Kids, religion and church
 

Religious education of kids can cause uncontrollabe fears and agonies at them, because kids are still not be able to discern between matters of faith and objective facts. Therefore a religious neutral education is necessary in order to give kids the chance to decide themselves free for or against religion one day.

 

<<< from my religious rexercise - book at the catholic St. Marien Volksschule (primary school) in Wanne - Eickel from 1963/4


Translation of the hand written text:
The mortal sin devides people from God. Everybody who dies with the mortal sin, comes into the hell, because he has lost the grace of life.
without sin - venial sin - mortal sin cuts the connexion between God and men.

 

Unfortunately a lot of parents, uncles and other relatives react in a very disconcerned way, if they are asked by their kids: "Please tell me What is about the dear God." Normally the kids will receive no ansers at all, or evasive and unsufficient answers. But confident and honest conversations about religion are as important as the sex - instructions for the kids.

I want to deal with this theme by a role play for simplification, a fictitious conversation between a father and his son. (Naturally it could also deal with a conversation between a mother and her daughter, but we should not complicate this theme).

Son
Father, do you have a little bit time for me? I would like to talk with you about the dear God.

Father
Oh, that will be a very comprehensive theme. But today I ´m really too tyred, because I ´d to work all over the day. But I ´m going to have a lot of spare time next week. What ´s abot next thursday evening?

Son
Oh well, it´s okay.

AT THE NEXT THURSDAY IN THE EVENING

Sun
I ´m really astonished that you wants to talk with me about religion in fact.

Father
Why not?

Son
Thomas of the school said that nobody would be interested in to talk with him about religion. Why not at all?

Father
People don´t like to do so. It will be very unpleasant for them and perhaps they are afraid to talk about it.

Son
Why do they are afraid?

Father
...because they are very unsure by themselves.

Son
You drives me more curious. Why do they are unsure?

Father
Because everybody is telling something else, than nobody knows at all to whom or to what he shall believe. Ask some different people about their faith. Everyone will tell you something else.

Son
I have wonderer at it also. Some pupil in my class are catholic, others are evangelic, than there are a few Moslems, one Jew and others without any religious confession.

Father
The last ones we can ignore. But religious people have got very different opinions of their faith to God.

Son
...but only one opinion can be right.

Father
Surely
. I wanted to come to know during my childhood. Therefore I was interested in this theme. At I fisrt I noticed that only men have got a religion, but not animals.

Son
This is an interesting question I never thought about before. Why do animals have not got any religion?

Father
Because animals are not intelligent enough in order to ask questions. Questions about incidents in the nature, why do exist earth - quakes, thunderstorms, overflows, drynesses etc. , but there are also questions what will be, when you will be dead one day.

Son
We ´ve got the nature science in order to explain this questions. Indeed not all answers of the science will be perfect, but we can hear sufficient theories at all.

Father
Let´s see, during the first time when men separated from their next relatives in the animal kingdom, the monkeys, there were naturally no scientists at all which would be able to explain matters in a reasonable way. Therefore people created "God". Everything they could not explain in a reasonable way became "God" till them..

Son
If this were anything... Than God were nothing bad. But than God could heve been abolished after the introduction of the modern science.

Father
You will be all right. But during the meantiome the churches established themselves and were afraid of their existence. The churches needed a God in order to remain senseful.

Son
Ali said at school a few days ago, That the religion had been created by God. Therefore God would had been made the churches too?

Father
If God had made religion respectively the churches, he would make only only religion but not about 800 different ones.

Son
...but who could the churches came into their existence?

Father
Naturally, there are always people who are a little bit more intelligent than the average. Those people noticed that the Gods who can quake the earth or let flashes and thunderstorms roar must have got a lot of power and force. Therefore this very intelligent people decided to misuse the force and power of the Gods for their miserable worldly purposes. You can exploit and enslave men by their religion and make them to become irresolute subjects. So the churches came into their existence, the organized religiousness. State and church were the same until the time about 200 years ago.

Son
Yes. The churches demand to represent God on earth. But are the churches worse principially? Socker fans do also have clubs.

Father
I will explain it to you by a simple example: You want your fried Tobi to pay you 5 EUR per month.

Son (astonished)
Why should he do so?

F
ather
Let´see, if you want to get money from him, you have to promise him a return service for that, for example to clean his bicycle every two weeks.

Son.
Buu.... Than he shall keep the 5 EUR.

Father
Aha, but the church solves this problem more handy. The church promises for the money a service to Tobi, he cannot verify, because he shall receive all promised benefits already after his death: Eternal life, putting up in the paradise, 41 virgins etc..

Son
That´s true. He cannot complain about the falso promises when he will be dead. ...but, I cannot imagine that Tobi would believe such matters, if I would have promised him. How can I supply the heaven with 41 virgins for everybody?

Father
Sure. ...and therefore we have to inform people.

Son
What will the church do, if people do not want to believe any longer in a life after death in the heaven?

Father
The church threatens for safety unbelieving people also with the hell and purgatory too.

Son
One moment, please. That would be like I would say to Tobi: " Pay 5 EUR to me every month, or I will beat you at your face."

Father
You are right. That would be blackmailing.

Son
But such behaviour is not be legal. Than the police would came and put me to jail.

Father.
Sure. But I will be a different, wheter a normal citizen commits crimes or the church.

Son (astonished)
The church may do so?!

Father
Yes, the church has got special rigths. The church may commit unmolested misdemianors and criminal delicts starting with the aleady still harmless ringing of church bells...

Son
....surely, I ´m not allowed to do so. A few days ago sombody complained in the tram, because my walkman was too loud. But the church can make as much noise as it wants.

Father
...up to serious bodily injuries, vor example circumcisions.

Son
Hmm. It will not be very pleasant to be circumcisioned.

Father
...and the church is allowed to threaten erverybody with hell and purgatory..

Son
Well, but today there will be nobody who is believing it.

Father
Fortunately.

Son
But what shall the church do, if people are not willing to be blackmailed by hell and purgatory in such a simple wayany longer, because they don´t believe in it at all?

Father
There is another very effective method. You can talk people into false feeling of guilts, if they don´t want to pay.

Son
I see, you think about Jesus who sacrificed his life for us.

Father
...pretendet sacrificed his life for us!.

Son
Even he did so, 2000 year have been passed in the meantime. Why shall we pay for that till today?

Father
Of course, the church noticed that this argument is a little bit poor. Therefore the church is engaged in the social sector for centuries.

Son
You mean kindergartens, homes for the aged, hospitals, helpfor the Third World. This work is necessary of course, but the costs are not be paid by the church itself at all. However I heard it alrady very often.

Father
You are right, the church lets pay other people for its welfare and makes public relation for itself with it.

Son
Let us stay at our example. Let us suppose that I would tell Tobi, I would save the lives of hungry kids in Africa by his money.

Father
Sure, and if Tobi will not pay, he causes the dead of the kids.

Son
Problably he would pay in this case.

Father
...and than you will sent on fact 50 cents from his 5,-- EUR to Africa and from the rest of his money you will buy sweets and comic books. If the kis have to die of hunger, may be indifferent for you at all.

Son
But that would be a mess! One cannot act in such a way!

Father
But the church does so! The church spents only 10 % of its income for social purposes.

Son
Why do people pay money to the church at all in this case?

F
ather
The church is still being able to make people silly. The church controls mighty mass medias, newspapers, television, internet etc. The church spents every year some billions EUR for propaganda purposes.

Son
Why does our state tolerate such a behaviour?

Father
Because the church bputs pressure by its money to the state to pay money furthermore. The church plays off the political parties against the others and makes common cause with the most dictatorships.

Son
Like during the time at Adolf Hitler?

Father
It´s similar. The church looks always only for its own fortune..

Son
But I think you have to understand it. If the churches hadn´t make common cause with the Nazis, the communists would perhaps taken over the power. That may had cost the church its head.

Father
The churches were not really afraid pf the communists. If the church was persecuted by the communists, the church could profit by the pity ploy. Finnally the churches would be advanced by that, during the communists had nearly whole of the world against them at all.

Son
You don´t ask for forbbing the churches?

Father
By no means! But we have to make clear limits what kind of actions by practising the religion can be tolerated or not. The church may not demand for privileges in future. Especially the seperating from state and church has to be introduced. The state may not be allowed to finance the practising of religion.

Son
But could the church exist any longer by this conditions at all?

Father
The old state churches have to be abolished in the kind of today. But smaller religious communities like the evangelical freikirchlichen parishes, the Mormons or Jehova´s Witnesses will exist in future too.

HINT: It is not possible to translate the German word "freikirchlich". Evangelical freikirchliche communities seperated from the big and well known German evangelic state - church a long time ago in order they disagreed with the official politics of it. The freikirchliche communities do not demand church taxes and practise the baptism of grown - up people, their members are believing in "God" in a very serious way. The freikirchliche communities were persecuted and discriminated by the evangelical state - church respectively by the German state from time to time.

Son
But why shall such smaller communities exist any longer, even religion is nonsense?

Father
Most people do not decide themselves because of rational arguments but also of feelings. There are a lot of people who need religion.

Son
Even religion is nonsense?

Father
Yes, at all.

Son
I don´t understand what you want to say.

Father
For example, the boy of our neighbor consumes drug. Can you understand his behaviour?

Son
If I respect it in a rational way, I can´t understand it. Drugs are unhealthy and make a man dependant from the drugs.

Father
The boy also knows it by himself, because he isn´t stupid, but nevertheless he consumes the drugs. This example proves that people don´t act always reasonable.

Son
Now, religion is not unhealthy at alll.

Father
Normally not. But religion causes a spiritual dependance of man and effects similar like a drug. There are also people consuming drugs or inflicting wilfully bodily pains in order to reach religious ecstasy.

Son
Oh, I think I ´ve seen it at the television. Native people do so, I think.

Father
But also incense using by the catholic church containd drug - similar substances.

Son
In this case the difference between Christianity and other religions will not be so great, isn´t it?

Father
The difference is great in fact at all. The native people never tried to proselytize the rest of mankind with their religion. Besides them they lived in accordance with nature. The red Inidians cared about artificial birth - control indeed. That was a worse crime in Europe at this time.

Son
You are thinking that non - european religions will be more human?

Father
Yes, mostly. Because in this cases the religion is holding the spotlight and not the despotic church.

Son
Hm, if I may summarize what you ´ve said, the problem will be the churches but not the acoording religions at all.

Father
You are sure. Religion is a private matter, but the church not till the churches force people to pay money and demand privilegies.

Son
But what can we do? The poticians have failed unconcerned they are democrats or dictators. Besides them they had to confess in publicity having maken mistakes in the past which have to be corrected now.

Father
We need a new basic democratic civil right movement world - wide.

Son
Similar to the time of 1968?

F
ather
Yes, you can compare it.

Son
But the hippies had never a chance indeed.

Father
The great revolution didn´t took place, but they reached smaller modifications. The society has been becoming more free since this time.

Son
But 40 years have been passend for this time.Aber das ist jetzt auch schon 40 Jahre her.

Father
You are right, and therefore we have to engage ourselves. We have to act quickly. The population of the earth is growing by 75 millions of people every year. If we cannot get the problem under control, the end of mankind will come soon. Of course the churches know this matters, but in spite of that fact they prohibite birth control further more.

Son
Do you wont to say that the churches want willfully the end of mankind, because they cannot survive any longer?

Father
The behaviour of churches makes this suspect rising up. But in each case the churches want to get a lot of weak and poor people, because such weak and poor men are more sensitive for religion. The churches wouldn´t be interested in that everybody could live in welfare.

Son
But what shall we do? The politicians are not doing anything, but what could do a real civil right movement? I doubt the success...

Father
You may not forget the justice. If the churches are objecting laws any longer, one can act.

Son
But the churches have surely undercut also the justice?

Father
Surely, why not? But such trials can be won in the most easiest way in America, our system of justice is improper for such demand.

Son
America is far away.

Father
Good things will be successful, independant the ´ve came from America or Europe or elsewhere. But somebody has to beginn.

Son
Hmm. But do you think the churches would put up with the judgements? They churches would defend themselves by all powers!

Father
Therefore it´s necessary to publisih all activities. If the church will denfends itselfs - especially by using illegal methods - , the church will pillory itself.

Son
Now, I don´t want to be in the position of the churches by myself.

Father
False sympathy would be out of place. The churches have been passing the opportunities to improve themselves for centuries.

Son
Are you optimistic for the future?

Father
Yes, but we have to act!

 

Please tell me your opinon to this talk I would like to publish here at this place!