Monday, April 9, 2007

Religion - Punishment or Country Club for the Soul?

When it comes to religion, I like to refer to our family as "Cashews" - my husband was raised Catholic and I was raised Jewish ( reformed). While neither of us is particularly observant, we want our children to be aware of their heritage. We also love holidays with food, games and presents and this way we have twice as many "celebrations".

For Easter, Grand-mommy ( my mother-in-law ) makes up Easter baskets or bags for my boys and we have Easter brunch with my husband's family. We do not typically have Easter baskets for the boys at our house because this would fall under my domain. I feel funny doing the "fun" part without having the boys understand the real meaning of Easter. Being Jewish, it would fall under my husband's responsibility.

After brunch my middle child, who is all about candy and sweets, asked if we were going to have an Easter Egg hunt when we got home. I told him that we need to go to church first. When we got home, he inquired about going to Church. ( I guess he thought he'd call our bluff ). My husband, well schooled in guilt, a staple of both our upbringings, gave our child a stern look.

" What do you think the priest will say to you about going to Church, just because you want an Easter Egg hunt? Easter Services are not about Jesus and the Easter Bunny!"

This reminded me of last year when he told my oldest son I was going to take him to Temple on Yom Kippur - the Jewish Day of Atonement. I think he was trying to punish the boy ( I can't remember why ). I refused to subject a child to several hours of seriously long and torturous services. Instead, I spoke to a local reform Temple that was known for "mixed" families. I was sent information on membership and upcoming events. The original idea was to find a family friendly function for us to go to.

It seemed like a good idea.... until I looked at the dues structure. Yikes! What is this, a country club? Then it hit me - why yes, Religion is a Country Club for the Soul!

I guess we are not the country club type!

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