Divorce Folly

As someone who was raised Catholic and married a Jew, I can only shake my head at this one. I remember how upset my mother-in-law got when she found out my oldest had been baptized (a couple of years after the event). But I think this probably has more to do with the idea that Jews have a duty to maintain their tribe by raising their children as Jews, rather than any specific aversion to other religions. (Although I have to say, my own in-laws were pretty bigoted and uninformed about Catholics.)

I had my first son baptized without giving it that much thought. It was just one of those ritual things. By the time we had the second kid, we had a ceremonial bris performed – but without the party, which also pissed off my in-laws. Oh well! (My mother-in-law was also pissed that I wouldn’t take the kids to Hebrew school. I told her that her son was more than welcome to do so, but I didn’t see it as my responsibility. I said something to the effect of “If you really wanted Jewish grandchildren, you should have raised Jewish children.” Once they were bar mitzvahed, my husband and his brothers lived a completely secular life – until my kids arrived, and then suddenly, it was an issue.)

I always felt a little bad that my kids weren’t raised with anything but now, not so much. Because I don’t believe in religion. I’ve seen it used primarily to build walls and divide people, and since I believe we’re all one, organized religion is a contradiction.

6 thoughts on “Divorce Folly

  1. I was raised a Catholic, too. But the day I graduated from high school I swore I was finished with the “religion” part of my faith in a Supreme Being; I prefer to hold high my “spirituality” rather than show a “churchiness” every week.

  2. I have a friend, raised Catholic who married a Jewish guy. Neither of them was/is very religious. I forget what prompted it, something involving sending them to parochial school probably, but when she wanted to have their kids baptized and he mumbled an objection, she told him that he could take the kids to schul with him (ah, he didn’t attend services anywhere, even on the high holy days). That kept him quiet.

  3. “since I believe we’re all one, organized religion is a contradiction.”

    Yes, except for Unitarian Universalists, who do a lot of great work, not the least of which is providing a warm supportive community for people brought up in a religion that turned out to be more punitive and destructive than supportive. And UUs practice what they preach. Google UUSC and read about some of their human rights projects around the world.

  4. I just think the guy is being a dick. Three year olds can’t be introduced to a faith. If he wants to teach her about Christ, he can begin doing so at home. If he wants to have her baptized to save her immortal soul, he doesn’t need to tell mom.

    He converted to Judaism and was Jewish when they had the child. She had a reasonable expectation that the child would be raised Jewish.

    Whoever said war is hell had never been through a divorce.

  5. Yeah, pick your poison in choosing an organized religion – the Papadilliacs and their pedophile priests, the Jews showing their stripes in their treatment of the people of Gaza, or any other of them that basically use religion to collect money, when their founders were all about saving souls and preaching “the word” to those who would listen and worked with the outcast of society.

  6. Wow! Religiously insane idiots using their differences in flavors of pagan occult superstition to mess around with each other through their child. The levels of abuse of their faiths is stunning, particularly when that’s not at all what anyone focuses on in this discussion. Why should they have to become a member of any religious faith? The formative years are often when kids get warped by this stuff the most – especially if it makes them (and/or their parents) a social outcast in their interactions with others.

    One of the primary reasons that I never procreated is the religious indoctrination that any of my potential offspring would have been inflicted with, whether I wanted it to happen or not, by my (very Roman Catholic) family – and the constant pressure to “do what’s right for the kids” and push them into the faith (oh, and while you’re at it, it wouldn’t do your heathen a$$ any harm showing up at church with them). Once the scales fell from my eyes, it significantly altered the value of a number of social traditions for me – marriage and family being foremost among them.

    I still think that marriage is a fine institution for some. But I’m still not ready to be institutionalized just yet.

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