Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What would Jesus say ?

No, I am not talking about Black Hockey Jesus (though I would love to hear what he has to say about this). I am talking about the water to wine-ing, sandal-wearing, Mary Magdalene loving, son of God.

I want to know what he thinks about two completely non-religious, unbaptised heathens signing their son up for Boy Scouts (a Christian organization) and St Joseph School (a Catholic elementary school at the end of our street). This is how bad it is - I don't even know if those two words are SUPPOSED to have a capital "C" - so I am giving them one just to be safe....

We are not trying to be controversial, and we are not trying to downplay the importance of faith - we just don't have any. Really, none. At all.

So is it hypocritical to have our children attending schools and joining organizations that are built upon a religion we do not practice ? Because we could stay on the very unaffiliated, non-denominational path we have been on since our birth....but our kids might miss out. And I just don't know if that is OK. I have always been extremely open-minded about religion, sexual orientation, and all the rest of the personal choices that people make every day. And I want my children to grow up and have the freedom to make the same choices. But I also want them to have a well-rounded education, and participate in a range of extra-curricular activities. The first decision - joiing Boy Scouts - was easier. It is through the school, and while it is a Christian organization, there is no reading of bibles and children of all religions participate. Meetings are at the public elementary school. It seems pretty non-religious, for a religious organization.

But the school, man, that is going to be hard core. The kids will have to actually go to church. Some of the teachers are nuns. There will be time during the schoolweek devoted to studying for first communion....which my kids, as far as I know, will not be taking part in. I need more information, I need to sit down with the principal and talk with her about our lack of religion, and whether that is going to be an issue. I have no problem with the kids attending church, and would talk with them at home about all different religions, so I didn't feel they were only getting one side fo the story.....and I don't think I would be struggling as hard with this if I was considering a Buddhist school (there are several preschools on island affiliated with the local temples, so it's a possibility). But the big issue is, I don't think my son is "reaching his full potential" at our local public school. I mean, I could be wrong. He could be a lazy PITA no matter where he goes to school. But I get the feeling that a class of 12 kids being led by a nun might be a little more productive then a class of 20, where my son feels free to interrupt and repeat crude jokes and gestures to his heart's content, and subsequently hang out with the Vice Principal on a semi-regular basis. I think maybe he needs a slightly shorter leash, with a little less time sitting behind a desk. And yes, maybe he needs a little religion. Wait. Is that a song. No, maybe I am thinking of Losing My Religion. Good God (HAH ! Again with the capital G !!!)

I am just really struggling with this decision. I think that without the religion, this would be the perfect school for our family. Very small and community oriented. Very focused on family. Literally 2 (short) blocks from my door. But the church aspect of things is really confusing me.

Maybe I will feel better after I talk to the head of the school...... she was substitute teaching today, so I didn't get to meet her. I'll call tomorrow and see if we can set something up. This parenting stuff is HARD.

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