Its amazing that in a world where there are majorities forming to try and take children away from parents for teaching their children that boys are boys and girls are girls that this kind of thinking is gaining such a strong foothold. To not teach your child about God is to be negligent to your God-given responsibility as a parent.
Please know that the views expressed in this article are not those of JNN or it’s staff but presented to inform of the mindset that has infected this world.
Religion has always played a role in my life. I was born and raised Roman Catholic, married Lutheran, and today follow the teachings of both Buddha and the Tao, but make no mistake: I am not religious. I don’t believe only one teaching is right or only one book is real, and I do not agree with the business/establishment that is organized religion.
So when I conceived my daughter in the fall of 2012, I knew my husband and I would have to make some tough decisions — some difficult “hard to swallow for our family” sort of decisions. And I was right. My daughter wasn’t much bigger than a Brussels sprout the first time we had the conversation.
“You’re going to get the baby baptized, right?”
I took a breath and exhaled. I knew what was coming next, and so I composed my thoughts before speaking. I knew I had to say more than “no.”
“Actually, we’re not. We aren’t against raising the baby religiously, but Jason and I have decided that we are going to wait. We are going to let the bean (my affectionate pet name for our then genderless babe) make up his or her own mind about spirituality and religion.”
Good answer, right? Right? Well, no. Apparently not, because I was met with silence. Awkward, painful silence.
The good news was I had prepared for silence. In fact, I had prepared for anger and disappointment, and I had even prepared for tears. What I didn’t prepare for was what actually happened — what my dear and loving relative said next.
“But you have to get the baby baptized! If you don’t, and something happens, he’ll…he’ll… You know unbaptized babies go to Hell, don’t you?”
Oh, dear Lord. She didn’t, I thought. No, she didn’t. But instead of screaming and yelling, I simply smiled and looked away. We would resume this discussion another time on another day. And we did.
Over the next nine months, we had this conversation many, many times.
But today, the subject never comes up. Never. Why? Because I nipped their initial concern in the bud. (According to Pope Benedict, there are “‘serious’ grounds to hope that children who die without being baptized can go to heaven.”) Because time has made the matter moot. And because, even without religion, my daughter has become one of the most gracious, thoughtful, and empathetic young people I know.
My 3-year-old is polite, compassionate, tolerant, and grounded.
And it seems she isn’t alone. In fact, according to a 2015 study from the journal Current Biology — a study which compared the moral aptitude of 1,100 Christian, Muslim, and atheist kids using an experiment called “the dictator game” — irreligious children tend to be more generous than those raised in Christian or Muslim households.