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The Pros and Cons of being raised religious - Page 5

post #81 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2seven View Post
Am I the only one part of a religious/spiritual community where the vast majority of kids remain grounded in the faith of their upbringing? And don't see it as a liability?
I was wondering the same thing.
post #82 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by kroonkles View Post
Did you mean religious day school or religious afternoon/Sunday school?
Yeshiva Day school
post #83 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by frog View Post
I'm not so sure about that. I think it really depends on the culture. For example, I know some Polish families for whom Catholicism is a HUGE part of their cultural identity.
Catholicism is a part of their identity. but with the Greek and Russian Orthodox church the church is defined more by their culture than their culture defined by their church if that makes any sense. In some places ( I have heard, my parish is apparently exceptionally welcoming and global ) if you are not a part of that cultural back ground they wonder why you are at church. even after attending my parish for almost a year i still get the "are you Greek? Is your husband Greek? Did you go to Greece? Russian? then why are you here?" It is foreign to them that someone outside of their culture would be interested in the Orthodox church. I mean they are happy I am there but they are stumped all the same.
post #84 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaraFR View Post
At least until 10 years ago (I don't know if it changed since then), if you were born and bred in the Ukraine but born Jewish, your identity card listed "Jewish" as nationality. You weren't "Ukrainian", you were "Jewish".


Same thing with much of the FSU (former Soviet Union).

And yeah, c'o, there are some who take an anthropological interest in "their" Jews ... there's even a Jewish-themed bar/restaurant in Poland.

Gross, you know?








But that's OT.

FWIW, I know a whole lot of raised-very-Orthodox (like, raised in Mea Shearim) folks who went off the derekh (stopped being religious). And the reasons they went off are the same as for those in other religions, I think ... the controlling parents, the joyless religious life, the negative associations with their schooling, etc. (And all the off-the-derekh blogs attest to the extreme intensity of their negativity to their upbringing. I read them regularly and find them most helpful for me spiritually. All the things they found soulless, I make an extra effort to keep in touch with the soul of.)




And yeah, I know these particular folks because they went back to their religion (as I did) and generally within the same particular community as I did ... but they at least had the advantage of knowing what they were leaving when they left it, and then knowing fully what they were choosing to return to.

People who are raised without it or in nonobservant homes do not know. They can't make a choice because they aren't given enough information to choose.




FWIW, most of them don't seem to hold all their negativity against the religion itself. They have an awful grudge against the people themselves who passed it over to them so poorly, though.
post #85 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post
People who are raised without it or in nonobservant homes do not know. They can't make a choice because they aren't given enough information to choose.
Great point.
post #86 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
Catholicism is a part of their identity. but with the Greek and Russian Orthodox church the church is defined more by their culture than their culture defined by their church if that makes any sense.
Oh, I understand the distinction you're making. Thanks!
post #87 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post
FWIW, most of them don't seem to hold all their negativity against the religion itself. They have an awful grudge against the people themselves who passed it over to them so poorly, though.
See, I don't think this is true across the board. When I taught Judaic Studies I had students who were seeking some way to have a Jewish identity, and they spilled their guts about negative experiences in Jewish education.

(Of course, I looked like a nice lady who would listen, that's why!)

I think when people have positions of religious authority and they abuse them, that's a desecration of God's name. (In the Jewish technical sense--if you do something bad while you are representing Judaism, it's at that level.)

If people in other religions behave in these ways, for example the scandals about priests sexually abusing people, they turn people off to religion in the same way. There's no benefit to cultural literacy in that context.
post #88 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post
See, I don't think this is true across the board. When I taught Judaic Studies I had students who were seeking some way to have a Jewish identity, and they spilled their guts about negative experiences in Jewish education.

I think when people have positions of religious authority and they abuse them, that's a desecration of God's name. (In the Jewish technical sense--if you do something bad while you are representing Judaism, it's at that level.)
I think you and merpk are actually saying the same thing.
post #89 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
I don't know, which is better. I know that I wasn't raised with anything other than Santa Christmas and Easter Bunny and it kinda sucks to not have been raised as part of a spiritual and religious community. And while I've converted officially once to a religion it is not the same to come to something as an adult as it is to be raised in it. It wasn't ever really part of my identity the way it is for someone raised in it.

And I see in my dp, who was raised in a religion that even though he no longer practices and he sure doesn't believe the tenets and rules expected of his childhood religion it's still a part of him and his identity. If people ask, he still says he is XYZ even though he hasn't attended in years and doesn't believe what they do.
I will read the rest of the thread but I found this really interesting. My dp was raised without religion and is adamantly atheist. However, he feels he missed out on the rituals and cultural knowledge that comes with being raised in a religion. Especially a Christian one in the US b/c according to him there are a lot of religious cultural references. We do create our own rituals so he's feeling better about that.

The only atheist I knew growing up became a rabid born again Christian when she went to college so I was always a little nervous around atheists until I met dd and the person who introduced us.

As for me, I was raised Catholic and have progressed to being an atheist as well. Although part of me would love to be a Quaker.

As for pros and cons well you can see some of the pros in even my atheist dp's stance. The cons, personally I don't want to raise a child in an organization that basically says, "because" a lot of the time when you ask questions. Even though I was raised in a very liberal enclave of Catholicism I could never accept it in total. And even as my faith left me I still worried about not baptizing dd in case she died. I just don't want her to feel that kind of guilt or fear in something I just don't believe actually exists.
post #90 of 98
this is a very interesting topic, i think.

i think peppermint's assertion (on page one) about the difference between a religious upbringing with or with out joy has a lot of value.

and while i think that people who are raised with the joy of their religion are more likely to stay in that religion throughout adulthood, it doesn't always happen.

and i'm an example of that.

but it should be noted that i didn't "leave" my childhood religion because i felt that it was wrong, bad, joyless, inappropriate or whatever else.

in my family, the focus was on spirituality and living for/from the spirit. it was very joy filled and fun. we did a lot of religious/spiritual things together, and it was all contextualized in catholicism.

but what was interesting to me is that my parents encouraged me to explore other religions, and my catholic upbringing gave me a grounding from which to "compare and contrast" different religions.

What i discovered is that most religions are basicly the same with the same central ideas (spirituality/philosophy) with the same basic practice (spiritual disciplines like prayer, etc). the differences where in the contexts or descriptions of the religions and then which disciplines were more valued in this religion over that (for example, buddhists highly value meditation over other spiritual disciplines).

I would say that spirituality is very important to my family, and that there is a great deal of joy in discovering one's spirit (or God depending upon one's perspective). and for my family, the context is also important--more important than i thought.

i didn't realize when i decided to move into another context, that it would cause such a stir with my family. my mother bemoaned "but you had such a lovely faith!" and yet, i don't feel that my faith has changed, or my experience of the divine, so mcuh as the language that i use to describe it and the spiritual disciplines that i prefer to utilize to develop it.

i have no qualms with the religion of my family and i value my religious education highly. i have no issue with the church, or my family members, or my religious education. as a teen, i was very frustrated with the social injustices that i experienced at my catholic girl's school--the hypocrasy and the lack of "christian" behavior that I saw at all levels that lead me to question whether or not it is a faith practice that "works" or not.

i believe that it is, for those who do the work of it--as it is for every religion. but i also feel/felt that it isn't the correct context for me.

and so, i changed contexts. and i plan on raising my children in this context instead of that.

and my hsuband's situation is similar.
post #91 of 98
oh, and btw, there are atheist quakers, in case anyone was curious.
post #92 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by CMcC View Post
Okay, I understand somewhat. The people we are praying for, it's a list. We don't know last names. We don't know anything about their situation. Since you've read my post, you know a lot more about me than I know about the people I am praying for. We're not discussing their situation, we are simply praying for them to come back to God. But you are right about one thing, whoever put those people on the list do believe that that person's decision to leave their faith was not the best move. ...
This still seems odd to me, because it seems as if you're asking your deity to intervene with someone's free will.



I was personally raised without religion. We got cursory explanations of what other people believed, but not a lot else. I never missed the "community" as even as a young child I did not see religion like that. I remember at age 6, when the neighbor kids weren't allowed to talk to us anymore because we didn't go to any church, thinking that their church was causing them to be divisive and irrational. Not in those terms of course, but those concepts.

I do think I missed out on some historical things, though. Like it or not, religions, particularly Christianity, have had a LOT of influence on humanity's progress throughout the centuries. Although it was something we went over in history classes I don't think I understood some of the undertones as well as someone who had a Christian, or really any monotheistic background. Religion has been mythology to me for as long as I remember, so I lacked understanding of the context in which many people were operating in these historical lessons.
post #93 of 98
So true for me. I was raised Catholic, went to an all girls, private Catholic school, went through baptism, communion, and that 3rd thing where we pick Saints names (forgot the name). However, my parents were not really practicing. We didn't go to church, and I wasn't made to feel guilty over any sin.

Still, I was pretty much an atheist by age 14. This was due to the religion classes I had to take in high school. The whole thing was WAY too contradictory for me - turn the other cheek, no an eye for an eye, you have free will, no it's God's plan, be fruitful and multiply, no birth control is OK, you will burn in hell if you break any sins, but no if you repent at the last minute you get to go to heaven ... and then the worst for me - even though God is omnipotent and all knowing, he still watches you all the time and is interested in you (at 14, I couldn't fathom that an omnipotent being could care less what I did on any given day) ... honestly, it was just too much for me. Plus, honestly, I found the idea of heaven boring.

I am a VERY logical, rational, consistent thinker. I needed a philosophy and value system was was rational and consistent. So, I ditched religion at age 14, started delving into philosophy and by age 18 set up my own code of ethics based on reason and logic.

I'm also a hardcore skeptic/scientist. When I see it, when you prove it, that is when I'll believe it. Before then, it's all just a theory to me. I just don't understand faith at all.

Everyone's experiences are different, of course. This was mine. My partner had the same experience. Also raised Catholic and also atheist as a teenager. I actually have quite a few friends who say they are "recovering Catholics." So, maybe, there is something to it. Or maybe not. Since atheists/agnostics are in the minority from what I can tell.
post #94 of 98
Pro: I know a lot about the religion I grew up with and a few other religions with similar principles. I knew the basics of how to get in touch with a higher power as a child through prayer and meditation. The following may sound like a con but I see it as a blessing in disguise. As an adult, I could really decide what not to be. The best lesson I learned, to put it harshly, is that my family's religion is very devisive, contradictory, mysogynist, and even dangerous if followed literally. Yes, many manage to be peaceful and good people following said religion however I have many issues with organized religion and that is just one of the few. I have read the scriptures and have formed these conclusions.

Con: I have a lot of guilt about a lot of things... could never enjoy sex, had a few prejudices that took work to get rid of. it was shoved down my throat and made my childhood a miserable time. It became my identity and one that I didn't particularly ever like. Put a lot of fear in me when I was a child. Yeah, I was the kid who counted my sins and worried if I was going to hell for having impure thoughts. I hate that my leaving this religion has caused a huge rift with my family. but I'm also mad at them that I didn't get to have a choice when I was forced to follow their religion.

Op: this is an excellent thread! I want my child to choose her own religion (if any)but I don't mind exposing her to different faiths in an objective manner. .. a big reason why I like the UU church.
post #95 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post
Are you an American Jew with a family that came from Lithuania? Because you aren't giving anyone a picture of your experience if you tell them "Lithuanian" if you grew up Jewish. It was a distinct and very interesting subculture that was not well-integrated into Lithuanian society. (and not really into most of the other E. European societies, either--or we wouldn't be here in the US!)

Jews use Jewish as an ethnicity for important historical reasons!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrestorm View Post
Well, I am no longer Jewish at all..I have initiated into another set of beliefs all together, but I am American, I was born and raised here.

I don't see how it's any less of a full picture than my recovering Catholic - Buddhist DH saying he's Italian - just Italian.

Perhaps I am not understanding your question correctly...or maybe I just don't consider Jewish an ethnicity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2seven View Post
You may be right in that they are more interested, but my experience with immigrants from E. Europe is that they make a distinction between say "Russian" or "Polish" and "Jewish" as nationalities. To this day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaraFR View Post
At least until 10 years ago (I don't know if it changed since then), if you were born and bred in the Ukraine but born Jewish, your identity card listed "Jewish" as nationality. You weren't "Ukrainian", you were "Jewish".
I was pretty much coming to say the same thing. On my grandparents census papers from the most recent year I could find, probably right around the time they came here, for instance, they are listed being from: "jewish". They lived in a large immigrant area and others would say "germany" or "russia" or "whatever" but my grandparents and a few others on the block were from "jewish"

Last year I was trying to do a bunch of geneaology, and everything says "jewish". For language either hebrew or yiddish.
post #96 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecstatic View Post
So true for me. I was raised Catholic, went to an all girls, private Catholic school, went through baptism, communion, and that 3rd thing where we pick Saints names (forgot the name).
That "third thing" is confirmation.
post #97 of 98
i was raised in an athiest home that was very disallowing of religious questions. i first realized this when i went to kindy & a classmate asked what church i went to & when they found out i didn't, i was told myself & my family would burn in hell. when i came home to ask my parents about it, i was told that religion was for weak-minded people who needed a crutch to validate their superiority & eliminate their fears. thus began my search for god. i spent my childhood, teen years & into my twenties searching for spirituality. i felt "out of the loop" in a lot of areas socially because there are so many areas in american culture that have religion as an undertone. certain holidays i didn't understand & sayings that were beyond me. i still identify as an athiest & am quite happy to do so now, but i do wish religion had been presented a bit more matter of fact to me as a child so that there would have been less room for fear tactics & misinformation to scare & confuse me.
post #98 of 98
Haven't read all the responses, but I think I grew up in the worst situation.

If you're going to raise your children in a religion, then do it. If not, then don't. I grew up in a household where I had to practically get on my knees and beg my parents to come to church to see me if I was performing. They would NOT go to church. But I was expected to, and when I came out of the closet I was constantly told about how I was going to hell. I don't really consider that being raised IN a religion - I consider it being raised with religion shoved down your throat by hypocrytes. Ugh.

I grew up going to a baptist church. My dad was technically baptist (he grew up in a super strict religious household which is probably why he refused to come to church with me but expected me to go). I started studying religion at 10, became pagan at 12, and just got baptised in the LDS church last weekend. My children will be raised pagan/LDS (DH is still pagan), but with religious study as a large part of their homeschooling. I believe all children need some foundation, but they also need parents who are willing to let them make their own choice. We are huge on "we believe this but other people don't and that's okay" in this house. So if my children end up being one of those other people, great for them.

I do look jealously at the people in my church who were raised LDS. It seems to much simpler for them. They have a basis to work off of. They don't have to change their whole life, because it's just the way they've always done things. I wish I had that comfort in my upbringing.
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