I am an atheist and know that one day this is going to be an extremely difficult topic for me to cover with my children. I would never want to be accused of forcing my religious views on anyone especially my own children. I am 100% behind allowing free choice but I am certainly going to be one of the most influential and determining factors behind what eventually will become a very personal choice for my siblings. My parents never forced any religious principals on my sister or me. My parents are both moderately active in their local church community and enrolled us both into some bible classes in our younger most influential years of development. My sister by no means is considered a devout Christian but; she does believe in the basic teachings of Christianity, christened her new baby and sports a cross around her neck. Me on the other hand (even in these younger years) never took any of their religious teachings more serious than some very amusing yet, far fetched, cool and interesting stories about the culture I was apart of.
Bible school was a optional part of my development unlike mandatory having to take a Science/Biology class almost every schoolday from grades 6-12 then, even more intensely in college were it’s anything but optional. I weighed what I learned in each of the two teaching disciplines and chose the one that just seemed to make much more to me and then choose to further pursue my education into the one that I agreed with more and interested me most.
I however see a problem with this system. As for the time spent learning each alternative believe it has to have worked out to something like an 85%-15%b split. I am “almost” all for the doctrine of “The Separation of Church and State” but I see some flaws in this litigation. Where as (I assume) most of a family’s cultural and religious beliefs are mainly thought in the home. Where are my children going to be exposed to the teachings of “organized religion” if not by their parents, mostly I? As a young kid growing up and not quite grasping the idea that religious teaching in the school system were banned. Because I was mainly introduced to the theories and ideas of Darwinian Evolution on a daily basis this left me wondering why none of my teachers touched on any other religious contradictions. I figured that the teachers and their teachings must be correct or why would they be teaching these views without any counter points of view. being made!
Similarity, my children are not going to have quite as many alternative ways of interpreting these teachings as being anything but the truth when no one at home is really qualified enough to explain religious teachings. As hard as I am going to try to keep their minds open to process all available information on this topic. There is going to be an unbalanced amount of info (in their school system) to counter by beliefs and it seems they will only be bolstering my interpretations. That’s not really fair is it?
Now I’m gonna pull a 180 on one of my previous comments. My previous statement about agreeing with the “Separation of Church and State” I believe that there should also be some type of mandatory classes based on the Theory’s of Theology just as there is on Evolution. Unlike most other Atheists that fight to keep these teachings out of “Public Schools” it is painfully obvious (to me at least) that they need to show that there are two sides to every coin! My recommendation doesn’t seem to favor either side of the coin but needs to show that there are in fact two sides. Something that is presently not happening. If this way of teaching is not changed, I find it extremely difficult to believe that my son will have an even shot at acquiring his own free will in this very important, personal matter if most of the information he gathers on the subject comes from Biology Books.
Does any one know of any studies that have been done trying to determine the frequency of Atheist’s offspring becoming anything other than Atheist/or Agnostic themselves?
That would be a very interesting and telling study that would need to be looked at from a different light.
Sorry for the extremely long post but some points are harder to breakdown than others.
Please fell free to respond with any relevant info to this dilemma including the alternative points of “Evolution” being taught in Public School’s inplace of “Theology”!
Sorry for any typos, I Had limited time to fully edit!