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← Primary school indoctrination (UK)

chezzyd's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by chezzyd

I went to a C of E Primary school (it was the local school - my parents are both non-believers) and was taught about Bible stories, sang hymns, said Grace etc etc. It was pushed a small amount simply by virtue of being the only religion taught. I do remember going through a short phase where I tried to say prayers at night because 'that's what good girls do'. I thought it vaguely silly but tried anyway and got the expected result. I was a voracious reader from a young age and loved the Narnian Chronicles, books about Greek and Roman mythology and the usual Enid Blyton stuff etc etc. I remember very clearly thinking how obvious it was that the Bible was made up in the same way. I wondered why God's appearances were so common back in Bible times but never seen now. I wondered why he only appeared to people in one part of the world. When I asked a teacher and she said all those other storiess aren't real but the ones in the Bible are I knew it didn't make sense and from then on I felt confident that all religions were made up. I cannot imagine a circumstance where I might have been a sincere believer - but then I wonder why it happens to so many others. I have always considered it might be a combination of things: a certain kind of mind, and a more intense immersion from a young age at school, at home and in the childs limited universe (i.e. church) where it could seem to the child that 'everyone else believes so it MUST be true and I must be wrong', coupled with fear of judgement, of punishment, of 'letting people down' - all the social aspects and pressures which come to bear when there is no alternative shown. Some people can shake it off as they get older, some cannot and retreat into an ever shrinking world of denial and single-minded fervour. The fear and the immersion need to be challenged. This is why I completely believe in religion being removed from schools - so there is at least one 'clear' space for children to learn and think away from parental control. However, where religion is involved, if my child came home with such a tale I would probably act as I would if it were any fairy story so the Bible had no more or less importance or credibility than them. No harm done. Kids are pretty smart.

Tue, 10 Jul 2012 12:26:39 UTC | #948833