July 15, 2009

Raising religion

Growing up my dad used to take me to different types of places of worship; Prostetant, Gospel, Jewish temples, etc. I once had a Mormon babysitter and even remember watching Mormon videos with one of my childhood friends in San Diego. Then my oldest friend was raised a Jevoha's Witness, so I had to learn fast that certain holidays were not celebrated. Part of junior high and high school I attended youth groups; Assembly of God and non-denominational Young Life. In college I minored in Religious Studies and actually tried my darndest to write about how the Inquisition created Crypto-judaism for my senior thesis in Spanish. I learned about the Druze while I was in London from my best friend. I've written about Hinduism, Christianity, Jainism (I even had a Jain rommate), Islam (dated a muslim while I lived in Norway), and was introduced to the idea of Unitarian Universalism when I lived in Boston (due to the fact that I worked next door to one of their church headquarters). I also contemplated becoming a relgious studies professor. And in the Polynesian & Irish culture (my ethnic backgrounds), polytheism and paganism plays a huge role. (Oh and yes I pretty much just bragged at how versed I am in religion)

Safe to say that I've been surrounded by religion all my life. Religion fascinates me.

Since I've been introduced to so many religions of the world it is difficult for me to choose one or more like I refuse to choose one. Each religion has some valid points, points that are true to those who follow their own religion. Though I do not agree with some of those who are fundalmentalists, I understand why they are and though I tend to agree more with secularists I sometimes question why they are not fundmentalists.

Either way to me, the abosulte definition of religion is control. Think about it, when someone says, "I did ____ religiously." What are they really saying? That they did it with a self-controlled mindset.

Religions will be introduced to the Bambino as he grows up and if one day he says to me, "Ma, I just don't care to know anymore," then I'll stop. He will be allowed to pursue the ideals and theories of religion and to not. If he instead chooses to pursue mokeys instead then have at it Bambino! I'm just getting sick of the folks who are preachin', preachin' like the world is going to end in 5 minutes. Or shouting, "Give yourself up to the Lord!" and then that person not really practicing what they preach.

I had a Seriously? moment this weekend when I picked up my brother from the other side of the island. Someone was talking God and Jesus to him all week. I understand that this person wants my brother to be in a good place when he passes but my brother is a good guy. He doesn't do drugs, get drunk, and sleep with lots of ladies. Sure he's a little lazy and selfish but he's such a great kid. He's got so much love for his friends and family. So why wouldn't he be in a good place in his after-life? And more importantly what is religion going to really change about my brother anyway? He's way more self-composed and kinder than some adults I know.

Anysnooze, I will do my best to introduce the Bambino to as much as I can - in a loving, supportive, and non-overstimulating way. I'd love for him to understand why certain cultures are the way they are and how much religion has shaped the world's history. Religion is such an important part of the human race.

What I want him to realize is that it is faith from within that will get him through each day and that it is faith that will connect him with those who surround him.

I think that is what religion and its followers were trying to do but control came into the mix and things sort of got mixed up.

Anyway, who knows if heaven or hell is real and what is the truth, which is another tangent I could go off on but won't I'll just end it with the following:

While researching for my paper on Hinduism I stumbled across a quote -

Truth is beyond any human comprehension; it is beyond space, beyond time, and beyond any reality that we've ever known.


Meandering Bohemian said...

"Lift the stone and you will find me!" religion is such an amazing thing in modern culture. You would think with all the science and technology it would be obsolete. But it's not because there are still things in this universe that we do not understand, and with that comes fear, and a human desire to mask such fear... enter religion. I didn't know you were so versed in religion. My best friend in Bellingham is a Religious Studies Major. With that being said I believe him to be one of the kindest and most influential people in my life to date. Through life I've come to determine that whatever the religion, the underlying message is generally the same. Even if your religion is to have no religion (Zen) the message is the same. I'm trying to learn about Hinduism... Have you any knowledge or experience with Hinduism... from what I gather its a religion of acceptance of all religions and rituals... it's like the ultimate crock pot religion!?

He wears Nature Babycare Diapers. said...

Since Hinduism is the oldest World Religion, way before one god (<--many anthropologists and religious studies academics believe that Moses was the creator of monotheism), it is of course a very accepting religion. Most of the world religions are based off of some of hinduismm,whether they want to believe it or not.
Generally, it is a very peaceful religion even though the caste system is based off of the religion.

Megs said...

My most favorite class in college was a religion course I took from an incredible man. He was born in Italy and raised as a Roman Catholic. In his early 20's he ventured to India to study Hinduism and Buddhist. To this day he said he was a Buddhist, but as this is not necessarily a religion - more a way of life, that he adhered most to the Hindu faith. Hinduism was also my favorite world religion to learn about. I loved their concept of atman, that every person's soul/true self is eternal. And also that one's atman is no different from Brahman (their supreme being). You are God. Everyone is God. There is no difference between the two, and once you accept this inherent relationship with Brahman, you will achieve moskha (similiar to Nirvana). From what I remember, its accepting because they believe that everything is a part of/equal to God. Therefore other religions can honor their God and this is fine by them.

I am such a geek. I want to go buy some religion books now and do some more reading...

Amber, The Unlikely Mama said...

What a small world. I commented on this when it was posted on BlogHer :-)


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