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“My baby’s not a Christian or a Muslim. She’s a Guardian reader”

The latest CIF piece on religion:

My baby’s not a Christian or a Muslim. She’s a Guardian reader

But there’s no Guardian-readers’ academy, so I’ll be happy to have values close to mine instilled by a CofE school instead

I don’t want to just give my daughter some kind of impartial overview of different perspectives. It’s not just my parental right to teach her my values, it’s my responsibility. I will teach her to stand up against bullying and prejudice and to treat others with respect, equality and kindness. I’ll teach her that social justice is worth fighting for and rampant materialism is depressing. I’ll teach her to buy free-range eggs and, goddammit, I’ll teach her to read the Guardian and not the Daily Mail!

I can’t quite say that my two-year-old is a Guardian-reading child (although she is very advanced) but I certainly plan to bring her up as one. Children’s capacities for moral thought need to be stimulated when they’re tiny. If I keep my values from her until she’s 18 then I’ll leave her exposed to mobs and ideologies that are driven by hatred, ignorance or vested interests.

There’s personality and tribalism in the values we take hold of. And atheistic secularism is no more neutral than Catholicism. Let’s all nail our colours to the mast and tell our children what we think. I’ll search for a school that’s as close a match as possible to my values. I’d love to send my daughter to a Guardian-readers’ academy but until I find one I’ll probably make do with the local CofE school.

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