the UK, cory

carefreeeee Mon 11-Jul-16 17:05:38

Virtually no-one converts to religion as an adult. Most religious adherents had parents of the same religion. Right or wrong it's a fact.

It's a lot more common to go the other way and become atheist/agnostic after a religious upbringing.

I think it would be difficult to truly bring up a child 'neutrally' if you had a very strong belief in anything - be that politics, football or religion

Plenty of non-religious people have no idea about science though, and vice versa as others have said!

corythatwas Mon 11-Jul-16 17:05:47

Agree with church attendance, Dozer, but what you have there is not indoctrination but people trying to gain advantages for their children by pretending to be something they are not. So hardly helpless victims. I don't approve of it, and I don't approve of church schools, but I'd hardly blame the vicar if a bunch of aspiring MC parents suddenly come over very religious.

Miaculpa Mon 11-Jul-16 17:08:09

of course schools indoctrinate children. So long as there is a requirement for a daily/weekly act of christian worship and RE is allowed to be taught as facts, schools will continue to indoctrinate children.

Take my 6 year old for instance. Her y1 teacher happens to be the schools RE lead and a committed christian. Bully for her i say but I cannot say to my 6 year old "this is your teacher. She is going to teach lots of very important things. Her word is 100% solid gold truth so listen and learn...except the bit about god and jesus and stuff, that is just something she believes in". My 6 year old, while very clever is not emotionally and intellectually sophisticated enough to differentiate between the hard facts her teacher gives her and her religious beliefs which she is allowed to teach to my child as though it was history.

Which is why last Easter we were treated to a reenactment of the crucifixion in our lounge room, staring my 6 year old and her slightly unwilling 4 year old sister as zombie jesus.

Parents can raise their children any which way they like so long it is not abusive but schools needs to be completely secular.

I am australian and in Oz all state schools are secular. We still had a Christmas play ever year but it wasn't about Jesus, it was about Santa, or Rudolph etc or a Christmas Carol. We had Easter celebrations too but they were Easter bonnet parades and egg hunts (which is amusing in oz as Easter is in the middle of autumn) not a lesson is crucifixion and zombies.

manicinsomniac Mon 11-Jul-16 17:09:00

But if you honestly believe in your faith/religion, how can you not encourage our children to learn about it and accept it for themselves?

I don't know much about other religions but it would be unthinkable for a Christian to not at least fervently hope their child becomes a Christian - otherwise they're saying that they don't accept or believe the tenets of their own religion regarding faith in Jesus bringing eternal life in Heaven.

lulucappuccino Mon 11-Jul-16 17:11:25

Of course church schools indoctrinate children. It's absolutely horrible.

SouperSal Mon 11-Jul-16 17:12:44

Not just church schools.

SouperSal Mon 11-Jul-16 17:14:50

My DD (5.5) was Noah's wife in a recent school show. i made sure the religious story was suitably countered with parts from Eddie Izzard's stand up skit about it. Her teacher was unamused (but also unsurprised).

TopazRocks Mon 11-Jul-16 17:15:13

I'm not sure you are right. It's quite a simplistic argument you are suggesting. I was brought up in what might be describes as 'religiously neutral' but, really, Dad was more anti-religion than neutral; Mum was more 'neutral' on religion, but there was very little neutrality on anything in that house! DH and I are both non-religious. I try very hard to have a live and let live atmosphere, and we have several religious friends and relatives. DH - brought up devoutly Catholic - verges to the anti-side of things.

We have produced 4 atheists. But ehy are very easy going atheists - my 'live and let live' has rubbed off, i hope. School did their best to turn them into a bunch of 'small minded Prods' (Scotland) despite the schools being non-denominational. BTW I use 'small-minded' deliberately - there were several incidents where teachers and preachers did not demonstrate an open mind. At one Easter assembly (high school) the visiting meenister even mentioned that 'the Jews' (that must be all of them, folks) were to blame for Christ's death. I'd call that all sorts of things - but definitely a form of indoctrination.

There are, BTW, a fair few high profile scientists who are also religious.

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