UU Mormon

RE: Guess that Holiday and Ambiguous Belief

Posted on: November 4, 2009

I was so cranky going to church Sunday morning.  We were probably the only people in the world, I thought, who could have a whole extra hour and still be late.  But it turned out plenty of people were late.  And I learned that the way to get a parking space is to be on time.

And it was raining and it was cold and it was muddy.  As we were walking down the hill to the RE building I was telling my kids about my previous post and how I should be focusing on those little things that make me happy instead of how grumpy I was with the weather and being late.  “At least I’ve got boots on,” I told them.  “At least I’m warm. I’m not wearing a dress and pantyhose.”  “Or carrying a big heavy bag,” my daughter offered.  “And you don’t have to teach a bunch of rowdy kids.”  Okay then. I admitted I was glad to be where I was.

NinjaBoy rushed into his class without saying goodbye or noticing me leave and I went off to the worship service, which was in memory of those who have died in the last year, and was essentially a concert of Fauré’s Requiem.  It made we want to join the choir, or get my flute out (and have it repaired).  Everyone was invited to light a candle for someone who had died, and there were many many candles lit and many tears.

Once again when I went to get NinjaBoy he couldn’t tell me what holiday they learned about.  He said they made patterns with colored powder (or colored rice, in this case) and ate “cow cake,” which Butterfly and I decided, upon sampling NinjaBoy’s leftovers, tasted of butter and coconut.  He also said that for this holiday you clean your house, and if it’s clean enough then the goddess  (he told me a name, but I can’t remember what it was) would ride to your house on an elephant.

Sound familiar to anyone?

Butterfly’s class talked about different religions and philosophies — Christianity, Humanism, Buddhism, and Paganism.  She said the class agreed that humanism sounded plausible, but she felt that if humans are all there is, the world is in REALLY BIG TROUBLE.  She does not have a high opinion of human nature.

I told her my opinion that people are slowly getting better, and if you look at history things are a lot better now than they ever were before.  There may be hope for us yet. I’m not sure she was convinced.

She also said that now she doesn’t have to believe what the LDS church teaches, she’s not sure what she does believe.  I’ve heard it said that kids her age need concrete beliefs, they need the black and white.  So now of course I’m wondering if I’m doing her a disservice by not giving her that.  But to give her a religious belief system beyond right and wrong ways to treat people and behave… Well, I couldn’t do it without lying.  I can’t tell her how the universe works and whether there’s a god and what happens after death because I don’t know and I don’t believe anyone knows.

What I can tell her is that while I don’t believe anyone knows, I think what matters is finding a way of thinking and believing that helps you live a better life, but that it can be different things for different people.  She needs to find what gives her peace and strength and helps her want to be a good person.

I don’t know if it’s enough, but it’s the best I can do and still be honest with her.

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3 Responses to "RE: Guess that Holiday and Ambiguous Belief"

Butterfly’s comment reminded me of my favorite Humanism quote, from none other than our beloved Joss Whedon.

“Faith in God means believing absolutely in something with no proof what so ever. Faith in humanity means believing absolutely in something with a hug amount of proof to the contrary. We are the true believers”

That’s excellent. 🙂 Leave it to Joss.

I confessed to Butterfly that I am, in fact, a humanist. She didn’t think less of me for it though. Phew!

It sounds like your son’s class was celebrating Diwali! It’s an awesome holiday, kind of like Christmas. FUN!

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