What Richard Dawkins gets wrong about raising children religious

The famous atheist says parents shouldn't force their religions opinions on children. But it's not that simple.

Church
(Image credit: (REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo))

The justly celebrated biologist Richard Dawkins has kindly asked that we stop ascribing religious beliefs to children. It would be silly to refer to a four-year-old as a Marxist because his parents are Marxist, so why in the world should we credit to children a belief in the Resurrection or Muhammad riding to heaven on horseback? "Don't Force Your Religious Opinions on Your Children," the title of his newest article instructs us.

I used to agree with this, broadly speaking. I thought the fact that my mother left if it up to me to decide whether I wanted to continue to go to Mass — I didn't — made my later reversion to faith more authentic. I imagined that I would be really cool and liberal about the religion thing when I had kids. In a sense, I would leave it up to God and them.

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