Thursday, January 26, 2006

Apparently I'm incapable of independent thought

I'm not going to link to the post that annoyed me, because it isn't just that one I've seen this pop up several times.
Children, people, raised in a household with religion squashes independent thought, is the assertion. Being surrounded by friends, who are liberal and one level of agnostic or downright athestic I'm accustomed to hearing it, but not agreeing. Strangely, I was raised Baptist, stayed with the church till college where I latched on the the Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches. All through then, apparently not one single independent thought entered my head.
Yet my memory tells me different. I wasn't a mindless automiton. Actually I wasn't too aware of whatever the Baptist party line was. Drinking bad. Heck, I coulda figured that part out on my own after dealing with drunken relatives. I had to get out of a alcohol abusing environment such as grad school to see that alcohol had other uses besides getting drunk off your ass. Sleeping around bad. Pregnant girls on my school bus, I'm sure they knew the risks but didn't care. People fighting because of sleeping around, yeah, witnessed that in my neighborhood growing up.
My mother was the more religious one where my dad was very suspious of religion. Mom could not pray in dad's presence because he was afraid that she was "reading the Bible" on him. Just because you don't believe in G-d doesn't make one less supertious. That I observed with my own eyes.
But back to kids or religious people in general who strangely enough are able to build up an independent thought on their own. Faith is not a form of abuse, and depending on the group there is disagreement and divergent thought. There are groups that get caught up with "group think" but it is not limited to religion. See communism. And strangley, some people who grew up in strict or even not so strict religious families have been able to move away from it in adulthood. There are people driving around in cars who grew up Amish and are no longer so. There is probably some guy who grew up in a conservative Jewish family, eating a crab cake sandwich. I know a girl, grew up Buddist but is lapsed. I know a lot of lasped people.
My faith gives me strength to endure and peace, why wouldn't I want to pass it on? We all have our own political and philosophical beliefs that we treasure and want to pass on, is that abuse? It is only true independence when you allow others to disagree with you and have thoughts and ideas that are opposed strongly to yours. I have listened to my friends who have thoughts strongly opposed to my own, and it is their right as Americans to have opposing thoughts, as is mine.

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