Disorganized Religion

I will never be this cool. 

Tonight, on the way home from Passover Seder at my grandparent's house, Archer turned to Hal and me and said, "Are we going to go have dinner, now?"

"Archer! We just had dinner!"

"No. That wasn't dinner, Mommy. That was Matzo. I want Macaroni and Cheese."

...and green M&Ms in my dressing room!

And SO? Our non-Jewish/Jewish son was born. Joining his non-Jewish Jewish father, and his mostly Jewish/Non-Jewish/Whateverish Mother, and his sister who worships Boob and attends Nipple on Fridays at sundown. 

Ahem. Or should I say, L' Chaim? 

Today on Momversation, Alice talks interfaith marriage with Karen and me.

Personally? I'm not big on organized religion but I very much appreciate family togetherness, singing around pianos and wine. And holidays tend to amass those things so Shalom, my children, let's go paint eggs.

I cannot get over these pictures. So ridiculous. 



Unknown | 4:28 AM

Hee! That last photo looks like an Oasis album cover...

BEAT | 4:52 AM

So, I am not a mom. Not close to being one, but I am going to be a Protestant minister. For some reason I just really enjoy these momversations, though completely unrelated to my current reality. I think church is about worshiping God. But religion is meant to be social. It is a both/and situation. In my opinion, it is hard to be religious without being community because worship calls people to be together. Pray in one voice. Sing in one voice. Confess in one voice.

Thanks for the thought provoking conversation. I will be sharing it with my divinity school friends.

Hilary | 6:02 AM

I can't get over those amazing photos either! Also, I entirely second your feelings on religion/holidays/wine/eggs/togetherness. Hooray for all those!

Amanda | 6:09 AM


karengreeners | 6:23 AM

Non-religious Jew married to a non-religious non-Jew here - it's all good. Traditions and love and family are indeed what count. And my kids will never complain that they get macaroons one night and chocolate Easter eggs the next.
Chag Samaech.

Liz | 6:25 AM

Lol, what a stud! He's so going to join a band some day...

Marie-Ève | 6:32 AM

I agree with Megan: complete Liam (or is that Noel) Gallagher sosie!!! (Except cute and rockin' instead of obnoxious and f**ked up).

And I agree with you: we both come from Catholic, but mostly non-practicing, backgrounds. We are not going to raise our son in religion (and especially not this one), but we do want him to know what it's about to some extent. So I don't see a problem in incorporating some religious traditions especially when associated with Holidays...

Mandi | 6:35 AM

These photos are priceless! I also really love his car seat! I am a car seat addict and spend countless hours researching and looing online and don't think I've ever seen that one! It looks incredibly comfortable and rock-starish!

c | 6:52 AM

This is so interesting! I was raised catholic and almost resented the community that I became a part of. I felt it was forced friendship. There became a sense in which I had to think about these fellow church goers and what they would think when making decisions in my life. I am not a theology major and have to say I am leaning towards that whole looking into all religions. Do you think that had a good effect in you as a child? Or did it really now matter? I have trouble forcing beliefs on Aiden like they were forced on me.

p.s. Archer is a rolling stone! haha

Adrianne | 7:13 AM

Oh my Lord! Could he BE any cooler? I thought not. And it's not just the glasses, it's the way he rocks them. Like, "what? these old things?" :)

I've struggled a lot with religion myself recently which makes me a little apprehensive when it comes to having a child. My husband and I have not come to a solid conclusion about how we will raise our children in this regard. I think we're both hoping that the answers will appear as we go along. Maybe that's stupid. Maybe we should have it all mapped out. But we don't. So I guess we'll play it by ear and hope for the best.

vertigob | 7:43 AM

Archer looks like a really pissed off rock star in the back of his limo. So irritated that he is being photographed in his private sanctum!


samantha jo campen | 7:59 AM

OMG those pictures are just so fabulous.

Don't forget Evian in his dressing--I mean--play room.

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com | 8:13 AM

He totally has a rock star thing going on =)

Thank you so much for the giveaway stroller; I just sent you an e-mail!

Beth Noel | 8:17 AM

Seriously, what a stud!

I always describe myself as spiritual but not religious. Raised catholic but decidedly liberal minded, I just can't see the sense in attending a church that goes against most of what I believe in, socially. I do love the togetherness and the traditions but every time a priest tells me I am doing something or believing something that is wrong, I genuflect and I'm out the door. I mean, really, isn't God all about love, acceptance and forgiveness? Judge not and all that?

anita ovolina | 9:22 AM

I was raised Catholic (actually in Rome) than married someone of a different faith but not religious and now am trying to mix and match.
Some Catholic, some Buddhist some everything...
Love the picture!

amber of TheAmberShow | 9:24 AM

I hated church. The "sense of community" it was supposed to create never happened for awkward, frizzy haired me.

I was 17 when I started working at a movie theater, and for the first time was exposed to non-Christians. I also felt accepted for the first time.

I won't raise my kids religious. I think it causes more problems and isolates them more than it solves.

I was so, so sad for so long because of Christianity.

Tricina | 9:29 AM

Those pictures are awesomely late seventies/early eighties.

EdenSky | 9:42 AM

Wow, I always knew you were cooler than me, but knowing that your 3 year old is also cooler than me is kind of pathetic.
Religion, well, I'm Agnostic, but I consider myself spiritual. Adam is more Christian than me. His family is more Christian than him (When are you going to get married? Think about the children! etc.) As for teaching those apparently eternally damned children...I almost think it would be easier to be religious, because then you have an easy answer to every question: Who made the world? God. Why did Grammy die? God. Where do babies come from? God. Why do we have to leave the park now? God. All covered. But I prefer the idea of researching many points of view and teaching them to make up their own minds rather than believing something just because I do.
There have been a few akward moments though, like when I took my 4 year old to a church rummage sale last year and she asked (right in front of a group of Mennonites and the minister) "Is this a jail?" I said "No, it's a Church." and she said "What's a Church?" Or when we went to my niece's Christening and my daughter explained to everyone who would listen that "That baby is my cousin and she's getting babtizeded but I don't have to! This is boring, are we going to sing again soon? Is there snack time here?" It's just really hard to know where to start sometimes.
Like you, I'm all for anything that encourages family togetherness, but I'm pretty terrified of that whole "One Voice" thing BEAT mentioned, I think spirituality should be much more personal and active and private and less sheep-like.

CJ | 9:49 AM

We just learned about a new church near us that is organizes religion, but it is for ALL religions. It's not non-denominational, it's ALL denominational....their goal is to unite in making the world a better place and helping everyone on their own spiritual journey regardless of their religions. Sounds too good to be true, but it can't hurt to try. My non-Jewish/Catholic/non-Catholic/Wiccan/non-Wiccan/atheist/non-atheist family may learn something!


I loved the way we were raised. My mom ran an interdenominational bible study on sundays where we studied all religions, took from each of them what was personal to us.

I've always identified culturally with judaism but in terms of my personal beliefs? Am more of a budhist, I'd say...

To me spirituality is a personal thing. I would have rebelled against religion as a child but enjoyed having a cultural identity... Or at least a partial one.

I find catholic churches beautiful and moving and when I was traveling in europe alone, attended services every sunday and I loved it because I couldn't understand a word of the service (in itallian or spanish) so I got to fill in my own blanks.

That's what its all about to me. That's what I was taught and that is what I will teach my kids... To fill in their own blanks.to believe what is meaningful to them.


Also? The carseat/booster seat is a Britax Frontier. Archer is hugely tall and outgrew his Marathon (Fable has now taken it over.) He loves it and its like a fortress! Super safe and badass. Love me some Britax.

tam | 10:36 AM

Atheist former Mormon married to an agnostic maybe sometimes Catholic...
I miss the community service aspect of religion. We're trying to find it elsewhere.
I also think that inter-faith marriages are great, because they prevent people from becoming too dogmatic. Sometimes- often even, strict religious practice can be divisive. Getting the personal fulfillment and relationship with God (whatever that means to the individual) can be done with more than one religion.
I say than, any yet the quote "it's better to dig one well 60 feet deep instead of ten wells six feet deep" rings 'true' too. Many books written about that...
And those Archer pics... un-freakin-believable. He's Mr. 'It'.

Amanda | 12:03 PM

I grew up with a father who was raised Mormon. My mother, well, I suppose she was more spritual. She didn't identify with any particular religion. When I was 12 or 13 I was baptized as a Mormon and for a couple years, wen't to church every Sunday...begrudgingly. I hadn't really studied the church too much, being 13 you just want to belong, to anything. Once I turned 16 or so, I started to resent the church. Patriarchal, oppressive, judgemental. That's all I took out of it. So I stopped going.

I've yet to really classify my religious/spiritual beliefs. It's hard to shake the bad taste left in my mouth from organized religion.

My husband identifies with Taoism. And I'll support whatever my son chooses to believe.

I'm not going to wax religion though, it's an iffy topic for many.

I will pick out the green from the brown M&M's any day for that Archer! He's cooler than I've ever been!

Time for a bagel and a shmear.

Amanda | 12:05 PM


Oy. I guess I need more coffee.

Sonja Streuber, PMP(R), SSBB | 12:12 PM

After seeing these pictures, my daughter now wants to marry Archer. Of course, I tell her that he's much too old for her ...


Sarah | 12:27 PM

I find a great deal of peace/truth/community in my Mormon faith. I take what is best from the religion and leave some cultural aspects (which any religion will have) that bother me. I think it is important to realize that organized religion is made up of people, who may always let you down to one degree or another. The key is to not let that keep you from enjoying and participating in something you believe in.

Love the pictures! Your children are both beautiful. And you are an awesome writer! :)

Anonymous | 12:31 PM

Love the pictures, he looks like a little rock star (or opera star) on tour in an artsy documentary! Bring on more Archer!

Anonymous | 12:32 PM

I'm glad I'm the only one who thought he looked cute and Oasisy!

Anonymous | 1:22 PM

I assume you guys have investigated Unitarianism? It teaches all religions so therefore there are tons of interfaith couples that go together. It also is one of the few churches that welcome gay couples. Love that. My husband is devoutly Catholic and still goes to Mass quite often but I go to my UU church and our daughter sometimes goes with him and sometimes me. We also each go to the other church sometimes and sit as a family.

Amy | 2:20 PM

OH those photos rock! The only thing I am missing since moving from Los Angeles is All Saints Church in Pasadena. We became members right before my daughter was born and I really love that church--you could be an atheist and love that church. The rev. is the one who said on Oprah that being gay is a gift from God.

Kim | 3:08 PM

You have perfectly summarized my views on religion (non-jewish jew dating a non-religious non-jew), and you made me laugh. Not bad for a Thursday afternoon. Thanks :)


Ah! My mom sings in the choir at her Unitarian church here in San Diego. I've been to services there and I love it! Everyone is welcome and I love the sermons- so poetic and all-encompassing. I enjoy the experience every time. Definitely something to look into for our family for sure. Although Hal is pretty anti congregation of any kind so maybe I'll just slip in with the kids every now and then.

Shoshanah | 4:09 PM

I'm not having kids anytime soon but being Jewish and dating a Catholic its hard not think about this. Especially since he is the one I want to have children with. He has said he doesn't care what religion they are raised with as long as they have faith. Which is good for me because I can't imagine not raising my children Jewish. It's just hard now to predict the future and see how the religion thing will all work out.

bluejeanamy | 6:05 PM

a) adore his glasses. need.

b) really appreciate your attitude towards religion. i think archer and fable will totally benefit from your open mind.

c) unitarian church = good stuff. i was a stop-and-go attender during childhood and always came home with little baby buddhas, singing kwanzaa songs. hubs and i got married there last summer by a jewish, lesbian minister. doesn't get better than that.

Sallie | 9:04 PM

This issue is a huge one. My mom is a militant atheist, my dad and step-dad ambivilant, step mom escaped Catholic. I veer toward atheism (but I have to admit that I sat an "Ave Maria" when I fly) married to devout Catholic (actual grew up in Italy Italian) and his family is SUPER Catholic. Like others I love the community aspect, and I try to go to mass sometimes, but then I can't get past the fact that it is brainwashing. I can't overlook the negative aspects. I forsee many problems in our family's future over religion.

foodiemama | 10:09 PM

for us, none of it is of any importance.
we have no religion. we have community in friends not faith and certainly not organized, ha!
I am firmly and 100% not down with organized religion and really try to avoid topics and anything related to/about christianity- in regards to myself and family. religion, spirituality, god-etc. really holds no place in ours lives. fortunately for us, neither of our families followed anything so there was no confusion and I was left to my own natural devices and to figure things out on my own-naturally which is how we will/do raise gus. for now, he knows nothing of god, jesus, christianity, jewish, buddah, etc. when he is old enough to decide he cares or if it becomes something that is important to him or even when he starts to hear the differences we will totally talk about it but for now we refrain happily. after all, they are all supremely the same and it will be important later on in life for him to know the tales and battles.
for us easter is the beginning of spring and new life on earth. x-mas is time spent appreciating family-changes of season and love.

Loran | 7:11 AM

Buddhist and pantheist raising children to think for themselves, sent them to a private Christian school but talked a lot about what they were being asked to believe. It should be interesting to see what they choose as they mature.

Those pictures of Archer are the COOLEST.

Tricia | 8:32 AM

::Swoons:: hahahaha You're in trouble :D

Shelly | 11:23 AM

Love it! Ex-Catholic & Jew in our family. Our holidays are mostly about family & food so it works. Great pics.

Ray | 3:03 PM

Archer definitely looks like a rockstar in those red shades. ADORABLE! =D

Little Ms J | 9:03 AM

I recognized your blog on my page as one of my faves (Fab Blog Award). Love it!

*Tanyetta* | 10:03 PM

I love this:

****...and green M&Ms in my dressing room!***

Anonymous | 4:20 PM

Archer looks like a mini Jim Morrison in those shades and that hair. You are going to have such an interesting time in about twelve years.