Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Interfaith

"Early on, we taught our oldest daughter that everyone has their own religious truths: it is okay for them to believe they are right, and it is also okay for her to believe something different.[...] They are children, and any deity worth the title won’t hold children responsible or become angry at them for following the traditions of their family."

I'm glad that this family has had success with interfaith.  I've read stories where it just doesn't work with other families.  It makes me wonder if couples even bothered to have conversations before marriage or before children, in terms of how they would teach their children faith.  That would be a top priority for me.  When dating, if I really liked someone, I was upfront with my faith and practice.  I had to be in order to know whether or not the relationship was worth keeping.  They had to be able to accept my faith.  And me, theirs.  Could there be acceptance and tolerance?  If so, then came the possibility of children.  Would they object to it?  If so, they weren't worth my time.  I'm a very spiritual person, and it's important to me to teach my children my beliefs (but allow them to form their own).  

After many failed attempts at dating, I decided that I was only dating Pagans.  Not everyone has bad experiences, clearly, but some do.  The guys I was dating either thought I was stupid, silly, crazy, or wrong.  Being a Pagan wasn't a thing, blah blah blah.  One of them wanted to debate and I walked away.  I'll share and educate, but I'm not going to debate my beliefs, especially when you're mocking me the whole time.  (I tend to wait until things get a bit more serious before I bring up children [don't want to rush things], so the kid issue never came up.)

On Myspace, when some guy emailed me, I was totally upfront with him, told him that I wasn't some easy date and that I was a Pagan and a Witch, and that I wasn't interested in being told repeatedly that my beliefs were wrong.  He was taken aback, but assured me that it wasn't the case.  We both liked Metallica, The Undertaker, and Kane, and he thought I was cool.  I could have very easily chased him away...and I think part of me tried  (i did try to hook him up with another friend).  I was just so tired of these assholes and frustrated and hurt.  I was mean to him at first, but he was determined.  Come February 24th, we'll have been together for 8 years, married for 4 years on Samhain.  Something worked out.  We're both Pagans, and we both don't have issues with how we're raising our children.  

Only thing is that he, like many Pagans, hates Christianity and thinks that their God is bullshit.  Like we were watching a show on Sunday and a hunter had that thanked God for a deer, so that she could feed their family.  He laughed at that, "Yeah, I'm sure your "God" had something to do with it."  I said to him, "How is her thanking her God for the deer any different than if I thanked Artemis?"  

"Oh, you got a point."

It's been a struggle, but I'm getting through to him that it's not okay to bash Christians for their beliefs.  You want to be accepted, you need to do the same, even if some Christians won't accept you.  Two wrongs don't make a right.  Why are your Gods real and their's bullshit?  Why is it okay for you to pray and give thanks, but not them?  It doesn't make sense, it only makes you look like an intolerant, ignorant jerk.

So not too many problems on that front.  

My family isn't too religious.  They have their beliefs, but they don't go to church (a few on my dad's side do) and for most of them, their holidays aren't focused on Jesus or God, they're often focused on family tradition and children.  My husband's family are all pretty much Christian.  Most of them go to church, I believe that my SIL's family goes daily.  All-in-all most aren't pushy with their beliefs. Except one, which is funny because he's a liar and a cheater, too. 

My step dad is a Catholic who goes to church here and there, but it's not regular--he goes very rarely on holidays, sometimes goes with his mom and aunt's, and goes on funerals.  But he's one of those types who will use treats and fear in order to convert someone to his beliefs.  He's very manipulative.  He's told me many times that my kids can't have Christmas presents unless they're converted.  Of course, my husband and I just shrug, saying that presents aren't everything....plus....we have Yule.  My mom often rolls her eyes--She's Agnostic--and whispers that her husband's full of crap (duh, mom).  So what if Grandpa Asshole doesn't give them gifts, they get plenty from other family.  Gifts don't/shouldn't equal love.  We don't want to emphasis gifts on the sabbats, that's not their point.  

My family focus' on the kids enjoyment on their holidays, whereas we emphasis the meaning of the day on ours.  I think that's a good balance.  

I honestly don't think that we're going to have problem.  The ones who're the pushiest have no business calling themselves devout.  And I plan on educating our children about other faiths, too.  Plus we do have family and friends who're religious who aren't assholes, who wouldn't mind sharing their beliefs if asked.  

I just don't want to my kids to be like many people: assholes about their beliefs.   I don't want them to think  that it's okay to mock or bash another faith due to any reason.  Even if some disrespects you, ignore them.  They are not representing the entire faith, just themselves.  They're not worth your time. 

Overall, I want my kids to be good, compassionate, intelligent, accepting people.  


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