Would You Let Your Child Pick His/Her Own Religion

I am referring to underage children living in your home.

Supposing you are say a Baptist and your son wants to go to the Catholic church. Or supposing you’re an agnostic and your son wants to be a Methodist. Or you’re Jewish and your daughter wants to be a Morman. Well you get the idea.

So would you insist your child worship in the faith you are? Or would you let him/her to freely exercise their individual choice. Again I’m referring to underage children under 18.

[li]You can’t control what faith your children have. You can make them attend Catholic mass with you but that doesn’t make them Catholic.[/li][li]Children overwhelmingly fall into the faith of their parents as a result of indoctrination. Many become disillusioned and become atheist or non-practicing, but few ever jump from, say, Catholic to Methodist, without a reason (marriage, for example).[/li][li]Being an atheist, if for whatever reason my underage child decided that he wanted to attend a church function with a friend (or whatever), I’d let him. [/li][li]Mormon.[/li][/ol]

My parents let me, as a non-confirmed, barely practicing Catholic, to attend rare services and functions organized by other denominations (all still Christian). They even let me read other denominations’ work (Jehova Witness’s books, for example). At the end, that did nothing to change my religion, and I ended up seeing more similarities than differences.

My mom was raised both Presbyterian and Catholic (mixed marriage), so she had no problem with it. My cousins (her nephews and niece) were raised in a very mixed environment. The oldest I have no idea what he is, the second one became Presbyterian, the youngest became Adventist. They were all able to attend the church of their liking before they turned 18.

When/If I have children they are free to make up their own minds. But that won’t stop me from trying to give them the best advice that I can.

I put my foot down at Taliban or southern baptist.

There is no option for “choice is good, but no weird cults are extremist views”.

The Taliban isn’t a religion. I’ll assume you mean Islam.

I’m sure dukette71 meant Taliban-style fundamentalist Islam, not just Islam in general. I wouldn’t mind if my kid converted to Islam or any other religion as long as it wasn’t extremist or violent or an obvious cult. I would prefer, however, that my child practice Judaism. But I have no say in that, I guess.

I’ll take your word for it.

I raised my children to be atheists. If they ever asked (which they never did) they could go to any religious service they wanted.

Yeah, this is how I feel as well. If I thought my hypothetical kids were getting involved in a cult, especially a dangerous one, I would intervene. Also, if they start trying to convert me or witness in my home, that will stop immediately.

Yes, this is what I meant (and no, I don’t know anything about religion). I was thinking about that kid from Marin who was found training with the Taliban army. Can you imagine being his parent?

Looks like I’m the lone vote for “No, He/She Should Worship In The Faith I Brought Him Up IN” so far.

I chose this option because I believe the faith I practice to be true (or at least the most true among religions – I have no illusions that my church is perfect). I believe that I would be doing my child (hypothetical but hoped-for at this point) a disservice were I to communicate to him or her that it was just one among many, or even several, that were all equally true.

Of course, when that child is no longer a child, all bets are off, and that child may come to a decision that he or she doesn not believe that faith to be true. This would not affect my relationship with my child – an adult is of course free to make religious decisions. I would only hope that I’d raised my child so that he or she had a well-developed conscience and an equally well-developed intellect.

I don’t have a religion but I’m interested in Buddhism BECAUSE my daughter talked about it when she was interested. Now she just identifies with being atheist with no interest and that’s okay with me. I probably drove her nuts back when I was younger, as I was obsessed with religion and finding a god I could believe in. I won’t do that to her little sister.

My parents were both agnostic. They grew up in small southern towns and both went to college to escape that lifestyle. They never went to church. My friend (Roman Catholic) and I starting going to Roman Catholic Mass during summer vacation. Prior to being able to drive, that was one of the few places I could go to that was in walking distance. The neighborhood was bounded by a very busy street which I wouldn’t want to cross as an adult now.

It wasn’t a big deal to my parents. I think they knew that a Catholic Mass in a large suburb is a bit different than a Baptist church in a small town.

I would set my foot down at any cults. I’m sure I’d check out the webpage of any place they wanted to attend if I wasn’t familiar with it.

There was no choice for “we attend church as a family, no arguments, but when it is time to be confirmed (eighth grade) they can make their decision after going through confirmation class (where, by the way, they attend services of many different faiths) and I reserve the right to be disappointed in their choice while allowing them the freedom to choose.” So I didn’t vote.

For the record, one child got confirmed, one refused at the last minute, and both consider themselves non-believers at this time. I’m cool with it, and I still attend church every week.

As long as they made their decision from a place of knowledge and choice, and not just a desire to sleep in on Sunday mornings.

I was raised by a sort-of Buddhist who was raised Catholic, a lapsed Protestant of some sort (I think, we never really discussed it), an agnostic who was raised either as nothing or some sort of lapsed Protestant variation (I think, we’ve never really discussed it), and an agnostic who was raised Catholic.

Surprisingly, the concept of religion, and the history of various sects, was actually something I discussed often and in detail during my childhood, at least with my father (the first on the list). We often discussed philosophy and spirituality. And we did the standard American proto-Christian holidays - Christmas, candy for the kids on Easter, etc. But otherwise it was never part of my life. I still tend to forget that people might need to go to church on a certain day, or that Easter might be a big deal to them, or that they might not eat a certain food (fortunately, I don’t do many dinner parties). It just never occurs to me.

We would have been allowed to come to any religious convictions we might have wanted to, and my parents wouldn’t have interfered in any way. I ended up as a monotheist of my own set of beliefs, my brother is a Buddhist, one stepsister went Catholic, and I don’t think that the other stepsister ended up anything at all (but I’ve never thought to ask her). I intend to raise my children the same way.

It would be really difficult for me as a Hindu atheist if my child suddenly picked either Christianity/Catholicism or Islam. Why? Because they are both arguably monotheistic religions and so vastly different from anything I am comfortable with. Judaism would not be as much as a problem to me, I admit, merely because most likely I think he/she would be converting for marriage and Jews seem much more private about their beliefs; at least the Jews I have known.

Of course if the kid wanted to follow some Eastern religion I’d be way more accepting, even if it wasn’t Hinduism. Shinto? Buddhism? Have at it, kid.

Yes, this shows prejudice in my mind but I really do have a problem with many of the Islamic and Christian tenets.

However, I would indeed let them choose whatever they wanted. As long as they don’t cut me out of their life for being an atheist I won’t cut them out of my life for being _____.

Yet another one of the myriad reasons I have chosen not to have kids.

I voted yes, because quite frankly, you really couldn’t prevent them in the long run. You could force your kids to attend your own services, prevent them from going to the church/worship services of their choice (or none at all, etc), but it’s not going to change their own beliefs. You believe what you believe – and no matter how many times a person is dragged to church, it’s not going to change what’s in his or her heart.

But yeah, I think I’d be royally pissed if my kid decided to become a Scientologist.

Don’t worry, you wouldn’t hear about it. He/she would just disappear one day. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m basically agnostic from a Jewish background. My wife was raised Catholic. Our daughter first was interested in Quakerism in college, then switched to the Methodists. I’m not sure what religion she considers herself, though she does attend Methodist church on Sunday.