Teaching your children your religion is potentially harming them
Religion is two things as I view it. The first is a method of social control. I suspect there have been priests inventing gods from the first ability to speak. By instilling fear in the village, some sense of order was maintained.
The second is harder for people to accept. If there is no supernatural being, no Heaven... then what is the meaning of life? To which I say: "Get a hobby". And I ask: "Do you really think you are more important than a wolf or a fish?"
As a recovered Catholic I totally agree. My dad left my catholic mom for another woman. My devout catholic mom was now a divorcée with 4 small children in the late 50s. My Grandma insisted we go to catholic school but we had to lie and say our dad was on a business trip. What a crappy thing to do to a six year old. Then I had to go to confession every week and confess the lie I was told to tell. When I was 12 or 13 I came to my senses and refused to go to church anymore. The discovery of the imposed guilt that I carried as a child and the hypocrisy of the church was a realization that opened up my life. I think people grab on to religion because they need an answer to the unknown. And because of this need religion has historically been used to control the masses. It’s been and continues to be the basis of many wars. I know some wonderful Catholics and many other religious people. So I don’t mean to put anyone down. My experience was terrible and I didn’t think any child should have to go through that.
I do think we all have some spiritual connection with each other and nature. My church is a hike in the mountains and my cats on my lap. But my spiritual world does not include a man concocted god. Thank you for listening.
"In a truly free society, it should be illegal to indoctrinate children into any particular religion."
I disagree. In a truly free society, religion would not exist. From my own observations (and indoctrination) into both Roman Catholicism and Islam, and living in societies where religion is prevalent, I realized that the true purpose of "faith" is to create and promote social order. Between the promise of heaven, the threat of hell and the human as a herd animal, religion is one of the greatest tools for social control. It oppresses large numbers of people via its misogyny, racism and quasi-morality (our sexuality, personal habits, even how we dress are all rooted in religion).
Imposing bans on teaching religion is oppression, however.
I’m “religious” in a personal nonchurch way. I did send my kids to the same small school... they came out of it well educated and unchurched. They’re all very smart, very caring people. When I was maybe 10, I thought heaven would be boring and no sort of reward. One night I dreamed I was playing in our subdivision at the far side from our home. It was summer and a storm blew up suddenly... I started running home, it was raining hard and thundering with lightning...in front of the next door neighbors house, I was struck... I felt myself rising, quickly. When I looked down I saw myself lying in the road, in the rain. When I looked up it was very bright and I started moving up, fast with no effort and then I woke up. I think we continue after death. If I had to claim a sect, the closest I could come would be gnostic and I have never visited a gnostic church. I think meditation is an opportunity to affect peaceful change and connect with source. I don’t think prayer is the same as meditation. I like the theories of Rupert Sheldrake, of a unified field and believe we need to study consciousness. I think most things have a consciousness including planets and solar systems. I don’t evangelize. My beliefs are personal to me.