Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I thought I didn't have a post, but...

I have a post stirring around in my head.  It is about what to do with my oldest son regarding Confirmation Classes at church.  I'm having mixed emotions and haven't had time to talk to my husband about it yet.  However, he does not really believe in organized religion and just goes through the motions because a) that's what he was required to do growing up and b) because I gave him the option to participate with us and he chose to do so.  Really, it's all b).  I don't think a) has anything to do with it.  I know he will have an opinion - I'm not sure if he will say Big E should go through this two year process because it will help him decide how to live his religious (or non) life as an adult or if he will say he thinks it's a big waste of time OR something in between.  In the end though, he will probably say he will support whatever is decided.

I haven't been able to put my thoughts into written words yet except to say that I am not 100% convinced it's necessary to go through this process.  I do understand the importance of having an understanding of the commandments, the sacraments, the Old and New Testament.  That participating in community service and other activities is a great life lesson.  I just don't know that going through this process and then a confirmation ceremony really strengthens one's relationship with God.  All of those other things can be done if one is interested.

We haven't been going to church AT ALL since moving back to Ohio.  We used to go and participate on a very regular basis when we lived in Overland Park (KS).  What changed?  We really loved our church in OP and we have not given this church, which is the church we went to prior to moving to KS, a fair chance.  My views about organized religion also wax and wane, so that doesn't help.  I find my views integrate the church and Humanism.

So there it is.  I guess I really do have a post in me and I'm not blog blocked.  I thought I was, but I have now written an entire post.  What do you think?  How do you handle your kids religious education?  And please, no nasty comments.  I am not looking to be attacked and called a heathen - not that any of you I know would really do that, but in case a newcomer is visiting, don't attack me or any of the other commenters.  I am okay with constructive criticism, but no nasty name calling!

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  1. We not only attended regularly, but Joe was a deacon and I played the music at our church. A new minister came in and we walked out. Haven't been back since. I raised my daughter in a bible based school system so she had as much knowledge as I did.

  2. I didn't start going to church until I was an adult and my first son was about 2 years, wow, nearly a decade. I'm not going to say that I have changed dramatically in my believes and what I think the church should and should not be involved in when it comes to life in that decade, but I suppose I definitely can't discount what church has given me either. I'm not the best faith practitioner, nor do I understand most of it. I'm not sure that's how I'm approaching church, anyway. What I do know is that I'm involved to a degree I wish to be, and I never had that exposure as a child. My church is also nondenominational and doesn't have a confirmation process for the youth, but I believe my kids are getting out of church what they need to help them make choices that are sound and will stay with them as they grow. I feel like I'm rambling, but I guess what it comes down to is how it feels in your heart, and perhaps what your son wishes to do.

  3. you don't want my input, because i still am not positive that i am not going to hell. but the main reason i feel that way is because of the craziness of the organized religion i was exposed to growing up.

    your second paragraph sums up perfectly and eloquently how i feel.

    it's a big decision, i imagine, for someone who DID go through the whole confirmation process. i did not, so it is easy for me to say, "to hell with it" so to speak. ; )

  4. My kids participated in church activities at my insistance until they were old enough (in my view) to choose for themselves. I wanted to expose them to my beliefs, which included a structured religion. This meant that they went up through confirmation.

    After that, my oldest chose to participate fully in youth ministry and loved it. My younger son has chosen to simply attend church on Sunday when he's home.

    They're both great kids, with a pretty good moral compass, but I do think the older one has more of a personal relationship with God.

    Ultimately, it will be their choice someday. I think you should do what feels right to you.

  5. I grew up going to church. My parents never went.

    I have left it up to my kids to decide what path they want to take. The Boy isn't sure there is a God. Tiffany is sure there is. I pray every night. I do not go to church, nor do my kids.

    I don't think going to church strengthens a relationship with God, but I do agree that all things you mentioned should at least be learned about so that one can be given something on which to base their opinions.

    I say you continue to encourage and support whatever he decides, unless of course, it's Satanism. LOL

  6. I have heard of Humanism but never actually looked it up. I can definitely see the appeal.

    I grew up like Mary Ellen is raising her kids. "You go because I say so until you're old enough to decide for yourselves." Not in a mean way; it's just, that's how it was. But, you know what? I remember squat about Confirmation or public school religion classes. Why? Because we were too young to give a crap. (Is that bad to say?). I've been a "good Catholic" all my life, except for the natural moratorium most have during college. But, I didn't actually pay attention to WHY I believed what I believed until my late 20's. So, I guess my "advice" is, don't sweat it. You're spot on with the second paragraph.

  7. I grew up going to church and considered going to confirmation classes, but then my parents got divorced and my Dad didn't care whether I did it or not. He slept through church most Sundays anyway. I was confirmed in college after much church shopping at the age of 21. After a couple of moves and job changes I started questioning "liturgy" and making statements in front of others that I didn't necessarily believe. Anyway, I found a place to pray and have community with God that made sense to me and for our family this past decade. My children attend religious school weekly and learn Hebrew. They have the option, or freedom, to believe or not believe in God as Jews. They are studying and working toward being a bar and bat mitzvah. It's a cumulative process, though, and they are not told to make promises. OK, I need to cut to the chase. Give your children freedom to choose, I say. Be there for them when they have questions and show them love. Ultimately, I think they need to find their own way.

  8. I really get this. As you may have read- I have struggled with it, personally, the 'organized' thing and wonder what to do with my kids. It's such a hard call to make. I ultimately let my son go through confirmation, bt he was old enough for me to tell him that I believe that living your life as a good, caring, selfless person is what it's all about... I feel like so many 'organized ' religions (esp. Catholic) throw too much judgement into the mix and it really pisses me off.

  9. I forgot to mention: I have a FRIDAYS READERS SPECIAL where I leave a list of the people who have been to my blog and leave a link to their site. You'll be on it Friday. Hope to see you there.

  10. I think you in a way answered your own question...
    my Bestie does everything to help/prepare her children in the religious realm...i apparently well...suck...

  11. I am so confused about religion. On one hand I want my children to go to church and learn and have a communion & confirmation.
    I want them have a religious foundation and be able to grow up and make their own decision about religion.
    On the other hand I was forced to go to church every sunday growing up and I hated it.
    After my father died, I hated it even more.

    My husband thinkds organized religion is a joke and could care less about it.
    I am not sure what to do with my kids.

  12. We haven't had any problem with our wanting to go yet. I'm not sure how I'd handle it. Interesting post.