When I became obsessed with getting my Coexist tattoo I just thought it was the coolest thing ever. I hadn’t gotten a tattoo since I was 20, so I wanted to make sure I was serious about it. I decided that I was going to study all of the religions symbolized to make sure I understood; maybe not agreed 100% with in every aspect, but understood and acknowledged that the religion was well…. good..meaningful….beneficial to people. I don’t think we realize as parents just how much what we do to enrich ourselves will also enrich our children. My daughter has always been interested in religion even though I do not take her to church. She was going through a hard time understanding death when she was about 9 so much so that she requested to go to church and a religious camp. It made her feel better. I had always pushed that all religions should be explored. Just because I was raised Catholic that doesn’t mean that is what I am. In studying all of the religions I realized my hunch was right. All religions are based on love. Yes, there are some crazy stuff in each religious book that other religions like to pin point on and go to war over; some such little differences like if Jesus was the son of God or just a prophet. Seems like a silly thing to kill people over. Do we really need to be that right or can we all just agree that he existed and taught well… love, compassion, forgiveness? 
My point in all of this is… My daughter again has had many questions lately. Yesterday she asked if her cousin was part Jewish could she be too? She has this notion because her father “technically” baptized her in the Vatican with holy water when she was two she is Catholic. It was nice to be able to explain to her that she can be whatever she wants. She needs to study what each religion means and what their practices are. I explained that Christians, Muslims, and Jewish people all believe in the Old Testament. It is just after that where different interpretations of teachings strayed in different paths. ( If everyone would have just followed the 10 commandments there would have been no need for more teachings…. lessons… stories…..war…power… )
Just because I was raised Catholic that doesn’t mean that is who I am. She wanted to know what I was. She still hasn’t wrapped her head around it, but I explained that with all I have learned I feel like I am all the religions. There is meaning I can find in all of them. My religion is Love. I am probably more of a Pagan. I believe more in Universe, mother nature, but I believe Jesus existed too which encapsulates in some way Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. I believe in the teachings in the Shinto religion which honors nature. I believe in the peacefulness of Buddhism. She wanted to know if she could go to church this week end and also to her friends home who is Jewish to experience some or their holy days/ rituals. I said of course. She needs to study and find out whats right for her. Could be one.. could be more. Then of course I went on a tangent on how Christmas started out as a Pagan Holiday. It is the winter solstice and Christians changed it to try to convert people and Jesus was really born in the Spring… and then I moved on to Easter but her mind looked overwhelmed so I stopped…..…. to each his/ her own…. If my daughter ends up being a nun it will be her choice and I will support it. I couldn’t have done more to keep her open minded:) point is…respect and Coexist:)

About Vanessa Bednar

I am an actor, a writer, a producer, a mom, an adventurer.

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