Before anything else, a disclaimer: This is our family's point of view about faith and religion and we don't intend to solicit any arguments or discussion. We don't encourage others to follow our point of views; this is our opinion and ours alone. When it comes to belief system, it is deep-rooted and we follow our live and let live philosophy.
Now that's out of the way, let's move on to the fun part.
My religion is Christian by default, more specifically a Catholic. I was baptized by my Catholic parents when I was a baby and no, they didn’t ask me whether I want to be a Catholic, Jewish or Muslim. Heck, I didn’t even know there are other religions other than Christianity until I took history back in high school. The lesson was not even focused on what other people believe in. It was just that – part of history.
I studied in a Catholic University back home and took Theology for 5 years every semester. I got trained in flipping the pages of the Bible and learning the Catholic Church’s interpretation of theses verses in the Bible.
According to Wikipedia, these are the scope of the study of Theology:
· understand more truly his or her own religious tradition
· understand more truly another religious tradition]
· make comparison between religious traditions,
· defend or justify a religious tradition,
· facilitate reform of a particular tradition,]
· assist in the propagation of a religious tradition,]
· draw on the resources of a tradition to address some present situation or need,
· draw on the resources of a tradition to explore possible ways of interpreting the world, or
· explore the nature of divinity without reference to any specific tradition.
· Challenge or oppose a religious tradition or the religious world view.
I want to believe that those units in Theology 101 – 501 are not wasted in vain. At the very least, I got trained in understanding my own religious tradition. Or did I? Well, I tried, but I was very busy trying to find excuse in not attending these classes. And studying an engineering course while being working full time, I got lots of those excuses. But I sure appreciate the trainings of being Catholic on faith of God. Faith really gets so deep -rooted. And I must admit, no one can take away the Catholic in me. If someday (who knows!) I get to convert in other religion, I will always be that Catholic girl who believes that the communion is a must for my whole being.
It was until I moved to an Islamic country, did I get to appreciate other people’s religious belief. All the while, I thought Muslim people are all disillusioned killing themselves for the love of Allah. In my mind, what kind of God would want be so violent and narrow-minded? It didn’t occur to me that these people have also their own interpretation of what’s written in their religion’s Holy Book, the Koran. It doesn’t represent the Islamic religion in general.
Well, actually, it was not until I met my husband did I get so open minded about religion. If I didn’t get to know him, I would still be silently judging the Muslim community. I will not try to understand the rationale behind their belief system.
And it's not limited to Islam or Christian religion only. Though majority, there are other religions which should be learned and understood. Most of my trusted colleagues in office are Hindus. I don’t know squat about Hinduism but I find that all Hindus have great intention towards people. No one of them don’t intend to harm other people’s feelings and reputation. It may be religion based or I am just type casting them but I believe that it is worth to get to know other religions as well.
My husband has exactly the same background as mine when it comes to choosing religion - we DIDN'T choose at all. He is Muslim by default. Well, he believes that all people are born Muslim. Until baptized to a different religion. Well, maybe.
His parents are Muslims; his great great great grand parents are Muslim. He was born and raised in a country where 99.9% are Muslim. It’s a no-brainer that he becomes a Muslim. And God bless him, he’s not going to commit any terrorist attack to justify his love for God.
Catholic by default. Muslim by default. Most of the people did not choose their religion. Religion is mostly based on culture and geography.
But to be theologically Catholic or theologically Muslim, that’s something else. That’s a belief system based on choice. And that’s how it should be.
We don’t become part of any cause simply because we were chosen by default, right? And isn't religion the strongest and most famous cause there is?
And that is what we intend to give our children. A CHOICE. But like all choices in the world, a deep understanding is required first. Of each and every religion.
That is our role as a parents in a mixed religion background. To expose them to as many beliefs and religion there are so they will have the wisdom to make their own choices.
Of course, there will be a big tendency to be biased. Like any parenting styles. But we believe that we have to at least try to show the way to the Turknoy kids.
At the moment, Kylie is taking her Islamic classes in her school and at the same time, part of the Kids For Christ. We’ll see how it goes.
|Our future Kids for Christ tot!|
|exploring the inside of the Church in DOha during one baptism event|
|The all out supportive husband with our ever gorgeous unico hijo|
Of course, we also read lots and lots of books about religion and culture. We'll list all these books in our next posts.
To end, a wisdom from a person of authority (so unlike us!) :
"It is vital that when educating our children's brains that we do not neglect to educate their hearts." - Dalai Lama
Have great fun educating our children's hearts and minds. At the very least, we sure do.
Keep the faith,