What Would You Do?

Issues relating to promoting a secular state education and raising children in a non-religious home
james7300
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What Would You Do?

Post by james7300 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:54 pm

Here is a question. I guess we are all lapsed Catholic / atheists here.

What would you do if you lived in Northern Ireland and the choice was between sending your children to a Catholic school or a 'non-denominational' school which is non-religious in name, but a large percentage of the children were Protestant and it would also be fair to say that a sizeable proportion of the children or their families may be anti-Catholic?

What would you do in this situation?
Dev
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Re: What Would You Do?

Post by Dev » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:10 am

I would send my kids to whichever school I thought was most appropriate for them. Religious indoctrination aside, facilities, reputation and school costs are more important aspects.

Assuming that the schools were equivalent in such regards I would choose the non denominational one.
Bik
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Re: What Would You Do?

Post by Bik » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:04 am

I've a sister in Belfast who sends her children to a non denominational gaelscoil. I reckon it's a fair guess that most of the kids are from nationalist/RC families but preparation for communion etc is done after school hours.
"Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion." Superintendent Chalmers
nozzferrahhtoo
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Re: What Would You Do?

Post by nozzferrahhtoo » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:58 pm

I too would base the decision on looking at the schools and deciding based on whichever one offered the better education. I would worry about dealing with the hang ups and social pettyness of the other people there later.
HarryO'Criosna
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Re: What Would You Do?

Post by HarryO'Criosna » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:08 pm

...and you have to consider where you reckon your kid might be happiest too
james7300
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Re: What Would You Do?

Post by james7300 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:19 pm

So if you sent them to the Catholic school, would you opt them out of all the religious stuff ie Communion, Mass, Confession etc or would you just let them join in?
mambazo
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Re: What Would You Do?

Post by mambazo » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:48 am

I was sent to the Catholic Clonakilty Boys National (primary school), and then to the Protestant Bandon Grammar (secondary). I was only forced to participate in the primary school, with things like Ash Wednesday, by request of the teachers. I found it spooky.

My parents never asserted any beliefs on me. I learned about a bunch of religions in RE in the Grammar. I recall the RE teacher trying to use what I later found out to be Pascal's Wager on us. It almost had my young logical mind convinced! Then I tried it between two religions and it fell apart. Rational thinking is always there when you need it ;)

From my own experience, the religious views of the schools didn't matter. Nor did it matter for my sister who attended a convent. What goes on in the home is what is truly important. My mother defied her mother-in-law when she chose not to baptise us, retorting with "I cannot make that decision for my children, they have to make their own". Just nurture rational thinking, reasoning and logic in the home and there is nothing to worry about.
"Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position." - Bill Maher
Feardorcha
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Re: What Would You Do?

Post by Feardorcha » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:06 am

I agree that what the kids hear at home is of most importance but why would anyone submit their children to be manipulated, cajoled and even bullied into pretending to perform rituals, recite incantations etc and then go home to parents who say 'ah we don't believe that stuff'.
Parents have a duty to protect their children from physical and psychological harm. I also believe that atheists and other non-conformists have a duty to assert their civil rights as regards schools.

One of the reasons Ireland is crawling so slowly into the light of reason is the attitude that we should make do, put up with the established view, not make a fuss, not draw attention to ourselves.

If we don't get the Catholic Church grip off the schools now, in the light of the atrocities that it perpetrated on children and the divisions in that organisation, we may settle back into a period of submission. In the 1950s people were driven out of their communities and even had to leave the country for failing to obey religious dictats. There is no guarantee that society will continue to progress towards a more enlightened age. Society can go backwards as well - especially in times of economic depression.

Personally, I am delighted that having children I have had an opportunity to assert my rights in the schools they attend and put the lie to the notion that they will not be happy because they are different.
mambazo
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Re: What Would You Do?

Post by mambazo » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:56 am

Feardorcha wrote:I agree that what the kids hear at home is of most importance but why would anyone submit their children to be manipulated, cajoled and even bullied into pretending to perform rituals, recite incantations etc and then go home to parents who say 'ah we don't believe that stuff'.
I agree that I shouldn't have been forced to pretend to perform rituals and recite incantations, but it actually re-enforced my atheist view-point. When I was right in the middle of it playing along I couldn't help feeling like a brain in a herd of eejits. It only made my views stronger.

I guess I am not as 'pro-active' as you! :)

If survival of the fittest has any hold in reality, religion will die out as it continually strangles its followers.
"Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position." - Bill Maher
Feardorcha
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Re: What Would You Do?

Post by Feardorcha » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:25 pm

Would you recommend that atheists recite incantations in which they don't believe in order to strengthen their non-belief? :lol:
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