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Betrayal or Being your Own Person? When you leave the religion you grew up in

I was brought up in a certain faith, that my mother and father had been brought up in as well. Although my father no longer practiced the religion, my mother did, and as a result I practiced it too at a young age. I must state that in no means do I judge or condemn those who are still followers or practice the religion they were born into. However, as a child I had many questions and constantly asked my mother why certain things were done they way they were done. She always told me that some things could not be answered and required faith, so I accepted. As the years went by and as I grew older I began to analyze things more and more and found it unfair that women did not have as much authority as the men in the religion I practiced did. This was the beginning, to not only my feminist views on life, but also where I began very much to leave behind the "sheep" way of thinking and adopted my own morals and principles. The thing is, to this day I keep my views of religion to myself and don't feel so comfortable sharing them with my mother. I wonder if I evade the conversation because I feel some type of guilt, or because I think I will offend her with my views and create a barrier between us. I must clarify, that I am in no means a hypocrite either and do nothing that contradicts my principles. Sometimes I just wonder if I am in the wrong to feel that I am betraying my mother and her beliefs. I know the years that will come and the wisdom will allow me to see another perspective in its due time.

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Comment by Lizette P. Ruiz on February 7, 2013 at 3:16pm

Thank you, both Heather and Ashley for the nurturing and kind words, you both make very good points. I will keep your suggestions in mind as I mend the relationship with my mother and find ways to allow her to see my point of view regarding faith and religion. 

Comment by Ashley Steel on February 7, 2013 at 2:02pm

Hey Lizette,

I think you raise some important points, and ask some tough questions. While religion, for some, can be very rewarding, for others it can be very frustrating. As we grow older we develop many questions and doubts, the answers to which sometimes lead to an increase of faith, and at other times can lead to a change of religion, or loss of faith. There is no right answer, and no right path one can pursue.

Unfortunately, within families religion can be a very sticky subject. Parents often aim to raise their children under the religion that they deem to be the most morally nourishing. While objectively it seems logical that people should honor each other’s religious choices because religion is intensely personal, and what works for one person will not necessarily work for another, unfortunately this is not always the case.

 In the case of faith one faces both rational and emotional argument. Emotions can sometimes get in the way of logic and make it difficult for people like your parents to accept your well thought out decisions. I understand the apprehension you have, I have seen instances in which differing religious beliefs within a single family can tear that family apart, and I have also witnessed families whose differing religious beliefs coexist peacefully. It is important to consider both possibilities before approaching your parents about what you believe. That being said, I am a big proponent of you pursing your own beliefs, and hope that you will experience happiness and support in the path that you choose. Remember too, that faith is a lifelong journey what you decide now has the potential to grow and change further still.  Keep questioning, best wishes, and good luck!

Ashley 

Comment by Heather M. on February 4, 2013 at 6:35pm
I can relate to this a lot. I am no firm follower of any religion, however I do participate in my family's traditions. I do find it unfair so many people feel obligated to follow the religion only because they were into it and are never given a say as to what they really want to practice. I know your mom is religious, but I don't think you should feel ashamed that you do not feel the same way as she. She won't shun you either. I mean think about it, don't you think if she cared that much, your dad would have been long gone by now? Your mom will love you no matter what you believe in.


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