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.