Thursday, September 27, 2012

Religious Research

          I have been doing research on different religions, not for myself but for my oldest child(and the younger two to some extent).
          My son speaks about God and Jesus in Christian terms only through information that was given to him by relatives and attending church a few times. My oldest daughter is getting the idea of Christianity as well now.
          It was at the point when my son informed me, "If you don't believe in God, you'll go to hell" that I came to the realization that I have not been doing my part in religious teaching.
          You see I do not believe that there is a Hell. I do not believe that you should put faith and fear into things like that. It is not healthy and quite honestly, it is terrifying and especially to a child. I remember being young and being told in Sunday school that you had to believe in God and Jesus and if you didn't then you would burn in Hell for all eternity. I never believed that such a horrible place could exist for decent people who don't know what they believe in. The only response I could give to my son was, "Yes, that is what Christians believe."
          I never talk about what I believe, it is personal and should not be aired out in my opinion for all to see and judge. So I will not tell you today what it is that I believe in but I will tell you what I am going to teach to my children.
          I have summarized beliefs on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, Judaism, Neo-Paganism/Wicca, Primal Indigenous, and Sikhism.  Some were easy and some were more difficult. Some were even hard for me to fully understand myself but it is important that I do. Which makes me think of Gandhi, who said "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."
          I wish that someone would have taken the time to teach me about different religions instead of just trying to make me believe what they believed because they were biased. Ultimately, what my children grow up to believe in is completely up to them and I will not think them wrong for what they believe in even if it is not what I believe. I just want to make sure that they are educated early and do not feel the need to ever judge someone else for believing in that which they do not understand.
          Part of being a parent is giving your children the tools necessary to live up the their full potential as human beings. It is no one's responsibility but your own to see to it that your children are given those tools. Who they are is completely their own choice but you will know that you did everything you were supposed to do while they were in your care and under your wing. 

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