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My Kid & Religion: Part 4 – Community

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Coffee-Community

This is the fourth post in a series on My Kid & Religion

What I miss most about my church attending days is the community. There was a group of people who I would see weekly (or more often) that “cared” about me. We could talk about faith, but we could also talk about other things too. Food, movies, travel, and a whole host of other things would be covered within the context of this community. I don’t miss the preaching or alter calls. Let’s be honest, once you’ve been in the church for a couple of decades you’ve heard everything there is to say. Granted the stories and commandments can be interpreted differently, but it’s all been said before. Be kind. Avoid evil. Do good.

Modern society has islands of community. There is a multitude of opportunities for singles and couples without kids to take part in things like dinner parties, book clubs, sports teams, concerts, nerd clubs, and so on. A couple with a new baby in tow is a much different thing. It’s not so easy to go out anymore and meet people. It’s a hassle to go out with a kid and even more expensive to find a babysitter. Churches are setup to accept families because of Sunday School and youth groups. Its part of why I’m still drawn to attending one.

I miss being part of a community, but I’m not about to let my son think that I’m okay with discrimination against people who are different from what society says they should be. Especially if someone tries to say its okay because “God” or the Bible says so. I want my son to know about good and evil. I want him to do what he can to make the world a better place. I don’t want to see him hurt. I know he will get hurt. That’s life. It has joys and pains. I just don’t want to be the one responsible for letting into his life something that could be so bad for him.

Religion is a paradox I’m not about to figure out. It will be many more years before I feel settled about it. The question is “How will my decisions now about it affect my son’s view of it in the future?” I don’t know but, no matter my course of action or inaction at this moment, I will eventually find out.

What do you think? Have you left the Church and missed the community it once offered you? Have you found a new community to take its place? Let me know in the comments and on social. 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Joel,
    Hi I’m Doug. I’ve read all of your posts about religion. I agree with a multitude of which you have said. Matter of fact I have said most of it myself time and time again. I am an at home dad with two girls, 6years old and 10 months. I have never exposed my daughters to the realm of the “Church.” Our family went to a wedding last spring, before my second daughter was born, and that was the first time my eldest daughter had stepped inside of a church. It was a profound experience for her as she commented only on how pretty the windows and pews looked. When the pastor gave his sermon she could care less. I am a cynic so I listened and laughed when the pastor contradicted his faith and the church in his blessing of the union. I don’t think he even realized he did it. I was forced into the religion at adolescent ages and it was a learning experience, as far as “community” goes. I was friends with the pastor’s step son and no matter what this kid did it was my fault and I was the culprit of this kids sins. Oh and I have never been to a church where children/babies were accepted for what they are. Noisemakers that don’t sit still. Also I know that all religions say they are inclusive, but lets face it, religion is the most exclusive club that one can belong to. You have plenty of time to expose your boy or not expose your boy to the religious experience. In the end you should be there for guidance, love and a realistic approach to the whole experiment known as “Religion.” If my girl chooses to look into religion my wife and I have a pact that I will support her but my wife will take her to church because unless your dead or getting married I have no business being there. My job will be to talk to my daughter about what was real and what was fictionalized or exaggerated in the said text of the Bible. First off it is our job to protect our children, second is to teach, and if I can teach both girls to be tolerant of intolerant things or situations then I have done my job as a parent and they will be on there way to becoming happy healthy adults. The world needs more thinkers, dreamers and doers and if we can get this next generation off to a running start that would be great.
    Thank you for your time

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