Should children be given the chance to choose their own faith and religion?

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  1. jpcmc profile image89
    jpcmcposted 7 years ago

    Should children be given the chance to choose their own faith and religion?

    Many are born into their faith and often do not have a chance to explore other faith and religion.  Although some have changed their religious belief when they grow up, but this is a handful of people only.

  2. Link10103 profile image60
    Link10103posted 7 years ago


    I would have left it at that, but I didn't get past the minimum character limit.

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Lol, thank you for adding a few more characters to reach the minimum count.

  3. Tusitala Tom profile image66
    Tusitala Tomposted 7 years ago

    Optimally - and this is my own opinion, of course - morality and how to live  a full, interesting and 'contributive' life would come without any particular religious viewpoint, e.g. skip the dogma, "our is the right religion and all others wrong."   Parents would lead by example (as they do now, often to deleterious effect, unfortunately) by being tolerant, intelligent and loving human beings.   - but I did say optimally.

    The children would then eventually seek and find their own interpretations of what religious (it would probably be plural) beliefs they should take on board.

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for that answer Tom.  Even I as an adult still try to make sense of all the spiritual and religious stuff.

  4. profile image0
    David Bucknerposted 7 years ago

    I think that they should be allowed to, but in the end 99% of them would probably go with what they were raised up with. It's easy to believe what you've been taught your entire life.

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      There is truth in that David.  Most of us cling on to the values Ns teachings that we grew up with.

  5. Rich kelley profile image60
    Rich kelleyposted 7 years ago

    Raise them up the way they should go and when they get older they will not depart from it.
    If you believe in the bible the answer would be no, the parent is to do as stated above.
    If you believe in the more secular answers and directions out there then you will make your choice accordingly.

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      The Bible does say that parents must lead their families towards the Christian teachings.

  6. Aime F profile image72
    Aime Fposted 7 years ago

    Yes, for sure.

    I grew up with an atheist dad and an agnostic mom and basically everyone else in my family was Christian. My parents let me go to a Christian camp when I was young even though they weren't Christian themselves and they supported me when I identified as a Christian.  They also supported me when I left it behind.  They supported me when I went to Asia and explored Buddhism.  Basically, they have always supported me in these things and always will (though my dad has passed away).  I am very thankful for the openness and the ability to choose for myself.  It's been an enlightening journey and I hope my daughter experiences the same.

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      It must have been a wonderful experience to have a very open minded parents.  I do hope you have found what your spirit is looking for.  I am a Christian and have found comfort in the teachings found in the Bible.

  7. jlpark profile image80
    jlparkposted 7 years ago

    Of course.

    As a small child, parents will instill their own faith and values into their children, and if done well, should feel secure in their older child exploring other faiths etc.

    Most belief systems, and those who have lack of belief in a God or Gods, instill a sense of right and wrong in their followers, so the main message is carried between most schools of thought.

    I was raised to respect all faiths, in that I didn't need to believe to understand that others did, and that they felt better for it. I love to learn about different faiths, and in learning will question a lot - which some people find difficulT. We were also raised to explore, and if we found a faith that worked for us, as long as we understood that it's not for everyone - then my parents were happy we were happy - I have siblings who found faith and siblings who rejected it - we all get on well!

    My daughter will be raised the same way - she's not quite two, but we've already discussed what we will do in relation to Bible In Schools that is offered in NZ Public schools - if she's interested, she is more than welcome to attend, if she's not, she'll be opted out.
    (Also, we will explain very early on that no everyone agrees religiously with two women being together - she has two mums - so Bible class could be interesting for her without warning)

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Hello Jacqui, I am glad that you talk to your child about the Bible and spirituality.  My daughter is four and we allow her to explore topics on spirituality on her own.  But we do guide her so she will understand fully.

  8. tamarawilhite profile image87
    tamarawilhiteposted 7 years ago

    Parents have the right to raise their children with the culture, traditions, values and beliefs of the family.
    To say parents can't teach their children their faith becomes problematic, because atheists will teach their belief system - albeit non-religious - to their children.
    And parents of all stripes will teach their children their views on sex, money, and political systems. You can't say "you can't teach your kids about religion, let them choose" unless you're telling parents they can't teach any of their own values and beliefs to kids.
    And all adults have the right to change faiths (assuming you're not in a Muslim nation, where being atheist or converting to Christianity is a death sentence) and political ideologies if they want to.

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for your insights.  Values do help mold the young minds and character.  Parents must be active on this.

  9. peachpurple profile image82
    peachpurpleposted 7 years ago

    yes, I agree that children should be given the chance to choose their own faith at age 10 because they can understand better the difference of religion.
    Too bad, most parents decided on their kids religion right after birth

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Most 10 year old kids I know still can't decide what cartoon to watch.  But you are right that most parents decide what religion kids have to follow.

  10. B M Gunn profile image60
    B M Gunnposted 7 years ago

    Children should definitely be given that right. To teach them what to believe would be indoctrination, and I think that is wrong. My parents were sure to give me this decision. They never made me do any religion, and they let me grow on my own. As I child, I was really into Christianity because we lived in a really christian area and all the other kids at school were doing it. My parents never questioned it.

    Then as I got into my teens, I really began to enjoy science and took every opportunity and used every resource available to learn about it. As I delved into the scientific method, and also read more about religion, I realized that most organized religion is flawed, illogical, and often dangerous. I became a pantheist, and that quickly slipped into agnosticism. The transition to Atheism was painless.

    Later, I learned that my father was a fellow atheist all along. I had no idea! He was wise enough to allow me to find my own way in life. He liked that I found atheism without any pressure from him at all.

    1. Craig Suits profile image65
      Craig Suitsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      You had smart parents MBG Your lucky........

    2. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      You had such a journey finding your beliefs.  Your father being an atheist was kind enough to let you search your own path.

  11. Craig Suits profile image65
    Craig Suitsposted 7 years ago

    Absolutely....No child should be brainwashed into believing any religion especially when 100% of all religions are unsubstantiated, unproven, ancient, fairy tales, Let the kid grow up and become a religious nut case of his/her own choosing. Chances are, as parents, you would most likely make very bad religious teachers anyway.....

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Religious nut may seem too much but some are really overdoing it to a fault.  In the past people know the teachings by heart.  But now a days many believers hardly know what their faith us all about.  Thus many mislead instead of helping others.

  12. willrodgers profile image61
    willrodgersposted 7 years ago

    Ones relationship with God is personal and must be cultivated by each individual.  Following Biblical teachings as in Proverbs 22:6  a parent is to set his child on the right path, and in time the child will follow the original intent of God.

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Well said will rovers.  Unfortunately not everyone has this same faith in the Word of God.  As a Christian I do hope more will realize their role in bringing people closer to God.

  13. emge profile image79
    emgeposted 7 years ago

    How can you give any chance to a child to choose his own religion. Its something so silly. A child's understanding of such a topic is just not there. How can a child choose, when he is ignorant He needs guidance . Thus I think the entire basis of this discussion looks suspect

    1. Aime F profile image72
      Aime Fposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I chose a religion different from my parents' when I was only 8 or 9. As I grew up my beliefs changed again. I don't know that a child can pick a religion & understand it well enough to never question it, but I don't know that adults can either t

    2. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      The question was to learn more about how parents see their role as a spiritual guide for their children.  As you may have read in the comments some parents will allow them to choose while others will guide their children.

    3. manatita44 profile image75
      manatita44posted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, Madal. You're right. When it's a child (and that can go all the way to 12, 13 ...then it is all silly. Like trying to opt out of responsibility, which includes teaching loving values of course, like all scriptures.

    4. Aime F profile image72
      Aime Fposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Believe it or not you can teach good values without pushing religion on your children.

      1. gmwilliams profile image85
        gmwilliamsposted 3 years agoin reply to this


  14. Michaela Osiecki profile image68
    Michaela Osieckiposted 7 years ago

    I was raised in a rather agnostic household. My mother was technically Methodist and we would sometimes attend church services on holidays, but we were never forced to attend, especially if we didn't believe in it.

    I opted out pretty early in life, because Christianity just didn't seem right for me and so I did a lot of exploring and studying other belief systems before kind of settling into a personal practice that is best suited to me.

    During this journey, my mom was very supportive and allowed me time to explore and discuss different options.

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Michaela, it is sad to know that Christianity was not able to provide you with the spiritual direction.  Thank you for sharing your experience on the topic.  Will you do the same as your parents did regarding your choice of faith?

  15. profile image54
    peter565posted 7 years ago

    Like what my grandma always say, you can follow any religion you want, as long as it teaches good. But you can't force your children to follow a religion

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      She must be a sweet grandma.  My grandma was a devout Catholic and a real Christian.  She lived a life with God in her heart and was loved in our community.  She never pushed us into the church but she was a good example for us to follow.

  16. Happylovejoy profile image93
    Happylovejoyposted 7 years ago

    Yes, they are individuals with their own rights to choose which path to follow. I don't think it's wrong to introduce the religion you believe in to your child. But once they reach maturity, they should be able to decide for themselves. Anyway, forcing someone to do they don't believe in is not exactly going to work in the long run.

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      We all need interpret what is presented to us.  And sooner or later we begin to understand.

  17. ElvisaM profile image79
    ElvisaMposted 7 years ago

    Yes. Growing up in the X religion, my parents scared the crap out of me and my sisters, telling us that we would be severely punished if we ever questioned the X God or the writings in the Holy Book. That's probably why I am now an atheist.

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Scaring kids with the wrath of God will definitely leave a mark.  They should have gone with love or the promise of eternal love life or something else.  Sorry you had to go through that.

  18. WithMetta profile image61
    WithMettaposted 7 years ago

    Absolutely. Imposing or forcing religion on a person is a violation of that person's right to freedom of religion. A person must by default be free of religion in order to then freely choose a religion. That the person is a child in this case makes no difference. All children should be educated about religion and history, and it's fine to place particular emphasis on a child's own culture, but forcing the child to practice a particular religion, and calling them an adherent, is a violation.

    Adults must be held responsible for their beliefs, because beliefs are what we base our actions and choices upon. In order for this to be just, everyone must be as free as possible to decide their own beliefs.

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 3 years agoin reply to this


  19. MizBejabbers profile image88
    MizBejabbersposted 7 years ago

    I believe so. Forcing kids with threats of hell is the quickest way I know of to turn them into adult atheists. I'm glad to have grown up in a household with an atheist father and a Christian mother. (Funny, seems like I did a hub on that.) They grounded me in that I was taught the bible, but I was taught to question the bible and history that didn't agree with the bible. I raised my own children in the church in which I was baptized, but let them choose their paths when they got in their teens because they were already starting to rebel against man's religion. I later left the church because I couldn't reconcile its own contradictions, much less the scientific view my dad taught me. I later found a deep spiritual love outside man's religion, and my boys are doing a similar thing. It is working out for us.

    1. jpcmc profile image89
      jpcmcposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I have to read that hub.

    2. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 3 years agoin reply to this



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