Letter: Parents and their responsibilities

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The Independent Online
Sir: If Sunday schools were as important in the development of our children's moral sense as Clive Calder and Robert Nathan claim (Letters, 4 March), then surely every parent who had benefited from them would, in turn, ensure that their children did the same.

I believe that the decline in attendance at services - and consequently in the number of children needing to be occupied during the sermon - is in large part due to church-going having ceased to be a social requirement.

The fact that most of these parents, given the freedom of choice and absence of the disapproval attracted by non-attendance in previous generations, are themselves staying away from church bears witness to the relative unimportance of religion in the lives of most of the British population.

The Ten Commandments are not in themselves important. What is important is the message they carry and the values they impart; values by which every civilised society lives, whether Christian or not.

How fit are parents who cannot themselves teach their children that 'anti-social behaviour such as murder, rape, violence and theft' are wrong?

Organised religion cannot claim the monopoly on moral education. This begins well before Sunday school and is not achieved by simply learning a set of rules; moral education should be part of proper parenting.

Yours sincerely,

LUCY McPHALL

London, E11

5 March

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