Saturday, April 21, 2012

Religion is......

Religion is sometimes a controversial topic. Religion is sometimes used as an excuse to do unthinkable thing. Religion helps lift people up, having faith can get people through tough times. Religion is what you make it, it is what you need it to be.

I debated with myself over whether to write this post or not, but I am trying to use this Challenge for personal growth, in my writing as well as in myself, and taking a small trip outside my comfort zone is necessary for that I think. I do not push my beliefs on others, I never have, and while you may not believe the way I do I will never ever try to discredit you for it. Who am I to say what is right and what is not? I'm not, and I never will be. So please keep that in mind when commenting, I know for some it is hard to not try to "convert" someone to the way you believe, but I truly don't believe any one religion has gotten it all exactly right.

I am not a Christian, or a catholic, Lutheran, protestant, or really any of them. My faith is different. I have studied many, many different religions. I find great peace in Buddhism and Taoism, I enjoy much of the Wiccan faith as it is very nature based and I find a lot of truths in it. I am not saying I haven't done research on Christianity or Catholicism, I have. My best friend is Catholic, it works for him. It just doesn't work for me.

So lets get down to the nitty gritty of the post, I am in a quandary. As I have said in previous posts, Lala's "father" is wanting to begin having a presence in her life. This is ok, well it will be once I have had more time to process and it actually happens (because we all know I would go to the ends of the earth to do what is best for my girl). Here's my issue: While he was in jail, he found Jesus, or religion, or whatever you want to call it, he had a revelation. That is great, I am all for whatever support he needs and can use to be the person he needs to be, but, (and this I'm sure will piss somebody off) I don't want him pushing all of that into my girls head. Period. There is no negotiation on the subject. When she is a bit older I will take her to the different places of worship, if she wants to go. If she wants to follow in Mommies footsteps that's great too. I will never push her one way or the other. That is something that I didn't have the luxury of growing up. I knew my heart and I knew my beliefs, I have been studying different faiths since I was around 10. I was forced to attend different churches and sit through things that (no offense) just didn't resonate with me. When I was old enough I began to do what I felt was right. I don't talk on it often, partially because I think I was trained to think that how I believe is something to feel embarrassed or shamed by, and also, when I have opened up it hasn't always ended well. People are intimidated by it (not sure that is the correct word), they fear what they do not understand, and I have been ostracized by people I cared about. So I became very tight lipped about my beliefs and faith. I am slowly (hello sharing on the Internets) realizing that I have nothing to feel shame over, I am an individual, and as such am able to make my own decisions. And that is how I want to raise my daughter, I want her to be independent and confident enough in herself to make her own choices about faith, about life, and about who she wants to be. I will provide her with the best moral compass I can, I will teach her that love is unconditional and differences don't matter. I will raise her to believe in herself and make her own decisions. My worry is that this is going to be a rough conversation to have with her "dad", and I refuse to allow him to push his beliefs on her, or brain wash her (for lack of a better term) into thinking his faith is the only acceptable one.

Any advice lovelies? I know that most of my readers go to church and I think that is great! I hope you will be understanding that I don't.


  1. Angel, I can’t help but to respond to this. I, too, have somewhat of the different belief system. I can say that my number one issue with all religions and/or philosophical or humanistic ideologies, is the personal conviction that their way is the only way to please our creator. For me personally, I feel that each of these belief systems deserve the same respect.
    I would offer that as Lala’s momma your beliefs will be a major influence in her life. I know that Tom and I respect this and I’m sure Lala’s dad will, too. I am thankful that Lala lives in an environment where love is felt and values or self-worth and understanding are the example. I feel that this is what Lala will experience while spending time her dad and us. As they build their relationship, I feel you will grow more comfortable that no one will push Christianity onto her. I would also offer that her dad may be in a situation where the observant of Christianity is the only acceptable way to communicate or demonstrate change within oneself. From a faith standpoint, I believe that as her father works through the current obstacles in his life and become confident that he is an accepted good and worthy person we will all see a more realness emerge in his belief system.
    It is true that most of Lala’s family on her dad’s side grew up going to church on Sundays and many of them are practicing Christians. Tom and I shuffled the kids off to church every Sunday and we’ve even been Sunday School Teachers. I don’t think the boys had bad experiences while in church although they did get bore. Now that they are adults, I know that their beliefs have changed. Chad definitely centers himself on a philosophical perspective. Tom and Steve go back and forth but
    all-in-all they both have trouble believing Jesus in the only way to the creator. They do believe in God. Personally, and like you, much of the time I feel shame over my beliefs. I do not believe that Jesus is the only right way! I also have trouble believing there is a heavenly place where the righteous will go. I just don’t know about that! However, I fully understand the need to believe that when loved ones are taken from us they go to a better place. I personally know a mom and dad who lost their 8 month to SIDS and six months later they lost their 3 year old in a drowning while being watched by family members. The toll this take on them was horrible. Jonnie, the mom, her hands literally peeled to the point of bleeding for at least five years after the loss of her kids. While they didn’t go to church, their belief that their children were in heaven was all they had…especially for her.
    I appreciate strong values in a person. I know I have strong values as does Tom, Steve, and even Chad…though I don’t understand his at all. I pray that the values we tried to instill in Lala’s dad are finally resonating within him. We try to live life with good moral and ethical attitudes but we really are not spiritual people. I can only imagine how difficult it will be for you to let Chicka become part of our family. If I may ask for your patience in having this “rough conversation” with her dad, I would greatly appreciate your impartialness unless your fear presents itself as a problem. I truly feel this is a nonissue. Also, a little insight I have learned as a parent, is that denouncing something often has an adverse effect. I know it will take time for you to gain the faith that our home environment is good and supportive of your efforts! Our desire for your beautiful sweet pea is to grow up with confidence in herself and her successes as she journeys through life….whatever that may be!! I hope I haven’t offended you…my care and love for you and Lala lie deep within my heart! Know that I will respect your decision. <3

  2. Hi again...I had to post my comment as anonymous because I couldn't figure another way. You'll have to show me how to post as me.
    Hugs and Kisses, Eva

  3. I can't help but to share a little on the coulpe I mentioned in my posting. Their story is pretty amazing. Their hearts were just way too heavy with sadness and they divorced like five years after the drowning of their 3 year. Both of them moved to different states and begun new lives. Mark, that’s the dad, went to college and got his bachelors in computer science. Jonnie moved to Kentucky and became a teacher. Five or six years later, unbeknownst to each of them, they moved back to Fort Wayne and started working. In the short of things, they bumped into one another and about a year later they remarried and had a little girl. That’s a God thing, Krama, or Nirvana!!

  4. You are brave because almost everyone thinks they are right in the matter of religion. I come from big religion, the one you dislike. I dislike a lot of it. My parents were very strict, shoved it down my throat and guilted me. Lots of guilt and shame. While I have remained Lutheran, finding the "right church" was of major importance. I have learned so much from other religions. I practice some of the same things Buddists and Hindus do. It feels more complete to me. For as forced as religion was on me as a child and young adult, I must say it did give me a good base. I had something to stand or fall-back on instead of not quite knowing where I fit. I knew I always fit with God. Make sense? I am not of the belief that you follow teachings of the church or burn in you know where. I hate scare tactics. I take what I need spiritually from the church and fill the rest myself. There is no perfect church...but we all build our own perfect religion. Religion is more than bible verses, it is acting upon them, loving people, loving humanity; not judging them. I will force my kids to go to church right now. Why? Because they won't if I don't make them. Right now, this choice is too big for them, so I will intercede. God works wonders in people, I hope this is true for Lala's Dad. Sorry for the novella, doll. You are a good Mommy.


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