I was very pleased to see this article in the “Religion” section of the local newspaper (Rapid City Journal). All to often “blending” religions in this area means blending two slightly different Christian denomonations with the rest of us left out in the cold. This story, however, focuses on a person who…
after growing up in a divorced family with a father who was an evangelical Christian and a mother whose nature-based pagan religion found God in the mountains, the desert and the natural world.
and whose household…
is a diverse spiritual group that mixes Buddhist meditation, personal prayer to a higher source, Sunday worship services, some Bible reading and the celebration of Christmas, despite the fact that none of them are Christian.
Nice to see an article that include the words “Buddhism”, “atheist” and “agnostic” without belittling any of them. The community, by and large, out he is made up of Christians with only a smattering of heathens (I use this term jokingly to refer any non-Christian, including myself) because we are seen as outsiders here. Sometimes even seen as a threat. Pagans and atheists run around undermining morality and threatening the cohesive, all-encompassing Christian Snuggie. We are a fringe group out here in God’s Country and we are usually expected to keep our mouths shut about how we choose to live our lives and view the world. the comments are even somewhat supportive but I expect that is due to the new policy of having to register before commenting.
For this newspaper to give voice to and even list as a “Feature” a family of Buddhists, pagans, atheists and agnostics is a large and positive step, especially this close to the Holidays. Actually, it is downright amazing. A few Christians commented on the fact that they feel “sorry” for these poor folk since they don’t believe in Jesus. I don’t think it is too far off the mark to say that a few Buddhists would say the same crap since they aren’t practicing solely Buddhism.
Many families are taking a multi-faceted approach to religion and religious practice. Our daughter is exposed to a (seemingly) wide amount of religious practice in our household. With a Buddhist dad, a secular mom, pagan aunts/uncles and a largely Christian extended family; I hope that she develops into an individual that can view religion and spirituality unfettered by cultural and familiar restraints. There should be no guilt if she decided to follow a spiritual path other than my (or my wife’s) own.
Although it did warm my heart when I saw her standing with hands in gassho in front of my zafu. I can’t imagine where she got that from!