Monday, May 10, 2010

Going to church for the kids?





On April 25, 2010, Jane Roper wrote a witty and clearly expressed article entitled "Why I finally joined a church." on Salon.com

She joined a UU church.

Ostensibly for her 3 year old twin daughters.

Why do people want things for their children which they find irrelevant for themselves?

It seems pretty shallow to me, and condescending, and patronizing.

It's as if parents say, "I know this is silly and it means nothing to me, really, but the kids should have something to say 'no' to like I did."

I raised my 9 children in the Roman Catholic church really believing in it at the time. Okay, partly believing in it, but none of it took. None of them are good Catholics and one of the 5 to get married have gotten married in the Catholic church.

My children, in spite, of my attempt to provide a religious upbringing are secular humanists for the most part.

They are bright, accomplished, productive, good people. They are good parents and love their children and are raising them well but have no use for religion themselves or for their children, my grandchildren.

What would happen if we banned children from religious training until they are 18? I think trying to educate children in religion is a waste of resources and energy. They will learn what they need to learn from watching their parents, not from institutionalized training.

Hey, if Jane Roper wants to go back to church, more power to her, but please don't do it for your 3 year old daughters. Spare them.

3 comments:

  1. As one of those nine kids, I have to say that I don’t regret the good Catholic upbringing –- despite the fact that I’m an atheist and, in retrospect, always have been. Church was the one time during the week when we were all together as a family. Then again, bowling together (or some other activity) would have served the same purpose. Or we could have just skipped church and gone straight to the post-mass donuts.

    I think kids are more spiritually sophisticated than adults give them credit for. They’re not blank slates, ready and willing to swallow whatever belief structure you attempt to give them. On the contrary, they have superior bullshit detectors, and they will decide for themselves what they believe. In the meantime, I suppose the key is to model the values you hope to impart, and make time for donuts.

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  2. Dear Kelly:

    Thank you for your comment.

    I'm glad you remember the donuts kindly.

    Remember the cookie club at Wegman's.

    Love,

    Dad

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  3. The promise of the post-mass Wegman's Cookie Club was truly the motivating factor for attending mass at all ... that and those peanut donuts, which I still miss. Can't get a decent peanut donut out here.

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