Is it fair to be born into a religion? Why is the studying of other religions not encouraged during parenting?

I was born and raised in Southern Virginia where it was traditional to stay in the family’s faith. My father wanted me to be a Christian of the Southern Baptist flavor just like he was. He and I went to Sunday school and church almost every Sunday. He read his Bible daily.

On the rare occasion that my mom went to church, she went to the Presbyterian church. At 11, I attended a Catholic school and took the optional religion class. These two reasons probably contributed to me wondering at 12 years old if Southern Baptist was the right sect of Christianity for me.

With my father’s permission, I went to a different church every Sunday. No one at any of the Sunday schools I attended could answer my questions to my satisfaction. My major question was why a good non-Christian goes to hell, while a bad person who accepts Christ goes to heaven (I have since learned that only certain protestant faiths subscribe to this view).

This was the early seventies and my sister went through a hippie phase. Some of the books she bought during this phase were ones about Zen by Alan Watts and ones about Hinduism by Ram Dass. Around the age of 13 or 14, I started reading them.

By the time I was 16, I considered myself a secular Buddhist. I have been one ever since. I guess in spite of the best efforts by our parents, some of us end up choosing our own religion anyway.

If I had had children, I would have taught them about the world’s religions and atheism and let them decide.

©2016 Stephen L. Martin

5 thoughts on “Is it fair to be born into a religion? Why is the studying of other religions not encouraged during parenting?

  1. Steve,

    I have been doing a lot of poking around on your site and I admire your honest proclamation on who you are and how you came to be. Your voice is strong, clear and honest; anyone who has a problem with that is someone who is not confident or secure in who they are and you are a direct threat to the charade that is their life . In another article, you wrote about friends who shunned you because of your beliefs. They are probably watching some reality show right now. You are better off without them because a little Kardashian is too much Kardashian.


  2. I must say this, religion well how do i say this…. Religion does not entirely bind we play holier than thou games instead of loving on eaxh other but God is as real is you experience Him to be, He is love above all things so i have intoroduced another concept right there and am off to scribble down my thoughts to formulate a blog post.

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