I always knew that I wanted my kid to know about religion.
Even though I’m completely nonreligious and not raising my daughter, Maxine, in a spiritual manner, I still want her to understand religion, to understand religious people, and to be intellectually prepared when she sees theological concepts pop up in the world around her.
Still, when I first pictured myself “showing” religion to Maxine, it was always, you know, from a distance. A safe distance. This may sound odd, but I used to picture religion as a country rodeo, and me and Maxine as these city slickers who would sort of sneak in through the back entrance, take our seats on the top level of the bleachers, and observe everything from afar. We’d munch on our secular hotdogs and look down on the rodeo ring (everyone in it looking quite tiny from where we sat), and then I’d explain what I could about what was happening down there. A lot of the rodeo events wouldn’t make sense to her. (We’d be limited by my own meager knowledge.) Nor would it be all that fun. (We would be so far removed from anything remotely interesting).
But it would be safe. And that was the thing. Maxine would see that religion existed, but feel no compulsion to join in.
Then I had what some might (ironically) call a “come-to-Jesus moment.” [Read more...]