Saying Grace at School.

Dextur

Distinguished Member
Anybody got any experience on this issue.

I love our kids school and the teachers , it's not inherently relegious but they are makign the kids say grace before meals.

I'm an atheist, as is my wife ,we have no wish for our child to be thanking an entity we believe is entirely mythical for her food and well being.

As she's being taught this at school, she sees what is being said as being true, and I do object to this.

We can have her removed but this alienates her from all her friends.

It seems absurd that saying grace is the de-facto position in 2011.

Wondered if any parents who are also atheists have found a way to deal with this.

I'm really non plussed she's being taught in a learning environment where she trusts her teachers than she should be thankful to a God for her lunch.

Thanks.
 

quarry2006

Well-known Member
Umm, interesting one this. Speaking as someone who was raised Church Of England (albeit in a very casual way - some might say - ie we never went to church or said grace before a meal but, as a family, we did believe and both my sister and I were Christened) and became a born again Christian as a teenager and then renounced my faith in my twenties, became an atheist and then took on the Buddhist belief system in my thirties, I do believe that a grounding in one religion or another is no bad thing and doesn't do any harm at all.

Your daughter will get a balanced view because the religion she's being taught in school will be countered by your own views, so it's not as though she's getting religion thrown at her from every quarter.

I can only give you my own daughter as an example. In her school, they're given a basic teaching in Christianity, they perform the nativity at Christmas time and say prayers and sing hymns. At first, she was quite the Holy Joe - I think kids just like the stories, and the Bible is chock full of great stories - and the wife would take her to church if her friends were being baptised or getting Communion. (We did not have out kids Christened, by the way, because we think it's hypocticial to do so if you're not a church-goer or practising Christian.) Anyway, her belief in Jesus and all that stuff turned out to be just a phase and she now longer believes or is interested in Christianity.

I think my point is that your girl will make her own mind up at some point, regardless of what happens at school or at home. Just don't make a big thing of it to her, or she may well end up being a devout Christian for the rest of her life, just to spite you!

As long as she still believes in Father Christmas, that's the main thing!
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
I just let them get on with it. Same as with all his school books which seem to portray the world as though fictional children all come from one parent families. If I don't tell him it is odd then it's not on his radar as something to think about.
 

quarry2006

Well-known Member
Same as with all his school books which seem to portray the world as though fictional children all come from one parent families.

Do kids still read The Railway Children at school these days?
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
Not at 5 years old...mostly they seem to be about everyday things, for example what to do with the cardboard box that the new fridge freezer came in.
 

its_all_Greek

Distinguished Member
I agree with this.
School is full of religious nonsense.
I've only just come back from a nativity play today, for example.
I just let them get on with it and we can deal with it later in life.

Thats also got to be an interesting dilemma for the OP, assuming the school does nativity plays what will be the OPs stance on should their child be asked to play a main part or indeed any part?

My position is i would class myself as atheist, my wife is catholic and a believer but isn't what i would call a practising catholic, although her family most definitely are.

My eldest also attends a catholic school so religion is taught to her on a daily basis, which quite often has me having to answer questions about an entity i have no belief in:confused:

I suppose i see it this way, i knew my wife was catholic when we met and when i asked her to marry me, i was also fully aware that were we to have children that my wife would want them raised in the catholic faith. It never crossed my mind to undermine her belief, and she has never tried to convert me at all although we both know where each stands on religion.
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
We used to say grace at school and I'm not religious at all. I think it's best to just leave it alone, not kick up a fuss and when your child is old enough to question things they'll figure it out for themselves :)
 

quarry2006

Well-known Member
Yup. After all, its only by kicking up a fuss over things that we make them an issue. And kids do have a tendency to latch onto the things with which we have a problem...and exploit it!

This whole nativity issue (which rags like The Daily Express have spent years trying to convince us is "banned" in schools - what nonsense) should probably be taken with a pinch of salt by those of us who aren't Christians: it's just another fictional story :)
 

SteveU30

Distinguished Member
its_all_Greek said:
Thats also got to be an interesting dilemma for the OP, assuming the school does nativity plays what will be the OPs stance on should their child be asked to play a main part or indeed any part?

My position is i would class myself as atheist, my wife is catholic and a believer but isn't what i would call a practising catholic, although her family most definitely are.

My eldest also attends a catholic school so religion is taught to her on a daily basis, which quite often has me having to answer questions about an entity i have no belief in:confused:

I suppose i see it this way, i knew my wife was catholic when we met and when i asked her to marry me, i was also fully aware that were we to have children that my wife would want them raised in the catholic faith. It never crossed my mind to undermine her belief, and she has never tried to convert me at all although we both know where each stands on religion.

I'm in exactly the same boat as you. To make things more interesting my wife is a vegetarian and I'm a meat eater, now she's taken the same approach that I have with her religious views in that we feed our 1 year old meat and will let him decide when he's older if he thinks cows are too cute to be eaten!

What I (and everyone else so far) am trying to put across is that in the main, kids should be given as many options as possible and let them decide for themselves in their own time. God knows (see what i did there) the world needs as few rebellious teenagers as possible lol!
 

quarry2006

Well-known Member
God knows (see what i did there) the world needs as few rebellious teenagers as possible lol!

I'm reminded of Alice Cooper who said of his kids "what are they going to rebel against? I've done everything!" I'm tempted to reply "how about your arch conservative views, Vincent?"

Fact is, teenagers will rebel but I see your point; the less they have to rebel against, the better. Maybe:D
 

jsniper

Well-known Member
From my perspective (not a parent) when I was little we went to church every Sunday CofE and I was christened and all that jazz. At school we did the nativity and in assembly every morning we sang hymns and said the lords prayer but when I got to secondary school and we stopped doing the stuff at school I stopped going to church.

I was never an active Christian if that makes sense.

I've now got my own beliefs and wouldn't say I'm atheist probably more along the lines of agnostic. My girlfriend on the other hand was raised a catholic and attended catholic school. She never preaches to me thankfully and I don't get on at her for being a catholic. My opinion is that as long as you have faith in something then your ok. Doesn't matter if that faith is in a bearded bloke in the sky or rocks it's still faith in my book and that's good!

At the end of the day just let it be of you ask me. One day the choice will be made and that'll be the end of it. :)
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
If you did not send her to a school that is not calssified as religous then you have a right to object.
Also what abotu children of other religions?
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
Don't think your child is going to be "brainwashed" into Christianity just because at school they are saying grace. I was raised in a C of E household, went to church every sunday as a child (untill my teen years) and attended a C of E secondary school, but as I got older and made my own decisions, I stopped going to church and following the Christian "code" (for want of a better word), and wouldn't consider myself to be in any camp when it comes to religion (so I guess that pegs me as Agnostic lol)
 

quarry2006

Well-known Member
If you did not send her to a school that is not calssified as religous then you have a right to object.
Also what abotu children of other religions?

It's widely accepted that the religion of this country is, first and foremost, Christianity and even though its popularity is on the wane, it's still the dominant religion here. That schools also recognise other religions is more a sign of the times and it's right and proper that they do so.
 

SteveU30

Distinguished Member
SimonH said:
Anybody got any experience on this issue.

I love our kids school and the teachers , it's not inherently relegious but they are makign the kids say grace before meals.

I'm an atheist, as is my wife ,we have no wish for our child to be thanking an entity we believe is entirely mythical for her food and well being.

As she's being taught this at school, she sees what is being said as being true, and I do object to this.

We can have her removed but this alienates her from all her friends.

It seems absurd that saying grace is the de-facto position in 2011.

Wondered if any parents who are also atheists have found a way to deal with this.

I'm really non plussed she's being taught in a learning environment where she trusts her teachers than she should be thankful to a God for her lunch.

Thanks.

So being an Atheist, do you celebrate Christmas?
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
So being an Atheist, do you celebrate Christmas?

Both of my Jewish work colleagues celebrate Christmas...as do my business partners in Taiwan and Hong Kong, neither of whom are Christian. I think it is now an event beyond it's intended purpose.
 

SteveU30

Distinguished Member
Decadence said:
Both of my Jewish work colleagues celebrate Christmas...as do my business partners in Taiwan and Hong Kong, neither of whom are Christian. I think it is now an event beyond it's intended purpose.

It's interesting isn't it? I think the term is being a 'Cultural Christian'. My post was merely to point out that it's possible to practice traditions that while originally religious, now serve a different purpose. Saying grace can be another, while we don't have to thank a religious 'God' for the food put in front of us, that 'God' could merely be a metaphor for the people that make that food possible (farmers, factory workers, truck drivers, etc...).

I'll leave it there as this conversation could get very deep indeed.
 

quarry2006

Well-known Member
It might even be simpler than that, SteveU30. It's been well established that the Christians stole the date of December 25th from the Pagans and that Christ was allegedly born in February.

Many people celebrate the Feast Of Bacchus (unwittingly thinking they're celebrating Christmas) with nary a nod to Christ, stables and big shiny stars. These people aren't Cultural Christians; they just believe in the exchanging of gifts and over-indulging on food and booze :)
 

Berties

Banned
Should be fine, it's only one thing a day. Not like there is only one subject - RE - which is studied for 8 hours a day wit RE homework.
 

Dextur

Distinguished Member
So being an Atheist, do you celebrate Christmas?

I wonder how many times in total this irrelevant question has been asked on these forums alone.

YES, I celebrate meeting family friends, giving presents, drinking and eating to much and generally having a holiday.
 

Dextur

Distinguished Member
Ultimately in 2011 to have teachers who kids trust telling them a God provided their food and they should give thanks to a GOD is pretty appalling e as far as I'm concerned.

What's a little frustrating is the people telling her this are the people who she looks to for the truth and facts, it's brainwashing essentially, I'm in the awkward position of telling her it's just not true , which then has the potential to shake her trust in her teachers.

Relegion should be 100% voluntary, not defacto, it's wrong on every level.
 

its_all_Greek

Distinguished Member
Ultimately in 2011 to have teachers who kids trust telling them a God provided their food and they should give thanks to a GOD is pretty appalling e as far as I'm concerned.

What's a little frustrating is the people telling her this are the people who she looks to for the truth and facts, it's brainwashing essentially, I'm in the awkward position of telling her it's just not true , which then has the potential to shake her trust in her teachers.

Relegion should be 100% voluntary, not defacto, it's wrong on every level.

Is it a C of E school though?

not that there is much choice if you didn't want her to go to one.

I'm not trying to pick an argument just curious, but what's your stance on your child with regards things like Santa Claus and the Easter bunny etc ?

My wife is from France and they don't really go for the big Santa thing (certainly in her family) so she wasn't bothered about our daughter knowing the truth from day one, where as i for some unknown reason wanted her to have the innocent view of Santa bringing the pressies at Christmas so we agreed not to lead her in one direction or the other unless she asks.
 

Dextur

Distinguished Member
I have no issue with her believing in Santa or the tooth fairy etc no.

The core differences are so staggering I'm always stunned anybody brings it up as a parallel, feels like the worst strawman to me .

I don't see any parallel, other than one relegious folks try to use to justify enforced relegious concepts on kids.
 

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