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.

Got Religion?

This is a rant, mainly because I can’t stand hypocritical people.

There are those of us who are religious and those of us who aren’t. And let’s face it, there really aren’t any ‘tweeners. You either believe or you don’t.

These days it’s hard to openly admit that you’re religious because it simply isn’t cool to say that you’re Methodist or Mormon. It’s perfectly acceptable to say you’re spiritual or Buddhist, but as soon as you declare that you’re Jehovah’s Witness, consider yourself a social deviant. We live in an anti-religious society which is why there are so many people who hate Tebow, because he not only believes, but also professes. The way he practices–believes, preaches, and acts–takes a lot of courage. But apparently, you’re supposed to keep those beliefs under wraps. Mum’s the word.

I know a lot of non-believers. I have atheist friends, who I love. I don’t choose my friends based on how closely they align with my own beliefs.

Burners are especially atheist, and also anti-establishment. That’s great. But friggin OWN it!

I’ve been particularly shocked to see the behavior of some Burners I know. As new parents, they’ve been taking pictures of their babies in front of Christmas trees. One baby was dressed up in a Santa outfit in front of a nativity scene. Next thing you know, the kid is going to be playing Jesus in the school play! For God’s sake, if you don’t believe, then act like the atheist you’ve been claiming to be all these years. It drives me batty! As soon as you’ve birthed a child, you’ve suddenly got religion?

This applies also to people who convert in order to marry someone. How are you suddenly going to turn your back on Christianity and convert to Judaism? I know two Filipino women who did that. Ummm, excuse me? You spend your whole life believing that Jesus Christ is the Savior, then flip to believe that the Messiah is still to come. I can’t think of anything more ridiculous. What man wants to be with a woman who has no backbone? A woman who vacillates when it comes to her own belief system.

Shocking how fickle people can be when it comes to issues that are pretty important.