Smoking, Vacuuming and Church

This has been on my mind for the past few weeks or so, so now you get to read about it. I was recently privy (still no sarcastic font) to listen to a person recount how their family, or more precisely their children, had fallen away from church and everything they did to try and prevent (ultimately cause) that. I also found a reason to repost this super sexy picture of Miss Hurley. I will explain in a minute.

When a kid gets around a vacuum or a lawn mower for the first time, all they want to do is use it. They want to vacuum every room, they want to follow you around the yard and mow the whole thing themselves, even though they can barely reach the control handle. They see you doing it and they want to join in the perceived fun. And who can blame them? As a child they look up to you. Obviously this applies to the way you handle yourself, but we are talking about vacuuming and lawn mowers, OK?

Your vacuuming or mowing makes the room or lawn look great. It’s where your kid plays and lives. This tool helps their quality of life, and now they want in on using it. And both are kind of fun, but more of a chore than anything else. That’s why we have kids so when they get old enough, they can do it for you.

I also recently saw an old movie where the little kid got caught smoking his dad cigarettes (this was the 50’s) and so his dad in a brilliant move (not sarcastic) makes him smoke the whole carton, not just a pack, so the  kid gets sick and doesn’t want to touch them ever again. I laughed.

So the thing that has been rattling inside my head is this – Ever since I heard this person tell me how they just couldn’t fathom why their kids left their church, the vacuuming and smoking will not leave my mind. I think, nope, I know, that there are some insanely fanatic families out there that force religion down peoples throats. I’m not talking about going to primary or not swearing or learning to say gosh instead. I mean the people who call their religious leaders to hold an exorcism on their TV set because there was a gay person on Dancing With The Stars.

And after sitting back and watching this and thinking about it, your child wants to do what you do because he sees how you do certain things that improve their life. They see you making a difference. They want to mow the lawn or vacuum because you are helping out and making their environment better. Now I see the nutty religious fanatics as the parents that are forcing their kids to smoke the whole carton until they are so sick they can’t stand it. And after hearing this person say how they made sure they didn’t have certain friends, or watch or read certain things, or know about certain topics – They never let their kids make their own choices. You have most of the control over your kids, because you are the parent. But shaping a kids view on the world and especially faith comes from experience and examples.

I don’t know why this has been bothering me so much lately. Maybe it’s because religion is supposed to bring your family together, and I watched some families use it to tear theirs apart. Maybe it’s because the fanatics on every side ruin it for everyone else. What I do know is that after watching my oldest grow up lately, she has made the best choices on her own, especially when given the room to make them on her own. It just makes me sad to watch people lately use religion to divide and separate families rather than bring them together.

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About Zero Brass

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4 responses to “Smoking, Vacuuming and Church”

  1. Madiantin says :

    As a parent, it’s very difficult to draw the line between directing your children (this is, after all, a parent’s job) and standing back to let them make their own decisions. When do you direct? When do you stand back? If your child wants to go to a part on Sunday, do you let them make the choice or do you say “Hey, it’s a family rule not to do that.”? How about when your teen decides to experiment with alcohol and drugs? Many parents feel that’s part of teenagehood. I think that’s bloody stupid because…well, for starters, it’s illegal for goodness’ sakes.
    All you can do is follow Christ the best you can, and hope he fills in the inevitable gaps cos we’re all mortal and mess up on a regular basis.
    The other thing you can do is just love your kids, especially when they’re mortal and mess up on a regular basis…


    • headbrass says :

      I get physically angry when I am sitting in church and the teacher says something like ‘You shouldn’t get tattoos, or you shouldn’t drink, or you shouldn’t drink.’ Not because of the statement, but because someone almost always will raise their hand and tell you how there are millions of good people that have tattoos or smoke or whatever. It’s like people can’t handle being told the right way to do something. They have to have a zillion excuses why you can’t follow the lesson.

      I view my kids teachings that I will tell them and teach them the best and right way and give them all the help they need. If they screw up, I will be there. But I would rather have my kids learn the best way to do something or live, then teach them the half assed way and just say oh well!


      • David Siebert says :

        ” Not because of the statement, but because someone almost always will raise their hand and tell you how there are millions of good people that have tattoos or smoke or whatever. ”
        The best answer to this I have ever seen was from a Britcom called Shelly. Shelly is working for an ad agency and has been put on a tabacco account. Now Shelly isn’t mister super straight arrow but selling cigarettes is a step too far. When someone starts telling him how his uncle smoked his entire life and lived to my 90 he says, “Yes I am sure that is true but then again people have survived trench warfare as well but that is no excuse to throw a mustard gas party!”
        Sure good people have done less than bright things. I am a late in life convert and was single until I was 35 and lived your typical lifestyle outside of the church. Guess what following the rules is better IMHO.


  2. headbrass says :

    “Yes I am sure that is true but then again people have survived trench warfare as well but that is no excuse to throw a mustard gas party!”

    That is my new go to line. I’ll have to check out Shelly. I just started making my way through Britcoms. So far Spaced, IT Crowd, Dr. Who (Series 5 is where I picked up) and a few others in my queue.


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