Building up to a rant for a while now... partly brought on by this rather unpleasant comment to a post of mine. (Someone has issues...)
It was a conversation I had about my children growing up. What they might become and that I will be proud of what they will achieve. Also if they happen to follow a faith, it would be their choice.
But it was the comment (well intentioned) of 'that's good' about referring to faith that has been bugging me.
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it a christian DUTY to raise your kids as christians? Certainly all the marriages and baptisms I've been to have STRONGLY suggested it.
So it's OK for christians to educate/impose/indoctrinate beliefs but when an atheist puts forward their opinions...
I was lucky enough to have been brought up in UK which is mostly agnostic or apathetic towards religion. And I was not influenced by my parents to what I should believe. I became an agnostic while in a church primary school and an atheist by the time I was in my teens. I came to my own decision after a lot of introspection. In my twenties I considered some form of spirituality but after observing and talking to a range of people I realised that you don't have to have a 'faith' to be good.
I don't think I can bring myself to go as far as Richard Dawkins and claim that religious upbringing is a form of 'child abuse'. Parents have a right to bring up children by their moral standards and I have no right to criticise. I think I am doing my best; they honestly think they are doing theirs.
However. I will teach my children to think critically. I will encourage them to question why. I would expect them to find out things for themselves and think seriously about why someone else might want you to believe what they believe.
I will encourage them to give people a chance. To try not to judge others on first impressions. Always try to end an argument; never to start one. Bare in mind the consequences of your actions. And try to do what you feel is right.
It's a big task. And I suspect I will make many mistakes. What I will NOT do is bring up children on the morality of a flawed 'holy' book full of contradictions, mythology and patronising devotion to a personification of ancient mankind's ignorance. My children deserve better than that.
Rant over. ;-)