Can you raise a child to have morals without being religious? That is something that I’ve been thinking about lately. I went to a Baptist Church in west Texas while my husband went to a private Catholic school. Neither of us are actively practicing any religion and don’t really plan on it to be honest. I believe that there is a greater good and that we should always try to be our best versions of ourselves but no one I know would label me religious by any means. Without a God in our home, does this mean our daughter will grow up without that love/fear based morale code?
I remember being a child and being told that I couldn’t read Harry Potter because it had witchcraft in it. Then the same weekend all of the adults on that side of the family would be piss drunk and cussing up a storm. I never really had a solid foundation of faith besides do this or else. My husband was raised in a Catholic household and went to Catholic school. I won’t speak for him but I know he did quite a bit of good while with his church through missionary trips and yet he isn’t practicing now. I would say we are both good people but we did come from a religious background.
I know that even without a faith, you can have high moral values and abide by your own compass but I still question if it is the right decision for her. If she wanted to go to church with friends or wanted us to go with her, we absolutely would/would let her but do we introduce her to that world directly. My experience was filled with so much hypocrisy and bigotry but that isn’t everyone’s experience.
I know I can teach her right from wrong, why it is important to be kind, what to do in certain situations but am I robbing her of an experience that both of us had? I would love for her to go to a private Christian school and my reason behind that is because the other children who went there are attending because their parents want them to have a good education and to have the moral building blocks to make good decisions.
It’s not religion that makes people one way or another but is the introduction of someone who loves you no matter what and who can guide you when you are lost such a bad thing. Am I thinking of this from the completely wrong place? Am I relying on religion to teach my child things that my parents instead of a person standing at a pedestal should have taught me? Or am I wanting my child to feel the love of a congregation and to make the decision on her own when she’s older like we did?
This is definitely something that won’t be resolved tonight.