Wednesday, November 04, 2009

NaNoWriMo: Day 4

Raising Children
When i go to public rituals I always notice the parents and I've noticed that a lot of them are raising their children Pagan. Now I'm not saying I'm against this, but I just hope they stay open minded pagan because there are crazies in every religion.

I've had people come up to me to admire my beautiful girls and ask me if I was raising them Pagan. I'm not. I'm not raising them without beliefs, I'm just not giving them a set doctrine to follow. I remember growing up with my mother and that when it seemed like i was "straying from the narrow path" my mother would force me to go to church. By the tie I was in high school I just didn't care anymore. I had had the Christian religion shoved down my throat so much. One thing I was glad about was that even if she forced me to go she couldn't make me listen. I slept through most sermons. I don't want to be that to my children. I want them to be able to choose and follow the path they feel the most comfortable with. If they end up atheist like their father, so be it. If they end up Catholic or Jewish, I don't really care which as long as they are happy and not wreaking havoc. I believe their souls are their own and that the path they follow is theirs to choose. I have plenty of literature for them to go through. Plenty. we own about 7 different bibles in two different languages and 3 different translations. I have the book of Mormon in both Spanish and English. then of course i have a ton of literature on Wicca and Buddhism and other pagan religions. if they ever need someone to talk to, I'm pretty well read on the subject matter. i just really don't want to be like my mother was to me when it came to religion.

one of the things i really hated about church as a kid was all the hypocrisy. it was ridiculous. my mom's boyfriend once asked me why i didn't like to go to church. i told him it was because all the women spent 90% of their time gossiping about the rest of the member in the church. thankfully my mother was never one of them. she may have been seriously too devout for my liking, but she wasn't a hypocrite in that aspect.

i would always find them in the coffee room chatting it up about "hey did you hear about sister so-and-so" which would irritate the hell out of me. I mean, what kind of example are you setting to the youth of that establishment with talking about fellow members behind their backs? what does that say about you as a Christian, as a person? It probably wouldn't have bothered me so much if it hadn't been the Pastor's wife who was the ring leader in most of the gossip groups. That had to be a terrible feeling when you would walk in on them and find the lady in charge of the place talking shit about members of the church.

That actually happened to my mother once. She came up to me one afternoon and asked if I had said something mean about her. I told her I had been joking with my friend KC that you'd probably say I needed Jesus, but that i really wasn't serious. he and i were just making a joke. But apparently someone else had heard and was passing it around like my mother was this terrible parent who didn't have control over her daughter. My mom, being awesome, totally confronted them ad they spoke about her and corrected the,m. Then she told them how unprofessional and just downright classless and tacky it was to talk about people and gossip. "Thou shall not bear false witness against one another."

I just can't stand hypocrisy. I try my damnedest not to be like that. Granted, I'm only human. I'm sure I've messed up multiple times, but i really try. What I believe in is what makes me who I am and I try and follow that wholeheartedly. I don't want to be a flake. I don't want to be a nut. I don't want to be a pat of a system where it feels like they should be a part of cereal (flakes, fruits, and nuts) I want a better example for my children when they are old enough to choose what kind of religious path is right for them.

I want them to be fulfilled. That was one problem I had with going to church. I used to be very devout. I was an officer in my youth group. I graduated from the school of ministry when I was only 13. Even now, I took three years of theological study and became an ordained minister. But i just never felt complete. I always felt like something was missing. I never feel like that when I'm at home lighting a candle and praying to Gaea for insight or to Aphrodite for some serious self-esteem boost for sexy-time. I always feel safe and protect and whole when I practice. I never felt that way in Christianity. I always felt awkward and ashamed. Is that the kind of feeling I want my children to have? Heavens, no. so they get to choose.

I was in a forum where one of the people there was raised in a Wiccan household. She stated that her mother was the equivalent of a Christian fundamentalist, except Wicca. I shuddered. It doesn't matter what religion it is, please, let your children decide. I understand as parents who have to nurture them and guide them, but when it comes to spirituality, let them choose for themselves when they are old enough to understand. And then let it go and support them if it is a healthy choice that does them no harm. research it with them and support them. Telling them they are wrong and shoving it down their throats is only going to push them away or scare them into believing something they don't agree with.

Reactions
So I spoke to Leigh today and actually asked her all of my questions. She wasn't offended at all! I was actually very surprised on how she responded to my curiosity. Whenever I ask someone serious questions about specific topics discussed in their religious texts they get huffy and defensive. I'm not trying to attack them by all means. I just want to better understand. Leigh, however, was excited for the challenge. She was honest with me and let me know that she didn't have the answers but that she was going to go home and research them tonight and then come back later with whatever answers she could acquire. I admire her zest.

I told Jay how Leigh handled my inquisition and was impressed by how wrong he was about the outcome. I guess we both were. This is the first time anyone has been grateful for questioning. Most just get upset and are like “How dare you question my Truth!” Leigh on the other hand, was thrilled. She saw it as a test to better herself on her faith. She welcomed it, accepted it, and is working through it. She told me she was excited that i was asking such deep questions and thanked me because then she could strengthen her faith and knowledge by being able to find these answers. She loved my questions and found them to be very insightful.

This is refreshing. It's nice to find someone who is not ashamed of not knowing and is okay with saying “I don't know – but I'll find out!” I think more people need to be like that instead of just trying to pull a bunch of bullshit out of their ass to make themselves feel superior. Granted, I still don't agree on her belief that everyone who doesn't worship Jehovah is wrong, but I can't deny that I like her style.

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