05 October 2016

I Am Raising a Girl Who Practices Two Religions

I grew up in a Born Again Christian family. My mama said that I was two years old when she and our papa started attending a Born Again Christian church in Quezon City. Inevitably, in most Christian families, we went to church together every Sunday. It was where I first learned how to dance. I also memorized some parts of the Holy Bible because of Sunday School. I love being a Christian and I am proud to be one. 

So when I posted this last night, I got a few private messages about it. 

Why does it sound so easy for you? Aren't you afraid she'll choose to be a Catholic in the future? How come a Born Again Christian mom found it adorable when her daughter looked for a purple rosary? 

I'd like to make it simple but please allow me to share with you this story.

When R and I decided to transfer Sophia to a different school, we only had two options: St. Scholastica Marikina (SSM) and Assumption Antipolo (AA). Both are exclusive, Catholic schools. However, SSM is just three blocks away from where we live, AA is almost an hour drive. SSM has less expensive tuition than AA, like 30k less. We originally chose SSM but God led us to AA. 

You see, when I talked several times to SSM's principal over the phone, though she really wanted to accommodate my girl, she was worried that Sophia might get confused for practicing two religions as SSM is purely Catholic. R and I took that as a sign and went to AA. The day we inquired about their religion practices was the day we decided she'll be going to that school. 

As Born Again Christian parents of a Born Again Christian student in AA, we were asked to sign an agreement that despite her religion, Sophia must pray how all of them pray. She must attend masses, learn about the saints and sisters and do what the other girls do. At first, it was one of my many concerns. I was scared that it might change her views and that we might disagree on that topic in the future. I used to ask how her teachers treat her. I used to ask if they made her do the sign of the cross. I used to ask the number of prayers in a day that they have to memorize. Then one day, I stopped asking. I prayed for it instead.

God, perhaps amused with how anxious I was, spoke to me immediately. I realized that religion isn't really what saves people from the seven deadly sins. It is not religion that makes us better human beings. It is not religion that keeps the world go round. Yes, religion is where you find the core of your faith, it is where you meet people with same belief as yours, it is where you grow as a God-fearing person but it can never, ever save you from hell. Love and kindness do.

That's what I like about how Sophia is now. She has grown into a gentler, more compassionate little lady. She is not perfect, of course! But to be honest, practicing two religions made her a better kid. For me, it actually widen her horizon. If the time comes that she'll talk to me and decides to be a Roman Catholic, I'll be okay with it. 

After all, in my opinion, parents should not impose their religion to their kids. It is her right to choose wherever she will be completely happy in. Like what I told one of the people who messaged me about this, "We have democracy here at home. If I drink Coke, I'll let her drink Coke. I don't want her to smoke [cigarettes] when she's old enough to do it so I stopped as well. Ganun lang. We don't impose things on her. We strive hard to be good examples instead." 

I would love to know your thoughts about this, moms! Let's talk.


  1. This is something Ive been thinking about for awhile too. Its doesnt involve my children though. It has something to do with politics. Catholic churces are vocal with their disagreement with our current President and each week Im finding it hard to listen to the sermon. Yes, I voted for Du30, and no, I didnt regret it. But recent happenings have made me question my beliefs. I think this is God's way of answering my questions. By letting me stumble upon your post. So for that, I thank you for giving me some peace of mind.

    1. Oh, I didn't know they always include him in their sermons. Well, I'm sure you are already a discerning adult, you know what to do. You just need a little push... Like this blog post. Glad this gave you something to ponder on. God bless!

  2. I grew up as a Born Again Christian myself but my relatives on my mother side are Anglican while my Dad's side are Catholic. I attended a Baptist school in Kinder then an Episcopalian school from Grades 1-4 before transferring to a public school for Grade 5-6 which majority of the population are Catholics. :) During Christmas eve, it has been some sort of a tradition of my Mom's side to attend mass in the nearby Anglican church. I would not say that I got confused, rather, I have raised a lot of questions regarding the differences of the religions. :)

    Even if I have been a non-practicing Christian for the longest time, the foundation of my faith that has been instilled in me in my growing up years remains the same. As what you've said, the experience gave me a wider perspective on where people are coming from in terms of their faith and I have come to respect that.

    So now that I have a son, I am now back to church to, hopefully, instill the foundation of his faith, just as how my parents did with us. And when he grows older and decides to practice a different religion, then so be it. :)

    1. We tag our daughter along with us to Sunday service and she loves it so much! She loves that she gets to interact with other kids. We love that we have peaceful worship time since she's not with us, haha. Seriously, good luck to raising your boy to be the God-fearing man that you hope him to be. God bless!

  3. I'm sorry, but I don't quite understand how you've said that it's not about religion, yet you've also mentioned this "But to be honest, practicing two religions made her a better kid. For me, it actually widen her horizon. If the time comes that she'll talk to me and decides to be a Roman Catholic, I'll be okay with it. "

    Yes, I agree that it's not about religion. But you, as a "Born-Again Christian" must also know that it's all about having a relationship with Jesus. So practicing even two different religion cannot and will not ever make anyone or your kid a better person. It's all about having a relationship with Him. Most importantly, it is God who changes the lives of the people for good, not religion, or even being a Christian. Yes, your child has freedom to choose. But you, as a parent, must not also neglect your duty of instilling godly values on your child, discipling her to be Christ-like. Be a good example, it's correct, but more than that, you have to be also intentional to her in leading her in her relationship with Christ. In Proverbs 22:6 it says "Train up a child in the way he should go; Even when he is old he will not depart from it." As a parent, more than merely being a good example, we should "train" our kids to walk according to His ways (not just through our own example), that even when they grow up, they will not turn away from it.

    More than that, I hope and I pray that you as a parent would have a grounded and solid faith in Jesus Christ. Practicing two religions will NOT make her or anyone better. It is God who will transform her life, or anyone else's lives. Only as we cling on to His presence everyday can we be better parents to our children. Not by our own works, but by His grace that will save us every single day of our life as a parent. Even if she chooses her own religion in the future, without having a relationship with God, it's meaningless.

    1. To address your confusion, it's more of her cognitive and social developments. She learned to memorize Catholic prayers, she sings in a gentle way, she speaks gently and she learned (from me, her parent) that no matter what religion, she can be friends with anyone.

      Yes, I "train" her. In fact, I told her that she can only do the sign of the cross when she's in school. She's only eight so that means I'm an eight-year-old parent and learning from our experiences.

      Thank you for your insight and *preaching*. I hope you are raising your child the way you think I should. That is, if you are a parent like me. :)

  4. I definitely agree. Me and my husband have different religion too. I a Catholic and he a Protestant, a convert (previously a Catholic). It doesn't bother us if I attend mass in Catholic mass and vice versa. We attend both but more on his side. My daughter attends a Catholic school. Before we enrolled her, I spoke to my husband about it and he sees no problem about it.

    This belief made me respect all religions: wherever you find God, go by it. Religion doesn't save you but it is your faith that redeems you. If you are being righteous about whatever sect you are in and doesn't follow God's basic commandments, you're religion fails you.

    1. It makes me sad when there are people who tell me that this is wrong just because it hurts their religious ego. I'm glad na mas marami pa rin kayo who understand and agree that it's not all about the religion. :)

  5. I love this post. I grew up in a family where parents have different religion. We were baptised Catholic, also had communion and kumpil in Catholic Church but I didn't feel the connection to that religion. My dad became Born Again Christian when I was a toddler. We attended church and I loved Sunday School. It's where bible stories made an impact on me. I remember attending nursery in our church too. Then things fizzled out, father got busy and we stopped attending that church so we were back to practicing Catholic. I am not religious but when I see my kid praying on her own because she learnt it in a Catholic school, it warms my heart. However, I do wish we could go back to attending church again; for me and my husband (who is a solid Catholic by the way), and have my child attend Sunday school. I think it needs to be discussed as a family and find a middle ground.

    Regardless of what we decide, whether it be Catholic or Christian church, we aim to be just good human beings who have compassion and love, not just for our family and friends, but for everyone.