(Ask a Mom - A column by Allison Pennell)
My Parents are religious; we're not. Should we let the kids go to church with them on Easter?Is it just me or does something seem backwards about this letter? What has the world become that we are worried about people taking our childred to church? I can imagine not letting my kids stay somewhere because the family will NOT be taking them to church. And, if somehow these people survived being raised by these 'churchgoers', then why wouldn't their children be OK for one Easter?
As long as you aren't opposed, and your parents respect your religious leanings, I think you should five it a try. My friend Allie and her husband, who are on the "secular humanist" end of their respective faiths, have opted to let her parents take the kids to temple once in a while. Despite her misgivings going in, she's actually found the whole experience very sweet. She realizes that for her parents, it's more about sharing their culture and community (and showing off their grandchildren) than religion itself.
Just be aware that your kids mishgt ask some questions about your own faith - or lack thereof. ("Why don't we go to church?" "Do you believe in God?") Kids have a knack for sniffing out false piety, so try to answer thier questions as honestly as possible, says Bradford Wilcox, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Virginia. Also keep in mind that some kids may want to connect to a tradition larger than themselves, so the stories, rituals, and ceremonies associated with grandma and grandpa's faith may give them a sense of comfort and purpose.
Of course, if you're uncomfortable with this idea, tell your parents no diplomatically bur firmly. You might say, "We appreciate the invitation and know that it's important to you, but organized religion isn't right for us."
I see more tolerance for making sure our kids read the Koran and learn not to judge terrorists than I see for letting kids go paint Easter eggs. I won't even go into my rant about Easter eggs having nothing to do with the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.
Perhaps the problem is that the parents in this scenario were probably more into the 'culture and community' than the message? My wife was raised in the Catholic church, and the family sure was into the culture of being Catholic. And, boy do the grandparents love to show off their grandkids at their Easter and Christmas functions. That is fine. But, maybe if the gospel were the focus, you know the part about our sinfullness offending a holy and pure God, and the part where even though we deserve hell, He chose to send His Son to die in our place because he was so full of mercy, you know, that gospel, then maybe these people would be less worried about their kids visiting a church, and more worried about running out to a lost and dying world with the only message of hope that we have.
There... I said it.