Include, not exclude.
When our daughter was 6 we had to allay her fears that Mummy and Daddy would be going to hell because we don’t believe in Jesus…. I was so angry, we opted her out the next day… what kind of values is that? Scaring little children.
We often hear in church about the 10-40 window for evangelising people in the world. For me it’s a 9 to 3 window.
They definitely taught us about Hell when I did it in primary school. They said that we would burn in fire unless we were saved by Jesus.
My son would come home very upset that he was put back into the classes despite them knowing I had opted him out.
My son used to come home and check behind every door to make sure God wasn’t hiding there. He was terrified of God.
My daughter came home, asking if I would be going to hell and if she had to as well. I would far rather, given our changing society, to have my children taught about different religions, tolerance, to ask questions without fear of reprisal or judgement, and to gain an appreciation for other cultures and beliefs, than the current state of affairs.
My 8-year-old was too scared to go to sleep. He had been a bit naughty and thought he was going to die and burn in the fiery hell.
It was a member of her church who saw nothing wrong with teaching my then 5-year-olds class all about hell alongside ‘but if you believe in God you get to go to heaven.
In my 5-year-old’s class, pick up sticks were thrown over the floor and the kids were asked to pick them up. When they were finished, the instructor looked up and said “Good job kids. The reason we did this was to learn that, girls, if we work really hard we will get a good husband.” She turned to me and said, “Isn’t that right!”
I’d get in trouble with a lot of my fellow Christian ministers, but in schools, we don’t need Christian religious education, we need people to be literate about the religions that are in New Zealand.