We should stop labelling children as Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims or anything of that sort.
Forcing an identity and a set of beliefs upon children is infantile. In fact, it is common for children to dress up their dolls in clothes they like and make them do activities that they enjoy doing. So adults, don’t be like your children. There is no need to enforce a certain claim to be the absolute truth to your children. In fact it only shows weakness and insecurity.
Take for example the idea that the world is spherical in shape. There is no need to tell your child that this is the truth and this is what they need to believe because when they start to think for themselves and analyse those things they know to be true about the world they will come to that conclusion anyway.
An even more important argument for not forcing your beliefs upon your children is that you might be wrong. We might all be completely wrong. As time has revealed, and progress has made possible, we can now see that we have been wrong about the majority of scientific claims throughout history.
What if mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (who first formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the centre of the universe) did not question the Church’s position that the earth was the centre of the universe because his parents forbade him to? What if Einstein’s parents forbade him even to think that Newton could be wrong about the nature of gravity? What if we were forbidden to question Einstein’s hypothesises? Would there be any progress at all if we took out current understanding of the world to be sufficient, even perfect?
What is the use of proclaiming certain ideas holy, beyond scrutiny? If they are true, then surely we will find them to be true.
The very act of calling a child ‘Christian’ or anything of that sort is ridiculous practice in and by itself. As if there is any pride to be held in convincing a child of anything. To make them sing any song, or proclaim any creed. What merit is there in claiming this achievement?
Who would be proud to show others that he could make a dry sponge wet by soaking it in water? Is the child’s brain not similar to the sponge?
A 9-year-old child is no more a Christian or a Muslim then it is a Conservative or a Liberal. It hasn’t made the decision to be anything, and it can’t, even though some parents may be in the illusion that their little geniuses have made this choice independently and after a thorough cross-textual analysis with the sharpness of Cicero’s argumentation to defend their position.
Instead of teaching children what to think we should teach them how to think.
I ask you to encourage your children to think for themselves and go on the wonderful journey of life whereby human beings give meaning to their own lives.
Let them label themselves.