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Do you let GPs give your kids any religious education?

(17 Posts)
1978andallthat Thu 27-Dec-12 23:13:13

I am Jewish and dp is Christian. Both in a major holidays only way. So dh does church at Easter and Christmas and we go with him, and occasionally goes to events at a church where his friend is a vicar.

I mark major Jewish holidays and dh joins in with these too.

Dd is only 2 but hopefully being raised with an understanding of both (and hopefully a belief in neither!). I certainly think that to understand western literature, art, music and culture and to do well in pub quizzes she needs to know bible stories etc.

Anyway my parents make a good pretence of being ok with everything. Eg I know they'd rather dd never went to church but they know we did on Xmas morning before going to their house.

My mum has now suggested they take dd to some child friendly synagogue services.

I don't want them to. Mostly because I think they want to do it to counteract dams
Christianity but it doesn't need counteracting - it is much a part of her heritage as Judaism is. But also because i think they are almost making the two religions competitive. I don't want our mixed faith relationship to be a source of stress or something to have to make a choice about. I want dd to get her understanding of it from everyday experiences got through what we do as a matter of everyday life bit because GPs think she needs to be educated about it.

Plus she adores GPs and will do anything to please them and I just think it's all too emotional.

Not sure what I'm looking for here. Thoughts? Similar experiences? General reassurance...

Dd is only 2 btw. And will go to a non faith school in due course.

ripsishere Thu 27-Dec-12 23:19:07

I never come into this area, and saw your posting in active convo's.
For us it is slightly different. DH is RC, I am atheist. My DD has done all the catholic things she should - church, baptism, first communion, confirmation etc. She goes to teh church every week with DH.
she is now 11.6 and rejecting religion. DH is not pleased, but understands that she has her own mind and must be allowed to choose.
Your situation sounds a lot different to ours though.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Thu 27-Dec-12 23:26:01

My parents are not allowed to discuss religion with my child. Or with me.

It's a bad plan. My dad especially.

jessjessjess Thu 27-Dec-12 23:30:57

I would actually be ok with this (am a not really practising Jew married to a Christian) as Judaism is HARD to pick up later and I think it would be nice to expose them to it. It seems a shame to take them to church and not synagogue.

Whatever the reason, I personally would relax as I think the more they get to experience the better really. Surely you are making a choice for her by taking her to church but not synagogue? Especially as Judaism doesn't contradict Christianity so much as being the thing that came before it (both have the Old Testament).

I personally would have far more issue with my kids going to church and not synagogue than to both.

LynetteScavo Thu 27-Dec-12 23:32:32

I think if she's going to church services, then she should have some experience of synagogue services.

jessjessjess Thu 27-Dec-12 23:33:26

And I keep saying "I personally" as it is personal.

All I know is I have not met anyone Jewish who resents having been able to learn about it and experience it. What are you so worried about?

Iwillorderthefood Thu 27-Dec-12 23:37:59

I am Christian and DH is Hindu. We have always allowed our children to have an understanding of both religions and always with the understanding that different people believe in different things, but that many people believe in God. It is just that they practice (sorry cannot remember which practice it is) their beliefs in different ways.

We have a pooja stand in our house, and my children go to church if they want to. My parents can talk about religion if they want, and my DH has bought DD1 a bible because she wanted one. It is up to us to give them the tools to make up their own minds about what they believe, or if they even believe at all. DH's parents can also talk to the DDs about religion too. Works so far.

1978andallthat Thu 27-Dec-12 23:42:51

Good question. It's not that I din't want her to go to synagogue. It's that I don't want my parents doing it because I think they would be doing it in a competitive way and a this is right/that is wrong way. I want dd to learn about judaism as we go - eg from family dinners at home and festivals celebrated with friends and perhaps some services when she's older.

Also I can take her and explain things and will do in due course and don't necessarily want them to be the ones to do it.

jessjessjess Thu 27-Dec-12 23:59:38

In that case I would politely decline, OP.

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Fri 28-Dec-12 00:03:48

I guess it is a choice going to church instead of synagogue, maybe take her yourself to synagogue for major festivals too, and politely decline GP offer. Do the GP go regularly? FIL is always asking dd1 (or 2 now) about when they last went to church, how sad he is that they aren't at the failing RC school etc etc. Each time we tell them and him that it's not his place to coment. We take care of religious education so we can moderate what they are being told. Although dd1 will be taking 1st communion classes I also inform them of a more protestant perspecitive too. My parents are strangely less insistent, although they are fairly fundemental, and dh and I agreed to start them in the Catholic Church as it is easier to go towards being protestant than vice versa. I would say maybe balance out the trips yourself so there is no need for the GP involvement that way you have more control.

ViperInTheManger Fri 28-Dec-12 00:07:35

I wonder if 2 is rather young for this? Maybe the solution is, as suggested above, to take her to some synagogue services yourself just as you all go to church.

I think you are wise to keep it from being a competitive issue

1978andallthat Fri 28-Dec-12 00:11:56

I think you are right. There is a liberal jewish community near us which is very welcoming to mixed relationships and gay people etc and maybe I'll take her to some of their things.

Startail Fri 28-Dec-12 00:28:55

Yes definitely take her yourself, if you have access to that sort if Jewish community.

My BF is jewish and her synagogue was quite happy to do a naming service for her DS (her DH is not Jewish) and to make a rag bag of Christian and atheist friends very welcome.

mariammama Fri 28-Dec-12 10:39:49

If the competitive grandchild thing gets out of control, could you send the four grandparents all together to synagogue and church on alternate weeks [evil grin emoticon].

More seriously, even as a practising and sometimes OTT Catholic, I have an irrational (but strong) gut feeling that raising Jewish children Christian-lite or you-choose-later is somehow very 'wrong'. There is a long and proud tradition of Jewish atheists and agnostics who spent half their childhoods in synagogue so rejecting the flying spaghetti monster shouldn't preclude them making up their own minds wink.

1978andallthat Fri 28-Dec-12 11:18:24

Thing is I feel of I take her I am
almost being forced into it because it becomes I have to do it or they will. I just don't want to do it yet. Too early. Am happy just doing things like Chanukah candles and storybooks eg we have Christmas books and Jewish holiday ones.

Pil only nominally Christian. Eg got married in church and had dh christened but not been in a church since. Don't imagine they even know chistmas about Jesus. Dh went to church as a teenager off his own bat as he lived in sleepy town with nothing else to do and that was where the youth club was.

So I think it's more my parents being competitive with dh than anything. Actually dh is amazing - has totally embraced Jewish food and culture and shows a massive interest. Would be happy if I wanted a boy circumcised etc

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Fri 28-Dec-12 14:37:49

Our friends go to a liberal synagogue and the dc go out for most of it with the parents. We don't actually tell FIL when we go - because it's not his business and our religious life is nothing to do with him. <we actually go most weeks but don't tell him> if we let him know then he just keeps on pushing it - are you in a house group, what was your sermon about today etc. It's not his job to check up on us. Just take her twice a year and tell GP that she goes equally to both with you.

mariammama Sat 29-Dec-12 00:19:42

You could get a friendly rabbi to tell them that preschoolers primarily need to learn their religion within a Jewish home, so s/he's advised you to concentrate on that first (PS: best check first, ammery presuming all major religions are the same on this argument grin The RC version is my reasoning for not inflicting 60+ minutes of loudly screaming toddler on the congregation every Sunday morning)

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