This blog intends to provide some balance in the religious debate by providing a counterpoint to Billy Graham's religious advice. On his website http://www.billygraham.org/ he responds to readers' questions by quoting from the bible. I am attempting to respond to those same queries by resorting to reason and rationality.

I must acknowledge a debt here to Jeff Hope who started in this vein but who has unfortunately taken a hiatus. His blog is http://atheistsanswer.wordpress.com/. Jeff has inspired me to continue.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Narrow Upbringing

QUESTION: Today's comes from PN...
"We did our best to raise our two sons in a loving home, and we always took them to church and urged them to follow Jesus. One has turned out very well, with a fine family and active in his church, but our other son was always rebellious and now is in prison for dealing drugs. What did we do wrong? We must've been terrible parents to have such a son."

As is instintive to parents you have tried to raise your boys to the best of your ability. Obviously there are many factors that affect how a person turns out, but you need to ask yourself if you had raised them under a different belief system whether they would have turned out differently. The one who turned to crime and was always rebellious appears to be resentful that you have tried to dictate to him what spiritual life he should lead. A normal result of such narrow parenting is that the offspring are caught between their inherent disbelief and guilt that they are not following their upbringing. Even though you meant well, it would have been better to raise your children with open enquiring minds. In that way they would find a spiritual direction that brings them contentment, not guilt. All parents should realise that choosing a belief system is a subjective exercise that varies from one individual to another. Hopefully the rebellious one can find a role model who won't try to constantly force some belief down his throat.


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