November 29, 2005

Pick your religion

Categories: Kids

We're not an especially religious family, at least not consistently. Michelle and I both grew up Roman Catholic and have gone back and forth in our faith. We are currently in an "away" swing. This has affected the kids as well. A few weeks ago, Andrew (8) asked me to stop saying his evening prayers, a ritual we've performed his entire life, since he decided he doesn't believe in God. Fine, his choice.

Then, last week, Andrew informed us that he has chosen a new religion, one based on Egyptian mythology. In particular he is drawn to Anubis, the dog-like funeral deity. I'm not sure if this is a result of the research he did into ancient Egypt last year or his fascination (like many eight year-old boys) in Yu-Gi-Oh, but it was certainly a surprise.

I guess I'm pleased he's making his own choices. This one has been harmless so far, i.e. he hasn't tried to embalm Michael (5) or made ritual sacrifice, so I'll let it go. If a temple starts going up in the back yard or he starts cutting strips of muslin, I'll have to step in. Funny, none of the parenting books I've read talked about this contingency.

Posted by Tony at November 29, 2005 12:32 AM | TrackBack

6 Comments

Let me know if you need an expert. I had a girlfriend once who worshipped Oriris, Egyptian Lord of the Dead...

JESUS, IS GIVING EVERY MAN, WOMAN, AND CHILD "ONE LAST CHANCE". NO MATTER HIS OR HER RACE, RELIGION, OR NATIONALITY; TO REPENT AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAY; CONFESS JESUS CHRIST AS LORD AND SAVIOUR. AND DO HIS WILL. HE IS GOING TO CALL ALL THAT HAVE BEEN AND THAT ARE FAITHFUL, PURE, IN HEART AND MIND UP, TO HIM. ALL OTHERS SHALL BE LEFT. EPHRIAM

Ephriam, thanks for sharing your faith.

My husband and I were both raised hardcore Catholics. Then, when I was 14, my mom was excommunicated having been married and divorced to a man (before my father)who was an alcoholic and beat her incessantly! Even tho she worked hard cleaning and helping out at the church. God didnt want her there anymore (?) And my father, well, somewhere around the same time he started studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses. So, after being pulled apart between them everything suddenly stopped religion-wise for my sister and I. My husband never really knew why his family became suddenly against the catholic religion but they pulled him out at 9. And now. I'm 50 years old with an 8 year old and she's asking questions. And where-0h-where do I find the answers. Who really knows the truth???????

The truth that we can know must be observed. Desiring more than that leads to "beliefs" -- which are quite distinct from truth at times.

Find out where you are now. Ask yourself what you REALLY believe. Then see if you have any evidence for that or if you just prefer to accept it on faith.

I used to believe everything taught to me about Christianity. The more I learn, the less I honestly believe everything.

Personally, Buddha's method of observation and insight meditation as opposed to blind faith appeals to me. He did not say what one should believe, but that one should discover it personally and use what works. The ethics of real Buddhism work for me for the most part, but I still retain much of my affinity for Christian virtues.

Now, however, I ask my own heart instead of looking to an authority figure to make the decision for me. I'm the one who has to live with it. He may have written recommendations that do not fit me at all. Yet, I try to never use this as an excuse to condone misconduct or sin. That would defeat the real purpose for me.

So I say, believe in yourself! See what YOU think. If it's way off track, will a bunch of fancy dogmas really fix what's inside? Either way, you still have yourself to deal with.

Once you've done your research, make the best choice. Like you would choose food or a partner. No religion is perfect as no partner is. Seeking that is the neverending search of madness. Seek reality and you'll find it right under your nose...

I am atheist, in that I do not have any theistic approach to the universe. I try to tolerate religion, and learn moral lessons from each, but I do not feel I need folklore or mythology to teach me moral lessons.
When I need faith, I usually turn towards pagan beliefs- back to Earth religions involving universal energy and Nature as a center. I suppose it all relates to the way I was raised- by tepid environmental Unitarians.

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