What should I tell the children?
Got into a discussion with a relative the other day about the whole attending-church-whilst-not believing-a-word-of it thing. What do we tell the children when they ask why we are going to church?
The relative thinks we shouldn’t even let our kids know that we are unbelievers in case it gets back to their teachers. Then to the church. Then the application is rejected. Her argument is that primary teachers meet secondary teachers to discuss intake (true) and this may come up. I was a little worried and spoke to a friend who has taught in primary schools. He reassured me: when primary teachers meet secondary teachers it is usually after pupils have been accepted and it is to discuss academic ability, special needs, behaviour issues, etc. He couldn’t remember religion coming up; even when meeting representatives from the local Catholic school.
I suspect it is more to do with my relative’s belief that “atheism” is a dirty word and should only be mentioned by consenting adults. I, on the other hand, think that children should know that non-belief is an option.
I do worry that the children might come out with something at an inappropriate time or place. The options appear to be (a) lie about everything and assure them church is good, God exists, etc, etc, or (b) tell the truth about everything: your parents don’t believe but we’re doing it to get you into a decent, local secondary school so please keep quiet about it. We have explained it to the eldest and she understands. We have to be a bit more careful with the youngest.
A tricky one.