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Good Idea or Bad Idea: Raising Kids in a 2 Religion Household

These days, it's not so common to marry someone from your local temple or church, or your mother's best friend's son. Now a days, people are meeting their matches in all kinds of alternative ways: speed dating, internet dating, match making, etc. They are marrying partners of different races, religions and even partners of the same sex.

Religious differences are oftentimes very sore subjects with family members of the older generation. While all might be fine and well to the couple that loves each other for who they are, what happens when it comes to their children? What if each parent has a strong belief in his or her faith and/or religion? Do you think it is confusing or harmful for kids to grow up in a duel religion household?


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Blessed2x Blessed2x 9 years
I am Catholic, my husband converted to Catholism early in our marriage-we agreed even before we had children that they will be raised as Catholics. My husband's father is Hindu and his mom is Christian. We involve the kids in all family traditions, customs and attend all family functions out of respect for their grandparents. My kids are very well rounded and accept and respect others regardless of race and/religion.
j2krelle j2krelle 9 years
I'll start right now by saying that I'm an atheist, so of course that colours my opinion very strongly. I think it is really, really important that parents not try to indoctrinate any child into a particular religion. Educating them is fine, ie "Christians/Jews/Buddhists/Mommy/Daddy believe this and that" and even occasionally bringing them to worship, but a parent should never simply state "this is how it is." Every human being deserves to decide for themselves what to believe in without the impediment of very early childhood indoctrination. No one should be coerced into believing something. My parents have emotionally manipulated me for years into being a Christian and it has done nothing but make me resentful. Note that I have absolutely nothing against people who are religious. Religion can be a wonderful help and I sometimes wish I had a religion to lean on like other people. I just wish children would be allowed to choose freely.
Muirnea Muirnea 9 years
I think having two different religions in the family encourages kids to have an open mind. I think what families with two different religions should do is to tell the children all of the FACTS about each religion, the kids should not be raised to believe in one of those religions in particular. The kids should just be taught about both religions (actually I think kids should be given facts about all possible religions or lack of religion out there)and then be allowed to choose which one they want to be.
ManicMauritian ManicMauritian 9 years
I grew up in a half/half household though my parents did not intermarry. The Chinese Buddhist background was kind of automatic but then I was also christened (which goes back to the times of colonialism when immigrants converted to better assimilate). If I am to be honest, being half/half, I don't know any of the two religions well enough! However, because of the massive differences between them two, it pushed me to explore spirituality further. I've come to the conclusion that what is most important is that each and every religion is based on some fundamental values and what is important is to instill these values in kids ...
Miggs0708 Miggs0708 9 years
I agree with popgoestheworld and nyckierocks. It is only important if it is important to you. You can teach your children morals and beliefs without labeling them to a certain religion. I am agnostic but was raised Catholic. My husband is more atheist than anything and was raised Nazarene. My daughter has gone to Catholic school and attends a Christian daycare during the summer. She is not confused in anyway. She knows there is a god and that god loves her. She also knows that there is Jesus and he loves her too. Closing her off to other beliefs and cultures because of which religion she chooses IMHO would be doing her a great disservice. There are wonderful moral and life lessons within each and every religion of the world. As long as she is a good human being (which is the underlying statement to all religions) then I think we have accomplished the main goal as a parent. I had a friend whose mom was jewish and her dad was catholic and she was not confused in any way. She actually taught some of us things about Judaism that we never would have learned otherwise.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 9 years
I was not exposed to this but I had a friend who was. I don't think she really learned all that much about religion (her mom was Catholic, dad was Jewish) but she did get to celebrate all the holidays that went with each religion (Christmas/Hannukah) so that meant she got lots of presents in december and I know she was happy about that.
zc zc 9 years
personally i dont think its a great idea. I think it's important for kids to be getting the same message from both parents, and that both parents have the same beliefs and values. I now that raising kids with 2 different religions has worked for many poeple, it's just not something i would do.
NyckieRocks NyckieRocks 9 years
my husband and I have different religons (slightly similar beliefs... slightly. lol) and we have agreed that when we have children we are going to teach them about Faith, and Belief and all kinds of different things. We aren't going to force them into believing anything. They care going to be free to make the choice of what they want to believe, even if its totally oposite from my husband's and my beliefs
tralalala tralalala 9 years
I think it's a little rude for people to be saying that an atheist/christian marriage is a bad idea. My situation is a little complicated; my mom is protestant, my birth father's family is all irish catholics, and when they got divorced, my mom married an atheist. My sister and I went to Catholic school (because the teachers are way better qualified than public schools, and my mom wanted us to go to a french school), so from an early age, we learned about what the different options were. Our parents weren't pushy about religion and supported my sister and I with whatever made us happy spiritually. My sister decided she was an atheist, and after looking into all of my options, I'm actually trying to convert to Judaism haha. I think if anything, interfaith marriages are the best option. Because of my schooling, I met a LOT of people who were raised christian/catholic since they were younger, and by the time they hit high school, they either hated god, and wanted nothing to do with the church, or were so completely brainwashed that it affected their schooling and social lives. Now that I'm done typing all of that haha, I just have to say, evangelical christians scare the crap out of me. Watch Jesus Camp. haha
Marci Marci 9 years
My nephews are learning two religions, and I see that they are very open to people having different beliefs and having some basis for comparison to make their own choice down the road.
candy-apple candy-apple 9 years
starturtle44- i know exactly what you're talking about. not because my parents were of different religions (they're both kind of agnostic i guess) but having started out in a family with orthodox/jewish ancestry, going to a catholic school, then moving to a place that was mainly muslim, then moving once again somewhere where most ppl were protestant kind of changed my perspective of religion. i don't like the idea that many religions proclaim: "we are right and everybody else is wrong/going to hell/stupid". that's probably why i'm an agnostic atheist. a watered down version of atheist i guess :) i still think it's a good idea to expose children to as much diversity as possible. how else are they going to grow into tolerant and spiritually free adults? fortunately for me my boyfriend, although raised catholic, shares exactly the same opinions and thoughts on the subject- so if he turns out to be the one i get to have children with, that's not going to be an issue.
starturtle44 starturtle44 9 years
I grew up in a household where each parent was different. I love my family but this was a big strain growing up. Even though my sister and I were allowed to choose it was hard because if we truly believed in one, that meant dad wasn't going to heaven or that mom was believing a bunch of lies. They were both always respectful, they never tore each other down or anything, but it still made it hard to believe in something absolutely when the two most important people to you as a child don't agree on something so potentially life changing.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
My wise mother always says: it's only important, if it's important to YOU. Religion holds little importance in my life. So if I were to marry a strongly religious person, it wouldn't matter to me at all if they wanted to raise the children by their faith. However, I have friends who are strongly religious, and it's HUGELY important to them to marry within the faith, and to raise kids according to their religion. So in those cases, if you get two people that feel really strongly about their own religion, it might not be possible for them to work it out. But ultimately, kids grow up to be adults to make their own decisions. I would hope all parents would raise their children to understand about different religions and that different people believe different things but it doesn't make them "bad." What better way to do that than have your two parents be different religions!
muchacha muchacha 9 years
I agree with rubilala that it should be discussed beforehand if you plan to have kids. My parents intermarried, as did both of their set of parents. Personally, I think that there are many ways to instill values of kindness and good judgment.. so long as it's done is the point.
JBlondie JBlondie 9 years
I am kind of in between on this. I grew up with a Jewish mom and a Christian dad. We celebrated both holiday's and I can say that I am glad that I grew up "half and half". I learned about different faiths and to be tolerant of others. When it came down to it, my parents didn't force us to choose one or the was our decision.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i agree with you tox on the atheist/christian bit. my kids go to catholic school, but there is still some confussion. my middle daughter was explaining how the earth was "made" to her younder sister (they are 8 and 6) and the conversation went something like this; middle daughter: "well god thought things weren't really going so great so he made some changes. it took only a week because he saw the stuff he liked and what he didn't and he changed the bad stuff. like for example he got rid of the cave people and the dianasors because they were mean. and he thought psople should live in houses not caves." younger daughter; "so that's when little house on the prarrie was made" middle daughter; "yes. jesus made the virgin mary and her sister laura and all and made them nice. but they still had a ladder and not a stairway". even with mass 6 days a week it takes awhile to sink in i guess, lol,
rubialala rubialala 9 years
It wasn't an issue for us. Personally, if I wanted to have children, I would marry someone who was within the same faith as my own. I could marry someone of a different religion if I wasn't going to have children with them. That's what is best for me. I don't think it's bad for people of different religions to get married and have kids, though. I think they should discuss all of how to handle it BEFORE they decide to get married, though, to make sure they agree on everything.
t0xxic t0xxic 9 years
It depends on the religion. Personally I think a christian marrying an atheist isnt such a good idea. Esp since the atheist I have met are very strong headed in it and I dont see them conforming to allow there partner to teach there kids christianity. I think knowing different religions is a good thing but I would see it as being confusing for the child. Not being able to be set in one religion.
Casimira Casimira 9 years
My husband and I are different Christian religions. We decided to raise the kids in one faith (mine) but they are aware that their father is of another faith and as they have gotten older we have taught them some of the ecumenical differences between them. If they choose to practice his faith when they get older, I will not feel offended or like I have not done my job.
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