Mum Feels Conflicted About Putting Her Child in Church Day Care When She Doesn’t Believe In God
Choosing the right childcare for your kids is one of the most stressful things you’ll have to deal with as a parent. There are so many factors that come into play when deciding who will be looking after your most precious cargo. From the location, to the staff to how clean the toilets are, there’s a LOT to think about!
What happens though when the best childcare centre for your child happens to be run by the local church? And you don’t believe in God. Is it okay to ‘join’ the church just to get your kid into the daycare program?
A mum recently wrote into the advice column section of Slate where she spoke about the conflict she feels in doing exactly this. But as she explains, daycare is so competitive and the church run one is so good!
Dear Care and Feeding,
My husband and I are expecting our first child, and we happen to live in a city where day care is extremely competitive. I’m talking two-plus-year waitlists everywhere we toured. I want to increase our chances of getting into one of these coveted programs any way I can. The majority of these great programs are run by churches. While we happen to be atheists, I’m not opposed to religion, and I think it’s good to expose our child to it as an option they may want.
My in-laws are super religious and will demand we get baby baptized in their religion. I’m fine with that. It’s just a little water, and they’re not trying to make me convert (yet).
Here’s the problem: In an effort to dramatically increase our chances of getting into a good day care, I want to join the church of my No. 1 pick. It’s not the religion of my in-laws. My husband thinks we should just hope for the best and let the chips fall where they may.
He has no issue with the baptizing, since we get no benefit other than making his parents happy. I think they’re both on the same ground ethically, since I am not particularly fond of my in-laws’ religion and will never attend a service there or join that community.
-Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing
Hmmmm. Interesting isn’t it? Personally I don’t see anything wrong with what the mum wants to do. If she feels that the church would provide the best program for her child then why not? It’s not the family worships Satan in their spare time. They simply don’t believe in God. Which is their right. As long as they’re not disrespectful to the teachings that their child may receive I see nothing wrong with it. After all how many kids these days attend Catholic schools without actually being Catholic? The answer is A LOT!
Of course people had a lot to say to the mum and not everyone was as supportive.
“Are you going to be that couple complaining when your kid comes home singing Jesus songs and wanting you to do the actions that go with?” one person asked in the comments. “Are you going to be grousing about the Christmas Carol sing along and the Easter pageant and the mealtime prayer and the Bible lesson? If so, best to find somewhere else. Your kid and the other kids and the other parents are best served if you’re not actively undermining a core part of the daily routine.”
“If you can get into the daycare without [expletive] on and desecrating a closely held religious sacrament many people believe in as a covenant with their God, do that instead,” another person agreed. “I’m sure they’d be happy to accept atheist money if you respect and not appropriate their religion.”
“It sounds like joining the parents’ church, however, would necessitate constant lying — that’s disrespectful to the congregation,” another wrote.
The advice columnist herself agreed that it probably wouldn’t hurt the church if they joined as non-believers just to help their child out.
What do you think? Is it okay?