Religion is for Children

This time of year usually falls during the Christian religious season of Lent.  During this time of year, many Catholic churches host fish frys on Fridays.  The goal of these is twofold.  First, these functions, if successful, raise a lot of money for the church. Secondly, many Catholics abstain from eating meat other than fish on Fridays during lent, so these fish frys provide food and a social outlet for many of the parishioners.  Some have a larger attendance, and anyone is welcome to these dinners, as long as they bring money for the church.  Getting to the point of the title of this post is that I was at such a fish fry last night.  The lines are usually long, and there is usually a lot of drinking and conversation while in line.  I usually go to these with Catholics and non-Catholics alike, and inevitably religion is brought up during these discussions.  I have a friend who was raised Lutheran, but has a father who was raised Catholic and a mother who is Lutheran.  In this situation, the father converted to Lutheranism upon marriage.  His mother was unhappy with this decision and regarded my friends family as “breakaway Catholics”.  Another person who was a friend of a friend was in line with us, and things worked out the opposite way.  The father was raised Lutheran, but converted to Catholicism because his wife was Catholic.  From this discussion, it was concluded that the mother gets her way.  Therefore, if the mother is unhappy, nobody is unhappy.  I also found this to be true in my family about many things, but not so much with religion because everyone in my immediate family is the same religion, so this was not a huge issue or deal-breaker in the family life.  This led me to ponder something, though.  Is it best to raise a child religiously or not?  For my children ( I don’t have any yet), I want the to understand right from wrong and have them be morally upright citizens, but on the other hand I also don’t want them to grow up with a guilt complex as adults.   For now, the question will just have to remain unanswered until that bridge is crossed.

 

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