Raising an Agnostic

Digressing from money stuff today….. Our family is not a member of a church *gasp*. Often times when we share this fact (after being prompted by the obligatory ‘what church do you go to?’) there is a look of sympathy and judgement from the asker. The way I might look at someone physically or emotionally abusing their child; they must think I am doing far worse by paving Miss Moe’s journey to hell.

Our family identifies as spiritual, but not religious, which is hard to explain to a churchgoer. I was raised atheist, but I can’t subscribe to that either. There is a major difference between spirituality and religiousness, although the words are sometimes mistaken for one another. You can be BOTH spiritual and religious, but to me, spirituality is uniquely:

  • Never fear mongering
  • Taking the time to mindfully and individually pursue and explore the world and how we are connected to it (karma)
  • Has no specific rites and/or rituals that must be followed, simply listen to your own soul and lightness

pexels-photo-415380.jpegWhy do people try to convince someone else that their one way is the right way?  Many religions are fraught with abuse and corruption. Countless people have been slaughtered in the name of so many different gods, why? I don’t find religious people necessarily nicer, smarter, or in any other way better than nonreligious people. Many of the best people I’ve met are agnostics – or even atheists. While I enjoy exploring many religions and their belief systems, it is more a self-assigned anthropology assignment than as a future disciple. On a recent trip to India we toured many mosques, Hindu temples, Lord Krishna’s birthplace in Mathura, and the Brahma temple in Pushkar. While traversing some of the greatest riches in the world in this beautiful country we were surrounded by unspeakable suffering from the poorest castes.

Saving Miss Moe

Miss Moe has many friends in the religious community and for some reason they want nothing more than to ‘save’ her. At 15, she makes her own decisions about what she does and does not believe. She tries hard to reconcile her spiritual but non-religious belief system with that of her friends. She’s open to new ideas, has been to numerous churches and asked questions of those that wish to impart their beliefs.  The two sets of questions she’s asked over and over (in different ways) are:

  • So, a murderer, the Buddha, and I will burn in hell together?  Both families who have tried to convert (one actually a pastor’s wife) have answered that yes the Buddha, the murderer, and she will burn in hell together.
  • How do you know your way is the right way? What about persons of other faiths that also have faith? What makes your faith more valid than theirs? They simply shrug their shoulders and state that you have to have faith that their way is the right and only way.

Both of the above answers are unsatisfying to her, and me as well. She can see no benevolent being that would have created us and allowed us to live a good life just to leave us in hell. I’m not claiming to know all the things, actually I’m claiming that I don’t know anything about what comes next at all. I do know that I’ll continue to explore my own spirituality and hope Miss Moe does too. If she finds a religion that fits I’ll support her in that too!

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. 
Dalai Lama

~Mrs. Moe

3 thoughts on “Raising an Agnostic

  1. Hi Mrs Moe 🙂
    Great blog! I am in you’re shoes as well. I follow my own path and let my son lead his own path. While I can hold my own with people who want to “save” me, I don’t like the fact that the religious target children/teens. They do this because this because kids are young and impressionable.

    I was listening to a podcast the other day with a similar comparison to “you, a murderer and the Buddha” but the comparison in the podcast was “Hitler and Jews”. Here you have someone who committed horrors against Jews.. so naturally a Christian would believe he is going to hell but for the Jews who died by his orders… going to hell? Really?! If that’s what Christian’s believe… than no wonder why I ran away from it quickly 🙂 Rest assured though, not all Christian’s believe that good people who reject Jesus still go to “Heaven”.

    There are plenty of Christians I know who understand there are people of all faiths and religions and are not so quick to say their beliefs are the only one that is true. That seems limited to people who are zealots! I’m sure deep down they believe they are “saving” you… but honestly, I find it quite annoying to those who are following their own path in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi David 🙂
      Miss Moe (and other people in her age group) seem to be a target for adults to push their beliefs in hopes of saving children (a vulnerable class of people being raised by ‘heathens’ like me). Though, she does open herself up to the conversation of faith by being naturally curious about what other’s believe, attending church with them, and asking poignant questions.

      One of the adults (a very kind person that I like) recently said to her…

      “It’s like throwing rocks at a glass. Every rock is a sin. Yes, the murderer will have a more damaged window, but you are both damaged and will not be accepted to heaven.”

      That doesn’t sound like unconditional love to me. Miss Moe isn’t perfect, yet my love is unconditional. Unconditional love doesn’t mean ‘only if you believe’. Faith is a condition. My love should be less than that of the creator of the universe.

      In defense of the Christians that try to spread the Word of God to Miss Moe…. If I TRULY believed that someone I cared for was in trouble, I’d try to save them. For instance, if I saw a car careening toward my friend in the street – I would scream, grab them, or try anything I could to keep them safe. So, I understand they are coming from a place of compassion.

      Like

  2. Pingback: Teenagery – What I Have Learned so Far – Make Once Enough

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