Yes, think of the children.

There has apparently been renewed debates as to whether it is right to raise our children in our faiths, prompting Galina Krassikova to write a blog post entitled Polytheist Pride on the subject. Some of the points that she raises in this are extremely important for us to consider.

First, if we are trying to restore polytheistic religions, we have to teach those religions to our children. Galina makes the point that our faiths will wither on the vine if we do not. I agree. Part of the reason that ANY religion stays a vital faith instead of an academic exercise is by parents teaching it to their children. And, the best way to do so is by allowing the child to observe and (as they get older) participate in the religious observances particular to that faith.

Freedom of choice is the second point that she addresses. This one is actually something that I feel strongly about. If a child is left alone to do “whatever they want”, I feel it is not a good thing for that child as it doesn’t fit them to exist in society. We all have to accept limits on our behavior. And while it is possible for an atheist or agnostic to behave in a “moral” and ethical manner, that does not mean that religious upbringing is in and of itself a bad thing. It is my personal opinion that Abrahamic monotheism is more destructive than polytheism because in polytheistic religions, there is a STRONGER emphasis on personal responsibility for our actions than in many sects of monotheistic religion. And it is this emphasis that better fits our children to function in society than saying that all our wrongs will be absolved by “proper belief”

As for the idea that the child will be marginalized if we do not inculcate our children in the dominant religious view, we need to remember that WE chose our faith despite the potential for being marginalized AND that other minority religious views are also marginalized. If we raise our children with our faith and our stories, they can be strong in themselves and not worry about the opinion of other people on their faith. BUT if we don’t TEACH them, they are more likely to flounder in the rough seas of life.

So yes, think of the children. Think about what you are ROBBING your child of if you do not teach them your faith. Polytheistic traditions had advanced science and medicine techniques that were lost by the destruction of libraries and priesthoods by monotheists intent on imposing their views on the rest of the world because they feel “compelled” by their religions to make other people conform to those religions. Lest we forget, it is the MONOTHEISTIC religions that are saying that science is “demonic” — fundamentalists of both Christianity and Islam are doing the same things. Pagan religions were open to scientific exploration. Polytheistic religions are open to critical thinking and do not treat our Gods as being outside the Cosmos, but rather a part of it. If we are to raise people who realize that faith and science are not contradictory, then we have to RAISE them.

That is OUR responsibility to future generations of our religions — to ensure there WILL be future generations.

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