Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Old Religion Time-Out

A commenter asked on my last post how we're planning to deal with religion, guessing that we're Jewish. We are actually not Jewish - I spent my Uni years as the token shiksa in my group of friends, and it's had a semi-permanent effect on my vocabulary. I was raised Catholic, the husband was raised with no religion at all, and he's pretty uncomfortable with spirituality as an adult. A lot of that discomfort is because the most sensational - and therefore most accessable to an outsider - image of religious people in America today is that of Jesus camp bible thumpers who are emphatically anti-science. B is emphatically for science, and so him the battle lines are drawn. I did finally get him, this month, to commit to going with me to the Unitarian Universalist church near us once a month for the next three months - this was a Big Win for religion. Usually when somebody asks, he says that he got his religious faith off a bumper sticker.

But that doesn't mean that we don't anticipate a problem with the meshing of religions. As the crow flies, we live about halfway between Regent University and Liberty University, and it's not terribly uncommon to find "takes her bible with her everywhere" in the listings for kids in our state. A kid who wants to go on field trips to creationist museums and who prays loudly for our salvation, I just don't see how we'd bond. And "writes apologias for Fred Phelps" would definitely fit in the "Unacceptable" category for kids we're considering.

So I guess the answer is that we don't know how we're going to make this work. We just know that we're going to make it work and we'll have to figure out the how as we go.


  1. I think a willingness to be flexible and a commitment to be respectful and supportive of their beliefs is all you can do.

    Of course if their beliefs do not allow them to accept you, well, that a different challenge. Whether and how that gets worked out is a question that can only be addressed when you have actual people to deal with.

  2. We are Jewish and our foster daughter (S) is Mormon. Both my wife and I were brought up to respect other peoples religion, so for the first time in our lives, we have a Christmas Tree in our house. We went to the cut your own farm and S picked out a tree and she loves it. She also loved the Potato Latkes and lighting the Menorah for Hanukkah.

  3. That's kind of where we are with it. The only thing that's important to us about it is that it not be important enough to any of us that we can't all just get along together.

    When I was in high school, I had a friend who was a Southern Baptist who was VERY concerned about my Catholicism. Unfortunately, she decided that a sleepover at her place was a captive audience/conversion opportunity. I remember being desperate for sleep and telling her "you say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to" and she, very excitedly exclaimed "but you don't say tomahto - you say tomayto, yesterday in the cafeteria I heard you say 'tomayto soup!'" and that's when I had an enlightenment moment about literalism, religious and otherwise.

    We grow 'em crazy round here, is all I can say. I'm just hoping that AnnieOliver will have come out of The System with a philosophy along the "not everybody has to be alike or believe alike for us all to muddle along in fairly close proximity to each other." Honestly, I don't see how you could survive The System otherwise.

  4. Is there a reason why they don't place children in homes with foster parents of similar beliefs? It seems that would solve a heck of an awful lot to me.