Are we teaching blind-faith?

By Diana Campeggio
February 9, 2011

I am not a religious person, but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t raised in a religious household.

My parents raised me Roman Catholic, I attended mass every Sunday, made all of my sacraments thus far and I attended some form of CCD (otherwise known as Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) until I was 14 years old, but still I feel conflicted in my beliefs.

In recent years, I consider myself agnostic, though my mother would call me a heathen.

Since I have been able to develop my own ideas about such things as religion, I have found myself less able to believe that God is the controller of my daily life.  I find it hard to understand that something is watching over me and controlling me like a pawn in a chess game.

Religion is grounded in a lot of beliefs that cannot be proven and I struggle with that. People have a lot of trust in a theory that there is no tangible proof of and I just can’t put all my hopes and dreams into something that I am not sure of. I cannot give a definitive answer of whether God exists or not and this feeling of not knowing is why I consider myself Agnostic.

It is important for all young people to be able to make their own decisions when it comes to religion.  Religion is something personal, something that people can feel a connection to. If this something that is handed down from a parent without any questioning, I don’t see how that can remain genuine.

To me, religion is more about having something to look to in a time of need than something that a person holds with them everyday.  In my life, I have been fortunate enough to not face any serious personal tragedies, but when one does, I believe that that is when their faith grows stronger.

The agnostic community looks for support in the form of a billboard in Sacramento, Calif. --MCT--

When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, she may look to God to help her get through the struggle.  This gives her something to believe in and it is comforting to believe someone is looking out for you.  It gives her hope in a time when all hope is lost.

But personally, this doesn’t do it for me.  I need a more concrete theory than this. I believe the most important purpose of a religious belief is that it gives someone hope,and I don’t find hope in the religious beliefs I was raised to believe.

It is important to mention that this does not mean that I do not have beliefs, because I do.  I just can’t put all my hopes into something that is completely intangible.  I need some definitive answers before I can put all my eggs in one basket.

This is something that my mother cannot understand.  She doesn’t understand how I could be raised in a Catholic household and not believe that God will aid me to make the right choices.  But I know that I am in control of the life I am living and what will happen to me after death, who could know that?

I’m sure many parenting books will agree that as a parent, you are suppose to let their children make their own way in the world and develop their own ideas about how the world works.  But when it comes to religion, I believe that many parents strangle their children into following their same beliefs and many children do it without question, even if it does feel wrong.

Parents should offer their children a basis of religion and teach them what they believe, because it is important for children to have something to believe in as they grow and develop.  But as the child grows into a young adult, they should be encouraged to learn about other religions and be able to feel comfortable when figuring out what they believe in.  And as parents they should offer a positive surrounding for their children.

In my belief, there are too many people running around strictly believing the only thing they were told to believe.  They are not questioning their beliefs because they don’t know any better.  This creates a world full of people who are ignorant to other’s beliefs and who cannot develop the ability to question what they believe in.

Children’s curiosity about why a religion believes the way it does can even create a stronger bond to their religion, but we need to be encouraging children to gain knowledge and make decisions that can be backed up by information, not just because that was what they were taught.

If as a parent, you do not give your child the chance to ask questions about religion and let them come up with their own answers, in my opinion, you are hindering your children.

If I do decide to have children, I hope to give them the opportunities to create their own ideas of how the world works and let them flourish into the people that I can only hope they will become.

Too many people in this world do not know why they believe the religion they believe.  They don’t ask questions and they don’t understand why other people can believe differently than them.  I think this is a serious flaw in our society and until parents start letting their children become their own people, and not carbon copies of themselves, we will remain an ignorant and sheltered society.

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Diana Campeggio

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