Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Love is My Religion

     I am always thinking about love.  My love for Todd, Koa, the rest of my family and friends, nature and even the love I have for myself.  In essence, when it comes down to it love is my religion. However, try telling that to family members who are all traditional Catholic souls!  I decided to write about this issue after having a recent conversation (or more so a lecture) from many different family members regarding the baptism of baby Koa.
     Why is that they all struggle to except my spirituality and views about religion? It is like they  cast a scarlet letter on me every time we have a discussion about religion and how I do not consider myself affiliated with any label even though I was baptized Catholic. They get even more upset by the fact that Todd and I are choosing NOT to baptize Koa into any religion. We refuse to give into this social obligation especially as it seems  a bit hypocritical to baptize your son Catholic when you are not planning to practice or even take any part in the Catholic practices or faith.  If and when Koa is ready and would like to baptize himself into a certain religion, Todd and I will happily support his choice as we believe it is his choice to make.  I want him to have knowledge of many religions and cultures and if he feels the need to label himself into one of them, so be it. Until then, my belief is to expose him to as much as possible so he does not view things (like my family) from such a limited linear point of view.
      While I do hear my family's arguments in terms of values and tradition, I hate how they are so closed minded to alternative perspectives. There are other ways to instill values into your children aside from Catholic teachings.  It has been very difficult for them to respect  our choice not to baptize baby Koa.
      I am curious about other peoples perspectives on baptism and invite you to comment and share...


  1. Here are my thoughts (I don't want you to feel like I'm judging you or telling you what to do, so just "thoughts"). I believe faith is a gift we give to our children. They can reject that gift if they choose when they are grown. But at least you plant that seed and give them that choice.

    I was baptized and I baptized my children. We are practicing Catholics. I don't think you should baptize him if you are not planning on being a practicing Catholic, that would just be contradictory. However, I do think you should read/research more about the faith. The heart of the Catholic faith IS love. It was founded on love.

    I do also think there is a danger in bringing a child up without religion/faith. I know a lot of my friends who were brought up with their parent's idea of letting their child "pick" what religion they wanted. They are often "lost" and constantly "searching" and I think even made life poor decisions because they had no moral/value background. Very sad.

    I wouldn't make the decision not to baptize him because you want your parents to be more open-minded. I think you need to really research into Catholic faith and baptism and make the decision based on that.

    Lastly, I don't believe practicing the faith is just fulfilling a "social obligation." I believe my faith to be TRUE that why I practice it and pass it on to my children. I didn't baptize my kids because of "tradition," but because it's what Jesus preached in the Bible and I also believe it washes way original sin from the soul and fills a child's soul with grace. My beliefs dictated my actions.

    I'm sorry your parents are pressuring you with the decision. You have plenty of time to make the choice. I hope I haven't offended you in any way, these are just MY opinions. Good luck and I hope you find peace in your decision.

  2. Marjorie,
    Thank you for your response! I am glad you shared your opinions on the issue at hand (that is what I believe blogs are for).
    In response to you indicating I should research the Catholic faith and Jesus' teachings regarding baptism...I have! Several places throughout the Bible clearly describe the people that God says can be baptized. Only people who are able to listen to the teachings and knowingly accept Jesus' moral teachings can be baptized. It is silly to think that a newborn baby can listen, comprehend or accept scripture. As for original sin...it also says that we are not born with the sins of others so we have no sins to wash away. Adam's sins do not transfer over to anyone, they are Adam's own sins not a newborn infants'. How can a baby repent their sins if they have none and how can they announce faith if they do not know what faith is or can even speak for that matter. When Koa is old enough to repent his sins and knowingly accept Jesus as his savior is when he can also make the choice to be baptized.
    Clearly we do not hold the same interpretation on the bible. Our beliefs differ but that is what makes everyone the great people that they are! Todd and I do plan to raise Koa with values and tradition. These qualities are something that every religion is great for. The bible is the MORAL teaching of Jesus Christ....and we plan to stay true to that. Taking anything too literal is never a good thing.

  3. I believe that love is the basis of all religions--individual or organized. The most wonderful, loving, wise preacher I ever knew recently passed away, and before he left this world, he told his family, "There is only love. Love is the only thing that matters." I think that is also the heart of Jesus' message, and Buddah's for that matter.

    I know that you will pass on your morals and your values to your son. They are an important and integral part of the life that you and Todd live.

    The hard part for family members who believe so strongly in Catholic doctrine might be worrying about what would happen to Koa in the next life without the rite of baptism. My religion does not share the same belief, but I can imagine that it would be really hard for them not to try to ensure baby Koa's place in heaven.

    If you are thinking about matters of love and spirituality, I'd love to invite you and Todd and Koa to come to a workshop with one of my favorite spiritual teachers/authors, Vaishali. I will forward you the invite. :)

  4. Kim-
    I think it's great that your religion is love. I have a friend which his religion is this as well. It seems that more and more people are changing their views from a traditional religion to a more open one that concentrates on his/her beliefs. I was raised Christian and now I find myself getting more involved with morals and teachings. I think your doing a great job with Koa! Take care.

  5. I totally agree with you...check my Facebook...it "religion" section I put LOVE! I encourage and support your decision to not baptize Koa in any religion and let him decide when he is older. I struggle all the time with my family with regards to religion (and diet!) but ultimately it is our choice. Love and light are what guide the universe and what you and Todd have chosen for Koa is perfect for him!