Originally Posted by genghiskhan
While they're at it, can they also choose if you're going to be a child that believes in pro-life or pro-choice? Can they also impose their political beliefs on you? Comparing religion to education, healthcare and other necessities is nonsensical because religion itself is a personal thing, there is no real logic in it, as there is in school (i.e. you go to school, you get a good education and acquire some skills that will help you to earn a living later on in life), this is what is best for you, and it is pretty much a fact. Religion is not a fact, it isn't even an opinion, it's a belief system. Would you agree that parents can enforce their opinions on their child as they can force
a belief system as such?
What? Why? Brainwashing isn't a right. Childhood indoctrination is not a privilege.
Again, religion has nothing to do with your health and well being, if I don't accept a certain religion does that make me susceptible to cancer? Does it suddenly make me a bad person? No. It just means I'm now believing in the same thing my parents do which no one has any good reason to believe in anymore.
Another quick point I'd like to add is you mentioned that 'Friends have more influence of children (Smoking, drinking, drugs) than religion does'. That, is social influence. We're talking about religious indoctrination. When you're out with friends, they're not necessarily imposing it on you, you'd probably be pressurized to do it because you don't want to feel left out, but this isn't the same as threatening your child with torture and damnation if they refuse to conform with their beliefs.
I think you are taking the definition of religion in an extreme case where parents force children to believe everything they want. Perhaps in countries where there is a strict set of beliefs one has to believe in. In a western family, for example lets take mine for example, my parents believe in God and therefore I believe in God. I probably went to church about 5 times in my life. I choose to be religious but my parents have never forced me.
Even the law unequivocally has said that a parent has the right to choose the religion for the child. This is mentioned in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which most countries have ratified to. The law goes to further say where two parents (who have separated) have different religions the child should be exposed to both religions till he gets to an age where he can choose which one he prefers. The definition of well being includes religion, and since well being is the parents responsibility, the parent should have the right to expose the child to whatever religion they wish to.