My husband and I are from two separate cultural and religious traditions. He’s of Indian Sikh extraction, and I’m of Irish-Canadian Christian background. While all that culminated in two kickass weddings that took place about five years ago, now that we’re having a baby there’s some interesting things to consider.
I love my faith. I don’t love dogma, because I don’t think that anything can be incontrovertibly true, nor should anything be so blindly followed as to prevent questioning or challenging over millenia. Never have, never will. I actually love the idea behind all faiths, because I’m fond of the idea that each one is essentially seeking the same thing – to make our human experience more understandable in the greater scheme of the universe.
My husband is probably more culturally Sikh than religiously so. He keeps his kesh and his turban, but his leanings are more scientific than spiritual. He, too, abhors dogma and the ignorance that results from blind adherence to codified sets of rules that don’t adapt to changing times or attitudes.
We’ve been asked how we’re going to raise our kid, probably because people see us, don’t see an obvious outward match, and then get curious about the myriad possibilities for our plans for our progeny. It’s an interesting question to a lot of people, and every single person who’s asked has an opinion of their own. They’re sometimes far less interested in our response than in the opinion that they already hold.
This child of ours will grow up knowing a little bit about every faith, and a fair bit about two in particular. He or she will say grace before dinner, and will be able to greet older Indian family members with “Sat Sri Akal”. Baby will know the stories of Jesus and the apostles and prophets, and those of the Gurus and brave sardars and sardarnis who fought for their place in the world, because baby’s Dad and I will tell him about all of them. I’ll probably sing hymns to the baby, and maybe my husband will sing shabads. No choices regarding religion will be made for this child, because we believe that being born in a family like ours provides the ultimate in faith learning environments.
We will ensure that our baby grows up equipped with enough knowledge to be able to find a path. I’m pretty sure that’s all that parents can ever really do.