Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursday, February 09, 2012 - ,,,, 8 comments

My Journey Through Spirituality - 1

 A couple of weeks ago, I stepped out of my blogging comfort zone to talk about something potentially controversial, the dynamic of different religious groups in the town I now live in. Several of the comments expressed an interest on how I decided to become a Christian in the first place. I thought that would be a great continuation on my religious theme.

In a way, this is kind of my life story because this journey has been going on throughout my life from about as long as I can remember. Hopefully, I can keep the story from dragging too much. ;)

Like any good story, I have to set the scene. Act 1 Scene 1 starts by being raised in a non-religious household. Oh, I had a Christening dress that I still have on a shelf in my closet, and I have Godparents, who had nothing to do with giving me religious instruction. There's some paperwork that the ceremony took place at an Episcopal church. I knew that my parents also were married in an Episcopal church, but that was about the extent of it.

If there was any kind of religion around the house, it was the religion of the U.S. Army. Like any religion, it is filled with disciplines, traditions, and a moral code. However, it was not a household of blind obedience.

My parents had grown up in the shadow of World War II where Nazi military personnel tried to deflect the responsibility of their atrocities by saying that they were only doing what they had been ordered to do. This was also very shortly after the end of the war in Vietnam where the citizens of the United States learned that their government had lied to them in order to generate support for the war. The level of trust in anything besides what one could observe or reason through was very thin.

My father would regularly tell me stories that sounded true ... at first.  As the story continued, it would get more and more far-fetched and outlandish. A particular one that stands out was about submarine races on Lake Superior. (I probably remember it because it was my cousin who got sucked into the story and was pretty bummed when he found out that we couldn't go and see the race. lol)

The way that I figured, this was my father's way of teaching me that I shouldn't blindly follow or believe anyone, not even him.  I should always use my brain and my own reasoning power before believing anything.  Naturally, this attitude backfired on him when I became a teenager and questioned everything he said. For some reason the stories stopped shortly after that. I'm not quite sure why. ;)

Now, it wasn't that my parents were particularly anti-religion either. When I was six, and my neighbors invited me to go to church, my parents had no objections that I recall. However, about a year later, when I wanted to ride my bike rather than go to church, they had no objections either. Of course, at no time in that year did they ever go with me.

In other words, I was briefly exposed to Christianity, but we lived in an irreligious household. There was no significant change from this as long as I lived with my parents, even after they divorced. We celebrated Christmas with Santa and Easter with bunnies.

However, as all parents (and children) know, children don't learn everything about life at home. School began to have an influence. And that's where the story will pick up next week.

Here's a hint. My father's teaching to question things was encouraged. You already know how the story ends, but I can assure you that I approached the whole thing with a great deal of skepticism.

Until next week ...


I find this an extremely healthy way to raise a child. Of course, I may think that because I was raised in a similar irreligious home.

I should tell you that I enjoy reading your insights into religion and the religious because you seem very grounded in what you believe, very logical even about something as seemingly illogical as faith, and without the incessant need to pound anyone over the head with it or insist that they believe as you do. Thank you for that.

I was accosted many times by the type of people that you describe, so that's last thing that I want to do. That is one of the main reasons that I've avoided posting about religion on this blog. But, I am extremely gratified that you are willing to give me a listen. :)

I'm glad you're sharing your story. I grew up in a fundamentalist household, so it's intriguing to me to hear how people from irreligious households come to God.

It's full of twists and turns that's for sure. Thank you for your support. :)

New follower from the HOP, hope you come by and your Today Is...

I thought it was kind of fun. :) Thanks for stopping by.

I love when a child is raised to question things and be thoughtful and open
and look how they turn into wonderful adults :)

I'm not even sure what is the correct way to humbly respond to that statement. I guess that the best thing is to say that I imagine that's why your son's such a good guy. ;) :D

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