About Religion (part III)

4 04 2005

This is my last post about religion, after part I and part II. Unfortunately, I have to pick on dear friend Matthew:

The Silent Penguin: A growing girl: “I'm the non-religious member of the family but my wife and I came to an early agreement that we would do our best to always show our children both sides of the coin so that they can then choose their personal view on the subject when they are ready to do so.”

I'm almost exactly in the same situation as yours, Matthew, even though my daughter is a little younger than yours. I consider myself an atheist, for all practical purposes, yet my daughter will have her holy communion, like all good catholic girls.

But I won't say this is because I want to show her “both sides of the coin”. With all due respect, this is BS.

First of all, there aren't just two sides to this coin. Assuming one side is atheism, why just pick christianity — and of the catholic variety — as the other side? Why not protestantism, judaism, buddhism or islam?

Second, even if there are many sides to this coin, she will be presented with just one. When our respective daughters come home from their religious teaching (I don't know how it's called in English or German, but here we call it the equivalent of “doctrine”, from Latin “docere”, which is also the root for “indoctrination”, by the way) where they've been taught about the Immaculate Conception and such, are we going to expose them to the alternative view and tell them that “it ain't necessarily so”?

Come on, we're not kidding anyone, are we? The reason you and me are allowing this is because we are conformists, not for ourselves but for the sake of our children. We don't want our daughters to stand out because they're not having their holy communion. Such is the strength of a popular religion.

And of course we don't want to have a fight with our wives ;).

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