Should a child be allowed to choose its path/ form of God?

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  1. cloudy_cool profile image73
    cloudy_coolposted 10 years ago

    Should a child be allowed to choose its path/ form of God?

    A child is not born with the idea of God in its mind, parents teach them to love/ not love God. Is it fair to let the child choose for him/herself what spiritual path he/ should take instead of being forced by the parent's religion/ society? Afterall, all Gods from across all religions are good and lead to the same spiritual path, right?

  2. ChristinS profile image38
    ChristinSposted 10 years ago

    I believe very much in free thought.  I teach my children what I believe with the addition of "as you grow and change you may form different ideas and that's fine" - the only thing I demand from my children is to be good people and to use their minds.

    1. cloudy_cool profile image73
      cloudy_coolposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Very well said! We adults always want to live in a democratic society free of restrictions, then why force our own child to follow the religious rules passed down by our ancesters?

  3. lone77star profile image78
    lone77starposted 10 years ago

    I was born believing in God. And yet I questioned the teachings of my Southern Baptist minister grandfather.

    Yes, a child should have the freedom to choose and to explore. Any parent should teach with strength and demand obedience, but also allow free will.

    Humility is a good thing for everyone to cultivate, but we should remain free to find truth. So many Christians have differing views of scripture and they think theirs is right. Instead, I feel they should share their views, but keep looking as humble and hungry searchers of truth.

    1. d.william profile image80
      d.williamposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      No one is born with an innate belief in anything.  We are all blank computers awaiting programming.  That programming can be either beneficial or detrimental to their well being.

  4. d.william profile image80
    d.williamposted 10 years ago

    YES and NO.  A child does not have the capacity to reason and understand the concepts of God before the age of reasoning sets in.  Brainwashing children before this time in their developmental process is brainwashing pure and simple.  And in many experts' opinions is child abuse. 
    Ideally a child should be taught the concepts of right and wrong, instead of bombarding them with threats of eternal hellfire, guilt, and fear of an unknown entity.  When a child grows to maturity they should have the right to choose which religion (if any), which doctrine, which conceptual affiliation they feel is right for themselves as individuals.  Taking that right away from anyone is certainly not freedom of thought, freedom of choice,  instilling a sense of rationality, reasoning, abstract thinking, or logic deduction.  It is cheating them of being able to actually think for themselves.

    1. Agantum profile image61
      Agantumposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Without brainwashing and Santa and the Bunny, many others have no excuse to be together for Christmas and Easter. Learning to reason helps in understanding ideas. Some people hold onto ideas because it is comforting, not because it is reasonable.

  5. ii3rittles profile image82
    ii3rittlesposted 10 years ago

    If you truly love God, you will teach your child about Him and what Jesus did for us all. If they reject the idea at an older age, all the parent can do is pray for them.

    I grew up praying to God on my own. I was raised in a Catholic home. I did the whole shibang, PSR, communion and I decided it wasn't for me around age 12 and told my mom I was done. I told it didn't feel right and she let me make my decision. I found my own path as I got older.

    1. Brandon Tart profile image59
      Brandon Tartposted 10 years agoin reply to this


    2. ii3rittles profile image82
      ii3rittlesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      my own path as in what i believe in - i.e. God, Jesus' teachings, he dies for our sins, the holy bible.

  6. peeples profile image90
    peeplesposted 10 years ago

    Yes they should. To force a belief on a child while telling them that your way is the only right way is ignorant and teaches them to be ignorant to other's views as well. I have 3 children. 2 are old enough to somewhat understand religion. They own both a bible and a book of mormon. They have a rosary each. They are taught about other religions also. These items are just the only ones I have been able to come across so far for them. All this and I'm an Atheist. I tried to hide it from them but they figured it out and I was honest with them. I explained that everyone has different beliefs and no one can prove which is right or best. I find it more important to teach them morals and values. They should be able to decide their own belief. As long as they become good moral people when they grow up I will be happy with whoever they become.

    1. cloudy_cool profile image73
      cloudy_coolposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I am in the exact same situation as yourself! I've often wondered if my being unreligious in front of my growing kids is ok... Your words gave me some confidence. I wud not let my non-beliefs interrupt my children's... Thanks for your answer! smile

  7. Brandon Tart profile image59
    Brandon Tartposted 10 years ago

    This question is a misunderstanding of what love of they neighbor is...  When Christ was asked, "what is the first and greatest commandment?"

    He said,

    "Love the lord thy God with all thy heart, mind and body."

    "You have answered correct good teacher,"  said the scribes and the pharisees.

    "And the second is like unto the first:  thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self."

    Christ made loving one's neighbor equal to loving God... but if one loves God, HE/SHE DOES EVERYTHING IN HIS/HER POWER TO PERFECT THEIR WALK IN LIFE. 

    Love of man is love of God, and if one says they love God and hates his or her fellow man... then they are a liar and the truth is not in them..

    Quote Matthew on that, and saint John.... I am not stating that from my own mind.... that is what the Bible says and that is truth. 

    There is a time for hate, and that is from Ecclesiastes.

    Each of us hates tolerance, discrimination, murder, rape, theft, etc etc.

    Fill in the blanks. 

    Yes... "teach you children who God is, and when they are older, they will not depart from it..."    exact quote.  "train you children in the ways of the Lord, and when they are older, they will not depart from it."

    That, too, is from the Bible.  Proverbs.

  8. Radical Rog profile image74
    Radical Rogposted 10 years ago

    Belief is internal and should not be imposed by someone else, even on a child.

  9. newcalendar profile image57
    newcalendarposted 10 years ago

    I think it's fair to raise them in your religion, it's just unfair when they're forced. My mother violently beat me on two occasions, firstly for not wanting to get Holy Communion and also for getting Confirmed in the Catholic Church. It's fair to raise them into that when they're very young, but if a child doesn't want to that should be respected too.

    1. cloudy_cool profile image73
      cloudy_coolposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I agree! Forcing a child into following your religion does not make him/ her a believer like the parent. And by accepting it without wanting to, the child is simply submitting to fear & will develop dislike for what it forcefully taught!

  10. Darrell Roberts profile image73
    Darrell Robertsposted 10 years ago

    In the begning children should be guided by the parents.  Once the child becomes an adult it is their decision if they want to continue on the path that their parents followed.  I do not thnk that all the spiritual paths lead to the same place so I still would advise that a person do research before following any particular path.

    Best wishes

    1. cloudy_cool profile image73
      cloudy_coolposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Very nice practical advice about researching the new path first.
      Thanks for joining the discussion!

  11. jlpark profile image73
    jlparkposted 10 years ago

    I believe as long as the child is taught right from wrong, allowing it to choose its path of religion or non religion is perfect.
    I was raised without religion - not so much atheist but more agnostic. My parents had been raised differently - one Anglican, one in the same way I was raised. Neither has ever stood in the way of myself or my siblings researching religion and support both those of us who have found a religious path and those of us that haven't in the same way.

    As long as a child is loved, and given good role models to follow - it matters not which deity they worship - it matters only that they are human

    I will be allowing my children to choose their own way, once they are old enough to understand. Until then , right from wrong and to harm none is the only doctrine.

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I never understand why people vote down very meaningful comments and I totally agree with your stance.  The rules of HP are to only vote down if it doesn't contribute to the conversation - not if you disagree.  Oh well, I'll say it - Good Answer! big_smile

  12. algarveview profile image78
    algarveviewposted 10 years ago

    I think the answer is yes, although as children I don't think that they will make that choice - it is probably too soon, but I believe that later on they can make their choice. I know I did and I'm glad I did... I don't think that sort of thing can be forced, it comes from within, depends on your perception of the world, of others... and each person should make a choice, the fact it is different from the choice of others means very little... All religions or the choice of no religion should always be respected, after all isn't that what religion (any) is all about? Respect, Love, Tolerance?

  13. Denmarkguy profile image88
    Denmarkguyposted 10 years ago

    I grew up in a home where I was encouraged to form my own opinions about things spiritual/religious. My uncle Erik was a Lutheran minister and he took me to his church and told me about God and "faith" but never told me what I "had to" or "couldn't" believe or think. My parents were always open to explaining "God" to me in a global sort of sense, but never pressured me to follow "their" way.

    Growing up in Denmark, most of my objective information came from grades three through seven, where we had a class (everybody took) simply called "Religion." We studied every possible belief system (from fundamental Christianity to Voodoo) from a simply informational angle. These classes laid the groundwork for me to read the Bible (old and new Testaments), the Quran, the Upanishads, the Book of Mormon and many esoteric writings (The Urantia Book, texts on Nonduality) and eventually form my own (not always popular!) perception of God.

    Based on my own experience, I believe children are best off forming their own opinions... however, with gentle support and explanations from their parents.


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