Rants & Essays

Religion and Being a Daddy

By Jaken Steele

The other day my significant other and I were having a rather heated discussion about religion and child rearing. She seems to have a notion that the two go hand in hand, whilst I have a very different opinion.

Now to those who are unaware, which would be most of you considering that I have been out of the Legends loop for some time now, I was informed a few months back that I will soon be joining the ranks of the broke and crazy. Yes I'm going to be a daddy. For those who are interested, we're not sure if it's a boy or a girl yet but we do know that the baby is due October 30th. Now I would love to say that I planned it that way, but alas I did not...none the less, my demon spawn is due soon.

So my girlfriend/fiance/wife... (choose whichever suits you)... and I were trying to decide how large a part religion should play in our and our minion's life. She is catholic. I obviously (having spent 9 years in the ram Jesus down your throat, you must conform and don't question anything, concentration camp like atmosphere that is catholic school) am not. Now you have to understand, her and I get along just fine and our religious differences were never a problem until this whole baby thing. She asked me how I thought we should raise the baby, and I said something to the effect of "I don't care as long as it's not catholic."

She asked me why not catholic and I was like...Hello! Does organized, keep the masses in line like sheeple, money-hungry religious cult mean anything? Well you would have thought I analy raped her mother with a cattle prod from the reaction that I got. She called me names she should be proud she even thought of, though I will admit that I don't believe her god would like to hear her speaking that way. She said that, "Children need to be kept in line and that they need to have the fear of god put into them at some point. They need to be taught not to sin so they can grow up to be good upstanding pillars of the community." Well, I was on the ground holding my stomach with tears coming from my eyes and I damn near pissed my pants laughing at her. Now in my defense I will say I wasn't laughing because I thought her words were funny, but I was genuinely amused as this was coming from a woman who not only had pre-marital sex, but is having a child out of wedlock. I guess ‘ya don't get to the good stuff till you're an adult...(shrug)...whatever. I told her she sounded like a bible thumping, manic street preaching, Jesus freak who had nothing better to do then foretell hellfire and damnation.

I explained to her that my reasoning was this..."Organized religions are for people who can't find their own way in life. The Catholics especially, preach love and understanding and tolerance in the bible but forget about it when it suits their own needs. If you don't believe what they do then you're a blasphemer and you're going to go to hell. They try and make you feel guilty, like they're right and everybody else is wrong. That doesn't sound very understanding and tolerant at all. I think it's all nothing but a bunch of non-sensible bullshit, and I'm not going to have my child grow up fearing everything and being made to feel guilty for natural thoughts and actions that everybody has. People point fingers and laugh at the ones who think that the alien mothership is going to come one day and whisk them all away to some other place where they will live in peace and harmony with the aliens, gaining infinite knowledge in the process. You got others that think women are a possession and that it's ok to have multiple wives and the church can take one of your wives if you do something wrong and give her to another husband and the women have no say in the matter and neither do you. Granted...not quite your run of the mill belief systems, but you believe that some guy turned water to wine, fed 5,000 people with two loaves of bread and half a dozen fish and then, to top it all off, was crucified and then rose from the dead three days later...and that's fucking normal?" The conversation was pretty much over after that.

Ok...now all of these examples seem to me to be a little absurd...but you get the idea. Everybody thinks theirs is right and all the others are wrong. As for me...

Do I believe in a god? Sure.
What's he/she/it look like? Don't know.
Which belief is the right one? Hell if I know.
Could they all be right? Sure, they could all be wrong too.
Is my god the right one? Probably not, but it's right for me.

Now I'm going to be the best damn father I can be to my kid. You don't need religion to instill discipline. Nor do you need it to teach love and understanding and tolerance...all of that starts at home and kids will attempt to emulate what they are shown. Monkey see, monkey do. I think all that matters is that you have faith regardless if it's in a higher power of some sort or not. The belief that their fate is in the hands of somebody or something else works for some people. Others have faith in themselves and believe that are their own higher power and they make their own fate...which is fine as long as you have faith. Faith that you can do and see and be anything either by your own hand or with help. As long as it's what works for you, it's right.

So how are we going to raise our child? My significant other isn't speaking to me yet, so I'm not quite sure...though I believe that we'll come up with something. Maybe we'll just keep the baby in the dark about religion, though I think we'd be vastly better off just teaching the baby to have faith until he/she gets old enough to decide for his/her self.

I'll keep you all posted.

Peace...and keep the faith.