Friday, May 15, 2015

Oh ye of little faith

There are conversations that I have with my son that come easily to me: Stuff that we learn together about science, new vocabulary words, sex, what we use the Internet for and the different heroes in our lives. And then there are the conversations that are harder for me to have with him: like ones around religion.

I know that in other entries on this blog I have given those well-meaning nuns who taught me a hard time (they were really very devout women who cared a lot about their students and hardly beat any of us). I went to Catholic school for nine years - the last three by my request. And with my early indoctrination into religion, I never learned to question my belief system until I got much older and started thinking for myself more. 

If someone were to ask me my religious affiliation today, I would say that I was agnostic.

And I'm not alone. The Pew Research Center just released its latest figures around religion in America, finding that there has been a sizable drop in people associating themselves with a Christian religious group. Surprisingly, the lowered numbers can't be attributed to a decline of just one group - it's across every age, ethnicity and geographic area, and it is affecting all Christian denominations.

I don't claim to have all the answers. So when it comes to religion and my son, I do what I always do: I try to answer his questions. He knows that there are unanswered questions in this world, he knows what a church is used for and he knows that people have different beliefs. Maybe one day he will find that his belief system aligns with a religion, and I am OK with that as long as it is his choice. 

The most important part of religion to me was the morality of it, but there are other ways to teach right from wrong without being in a church.

Are you a practicing member of your religious community or have you taken a step back? Share your story in the comments.


  1. I consider myself to be spiritual, not religious. I was raised Catholic and decided to branch away from that in college. Since then I have attended churches of all kinds of faiths. It was my yoga community that really brought my spirituality out. Now, I enjoy just being open to different faiths, while trying to align with what I believe in my heart.

    1. Thanks for sharing your spiritual journey, Libby. Spirituality is so personal that it is hard to share with others sometimes. I'm glad that you have found a path for you that gives you what you need!

  2. Thanks for sharing your perspective with us...I grew up more agnostic and then became a Christian when I learned about Christ from a neighbour. I would say that it wasn' t until I was an adult that I fully desired to follow my new faith (learned about it as a teen). It has been my anchor, and the community I belong to is just an outpost for me, and the family too of course. I find encouragement there & hope. Something I find lacking around me (in the world, media, extended family, friends at times...inside me at times as well). Thanks for being so open with us today :) Love sharing with people...learning about their journeys.