Although I was raised a devout Catholic — none of this Easter-and-Christmas-only business for us, we were in the front pew every single Sunday — I’ve not been to a religious service in years and, other than Passover Seders with family, I’m not sure my kids ever have. In general, I firmly believe this is a good thing. I certainly don’t forbid them from going to church and, if they were interested in going, would definitely facilitate that, but, for the most part, I think they’re much better off spending Sunday mornings in swim lessons than in church. And yet, as a parent, I recognize that there are some benefits to raising church-going kids that I’m missing.
Posts Tagged ‘religion’
I grew up in San Francisco, California and was definitely raised a city boy. As a child, I could make my way around the Tenderloin at night as surely as Grizzly Adams navigated the Sierras. I grew up on food from around the world and could use chopsticks as deftly as a country boy could handle a whittlin’ knife. Buses and streetcars were my horses, alleys my hiking trails, skyscrapers my hills and mountains. Guns, even the aquatic variety, were verboten (hunting was something done at antique stores or garage sales) and I think the only reason my mother allowed me fishing gear was because there weren’t any fish anywhere near us to be caught, other than at the grocery store; neither one of us would have known what to do if I actually did catch one. In our family, “roughing it” meant going to “Opera in the Park”.
If you’re reading this, no doubt you’ve realized that the rapture, predicted by Harold Camping of the Family Radio Network to occur on May 21, 2011, came and went and you were left behind. Chances are, this also means your kids were not taken home to Jesus either and, almost certainly, they’ll notice Monday morning that some of their friends aren’t in class and won’t be ever again. This will likely result in some confusion for your children and, as is so often the case in times of tragedy, they will need your support, guidance, and wisdom to cope with their new situation.
Being the product of a marriage between a Jewish man and a Catholic woman, I will admit to being rather opposed to the idea that one should never marry outside one’s faith. If a couple can get past their religious differences, I don’t see a problem with it. Of course, I’m rather dismissive of religion and its influence anyway, so perhaps it’s not surprising that not everyone agrees with me. Rabbi Dov Lior, a prestigious Rabbi in Israel and an authority on Jewish law, goes further and says that Jewish parents need to make sure their kids are 100% Jewish too.
A Facebook Friend posted just the other day that he was shocked that his daughter’s teacher had given the class a list of the five pillars of Islam as part of a unit on the Middle East. He felt that not only was this teaching the students about Islam but it was also teaching them how to convert. He believed this was an inappropriate violation of the doctrine of separation of church and state. To further complicate matters, the teacher had informed the students that she was a Muslim. So a call was made to the school principal and a meeting has been scheduled to discuss the matter.
Well, Rhonda Thurman, a member of the Hamilton County Board of Education in Tennessee, has a solution. If the teacher begins teaching the students about Islam or praying with them, my friend’s daughter and any other offended students can simply “put their fingers in their ears.” Yep, she actually said that.
When you look at your kids, do you ever wonder whether or not they’re real? Are they real children or just elaborate fakes, cheap imitations of the real thing, shadows of that which they pretend to be? That’s the question Cathy Lynn Grossman, writing in USA Today’s Faith and Reason section, posed regarding children conceived via in vitro fertilisation. Her query was prompted by the news that the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Robert Edwards, the British scientist who pioneered the process in 1977. “Do you think,” she asks, “a baby conceived in [a] test tube is still a child in the eyes of God?”
The Bible — be it the King James, the New International, or any of the more than 80 other English versions — is not an easy read. There’s a lot that is difficult, confusing, or just downright boring (lists of who begat whom, anyone?). Is it any wonder that most six-year-old girls are more interested in Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty than Matthew and Mark? Well have no fear, theist parents, now there’s a solution to this dilemma!
There’s no doubt that the bible has had a significant impact on human history. The bible has inspired artists such as Michelangelo and Botticelli, composers like Bach and Vivaldi, and even authors like C.S. Lewis. Although not strictly Christian concepts, we have the bible to thank for the popularity of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Of course, we also have the bible and related works to thank for the atrocities of the crusades, the Middle East conflicts and even, yes, the holocaust. But should the bible be something taught in schools or is it best left for parents and priests to discuss? One California school district thinks the bible’s influence is substantial enough to warrant teaching about it.
Okay, I’ll say it. Sometimes, pregnant women can be no fun to be around. I understand, mind you, why — their back hurts, their feet hurt, they feel nauseous, etc. They definitely have a right to be cranky/tired/short-tempered/etc. and we guys smile and take it because that’s our job — to be supportive and caring and positive to help you get through a difficult nine months. But what about the workplace? Should co-workers and bosses have to put up with a pregnant woman’s negative energy? What about her fetus’ negative energy?