February 12, 2007

What Will I Teach Emma About Religion?

Posted in fatherhood, philosophy, psychology, religion at 12:09 am by Jerry

First of all, I’m not necessarily into parental curriculums. I want to get to know Emma and respond to who she is. But if she is curious about religion, I’d like to teach her to train herself how to think critically. That means ceaselessly asking questions like “Why?” and “What exactly is that?” and “Where did that come from?” and “How do you know that?”

I know I’m setting myself up for alot of work by helping my child develop a critical mind because I’ll be teaching her to be my greatest challenger. She’ll grow up seeing and hearing me reveal my thoughts and feelings about everything. I could be challenged on everything! And as tough as that may be, what a great teaching context that is.

I recognize that through any of Emma’s challenges, she may find out alot about WHAT I think along with HOW I think. Here’s some things she may find out about what I think about religion (and a couple of “how’s”):

  • What – If a God who is creator of all threatens you with the ultimatum – I’ll send you away from my heart into a never-ending life of suffering if you don’t love me above all others THIS God is NOT “omnibenevolent” and DOES NOT love you “unconditionally”.
  • What – Worshipping the ineffable is worshipping the unthinkable.
  • What – There’s a personal reason religious people say what they say.
  • What – The “Afterlife” is not worth any living sacrifice in the present.
  • What – There’s both an optimistic and a pessimistic version of people’s religion.
  • How – If you could imagine two of you, make them role-play as the hero and villain of a religion. Then ask yourself, “How can the use of justice be improved in this religion?”
  • How – When religious people say you “should” do something, ask for a reason that other people who don’t share the same religion would agree with.


  1. Kevin said,

    It is clear you have no understanding of the Christian faith.

  2. Jerry said,

    How do you know that? And how have you become an authority on who does and does not have an understanding of the Christian faith?

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