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Is it okay for parents to force their kids to go to church?

Asked by: MasterROBO360
  • Of course it is, why is this even a question

    It would be child abuse for them not to go. To learn about love sacrifice, and the truth. How could anyone refrain from teaching children about that. It is also vital for a functional society. No religion = anarchy. More children going to church = more religion = functional society. No children going to church = less religion = anarchy. It would be evil for children to not go to church. Child abuse even.

  • To A Certain Age, It Is.

    Nurturing a child's spiritual growth is a part of parenting that is often times overlooked. Still, it needs attention. As parents, we feed our children. We clothe them. We see that they get adequate medical care. We send them to school. All of these things, faith included, play a role in developing a child into a whole, healthy human being. Still, there comes a time, when a child's own interest & maturity must kick in and motivate them.

    In our household, the golden age was 16. Unless you were visibly sick, everyone went to church till age 16. At that age, the kids were allowed to decide for themselves. A few Sundays were missed, but not many. Sometimes, they chose to attend church with a friend & their family. That was okay, too. It allowed them to see the practices & beliefs of others. Diversity isn't a bad thing. Incidentally, for school, the minimum we expected was a H.S. Diploma & 2 years of college. That too was surpassed.

  • Absolutely, without question...YES!

    Parents whom have chosen, within the confines of their marriage and relationship, to give birth to and raise children, usually do so within the tenants of a belief system. Within civil, legal, human,divine and inalienable right to propagate and raise children is also embedded the absolute right to instill that belief system as part of their moral, cultural and societal development in the maturation process of the child. To deny the parents the right to instill their culture into the children for which they have universal responsibility is the highest order of arrogance and the denial of the right to cultural diversity. As long as a child lives within the authority of their parents and under their physical care, they are subject to the beliefs held within that family unit. How anyone else feels about those beliefs, including the state, is completely irrelevant. Once the child becomes a self-sufficient and self-supporting adult member of society, they have every right to follow whatever path in life they choose.

  • It should be mandatory

    Children are required to go to school for an education. When they become adults they may opt out of pursuing any further education. At least they would be able literate at the time. A child that was denied an education will not suddenly become educated when he or she becomes and adult.

    Likewise children must attend the church with their parents. That should be a part of their discipline: learning the same values their parents have been taught, perhaps from their own childhood.

    A child that isn't schooled in Christianity wouldn't suddenly grasp the principles of Christianity when they become adults. Most sound Christians have been so from childhood.

    Are those making the stupid argument that children shouldn't be required to follow their parents to church implying that the parents leave the children at home alone and unsupervised? What nonsense!

  • Where are you going to find a babysitter on a Sunday morning?

    Seriously, its impractical to hire a babysitter for a few hours every Sunday morning. They should have to come, but they shouldn't have to believe or participate in any of the ceremonial aspects. Have them bring a book, if they choose to bring a book that contradicts the churches teachings, they might even make a few converts themselves.

  • Really not a big deal.

    Of course kids are more prone to believe it, but as people point out they are going to believe a lot of weird things when they are little. They'll believe in Santa and magic and all that. Eventually kids learn and decide for themselves. Whether or not they go to church, they will know what their parents believe and will be swayed by that. Besides, I don't know about anybody else, but when I was a little kid and went to church I just didn't pay attention to the sermons (I couldn't understand them when I was little) and waited until they invited the kids to go play games outside. It's not like this is some kind of indoctrination that is particularly worse than every other kind of indoctrination a child will inherently be exposed to.

  • What are you going to do? Stop them?

    To tell a parent what he/she can or cannot do with his/her child is a very dangerous game to play. I would generally just stay away from doing it. After all, it's a free country and the parents can practice whatever religion they want. Kids generally either follow the religion or don't. I have seen both sides plenty of times.

  • Small logic says yes.

    Parents have the right to bring their children with them to church. Any act is an act of force; even such a thing as a promise of treats or games in exchange for their attendance is a psychological nudging. Under this simple logic, it is okay for a parent to force their child to attend religious ceremony. Force implies no other thing, to me, in this context.

  • I don't know

    I don't really know if it's okay. But I'm putting yes because it's pretty much the same as forcing a kid to go to school or forcing them to adopt whatever moral paradigm, whether religous or secular you believe in. What exactly is the difference there? One person's opinion is that one improbable set of circumstances, namely god, exists, and another is the improbable belief in free will and secular humanism as an objective good. I see no difference between the two in any significant sense.

  • No, it's seriously not okay.

    I like on how it flat out says 'Is it OK for parents to FORCE their children to go to church' and yet people fail to see this as anything but indoctrination. At such an age when kids will believe in Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, and virtually anything you tell them, they aren't at all at the right age to be thrown in a building where an illogical, childish man rants on about the bible and makes absurd claim after absurd claim completely unchallenged. In fact, in this environment it's not just unchallenged, absurd, and downright inconsistent (Different religious authority will make different claims on the bible. Take Creationism for example. Some will teach this nonsense as if it's real, while others will teach that it's metaphor. So not only are they teaching absurd, irrational things but they also can't seem to even come into agreement on what absurd parts are even legitimate or not with their own spin.) But this behavior is even encouraged.

    If something is not fact and relies blindly on belief, then it should not be taught to children which cannot think critically of what they're being told. Now if you don't mind, I'm going to say a self-righteous and downright condescending phrase I've had to put up with for all my life:

    Children should not be forced to believe in your fictional fairy tales that are completely unfounded by science at an age when they cannot challenge your illogical beliefs. Won't someone please think of the children?!

  • It is certainly not ok.

    In my opinion, parents have no right to decide a child's religion for him or her. That right should be left to the child once he or she becomes old enough to understand the concept. If you brainwash your child at an early age to belief the same religions, ideologies, and theories as you do, than he or she isn't really their own person.

  • No, it's not okay.

    Parents shouldn't force their kids to do anything that isn't required of them. You make your kids go to school, you make them go to the doctor, you make them respect others. Forcing your children to endure indoctrination before they are even old enough to understand what religion is, is called child mental abuse. Your children do not NEED to go to church, so why would it be okay to force them to do so?

    Anytime I was forced to go to church I hated it, waking up super early on a Sunday, for what? To sit in a big room full of people for two and a half hours listening to a man read from a book I didn't understand nor cared about because it was written thousands of years ago? Not to mention I was hungry and had better things to do, it was the weekend for goodness sake. Let me sleep, wake up, eat then go outside and play not send me somewhere to be indoctrinated. If I wanted to go, I would have.

  • This is absolutely ridiculous

    Going to church does not help the child in any manner. Many people say that forcing a child to go to church is like forcing a child to go to school or doctor. I disagree completely. Schools prepare a child for life, while doctors cure any ailments they may have and keep them healthy. What does going to church do? Satisfying the desires of a god who treats people like slaves by dictating they must give up some time in their productive lives to go to church and PROVE to him that they love him.
    Also, enforcing your religion upon anybody is completely wrong especially the young mind of a child. Would you like it if I forced you to go to a Mosque, Mandir or Synagogue frequently?

    Please this is just ridiculous. Anyone who is OK with parents forcing their kids to go to church is free to challenge me to a one on one debate.

  • If old enough to stay at home by themselves, it is indeed Wrong to force them to go to church.

    My opinion would change only if they were minors and there was nobody to look after them, so would relax this on the side of personal security for the child. If they had somebody trustworthy to mind them, then there is no reason they should be forced to go to Church. Family honor is no longer a defensible excuse for forcing children to go to church.

  • Generally, I'd say no.

    In the early stages of a child's life, I'd say yes, because you don't want to leave them at home on their own. However once they do reach a mature age where they are able to make their own decisions, I'd say it depends on the reasons.
    I'm not religious myself, but I have heard from friends that going to church can be a good social thing, as well as religious. If the child stays home just because he/she wants to play video games or watch TV, then I'd say maybe push them to go for the social aspect. Being a very sociable species, I think forcing interaction onto a child is okay, as it will help them to develop later in life (there are exceptions to this but I'd be going off topic if I elaborated, and its not like I've gone off topic enough as it is).
    But I guess the pressing issue is, if the child is old enough and has decided that they do NOT believe in the religion you have exposed them to, then DO NOT force them to go to church.
    But I do understand where religious parents are coming from. If I genuinely believed in an eternal hell and genuinely believed my child living a life of sin would suffer for all of eternity, then I would feel obligated as a parent to do all I could to avoid that fate for my child. "Allowing" your child to live in "sin" would be a really hard thing for a religious individual to accept.
    TL;DR? No.

  • Generally, I'd say no.

    In the early stages of a child's life, I'd say yes, because you don't want to leave them at home on their own. However once they do reach a mature age where they are able to make their own decisions, I'd say it depends on the reasons.
    I'm not religious myself, but I have heard from friends that going to church can be a good social thing, as well as religious. If the child stays home just because he/she wants to play video games or watch TV, then I'd say maybe push them to go for the social aspect. Being a very sociable species, I think forcing interaction onto a child is okay, as it will help them to develop later in life (there are exceptions to this but I'd be going off topic if I elaborated, and its not like I've gone off topic enough as it is).
    But I guess the pressing issue is, if the child is old enough and has decided that they do NOT believe in the religion you have exposed them to, then DO NOT force them to go to church.
    But I do understand where religious parents are coming from. If I genuinely believed in an eternal hell and genuinely believed my child living a life of sin would suffer for all of eternity, then I would feel obligated as a parent to do all I could to avoid that fate for my child. "Allowing" your child to live in "sin" would be a really hard thing for a religious individual to accept.
    TL;DR? No.

  • No. No way

    Kids should be able to think for themselves. They have a free mind, thoughts, and opinions of their own too! They're not your parrots or slaves to feed them so that they regurgitate what you've taught them. It's child abuse. They should be allowed a choice to go or not. Does the word freedom mean nothing anymore?

  • Does this make Christianity a cult?

    In America, we take pride in our freedom of religion. Forcing one to go to church every Sunday for the rest of their lives until they have the legal right to make their own life decisions is almost as bad as being in a cult. In fact, if every Christian family decided to do this, Christianity would officially become a cult. Let your sons or daughters choose their own path to life, rather than force upon them the religion that you choose.

  • No? So wrong

    The more you push, the more they'll pull.

    When you force a child to believe in something so complicated at such a young age, they don't know what they're learning. They're just regurgitating what they're told. My parents allowed me religious freedom and my grandma forced me into Christianity. I resent her for it. I am proudly a Deist and nobody except myself will change that


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GWL-CPA says2014-03-05T04:31:15.150
What is the point of this question by a 14-year old person?

Legally, until you are 18, you must obey your parents.

And, how would you stop parents from taking their children to church from birth through 13, and older? I guess if you have liberal parents, they might give you a choice when you become a teenager; but, many would not.

Basically, you are stuck until you are 18; even then, if you live in their home; they could imposed a rule that while you lived in their house you had to go with them to church; most likely not, but it would be their right.
TheChainedKing says2014-03-05T09:20:53.963
Each person has a different outlook on life and what might succeed it.

Those who truly believe in god should know that he is constantly aware of what goes on inside our hearts.

Forcing someone into insincerely acting in the supposed name of god will not please him so just let people do what they feel is right.

Judge yourself before you pass judgement on others, I know that I wouldn't like people telling me what to do if they themselves had no answer to the questions that every human being asks about life...

Everyone must find their own path.