View Poll Results: Should we raise Sophie "religiously"
Yes. 23 21.30%
No. 76 70.37%
Anana!! I anananana! (Sophie speak for "I love Bananas") 9 8.33%
Voters: 108. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old September 1, 2003, 01:38   #31
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Don't forget that I'm interested in your parents as well - were they believers, did they stop going to church the second their youngest kid left the house, were they apathetic/hostile to religion, etc?

In my home, the religion instruction essentially went like this:

1. Went to church every time I spent a Sunday with my maternal grandparents. About 7 times a year for a 7year period.
2. Christmas, Easter, and for about a 3 month period Dad was on some church committee when I then had my First Communion. We switched churches, but their hearts weren't in it and we pretty much just stopped going other than Christmas, Easter, and then not every one of those.
3. I went through a period about a year ago where I started going to church again, more as a response to the Sophie question as anything else. Laura was more resistant, though spiritual matters concern her far more than I and I haven't gone in a few months.

My mother was raised Catholic and was more devout than my father, who changed religions to marry her (a man who changes religions for a woman has greater concerns in his life than pleasing God), though it wouldn't surprise me that my mother's devoutness was a partial result of the need to put on a act for the neighbors and business associates whom themselves are going to church to see who's there and who isn't.

When she died (1968, I was 1 year old), my father remarried and the new wife (also named Betty) was Catholic as well. They separated and divorced in 1976/77, but the church attendence had plummeted to zero by then because of my unfortunate accident referenced above. Once my grandparents came to visit and we all blissfully went off to the 10:30 Mass, serenely unaware that the church had been closed for 4 months. My father gamely said (and this is a by-God direct quote) "This wasn't in last weeks bulletin!"

My grandparents laughed about that for years. Laughed and raged, for they considered religious education important.
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Old September 1, 2003, 01:43   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by Asher
But religion is a waste of time and only serves as building some kind of crutch and escapehatch to use instead of being a man and finding your own morals and beliefs.
But that's a belief and not a demonstrable fact. Plenty of people who are wise in the ways of science are lazy crutch-draggers themselves.
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Old September 1, 2003, 01:44   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by Asher
Not to mention the pedophile priests, the money laundering ministers, and the *****y choir women.
Which has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Drop it.
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Old September 1, 2003, 01:46   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shi Huangdi
JohnT: Yes. I am not familiar with being a parent, but as a Catholic, it is definitely your duty to raise her spiritually as well as a physically and mentally, it is your duty to bring her up in the faith. When she is older she will be in a better position to choose to continue in her faith or not, but while chidren are young they need to be instructed on religion. If you feel inequipped to ever discuss any matters, check what religious education services they have at your parish, and consider enrolling her in CCD.

Of course, Apolyton is a forum that is largely athiest and can be rather hostile to religion. It isn't the best place to go for advice on matters religious, it is far better to discuss your concerns with a priest.
Thanks, Shi.

Odin, if you don't understand how Shi's response was germaine to this thread and yours wasn't, you're nowhere near as smart you want us to think you are. You and Asher can start your own Catholic Bigotry thread if you want. Please, by all means.
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Old September 1, 2003, 01:49   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by Odin


I think my bullsh!t detector just went off. Go back in to your little bigoted wonderland, you papist.
Since you're not normally this kind of a dumbass, I'll actually break with (my) tradition and give you a warning. Any more snide or bigoted comments like this, and you'll be gone for a week.

And I don't want to be bothered with any PM's that it was a joke, or whatever - you got warned, not banned, so simply keep quiet and follow orders.
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Old September 1, 2003, 01:52   #36
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My parents were semi-religious. We read a few prayers a day and I read the Quran (in Arabic) but my brother didn't. So they were raising us in the faith, but not too strictly AT ALL. So me and my bro (I think) both grew up to be fairly non-religious.

All I can say is that it is your decision to make in the end, and our opinions don't matter worth a damn . I'd lean towards no, myself, and hopefully a future wife will agree .
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Old September 1, 2003, 01:53   #37
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Originally posted by Sn00py
Also, for Evolution, we would of course accept that there is change amongst life, and that although Evolution is still in a Theory-Fact transition at this present time, we believed that Evolution is fact. quite easily, but not ruling out the fact that we could be wrong.
Evolution is in no such state, it is both a theory and a fact. The fact of evolution, which has been proven conclusively, is that all living beings evolve. This is scientifically indisputable. It is a "theory" in the scientific sense, which doesn't mean a "guess" or "hypothesis." It is a "theory" in the same sense that gravity is a "theory." A scientific theory is simply a way of explaining observed phenomena, not making a "guess."
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Old September 1, 2003, 01:56   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shi Huangdi
JohnT: Yes. I am not familiar with being a parent, but as a Catholic, it is definitely your duty to raise her spiritually as well as a physically and mentally, it is your duty to bring her up in the faith. When she is older she will be in a better position to choose to continue in her faith or not, but while chidren are young they need to be instructed on religion. If you feel inequipped to ever discuss any matters, check what religious education services they have at your parish, and consider enrolling her in CCD.
How is this his duty? It's his duty to give his kid the best means for making her own decision about her beliefs. Shoving Catholicism, or any other ideology, down her throat isn't giving her the tools to make a critical decision later on, it's just preparing to potentially be a drone for some religious sect.

Leave her be, and then let her choose her own path later on. If neither JohnT nor his wife are religious, it's simply unconscionable to foist a religious upbringing on their child. If anything, it will end up making her more hostile towards relgion, as she will see her parents as hypocrites who didn't practice what they preached.
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Old September 1, 2003, 01:59   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shi Huangdi
Of course, Apolyton is a forum that is largely athiest and can be rather hostile to religion.
Quote:
Originally posted by Odin
Go back in to your little bigoted wonderland, you papist.
Thanks for proving Shi's point, Odin.
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Old September 1, 2003, 02:02   #40
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Shoving Catholicism, or any other ideology, down her throat isn't giving her the tools to make a critical decision later on, it's just preparing to potentially be a drone for some religious sect.
Well, do note that I think that it is silly to ask a religious person not to instruct their child in their own religion.

It's not that Laura and I don't think it can't be done (raising a moral child in a non-religious household), I've just never had the need to actually think about the subject before, and am interested in how others were raised in such an environment. We had a long talk today about this and thought a couple of threads would be a good idea - the other thread is here, if anybody is interested. Our big problem is that in growing up in the US SE, we've never really seen it done on a large, noticable scale - it seems that everybody goes to church down here (even though I know that's not the case) and that we were both raised with the idea that religion is important, even if you miss church.

But we don't really think that way any more.
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Old September 1, 2003, 02:04   #41
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"How is this his duty? "

Simple. It is his duty according to the teachings and traditions of the church JohnT believes in.
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Old September 1, 2003, 02:06   #42
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If you are looking more places to start threads where you will likely get more of a Catholic angle, check out the forums at www.catholic.org . They run towards the conservative side, but they are all very smart and for the most part nice people.
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Old September 1, 2003, 02:07   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shi Huangdi
"How is this his duty? "

Simple. It is his duty according to the teachings and traditions of the church JohnT believes in.
Apparently, you didn't read:

Quote:
Originally posted by JohnT
We aren't really religious. At all.
JohnT isn't religious, which is the whole point of this thread.
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Old September 1, 2003, 02:07   #44
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Shi: "members of", not necessarily "believes in." As I said in the previous post, Laura and I discussed this at length today and one of the points that I mentioned is that we consider ourselves Catholic merely because of inertia, because we were raised in it and find it rather comforting in its droning sameness. But, too, we also can't be bothered to really check out other churches because, hell, we don't even bother to go to the one that we are comfortable with. And so we remain "Catholic," not out of desire but out of disinterest.
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Old September 1, 2003, 02:13   #45
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For the record, I was raised Catholic, though we were never strict with observances. We only went to church on Easter and Christmas, to get ashes for Ash Wednesday, etc. My mom wouldn't cook meat on friday. Other than that, we didn't observe much. I had faith for a while into my early teens, but it gradually eroded in the face of examination. I became an atheist for a spell, then realized that wasn't the answer for me either, and eventually be came agnostic, which I am today. Although religions often have policies or beliefs I disapprove of, I recognize the enormous benefits mankind has derived from religion, benefits that largely outweigh the drawbacks.

Still, I think you must have faith in a religion to be a strict adherent of it or to raise a child in it. A person need not be raised in a spiritual vacuum simply because he or she is not exclusively instructed in a particular religion, be it Catholicism or Buddhism.

You can always raise your daughter as a Unitarian Universalist. It's soft and squishy enough not to cause permanent damage.
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Old September 1, 2003, 02:31   #46
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JohnT:

You say that you had been attending Mass more recently? Perhaps God is reaching out towards you, using Sophie's entrie in your life to give you an opportunity to get closer to him?

I know I am not the best Catholic either, and it disturbs me greatly how I often find myself the ambassador of Catholicism to this forum. However, you and I are both adults, we know to a much greater extent what we do and we know that we will be accountable to God for our own actions. Sophie, obviously is not the same way, she needs your help, and you are responsible for her and her upbringing. And while you can be accountable for your own actions, you should want Sophie not to be spiritually harmed by being denied a religious upbringing. Yes, I know some people do come to religion even if not brought up that way, but more often then not I seem to notice people brought up without religion tend to have inertia set in and stay that way.

In short, even if you are not the best spiritually, you should still to try to provide her upbringing spiritually the best you can just as I sure you will in every aspect of her life. As for the teaching of the Church, take it or leave it, you will be accountable to God for whatever disadvantages you impart.

I am horribly sorry, I know I am not the best persuador, but I am doing the best I can in gving you an answer. I humbly apologize for any failings in my post and I wish the best for you and your family. I do urge you though- don't rely on mostly secularists in making this crucial decision. Whether from your Church or from the forum I mentioned or from whoever, I strongly encourage you to seek more Catholic input into your decision.
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Old September 1, 2003, 02:49   #47
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shi Huangdi
JohnT:

You say that you had been attending Mass more recently? Perhaps God is reaching out towards you, using Sophie's entrie in your life to give you an opportunity to get closer to him?

I know I am not the best Catholic either, and it disturbs me greatly how I often find myself the ambassador of Catholicism to this forum. However, you and I are both adults, we know to a much greater extent what we do and we know that we will be accountable to God for our own actions. Sophie, obviously is not the same way, she needs your help, and you are responsible for her and her upbringing. And while you can be accountable for your own actions, you should want Sophie not to be spiritually harmed by being denied a religious upbringing. Yes, I know some people do come to religion even if not brought up that way, but more often then not I seem to notice people brought up without religion tend to have inertia set in and stay that way.

In short, even if you are not the best spiritually, you should still to try to provide her upbringing spiritually the best you can just as I sure you will in every aspect of her life. As for the teaching of the Church, take it or leave it, you will be accountable to God for whatever disadvantages you impart.

I am horribly sorry, I know I am not the best persuador, but I am doing the best I can in gving you an answer. I humbly apologize for any failings in my post and I wish the best for you and your family. I do urge you though- don't rely on mostly secularists in making this crucial decision. Whether from your Church or from the forum I mentioned or from whoever, I strongly encourage you to seek more Catholic input into your decision.
I concur
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Old September 1, 2003, 03:01   #48
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Thanks Shi, your sincerity is very much appreciated.
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Old September 1, 2003, 04:37   #49
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I wouldn't necessarily give her a religious education, but do give her a sense of morality and social justice. Perhaps a patriotic upbringing?
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Old September 1, 2003, 05:18   #50
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Of couse, a Congregationalist upbringing is hardly as intense as Catholicism... damn papists!
God, "papists" is just a damn fine word. It is used far too sparingly.
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Old September 1, 2003, 05:51   #51
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Ppl. usually form a believe or disbelieve in god between the age of 10 and 20. Some change that later.
But Kids younger than 10 will believe in god the same way they would believe in Santa Claus or something. They believe it because the parents told them so.

So in conclusion I would not tell her all that much (only if she comes up with it on her own) till she is 10 or you think she is ready. Than you tell her and she can form her own opinion.

Dunno if thats practicable, but I guess I would try it that way
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Old September 1, 2003, 07:11   #52
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I think most young people in Western Europe were raised irreligiously. I doubt it had a negative effect on us.
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Old September 1, 2003, 07:19   #53
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How very odd. My family and I had this exact same conversation last night. Well, not exactly the exact same. As in it wasn't about JohnT at all.

My mum (who more or less raised my sister and I singlehandedly) never expressed one view or another about religion while we were growing up. Well, except when she swore but goddamn is hardly a religious statement of faith. My aunt brought up her children in the same way. I trace all this back to my maternal grandparents who, despite having grown up in a much more religious age, have expressed almost atheistic sympathies as they've grown older. This in spite of a relative of my grandmother having once had the Chair for Theology at Cambridge University. Go figure.

Anyway, my family has been irreligious since before I was born. We're a mixed bunch of non-believing Protestants (with one non-believing Catholic via marriage) and the handful of atheists (ie, me and my grandmother). This in no way has impaired us. We've got firm concepts of morality and community without having to go to Church every Sunday.

That said, it would be wrong to state that religion wasn't part of my life. I mean, I've read the Bible, gone to a protestant sunday prayer, a Confirmation, and a Catholic Easter Mass (*shudder*). I've celebrated Passover and been invited to a Hindu temple. I've explored religion but my family didn't rule one way or the other on it. I eventually weighed up what I saw and made my own conclusions.

That's by far the best thing you can do for Sophie. Explain to her that her beliefs are her own and, whatever they are (save cult worship or Mormanism ) you'll accept them. If she asks questions, answer them. If she wants to explore other religions, help her to the best of your ability. In time, she will decide what religion or mix of religions suits her best. That decision won't be one forced on her from an age when she's too young to grasp the ramifications but one that she makes when she's mature enough to decide for herself.

Word of warning though, recently my cousins have been complaining that the irreligious upbringing has left them "not knowing what they are". Frankly to me that sounds like a desperate search for a label they can stick on to the next census instead of a heartfelt exploration of spirituality. Oooh, seems I've let the claws out. Tsk tsk, bad Starchild.
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Old September 1, 2003, 08:03   #54
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Difficult question.

My religious upbringing consisted of prayers at morning assembly in school - that means everyone mumbled the words whilst thinking of something else. My parents never discussed religion, both having abandoned any form of worship in their teenage years. Not having any real knowledge of religion to draw on didn't do any harm but it would have been useful to understand more about why religion motivates people, particularly the extremists, when I was younger.

After looking at several religions I eventually settled on being a pagan. Having said that I don't exactly shout about it, it's a personal belief and no-one else's business.

My partners case may be more relevant as she was a Catholic. Her mother was a regular churchgoer whilst her father wasn't catholic, didn't convert but did agree to their children being raised in the faith. I don't think it was anything to do with me but she stopped practicing catholicism about 10 years ago and has become an agnostic.

We don't have any children so I am not well placed to advise but I would suggest Sophie should have

1 A firm moral framework (whether religiously inspired or not) - lead by example here!

2 An awareness that a minority of people can get very worked up over this religion thing

and when she is older that

3 Some religious groups/sects are not well intentioned and can have very seductive recruitment techniques.
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Old September 1, 2003, 08:22   #55
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It's pretty pot-luck wether your child joins a cult/ absence of presense of faith doesn't effect that.

I'm not going to bother talking about my would-be practices, but if my child reached a certain age, say 8-9 and wanted to go to church I'd probably take them. However I'd have issue with teachers that bang on about God and those that put Jesus into everything.

"Son, why is the sky blue?"
"Because Jesus made it that way".

I'd avoid barmy indoctrination, like Bible camps and Sunday school. If there were simular things for child atheists, I'd avoid them too

Interesting footnote: My brother in law converted to Islam to marry somebody. Mainly because her parents are traditionalists. He's made quite a few new friends, becoming a regular at the Mosques on Friday. He doesn't however do things like expect Shia (the wife) to be covered, or do more than the morning and evening prayers. He hates his dog now that it keeps licking him when he's doing morning prayers (not Wudu).
As long as he makes the appearance of religion. Maybe it's enough for him as well.

He's going to raise his kids in Islam, but he says he isn't going to enrole them in a Madrassa or force them to take Koran classes. I think this will be a major issue when they have sprogs.

He's also been passed over for promotion twice since converting... his workplace is quite hostile to it.
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Old September 1, 2003, 08:31   #56
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You should teach her to be a critical thinker.

But that should be on all levels. She shouldn't believe the crap the media (and people in general) spout about science either. She should learn to evaluate things herself, making use of her own feelings and experiences, and perform her own research before coming to decisions.

There is nothing wrong with telling her about Jesus and the bible, or about what atheists believe, but you shouldn't order her to believe one thing or the other.

I think you should make it clear to her that it is an important decision though.
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Old September 1, 2003, 10:46   #57
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"Don't forget that I'm interested in your parents as well - were they believers, did they stop going to church the second their youngest kid left the house, were they apathetic/hostile to religion, etc?"

Well, my mom's always been pretty religious, but in a very easygoing liberal way. My dad was raised catholic, but he had a BIG falling out with the Catholic church, and doesn't respect it all any more, so he joined my mom in Congregationalism. So yeah, they're both 'believers'. I'm not sure whether they went to church often before I was born, but I'm sure they went occasionally. I've been going to the same church all my life, from baptism to confirmation, and we pretty much go every week. I don't anymore, but it's not because I hate church - I don't. I find the sermons interesting, enjoy singing along, etc... It's just I can't get up that early on a Sunday... My parents understand.

Bringing your kid to church every day is not the indoctrination that people here are calling it, or at least it wasn't at my church. I would go to church, and sunday school would be occasionally bible stories, plus some arts and crafts, and a donation for the poor, and then a prayer to wrap it all off. Then coffee hour, with all the goodies.

I don't know, maybe in other more hardcore religions there is an increased pressure towards indoctrination, but I never felt my independence or choice was at stake. I know that that's how it is with Congregationalist churches, and there's even less pressure at Universalist Unitarian churches!!! There are so many types of Protestant sects that if you choose one, you should do your research: are they open and affirming? What is their policy on baptism? Are you personally in favor of baptism?

Going to church for my family has been a great source of experience, wealth of knowledge, a place to meet friends, and a totally supportive community. Occasionally I would not want to go to church, but my parents would make me come. And it's true, sometimes I was bored, but it was never that bad. If your kids don't have the patience to get through a short church service, you have bigger problems...
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Old September 1, 2003, 12:18   #58
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Re: Growing up in an irreligious household.
Quote:
Originally posted by JohnT
Therefore, we were wondering what would be the effects if we raised Sophie (Sophia when she's being naughty) in an irreligious environment and if anybody here has been raised in such an environment. And by "irreligious" I don't mean "Dad was actively atheist and would go on and on about the horrors of religion", more like "my parents didn't really care about all that so we never went to church."
I was raised irreligiously with a couple metric tonnes of standard fairy tales and plenty of popular culture. It never really came up. I was aware of the whole religion thing so novels that mentioned it didn't freak me out.

The views I've professed here are all of my own and not of my parents. Take that as you will. Of course, there might be other social issues in your country. I cannot comment on that.
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Old September 1, 2003, 13:29   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by Evil Knevil
He hates his dog now that it keeps licking him when he's doing morning prayers (not Wudu).
This bothers me. Islam is not a dog-friendly religion (evidently Mohammed loved cats instead) and most Muslims consider dogs unclean (well, they are, but that doesn't mean you should be cruel to them). Feel free to pop him in the nose if he starts being mean to the dog.
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Old September 1, 2003, 15:44   #60
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I don't want you to totally discount religious schools.

religious schools for the most part are much, much better than public schools.

You just have to give your child a talk when he/she's old enough about the religious stuff they are taught in school. Explain that is one group of people's beliefs and people all over the world have different relgions.
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