So, my wife and I have reached an interesting point in child rearing. I should preface this by saying, neither my wife nor I are extremely religious. As we prayed tonight before bed—as we do every night (more on that in a moment)—our ten year old started crying. We go to church all of maybe 3 times a year (we used to go much more, but at the current stage of our lives we seem to go less) and we discussed how we were going to go tomorrow to celebrate Jesus. Now, one would expect a child who had not been forced to go to church for much of their life, would be okay with this. Not my 10 year old. He had many questions about religion and God,. We totally respect this and foster an environment where we are supposed to ask questions. But at the same time, he expects candy and all the “finer things” of Easter, and as such doesn’t understand why we have to go to church. I don’t think we are totally out of line. In our day, we were expected to go to church. It was a given. In fact, my dad would regularly drop my siblings and I off for Sunday school so my mom could sleep in (whole different story). But at the same time, I myself don’t know how I feel about religion. I tend not to believe in an all powerful being, but at the same time I believe in the spirit of what religion teaches us, and the various holidays we celebrate. Isn’t everyone a bit happier around Christmas? Don’t we all want to give to our fellow man? Isn’t the idea of someone dying on the cross to forgive us our sins a little more powerful than some bunny hopping around handing out candy?
I tend to believe the best of human nature, more than maybe many give us credit for. Maybe it’s the nature of our environment and everything that is going on around us. If you’ve read my writing, you may have noticed a theme. I tend to believe in the betterment of our species. I see each new generation progressing a little bit further. I believe in a world where color, race, background, or upbringing has no bearing on how we view each other individually, and I pray for the day where we can finally forgive our differences and recognize each and every person living on this planet as one thing, and one thing only. We are all HUMAN. Sure we may have a difference in beliefs, or may have different skin colors. but that is what makes us all unique. It is what makes us all individuals. It is what makes all us human. It is these differences that define us, and each should be celebrated.
Anyway, long story short. I don’t want to force my beliefs on my own children, but am I out of line for making my children accompany me to church on this holiday? I believe in the idea of such religions as way more powerful than what may be preached. But isn’t that the point? We’re supposed to come together and love one another. To respect what is being said, more than the historical implications of what may or may not have happened. I believe we are all allowed to love who we want love. Be it gay, straight, Muslim, Hebrew, Christian…whatever. I don’t care. As long as we are happy. Isn’t that what Jesus died for? If we welcome him into our heart (or any other being in my opinion) does it matter?
On this Easter holiday, I’m thankful for the people I surround myself with. I love my wife, and I love my children unconditionally. I love them all for what they believe in and I respect their decisions. I love this world for the differences in belief and look forward to a world where we can all live in harmony. I love the idea of Jesus and everything that may or may have not happened. I believe in the spirit of Jesus, and all that he sacrificed so we could live a better life. I don’t think we’re out of line for making him go to church with us. Thoughts?