My sister in law became an atheist in her twenties, and decided growing up in the church was a waste of youth.
And you know what? Whether I agree with their views or not, I have more respect for them (and those like them) than those that are born-and-raised Baptists/Hippies/Buddhists/etc.
Why? Because they made a decision as an adult. One that was informed and thought-out. They matured on one path and decided it wasn't for them.
Now I know a lot of you have had your own religious Rumspringa and feel like you've weighed all options. If you have, I'm not really talking to you.
I'm talking to the people who say "I'm a Mormon because my parents are Mormon" and that's good enough for them, like my example below.
This post started from a new video from Big Think, involving Bill Nye the Science Guy:
I'm a 90's kid and grew up watching Bill in High School Biology. (BILL! BILL!) In this video he talks about parents not raising their kids to be creationists.
While I see the validity of his argument, I'd like to disagree with you, Mr. Nye.
|The Flying Spaghetti Monster|
Don't raise your kids to be Pastafarians.
Don't raise your kids to be Mormon.
Don't raise your kids to be Democrats.
Don't raise your kids to BE anything, but an open-minded thinker who sees ALL SIDES of an argument and makes a rational decision on their own. Faith isn't something to be rushed into, just like a three-year-old's decision on a career path isn't set in stone.
As we mature, our views on the world, on religion, and on BIG IDEAS should mature as well. We shouldn't be programmed at a young age to think "...and that's the way it is..." about anything.
Parents, don't raise your kids with limits. With boundaries. With disadvantages.
If I was content on the views that were spoon-fed to me by my parents, I'd be a Jehovah's Witness that only votes Democrat (regardless of issue or candidate), smokes cigarettes, smokes pot and hates Mexicans.
That doesn't sound very fun, does it?
So. Adults. Sit down. Look at who you are. Is this who you are, or who your parents raised you to be?
The answer can be both, but if 'B' is your only choice, it's time to do some self-evaluation.
When I was working at an Idaho car lot, I had a Mormon friend I would hang with. We'd go to the bar once a week after work (Jack Mormon, so he drank) and the topic eventually turned to faith.
Him: So, what religion are you?
Me: I'm not.
Him: So you're an Atheist?
Me: No, they're a religion too. I have a belief in a higher power, something beyond our comprehension, I just see the major religions out there as corrupt and misleading. I don't believe, in one way or another, that we have all the answers. Most religions think they do, and know how everything is and was and will be. I think that's really cocky on their part...
Me: So, why are you Mormon? You drink, you swear... do you believe in the Mormon teachings?
Him: (without hesitation) Absolutely.
Me: So why do you drink beer?
Him: Because I think that's ok, even though the church says otherwise.
Me: Are your parents Mormon?
Me: Is that why YOU are Mormon?
Six months later we met again, and he told me I was right. He was going to church because he felt he had to. He left the LDS church and was going to think and study about what faith means to him (if anything).
He was 'believing' for all the wrong reasons.
And there are a lot of people out there, just like him.
No matter what you believe: religious, political, etc. If you came to those decisions on your own, I salute you. You are the few, the proud, the lemmings that survive instead of run off the cliff because the person in front of you did.
Your move, Bill. While I agree with what you are saying, I think you're leaving things just like the creationists: In a little box of "...and that's the way it is..."