I learned a lot today.
Early this morning I threw up while driving my husband to work. And, we were both excited about the possibility that I might be pregnant.
Then, my husband told me that our child would be raised Pentacostal Holiness like him. I said that we would share in the spiritual upbringing of our child and then allow him or her to decide what was best for him or her. He did not agree with this, because according to his beliefs, all other religions are wrong, the leaders of those religions are false prophets, and the followers are going to Hell. He is so convicted in this belief that he cannot allow his child to develop a tolerance for other beliefs.
I am a Universal Unitarian that believes that all beliefs hold truths and should be respected. Raising my child to condemn those that are different than s/he is makes me very, very uncomfortable. I also felt disrespected like my husband needed to protect our child from my spiritual influences. I was not interested in getting stuck in a game of my religion is better than yours.
In later reflection, I realized that I still harbor some resentment to Fundamentalists who have called me the anti-Christ and the devil for my beliefs and practices. I realized that although my belief system requires openness to other religions, I was not as open as I thought I was.
I have a prejudice against Fundamentalists. I think they are fanatical extremists. I think they are bigoted. I think they are self-righteous. I think they are misguided in their attempts to take the Bible literally. I think they act out of fear and not love. And, I think any group that thinks they are the only ones who know how to reach enlightenment or Heaven or what have you is arrogant and in error. I think they are wrong.
Truthfully, I am the one who is wrong. Judging a whole group of people by what the media says about them or from my impersonal interactions with a few of them makes me as narrow-minded and bigoted as I accuse them of being.
Truthfully, the fight was about my ego. I want to extend my ego or way of thinking to my children without any interference. This is wrong of me. I say that I want children who thinks for themselves, listens to their own intuitions, discerns for themselves their paths. Now, I see that I really want them to uphold the beliefs I have. Not really because I have infallable proof that my beliefs are right. I want them to uphold them, simply because they are mine. And, I really need to work on this fascism of mine.
And truthfully, there must be something to my husband’s beliefs, because he is the most loving man I have ever met.
I am so sorry that in my prejudice against those who believe what he believes, I was blinded to him. I was unappreciative of any wisdom he could give me. I was disrespectful and critical whenever he presented his views to me. I treated him like he was ignorant.
And, that is not the case.
He is beautiful. He is kind. He is accepting. He listens to me. He allows me to teach him. He is the best person I have ever met. And, I routinely humiliate him. And, he routinely forgives me.
Right now, I am not sure where my husband is, because we had a fight. And, he stormed off and wouldn’t speak to me. I hope he comes back.
And, I hope he allows me to make this up to him.
This story was written by Veronica Haunani Fitzhugh-Hill.