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A Church That Isn't Religious?


MaggieMae
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I'm totally getting ahead of myself as far as reality goes, but my boyfriend and I were having a discussion about future children. He grew up as a certified PK (preacher's kid) and as a result is completely apathetic towards religion. I don't know what he really believes, just that he hates talking about it, and couldn't care less to think about it. But when we were talking about kids, he said that he would want his children to attend church regularly until they were in high school to give them a "good foundation of morals." I was surprised that he, given how much he hates and avoids going to church, would be willing to go for his children for so many years.

 

At first, I was extremely opposed to this. I consider teaching children about christianity an extremely cruel form of brainwashing. They don't even have the capacity to understand such abstract concepts, let alone the ability to make informed decisions about them!! But then I got to thinking: what if having his children going to church is just as important to Zach as it is to me for them not to? Would there be a way to compromise about it?

 

I know it is a little silly to be worrying about this since we're still years away from the issue, but I like to be prepared! So, are there churches out there that don't have such dogmatic messages? Do any of them just talk about how to be decent, tolerant, and loving people? Are there churches that incorporate multiple religions, giving a more balanced idea of how those philosophies work? I don't even know where to start looking!

Help?

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Guest Nacirema

Just keep in mind, it is entirely possible (I would even say encouraged) to instill moral values into your children without church.

Especially when you consider the philosophical problems it could have for them in the future. If they are taught that God is the reason we have morals, then what does that make Mommy & Daddy who don't believe in God? Why are we being raised being taught one thing here and another at home?

 

Rather, it's better to instill morals at home, without any mystical baggage attached to their origins or applications.

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Just keep in mind, it is entirely possible (I would even say encouraged) to instill moral values into your children without church.

Especially when you consider the philosophical problems it could have for them in the future. If they are taught that God is the reason we have morals, then what does that make Mommy & Daddy who don't believe in God? Why are we being raised being taught one thing here and another at home?

 

Rather, it's better to instill morals at home, without any mystical baggage attached to their origins or applications.

 

 

Agreed! I actually pointed that out to him, but I guess he's just stuck on the idea since that's how he was raised. Well, I was raised that way too, but I am slightly more emphatic about my views than he is.

 

I looked into the Unitarian Universalist website, and found a posted sermon from the congregation nearest my house. They said straight out, as part of the sermon, that God can represent the traditional idea of God or a spiritual force, or even our human capacity for good. That sort of presentation would make it much more simple to explain that 'god' is an idea, and that all morals truly come from within ourselves. Thanks for the recommendation, Phanta! I never knew a church could be that openly...open-minded! ^_^

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Depends on which branch (you know the big brew-haha that led to a split) the Episcopal Church runs a close second the the UU here in this town. Granted, you hear more God-talk, but it is far far removed from anything like the Fundamgelicals.

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Depends on which branch (you know the big brew-haha that led to a split) the Episcopal Church runs a close second the the UU here in this town. Granted, you hear more God-talk, but it is far far removed from anything like the Fundamgelicals.

 

Which is why they'll be extinct in 50 years. The mainline churches are dying fast, and have been since the 50s. If you worship a non-judgmental all-loving God, then it eventually dawns on you that he won't give a shit if you sleep in, stay home and watch the game, keep your money, and get your kicks from crystals and Buddha.

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Um... Yeah. One of many reasons I don't go anymore. It was eventually a door out.

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As someone mentioned, there is the UU, and Swedenborgian churches are also very inclusive and make it a point to incorporate teachings from all religions.

 

Though personally, if you want your kid to learn morals, Christianity is pretty bad for that. They are confusing as all get out and as you said, WAY too abstract. It's unnecessary to subject yourself if you don't like churches or Christianity to put yourselves thought for the sake of your kids. They can pick morals and stuff up anywhere. Why not pick Buddhism? Much easier to understand. Though you don't even have to do that. I was raised an agnostic/athiest/non-religious household and I'm not slaughtering babies or animals for kicks. Kids learn how to have compassion and how to view things primarily from their parents...not churches. So if you want your kid to lead a moral life, then live that way yourself and teach it to them. They'll get the idea a lot faster and in the way you want them to instead of having to undo brainwashing and confusion from Christianity.

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