Should raising a child without a religion be cause for concern?


For me the answer is a simple no. But for many it seems we cannot let go of our church-going roots in 2013 Ireland. When there are now so many diverse nationalities, why do we feel so obliged to keep to a belief system that has wronged so many children of this country’s past? Choosing to raise your child without religion can cause a stir a from a person who has not been inside a church in years, to cast a stone of deep concern. It’s baffling to me.

I am not against anyone’s beliefs, but I am against the catholic church in Ireland having any influence on our children’s education system. They, in my opinion, do not contribute to a child’s ever growing mind. There are children in this country who, because they have not been christened, will find it hard to get into a school. A fact.

My husband and I have chosen not to christen our son, Leon, because even though I was born a catholic, that is where it stops for me. So what does that mean for the way my son will live his life? Well, it won’t mean anything at all! He will not lose out. He will not be excluded from anything, he will not be judged, he will not go to hell.

This is why I am fully behind Ireland’s ‘Educate Together’ schools. These schools are a non-judgemental breath of fresh air in 2013 Ireland and I am so excited to be aiming to send my son there when he is of age. I would never judge any of his future friends, or friend’s parents for having a religion. So all I want in return is for nobody to judge him, because he does not have one at all.

9 thoughts on “Religion

  1. Una Murphy

    I checked and the board of management consists of staff representatives, community representatives & parent representatives. There are no priests on the board of management of my daughter’s Educate Together school. And I would assume that it’s the same in the other ET schools.

  2. Jenny McGrathJenny McGrath Post author

    I am not religious. I will not raise my son to believe in a religion. If he chooses to do so when he is old enough to make decisions based on his own beliefs then that will be ok with me. I do not believe in any faith. This does not mean that I judge those who do. I think your responses have been slightly irrational, and very defensive. I can disagree with what religion can too often stand for without judging the people who follow the faith, something you seems to keep missing in your responses. Travelling, meeting different people from many a culturally diverse background from around the world, community, spreading your wings can and are all done without religion day after day year after year…. you’re not making any point there by saying your religious background (which I never once stated was backward, you did) has let you do all of that.

  3. davc

    Siobhan,your obviously easily offended by other peoples views but not by religious wars, jihads, crusades,wide spread paedophilia, inquisitions, censoring of free speech, brainwashing of children, murdering of albinos, forcing girls into underage marriages, female genital mutilation, stoning, pederasty, homophobia, and rejection of science and reason.This is what religion has brought the world and its time this evil it was stopped.
    As for your point of community,you don’t need religion for community but empathy.
    Ps I don’t mind if I offend you because all the above offends me

  4. Jenny McGrathJenny McGrath Post author

    You can do all of that without religion. You believe in your beliefs, but many parents don’t and still feel they should send their children to catholic schools. You’re obviously not obliged if it is what you genuinley believe. And the catholic church in its heinous past, has wronged many a child, and mothers, even families. The article also states how I do not judge anyone for their beliefs, but that does not mean I do not believe the church,as an organisation has many many flaws still in todays society.

  5. siobhan

    Again, you say “no one should judge anyone”, yet you cleary state in your previous thread, quote “we feel obliged to keep a belielf system that has wronged so many children of the past”??? I dont feel obliged. Im an intelligent, hard working, strong minded wonan, who is delighted i chose my same school for my daughters upbringing, like millions of parents. I have however learned one thing from my so called religious backward upbringing, and thats to spread my wings, travel the world and meet people for who they are, there beliefs and gods, there background and similarities. And i have done so, and i learned so much on my travels. And im still learning. That small mindedness is ignorance.

  6. Jenny McGrathJenny McGrath Post author

    Whether there is or is not a priest on the education board of an educate together school, the point is,religion is not taught there, and many diverse religious back grounds will / do attend there. I do not think you should not write what you feel because you are afraid to offend, that is what makes a discussion; agreeing, or disagreeing with a statement. If you read the piece, it is saying no one should judge anyone, whether they have any belief system, even if that belief system is to not believe in any god, and not to judge anyone either way. I myself, am happy to exclude any teachings from the church towards my son. Yet, as the article states, it will never mean anyhting or be any issue, if any of his friends or friends parents have beliefs in any religion, in return I hope my my son is not judged for not having one. I also strongly believe, myself, that religion should not be taught in any school. And further more, regarding people feeling they can not let go of their religious roots, how about all the people who baptise their children but do not believe or even support the faith themselves? Is that not conforming because it is what society has you to believe you must do? This clearly does not apply to people who believe in the faith they choose to raise their children by. I do not believe in the teachings of religion, so theefore I will not raise my son by it. I am not afraid of the word God, but I am very happy to live a life without any God in it.

  7. davc

    Unfortunately expecting a child to make a decision on religion when very young is impossible,so therefore if they do not understand the philosophy it is indoctrination and brainwashing which can be hard to get rid of and make a unbiased decision when they are old enough.Religion should be kept out of all schools.If parents really feel the need to brainwash their child then send them to a Sunday school but they should be allowed to develop and make their own decision.Why are the churches so afraid of not getting them indoctrinated young?Because an undoctrinated young person will be able to make a decision based on evidence instead of indoctrination and superstition and the churches will be empty and the churches obscene wealth and power will disappear.Love and nuture your childrens minds.Make them question everything.Let them make their own decisions when they are old enough to understand the questions.

  8. siobhan

    Why would you write it if you didnt judge or want to offend?
    Can you also explain then, why there is a priest on the board of commitee of all “educate together” schools? And also, I find it hard to accept your argument that parents are afraid to “let go of a belief system that has wronged so many children in the past”. I have come from a comunity of very good folk, who have become my friends and very much part of who i am. The one word your missing from your thread is Comunity, and the importance of it. This is one of the first decissions most “modern parents” have on choosing schools for their children, not weather they “go to hell” or not… I happen to come from a great couple of schools, which i have sent my daughter to, because it instills the importance of growing up in a community, getting to know her neighbours and making friendships, and learning right from wrong, morals and a good start to life. If the word Lord God scares you so much, then perhaps you should shelter your children on an island in the middle of the ocean, because, my friend, this world has a lot of Gods, and they teach us whats important in life, even if they are not what we believe to be real..So, yes, you have offended me and im sure a lot of like minded parents up and down this country, but i am sure, your child will be thought how, not to judge others, just like you have, in his new school. All the best to you. Siobhán Campion

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