Religion at Home

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Religion at Home

    Has anyone had a change or heart about religion since becoming a mom?

    I was raised in a strict Catholic household, I rebelled all the way. I'm not really interested in rejoining the Catholic church, but I find myself overwhelmed with gratefulness for whatever forces in the universe made me mother to this amazing baby. I find myself praying more than I ever have before.

    My husband was raised suspicious and without religion, and he often makes unkind, unhelpful and negative statements about religion any time it comes up. I'm not asking him to become all Kum Ba Yah, but I do want the comments to stop and I do want my daughter to feel like she can explore some religions without my husband's constant negative dialog about it. And honestly, I'd like him to pry his mind open just a little bit about it. Religion is not all bad brainwashing. Part of what bugs me is he has no understanding of religion beyond his own negative stereotypes from the news.

    I kind of even want to try another, non-Catholic church but I want my husband's agreement if I am going to involve my daughter in this process, and I don't even know how to approach it. Should I say I'm trying to build another community and resource for my daughter?  

    I'm sure I'm not the only one going through some of this, thought it might be a good Friday topic. Any athiests out there to give me another perspective?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    Wow... were the sex thread and the Santa thread not controversial enough for you?  ;)
    Just teasing; I think this is a great topic.
    I am a little cynical about religion, but I think it's a great source of community and it was when I was a kid as well.  Since the LO was born, we've actually been trying to go to church, but our biggest problem is that church is at nap time!
    I think that you're exactly right that it has to be a joint process with your husband.  Can you start a dialogue with him that is based on what you said above, ideas about community and being grateful and faith in the universe?
    Obviously I am not interested in pushing any particular religion on anyone.  However, if you're coming from a place of wanting a communal way to be thankful, but yet being skeptical of rigid tenets, try a Unitarian Universalist church.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from wrkingmom. Show wrkingmom's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    I am not an athiest but grew up catholic and did all the proper duties: first communion, confirmation, youth ministry, active in the church yadayada...but when I got married we did not want to wait the full year and wanted to do a mini-destination wedding - no catholic church would have us so I started rethinking how I wanted my religious life to proceed once married with kids.  My Husband grew up in an ice hockey rink on sundays...so that was his church.
    We started attending a Lutheran Church in our town and it has been great.  The priests are married with families, they have female clergy but many of the prayers, songs, and rituals are similar to catholic so it felt familiar to me.  We attend as regularly as possible but they are not strict on the every weekend and holiday bit, they are more open on their opinions of different lifestyles ie: living together pre marriage, same sex relationships etc.(though can vary by congregation - they are more independent then catholics obeying the word from the Pope)  This is all stuff I feel strongly about and did not want my children being told things in church or CCD then to have to unbrainwash them upon returning home.  The best part has been creating a network in our town, which neither of us grew up in.  We love it more for the community then the organized religion aspect, though I think it is important for kids to be exposed to an organized religion and educated about the various others out there.  So much in this world, history and present is based on some type of religious belief.  I think a knowledge of that world is key.  Just my opinion.

    Edited: not pushing Lutheran just explaining why I find I like attending church again
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    You might explore an Episcopal church - it has a lot of the familiar Catholic-like traditions you'd probably feel comfortable with without the stuff I'm assuming you don't like.  It's Protestant, by the way, and is the church of choice for many disenchanted Catholics as well as Protestant-Catholic couples I know.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    I was raised Catholic and still am a practicing Catholic...and I was also a theology major in college...so you know I have some bias going in. 

    I love the church community that I'm bringing my daughter up in; she sees the same people week after week who watch her grow and change, she sees that her parents and grandparents do this together (we go to the same Mass) and that it's a part of our family tradition as much as it is our faith, and she can feel like she belongs to this group.  We had her baptized, and plan to have her do CCD, but I see this as much to be about teaching her about the concept of God, the idea of how we should treat one another, and about morals as much as it is religion. 

    I have a LOT of issues with Catholicism, in terms of the hierarchy and the bureaucracy, but I love the rituals, I love the community, and I love our parish.  We actually drive 25 minutes on Sundays to go there, rather than to one of the 3 churches within a 5 block radius of our house, because I value that community.  I have a good friend who was raised Catholic, but has started attending a small Episcipal church because of the community; two of my cousins have done the same.  It's as much about the parish as it is the religion or denomination. 

    As much as the world around us influences how we grow up, our parents will always be the most important teachers we have.  If you want to expose your child to religion and the concept of God, the way you do it is in your hands.  I do think you have to get your husband to appreciate why you're thinking about it, and while he doesn't have to embrace it, he would have to agree not to complain about it! 

    Good luck with whatever you decide! 
     
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  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    Great thread, ML.

    I, too, am very suspicious of religion and don't believe in the concept of "God", as it is commonly known.  However, and I never thought I'd say this, I have had the same thoughts as you since becoming a mom.  Wondering if there is a "church" I could join, even with my belief system, where the focus is community and being good people, as opposed to God, Jesus, and the Bible.  I agree with some-guy to a certain extent, but I know there are congregations out there where the focus is on living your daily life as a good person, and not on preaching out of the Bible.  Your husband may be more open to it if you won't be directly exposing your DD to the core of the things he is against.

    I agree with you that it would be a good idea to have your DH's blessing (so to speak), which might be difficult to get.  If you explain to him what exactly you're looking for, and if it does not include any of the things he takes the most issue with, perhaps he will be ok with it.  My best friend did this with her DH, and now she takes the 3 kids to a local unitarian or congregationalist (I forget which) church, and he stays home.  And everyone's ok with that.

    Good luck - I'll be curious to hear how it plays out.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from cwagner13. Show cwagner13's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    I grew up with parents from very (and I mean very) different religious backgrounds - father grew up as a Christian (Lutheran) but did not go to church and mother grew up with a more Buddhist influences. We probably had more Christian influence in our house but not by a lot - we only went to church if we were with our grandmother (who lived in Europe) or if we wanted to go with our friends, whose families were more diligent about church. I recall going to Sunday school once in a while as young as 4-5. And I have friends from different religions and levels of interest in going to services.

    I have to say I don't fully agree with some-guy in that taking a young child to church/temple is brainwashing - because those rituals may provide comfort to your child as an adult during stressful times (as I seen with one close friend when she hit some really rough times, where the familar rituals from home helped her get through the days). Anyway, atheism is a religion too.


    Having grown up in a non-traditional house with the influcences of both my parents and seeing how my parents would respect the elements of their loved one's background that were important to them, I find that I do tend to lean away from organized religions (including atheism) and lean away from the very rigid structure of some religions with a view on God and the spiritual world more general than specific to one religion.

    My husband is more into wanting to go to a church, so I am letting him drive it - with the condition that we get involved with a church both of us can be comfortable with (there are a few branches we are comfortable with the idea of going to - and it does rule out quite a few Christian branches). We have been caught up in other things going on to revisit it, although as our weekends are less about catch up from the work week, I have a feeling it will pop up again soon.

    It is important to get your husband on board - but I would ask see if you can find out what specifically he does not like (assuming he can do it without using negative putdowns). I have made it clear to my husband what aspects I was not comfortable about with Christianity so that we could find a middle ground - that I am not comfortable with a church that overemphasis archaic rituals and centers solely on Jesus and ignoring everything else nor a community that is very rigid and judgemental. Oh, and we ruled out new age stuff after we dropped in one new age church services... we were not ready for that.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    I like wrkngmom's post a lot, she makes wonderful points about the belief system of the church.  Those are all things you'd want to know before immersing yourself and baby into the community (I mean the general "you", not just you, ML)

    Also, in thinking more about your DH's tendency to religion-bash (my DH is that way, too), it might be good to try and have some conversations (probably will take more than 1) about how you wouldn't want DD to grow up thinking people who believe in religion are bad in some way.  That will be very confusing for her, since she will likely have friends who go to church.  Just as he wouldn't want her brainwashed into certain beliefs having to do with organized religion, you wouldn't want her brainwashed into being predjudice about a whole category of people and not know why. 
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from tbracer39. Show tbracer39's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    I was raised Catholic and like other posters participated in most of the Catholic sacraments. However, once I got Confirmed and started thinkg for myself, I didn't agree with many of the teachings. This hasn't changed much since I've had children.
    It's a sore spot with many in my family that my kids aren't Baptized. I let people know that when my children grow older and are interested in a faith they can be Baptized then. Some still argue that I'm not taking the time to introduce them to religion, so how would they ever become interested. I don't buy that.
    I tend to agree with what Someguy said about it still be mild brainwashing (not that all that religion teaches is bad brainwashing). If For example I take them to a Protestant church, they will be taught to follow their teachings. Who am I to tell my child that this religion's teachings are the correct ones? Why not allow them to make that decision when they are older and can gather more information on what each religion teaches?
    That isn't to say you can't teach them how to be spiritual at a young age. We still practice many of the teachings that religions are based on...be kind to others, help the needy, etc. We dontate to the food bank, toys for tots, etc. I think these things were the most important parts of what I leared from a religion and is what is most important to pass onto your children.
    We stay away from prayers, but that doesn't mean you can't say grace at family meals or teach your child to pray for a sick relative, without having to deal with the rulings of a particular faith.
    My husband was not brought up very religous and thinks all a bunch of hooey. However, I think if I at any point wanted to bring the kids to a church and get them involved, he would be supportive and not say nasty things about it.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    In Response to Re: Religion at Home:
    [QUOTE]Also, in thinking more about your DH's tendency to religion-bash (my DH is that way, too), it might be good to try and have some conversations (probably will take more than 1) about how you wouldn't want DD to grow up thinking people who believe in religion are bad in some way.  That will be very confusing for her, since she will likely have friends who go to church.  Just as he wouldn't want her brainwashed into certain beliefs having to do with organized religion, you wouldn't want her brainwashed into being predjudice about a whole category of people and not know why. 
    Posted by poppy609[/QUOTE]
    This is a really good point.  I think this point extends to a lot of areas, not just religion.  In our house, I need to curb my own tendency to make overarching negative statements about whole groups of people with certain political beliefs.  I've been trying to talk to my husband about not speaking in such an angry/negative way about people who are driving badly or things like that.  We're both trying to be better about just not being Judgy McJudgington.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    tbracer, your idea to let the kids choose their faith and then be baptized, if they choose Christianity, is the biblical (not the Catholic) order of things, by the way.  As the following from Acts says, the order is "hear, believe, and [then be] baptized."  How an infant can hear the plan of Salvation and believe in the forgiveness of their sin by the work of Christ on the cross and then be baptized to symbolize their personal decision to believe I have no idea.  Nor can any priest I've asked about it tell me why baptism, which is to signify a person's decision to follow Christ, is done with babies.  

    People who's family are up in arms about kids not being baptized can ask them why the Church baptizes babies in the first place when the Bible says it's to signify a personal decision to be a Christian.

    (Acts 18:8) 8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house. Many of the Corinthians, when they heard, believed and were baptized.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostongrl. Show bostongrl's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    I was also raised Catholic and after 12 years of Catholic education I couldn't run away fast enough.  DH and I agreed that we wanted to get married in a church and that if we were going to raise a famility that church should be part of that in some way.  Together, we went "church shopping" and fell in love with the Episcopal church.  It is much less rigid than the Catholic church, and yet was familiar in a way that something like the Baptist church wasn't.  It is extremely open minded ... we have a 29yo female associate minister (the rector is an awesome guy with a wife and two boys... so different than the priests I grew up with in the Catholic church) and there are lesbian couples who bring their kids every week.  I did find that the different services at our church had different feels.  The Saturday evening service is extremely casual and "modern", the 8am Sunday service is short, no music, and to the point, where as the 10am Sunday service is more traditional with the choir and all the fanfare.  We like the 8am Sunday... it gets us out of bed, we get to listen to the sermon without having to sing (we both hate singing) and we get to talk to cool old people.  There is one other couple our age with a ~4 month old that come to the early 8am service as well...and we chat with them when we see them.

    I agree that you and DH need to talk about how to get closer to the same page ... but there are definitely options outside of the Catholic church that are not so strict and might be more approachable to someone who is uneasy with formal religious institutions.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    Your comments have been SO helpful in clarifying my thoughts on this, which just kind of came together this morning on the train in.  

    Poppy summed up pretty much what I am struggling with better than I did:
    I, too, am very suspicious of religion and don't believe in the concept of "God", as it is commonly known.  However, and I never thought I'd say this, I have had the same thoughts as you since becoming a mom.  Wondering if there is a "church" I could join, even with my belief system, where the focus is community and being good people, as opposed to God, Jesus, and the Bible. 

    And I am totally with Some-Guy on the brainwashing. I hadn't thought about it in years, but anytime anyone talks to kids about God or Jesus, it really freaks me out. I don't know if I want anyone asking DD about Jesus.

    Luv & WorkingMom (Austen!) - I agree about wanting to create tradition, ritual and community with my daughter. Like WM, more than the God and Jesus stuff, I just want a community of good people for my daughter, my husband and myself.

    Med - That's really it, in generally DH and I BOTH need to be less Judgy McJudgington about people who are religiously or politically (or otherwise) different from us.

    Added to that, I don't have 5 minutes to myself and I remember and now understand my mother sitting in church every week in the silence of the mass (eyes closed, look of bliss on her face) and church being that one place where she felt she could just sit, be quiet and have a moment. I think in the end, that's what I am looking for.

    So for now at least, no DD at church, and no me. There is a pretty spot near my house and I think at some point this weekend, I'll drive over by myself and even if I just sit in the car in silence appreciating the view and thanking the universe for the many blessings I have received in this life, especially recently, that will be enough. And I have a strong feeling DH would be down with that, and may even join me.

    Are they bothering to fix the order on the posts?
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    In Response to Re: Religion at Home:
    [QUOTE] In our house, I need to curb my own tendency to make overarching negative statements about whole groups of people with certain political beliefs. 
    Posted by medfordcc[/QUOTE]

    ah...haha... yes, me too.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    ALF, according to the Bible itself (not Catholic doctrine), baptism is to symbolize your washing away of original sin that happens when you personally accept that Jesus died to take away your sin.  Biblically, it is to show that you made your own decision to have your sin washed away by Jesus.  Confirmation, therefore, should happen before baptism, but somehow the Church got Catholics to believe that baptizing a baby does something for its soul even though the Bible says otherwise.

    According to the Catholic Church, however, baptism itself does it. 

    Big difference, theologically speaking.

    some-guy, I agree with you.  That's why priests can't answer my question.


     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from noitpec. Show noitpec's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    Religion may also be a part of your child's heritage, along with ethnicity, etc.  Something to ponder.
     
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  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    Deciding that a symbolic ritual representing a personal decision to follow Christ (biblical) is what actually saves a baby/person from Hell (Catholic) is not a matter of literal vs. non-literal interpretation or even misinterpretation imo.  It's changing the meaning of the act completely.  

    Catholicism is based on the Bible, according to the Church (and, according to the Catholics I know regardless of the fact that they can't tell you what the Bible says about anything).  A literal vs non-literal interpretation is one thing.  A vague reminiscence of biblically-sounding things is another.  ...not to reproduce the arguments of the Reformation or anything.

    (posted at 1:42 in response to ALF's 1:29 post that will probably appear below this one!)
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    How could you [all of the posters who said they didn't have the answer, not any in particular] have been raised Catholic, gone to Catholic school and yet don't know why babies are baptized?  It's to wash away original sin.  The moment of choosing salvation and Catholicism when you are of reason occurs w/ Confirmation. Which is why many parishes wanted you to be confirmed and not just baptized, when you went to get married in the church.  
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    It does pertain to me.  My husband is Catholic.  

    And, furthermore, if the Catholic Church stated outright that they kind of sorta use the Bible as a quasi-guide to their religion, I'd not take issue with anything they teach.  But, they say they are biblically based so I feel they open themselves up to someone saying, "Hey, that's not biblical in any sense, literal or otherwise.  The Bible says that baptism is a symbol of a personal decision to follow Christ, and you say it gives someone salvation from hell as a baby, what gives?"  If a Muslim, who is following a religion based on the Koran, teaches something anti-biblical about how to go to Heaven, I don't care one bit.  

    It's the Catholic Church's claim to be "biblically based" that gives me (or anyone who reads the Bible whatever their faith) license to say with respect to baptism, "No, it isn't."

    ETA:  Yes, the Reformation happened because it didn't come down to a matter of literal vs non-literal, or loose vs. stringent interpretation of the Bible.  Reformationists believed it was important for people who claimed to believe the Bible to understand that sprinkling water on a baby's head didn't get that soul into Heaven according to the Bible itself among other central theological debates (like how buying indulgences were definitely an anti-biblical way to pay for sin).  As the word implies, Reformationists wanted to reform the Catholic Church to be aligned more closely, theologically, with the Bible, not to start their own religion.  It didn't work; Catholic leaders were resistent to changing tradition regardless of how biblical or unbiblical it was.  So, Protestantism was born.  They did not want to follow teachings that were anti-biblical.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from dz76. Show dz76's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    Isn't it part of the parent job description that you are supposed to brainwash your kids?  What else are we doing as we teach them what we, their parents, believe in?  We teach them what we feel is right and wrong but there is always going to be someone around the corner who disagrees. 

    I plan to do the best I can to brainwash my 3 kids that everyone deserves to have the same rights and to be treated well, and to get back to the religion portion of the OP, I want to teach them that the world is full of mystery, some that can be explained but some that can't.  I believe the there is someone/something that watches over me, as a parent would, and cares what happens in my life.  I hope that my children will find comfort in that like I do.

    As background, I was raised Roman Catholic sort of.  I attended CCD and made all my sacraments but barring those things I have been to church less than a dozen times in my life.  I was married in the church but not really for religious reasons.  I have family members who would have been horrified if we hadn't and I wanted to be a part of the tradition that my parents, grandparents etc. used.  DH was also raised Roman Catholic although until college he went every Sunday and was an alter boy.  However, he is now an atheist.

    MIL has been mildly needling (never mentions it to me) DH about when we plan to start taking DD1, whose 3, to church.  I told him he can any time he want but I have no intention of going, although I used to say that my kids were going to CCD since I had to suffer through it they should too.  ;-)

    I would love to find a religious/spiritual community to join. I'm really not sure what DH would think of that.  However, I love the idea of "church shopping"!
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    Kar, Catholics don't read the Bible literally.  At least that has been my experience and teaching w/ Catholic grammar, middle, HS, college and grad school.  Granted, the bulk of that was Jesuit, so they are a bit liberal, but Catholics don't read and study the Bible and take it literally like Protestant faiths do. 

    I'm guessing this is part of the reason why you choose a Confirmation name and get 'rebaptized' in a sense during Confirmation.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    I was raised Jewish by a Jewish mom and a Catholic dad (who really converted to be a Jew when he married my mom, but in name only).  I have Rabbis as cousins and I had priests and nuns as great aunts and uncles.  My brothers don't attend church/temple.  My husband is a Catholic.  I converted to presbyterianism a few years ago (was baptised etc.) and now I'm converting to Catholocism because in reality I just want our family to be able to have a spiritual background that we can all share.

      Do I agree with the doctrines in their entirety of the Catholic church?  No.  Do I have an open mind?  Yes.  Have I expressed those views to the priest?  Yes--he's pretty contemporary.  Do I know what, if anything, is the "right" religion?  Of course not.  However, even if nothing exists out there, I want my children to have something as a religion.  I want them to be generous, helpful, kind, and to treat people as they want to be treated.  

    Taking a kid to church before they can understand it is not brainwashing, it's a suicide mission for the parents who struggle to contain kids for 45 minutes, but we do it because we want our kids to be around like-minded people who believe in kindness, generosity, and helping those who need it.  Our church is big on missions for the homeless, the poor, etc. and I want my kids to realize that there are people who need extra help out there.  If they say anything we disagree with, we are responsible for taking that next step to explain why we don't believe that.  That's the same thing when my daughter comes home from preschool and says that everything is "poopy".  The overall intent of church/religion is to help those who need it.  If there's nothing out there and we waste time going to church, are we really worse off for it?  
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Religion at Home

    (to ALF at 2:36) Protestants believe the Nicene Creed, as well.  There are Catholic traditions that are anti-biblical that inspired the Reformation.  And, DH and I have discussed it and he is completely at a loss as to how to explain his own beliefs when he reads what the Bible actually has to say about some of them.  He's stunned there's a difference and cannot explain it...and wishes he could because he believes that he believes the Bible and that those beliefs all match up to what the Catholic Church teaches.  He's dismayed and befuddled when he discovers by his own reading that they don't all line up the way he assumed they did because he never looked it up himself before.

    However, I don't mean any disrespect to you or any other Catholic here, just discussing.  I obviously don't have a huge problem with it, or I'd not have married my DH and agreed to baptize any babies we had, lol.

    ETA:  I read "Catholicism for Dummies" before we got engaged - it was immensely helpful for both of us.  My DH actually learned things he didn't know the Church teaches.  It talked about all these issues quite extensively.  And, while that doesn't make me an expert by far, I can tell the difference between, "hear, believe, and be baptized," and "be baptized, hear, and believe."  It's not a matter of not hearing what I expect to hear, it's a matter of what I'm hearing being non-biblical.
     

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