We are members of a couple different local homeschool groups. One of our groups meets monthly for “gym day” which is basically just a time when the children can run off some energy with their peers in a safe, enclosed area. Of course free play is encouraged on gym days but we also supply activities to entertain the children. Because gym days are a monthly event, we try to keep supplies and prep time to a minimum. This month was March so we planned a St Patrick’s Day theme to our activities.
As a homeschooling mom who happens to live in the Bible belt, many people figure it is a safe assumption that I would be religious. That I would be a Christian. One compelling piece of evidence that most moms in my position are Christians is the fact that most (if not all) the local homeschool co-ops and support groups require members to sign a statement of faith, proclaiming Jesus as their lord and savor. Through my daily interactions with those around me, I can see that Christianity is prevalent in my community. Everything from cashiers in the shops ending our transaction with, “have a blessed day,” to the grandmothers at the playground who ask which church we attend. Not IF we attend church, but which church DO we attend.
The truth is, we tried the church nearest to us a couple times but we decided it wasn’t for us when a former Hindu woman stood up and talked about how miserable she was before she found Jesus and how she felt sorry for those she loved who still practiced Hinduism. You see, I am of the belief that we must all follow the path that is right for us. It is wonderful that this woman found peace when she converted from Hinduism to Christianity but who is she to tell her Hindu loved ones that their beliefs are wrong if Hinduism is what brings them peace? We must all walk our own path and respect those whose path is different from our own.
Many members of our community were raised Christian and identify as Christians and raise their children in Christianity without ever waviering in their faith or exploring other beliefs outside what they were taught as children. There is nothing wrong with that lifestyle, however it is not how I was raised and not how I intend to raise my children.
My father was raised Mormon, he identified as a Christian though I don’t recall him ever attending church or praying. My stepMomma was raised Pentecostal, she later converted to Catholicism for her first husband, and she too identified as a Christian throughout my childhood though I can only recall a small handful of times over the years that she attended church or prayed. As a child I received the bulk of my religious counsel not from my parents but from extended family and my friends’ parents. I was exposed to various religions, visited churches, cathedrals, synagogues, etc.. Our family is a prime example of religious diversity as each person followed their own path and each person has found peace in their own way.
I believe I benefited from the religious diversity in my family and community as a child, and I worry about my children living in a community that lacks religious diversity.
Unlike my parents, I have made a point of being the primary person who talks the most with my children about religious and spiritual issues. Every Sunday I read to my children from their Bible and every night before bed I pray with them. I also teach them about non-Christian religions and about the Triassic period and about primate evolution. I believe that all of this knowledge is important and it is my hope that they will use it to form their own opinion as well as to find their own path to peace, someday.
So am I a Christian? (more…)