A good many parents decline to give their children any religious instruction, saying that they think it is better to "let them make up their own minds."  But declining to teach is itself a way of teaching, a very effective one, which transmits belief in a very definite creed with eight articles:  (1) It is not important for children to know anything about God.  (2) The questions which children naturally ask about Him require no answers.  (3) Parents know nothing about Him worth passing on.  (4) To think about Him adequately, no preparation is needed.  (5) What adults think about Him makes no difference.  (6) By implication, He does not make any difference either; God is not to be treated as God.  (7) If anything is to be treated as God, it will have to be something other than He.  (8) This is the true creed, and all other creeds are false.

In general, a person who has been raised in a sound tradition is far better prepared to change his mind, should his beliefs prove faulty in some particular respect, than a person who has been raised "to make up his own mind" about them.  While the former has at least acquired some equipment -- the habit of taking important things seriously, and a body of inherited reflections about what some of these things are -- the latter is weighed down with different baggage:  The habit of not taking important things seriously, and the habit of considering the way things really are as less important than what he thinks of them at the moment.