Kids Impose Beliefs Religous Deciding
Hmm. I know it's weird that I'm posting here. But well, it's always nice to have a teenager air her views on matters such as these.
I'm a Catholic. My father and younger brother are Catholics. My mother's a Buddhist. Most of my close relatives are either Catholics, Protestants, Taoists or Buddhists. A lot of my friends are agnostics, atheists, Christians (of many different denominations, but we don't really see many differences) and Buddhists.
So, you can say that I grew up in an environment with people believing in something. Belonging to a religion - I suppose you can put it that way. I still go to church every Sunday, and I still consider myself a Catholic - although I'm not too sure if I agree everything with what other Catholics hold. Then again, what I (and a lot of people of my age) believe is that what we believe is what we believe - and that's what faith is all about.
Okay, anyway. (Yes, I ramble)
I do feel that a healthy religious environment is very beneficial to a young child. From experience, it has taught me to look at things in different lights, and think about a lot of things that go on in everyday life. I find meaning in my faith, and I do seek comfort in God when I need help. Yes. I do feel that it is important to instill some sort of faith in a young child because that will affect, in many ways, the way he or she grows up - especially so if his/her parents feel strongly about their religion.
But I don't believe in imparting "a religion" to a child. Because, frankly, I don't think that's right. Faith and beliefs differ from one another - there's no "best" religious belief out there. It's really what you believe in, what your philosophy is, and what you are looking for in life.
And the truth is, what you teach your child to believe in now might not be what they will believe in in a decade or so. First of all, external influences influence your beliefs, which might explain why I don't fully agree with all the Catholic teachings. Next, you might just become and atheist, or change your religion, because of the fact that the way you look at life when you're 7 and when you're 14 can be very different. Yes. I did say that religion affects the way you perceive things - but there are other things too, like peers, daily experiences, and thousands of other little things.
Besides, I've always held the belief that a belief cannot be imposed on you unless it really touches your heart. After all, it's your religion. It's what you believe in, it's your faith. If your religion doesn't touch your heart at all, it's very difficult to feel anything towards it, honestly. Well, yes, Bible Study classes and things like that do exist, but at times it just doesn't work. Some people just don't share what Christians believe, what Jews believe, what Buddhists believe, what Taoists believe, what Muslims believe, so on and so forth.
And when I grow up, I'll most probably take my child to church (because I believe I'll remain a Christian for the rest of my life, even if I do convert to another denomination) and tell him or her what Christianity is all about - but if he/she finds that Christianity is just not for them, then I really won't object at all. Let things take their own course.