On Raising Children without God

In one of the highest viewed posts to CNN’s iReport site, a contributor recently posted her views on religion in an article titled ‘Why I Raise My Children without God.’ While I am a regular church-going, daily-praying Catholic, I staunchly respect her view. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. What kind of society would we live in if we could force our religion, our politics, our personal beliefs on others? What would that say about our religion, our values, our ability at acceptance if we refused to acknowledge counter-points?

The CNN blogger rightly brings up interesting rebuttals to the presence of God. I understand that it would be difficult to believe in a deity who cannot be seen or heard. She writes, “No imaginary person is going to give us the answers or tell us why. Only we have the ability to be logical and to problem solve, and we should not abdicate these responsibilities to “God” just because a topic is tough or uncomfortable to address.” I can fully appreciate that instead of believing, she’s going to take accountability and work to solve problems. There are too many religious people who say that everything is God’s will which drives me bat-shit-cray-cray. God helps those who help themselves. Get it together, people!

I believe in God mainly because I was raised in the faith. If I hadn’t been forced to go to church every week, or attend Catholic schools, or pray every night, I probably wouldn’t believe either. Instead, I was immersed in Catholicism. My best friends believe. I married a man who, along with his family, shares my religion.

Did I ever question the existence of God? Of course, because I am a free thinker! But at the end of the day, I don’t have scientific evidence. I can’t give a powerpoint presentation with specific bullet points on why God is all-knowing. This is why it’s called faith. Is it blind faith? Of course not. Everyone has their own road to believe or not. But I can personally say that God listens. That is my truth and that’s what’s important. It’s actually all that matters.

Because religion is important to me, I will raise my child in the faith. That includes church, prayers, and all the rituals that go along with Catholicism. It includes private Catholic school which for me is non-negotiable. I want my kid to be loved by our faith, to love the faith, but most importantly to have a foundation of love and acceptance.

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Comments

  1. I confess that I didn’t read the CNN article, but I think this post is really interesting. I was baptized Catholic but not raised in a home that attended church, etc. regularly. When I was younger, I just accepted that God existed because everyone said he did, so he must, right? I struggle with the concept of faith as I’ve gotten older and I’m not really sure what I believe. I wouldn’t say I’m raising my kids ‘without God’ because one of them attends church regularly with my brother-in-law and I don’t discourage it…I want her (well, both my kids, really) to make their own decisions about what they believe in.

    I also struggle mightily with the concept of faith because to me, all faith is somewhat ‘blind faith.’ It seems to me that when it comes to religion and theological teachings, you have to accept some things as ‘the rules of how it works’ even in the face of some scientific facts and when I’ve questioned this to people who attend church regularly, nobody seemed to have any answers or even want to consider the question, really. I’d be interested in hearing more about how you practice ‘faith’ that isn’t ‘blind faith’ because I’m really trying to gain perspective on something that’s it’s a difficult concept for me.

    Sorry, this got really long.

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