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Old 10-03-2013, 08:14 AM   #51
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Re: Is it ever ok to prostelyize to other peoples children.

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I agree completely. If you are in my home or on my property then you may be subject to my beliefs. I don't chase people with a bible but if I happen to be reading to my children from it then I certainly won't stop because company is here. I am just as respectful of others beliefs. I enjoy hearing about others religions. We had some friends who's children played with ours frequently and they were atheist and I respected that until one day some of my sons Christian homeschool curriculum was posted on her facebook page where all of her friends made fun of it and said what a horrible parent I was for teaching them such things. That hurt me. She apologized but we are no longer friends. My point is I can be tolerant and respectful even curious at times but I expect the same courtesy
I'm sorry that happened to you. I think respect goes both ways, for sure! I am not religious so I wouldn't want anyone telling my kids what to believe or that they're wrong, but I also would expect them to be respectful of what others believe and to be open to learning about different religions, even if we might not agree with them.

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Old 10-03-2013, 08:29 AM   #52
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Re: Is it ever ok to prostelyize to other peoples children.

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If neighbor kids were in my yard while I read The God Delusion aloud to my kids and discussed atheism, I would stop and tell the children that we are discussing personal beliefs, and that if they want to join they should go ask their parents to come out and chat first. I'm not saying I would hide the book, or that you should hide your bible, but it just seems polite to talk to the parents first, especially since they might have no idea there is religion being discussed. I'm sure if it were your kids in my yard you would appreciate me checking in with you in that situation.

ETA: Like others, I'm perfectly fine with stating that you are religious, or that you believe X or don't believe Y. And if I send my kid for a sleep over I will probably tell the parent's before hand that we're atheist so please don't be offended if my child sits quietly but does not pray at the table, etc. My concern with the situation you described is that if I assume my kid is playing tag, but instead he is reading bible verses, well that's pretty different. KWIM?
The one time we saw the parents, we shared the gospel with them since then, they are no where to be found. They were not invited over. They come. These are not friends. They are neighborhood children that have parents that don't give a poo about them and they all gather here. And after the 3rd time, I don't have the heart to turn them away. That is the difference to me.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:33 AM   #53
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Re: Is it ever ok to prostelyize to other peoples children.

Deist- I would not be ok with my child being strongly influenced. However if she goes to a friends house and they say grace or something like that I have no problem.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:06 AM   #54
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No. Absolutely not. I'm pagan and I would not start discussing my religion with a young child and would expect others to have the same courtesy. My favorite analogy is that religion is like a penis. It's fine to have one. It's fine to be proud of it. It ceases being fine when you pull it out and stroke it in public or attempt to shove it down someone else's throat, particularly that of a child.
Oh my god, this was so perfect!!!
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:12 AM   #55
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No, parents should be present and involved in any religious discussion with their children. We are LDS and I would be very unhappy if someone of another faith (or a nonbeliever) was trying to convert my child behind my back.
I am exactly the opposite, LOL! We are Christian (Baptist) in a very much LDS area. Almost everyone is LDS here.

I don't discuss religion with kids at all. We do pray before very meal and bedtime. Including restaurants. If anyone is eating with us or around us I am sure they hear us praying.

I would not want anyone discussing religion with my kids so I don't do it either. I feel religious specifics should definitely come from parents.

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Old 10-03-2013, 09:34 AM   #56
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Re: Is it ever ok to prostelyize to other peoples children.

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What age are we talking?
That's a good point actually.

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In my home, I'll answer questions honestly. Is that the same as proselytizing?

We pray before meals and would expect guests to be mindful of that.

Beyond that? I'm not going to send a Book of Mormon home without permission. If I'm having the missionaries in my home and your kid comes over, I'll let you know. If my boys want to your kids to come to church with us, I'll clear it with you.

If our kids are friends, you're going to know I'm LDS. But you're also going to know that I'm not out to get you
Nope saying grace and answering questions you are asked about your beliefs is not the in my opinion. That's just living your life.

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Athiest here, no, never; without specificly being asked by the parents or gaurdians. I wouldn't try to convince someone's child/teen that there wasn't a god, so I expect the same. I don't care if the kid is 5 or 15. With that said, if my kid is over your place and you pray before meals, I expect them to act respectfully and don't consider that prostelyizing. If my kid asks you a question, please feel free to answer it as you see fit. I would do the same for your child. Curiousity is the best form of learning.

To me, your question implies that the adult in this sitution is actively trying to convert the child to their way of thinking, and that is wrong imo. I don't care if it's another athiest, I'd be pretty PO if it was my kid.


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I guess it really depends on what you mean by proselytizing. We live our faith every day and if your children encounter us, then they are going to see the way we live and how our faith impacts that.

While the quote isn't actually from Assisi, I love "preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words."


I don't understand how teaching evolution has anything to do with proselytizing.
not a believer but I still love that quote

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Athiest...

and nope, never okay. I would have serious issues if anyone did that, and I wouldn't do it to someone else...

That said, I think there is a difference between answering questions if my child asks why you do certain things, and proselytizing.

I also think there is a difference between telling a 6 year that your religion is the right way, and having a normal discussion or debate with a 16 year old. I wouldn't care about that really.

And I don't consider praying at a meal or asking me if my child can attend mass with your family proselytizing. I would expect my child to be respectful.
All of that but especially the bolded.



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No I don't think so.

But like others have mentioned, if you were to stay with us for any length of time or just be a common visitor to have in our home, your family would see us praying at meal times (all day), reading the Bible, there are kiddie Bibles all over the house, and talking about God, as well as practicing memory verses.

BUT, since all of my friends know that about me, hopefully it wouldn't be considered proselytizing.
Nope that's no different than my child being in a home of someone of any religion. Since we have friends of many religions there is a lot of exposure to these kind of things and I think that's actually a good thing.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:47 AM   #57
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Re: Is it ever ok to prostelyize to other peoples children.

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To me, teaching evolution is different because even 12+ years later, I definitely remember it being taught as a theory. And I know that theory is different than absolute proven fact.

I was taught it was a theory as well. "The big Bang theory" was touched on, and words like "Some scientists believe". But, then we learned about evolution as in adaptation. Nobody can disprove dinosaurs, or how things have evolved over time.

I don't mind a bit when it's said in such a way as "Some people believe..." but, I mind if it's taught as fact, or the only way. That goes for anything that could offend anyone.

It's hard to be sensitive to everybody, or even know what might offend someone. So, unless it's blatant, I try to be understanding of those who do or say the wrong thing occasionally.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:50 AM   #58
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Re: Is it ever ok to prostelyize to other peoples children.

I am a Christian. I don't mind a family living the way they normally live around my children. If they ALWAYS pray before meals, I have no problem with the praying before meals. I do, however, have a problem with people doing things BECAUSE my child is there. In the same vein, I have no problem with her being at a Jewish family's home while they celebrate Shabbat or another high holiday if they ALWAYS do it, same for Pagan or Wiccan families doing the things they normally do. But doing it special to "convert" my child is not ok with me.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:53 AM   #59
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Re: Is it ever ok to prostelyize to other peoples children.

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The one time we saw the parents, we shared the gospel with them since then, they are no where to be found. They were not invited over. They come. These are not friends. They are neighborhood children that have parents that don't give a poo about them and they all gather here. And after the 3rd time, I don't have the heart to turn them away. That is the difference to me.
It's great that you are so generous with them... but yeah I see this as proselytizing. Do you ask the kids if their parents go to church? If their parents would mind you talking to them about your faith? I can promise you that there are some parents in my area who, while not giving a poo about where their kids are or what they seem to be doing, if those kids went home and said "Our friend's mom explained how there is no god and heaven is a myth" then my *** would be grass.

I guess I'm a little torn on this because on the one hand I totally agree with how welcoming you are to these kids, and I can 100% see how this is a reflection of your faith, so it seems logical to share it with these kids. But I just have a problem with talking to kids about religion without talking to their parents first. Could you walk the kids home one day and mention to the parents that they tend to come over while you and your family are studying about Christ, and then the parents can tell you that's great or they can tell their kids to stay away at those times? I know that seems like it is putting the onus on you, but it sounds like you're the more responsible adult.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:01 AM   #60
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Re: Is it ever ok to prostelyize to other peoples children.

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It's great that you are so generous with them... but yeah I see this as proselytizing. Do you ask the kids if their parents go to church? If their parents would mind you talking to them about your faith? I can promise you that there are some parents in my area who, while not giving a poo about where their kids are or what they seem to be doing, if those kids went home and said "Our friend's mom explained how there is no god and heaven is a myth" then my *** would be grass.

I guess I'm a little torn on this because on the one hand I totally agree with how welcoming you are to these kids, and I can 100% see how this is a reflection of your faith, so it seems logical to share it with these kids. But I just have a problem with talking to kids about religion without talking to their parents first. Could you walk the kids home one day and mention to the parents that they tend to come over while you and your family are studying about Christ, and then the parents can tell you that's great or they can tell their kids to stay away at those times? I know that seems like it is putting the onus on you, but it sounds like you're the more responsible adult.
We (meaning my DH) probably could. Not going to lie- I will not. The people scare the crap out of me. These are the drunk screaming people at 2 am with the police down the street every other day. But, my husband has talked to them the one time we met them about our faith, and spoke to them in great detail about it, along with how it impacts our every day. And he gave them a Bible and they took it and were open, and seemed to have no problem with it as long as it meant the kids were allowed up the street (we are in a small city in a yuckyish area, but at the very end of a dead end, so very secluded if we want to be).

I totally see where you are coming from though. And we do try to be very careful and courteous with our faith, especially with other people's children, as I know I would NOT be ok with someone speaking to my kids (at all really) without me knowing. Not sure 100% why I feel like this is different, but I do. Honestly, for a long time I didn't WANT these kids here. They swear (at 6), look like the rarely shower, are always asking us for snacks when we have them, break my kids toys (my DS lost both his scooter and his bike this summer from them breaking it). And these parents are no where to be seen anytime my husband tries to talk to them. So we changed our attitude. We are just going to love on them, love them, spend time with them, and honestly, that is going to include our daily routine. It started when my son (8) asked them if they read the Bible, and if they wanted to with him. (sadly for all the kids- he decided to start in the book of Deuteronomy...LOL)
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