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.