Are you an Alien? 

No this post isn’t about UFOs and Martians. It’s about religion, and what my daughter’s friends asked her when she brought up the subject.

We live in San Diego, so it’s very diverse. You can find probably find someone from every religion in our city. Naturally, the subject came up during recess at my daughter’s school. All of her friends were saying which religion they follow. When they asked my 4th grader what hers was, her response was, “I don’t think i have one.”

I have always had a hard time with religion.  It’s just not something I personally believe in. Because of that, I always wanted to let my children pick what they thought to be real and true, and I wanted to let them do it once they had reached an age when they wouldn’t be so gullible. You know young kids; you tell them something, they’re going to believe it, especially if you’re their parent. But I want my kids to be able to judge for themselves whether the stories of the the Bible, or the Torah, or whatever religious texts they read, are true. Or could be true? Or not!  

When my daughter told her school friends that she didn’t have a religion, they responded by asking her if she was an Alien! For real? It kind of upset me, to be completely honest. She came home confused, wondering why she didn’t have a religion like all her other friends. I explained to her I wanted her to be a free thinker. I wanted her to use her own judgement to decide if religion was something she wanted to believe in.

So, she got her hands on a Bible and started reading the stories. We discuss what she’s read from time to time, but she hasn’t really mentioned much, other than how unbelievable the stories were. I told her that stories are teaching morals. I told her to look out for the lesson, and to think about what lesson can be learned from each story.

I have respect for every person. I believe that everyone is entitled to their beliefs. The only thing that bothers me about some religious people is that they don’t seem to have that same respect for people like myself who don’t believe in any god or any sort of religion whatsoever. Telling me I will go to hell if i don’t believe in god. Well I don’t believe in hell, either, so that’s not really a threat, but still. It’s kinda fucked up.  The whole, you know, “oh you don’t believe in god? Have you gone to church?”  Yes. “Have you read the Bible?” Yes! And I still think it’s all made up to keep order in a time before  government. A way to give people good morals in order to keep the peace in society.

I don’t know, like I said, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But if it is all true and heaven does exist, I hope I get through those gates. I lived my life with good morals and did so without being scared of going to hell if I didn’t. I think that should count for more than who I worshipped on Sundays.

this post was proofread by Elizabeth Brico http://www.bettysbattleground.com/contact

13 thoughts on “Are you an Alien? 

  1. World has become digital and modern but not many are ready to accept free thinking people. We have reached heights in science but are still lagging behind in many aspects. I appreciate the way you are guiding your child to be independent in deciding the right path for her. It’s certainly difficult to survive with difference in thoughts and beliefs. Kudos to you.

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  2. I once read that people who have faith and go to church regularly AND people who do not follow any religion were both happier than people who believe in a religion but don’t regularly attend church. I think there is some truth to it. Maybe it’s just being sure of yourself. Which it sounds like you are. I was brought up in a church and believe. But have questions and frankly dislike attending services so I do so infrequently. I dread passing my ambiguous feelings on to my daughters. This was a thought provoking post. You and your daughter are not aliens;) And your kids will not be alone in having to find their own way on the topic of religion.

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  3. Great job handling this situation and helping your daughter work through it. I never really thought about this discussion between kids because I grew up going to a Catholic school!

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  4. Coming from a church background that was pretty uncommon in my peer group, I had similar experiences to your daughter several times growing up. It’s interesting how kids can be so mean, regardless of where you fall on the religious/non-religious spectrum, if they view you as an outsider. I think you are doing an important thing – teaching your daughter to have confidence and to do the research for herself. That is a lesson we can apply to so many areas of life!

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  5. Thanks for the cred 🙂 This is the first post I proofread that’s been published!
    I told you this already but I agree so much with what you’ve written. I am raising my kiddos in the same way, despite the protestations of all the catholic latinos on both sides. I think you are raising a smart, independent daughter. Good on you mama!

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  6. I know many people who are “religious” and attend church regularly who are not exactly the best people. I think practicing being a good person and having respect for others is most important! Kids can be silly when they don’t understand things!

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  7. i think you did an awesome job handling the situation and parenting your daughter. growing up, i was pretty much forced into a religion and throughout my adolescence i LOATHED church. it wasn’t until i was a married, bill paying adult, was when i decided to get in touch with my faith again. I noticed that if you force something on a kid, the more likely they are to rebel! when it’s something as precious as faith and figuring our their own identity, it’s best to let them decide for themselves.

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  8. I am a Christian but I’m happy to converse with people who have different beliefs. I don’t think it’s ok or loving to alienate kids who come from families who don’t have specific beliefs. Christians should be willing to lovingly share their faith, realizing not everyone will believe the Bible. God is in control after all, and he allows everyone to make their own choices, and offers truth to anyone willing to seek it.

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  9. Also, for everyone who strongly believes there isn’t a God, or heaven or hell, there are many people who strongly believe that there is. Everyone inevitably comes to terms on how to rationalize life, why we are here, and what the end goal is of all our choices.

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  10. Oy vey! I think this can be a touchy subject, but I do respect your opinion and message to your daughter. I was raised in the church and although I raised my oldest daughter in the church, I don’t attend with my younger children. They attend when they’re with their father. I’ve relayed to them not to discount other religions to a certain degree, but to be knowledgeable and nonjudgmental. I try to show them that being a good person, a spiritual person and one with morals and beliefs doesn’t mean you have to attend church. I really enjoyed this post!

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