I want to raise my daughter without religion. She wants to go to church. What should I do?

I want to raise my daughter without religion. She wants to go to church. What should I do?

[Ed. – Who knew the WaPo had branched out into pastoral counseling.]

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

My daughter is 7 and recently has been coming home and talking a lot about religion. We are close friends with multiple families who belong to a church in our area. I have absolutely nothing against Christians, but I made a conscious decision when I had her that she would be raised without any kind of religion (I don’t believe in it and I didn’t really want my daughter to be exposed to it). Now she has been coming home from school and talking about whether God is watching her and whether she is going to hell, which has been unsettling for me. She’s asking to be allowed to go to church (she wants me to take her, but said she wouldn’t mind if she went with her friends’ families instead). How should I handle this? Is this as weird to you as it is to me? I’m not a fan of my 7-year-old​ worrying about hell.


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Your daughter is her own person and can choose her own pat. …. Of course you have to stay watchful … but I would look at this as cultural experiment more than the big G-O-D or H-E-L-L thing.

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