Inherited religion

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  1. Randy Godwin profile image61
    Randy Godwinposted 14 years ago

    Having been admonished by an anti-evolutionist/creationist for diverting the discussion in another thread, I decided to start this thread to get others thoughts on inheriting religion from ones parents.

    Having been forced to attend a bigoted, racist church in my younger years by my parents until I was old enough to refuse to attend, I wonder how many of the true believers here have inherited their beliefs from their parents.

    In my experience this seems to be the norm for most. This brings up many questions about whether free will plays a part in which religion you choose.  Can one inherit the wrong one and go to hell because of it.

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I hear stories like that all the time.  Sorta makes me sad or blessed, I don't know.  My parents never forced me to go to church, never talked about God unless my dad was saying something slang and my mom... well... my mom.

      I think the term "inherited" is a bit of a spiritual irony. 
      LOL smile

  2. Mark Knowles profile image57
    Mark Knowlesposted 14 years ago


    Bet that was not the response you were expecting Randy. lol

  3. ngureco profile image79
    ngurecoposted 14 years ago

    They can strike anywhere. It is just one of 23 posts in 2 hours.

  4. profile image0
    Gods Gardenposted 14 years ago

    We all have beleifs are just that, my beleifs. We're all adults and can make our own decisions. I won't impose mine on you and I respect you'll do the same.

    1. Randy Godwin profile image61
      Randy Godwinposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Perhaps I missed something, I fail to see how your post addressed the topic at all.  I think everyone here already knew they are adults and can make their own decisions.  No one has imposed their beliefs on you as far as I know.  What exactly was the purpose of your post if you didn't intend to address the topic?

      Post where you like, but remember no imposing beliefs on others.

  5. Randy Godwin profile image61
    Randy Godwinposted 14 years ago

    I hope I put my information in before the post was deleted, Mark.  Too bad JL was teaching Sunday School this morning, I'm sure his old alma mater could have used the money.  Ha!

    To Gods Garden-(do you not worry about using your Deity's name to promote your content?)- Yes, we are all adults now, but I'm asking about when we weren't adults.  Since you do not intend to impose your beliefs on anyone, I do not expect to see you posting on the religious channel very much. It's rare to meet someone with no curiosity as to other people's beliefs.

    1. profile image0
      Gods Gardenposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I never said I wasnt interested in anyone elses beliefs, what I said was its your choice to beleive in as you choose and I'll do the same. And just for the record I'll post where ever and when ever I choose. Those that choose not to respectfully engage in the conversation can skip right over the content. Remember its your choice!

  6. countrywomen profile image60
    countrywomenposted 14 years ago

    I sometimes wonder why parents tend to inculcate religious beliefs/practices early in life. Although my parents never forced me but I still imbibed so much from everyone and everywhere I stayed/traveled. Religious beliefs tend to be such a strong part of ones life and there is no minimum age limit unlike for driving/voting. In my case due to my Hindu upbringing I still tend to believe in Karma/Reincarnation without even being sure of God(it does seem like a paradox) but that is the way it is for me. I know it doesn't make much sense or does it. smile

    PS: Thread diversion is pretty common on hub pages. Btw adding smileys sometimes helps to lighten up a bit and now I better stick to the topic before some one says to me wink

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I actually think it makes perfect sense. I think that all parents tend to let their kids know about spirituality, through any belief or religion. I actually use to believe in reincarnation and do believe in karma.  I guess the only reason I no longer believe in reincarnation is because I believe at some point it ends and so I live with the belief that this is it. 

      This is something that I came to without ever reading the bible and it had nothing to do with religions and such but it had everything to do "trying" to live my life the best I can.

      I guess at some point I just thought, well if I am always trying to reach Nirvana or the Light etc...why not now?  It very well could go on forever and ever or I could come back as a rock or a tree or there could be absolutely nothing.

      My strong belief in God never did derive from religions but from my observance of nature and the Universe and a very simple understanding (for me) that whatever is here is here to stay (in the Universe anyways) if not, where would it go? 

      I also seem to separate my spiritual understand about God from my physical understanding about God.  Physically I am not very concerned, spiritually is something else. smile 

      I also think that it is healthy to be doubtful about God, to me it is a prerequisite of faith. (but that is what I think)

      Sorry if I sounded pushy, that is certainly not what I am doing. smile

  7. profile image0
    \Brenda Scullyposted 14 years ago

    I inherited my religion from my parents as most do.  They however had converted, and if I felt at any time in my life that this religion was not for me, I would change

  8. countrywomen profile image60
    countrywomenposted 14 years ago

    Sandra- No you were not pushy at all. Actually if one believes that one has learned all the lessons in past lives and this to be the last one then in theory it still seems to be a belief in reincarnation. Btw technically even in reincarnation there is an end when the karma's are totally taken care off and one gets liberated. Anyway I personally have a long way to go. I can't control my emotions or anger and a long way to go before I control my ego. I am not sure if this lifetime would be sufficient for me. Anyway if there is a "God" then he would at least try to see my sincerity(even if I don't follow all the religious practices).

    Coming to parents I think often ethics/morals are passed on through religion but personally I think even without religion one can pass on similar good values. If the goal is to be a better human being without being judgemental of others(and their beliefs) then whatever works for each individual then so be it. The moment a person says I will "go to hell" for not believing in there version then it does upset me. I believe if someone can practice half of the religion instead of trying to impress on others similarly then the world would be so much a better place. I guess talk is always easy and I always observe/and then understand instead of listening to people who tend to repeat like parrots. I have some very good friends who are very religious personally(yet not judgemental) and some who don't believe in any religion(yet understanding of others beliefs). Both are ok but it is the ones in between who only believe in there version to be the "sole" truth who have no/little understanding or respect for others views/beliefs that tend to be most upsetting. Anyway I will stop here. Btw I hope I didn't say anything to offend you as that wasn't my intention at all. Have a good weekend. smile

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Not at all cw, you have never offended me! I feel very similar in this respect.  I could never and actually have never felt in my heart or mind that someone will go to hell or ever even wish or pray that be the case. As a matter of fact, I pray for everyone to be in a good place whatever it be because I believe that God knows the intentions of peoples sincere hearts no matter how absurd we can be with our actions, our words, our understandings etc...

      Some say the path to hell is paved in good intentions, yet while it might be so, I always believe that the good intention is the part God will know, not the other way around.

      I hope you have a wonderful rest of the weekend as well.  smile

  9. Randy Godwin profile image61
    Randy Godwinposted 14 years ago

    I am not faulting my parents for doing what they thought was right.  Actually I am grateful I had the chance to observe the same people both inside and outside the church.  Many had a church personae and a public personae with quite a difference between the two. 

    And reincarnation?  One's genes will will passed on down through their descendants. Who's to say you won't pop up some time in the future?  Deja vu?

    1. countrywomen profile image60
      countrywomenposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      When I was doing my Masters in Midwest there was a student in my class who told me that he and his whole family used to strongly believe in pro life and on behalf of there church used to campaign on the streets with big hoardings. And once her sister liked a guy and left home to return later pregnant(after the bad relationship ended) then the parents got her aborted. Since then he has stopped being a pro life campaigner. 

      Another example in my personal life is that my dad's second brother would always tell others that nature would heal on its own and not to take "chemicals" in the body (and only suggested herbal/ayurvedic/naturopathy remedies) but once my brother saw him popping a head ache tablet and then he said to my brother "those medicines don't work as quickly as allopathic". I guess sometimes people have two sets of teeth like an elephant one to show to the world and one to eat(an old Indian saying). smile

    2. profile image0
      Leta Sposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      How else do we 'learn' religion without it having been taught by one's parents?  I prefer to look at it as an inherited kind of 'culture.'  Some of the traditions associated with it are quite nice to observe.  As far as taking it seriously--I didn't as a teen and I don't really now--meaning in its brick and mortar/let's attend mass every day context.  It's too removed from reality and symbolic, and frankly, that kind of observance is also too removed from anything I've seriously studied, all the persecution and hypocrisy of the Catholic church (lol) aside.

      That being said, yes.  I do think many people(and many radicals are testimony to this) inherit their beliefs from their families--be those political or religious.  And go about life not questioning anything.  I believe this can be a dangerous thing, even if it is somewhat understandable.  I guess I don't understand the lack of intellectual curiosity.

      1. Randy Godwin profile image61
        Randy Godwinposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Living in the Bible Belt is a bit different from many other parts of the country, Lita.  I think I was entering high school before I actually had any interaction with any Catholic or Jewish people.  The leaders of both political and spiritual groups/sects seem to cause all of the dissension, not the ordinary members.

        Free thought by ordinary people disturbs those who think they themselves are superior.

  10. Randy Godwin profile image61
    Randy Godwinposted 14 years ago

    Good, sincere posts, both Sandra and Countrywomen.  I've always felt more at peace when out in the wilderness.  I am fortunate to have a job when I may have no contact with people all day.  Not counting cell phones of course, but they can be turned off easy enough. 

    I know many good people, some claiming to be Christians and others who don't.  I think most good people would be good no matter what their own personal feelings about religion are.  The same goes for bad people.

    My experience is that when a person acts "Holier than Thou," this is usually an indication they doubt their own faith and want you to reaffirm they are right.

  11. countrywomen profile image60
    countrywomenposted 14 years ago

    Sandra- Thanks for all the prayers. I know some people consider it illogical but I do believe that prayers are subtle thoughts which would result in good karma for others and oneself. As my grandfather once said that the different purpose between prayer and meditation to be that "prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God". Although I have a very skeptical mind and tend to analyze but somethings I just tend to still believe which surprises even my own logical mind(about why I still do believe in those things). You too have a good day. Enjoy the summer.

  12. countrywomen profile image60
    countrywomenposted 14 years ago

    Randy- Yesterday we went to picnic to a nearby lake and it was so nice. Nothing is as refreshing as a wonderful day outside to recharge for the week ahead. Now got to go and make some lunch. Have a good day everyone. smile

  13. profile image0
    Leta Sposted 14 years ago

    I somewhat understand.  My boyfriend's father is a minister who grew up in the Mississippi Delta region.  He is not willfully hypocritical, and their sect is not very radical--but there is a literalness that bothers me.

    I have learned also, that due to emotional connections such as my boyfriend's to his father--that sometimes leaving some stated beliefs alone is the best thing, smile.  Sometimes people are not ready to examine things, and some perhaps NEVER will be.

    The clash that occurs is when these sorts of beliefs cross over into violations of rights.

  14. Joelle Burnette profile image70
    Joelle Burnetteposted 14 years ago

    I was raised Jewish because my parents, my family, is Jewish. Yet, when we were young, my mom wanted us to be exposed to many religions (it was the 60s/70s), so she would bring us to various churches and temples, etc. from Christianity and Buddhism, to Taoism and Islam.
    We received our broadest religious education in Judaism, of course, but it was my parent's belief that we should know there are other ways of having faith in God, nature, science, life, death, whatever, so we would grow into more tolerant adults. In the end, it was our choice as educated individuals to choose what path we followed.
    I may have issues with God after the young death of my sister, but I do consider myself a "cultural Jew" more than a "religious Jew."
    Now, with my own children, I am, like my parents, giving them the foundation education of their religion, culture, history and exposing them about other religions as well. It will be their own choice when they reach adulthood which path they will follow.
    I find it sickening when someone tries to cram their religion down another's throat. Even when people say they want to convert to Judaism, my first question is, "Why would you want to do that?" It's a difficult religion to be a member of (generally from the perspective of how others treat you) and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I suppose that's why it takes a long time and a lot of hard work before you can convert to Judaism. You have to really want it. And anyway, in Judaism, you're not allowed to try to convert someone. Free will and all that.
    The best part... be a good person and live for today because this is all you get.

    1. Randy Godwin profile image61
      Randy Godwinposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Joelle, you have a perspective on religion most of us were prevented from obtaining.  Many of us can trace our religious roots back a long way, just like our surnames.  Imagine if everyone could have the same exposure to different beliefs as you.  Wouldn't there be a lot more peace in the world today and in the past?

      1. Joelle Burnette profile image70
        Joelle Burnetteposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I couldn't agree more. I especially feel that way every time religious representatives knock on my door. When I was a kid, if someone tried to convert us by knocking on our door, my mom would invite them in so we could discuss our differences of opinion. Eventually, the elder woman would bring her young apprentices along so they could try out their arguments against our beliefs.

  15. lrowley profile image59
    lrowleyposted 14 years ago

    Nope, not for me. My parents only attended church out of obligation - it was what their parents expected them to do.

    They always taught me that I could choose my own path, so I ended up becoming an athiest.

    Wonder what my daughter will come up with when she becomes an adult...

  16. profile image0
    fierycjposted 14 years ago

    I inherited mine. But there're a lot of things I believe in that my parents don't believe in. I debate with my Pops quite a bit. However, I think its essential that at least religion is passed on. The child now an adult however has the freewill to re-assess and make a change to whatever, be it atheism or devil-worship. I think if parents don't do that - everybody would be atheists. I think man has an innate tendency to rebel against God - somehow its the easier path. Its been that way for eons.

    1. earnestshub profile image82
      earnestshubposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I disagree somewhat fierycj, I think, as Carl Jung pointed out pretty thoroughly, that man has a religiosity built in, and mankinds tendency has always been to religions. People of many diverse cultures have been trying to make that which is unconscious knowable.
      By looking at the common themes that run through all religions, the "other than self" we seek is anything but other.It is the self and it's completion that we crave, not a mythical all powerful yet invisible entity who although fully able to control all things (reason for prayer) allows a world where little innocents cry for food. Not any god I would worship!

      1. profile image0
        fierycjposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I'm saying that man likes to rebel against any concept of God, naturally. Not that his soul, or whatever, doesn't do any inner searching or whatever. I'm just saying, if everyone was atheists, whats the fun in that. That's all.

        1. earnestshub profile image82
          earnestshubposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          It is not so much against the concept of a god, that can be OK. It is against the concept of an all powerful, all knowing and vengeful entity that causes many to learn more and decide for themselves. You can read within religion and fortunately you can read without.

    2. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Funny you said that, this might interest you a bit. … eck-it-out

      1. profile image0
        fierycjposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I love that stuff. I'm truly suprised I didnt become your fan earlier. We definitely pretty much the same conception of biblical mystery. I have this big ol' where I documented hidden biblical mysteries. But since I'm an aspiring director, I'm finding ways to put them in movie scripts, in some cases, my novels. I'll comment soon.

        1. earnestshub profile image82
          earnestshubposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          I have seen dozens of these bible stories within stories before, the evangelistic baptists have a whole bunch of them they break out to help with "conversions."

  17. habee profile image91
    habeeposted 14 years ago

    It's natural for parents to pass on their values, religious beliefs, world views, and political leanings to their children. When the children grow up and "come of age," however, they should be free thinkers and make their own choices.

  18. Randy Godwin profile image61
    Randy Godwinposted 14 years ago

    Perhaps the words "inherited religion" are not the best words I could have used to describe a child learning about faith from their parents, but I couldn't think of others which would suffice. 

    Also, this isn't a criticism of our parents, they usually received their faith the same way.  I have no statistics to point to, but I think this is the case the majority of the time.  What I have a problem with is the antagonism between the faiths.  I suppose I must be missing something because I could care less who worships who. 

    But what bothers me the most is those who take everything in the Bible literally.  If there is a God,(I hope there is but have no proof) I like to believe he would want us to use the logic he gave us to live our lives as best we can.  This means not believing something which goes against everything our logic says is wrong. 

    Besides, if some of these Creationists or Intelligent Design (it seems ridiculous to use the word intelligent in conjunction with these guys) protagonists are going to be in heaven, I'll head the other way.


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