Raising children religious or not

Krista - posted on 05/31/2009 ( 484 moms have responded )

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I've been reading some of the debate in the "homosexuality" thread, which, inevitably has turned into an argument between Christians and non-Christians, mainly. It makes me wonder how people are raising their kids; how many are raising their children in the religion (or lack of religion) that they grew up in, who was raised religious and doesn't want that for their kids, and who was raised without religion and has decided they want more for their kids. My husband was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school, but now does not practice religion at all, and I was raised without religion and this is how we intend to raise our children. I would also like to add that I didn't choose to raise my children without religion out of ignorance; I feel that I'm fairly educated about various religions, but I do not agree with much of what is taught and instead I want to instil in my kids my and my husband's own values rather than Christian values. I'm just curious how everyone came to the decision to raise their children with or without religious influence.

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Bridie - posted on 06/01/2009

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Jesus never forced His beliefs down peoples throats. He answered questions that were asked of Him and He spoke to those who came to listen. I openly believe in God but I prefer to live what I believe, being peaceful and respectful in the things I say and do in RL and online. TBH, even as a fellow believer, I think you're coming on too strong, Libby. Where is the love and compassion of Christ in these posts? You would be more succesful sharing God in a way that unbelievers would want to relate to and while there alot of things that you've said that I agree with I find it hard to get past the whole 'my way or the highway' attitude. This isn't a Christian forum, it was a question asked by someone who was curious about other peoples parenting decisions. Jesus showed respect, love, kindness, patience and gentleness in His teachings. He didn't force Himself on people, so maybe you should follow His example.

Betsy - posted on 06/01/2009

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Quoting Libby:



Quoting Betsy:




Quoting Libby:





Quoting Shirley:

Well I am new to being religious so to speak ... I have just been saved... I tell ya its the best thing that has happened to me... My children and husband to be went the next week and accepted christ into their hearts as well... it has been such a blessing to us and our families.. being a christian isnt always easy but dont let your children walk around "lost" the rest of their lives.. its in your hands on how your children are raised and they say their isnt a book to help teach you how to raise them but there really is... its called THE BIBLE.. use it..










Congrats Shirley!  I am so happy for you and your family.  Everything you said was right on.  Believing in God isn't easy.  And it is in our hands on how we raise our children.  There are some who have said they want their child to be able to choose for themselves, but without any direction on what a sound faith is, how can a parent be sure that they their child will choose the right thing.  I think no matter what you believe or don't believe we all have some sense on what the wrong thing might be.  It is so hard to choose the right path and without a parent to help you through that and give you a sense for what is right it is definetly easier to fall into the wrong teachings.  I feel sad for those that don't have a strong enough faith in something that they would be proud to pass on to their children.  I pray for those nonbelievers quite often. 













I am a Christian, have been since birth, and many of these statements are why people RUN from Christianity. To say you pity those who don't share your faith, pray for them, or other comments like "a parent who loves their child" or "a good parent" teaches their child about God, are very offensive to people who have different faiths or truly don't believe in any God. One's spiritual beliefs are so intimately personal. I have my Christian beliefs, and you have yours, so we should pass those on to our children and have them in our family, but those with other beliefs should pass on what THEY believe to their kids. This world is made up of billions of people with many different belief systems.  It is an historical fact that when people refuse to even recognize another's right to have their own spiritual beliefs, we have wars, people are slaughtered, suffering is endured, etc., and the most Christian thing we can to to improve this planet we are all leaving our children, is to teach them to recognize and respect that other people have other spiritual views, and that can easily be done, while also passing on our own personal views to them. These attitudes though do nothing to promote the end the evil, nor do they do anything to create an atmsphere where Christianity is seen as something positive and loving, but rather it causes the opposite and makes people run from Christian Churches, as it promotes a negative stereotype of Christians.










I'm sorry Betsy, you are quoting me, yet I fail to see where I said anythying that you have put in quotation marks.  I didn't say I pity anybody, or a good parent does this or that specifically.  I did say I would pray for them, if that is offensive to you then all I can say is I'm sorry.  But because praying is offensive to one person doesn't mean I will stop praying.  That is a part of my faith and my beliefs.  You say you are a Christian so I am going to assume you believe in God and in Heaven.  If I am wrong please feel free to let me know, I mean no disrespect.  But as a Christian have you never prayed for a nonbeliever to be saved?  Do you not have one person in your family that doesn't believe in God and you pray for that person because you want them to spend eternal life with you in Heaven?  Perhaps I am not understanding what is offensive about praying for someone who doesn't believe that there is a God and a Heaven.  I do know their are wars and I am certain God's army will always prevail triumphant.  I do agree that people should pass something on to their children.  Unity within a family, especially when it comes to a faith, is very important.  I am still sad for nonbelievers that don't have something that they feel is worth passing on.  Instead many here have said that they would rather let their child go out and make their own choice.  As a parent I have the right to influence my children with a faith and I am going to do so because I believe my faith in God to be true.





Obviously you are really not understanding why you are being offensive and disrespectful to both Christians and non-Christians, which has been expressed repeatedly to you here. No, I do not tell others I am praying for them in those circumstances because I do have a comprehension of why that is so offensive, and I treat others how I would like to be treated because I am a Christian. I just hope people do not see your words as a general example of Christianity, as you are a small sampling of why Christians are so negatively stereotyped and why they avoid our faith. As a parent you do have the right to influence your child with your faith, but you are not being a good Christian by not respecting others to enjoy that same right as well, so you must feel you have more rights than the rest of the planet or just honestly do not understand that entire concept, for which we will all pray for you.

Sabrina - posted on 05/31/2009

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I totally agree that we all need to ste back and take a deep breathe. I was raised going to church. Although it wasn't a constant thing. My husband went to church but stopped after his mom got breast cancer. But I feel so much better when I am going to church. I don't know how to explain it I just feel good about life. I recently moved so we haven't been to church here yet. But I have been looking for one. I do take my kids to church and when the holidays come around we teach them the meaning of them. But personally I know in my life that there is alot that I need to straighten out. The kids have a good time. But since my three older ones have disabilities their understanding is a little slow. I do prefer to go to a non-denominational church. They are more up beat and I dont feel like I have to learn a specific religion. I believe in the Bilble and the word of God. I dont think you need a certain religion to do that. My husband is still on the fence about everything but he does attend with the family every now and then. I just hope that poeple can answer the question without bashing everyones opinions or beliefs.

Libby - posted on 06/07/2009

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Hi all! I just wanted to say that it is so I ironic that I was involved in this thread this week and then I went to church this morning and basically the message was all about this type of scenario. It gave me an appreciation for participating in a thread where I stated my belief firmly and didn't sway from it no matter what was said or done. The point that I learned in church today is that when you feel like there's nothing else you can do, all you have to do is stand. And I will stand for God any day.



I just wanted to share that. My pastor has said before that God knows who is going to be at church and I am sure God knew I was going to be there today, and He knew I needed to hear that. I hope by that by sharing this here, even though it was in a very brief way, that someone else will know that it's OK to take a stand for God. God bless!

Michelle - posted on 06/04/2009

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is it libby who said she doesn't grieve for her daughter like those with no hope? for someone who claims not to be on her high horse, that sounds suspiciously like one who thinks she is superior to others...! it is attitudes like that that ruin the credibility of religion for me...validates for me that i have made the right choice in (well, at least trying anyway!) to raise my children to be humanitarians above all else...compassion and acceptance of others is generally better tolerated than smugness and judgement i have found....

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Krista - posted on 05/27/2011

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Seeing as this thread is almost two years old, I'm going to lock it. If you wish to continue the discussion, please start a new thread.

Thanks!
Krista
WTCOM Moderator

?? - posted on 06/07/2009

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Quoting Barbara:

Jodi, no need to apologize for how you word yourself, I understand how it's difficult to put feelings into words Just wanted to let you know that I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity of discussing this very touchy subject with you! I admire and appreciate how, while others have gotten pretty worked up, you have kept your cool and just stated your side of the conversation and kept to your convictions!

You may not believe it, but you and I are very much alike in many ways! Starting with the fact that we both look for answers, either to support our views or to question what we don't fully understand. We both care about our children very much and want them always to be seeking answers and questioning what THEY don't understand. We're both strong women who will do whatever it takes to provide for our families and protect them while allowing them to grow.

As for the "I pity you" comment I made, it didn't come across right. I didn't mean it as in "I feel sorry for you...specifically you" and I didn't really mean "pity" as in "look down upon" because you weren't as lucky or whatever. What I meant, if I can say it correctly, is that if I had my way, no one would ever suffer, everyone would always have enough, life would be easy...you know, totally unrealistic! Lol!! But I was raised on The Wizard of Oz and Disney movies so I always have that spark of hope inside ..."no matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true!" Plus, there's always going to be a part of me that refuses to grow up and will remain about 8 years old forever! An age when there's still "magic" in the world! Lol!!

I understand you a lot more than you realize. I've made plently of mistakes in my life, some of them real doozies, and I know that in order to get to where/who I am today, things had to go exactly the way they did back then. I try never to regret, just learn and go on. Plus, i try never to hold grudges, life's too short.

Plus, I seriously doubt that if I met you I'd see "bitch" on your face...Lol!! Because I don't think it would be in your eyes! In my line of work (I actually work in a hospital lab but still deal with all kinds of pts. all over the hospital) I have come into contact with all kinds: nice-looking but hateful people, filthy nasty people with hearts of gold, average people, and some who are so messed up that you gotta laugh or you'd be crying half the night! Believe me, I learned a looooong time ago never to judge people on their appearances. Plus I think everyone has something to offer, even if they're just an example of "what NOT to do to yourself." Lol!

I also think that we all have reasons to be here; whether to learn lessons ourselves or to be teachers (at times inadvertently) or to help others with their journey. We are who we are and believe what we believe because of our experiences. Who am I to tell anyone they're wrong when I have no idea how they got to where they are? All I can do is be a good example of my faith, teach by actions and plant seeds. If someone wants to know more, I will share my opinion but not shove it down their throats and not turn my back on them if we don't agree. We can all learn from each other, the world isn't black or white so neither shoule we be.

I guess that about summs up the rest of what I wanted to say. My best to all! Watching "Willy Wonka" and chocolate is sounding pretty good right now, gonna go find some. Yum!!



I was talking earlier about having a two sided conversation with people and how some people on here are only capable of having a one sided conversation. And then later I said that I'm glad that I was able to have a two sided conversation with a couple of the ladies here - you being one, and Betsy being another.



I do believe that we are alike in many ways, I'm sure if we were to sit down and have a conversation "about religion" I bet that conversation would last about 2 minutes and we'd spend another 2 hours talking about all sorts of other things that we have in common. Our children would be one of the many subjects I'm sure we'd both go off about!



I understand now how you meant the "pity" comment and I'm sorry that I took it the way I did. Reading back on it, I should have taken it in a completely different light and now that you have elaborated on it, I kinda give myself a smack to the forehead "doh" for not catching that in the first place.



I'm also someone who grew up on Wizard of Oz and disney movies and I am very much someone who refuses to 'grow up' so to speak. I joke quite often that I'm gonna send my son off to Never Never Land so he can stay little and bring Tink over for dinner haha I wish everyone could have happily ever after but I know it's not possible, as much as I wish for it to happen, it's just not going too.



I agree with you that we are all here to learn and teach. My only wish is that some of the people who think they are here to teach would shut up for a minute and learn hahahahaha.



I hope you enjoyed your chocolate!

Krista - posted on 06/07/2009

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When I asked this question, I was really interested to find out how many people were raising their children differently than the way they were raised themselves. I've actually been surprised at how many people choose a different path for their children than what they grew up with. My husband and I went for a long drive today and I brought up this thread and all of the different opinions that were shared. I always knew that we were both on the same page as to how to raise our son, but we had never really discussed all of our beliefs in detail. The more we got talking, the more I realized that we had in common, despite our totally different upbringing. I guess it shows that you can do your best to raise your children to accept your beliefs and carry those beliefs into adulthood, but there are no guarantees, and ultimately, every child grows into an adult who is capable of making their own decisions and who will follow a set of beliefs that have meaning to them. I'm grateful that my parents were accepting of whatever I chose to believe, and I wish for my son to have the same freedom.

Barbara - posted on 06/07/2009

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Jodi, no need to apologize for how you word yourself, I understand how it's difficult to put feelings into words Just wanted to let you know that I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity of discussing this very touchy subject with you! I admire and appreciate how, while others have gotten pretty worked up, you have kept your cool and just stated your side of the conversation and kept to your convictions!



You may not believe it, but you and I are very much alike in many ways! Starting with the fact that we both look for answers, either to support our views or to question what we don't fully understand. We both care about our children very much and want them always to be seeking answers and questioning what THEY don't understand. We're both strong women who will do whatever it takes to provide for our families and protect them while allowing them to grow.



As for the "I pity you" comment I made, it didn't come across right. I didn't mean it as in "I feel sorry for you...specifically you" and I didn't really mean "pity" as in "look down upon" because you weren't as lucky or whatever. What I meant, if I can say it correctly, is that if I had my way, no one would ever suffer, everyone would always have enough, life would be easy...you know, totally unrealistic! Lol!! But I was raised on The Wizard of Oz and Disney movies so I always have that spark of hope inside ..."no matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true!" Plus, there's always going to be a part of me that refuses to grow up and will remain about 8 years old forever! An age when there's still "magic" in the world! Lol!!



I understand you a lot more than you realize. I've made plently of mistakes in my life, some of them real doozies, and I know that in order to get to where/who I am today, things had to go exactly the way they did back then. I try never to regret, just learn and go on. Plus, i try never to hold grudges, life's too short.



Plus, I seriously doubt that if I met you I'd see "bitch" on your face...Lol!! Because I don't think it would be in your eyes! In my line of work (I actually work in a hospital lab but still deal with all kinds of pts. all over the hospital) I have come into contact with all kinds: nice-looking but hateful people, filthy nasty people with hearts of gold, average people, and some who are so messed up that you gotta laugh or you'd be crying half the night! Believe me, I learned a looooong time ago never to judge people on their appearances. Plus I think everyone has something to offer, even if they're just an example of "what NOT to do to yourself." Lol!



I also think that we all have reasons to be here; whether to learn lessons ourselves or to be teachers (at times inadvertently) or to help others with their journey. We are who we are and believe what we believe because of our experiences. Who am I to tell anyone they're wrong when I have no idea how they got to where they are? All I can do is be a good example of my faith, teach by actions and plant seeds. If someone wants to know more, I will share my opinion but not shove it down their throats and not turn my back on them if we don't agree. We can all learn from each other, the world isn't black or white so neither shoule we be.



I guess that about summs up the rest of what I wanted to say. My best to all! Watching "Willy Wonka" and chocolate is sounding pretty good right now, gonna go find some. Yum!!

Kathleen - posted on 06/07/2009

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My husband and I were both raised in the Catholic church. We did not practice much through our 20's just occassional trips to church (Christmas, Easter, relatives wedding, 1st communion, etc). When our children were born we were faced with the "with or without religion" question. We seriously thought about it and it didn't take long to realize all the times we prayed (thank God we knew how to pray) or how many decisions we made based on values we learned in the church. We also looked at children being raised in religious and non-religious households and it was an easy decision to make. Religion is a MUST! We don't agree with everything the Catholic religion puts out there but we raised our two kids with a religious foundation. Our two "kids" are 24 and 22, both college graduates - they don't go to church every Sunday, but they know how to pray and when times get tough they know how to go to church and clear their heads. I am so thankful they had that secure teaching and can turn to God when times get confusing or tough. I must also say, when they were teenagers I prayed SO MUCH and turned their well-being over to God, praying he'd give them the wisdom to make the right decisions. I can't even tell you how much comfort that gave me...I was able to sleep. And my kids always arrived home in one piece! When people ask us what did you do? your kids are great! We always answer education and God got us through.

?? - posted on 06/06/2009

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Quoting Stacy:



Quoting Jodi:




Quoting Stacy:





Quoting Barbara:

Jodi, all I can say is WOW! Sounds like you have been through a lot! Kudos for you for not succumbing the same self-destructive practices of others in your life and for finding an inner strength that has carried you through! For being so young, you are truly amazing!

Having said that, I am a little concerned with your defensiveness, though. Are you trying to convince others or yourself? I'm truly NOT being condescending, but while reading your post I can feel the pain you've gone through and maybe some anger? I'm definitely not trying to convert you to my way of thinking, I'm just telling what I believe as part of the conversation.

I never said that having God on my side makes my life more fair. Life is not fair, that's why I like to believe there's a heaven where good people will be rewarded for their actions and suffering. And I know I am a strong person; I can handle darn near anything as long as I know what I'm dealing with. I have an autistic son but my life did not fall apart when I found out. My sister is disabled from a degenerative neuro-muscular disorder and living in a nursing home and all I can do is sit back and watch her decline because not only is there no cure for it yet, they're not ever really sure what she has; I grieve for the life she might've had but never did. I hope there's a heaven for HER sake, she deserves to be in a place of joy without pain.

In some areas of your post I felt like you were implying that you are better or stronger because you have had to learn things the hard way with no one to rely on but yourself. Frankly, I pity you (still not being condescending!) because if I could, I would wish an easy happy life on everyone. But, what you've gone through has made you who you are and you sound like you are an awesome person!
I can deal with just about anything as long as I know what I'm dealing with. Do I fall apart and run to church whenever I'm faced with a challenge? No. I do pray for guidance, but ultimately, it's my choice. And when I said what I did about choosing who to be nice to, are you going to tell me that you've never run across someone who you found to be creepy, scary or just didn't like? You seem to imply that I just blindly follow what the bible says without thinking for myself. If so, you're exactly like the people you profess to not be like. 360 degrees in either direction is a full circle. Just because someone belongs to an organized religion does not mean we're a bunch of automatons who think and feel the same way. Yes, there are some people out there who will say "If you don't think/feel like this then you're wrong!" but that's not everyone. Stereotyping is stereotyping.









 










Jodi.
I also am only sharing what I believe for conversation.  Every person will believe what they choose to believe.  There are many things out there to believe in or not believe in, very true.  I can say that I don't believe in trucks, but if I step in front of one the outcome will still be the same.  I guess what I am saying is that truth will always be truth.  My belief is what my truth is.  I not only believe that Jesus died on the the cross for my sins but for everyone's sins.  So me saying that Jesus died on the cross for you is just me saying that is what I  believe for you and everyone else.  Whether you believe that or not is your choice.    Barbara said that someday we will all know the truth, the whole enchilada, yes we will, I just hope that what Ibelieve lines up with the truth. 












 








You weren't sharing what you believe for conversations sake... you were sharing what you believe by interjecting your belief into my life. Against MY beliefs and speaking at me like I must read your words in a manner that my life will be changed by them and I will see your truth and accept it as my own.








Which in my opinion is the stupidest way, rudest way and quickest way to end a conversation with someone who doesn't have the same beliefs that you have and not only that but as exclaimed time and again before hand - which you must have read in order to have picked out me to reply to.








It's fantastic that you believe what you believe but I will never ever have any reason to be open to a conversation with someone who speaks to me with words like "As far as Him going out of his way for you, he went as far out of the way as possible by sending his Son to die for you on the cross and give you the gift of eternal life.  The ball is now in your court, he gave the gift, whether or not you accept the gift is up to you." You're preaching to me, not having a conversation with me.








I find it even more amazing that you would then return to alter your words and the way you come off more diluted after what I posted... I was a lot more open to reading your newest post than your other post simply because you are stating what you believe and not preaching to me.








What exactly is your point of the truck comment? I'm not getting the point there? I can say I don't believe in walking but my feet touch the floor and I can walk...? I'm sorry you completely lost me on that one. The truth will always be the truth? Cats are cats, dogs are dogs? Children grow up to be adults...? I'm really sorry I'm trying to get what all that means? Some things are plain as day and other things aren't? Some things are open to interpretation and some things aren't? You're going to have to elaborate on that one, please?









Because of my belief and faith in God I stick my neck out to share that with others and what I believe He did for them, and that they have a choice to make.  Sometimes I get the response I got from you.  You thought it rude and stupid.  That's okay with me.  Many times others want to hear more about it and will accept Jesus as their personal savior, then go on to have a relationship with Him, and have assurance of eternal life.  I still believe with my whole heart what I shared with you in my first post, it wasn't my intention for it to sound diluted later.   






Yes I agree with you that I was speaking at you with respect to that, but that is part of what I believe in.  We are all free to choose and I don't judge you for what you choose at all.  I used to think that when someone in my family or close to me would "preach" at me I thought it was rude too and I would quickly end the conversation.  I have always believed in God, but I have not always had a "relationship" with Him.  Now that I do I just want to share the love and joy that I have experienced in that.  When others would try to do that for me when I was younger I would just get pissed.  It pushed me away even farther. 






As far as the truck thing....I mean that someday we will all find out the bottom line.  When we die we will find out once and for all if there is life after death and if so what will that life be like or where?  There is a truth and that truth will always be truth.  Someday we will all find out what that is and the outcome will be what it is no matter what. 






I wish you the best Jodi for your quest for knowledge and truth.  I hope you still don't think I am actually a rude person.  I was only sharing with you which included "preaching" because  that is part  of what I believe in. 






Being preached too is one thing, being talked at is one thing and when they both are coming at someone - especially about something someone already has a solid opinion about - people tend to be turned off. Which is something I mentioned earlier - religious people would probably have an astromical boost in numbers of people converting if you revised your method of talking at people and preaching at people to just simply sharing WITH people. People tend to listen more when they're not being talked AT or preached too like they are stupid children that don't know any better. I think it's the wrong approach to sharing anything you believe in whole heartedly.



I figured that is what you meant by the truck thing but I didn't want to assume in case you did mean something else. The outcome will be what it is - and it could be anything. Who knows, we could end up going from this earth to another earth in a different universe, we could come back as an animal then to come back as a plant then to come back as a rock, we could end up just being dirt and that's the end, or there could be a heaven and hell, who bloody knows.



Thank you Stacy, I respect you for wanting to share your belief with others. I don't think you are a rude person, or a stupid person. I do think that coming at me with your belief preaching to me and speaking AT me was rude and stupid. I don't believe that speaking AT anyone, with respect or not, is anything but condicending and I don't know a single adult that will take being spoke AT in a postive way.

Stacy - posted on 06/06/2009

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Quoting Jodi:



Quoting Stacy:




Quoting Barbara:

Jodi, all I can say is WOW! Sounds like you have been through a lot! Kudos for you for not succumbing the same self-destructive practices of others in your life and for finding an inner strength that has carried you through! For being so young, you are truly amazing!

Having said that, I am a little concerned with your defensiveness, though. Are you trying to convince others or yourself? I'm truly NOT being condescending, but while reading your post I can feel the pain you've gone through and maybe some anger? I'm definitely not trying to convert you to my way of thinking, I'm just telling what I believe as part of the conversation.

I never said that having God on my side makes my life more fair. Life is not fair, that's why I like to believe there's a heaven where good people will be rewarded for their actions and suffering. And I know I am a strong person; I can handle darn near anything as long as I know what I'm dealing with. I have an autistic son but my life did not fall apart when I found out. My sister is disabled from a degenerative neuro-muscular disorder and living in a nursing home and all I can do is sit back and watch her decline because not only is there no cure for it yet, they're not ever really sure what she has; I grieve for the life she might've had but never did. I hope there's a heaven for HER sake, she deserves to be in a place of joy without pain.

In some areas of your post I felt like you were implying that you are better or stronger because you have had to learn things the hard way with no one to rely on but yourself. Frankly, I pity you (still not being condescending!) because if I could, I would wish an easy happy life on everyone. But, what you've gone through has made you who you are and you sound like you are an awesome person!
I can deal with just about anything as long as I know what I'm dealing with. Do I fall apart and run to church whenever I'm faced with a challenge? No. I do pray for guidance, but ultimately, it's my choice. And when I said what I did about choosing who to be nice to, are you going to tell me that you've never run across someone who you found to be creepy, scary or just didn't like? You seem to imply that I just blindly follow what the bible says without thinking for myself. If so, you're exactly like the people you profess to not be like. 360 degrees in either direction is a full circle. Just because someone belongs to an organized religion does not mean we're a bunch of automatons who think and feel the same way. Yes, there are some people out there who will say "If you don't think/feel like this then you're wrong!" but that's not everyone. Stereotyping is stereotyping.







 








Jodi.
I also am only sharing what I believe for conversation.  Every person will believe what they choose to believe.  There are many things out there to believe in or not believe in, very true.  I can say that I don't believe in trucks, but if I step in front of one the outcome will still be the same.  I guess what I am saying is that truth will always be truth.  My belief is what my truth is.  I not only believe that Jesus died on the the cross for my sins but for everyone's sins.  So me saying that Jesus died on the cross for you is just me saying that is what I  believe for you and everyone else.  Whether you believe that or not is your choice.    Barbara said that someday we will all know the truth, the whole enchilada, yes we will, I just hope that what Ibelieve lines up with the truth. 









 






You weren't sharing what you believe for conversations sake... you were sharing what you believe by interjecting your belief into my life. Against MY beliefs and speaking at me like I must read your words in a manner that my life will be changed by them and I will see your truth and accept it as my own.






Which in my opinion is the stupidest way, rudest way and quickest way to end a conversation with someone who doesn't have the same beliefs that you have and not only that but as exclaimed time and again before hand - which you must have read in order to have picked out me to reply to.






It's fantastic that you believe what you believe but I will never ever have any reason to be open to a conversation with someone who speaks to me with words like "As far as Him going out of his way for you, he went as far out of the way as possible by sending his Son to die for you on the cross and give you the gift of eternal life.  The ball is now in your court, he gave the gift, whether or not you accept the gift is up to you." You're preaching to me, not having a conversation with me.






I find it even more amazing that you would then return to alter your words and the way you come off more diluted after what I posted... I was a lot more open to reading your newest post than your other post simply because you are stating what you believe and not preaching to me.






What exactly is your point of the truck comment? I'm not getting the point there? I can say I don't believe in walking but my feet touch the floor and I can walk...? I'm sorry you completely lost me on that one. The truth will always be the truth? Cats are cats, dogs are dogs? Children grow up to be adults...? I'm really sorry I'm trying to get what all that means? Some things are plain as day and other things aren't? Some things are open to interpretation and some things aren't? You're going to have to elaborate on that one, please?





Because of my belief and faith in God I stick my neck out to share that with others and what I believe He did for them, and that they have a choice to make.  Sometimes I get the response I got from you.  You thought it rude and stupid.  That's okay with me.  Many times others want to hear more about it and will accept Jesus as their personal savior, then go on to have a relationship with Him, and have assurance of eternal life.  I still believe with my whole heart what I shared with you in my first post, it wasn't my intention for it to sound diluted later.   



Yes I agree with you that I was speaking at you with respect to that, but that is part of what I believe in.  We are all free to choose and I don't judge you for what you choose at all.  I used to think that when someone in my family or close to me would "preach" at me I thought it was rude too and I would quickly end the conversation.  I have always believed in God, but I have not always had a "relationship" with Him.  Now that I do I just want to share the love and joy that I have experienced in that.  When others would try to do that for me when I was younger I would just get pissed.  It pushed me away even farther. 



As far as the truck thing....I mean that someday we will all find out the bottom line.  When we die we will find out once and for all if there is life after death and if so what will that life be like or where?  There is a truth and that truth will always be truth.  Someday we will all find out what that is and the outcome will be what it is no matter what. 



I wish you the best Jodi for your quest for knowledge and truth.  I hope you still don't think I am actually a rude person.  I was only sharing with you which included "preaching" because  that is part  of what I believe in. 

Rebecca - posted on 06/06/2009

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I skipped over the majority of the comments because I did not want my answer to your question to be influenced by what others have commented. It seems that especially the posters claiming to be Christians or "Bible-believing" are the meanest. . .



I believe in God. I believe the Bible is God's Word, written down by men. I believe that there is only one true God. I believe that there is only one Truth. I believe that God will judge everyone. We live in a time when these beliefs are frowned upon. I intend to teach my children my belief system and morals, and not to push them into a decision, but to help them make an educated decision when they are old enough to understand.



I was allowed to come to this decision in my own time, with guidance from my parents and other knowledgable adults that I trusted. I made the decision when I was just beginning to understand (around age 9). I went through a time of searching as a young adult, and eventually decided to come back to the same decision. I want to allow my children that same freedom.



A person does not need to be attacked for their decision or for their response. There are so many things that can turn a person off to religion (Christianity or otherwise) and no one fully understands why someone else made the choice they made, so you do not have the right to judge.

Libby - posted on 06/06/2009

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Quoting Sonja:

I have to agree with absolutely everything Libby said. God is my foundation and my rock. Way to go Libby!



That was sweet.  But really I'm just glad God is your "foundation and rock".  Way to go you!  LOL.



 



My facebook must be on the fritz b/c I tried to post earlier but it's not showing up.  Same thing happened with an email on this stupid thing the other night.  Any way, I was just saying it seems like the thread has fizzled out a bit.  The last real heated debates all I can really say is "WOW", and I don't see any need to participate in any of that.  But I am glad to have been able to converse and learn here.  If anything, it has just made my faith even stronger to be able to tell others about it.  Thanks all!  I'll check back and see if anything is new, but it seems the thread is sorta off track.  So, since it is I'll just say to Krista that I love the new pic of your little one.  What a cutie!  Ok, if anybody wants to message me about this topic or anything please feel free!  Take care all!

Sonja - posted on 06/06/2009

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I have to agree with absolutely everything Libby said. God is my foundation and my rock. Way to go Libby!

Melissa - posted on 06/06/2009

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I was raised Catholic myself, but now I don't belong to any organized religion. True, I believe in God, but I don't feel I need to go to church in order for Him to hear me. My opinion, and this is just that, MY OPINION, is that as long as you raise your child with values -- for example,treat others as you would have them treat you etc -- it doesn't matter what religion. A good person is a good person. Whether or not you believe in God, is your decision. God believes in you no matter what, and He recognizes a good person when He sees one. Religion is not a factor. I don't feel that God honestly cares what religion you are, because I clump that together with how you look. It doesn't matter. AGAIN, my opinion. :) If my daughter can grow up believing in things that matter, such as kindness, goodness, courage, compassion, understanding etc. I have done my job as a parent. To each their own.

?? - posted on 06/05/2009

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Quoting Rose:

LOL you made my day thanks for that, Jodi.



Way to be vague. Congradulations on being the first person on this whole entire site to make themselves absolutely pointless in a conversation that I am a part of LOL you made my day thanks for that, Dumbass.

?? - posted on 06/05/2009

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Quoting Rose:

LOL you made my day thanks for that, Jodi.



Way to be vague. Congradulations on being the first person on this whole entire site to make themselves absolutely pointless in a conversation that I am a part of LOL you made my day thanks for that, Dumbass.

Erika - posted on 06/05/2009

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my husband and I were both raised catholic, him more strictly than me, but we both have stopped practicing. We have decided to teach our children the basic morals and teachings of the bible but we do not believe in all the "stories" in the bible and do not believe in organized religion. I think you can absolutely teach your kids to be good people and to accept all other peoples beliefs with out taking them to church every week. We have had talks with our older daughter, 7, about praying and that there is a god somewhere out there and he is the reason for all the good things in our life and we should thank him whenever we can. We waited till she was about 6 before we started really explaining god to her. We also plan to explain other religions to her so she can make her own decision about her life and religion when she wants to. Our basic belief is whoever god is, he made all of us and we should all try to accept eachother.

?? - posted on 06/05/2009

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Quoting Stacy:



Quoting Barbara:

Jodi, all I can say is WOW! Sounds like you have been through a lot! Kudos for you for not succumbing the same self-destructive practices of others in your life and for finding an inner strength that has carried you through! For being so young, you are truly amazing!

Having said that, I am a little concerned with your defensiveness, though. Are you trying to convince others or yourself? I'm truly NOT being condescending, but while reading your post I can feel the pain you've gone through and maybe some anger? I'm definitely not trying to convert you to my way of thinking, I'm just telling what I believe as part of the conversation.

I never said that having God on my side makes my life more fair. Life is not fair, that's why I like to believe there's a heaven where good people will be rewarded for their actions and suffering. And I know I am a strong person; I can handle darn near anything as long as I know what I'm dealing with. I have an autistic son but my life did not fall apart when I found out. My sister is disabled from a degenerative neuro-muscular disorder and living in a nursing home and all I can do is sit back and watch her decline because not only is there no cure for it yet, they're not ever really sure what she has; I grieve for the life she might've had but never did. I hope there's a heaven for HER sake, she deserves to be in a place of joy without pain.

In some areas of your post I felt like you were implying that you are better or stronger because you have had to learn things the hard way with no one to rely on but yourself. Frankly, I pity you (still not being condescending!) because if I could, I would wish an easy happy life on everyone. But, what you've gone through has made you who you are and you sound like you are an awesome person!
I can deal with just about anything as long as I know what I'm dealing with. Do I fall apart and run to church whenever I'm faced with a challenge? No. I do pray for guidance, but ultimately, it's my choice. And when I said what I did about choosing who to be nice to, are you going to tell me that you've never run across someone who you found to be creepy, scary or just didn't like? You seem to imply that I just blindly follow what the bible says without thinking for myself. If so, you're exactly like the people you profess to not be like. 360 degrees in either direction is a full circle. Just because someone belongs to an organized religion does not mean we're a bunch of automatons who think and feel the same way. Yes, there are some people out there who will say "If you don't think/feel like this then you're wrong!" but that's not everyone. Stereotyping is stereotyping.





 






Jodi.
I also am only sharing what I believe for conversation.  Every person will believe what they choose to believe.  There are many things out there to believe in or not believe in, very true.  I can say that I don't believe in trucks, but if I step in front of one the outcome will still be the same.  I guess what I am saying is that truth will always be truth.  My belief is what my truth is.  I not only believe that Jesus died on the the cross for my sins but for everyone's sins.  So me saying that Jesus died on the cross for you is just me saying that is what I  believe for you and everyone else.  Whether you believe that or not is your choice.    Barbara said that someday we will all know the truth, the whole enchilada, yes we will, I just hope that what Ibelieve lines up with the truth. 





 



You weren't sharing what you believe for conversations sake... you were sharing what you believe by interjecting your belief into my life. Against MY beliefs and speaking at me like I must read your words in a manner that my life will be changed by them and I will see your truth and accept it as my own.



Which in my opinion is the stupidest way, rudest way and quickest way to end a conversation with someone who doesn't have the same beliefs that you have and not only that but as exclaimed time and again before hand - which you must have read in order to have picked out me to reply to.



It's fantastic that you believe what you believe but I will never ever have any reason to be open to a conversation with someone who speaks to me with words like "As far as Him going out of his way for you, he went as far out of the way as possible by sending his Son to die for you on the cross and give you the gift of eternal life.  The ball is now in your court, he gave the gift, whether or not you accept the gift is up to you." You're preaching to me, not having a conversation with me.



I find it even more amazing that you would then return to alter your words and the way you come off more diluted after what I posted... I was a lot more open to reading your newest post than your other post simply because you are stating what you believe and not preaching to me.



What exactly is your point of the truck comment? I'm not getting the point there? I can say I don't believe in walking but my feet touch the floor and I can walk...? I'm sorry you completely lost me on that one. The truth will always be the truth? Cats are cats, dogs are dogs? Children grow up to be adults...? I'm really sorry I'm trying to get what all that means? Some things are plain as day and other things aren't? Some things are open to interpretation and some things aren't? You're going to have to elaborate on that one, please?

?? - posted on 06/05/2009

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Quoting Rose:

Dumass really? Well I sincerly apologise. I find it amusing how everyone including yourself can state what they believe and why...but I get called names...I know what I believe is true I have studied the evidence. I was only adding to the conversation.



You can state what you believe all you like. You claimed that scientists were looking in the bible to find answers and then went onto state things in the bible that were in a round about way mentioned and scientists later came to the conclusion were reality. You stated it in such a manner as to say that scientists looked to the bible to prove those things. Which is ridiculous. I also stated ancient peoples who mentioned things, many things, and later on scientists proved them to be real too.



I also called Stacy stupid, rude and ignorant for replying to something I posted in a spiritual context. I called you a dumbass because anyone who can say scientists learned something because it was said in a bible, is a dumbass in my eyes. I could candy coat it for you, but I don't want too.



You said, "So who but God could have known that..God does exisit!" There are many things written in many different cultures about things that aren't documented that aren't discovered until recently. There are ancient Mayans that had calendars, there are time pieces that date back to forever ago... the Egyptians, Aztecs, Mayans, even the Romans, Greeks, Nubians etc in all of the ancient texts they mention things that no one could prove until modern day technology gave us the ability to grasp the ideas completely. People in ancient civilizations were freakin intelligent. A LOT more so than MANY people in todays world are. I'm sorry but just cause it's in the bible doesnt mean that God exists - TO ME - it's not proof.



There was recently a discovery in a tomb in Egypt where COCAINE was found in the tissue of mummies that date back to the middle of ancient Egyptian times. Cocaine was never believed to be an availabe substance in that part of the world. So what does that mean? Egyptians travelled more than we thought? That SOMEONE from South America got to Egypt? There was a mix up in the testing and it isn't actually cocaine but something else? Things can not just be explained or believed just because it is said somewhere, AND just because something can not be explained doesn't mean it's not real. It's up to each person to decide for themselves what they want to believe on those things.



"Scientist know that the bible is right and archaeology also proves this to be true- it is not myth." - another reason why I think you're a dumbass. I roll my eyes at this and move on. Anyways, that's why I called you a dumbass. And I believe you are, depending on what you meant by what you said - only you really know. But what I think of you doesn't really matter.



 



PS to Barbara - this was one of those situations where I used my discretion about who I want to be nice to and not haha

[deleted account]

Dumass really? Well I sincerly apologise. I find it amusing how everyone including yourself can state what they believe and why...but I get called names...I know what I believe is true I have studied the evidence. I was only adding to the conversation.

[deleted account]

I grew up with NO religion, I converted to Islam, and married a Muslim man, I follow many beliefs of Islam, but am not closed minded to other options either. We have 1 son who we are raising as a Muslim, BUT Islam actually teaches that there is NO compulsion in being Muslim and that the child must choose it for themselves at an age where they are able, (pretty sure that is from 9yrs) So although he will be brought up in an Islamic household it is inevitably his choice as it was mine :)

User - posted on 06/05/2009

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I have many diffrent religions within my family, Catholic, Christian etc and so me and my husband decided not to choose which religion our child should follow. We Have not christened or baptised my child so that when he is older he can follow whatever path he choose for himself. as long as he has Respect, manners, compassion and family values we shall be happy.

Amy - posted on 06/05/2009

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Wow!!! I am so sad to read all these comments.I am not going to sit here and comment on anyones beliefs I am only going to comment on my faith and what the Lord Jesus Christ is impressing on my heart. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world he gave his only begotton Son that whomever believes in him will never die but have everlasting life." thats means exactly what its says if you believe in him(Jesus) you will have everlasting life in heaven. I am called as a Chrisitan to pray and evangelize to those out there who do not know him as their own personal Savior. Knowing Jesus is the BEST thing that ever happened to me the way I see Gods hand upon everything I do and watch him miraculosly work in ways I could never imagine. Look no matter if you love him or not he still Loves you he will patiently wait for you. So I pray that if what I have said touches your heart at all please respond. My 3 children love Jesus with all their heart.

Kristine - posted on 06/05/2009

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I believe that everyone needs to back off a bit. How people choose to raise their children are their choice. The homosexuality thread that you are speaking off actually shows how much people are not in to religion. You have Catholics running around saying not to be gay but then priests molest innocent children, you have Catholics making up their own religion beliefs (no where in the bible does it say that I have to confess my sins to a priest or say so many hail mary's to be forgiving); then you have mormons who make up their own beliefs as well with their own Bible; what is happening to the world today? We have NO RIGHT to judge any one on what they do or who they love - G_D WILL JUDGE THEM. You are to accept them for who they are. I believe in G-d and I raise my children to know that Christmas is not about gifts nor is Easter; I raise them to be loving compassionate people and as they get older I will raise them to do as G_d would do. You have people running around saying they honor G_d and they this and that but half of them no nothing. The bible states that you don't have to go to church to serve the lord - you are not to even write his name (hence G_d); you are not to judge people - that is his job; "life a rock and you will find me" he is everywhere in everything. So everyone sitting in here stating they are all religious and what not really look around, read the bible and live your life striving to become closer to him. Krista what you choose to do is your right; teaching your children to live good lives is teaching them the way of the bible.

Libby - posted on 06/05/2009

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Quoting Jodi:

Libby, I am glad that you were able to have that opportunity to speak of your loss and your faith. I completely understand what you said between the differences between your relationship with God and your relationship with your daughter. I can see the differences, I can also see some similiarities as well. Speaking to her, knowing she is there, the mutual love - although on different levels.

Congradulations to your husband. That is a very awesome accomplishment. And he must be a good man to make that change for your family. It's nice to hear about families that have suffered as you have and turn around to make things even better than before. I wish your husband much luck with his new position!

I do have one more question if you don't mind answering? I never did fully understand this aspect of faith so I might as well take this opportunity to learn if I can. I read you say that it was your body that failed her and as a mother that is very difficult to deal with.

I don't know how to say it without it possibly coming off the wrong way so please keep in mind I do not mean this in any way shape or form to be negative and I sincerely apologize if you read it to be that way - here goes...

When do you take credit for the things you do and when do you give credit to God? When do you take responsibility for the things you do and when do you ask God to forgive you for the things you do? Meaning - when you do something that is wonderful - like give birth to a baby, you made that child with your husband in your bed, you spent the time being pregnant, you went through the labor and obviously spend your life teaching that child to grow into a decent human being - what part of that do you credit to God and what part of it do you credit to yourself and what part of that does your child get? And when you sin, (say for example - not saying you would do this) you cheat on your husband or get a divorce - how much of that responsibility falls on your shoulders, and how much of that responsibility gets lifted because you knew you sinned, yet you asked God for forgiveness?

I hope that makes sense... even further more I would ask - do you get forgiveness once you are able to amend what you did? Have forgiveness from the person you betrayed?



To me. I don't ponder those questions - I answer myself. When I do something amazing, like give birth to my son. There is no way I would give credit for him to someone else, or anything else, besides my partner because my partner and I created him, we went through the pregnancy together, and the labour and pain and now raising him, loving him and teaching him. He is the "product" of OUR love. The love we have between the two of us. There is no one else, in any form, that gets credit for our son.

My life before, now and after will always be on my shoulders. Today, tomorrow, forever. I take credit for the good things that I do and I take responsibility for everything I do, or don't do for that matter. I don't look elsewhere to find answers, I look to myself to figure out why I did it, and the only one that answers me, is me. I may ask my mom or my partner or my sister or my friend for their ideas and thoughts, but ultimately it's on me to make this life what I want of it and if I screw up, it's on me to take responsibility and face that - but I believe that we are all responsibile for our own actions and there is nothing guiding us except our own minds that we control.

I'm not afraid of death. I am afraid of life, everyday is something new and scary but I face my fears every minute of every day. Every minute that I live I have lived to triumph over that. It's obviously not a fear that has me trembling in my boots in a corner. Every minute that I am alive, I try my best to make it as amazing for myself and the people I love, and the people I don't even know. Because I know that one day it will end, and the only thing that remain are the memories in people's minds, the pictures that are left behind, whatever mark I made on someone else's life on each and every day.

It's all pretty simple to me, I guess. There is so much out there that is undiscovered and not even looked into, that our minds can't even fathom let alone know for sure. I don't have a reason to believe that a God exists - I haven't for 25.5 years. I know that there are approximately 70 billion people on earth and pretty much every single person has their own mind, and their own thoughts, beliefs and opinions on God and religion and life. I would rather live this life knowing that I take responsibility for my life rather than leave it in the hands of something that is so vastly disputed throughout the world. I know myself. Physically, mentally, emotionally, inside and out - I trust myself to make the right decisions for me. I feel it to be careless to leave that up to something I have no reason to believe exists.



My auntie died of Cancer. She was like a second mom to me. I know that I will never see her again in person, as a living and breathing person. I see her every single day though when I think of her and all the beautiful things she taught me, all the amazing times we spent together - from sitting beside her watching curling and thinking I hate this stupid sport and then seeing the excitement in her eyes when one of those stupid rock things hit another rock thing and thinking I love watching this stupid sport with her to going easter egg hunting with her to the time her and mom caught me taking a cigarette from moms pack of smokes and seeing the deepest disappointment on her face to the time she told me as she was dying "When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place. I'm not going to give up." She told me she wasn't afraid of dying because she lived life as fully as she possibly could everyday.

She believed in 'a higher power' and she told me the only thing she feared about dying was that she would be leaving behind everything that was wonderful, everything that she knew, and that death, if there was more after would bring her somewhere where she knew nothing. And then she laughed and said "Not that I know more than nothing now."

I don't believe she is looking down at me from the heavens above. I know she is in my heart, where I keep her, because she had an impact on my life and who I am today. She is embedded in me, so to speak, because of the character and values that she taught me, as well as the memories and love that she left me with.

Anyways, long posts ! Sheesh ! I hope this gives you a bit of insight into my point of view, my beliefs, and the way I think about this life. Again congrats to your husband! Looking forward to your answers if you don't mind!

PS: as far as Santa goes - I loved Christmas; giving and recieving, we gave to charities, we did different things every christmas with the school and the communities that raised money and collected food and clothes - within our household and beyond - when I found out that Santa wasn't real it was cause I was being a sneaky lil brat trying to see what Santa gave me for Christmas and I ended up walking into the livingroom when mom and dad were putting Santa's presents under the tree and I was like, literally, "Well shit." And then mom and dad told me that Santa is real, Santa's kindness, his caring for children, his love of fun and toys, just because he's not a living breathing person doesn't mean he isn't real - he's like.... garfeild or the transformers... the easter bunny and the tooth fairy - I never once in my entire life nor did any of my 5 sisters and 1 brother think that our parents LIED to us! They made Christmas fun and exciting and kept Santa as a fun and exciting thing for us. Santa, the easter bunny, the tooth fairy, superman, leprechauns, gnomes and the transformers are all a part of childhood and imagination and even SPIRIT of characters that spread good and happiness and positivity... FUN... I'm sorry but I feel bad for those kids. What do they get to play with? The newest release of the manger baby accessories not included? All I can think of when I read those things are the kids Rod and Tod Flanders' off The Simpsons haha



Jodi,



First of all, thank you for wishing my hubby luck!  We are very blessed to be able to try out this new journey in our lives.  I'm excited to see where it will lead.  Ok, on to replying to your post.  You asked when do I take credit or give the credit to God.  Well, first of all every blessing I give praise to God.  Every time I triumph through a hard time I give Him credit again.  The thing is, everything is in God's plan.  However, He gives us the opportunity for choices.  Whether we make the right or wrong choice, or choose between two right choices, etc, it is still up to us to determine that.  I believe He knows what we're going to choose anyway because He already has the plan for our lives.  But if I don't use the strength that He has given me to make good choices, to triumph over things, then I have failed.  God does not set us up for failure.  But He knows we are not perfect and there will be times in our lives where we will fail.  Boy oh boy, have I failed at times!  And those are the times where I have asked God for His forgiveness.  Not only that but I do ask Him to help guide me again.  The biggest time that I've failed in my life I know I wasn't listening to God.  I was being completely blind to a lot of things, not just God.  Oh, also, it is always MY responsibility to make the right choice.  Meaning, I can't blame it on God if I make the wrong choice.  He just gives us the opportunity to choose. 



 



Ok, now about children....  Children are a blessing from God.  I truly believe every child is a miracle.  Some people say that there are no miracles in this world, but when I look at my children I can prove them wrong.  God knows who every child is going to be and He has to find the right two parents to make that child.  The irony is that even though God wants us to be married and all that jazz, He still knows what two people it will take to make that child, and He does give unwed parents that child.  Obviously He gives people without faith children too.  So, in the end it is still up to the parents to make the right choices when it comes to that child.  I don't think I really take credit for conceiving my children.  I'll take credit for them being cute though!  LOL.  But if I had the power to create a child I wouldn't have been pregnant with any of my children.  It took us about 9 months to get pregnant with our first child.  And 2 years to get pregnant with our 3rd.  If I had my way on any of them I would've gotten pregnant the first time I "tried".  But I believe God knew which child He was going to give me and He knew when the appropriate time would be.  I certainly can't explain His timing, and there are times for some that the time doesn't make any sense, and that's when you have to trust in His plan.  How we raise our children is still a choice that God gives us.  Of course He is happy when we make the right choice.  I think most of a child's upbringing is still our choice, and not really up to the child.  So, I don't really see it as the child gets much credit for that except that child gets small choices too.  The credit isn't really due to a child until the child gets old enough to make small choices, then medium choices, then big choices.  I'm not sure that makes sense but it did in my head.  Obviously a baby doesn't get choices and has no control over anything in its life.  Ok, if I didn't answer that one good enough let me know.  I don't want to ramble here for sake of trying not to be confusing and then end up confusing you in the first place.  LOL. 



The responsibility of sin falls completely on my shoulders.  Like I said above, God gives us choices.  He gives us the opportunity to choose the wrong path.  So my sin is entirely my fault.  The responsibility of it doesn't get transferred because I asked for forgiveness.  I still have to deal with the earthly outcome of it.  There are always consequences and asking for forgiveness from God doesn't take away those consequences.  But if God can truly see in my heart that I am sorry then He knows that I have Him in my heart.  Actually God wants us to be like Him (Christlike) and be able to forgive people on this earth like He does, but He knows we also fall short of that.  That's why there are always consequences for our sins.  I don't believe God punishes us because He doesn't want us to hurt.  But unfortunately their are earthly consequences we will be faced with.  And rightfully so, in my opinion. 



I am not afraid of death either.  In fact, since I lost my daughter I am even less afraid than I maybe was before that.  I sort of feel comfort in knowing that no matter when I go that I will have someone there to greet me.  Of course I have others, but I think I look most forward to seeing her first.  And if other children go ahead of me I look forward to seeing them too.  I hope that doesn't happen though.  One loss of a child is quite enough for me.  But if it happens again, I now know it is something I can get through.  Before I had my 2nd sond and had complications and then he was born 10 weeks early I never thought that would've been something I could've handled.  It just seemed like too much.  But after being through it I know that I can and I know that I handled it well.  Losing Trina is sort of the same thing.  It was definetly the hardest thing I've ever had to go through, but I handled it and I am more courageous for it. 



Sure I have fears too.  I'm not afraid to live persay.  I guess I'm just afraid I'll make the wrong choice.  I had a friend feel bad for turning down a job last week because she was worried it was the job God wanted her to have.  I told her He wouldn't have made it so easy for her to turn down if it is what she was suppose to do.  I feel a lot of our choices God puts in front of us are like that.  He makes it very hard to make that choice.  Other times, it is very easy to fail.  That's when life is most important is when you are faced with all of those choices and trying to make the right one is so pertinent.  Speaking of fears, I used to think that my biggest fear was the death of a child.  Now that I've lived that fear I know have a different one.  This is sorta off topic, but my biggest fear now is someone taking my child.  It is comforting to me to know where Trina is, so I know my biggest fear would be for someone to take my child away from me and not know where he is.  Sorry, off on a tangent there.  LOL.



Thanks so much for sharing your aunt with me.  I really felt that was such a sweet story.  It touched me to see you share something with me (and others reading) about something so personal and meaningful to your heart.  I am not trying to condescend your lack of faith, but I'm glad that atleast if you don't have God in your heart that you have something so special like that in your heart. 



As for Santa and the tooth fairy or whatever, I too never thought my mom lied to me.  In fact I don't even remember when I found out Santa wasn't real.  I guess the spirit of it has always been in my heart because I love giving!!  I love surprises and stuff too.  But it warms my heart more to see the look on people's faces when I give to them.  No matter what the situation is, whether it be for Christmas or just a special thank you, etc.  I took food over to a friend when her mother died because that is what I knew I could do for her physically.  She was so appreciative like I had just paid for her mother's funeral or something.  I really love helping people.  I especially love volunteering in my son's school.  Working with the children is such a joy too.  Ok, that was completely off topic so since I can tell I'm rambling now I think I'm gonna go.  There was so much to answer.  If I missed something please ask me again.  It wasn't on purpose, I just didn't want to make this too long but I really wanted to touch on what I felt was important to answer.  I tried to hit it all but it seems like I have a novel going on here, so I will wrap it up.  Talk to you later.  Thanks for the email back.  TGIF!

Sarah - posted on 06/05/2009

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that, is EXCELLENT!!
especially the bit about 'be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be'
that is a truly uplifting poem! thanks! :)

Sarah - posted on 06/05/2009

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Quoting Evi:

First of all, I apreciate what you choose in rising your kids. But values of life and moral are not enough while those only used intelectuality. There are many things that we can't understand in life.
For example, by value of life we teach our kids to be struggle in their life for success, but how can you explain when they have struggled but the success never come. If they use only the values of life, there will be no answer because they will only use their brain and they will find that's impossible to be failed. And the result is they will frustrated. But with values of religion you can explain that whatever happends in our life is in the control of God. So, if your kids have tried but didn't successed, you could tell them to be pasion because there were the hands of God that maked it like that. And we don't know in present the mystery of these, but by our believes in God we trust it's the best they can reach for today, then your kids can be pasion and try again.
For moral, I will give you an example. When you told your kids not to stealing because it wasn't good and there was a fine for that action. How will you explain to them when they ask you "can they stealing when there's no one around us" or "can we take everything that they found in the street or park?". They will use their imagination and rationality that nobody around them at that moment, then there's no harm to do it. But by using the value of religion, you can explain that God never sleeps. He always there to watch whatever we do in this world. So, when they want to do something bad they will think twice because they know that God is always there for them.
I realize that there are so many religion, and it's make us hard to teach our kids which one is the best. But I think no religion in origin will teach something bad. It will be good for our kids to know at least one religion to learn in their childhood for the start, because we can't teach about God without religion or viceversa. And when they grow up, it depend on their wish, will they want to know another religion or not. Because they will have their own live in the future, and when they make up their mind, we can not ruin it with ours.


ok, so i don't get it. we teach our children to struggle for success and if they fail, then without holding God accountable for it, they'll be frustrated?? what about teaching them to try, try, try again. or my favourite motto, 'everything happens for a reason' ?



you teach them not to steal, you don't let them think that it's ok when no-ones around, you explain it fully, ie. 'how would you feel if someone stole from you?' etc etc.



there's ways to get these messages across without it all being about God. :)

Evi - posted on 06/05/2009

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First of all, I apreciate what you choose in rising your kids. But values of life and moral are not enough while those only used intelectuality. There are many things that we can't understand in life.

For example, by value of life we teach our kids to be struggle in their life for success, but how can you explain when they have struggled but the success never come. If they use only the values of life, there will be no answer because they will only use their brain and they will find that's impossible to be failed. And the result is they will frustrated. But with values of religion you can explain that whatever happends in our life is in the control of God. So, if your kids have tried but didn't successed, you could tell them to be pasion because there were the hands of God that maked it like that. And we don't know in present the mystery of these, but by our believes in God we trust it's the best they can reach for today, then your kids can be pasion and try again.

For moral, I will give you an example. When you told your kids not to stealing because it wasn't good and there was a fine for that action. How will you explain to them when they ask you "can they stealing when there's no one around us" or "can we take everything that they found in the street or park?". They will use their imagination and rationality that nobody around them at that moment, then there's no harm to do it. But by using the value of religion, you can explain that God never sleeps. He always there to watch whatever we do in this world. So, when they want to do something bad they will think twice because they know that God is always there for them.

I realize that there are so many religion, and it's make us hard to teach our kids which one is the best. But I think no religion in origin will teach something bad. It will be good for our kids to know at least one religion to learn in their childhood for the start, because we can't teach about God without religion or viceversa. And when they grow up, it depend on their wish, will they want to know another religion or not. Because they will have their own live in the future, and when they make up their mind, we can not ruin it with ours.

Stacy - posted on 06/04/2009

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Quoting Barbara:

Jodi, all I can say is WOW! Sounds like you have been through a lot! Kudos for you for not succumbing the same self-destructive practices of others in your life and for finding an inner strength that has carried you through! For being so young, you are truly amazing!

Having said that, I am a little concerned with your defensiveness, though. Are you trying to convince others or yourself? I'm truly NOT being condescending, but while reading your post I can feel the pain you've gone through and maybe some anger? I'm definitely not trying to convert you to my way of thinking, I'm just telling what I believe as part of the conversation.

I never said that having God on my side makes my life more fair. Life is not fair, that's why I like to believe there's a heaven where good people will be rewarded for their actions and suffering. And I know I am a strong person; I can handle darn near anything as long as I know what I'm dealing with. I have an autistic son but my life did not fall apart when I found out. My sister is disabled from a degenerative neuro-muscular disorder and living in a nursing home and all I can do is sit back and watch her decline because not only is there no cure for it yet, they're not ever really sure what she has; I grieve for the life she might've had but never did. I hope there's a heaven for HER sake, she deserves to be in a place of joy without pain.

In some areas of your post I felt like you were implying that you are better or stronger because you have had to learn things the hard way with no one to rely on but yourself. Frankly, I pity you (still not being condescending!) because if I could, I would wish an easy happy life on everyone. But, what you've gone through has made you who you are and you sound like you are an awesome person!
I can deal with just about anything as long as I know what I'm dealing with. Do I fall apart and run to church whenever I'm faced with a challenge? No. I do pray for guidance, but ultimately, it's my choice. And when I said what I did about choosing who to be nice to, are you going to tell me that you've never run across someone who you found to be creepy, scary or just didn't like? You seem to imply that I just blindly follow what the bible says without thinking for myself. If so, you're exactly like the people you profess to not be like. 360 degrees in either direction is a full circle. Just because someone belongs to an organized religion does not mean we're a bunch of automatons who think and feel the same way. Yes, there are some people out there who will say "If you don't think/feel like this then you're wrong!" but that's not everyone. Stereotyping is stereotyping.


 



Jodi.
I also am only sharing what I believe for conversation.  Every person will believe what they choose to believe.  There are many things out there to believe in or not believe in, very true.  I can say that I don't believe in trucks, but if I step in front of one the outcome will still be the same.  I guess what I am saying is that truth will always be truth.  My belief is what my truth is.  I not only believe that Jesus died on the the cross for my sins but for everyone's sins.  So me saying that Jesus died on the cross for you is just me saying that is what I  believe for you and everyone else.  Whether you believe that or not is your choice.    Barbara said that someday we will all know the truth, the whole enchilada, yes we will, I just hope that what Ibelieve lines up with the truth. 

?? - posted on 06/04/2009

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Barbara and Betsy lol this post seems to go back and forth between the both of your last few posts, I apologize if I confuse or don't say which one of you I am replying too, I hope the reply will let you know according to what you had previously said!



Barbara,



Thank you :) I feel as though I am a better person for the things I have been through and seen and I hope to continue my life in the same direction.



I'm sorry that you got that impression from my words. I wasn't meaning that I was better or stronger than you in any way - I was simply stating how I have dealt with those type of situations without God. And I even stated that I am glad that you have your faith to lean on, it's a wonderful thing to have that. Just as it is equally wonderful to myself that I have my strength that I can muster when I need too.



As for convincing, I guess it is the same isn't it? The only real difference that I can see is that no matter how many times I say what I believe and how many times I offer to listen and even listen just because someone is talking - more often than not, I find that I do not get the same consideration in return. I get met with scripture or disapproval or words that are said to preach not to continue conversation. I suppose I crave an equal sided conversation. Which I am recieving, gratefully, from a few of the moms here.



At the same time though, I don't think it's appropriate for someone to post their preaching tangents (I use that word solely because they usually go on and on and on about the same thing that I have already said I don't even remotely believe in) towards me and they leave me with no choice to either - ignore them completely or reply telling them I don't care for the way they are coming at me and that if they would like to continue speaking to me as if I am someone who believes the same as they do, we both might as well go talk to a closed door.



Like I said before - I am very willing, able and capable of having a two sided conversation but not if the other person is going to completely ignore my side and only, and I mean ONLY, focus on their beliefs. I don't even mind if people are to quote the bible in regards to their own thoughts and feelings but the moment that person begins to interject those quotes into my thoughts and beliefs in such a way that tells me they are not speaking with me but at me, then I am no longer willing to continue with that conversation.



Betsy,



You are correct and weren't putting words in my mouth at all. Another way of putting it, as I mentioned a few sentances back, is like when you are talking to a wall. You can say the same things in different ways, with different tones, even louder and louder and louder, but until you open the door, you're not going to get anywhere - and further more, after that, you might as well take 3 steps to the side and talk to a wall, which obviously, goes no where at all! I want to open the door, I would love to open the door - but if it's locked on the other side, I'm still standing there talking to a door and that is incredibly frustrating.



Thank you for understanding! That's a relief that there is someone who is getting what I'm saying even though at times I am floundering to find the right words. I do know that even though we believe different things, many people can agree on many different things! It's wonderful when it's acknowledged and talked about too.



I laughed too when I read how you reply about your large family! It's cute. There is another post here about things people have said that they considered rude or offensive, and some of the things people say I don't believe they say them with the intent to be rude, but more with the intent to be witty or even say something they know you hear all the time just because you hear it all the time. I found the same about being pregnant - people tend to just say things because it is what you say to a pregnant woman - they don't don't really care what your answer is, but they say it anyways. Some people take it in a "aw that was nice" kind of way and others take it in a "I am so sick of hearing that" kind of way and then others take it in a more insulted way like "why bother saying anything, I know you don't care" kind of way. Just as you have made the choices you have made with your life and you have the common sense to know that people are going to make remarks - well intended or not - and it is a lot to take in when you can just off the bat say your stance and go from there.



Barbara,



As far as not being nice to and helping people - of course there are people who are scary or creepy - but that doesn't mean those people are harmful. I've been told by MANY people that I have a look that screams "BITCH!" I am far from a bitch, I sure can be, but that doesn't mean I am. If people were to look at me and just assume that, no one would talk to me! If I were to look at each person and judge them because they seem scary or creepy then I would be walking around scared of a lot more people than I have to be. Of course I use discretion, I would never put myself in danger or anyone I love in danger if I truly felt that someone was out to hurt me or my loved ones. I also know people who I can call to help those people, and have the knowledge and education and ability to be nice to those people and get them the help they need - that I don't believe I would be able to give them.



I have a lot of respect for what you do, I would say you are one of those people who have the ability to help those people, even if it is momentarily, and I wish those people would help themselves. But we can't make people do things they don't want too. So I am glad that they have you and people like you who let it be their job to be there for those people.



When I was in Montreal, my partner and I got into a HUGE fight, and he hit the wall right beside my face so I left. After being in a 4 year abusive relationship that had me thinking a lot, feeling sorry for myself, feeling angry at my life and hating where I was. So I got on a bus, and at about 1am this little old lady got on the bus, we were the only 2 people on there and she sat right across from me. I had tears streaming down my face and that whole "bitch" look was etched on my face. She said to me in the most softest, kindest, caring voice I had ever heard besides my moms voice, "You will always get what you have always got, if you always do what you have always done."



I really hope that you won't waste your pity on me, condescending or not. Not meaning that in a rude way at all, but there are many more people out there who would love your pity, and I do not need it, nor do I want it. I don't see the point of pity. If I am going to feel sorry for myself, then I am not doing anything to change or amend what I am feeling sorry about. I don't ever want to be in the position to have pity in my life, and if I am in that position, I want to change that as best I can. Although I do not like some of the things I have gone through, nor am I glad that I HAD to go through them, but I am glad I did, because if I hadn't, I wouldn't be me. So I don't see any reason for pity. (I hope that makes sense.)



I wish your sister well. I am sorry to hear about her condition and I truly admire people with disabilities and are able to continue experiencing joy even though they are emcompassed by pain and their disability.



I can relate to your relationship with your sister, my grandma has MS. She has been declining rapidly in the past 5 or so years. The family has been called to her bedside numerous times because doctors thought she wouldn't make it through the night. But that lady, she is the strongest woman I know. The strongest person I know. Her love and her dedication to my grandpa and her family keeps her going. She has been living in hospital for so many years now that I don't even remember her being out of hospital for longer than a day. I look to her for strength in many things in my life; if she can lay in a bed for more than half of her life and still LOVE life SO MUCH that she is absolutely unwavering in her strength to carry on living, I should be able to find it within myself to do whatever I want to do.



Stereotyping is stereotyping. I agree. And I do put people into a stereotype quite often - I'm sure everyone does. Whether they will admit it or not, is another thing, but everyone does it. It's the same as lying. Anyone who says they never lie, is a liar.



I did not mean that someone belonging to organized religion is automatically a robot. I was implying though that people who devote themselves to the church and have to, and I mean HAVE TO, interject their religion into every aspect of their life because that is what they were taught and they feel as though everyone must learn it too, those people are like robots. I was also implying that people who have the incessant need to preach are people who tend to lose their individuality when they enter that atmosphere that is in a church. I don't want to be a part of something that seems to overpower a mass of peoples individuality. I know that each person chooses to go there and worship and they are still individuals but within the preaching there while they are worshipping they are implicating directly or indirectly that that mass of people should all be the same in so many ways that their uniqueness is overshadowed.



Barbara and Betsy,



I really wish I could explain my thoughts better in writing as I can when I think them to myself or out loud. And I wish you could go in my head for 2 minutes, grab that explaination and then go back to yourself haha but obviously that's not possible so I do my best and I'm going to end this now by simply saying my brain hurts and I hope I made enough sense of myself that you don't think I have in any way tried to be negative or belittling or dismissive of your beliefs but instead that I have tried really hard to open up my thoughts as much as I possibly can with a tired brain haha



Goodnight!

Barbara - posted on 06/04/2009

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Oops, hit enter before I was done. Getting back to who I'm nice to and who I'm not. I don't think you got what I was trying to say. I've worked in various hospitals for the last 20 years and I see a lot of people who we refer to as "frequent flyers" because they're always in and out of the hospital, mostly for self-inflicted things. We get a lot of drug-seekers, alcoholics and addicts. Some of them smell horrible, as well as their families, and are filthy, gross examples of the human species. Sometimes it is really difficult to walk in that room and be nice when this is the 3rd time this week this person has gotten drunk off their butt and has decided to try and commit suicide and when help with their alcoholism is offered, they don't want anything to do with it...so then here we go again next week. As I said before, my religion is a part of me so I don't see myself saying "Well Jesus said be good to them even though I don't want to." My faith is so much a part of me that it has become integrated into my personality. It's not a conscious thought. My initial response is "Yuck" but then my caring side kicks in and I do what needs to be done to help them and I pray for them to find peace and the strength to turn their lives around.



I have NEVER claimed or implied that I am any better than anyone else because of my religious beliefs. I don't believe that my religion is a crutch. As I said over & over, it's how I was raised, it's a part of me. Do I question my beliefs? Sometimes. I've known people who eat, sleep and breathe religion. I'm not one of them. Like you, I try to make every experience a learning one. I just feel like my faith has enriched my life, probably as you feel your travels and experiences have enriched yours. I know you want the best for your son and I think he's one lucky little guy to have you there, teaching him and helping him to be open to learning new things and all about this world we live in. Best of luck to you and your family! I hope you are always able to find the joy in things and even though life is always full of trials, I hope the worst is behind you!!

Betsy - posted on 06/04/2009

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I can sort of understand why Jodi feels she has to profess her beliefs. Even being a Christian, I can see the attitudes spoken of, and they bother me also, but when you have to repeat that you know who you are, don't need saving, understand and made a choice, it must feel like you have to come out with it on the offense. I don't mean to be putting words in your mouth Jodi, if I am completely wrong, but that was the impression I got, more offensive than defensive.

Different situation, but my friends and family laugh at me at how I answer about my kids. We have a large family from 19 to 2 yr old twins. When we were having the 19 yr old and 12 yr old, we were getting established, getting careers of the ground, so having the large family we wanted wasn't the smartest decision then. Now established, we had 3 in one year, a single then twins, who are now 3 and 2 (were surprised with twins). When people see us out and ask their ages, I always end it with "same marriage" or "same husband" It's habit now because so many assumed it was a second marriage, and went on and on with comments about how nice it was I remarried and got to start over. I go on the offensive stating the situation to bypass all of that, and that is what I see you doing when you make it clear that you are happy with your situation and made the educated decision that was best for you.

Barbara - posted on 06/04/2009

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Jodi, all I can say is WOW! Sounds like you have been through a lot! Kudos for you for not succumbing the same self-destructive practices of others in your life and for finding an inner strength that has carried you through! For being so young, you are truly amazing!



Having said that, I am a little concerned with your defensiveness, though. Are you trying to convince others or yourself? I'm truly NOT being condescending, but while reading your post I can feel the pain you've gone through and maybe some anger? I'm definitely not trying to convert you to my way of thinking, I'm just telling what I believe as part of the conversation.



I never said that having God on my side makes my life more fair. Life is not fair, that's why I like to believe there's a heaven where good people will be rewarded for their actions and suffering. And I know I am a strong person; I can handle darn near anything as long as I know what I'm dealing with. I have an autistic son but my life did not fall apart when I found out. My sister is disabled from a degenerative neuro-muscular disorder and living in a nursing home and all I can do is sit back and watch her decline because not only is there no cure for it yet, they're not ever really sure what she has; I grieve for the life she might've had but never did. I hope there's a heaven for HER sake, she deserves to be in a place of joy without pain.



In some areas of your post I felt like you were implying that you are better or stronger because you have had to learn things the hard way with no one to rely on but yourself. Frankly, I pity you (still not being condescending!) because if I could, I would wish an easy happy life on everyone. But, what you've gone through has made you who you are and you sound like you are an awesome person!

I can deal with just about anything as long as I know what I'm dealing with. Do I fall apart and run to church whenever I'm faced with a challenge? No. I do pray for guidance, but ultimately, it's my choice. And when I said what I did about choosing who to be nice to, are you going to tell me that you've never run across someone who you found to be creepy, scary or just didn't like? You seem to imply that I just blindly follow what the bible says without thinking for myself. If so, you're exactly like the people you profess to not be like. 360 degrees in either direction is a full circle. Just because someone belongs to an organized religion does not mean we're a bunch of automatons who think and feel the same way. Yes, there are some people out there who will say "If you don't think/feel like this then you're wrong!" but that's not everyone. Stereotyping is stereotyping.

Krista - posted on 06/04/2009

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Quoting Jodi:



Quoting Barbara:

I know this is really, really long, but please bear with me a little while longer. I also know that I have been truly blessed to never to have experienced anything horrible that might challenge my faith and I have no idea how I might react if something did happen. I would hope that I would stay firm in my belief but you never know until you're there. We all have our beliefs or lack there of for a reason. Our experiences, how we were raised, the people we come in contact with all help to shape our beliefs and personalities. Does that make anyone more right or wrong when it comes to what they believe in? No. We'll all know the truth someday, one way or another, I just hope it's what I've always been raised to believe...the whole enchilada; God, heaven, angels and surrounded by all the people I loved and who have loved me. Cheesy, but I tend to be glass is half-full kind of gal! I guess it all boils down to is to do whatever works for you. Whatever gets you through each day. If you're meant to believe in God, you will someday. If not, that's between you and Him (according to my belief) and no one else's business! I wish you and your family well. Peace, joy, and happiness in all you do! Life is a journey, may it always be interesting!!






Beautiful. That whole paragraph was very nice to read. You worded yourself immaculately and I appreciate your point of view, and respect the faith you have in your life. Your words have the intent to 'teach' but not 'preach'. I love hearing people's outlooks when they are expressed in a manner such as you have expressed yourself, meaning not excluding your beliefs but still acknowledging your belief is not the only belief out there. It's posts like yours that give me assurance that myself and my son do and will have people to converse with, learn from and with and be allowd to have our own thoughts and opinions without being met with negativity or constant berating for any different ideas, beliefs, thougths, opinions we may have. Thank you for that Barbara, I agree with you 100% that life is a journey, and I hope it will always be as interesting as it can be!





It's great to see that this thread has brought about some honest, thoughtful, and respectful conversation, like it has between the two of you.  It's been really interesting reading points of view from all over the spectrum; atheists to the most devout religious followers.  Reading this thread alone shows that both believers and non-believers have the capacity to be either narrow minded and judgemental, or tolerant and accepting of other people's views.  Asking the question that I did has not swayed me to either accept or reject religion any more than I already did, but I think it has helped me, at the very least, to understand people who consider themselves religious or spiritual, and what brought them to embrace their religion.

Betsy - posted on 06/04/2009

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Jodi, we don't have to have the same religion (or no religion) to agree on many things. I agree completely about the importance of learning about all types of beliefs and lifestyles, and that learning never stops. It saddens me so much when you hear someone fear Muslims due to 911. Those were Islam extremists, and Muslims don't believe that way, nor support them, as well as fearing them. That fear or hate/dislike comes from ignorance, and ignorance is definied as not knowing better. It was the same with feelings towards the LDS when over a hundred children were removed from their custody upon allegations of child brides and sexual abuse. This wasn't the lifestyle of the Mormans, but the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints. The Latter-Day Saints condemned child brides and pologamy many many years ago, but the ignorance was there. The same could be said with Christians. I am Christian, but no one would ever see me bash or disapprove of gays, and I have gay friends who are higher ups in their CHRISTIAN Church.

If people did take the time and energy to gain knowledge and learn about their neighbors in this world, ignorance, fear and hate would be replaced by understanding, lack of inaccurate stereotypes and more time to put energy into positive energy, what a better world we would leave to our children. I couldn't help but think of that during prop 8. If all those people who spent so much effort and money into fighting against something they hated instead put that energy and money into putting food on a poor families dinner table, we might actually be a planet of people of which we and God, for those who believe in God, could be proud. It's that simple...put more energy into putting good in this world rather than fighting everyone and everything that you don't agree with....and I am a prosecutor saying that lol. I get paid to fight evil :-)

?? - posted on 06/04/2009

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Quoting Barbara:

I know this is really, really long, but please bear with me a little while longer. I also know that I have been truly blessed to never to have experienced anything horrible that might challenge my faith and I have no idea how I might react if something did happen. I would hope that I would stay firm in my belief but you never know until you're there. We all have our beliefs or lack there of for a reason. Our experiences, how we were raised, the people we come in contact with all help to shape our beliefs and personalities. Does that make anyone more right or wrong when it comes to what they believe in? No. We'll all know the truth someday, one way or another, I just hope it's what I've always been raised to believe...the whole enchilada; God, heaven, angels and surrounded by all the people I loved and who have loved me. Cheesy, but I tend to be glass is half-full kind of gal! I guess it all boils down to is to do whatever works for you. Whatever gets you through each day. If you're meant to believe in God, you will someday. If not, that's between you and Him (according to my belief) and no one else's business! I wish you and your family well. Peace, joy, and happiness in all you do! Life is a journey, may it always be interesting!!



Beautiful. That whole paragraph was very nice to read. You worded yourself immaculately and I appreciate your point of view, and respect the faith you have in your life. Your words have the intent to 'teach' but not 'preach'. I love hearing people's outlooks when they are expressed in a manner such as you have expressed yourself, meaning not excluding your beliefs but still acknowledging your belief is not the only belief out there. It's posts like yours that give me assurance that myself and my son do and will have people to converse with, learn from and with and be allowd to have our own thoughts and opinions without being met with negativity or constant berating for any different ideas, beliefs, thougths, opinions we may have. Thank you for that Barbara, I agree with you 100% that life is a journey, and I hope it will always be as interesting as it can be!

Barbara - posted on 06/04/2009

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One thing I'd like to add, Krista, is that I'm really sorry you've had to deal with some of those people who try to force their religion down your throat and then treat you as some sort of leper if you don't agree with them. I don't consider those people to be true Christians. One thing that people like that tend to forget is that when Jesus was on earth the people he surrounded himself with were those who most of the so-called "good" Jews wouldn't have anything to do with. He could've just hung out with the priests and scribes but He didn't. He accepted people for who they were and gave them what they needed; forgiveness, a chance for a new life, etc. If someone is a true Christian, they will accept you for who you are, not try to change you, but just let you know that should you ever change your mind, God will always be waiting for you to welcome you into His arms.



I choose to believe that the bible is more of a teaching tool than to always be taken literally. Some parts of the Gospel were written 100s of years after Jesus' death and most of the Old Testament is made up of stories that had been passed down word-of-mouth for generations. So I find it difficult to believe that the whole thing can be 100% exactly how it all happened. I do know that there are some stories in the New Testament that coincide with some stories in the Koran and they recount similar circumstances and therefore give each other credibility. (Love the history channel!) But still, who knows?



Some people may disagree with me and say, "the bible tells you to witness." Well, yes it does, but it doesn't say to cram it down people's throats whether they want it or not. That wasn't Jesus' way! Also, others will probably disagree with me about this too but I believe that God is God, whether you call Him "Buddah" or "Vishnu" or whatever, as long as you follow the same rules on how to treat each other with kindness and forgiveness, and to choose to do the good though possibly difficult thing rather than the easier but wrong thing.



Another way to look at it that is totally off the wall is; sometimes it's easier to get a bunch of people to follow certain rules "because God said so" as opposed to trying to rationalize it out. For example: pigs are dirty animals, God says "don't eat pork" Thousands of years ago people didn't understand that much about parasites. It's easier to say "God said don't eat pork because pigs are dirty" rather than "some of the worst parasites on earth are found in pork and if you don't cook it thoroughly you might get this worm whose life cycle involves burrowing into your brain and laying eggs." Fortunately, I know to cook pork thoroughly and can therefore enjoy ham and bacon without worrying about dying a horrible death due to yesterday's BLT.



Someone once told me to compare the 10 Commandments to a fence around a playground. As long as you follow those rules (don't steal, kill, cheat or lie) it's like being within that safe, fenced-in area. But once you go outside of that fence you're taking the chance of having to deal with things that might hurt you like cars or animals or people intent on harming you. If you stay out of that situation, bad things are less likely to happen to you. Not 100% guaranteed, but less likely.



As I said before, having faith is comforting. I tend to be a worrier, like my mom, so I need to be able to find a way to help me through difficult times. Recently, my husband and I went through a very stressful time related to his job. We were both so stressed that we were both getting sick over it! Anyway, one thing I'd always been told was that whenever we are faced with something like that just to say, "Okay, Lord, this one is yours. I can't handle it, it's too much for me so I'm giving it to You and I trust You that it will work out." After that, I was filled with a peace and calm that helped me get through the next few weeks until the problem was resolved. My husband tried, but being raised without religion, his faith wasn't as strong as mine. Did that mean that God let him down? No, everything worked out great, my husband just suffered more than I did during that time. You either have faith or you don't, it's that simple.



I know this is really, really long, but please bear with me a little while longer. I also know that I have been truly blessed to never to have experienced anything horrible that might challenge my faith and I have no idea how I might react if something did happen. I would hope that I would stay firm in my belief but you never know until you're there. We all have our beliefs or lack there of for a reason. Our experiences, how we were raised, the people we come in contact with all help to shape our beliefs and personalities. Does that make anyone more right or wrong when it comes to what they believe in? No. We'll all know the truth someday, one way or another, I just hope it's what I've always been raised to believe...the whole enchilada; God, heaven, angels and surrounded by all the people I loved and who have loved me. Cheesy, but I tend to be glass is half-full kind of gal! I guess it all boils down to is to do whatever works for you. Whatever gets you through each day. If you're meant to believe in God, you will someday. If not, that's between you and Him (according to my belief) and no one else's business! I wish you and your family well. Peace, joy, and happiness in all you do! Life is a journey, may it always be interesting!!

Julie - posted on 06/04/2009

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I raised my kids to follow the "Golden Rule" and with out religeous influence. I did not discourage them from going to different churches with friends or asking questions about religeon. I have 2 kids now that attend a church of their own choosing and 1 that is not interested. They have been good kids and have always had good values. Good luck with your decision.

?? - posted on 06/04/2009

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Betsy,



I've always had that same kind of thirst for knowledge you speak of with your son. I'm only 25 but I have experienced many things that I'm sure the majority of the people that come at me with their religious beliefs have not, would not and will never experience. I'm not going to go into detail because many of those things are personal and I don't care to "air my laundry" in public - dirty or not. Some of the not so nice ones, though without details, drug and alcohol abuse, death, suicide attempts and success of myself, family and friends, abusive relationships - physical, mental and sexual abuse, and more that are not MY problems but the problems of my loved ones. As well as many wonderful things too, I have been able to learn and live basically as my heart desires, my mind wishes and my body is able to go, I have travelled all across Canada. I have learned at my own pace, learning what I want to know - not what is in a text book in a public school. I owned and ran a successful music label in Montreal for 2 years before my aunt passed away and chose to stay with my family while we dealt with her death and my moms bout with cancer and signed over my business to my partner of the time. I then when to China and Australia where I lived for 3 months and learned about their cultures and especially their animals, owning 4 pythons, 7 bearded dragons a blue tongue lizard, 2 axylodyls (mexican walking fish) and 2 fighter fish - I was able to bottle feed a baby wallaby and a baby kangaroo. Then I came back to Canada in order to find my next adventure, which lead me to my partner... the most incredible man I have ever known. My friends and I joke that he is a robot for how unbelievable he is, which lead to us having our son.



The reason I am even on this site - my son, is the most precious thing/person/reason for living that I've ever had in my entire life. I cherish him with all of my heart and I yearn for knowledge so that I can better teach him and so that I have the ability to learn with him as well.



Faith, religion, sex, holidays, schooling, where to live, careers, lifestyles are all things that every person should be WIDELY educated about, in my opinion.



Faith is something that every person needs to find on their own, if they want to find it. Learning is the first step. I am in no hurry to devote my life to a faith, a religion or a God. And even if I were to be told "God has been proven to exist and you will go to heaven when you die." I would more than like say "Annnd? That means I must believe that is what is right for me just because you said that? Nope."



As I said before, organized religion I see is nothing more than another corporation in this day and age. I don't like the idea of it and I think it takes away from humans the individuality that makes us each unique and is an attempt to make mass amounts of people to conform their way of thinking to be the exact same.



Sex, I am very educated about MY body. I know what my body does, likes, doesn't like and I have learned about the risks as well. I believe that the right to share ones body with another is their own choice. Whether it is a one night stand or a long term relationship. I also believe that anyone who does not learn about themselves before doing so is choosing to be careless with themselves. I don't think it's any one's business but their own if they would like to have sex before they get married.



I am not married and I have a son with my partner. And even before I had my son, my partner and I had discussed marriage, children, etc and we were both on different sides - I wanted to get married and have children, he didn't want to get married and didn't want children. Then we had Gabriel and have been discussing getting married in a very private manner with only our closest friends and families on the beach with our son there in a non-religious ceremony.



Holidays - everyone teaches different things for different holidays. On many different levels - some with the same ideas but carried out in different fashions.



Schools - public or private - religious or military - everyone has their own preference.



There is way too much going on in life and way too much information and knowledge available for me to be willing to succumb and just believe for the sake of believing in something.



Barbara, I do understand that faith can get you through difficult times and I have been through difficult times with nothing but myself to get me through it. Life is always going to be unfair - having God on your side so to speak doesn't make life any more fair to you than it does to me, but it is good that you do have that comfort. I don't, I find comfort in my own strength and in the strength I recieve from knowing I am a good person by my own doing. And I have never needed faith to help me decide whether something is right or wrong. And when I have chose to do what was ultimately wrong, I have taken the punishment and responsibility for that choice all on my own. I am happy that God has not failed you. I wish you all the best in life and I hope that your faith will always be there for you.



If I were to lose my child, I would be crushed. Beyond crushed. I know I would have him in my heart with me. And his daddy's heart, and his grandparents and aunts and uncles hearts and we will be living for a whole new reason. Not cause we know he is in heaven but because he is in a beautiful place in our lives in our hearts on our minds and I don't feel the need to be "reunited" because he will always be with me, a part of me, a piece of my life that made it an incredible, remarkable experience that my mind could never have dreamed up in a million years. I also feel this way about my aunt, my great grandma, my grandpa, all of the friends and family that I have known, loved and lost. I believe it would be much more intense if it were my child that I lost, but I would learn to cope and I would search in myself for the strength to live without him in my arms but in my heart instead.



I use decision making in order to change focus and challege myself. I learn and ask questions and I will continue to do so until the day I die... I don't think the learning process ever ends really, it continues on and on and on. I don't exactly understand why you would think without religion it would be easier to pick and choose who we want to be nice to and who we want to help? I don't pick and choose who I want to be nice to and who I want to help. I am nice to everyone until I have a reason to not be nice to them (they look/act down upon me - are mean to me etc) and I love to help anyone I can help. Every time. I don't pick and choose... I don't ask myself anything like that when I am deciding whether or not I am going to be nice or to help them... I simply do it, unless of course, they have given me a reason to not want to be nice or need/want my help.



I have made it 25 years with an open mind and the ability to comprehend, discuss and be objective about anyone's point of view; if given the chance and the respect of at least some of the same in return. It baffles me how little of it I am given in return, on more than just religion but anything opinion based. Which is another reason why I wish to learn as much as possible, so I am better able to give my son the ability to be open and not feel as though he can not open his mouth because he doesn't know what to say.



I think that is one reason that people can't continue conversations with 2 sides but simply stick to their side - and tell me the one who is close minded or ignorant or stupid - they don't want to ask a question and ask for elaboration in fear they will be looked upon as stupid.



But my mom always told me;

"The only stupid question, is a question you do not ask."

?? - posted on 06/04/2009

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Betsy,



I've always had that same kind of thirst for knowledge you speak of with your son. I'm only 25 but I have experienced many things that I'm sure the majority of the people that come at me with their religious beliefs have not, would not and will never experience. I'm not going to go into detail because many of those things are personal and I don't care to "air my laundry" in public - dirty or not. Some of the not so nice ones, though without details, drug and alcohol abuse, death, suicide attempts and success of myself, family and friends, abusive relationships - physical, mental and sexual abuse, and more that are not MY problems but the problems of my loved ones. As well as many wonderful things too, I have been able to learn and live basically as my heart desires, my mind wishes and my body is able to go, I have travelled all across Canada. I have learned at my own pace, learning what I want to know - not what is in a text book in a public school. I owned and ran a successful music label in Montreal for 2 years before my aunt passed away and chose to stay with my family while we dealt with her death and my moms bout with cancer and signed over my business to my partner of the time. I then when to China and Australia where I lived for 3 months and learned about their cultures and especially their animals, owning 4 pythons, 7 bearded dragons a blue tongue lizard, 2 axylodyls (mexican walking fish) and 2 fighter fish - I was able to bottle feed a baby wallaby and a baby kangaroo. Then I came back to Canada in order to find my next adventure, which lead me to my partner... the most incredible man I have ever known. My friends and I joke that he is a robot for how unbelievable he is, which lead to us having our son.



The reason I am even on this site - my son, is the most precious thing/person/reason for living that I've ever had in my entire life. I cherish him with all of my heart and I yearn for knowledge so that I can better teach him and so that I have the ability to learn with him as well.



Faith, religion, sex, holidays, schooling, where to live, careers, lifestyles are all things that every person should be WIDELY educated about, in my opinion.



Faith is something that every person needs to find on their own, if they want to find it. Learning is the first step. I am in no hurry to devote my life to a faith, a religion or a God. And even if I were to be told "God has been proven to exist and you will go to heaven when you die." I would more than like say "Annnd? That means I must believe that is what is right for me just because you said that? Nope."



As I said before, organized religion I see is nothing more than another corporation in this day and age. I don't like the idea of it and I think it takes away from humans the individuality that makes us each unique and is an attempt to make mass amounts of people to conform their way of thinking to be the exact same.



Sex, I am very educated about MY body. I know what my body does, likes, doesn't like and I have learned about the risks as well. I believe that the right to share ones body with another is their own choice. Whether it is a one night stand or a long term relationship. I also believe that anyone who does not learn about themselves before doing so is choosing to be careless with themselves. I don't think it's any one's business but their own if they would like to have sex before they get married.



I am not married and I have a son with my partner. And even before I had my son, my partner and I had discussed marriage, children, etc and we were both on different sides - I wanted to get married and have children, he didn't want to get married and didn't want children. Then we had Gabriel and have been discussing getting married in a very private manner with only our closest friends and families on the beach with our son there in a non-religious ceremony.



Holidays - everyone teaches different things for different holidays. On many different levels - some with the same ideas but carried out in different fashions.



Schools - public or private - religious or military - everyone has their own preference.



There is way too much going on in life and way too much information and knowledge available for me to be willing to succumb and just believe for the sake of believing in something.



Barbara, I do understand that faith can get you through difficult times and I have been through difficult times with nothing but myself to get me through it. Life is always going to be unfair - having God on your side so to speak doesn't make life any more fair to you than it does to me, but it is good that you do have that comfort. I don't, I find comfort in my own strength and in the strength I recieve from knowing I am a good person by my own doing. And I have never needed faith to help me decide whether something is right or wrong. And when I have chose to do what was ultimately wrong, I have taken the punishment and responsibility for that choice all on my own. I am happy that God has not failed you. I wish you all the best in life and I hope that your faith will always be there for you.



If I were to lose my child, I would be crushed. Beyond crushed. I know I would have him in my heart with me. And his daddy's heart, and his grandparents and aunts and uncles hearts and we will be living for a whole new reason. Not cause we know he is in heaven but because he is in a beautiful place in our lives in our hearts on our minds and I don't feel the need to be "reunited" because he will always be with me, a part of me, a piece of my life that made it an incredible, remarkable experience that my mind could never have dreamed up in a million years. I also feel this way about my aunt, my great grandma, my grandpa, all of the friends and family that I have known, loved and lost. I believe it would be much more intense if it were my child that I lost, but I would learn to cope and I would search in myself for the strength to live without him in my arms but in my heart instead.



I use decision making in order to change focus and challege myself. I learn and ask questions and I will continue to do so until the day I die... I don't think the learning process ever ends really, it continues on and on and on. I don't exactly understand why you would think without religion it would be easier to pick and choose who we want to be nice to and who we want to help? I don't pick and choose who I want to be nice to and who I want to help. I am nice to everyone until I have a reason to not be nice to them (they look/act down upon me - are mean to me etc) and I love to help anyone I can help. Every time. I don't pick and choose... I don't ask myself anything like that when I am deciding whether or not I am going to be nice or to help them... I simply do it, unless of course, they have given me a reason to not want to be nice or need/want my help.



I have made it 25 years with an open mind and the ability to comprehend, discuss and be objective about anyone's point of view; if given the chance and the respect of at least some of the same in return. It baffles me how little of it I am given in return, on more than just religion but anything opinion based. Which is another reason why I wish to learn as much as possible, so I am better able to give my son the ability to be open and not feel as though he can not open his mouth because he doesn't know what to say.



I think that is one reason that people can't continue conversations with 2 sides but simply stick to their side - and tell me the one who is close minded or ignorant or stupid - they don't want to ask a question and ask for elaboration in fear they will be looked upon as stupid.



But my mom always told me;

"The only stupid question, is a question you do not ask."

Nikki - posted on 06/04/2009

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It's really up to the way God planned out your life. Just becuase you dont't raise your child to be a christian or any other religion, doesnt mean when they grow up, they won't chose that for themselves. I was not raised with a religion, but at age 21 i was saved, and have been going to church faithfully for 5 years now. My boyfriends family are strong christians, and their son is gay. They don't like it, but they still love him unconditional. In other words, it's differant in every family. Personally I choose, to raise my 5 year old to be a christian. Honestly, how else do you do you explain what happens to Nana or daddy or papa, or even the dog when they pass away.

Barbara - posted on 06/04/2009

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I was raised Catholic, my husband joined the church several years ago, and we are raising our children Catholic. For me, being Catholic is as much a part of me as my eye color. I want my children to be raised in a religious atmosphere because: 1) Faith can get you through difficult times when nothing/no one else can 2) Life can be so unfair that it is comforting to believe that no matter what trials we face here on earth we will be rewarded eventually 3) The idea of sin and having to be responsible for your actions (I think) really helps when trying to figure out the right choice 4) God has never failed me. I may not have always had my prayers answered the way I wanted them to be, but they're always been answered the way they should be and things usually turn out okay.



Faith is comforting. There are so many things we can't explain; the miracle of birth and how our children already have their own personalities even before they're born, good things and even horrible things such as war and famine and how some people can hate others so much that they want to wipe out an entire race of people. If you have faith, there's the promise that some day all will be explained and known. Wouldn't you want to believe that , heaven forbid, anything ever happened to one of your children that instead of just being gone, they were in a beautiful place with their creator who loves them and is taking care of them and that your child is waiting for you to be reunited with them?



Faith helps you to see the good in a bad situation. It changes your focus and challenges you to be the best person you can be. Without religion, it's easier to pick and choose who we want to be nice to and who we want to help, but if you're truly a Christian, you think to yourself "I really don't like that person and wouldn't give a flip about them, but that's not what Jesus taught, so I will do my best to push those feelings aside and do what I feel Jesus would want me to do." A lot of times, the most difficult things can be the most rewarding. Hope this was what you were looking for.

Betsy - posted on 06/04/2009

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You're welcome Jodi. One of the reasons I enjoy your posts is even though I believe in God and you don't, you have an inquisitive nature of the world, which we share. Believing in God myself, I personally believe He gave us our inquisitive natures and our desire for learning which is a gift. With that, I also have to respect that people may come to different conclusions than I.

While some Christians do tell their children to believe as told, I do encourage my children to have that desire to question and learn. I do tell them how I believe, and that I do believe in God and Jesus, as does my husband, but I do not understand why anyone would have a fear of knowledge. Our oldest is 19, and he has always had an extreme thirst for knowledge. I rarely limited his television viewing because he always choice documentaries about anything from the life of Napolean to the Islamic religion. It's not like I was going to say, "Stop all that learning!" lol. He has a fascination with the many different lifestyles of the world, including religions. He now is an adult and chooses to go to our Church, going on his own to a different mass time when he can't go with us. He has no fear or pity for those of any other religions, or lack there of, because he has an understanding of other people and other ways of life and thinking. That doesn't take away from his Christianity at all, and that attitude was our goal.

We have the same mentality when teaching sex education. I am not a Christian that just says abstinence or you'll burn in hell, or that sex is bad or dirty. Sadly I know many Christian women with large families who still have never experienced pleasure with their husband because they believe sex is a chore and something dirty. I am also a realist. My children are individuals who may come to different conclusions than what I prefer, but sex can be dangerous these days, and I refuse to stand over their grave thinking, "See I was right, you did a bad thing." I have buried one child, and I refuse to bury another when information can save their lives. I want them to choose abstinence and express that, but also want them to come to that conclusion for themselves out of knowledge, self-respect, self-confidence and wanting to make the best decisions for their own emotional and physical health because they love themselves rather than just basing their decison on what they were told to do. Sex is an adult decision, and it needs to be made like adult decisions are made...with an informed weighing of the options. If they choose differently, it will not be what I would prefer, but I will know they know the physical health ramifications and how to protect and save their own lives. We've been lucky with my oldest since he hasn't gotten too serious with any one girl due to time constraints...double major in computer programming and foreign languages (japanese and spanish), but he has our opinions along with health information. His conclusions now are his as he begins his life as his own person.

?? - posted on 06/04/2009

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Thanks Betsy that's really nice to hear, I appreciate that comment a lot!



That is quite a bit of my thinking - the world is so diverse, there isn't a single religion, faith, God that I could give more credit to than the next about being real based on the information or lack there of that we as a whole planet have acquired. So I don't and won't believe in them. I believe in myself. And I know that other people are going to believe in one God or another God or a "lifestyle" or a thought or opinion or any thing that is based on a personal decision making process about that individuals life. Although there are some, a lot, that I don't AGREE with completely, I bet there are just as many people who don't agree with my life.



I tend to move away from things - groups - congregations of people that follow the same ideas without any reason but words in a book. I am not meaning to trivialize the text that you follow but to me it is just that, a book that mixes fact and fiction - whole truths and half truths and grand exaggerations. Especially when the majority of the people I meet that dedicate themselves to that book come at me with such a negative attitude, a belittling tone and a complete reluctance to even attempt to see my point of view. Why would I want to put myself into a situation or associate myself with people who want to spit those words?



So in essence - I listen, I learn, I take what makes sense and I keep going. If it doesn't makes sense then I'm not going to waste my time with it. Even if it makes sense to some people, when it comes to faith and beliefs - it completely depends on your mindframe as to whether it will make sense or not. You believe in God - things will make sense to you that do not to me because I do not believe in God. It's as simple as that.



There are tribes that were only 'discovered' as recently as 50 years ago. How do we know that their way of life, their God(s) are not the TRUE way of life? Because a bible, a book written by man, said so? I don't and can't believe either one, but, we can't prove either way so I'm not going to waste my life dedicated to something I can't believe. It's foolish for me to believe in the bible - it'd be a disrespect to any faith to conform to a religion or a God or a word or a lifestyle just because someone said so and not because it is what that person believes in.



People that expect me to fall in line with their words and their scripture and their lifestyle and their mind frame are not only ignorant but stupid. I don't mean to offend anyone, but it's true. And I think that telling me (as an example) as that last lady did... Stacy said:



"As far as Him going out of his way for you, he went as far out of the way as possible by sending his Son to die for you on the cross and give you the gift of eternal life. The ball is now in your court, he gave the gift, whether or not you accept the gift is up to you.



I'm not twisting any words to get you to believe or buy anything. There isn't anything to sell and nothing to buy. The price has been paid by Jesus Christ and it is now up to those who don't believe that to Accept Believe and Confess. The ABC's of salvation. I pray that God will reveal himself to you at your level somehow. He has so much for you, but from your post you are just unwilling to believe that He may knocking on your door and just waiting for you to answer."



I think what she said is rude, ignorant and stupid to say that to me as if I believe the same as she does. It's insulting. Especially when I have already proclaimed I do not believe the way she does and yet wants me to take her words in a positive light.



It would be on the same lines of someone saying Dogs are better than Cats, but I think Cats are better, and instead of taking into consideration that person has already proclaimed they Dogs.. I invite them to a Cat convention. Obviously not identical in comparison but the same jist goes to both. It's rude, it's ignorant and it's stupid to put that on someone who has made their position clear.



I have no problem listening to people speak of their faith, but I find it pathetic when people have to, literally, HAVE TO, speak AT ME about their faith and how it's what I need or want but don't know it. As Stacy did. Talk to me about your faith, don't talk at me like I need to be coverted to understand what you are saying.



I am starting to enjoy talking with Libby about this because she is opening up and speaking about her faith, and not coming off as though she is trying to get me to believe as she does. I enjoy talking with Betsy because of the same reasons. People like Stacy though, and that dumbass that tried to claim scientists looked to the bible to discover germs, space and that the earth is round - it's ridiculous. Amusing and a good way to waste some time, but their words basically go in one ear and out the other.



Anyways, I gotta hungry lil man to feed. So thank you again for that comment Betsy, I appreciate it :)

Betsy - posted on 06/04/2009

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Quoting Jodi:

My mind is always open to learning - that does not mean I will take everything I learn into my life or my heart. My heart is open to loving and life. I really don't mean this in a negative way towards anyone who chooses to follow a religion or worship a God or choose a faith - but it seems foolish, narrow, shallow, silly, even boring to want to close myself off to EVERYTHING just to listen to, follow and accept ONE thing. Especially when it comes to something that I see no, zero, zip, nadda, none, no reason to believe.

In no way am I saying that people who choose one faith are those things. I am saying, however, that I would be those things, knowing myself, if I were to stop and say - FORGET IT I'm going to follow the bible from this day forth! Why? Because mainly, I do not believe in God and I do not see myself believing in God anytime soon, if ever, or at least until it's absolutely 100% proven there is a God and there is heaven. Just as I'm not going to believe that frogs can turn into humans just because there is a book out there that says so. Regardless of how many people believe it, I don't. I have no reason too. I'm sorry there isn't going to be anything to change my mind.

Anyways, I learn as much as I can. And I live and love as much as I can too. I will teach my son values and morals and how to be a good person just as well as any other mom out there and I don't need God or even the idea that heaven is a possibility to not fear death or want to live my life in a positive manner. My son will be allowd to choose his on his own with all the help available to him, all the information and all my love, support and consideration.

Someone mentioned earlier about how they'd rather believe in him and find out he doesn't exist than to not believe and find out he does... I'm not scared of that idea. I don't believe in God for a reason so if he's gonna hold that against me that's his problem, not mine. If he loves me and cares about me so much that I am meant to have a relationship with him like people say then he would do what he has to do to show me ON MY LEVEL that he exists - he isn't gonna go out of his way for me, so I, sure as a pig loves shit, am not going to conform my life to him.

I hope that makes sense. And I would like to mention after reading that, I don't want to hear about how I am supposed to try to have a relationship with him blah blah blah and he cares blah blah blah I'm sorry but - old news, I'm not buyin that paper. If you have a new story for me, I'll listen, but I'm not gonna entertain the same thing no matter how many ways you twist it around to put it in other words, I am not buying.





 



Jodi-I love reading your posts. Now we have different views of spirituality, but I can respect that as you add inteeligence and insight in all your posts. Now  do believe in God and am Christian. I do feel extremist Christians lose credibily with their belief that only Christians will be given salvation and the rest will be damned for eternity. That is an easy thought when you don't look past your own backyard, and there is a Christian/Catholic Church on every corner, but we live on a very large planet. Many tend to forget with the preaching that we have many people on our planet that live their entire lives in secluded, uncivilized tribal areas of the world, cut off from the rest of civilization. The terms Bible, Jesus, and Christianity are as foreign to them as Bic Mac and the internet. I can't fathom how a person could think rationally and really believe their God, who is loving, most forgiving and loves us so much that he sacrificed his son for us, would really sentence entire communities of men, women and children to eternal damnation for the crime of being born on the wrong latitude and longitude of His planet. If I believed such a concept, how could I worship a God like that? So if we are to believe that all humans in this world would be punished for not being Christian, whether of another faith or atheist, we would also have to believe that these many communities of the uncivilized who never were exposed to the word of Christianity would fall to that fate as well.



I do believe faith is a wonderful thing, and I do believe in God, but I also believe He gave us this wonderful gift of intelligence and rational and analytical thinking. Any time anyone of any religion, whether Christian, Muslim, etc, believes that only their "special" group is going to be loved and saved from punishment, religion unfortunately does lose its credibility, and as a believer of God, I could not rationally believe those were ever his intentions on the planet he created of so many different religions and so many different life environments for all.

Jenni - posted on 06/04/2009

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krista... since you were the one who started this thread and asked the question of how ppl are raising their kids and how they came to that conclusion... i will directly answer your question on what i think is best for my children... and i think you'll agree since we seem on pretty much the same wavelength... i believe it's best to expose your children to as many different view points, philosophies, religions as you can so when they are older they can make the educated decision for themselves...

Krista - posted on 06/04/2009

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Quoting Jennifer:



Quoting Stacy:




Quoting Jodi:

My mind is always open to learning - that does not mean I will take everything I learn into my life or my heart. My heart is open to loving and life. I really don't mean this in a negative way towards anyone who chooses to follow a religion or worship a God or choose a faith - but it seems foolish, narrow, shallow, silly, even boring to want to close myself off to EVERYTHING just to listen to, follow and accept ONE thing. Especially when it comes to something that I see no, zero, zip, nadda, none, no reason to believe.

In no way am I saying that people who choose one faith are those things. I am saying, however, that I would be those things, knowing myself, if I were to stop and say - FORGET IT I'm going to follow the bible from this day forth! Why? Because mainly, I do not believe in God and I do not see myself believing in God anytime soon, if ever, or at least until it's absolutely 100% proven there is a God and there is heaven. Just as I'm not going to believe that frogs can turn into humans just because there is a book out there that says so. Regardless of how many people believe it, I don't. I have no reason too. I'm sorry there isn't going to be anything to change my mind.

Anyways, I learn as much as I can. And I live and love as much as I can too. I will teach my son values and morals and how to be a good person just as well as any other mom out there and I don't need God or even the idea that heaven is a possibility to not fear death or want to live my life in a positive manner. My son will be allowd to choose his on his own with all the help available to him, all the information and all my love, support and consideration.

Someone mentioned earlier about how they'd rather believe in him and find out he doesn't exist than to not believe and find out he does... I'm not scared of that idea. I don't believe in God for a reason so if he's gonna hold that against me that's his problem, not mine. If he loves me and cares about me so much that I am meant to have a relationship with him like people say then he would do what he has to do to show me ON MY LEVEL that he exists - he isn't gonna go out of his way for me, so I, sure as a pig loves shit, am not going to conform my life to him.

I hope that makes sense. And I would like to mention after reading that, I don't want to hear about how I am supposed to try to have a relationship with him blah blah blah and he cares blah blah blah I'm sorry but - old news, I'm not buyin that paper. If you have a new story for me, I'll listen, but I'm not gonna entertain the same thing no matter how many ways you twist it around to put it in other words, I am not buying.







 i want just want to say that if there is a god... i believe he is intelligent enough not to hold against us not believing in him... that he would understand that it's only human nature not to believe in something untangeable... i believe he would only care whether or not we try to listen to our conscience and be good to others and to otherselves... that he wouldn't have this desperate need for us to only worship Him... he would not have human qualities or emotions if he is Great and of great intelligence... he would have a divine understanding of human nature and not take on human-like qualities like jealousy or anger... so he would understand us not choosing to have blind faith... i believe he would merely be interested in whether or not we tried to live our lives by doing good onto others and listening to our conscience... he would reward us for taking the right path even if it were the hardest path to take... and from personal experience i know alll about taking the harder path... i believe if there is an afterlife i will be rewarded for that









 





I so agree with what you've said here!  I've never spoken with someone who echoes my sentiments torwards god so exactly.  I don't call myself an atheist because I can't rule out the possibility of a god, and if there is one, my image is just what you've described.  Thank you for wording it in a way that I never could!

Margaret - posted on 06/04/2009

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my children can choose when they are old enough to make the decision for themselves.



considered religious education at school but scrapped that when they came home upset that Jesus was about to die :S



I was raised Roman Catholic and my partner was raised church of england.



he is atheist though and I am agnostic.



do still want them receiving religious education though but investigating other options which put things into context

?? - posted on 06/04/2009

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Quoting Stacy:






Quoting Jodi:

My mind is always open to learning - that does not mean I will take everything I learn into my life or my heart. My heart is open to loving and life. I really don't mean this in a negative way towards anyone who chooses to follow a religion or worship a God or choose a faith - but it seems foolish, narrow, shallow, silly, even boring to want to close myself off to EVERYTHING just to listen to, follow and accept ONE thing. Especially when it comes to something that I see no, zero, zip, nadda, none, no reason to believe.

In no way am I saying that people who choose one faith are those things. I am saying, however, that I would be those things, knowing myself, if I were to stop and say - FORGET IT I'm going to follow the bible from this day forth! Why? Because mainly, I do not believe in God and I do not see myself believing in God anytime soon, if ever, or at least until it's absolutely 100% proven there is a God and there is heaven. Just as I'm not going to believe that frogs can turn into humans just because there is a book out there that says so. Regardless of how many people believe it, I don't. I have no reason too. I'm sorry there isn't going to be anything to change my mind.

Anyways, I learn as much as I can. And I live and love as much as I can too. I will teach my son values and morals and how to be a good person just as well as any other mom out there and I don't need God or even the idea that heaven is a possibility to not fear death or want to live my life in a positive manner. My son will be allowd to choose his on his own with all the help available to him, all the information and all my love, support and consideration.

Someone mentioned earlier about how they'd rather believe in him and find out he doesn't exist than to not believe and find out he does... I'm not scared of that idea. I don't believe in God for a reason so if he's gonna hold that against me that's his problem, not mine. If he loves me and cares about me so much that I am meant to have a relationship with him like people say then he would do what he has to do to show me ON MY LEVEL that he exists - he isn't gonna go out of his way for me, so I, sure as a pig loves shit, am not going to conform my life to him.

I hope that makes sense. And I would like to mention after reading that, I don't want to hear about how I am supposed to try to have a relationship with him blah blah blah and he cares blah blah blah I'm sorry but - old news, I'm not buyin that paper. If you have a new story for me, I'll listen, but I'm not gonna entertain the same thing no matter how many ways you twist it around to put it in other words, I am not buying.






 






 









 






You say that you don't believe in God for a reason....what is your reason?  Believing in God is out of faith and faith is belief in something seen or unseen.  I find hundreds of reasons everyday to believe in God.  Since you don't believe in God it is safe to say you don't believe the Bible either.  As far as Him going out of his way for you, he went as far out of the way as possible by sending his Son to die for you on the cross and give you the gift of eternal life.  The ball is now in your court, he gave the gift, whether or not you accept the gift is up to you. 






I'm not twisting any words to get you to believe or buy anything.  There isn't anything to sell and nothing to buy.  The price has been paid by Jesus Christ and it is now up to those who don't believe that to Accept  Believe and Confess.    The ABC's of salvation.  I pray that God will reveal himself to you at your level somehow.  He has so much for you, but from your post you are just unwilling to believe that He may knocking on your door and just waiting for you to answer.






 





The reason I don't believe in God is because I see no reason to believe in something that I have no reason to believe in EXCEPT because someone else said so! That sounds redundant but it's how I see it. And I'm sorry that whole... paragraph just doesn't cut it for me. It is VERY safe to say I don't believe in the bible. Theres bits and pieces of it that are real. But its just another book in my eyes. Written by man, construed by man, used for good and for bad at mans hands.The only way, as you put it, "he went as far out of the way as possible by sending his Son to die for you on the cross and give you the gift of eternal life" is if I believe he exists. I don't. Jesus dying on the cross for me... I'm sorry but nope. He sure didn't. Maybe he died for you cause that is what you believe, but he didn't die for me. If Jesus had never been born, if Jesus had not died, if the bible hadn't been written - the world would be a different place, but it'd more than likely still be here and people would have continued to keep on living. I also don't believe in the after life or eternal life so there for, again, nope he sure didn't.



I, me, myself, Jodi - take responsibility for MY actions, today. Yesterday, tomorrow. There is no one on this earth or not on this earth that is going to do that for me. Sorry again, I do not buy it. A figure of speech, by the way, I would have assumed everyone's eyes would be open enough, even a tiny bit, to catch that much. Sheesh. Same old story. Keep your prayers. There's a difference between being unwilling to believe and being unwilling to conform.

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