Sunday, May 15, 2005

Religion for the offspring's sake

I have, with great interest, read a blog concerning religion or lack thereof, in the South. Seems social acceptability hinges on what religion a person alligns himself with and not only affects the adults but children as well. This opens up yet another area I have not thought about.
First of all, I have until last year considered myself General Baptist since I was brought up in Southeast Missouri, a predominately Baptist area. That's all I was ever exposed to and it served to educate me with morals my parents adhered to. Even though I got away from church completely the minute I left home and have never attended since, except major holidays, I considered myself Baptist. That is until I by chance, met an atheist who has opened up a whole world of probabilities to me. Talk about having my eyes opened! But that is a whole other blog.
Now with two children to rear in a small town, one of the things I have to consider is what to do about religious upbringing for them and maybe for me( perhaps I am still looking).
In his blog, the Enlightened Caveman decides to allow a bit of religion into his home for the sake of the children so they are exposed to different thoughts and can ultimately decide for themselves what seems right personally. Even though he doesn't hold these beliefs, he isn't scared to expose his kids to all the religions there are in the world. This is truly enlightend! I think that is the road to take with my kids. It would be the intelligent and mature thing to do and certainly a learning opportunity for us all. Preparing myself for the possibility of one of my children delving into hinduism or something far removed from my realm of knowledge is probably the hardest thing to do. Having that total acceptance of a child growing and deciding what they want for themselves is where my parents fell down on the job. I don't want to do that to my kids. THAT is also another blog post( or 12).
Thinking about the original idea of social acceptance depending on a persons religion, I see that to a certain degree in my community though it seems to be minimal. In fact, I believe there is a majority here that consider the highly- active religious groups to be over zealous and irritating. These certain groups do, however, exclude and shun people for non-religious or other religious beliefs. It just doesn't have much impact on the majority and certainly not on the kids. Thank goodness. I suspect the only people this will impact is the children who are brought up to believe they need to shun everyone but their own.
There is more on this, but the kids have taken my focus with their demands of pancakes. I swear they are gonna learn to cook.