At a certain age  most teenagers in our country are offered the extra-curricular course developed by the Swedish church to study basic Christian teaching (in their format!!). To complete this 'Confirmation' process, each must make a personal decision as what kind of relationship each individual wishes to have with religion in this form. This is especially true for our children who haven't been baptized into the church at birth as the cultural tradition ordinarily is. To finalize confirmation, our children must also make the decision of baptism into the Swedish church.

We have made it clear to each of our children that we as parents leave this decision completely up to them as individuals, and that we will support each of them, and be equally proud of them, regardless of how each should choose in this matter. Rebecka, Ellen och Eleanore have choosen to follow this cultural tradition. Alfons began the process but made the decision after a month or so carefully listening to the churches explanations, that he would find direction, moral guidance and inspiration elsewhere. According to our promise, we have supported him completely in this decision– and are quite proud of him for the concern he has shown in this decision making process.

We have written to each of the girls as they have celebrated their confirmation, and expressed our support in their decision – and expressed our happiness at their purpose in this regard. You have made a different decision Alfons, but we want you to understand that are equally proud of your decision, and that you have our full understanding, and have our complete respect for your feelings and logic in this matter.

As we understand it Alfons, your choice is to personally take responsiblity for the moral and principles of honor in your life rather than to relegate this responsibility to any religion or philosofy outside your own personal control, You choose to trust and nurture the moral understanding that has been placed and developed within you.

We want you to know that you have our full support in this decision and that we have full confidence that you will wisely apply these principles as you navigate through all the different crooks and bends in the journey of life. Alfons we are proud of your decision, just as we are proud of the decisions of your siblings.

It is quite obvious in our world today that unseeming trust in religion has produced enormous suffering and evil in our world – You have choosen to actively avoid this pitfall– You have not choosen to reject the wonderful forces of good that obviously exist everywhere arround us. ---- Your choice is  to embrace them as they arise in accordance to your own understanding.

Both you and I have learned to admire the moral beauty and understanding in many of our friends and acquaintences that exist quite obviously outside any form of religious affiliation, but as well, we do not exempt our admiration from those deeply involved in religious context as well, when this admiration is due.

Remember Alfons, it is the values within in you that will determine your fullfillment in life. Handle them with care.

With all our admiration from
Your mom and dad

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