Religion & child’s development

Does religion play a positive role in a child’s development?  An atheist answers the question, positively!

The culture clash is not over being a Protestant in a Catholic church, but over being an atheist. The attack comes from my fellow unbelievers (atheists), as if I have made human sacrifices of my children. How can you let them be indoctrinated? How can you send them to the church of Pell and Ratzinger? Do you want them infantilised by the mumbo-jumbo of miracles? Isn’t this (to heed the call of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens), the time for us atheists to take a stand?

To which I reply: us atheists, yes. But children are too young to be atheists, or for that matter believers. It is as an atheist that I wanted them to have religious education. It is as an atheist that I agree with Robert Forsyth, the Anglican Bishop of South Sydney, who says ethics classes should not be substitutes for scripture. It is as an atheist that I support a religious education, and here are the reasons. {only the headings follow}

  • There is no such thing as no decision. 
  • So they know what those buildings are.
  • The stories are their birthright. 
  •  So they will know what rules they are breaking.
  • So they may come home with unanswerable questions. 
  • Good works. 
  • Without it, they can never be tolerant, only indifferent. 
  • Religion is not synonymous with ethics.
  • Kids don’t get indoctrinated that easily.
  • Because I had to. 

Fascinating article (via the Dean), Altar Egos: Religion is fundamental to a child’s development.

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