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Dealing with the Religious aspect of school when you're a different Faith

(8 Posts)
GalaxyWeaver Thu 06-Oct-11 09:53:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pinkdelight Thu 06-Oct-11 10:13:25

I just go along and be respectful - bowing head in prayer etc - whilst not actively participating i.e. not actually praying. I didn't intend to even bow head to start with as it felt like pretending, but the first time I went there was a prayer for a deceased pupil and it felt wrong just to stand there. So I think it's better to make a small concession for appearances and use the time to contemplate in my own way.

I don't mind my DS getting the Christian take on things because that's what I got and it didn't stop me being able to make up my own mind. I haven't had him christened and it'll be up to him, if he chooses to believe, whether he gets christened or not when he's older. But for now I just look at the positives he's learning - general selfless, caring for others approach to life - and will deal with the difficult questions when he's at an age to debate them. Like you, I talk in terms of beliefs rather than absolutes.

MoaningMinnieWhingesAgain Thu 06-Oct-11 10:15:45

I am atheist. I went to a C of E primary where the church was across the road from the school. I haven't really discussed religion at home yet, as DD is only 4.6. But I will be taking the - some people believe in XYZ approach.

It's a tricky one though, as the DCs will be free to make up their own minds, I don't plan to tell her that some people believe XYZ but they are wrong because it's nonsense... I respect other peoples choices, I wish I could believe/have faith but it makes no sense at all to me smile

I have only been in churches as an adult for funerals/christenings. I feel very uncomfortable there. But I just hum along, sit quietly/don't pretend to pray or anything, and wait for it to be over. I would go to a harvest service if DD wanted me to, the principle of donating things to be shared in the community is fine, and I agree with many christian principles I suppose, I just don't believe in god.

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Thu 06-Oct-11 10:27:03

Galaxy, I'm pagan too and have had some issues with the way my dd is taught religion at school. My personal belief is that it shouldn't be taught at primary age, and at secondary should be taught equally without bias to a particular religion to allow the child to grow and formulate their own opinion of it all in their own time.
However! When dd was at Rainbows and Brownies, we did the church thing occasionally. Not as often as they would have liked but we went to the Easter, Harvest Festival and Christmas services. DD has a beautiful singing voice and loves to perform, so we went along to support her in this. I also love the opportunity to belt out a tune and singing about springtime, giving thanks to nature etc is all fine for me.
Sitting in church doesn't bother me, I respectfully have my views and I give others the same respect for theirs. DD is taught that everyone is entitled to their own pov and as long as you're not harming another then it's fine. I've explained that some people choose to believe in a single male oriented God, while others choose to respect Mother Nature and the Goddess too. In everything there is duality, and from my pov why should a deity be any different.

Careful, I could really get on my soapbox about this! Especially the day that the RE teacher told dd I wasn't a good person as she had explained that I don't believe in God, dd disagreed with her and got sent out of the room!

MoaningMinnieWhingesAgain Thu 06-Oct-11 12:06:49

Ah, squishy Brownies is something I have thought about - I would like DD to do something like Brownies but don't fancy the God element to it - promising to do your duty to the Queen and your God <splutter> I know the Woodcraft Folk are a secular alternative but none around here.

GalaxyWeaver Thu 06-Oct-11 12:11:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Thu 06-Oct-11 12:15:44

I'm an atheist, DD and DH are Catholics. DD goes to an RC school. Because DH is not here at the moment, it falls on me to take DD to church.
Everybody in the whole place knows I think it is a nonsense and during the service I just stand up and sit down when everybody else does.
I do live for the weekends when DH is back from Belgium and he can take her though.

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Thu 06-Oct-11 13:53:55

Galaxy, this is the benefit of being a school governor there and I used to go in and help with reading. She had to face me in the staffroom the next day wink. It's actually (the whole teaching of religion thing) the main reason I became a governor. I was so dissatisfied with it all that I decided to put my time and energy where my mouth is, and do something proactive about it all. I'm on the curriculum committee so actually get to have an (albeit small) influence, and have my opinion heard. We now have a slightly more rounded RE syllabus, and I think it's down to me to teach dd that the things she's taught at school are all just "opinions", and that she can have the time and space to make her own.
This is why I'm happy to take her into churches, cathedrals, mosque's, to meditation, drumming, chanting, etc. My friend and her family come over for us all to celebrate Hannukah together as she is jewish and the kids all think it's great. We have a Yule party every year which is a great reason to get together. DD was also born on Halloween / Samhain so we have a great party then too.

I wouldn't say that it's all nonsense. I think there are some Christian values that are very worthy to try and live your life by, others I disagree with wholeheartedly.

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