Discussion by: AndychudHi Everyone. For my first ever post, I’d like to ask thoughts & opinions on an uncomfortable predicament that I face. I live in the Philippines (I’m not actually Filipino) and, as you’re no doubt aware, it’s a hugely Catholic country and the church really controls the people & politics. It’s so sad, but that’s how it is. I’m a die-hard atheist & I want my kids to grow up with an open mind & think for themselves. If they choose to embrace religion after being made aware of a the facts, then that’s up to them. I can’t pretend that I won’t be disappointed, but I won’t stand in their way. I say this secretly confident that they’ll grow up with a healthy dose of scepticism that I’ll have instilled into them.
My dilemma is this: My 3 year old boy has just started pre-school. After much searching for the least religious school we could find, we eventually enrolled him into a Science Academy. During his first week, mummy or daddy had to sit in class with him until he felt comfortable and accepted his new surroundings and routine. Even in this “science academy” (which does not teach any religious classes) the teacher had all the preschool kids say three prayers (start of class, before eating snacks & end of class). Three prayers in two hours! Before this my little boy had never prayed, he’d never seen anyone else praying & he’d never even heard the word “God” before.
It’s so easy to see how a “innocent” little prayers can get into the head of a child and totally brainwash his innocent little mind into just blindly accepting that there is a God & that this could shape his entire outlook on life forever… or am I worrying over nothing? I’ve been contemplating talking to the Principal of the school & politely requesting that the prayers are not said in class, but I’m pretty sure that she would have absolutely no comprehension of my concerns. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that the other parents (RC Filipinos) EXPECT and WANT prayers & other religious nonsense to be drilled into their kids.
What should I do?