Religion & Morals
My hubby and I come from different backgrounds. Although neither was raised as a JW, he was in a very religious household. As kids they were forced to read the Bible everyday after school, while the neighborhood kids played outside. Forced to go to several services through the week. When he got to be a teenager, he rebelled, got into trouble, did a lot of foolish things and eventually straightened out.
In my household, there was no religion, no bibles. Things were just presented as being wrong or right. Like stealing is wrong, lying is wrong. Helping someone in need is the right thing to do. My father had problems with drinking and so there were a lot of rough times in growing up. I could see first hand what poor decisions could do to a family.
Back to my original thought. I see a lot of people who were raised in a very strict religious home, rebelling or not making good decisions. I wonder if it was because they were never allowed to grow a conscience of their own, be able to reason things out. They were taught that this would please/displease God and once they left religion then there was nothing left for them to base decisions on.
I also see a lot of parents going to such extremes on certain things. Like I know one set of parents that won't have an ounce of alchohol(spelling?) in their house, because they don't want their children exposed to it. So they go out to drink and sometimes overindulge. We've had beer or wines in our home, but don't drink all that often or get drunk. We once had a 6-pack in our fridge for over a year. Our kids kept asking us when we were going to drink it. We just wanted to show them, you can have that in your home and it doesn't lead to getting drunk. It is about balance.
Enough rambling, anyone understand what I'm trying to say?
Hi Sadie. For whatever my opinion may be worth, I've come to believe that religious upbringing often has little to do, in a positive way, with a persons fundemental moral character. I've known a considerable number of people, who were raised in in very "religious" households - most of them JWs - but who grew up to have little regard for the moral principles they were exposed to in their upbringing, in fact, little regard for other people in general. On the other hand, I know a great number of people who had essentially no "religious" training but who are as honest and morally decent as anyone you would want to meet. I personally believe that some people are born with more of a tendency toward honesty, or dishonesty, and what most people define as morality, or immorality. I believe our environment and upbringing has a significant impact on how those tendencies develope, along with the culture we are exposed to, but I don't believe religion is necessary in one's life to develope honest and decent character. Often times, such qualities are nothing more than a cloak which is worn because one is a JW or some other religion. Then, unfortuantely, if the individual becomes disillusioned with that religion and decides to put it, the religion, aside, that cloak of morality is set aside along with it. In such an instance, that "morality" never was an integral part of the person. I know there are a lot of honestly good, decent, "moral" people who are also very religious people. But I tend to believe those people would exibit that kind of character regardless of whether or not they happened to be "religious".
But, that's just me!
Points well taken, Sadie. It's moderation that works, for sure, in parenting as in everything else. My philosophy on this is helping children to develop their own tools so that they can make their own decisions about things. Many things don't have to be dichotomous absolutes. There is no discipline like self-discipline. The child needs to learn how to think and do things of his/her own accord, as they become adults, they must, as they are a separate entity, with free will to make decisions. Only delusional people think that they can control and run their childrens' lives 24/7. It invariably backfires, to be sure.
In addition, Jesus said happy are those conscious of their
religiousspiritual need. Spirituality is important. Religion, on the other hand, is STILL (and will always be) a snare and a racket.
I wonder if it was because they were never allowed to grow a conscience of their own, be able to reason things out. They were taught that this would please/displease God and once they left religion then there was nothing left for them to base decisions on.
Indeed! There is no thinking involved on their part. It is just: God says it is bad so it is bad. like a parent answering the dreaded "why?" of children with: "because I say so!"
It is way better to learn children to reason for themselves why something is wrong, instead of bashing them with the authority rod. wether this is parental authority or a religious one.