During our girls weekend my cousin and I had a conversation about religion. Specifically it was about a desire to believe something, and to teach our children something, tempered by a distaste for Christian culture and a belief that people can be good even without God telling them to be good. Christianity is my home. It's where I started and it is to this church that I return when I am struggling. But I don't feel at home there anymore. When I go there looking for answers I don't like what I find. I believe in some of the basic tenants of the faith but I cannot feel at home within the four walls of the church. If I'm honest, I know that my beliefs would disqualify me as a Christian in the eyes of most Christians. This leaves me feeling lost, like I have no home. I'd like to believe that my need for a spiritual home is a social construct, not necessarily something I need but something I've been told I need, but that's not true. I know that I need something that binds me to other people. I am considering the Quakers as a next stop on this road. Who knows, maybe one day I'll come home and it will feel like home again.
But this leaves me with the question of teaching our children. I want my girls to have a church experience and I want them to feel like they are part of something big, something outside of mommy and daddy that unites them to other people and to God. There will be things they learn that we don't agree with but I'm not much afraid that we can't just address those things at home. Right now it's easy, church is singing and puppets and Love. As they get older it may be more difficult. I hope that I can trust the values we teach here at home to influence what the children believe more than what they learn at a church program.
Elliet gave me hope this week when she came home from her mid-week church program:
E: They told us that God knew all our names before we were born.
St: Oh, that's cool
E: Yeah, I don't really believe that.
St: Oh really?
E: Well, yeah, I mean, you didn't even name me until I was born so that doesn't make any sense!
I don't recall ever once questioning what I was being taught as a child. She's a smart one!