"...to be nice and respect everyone, even if they're different."
I would be so proud of my Beanie if (when??) she said those words.
I'm not entirely sure how this conversation came about between Glenn and I. It was a few weeks ago after I read this blog post about bullying and homosexuality. Somehow our conversation turned to religion and we discussed how Beanie would be different because her parents don't believe in god (or to be more specific, her mom doesn't and her dad is agnostic). Please note I said "her parents don't" and nothing about what she does (or doesn't) believe. She's three. She can make that decision when she's older, can think critically and is cognitively capable of making such a decision.
Glenn mentioned something along the lines of a classmate or friend telling Beanie that she would go to hell. I replied, "My mommy taught me to be nice and respect everyone, even if they're different." I'm sure it will happen, someday. We live in a predominantly religious society. I'm not trying to knock religion; I'm more of a live and let live person. If religion provides you comfort, support, whatever then so be it. Please respect that I get that comfort, support, strength, whatever elsewhere. And not everyone would tell their child that a friend was going to hell, but it happens. Glenn's mom told him that about some of his friends when he was little. My own mom has told me I am going to hell. A scary thought for her, I guess.
Respect for others no matter what. No matter what god they believe in or if they don't believe in one at all. No matter if they're gay or straight, black or white, rich or poor. You treat everyone with respect. No matter what. That is what I will teach my children every day. Mutual respect can go a long way.
I don't talk much about religion (or lack thereof) on this blog. It is a big issue in our lives as we decide how best to raise our children in an overwhelmingly religious world. It's been on my mind a lot lately with the approaching holidays and my ever curious (almost) three-and-a-half year old. Maybe I'll start to write about it more as we navigate through this journey.