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July 08, 2009


Dear Brian,

"If...[religion] screws kids up, what's wrong with that?"

Robert Paul Howard

Robert, nothing. If every kid who has been screwed up by religion raises his or her hand as an adult, there's be a hell of a lot of arms in the air. Certainly mine, to some extent (I was just lucky that my mother didn't challenge my decision to give up Catholicism, after I gave it a try early on).

Religion, like divorce, is part of the human condition. Fortunately, people are resilient. Like the saying goes, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Naturally, as I've said in a previous post, killing or allowing children to be physically harmed in the name of religion is out of bounds.

I know lots of people who look back upon their exposure to religion as a child not with bitterness, but just as something that they had to experience, and then grow beyond. I don't think it's wrong to expose children to religion -- I was. However, when they get old enough to make up their own minds, parents should allow them to do so.

Interesting thing to consider. I was raised by parents who stayed together, married a man whose parents had stayed together (as had every earlier generation some with happiness and some just 'made' it) and will be married 45 years in September. Our kids are married and so far happily (I think). We, as a family, reflect that American dream so to speak. I don't know if it's the best way as it just was what it was. I guess whatever we experience is what makes us who we are and would we be that person if it had been different? I do not praise those who have long marriages. My kids got raised with the same flawed people that everybody else was raised by. I would find that article annoying if I read it. Some people just like to tell everyone else how they should live.

Dear Rain,

I certainly endorse your last observation.

Robert Paul Howard

Amen to that...

Thank you for this post. Going through a difficult time myself, I'm bombarded with advice on how to live my life and even hear things like "you are pushing your child to be a criminal," just because I got a divorce. In hindsight, there are several things that you could have done to make a relationship work, but sometimes people mess up (maybe I should blame my still married parents for my messups).

Most people like to see a mess up as the end of life. Especially where I come from. Those who care for me are appalled that I do not feel any "shame" in being called a divorcee. And they were raised by parents who stayed together and they too stay married.

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