Writing about food, family, and cars
They say it’s always good to talk about religion if you want to start a controversy.
Before our daughter was born, my wife and I began discussing what religious values we would teach her. more than 3 years later, we still occasionally talk about it, but are nowhere closer to figuring out what to do.
You see, when I first met my wife, she was Catholic. Now, not so much.
Myself, I was raised informally Jewish—not much in the way of synagogue and prayer, but plenty of the oral, biblical and musical tradition. However, you could say I have an aversion to organized religion, although I love to rant and rave about just about any religion. Am I sold on the monotheistic core belief in one true God? Not so much, but I do like the songs.
Religions are fascinating. Beyond Judaism and Catholicism, there are plenty of other religions out there that people observe. Like, 3 or 4 I think… but those are for other people—I think trying on those other ones at this point in our lives would just be too much.
But how to choose for our daughter? Maybe I’m a coward, but I’m not making a choice for her that I can’t make for myself. So from the very beginning, I told my wife that if she believed in Jesus enough to go to church every Sunday, attend mass, and observe Lent (I insisted that I get to choose what she gives up…), then she could take Emily along with her and prepare her for indoctrination and ritual and wearing a fancy white dress for her Baptism. But I’m not driving.
Believe it or not, I take my position of non-participation and lack of support out of respect. Respect for myself and respect for others who believe—I can’t just go through the rituals if I don’t even believe in the biggest, most important idea behind the religion. That would just make me feel dirty, perhaps even, umm, sinful.
Well, turns out my wife isn’t such an eager Catholic after all, so no church or Baptism for Emily.
So where does that leave our daughter? Will she grow up to be an immoral, disrespectful, and tainted young woman. I sure hope not. If she does, I have a backup plan in place—Star Trek: The Next Generation marathons. Call me crazy, but if you ask me, Captain Jean Luc Picard always did the right thing.