April 24, 2011

Parents Are Wrong to Drag Kids to Church

Christianity

Throughout the United States, a familiar scene takes place every Easter in which well-meaning Christian parents drag their atheist son or daughter to church with them. The stated explanations for this behavior range from the believable (e.g., "Because it is important to me") to the nonsensical (e.g., "Because it is Easter"). But the outcome is the same. The kid goes to church because he or she has no choice or wants to appease a parent.

I remember this scenario playing out in my childhood home many times. Granted, it wasn't just Easter that it happened; it was almost every week. But I do remember Easter being particularly important to my parents. And I remember not having a choice.

I left church behind long ago. In fact, the moment I had the opportunity to stop going, I took it. But I still remember those days of coercion all too well. If you are going through it now, I feel for you. It is like a prison sentence. You know the day will come when you are free, but it still seems like an eternity.

Your parents are wrong to do this to you. They may realize this someday like mine finally did, or they may not. But that doesn't change the fact that they are making a mistake by putting you through this. You will have your chance to break free at some point. Focus on that, and maybe it will make the experience a little more tolerable.