Friday, July 10, 2015

My Children are being Raised in a Religion-Free Home

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I wasn't raised in a religion-free home.
Our home had dried palm leaves tucked behind the living room mirror, a box of weekly envelopes for tithing sitting on the bookshelf, a tiny bottle of blue-capped holy water on the shelf, Sunday clothes in our closets, pictures or statues of bleeding hearts. We had parties for water dunking, we had people in our lives called godmothers and godfathers, we had special classes with our priest, and we had talk of miracles reported in places like Medjugorje and Guadalupe and Lourdes. We had Liguori magazine stacked on the end tables, Wednesday night dates with the catechism classes, nearly every single friend was also from our church, going to mass before going out on Saturday nights, fish on Fridays, and alcohol at every family event. We were Catholic. That is how my family identified. That is how I identified.

Therefore we also had confessing our sins, rosaries to ask Mary to help us get our sins forgiven, guilt for missing mass, shame over all things sexual (including sexual maturity), embarrassment over celebrating Christmas just for the presents and Easter just for the candy. We had fear of demonic things, and an expectation your beliefs will be the exact same as your parents, and a very black and white way of looking at issues: saint or sinner, right or wrong, good or evil.
Were there good things about being raised in my home? Absolutely. I always felt a sense of belonging a my church. The community was something we could count on. Elders of the church who were willing and able to listen. For me, the true benefit of religion for me was the community.

When I asked my son about being raised in a religion-free home he replied It's way better than being raising in a sugar-free home!

This week on Brunch with the Secular Parents on Sunday at Noontime CST we will be exploring ways that we think our kids benefit from being raised in a religion-free home. Your comments below would help!

Also, I hope you listen and JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION.


  1. I was raised in a religion free home. I am now a scholar of the history of religion and teach in the religion department of a public university. I'm fascinated. Fancy that.


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