Overcoming Bloglessness

Believing or Not

11 Comments

During Missy B’s two years of Christian preschool I heard her say things like, “My teacher says Jesus makes babies.” and “Please Jesus, make my hair grow.” I thought she’d be a believer for sure. But now she’s seven and says she doesn’t believe in god.

Why the change? Is it because the stories she’s been told aren’t believable? I couldn’t believe them either, at her age. Or did she declare non-belief because she learned that I don’t believe?

Missy B adores me. She has said she wants to live with me. In her journal she deemed me her best friend. I know she really wants to please me. Is Missy’s non-belief a way to align with me?

Little sister Lizzy is five years old, goes to a secular pre-school and has not been indoctrinated at Sunday school. Her father has taught her about god and Jesus. Lizzy believes in god.

Does Lizzy believe in god because Daddy believes? Does she see certain advantages to saying she believes in god?

Ever since Missy B said she doesn’t believe in god, little Lizzy wants to say grace at dinnertime. There is good incentive to say it. She’s the center of attention when she says grace. Everyone at the table has to be quiet and listen to her. It makes Daddy proud. It makes Missy B squirm and get in trouble if she won’t say Amen. Is it really about thanking god? Or is it about attention and winning favor?

Their dad says Missy is too young to decide she doesn’t believe in god. Doesn’t it follow that Lizzy is too young to decide she does believe?
I think they’re both too young. Children shouldn’t be burdened with thoughts of gods, religion and life after death. Let them be children! Make their childhoods happy and carefree.

Are their minds made up forever? It will be interesting to see.

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Author: Susan B Raven

For many years I have suffered from debilitating bloglessness, only writing in my head, while everyone else posted and shared with ease. Previous attempts at recovery have failed, my secret journals edited to death, pages torn out, crumpled and trashed. I will not succumb to this embarassing condition. I will continue to struggle against the rampant backspacing and endless blank staring. I refuse to relapse into the void that is bloglessness. I can do it. I am doing it. I am Overcoming Bloglessness.

11 thoughts on “Believing or Not

  1. Oh how grand it’d be if no religious “education” was allowed until after, say, age 16. Give children a fighting chance to study the information and decide for themselves whether its bullocks or not.

  2. I could happily discuss this at length. Great post! Seems to me it’s a much more divisive subject in America than it is here, though. In my own immediate family (children and their partners) we’ve got catholics, protestants, agnostics and atheists, and everyone’s beliefs are equally respected. The rabidness of American evangalism strikes me as brainwashing and scares the sox off me.

  3. To believe in God is a choice…

  4. My father was an atheist and my mom and grandma were devout Catholics… When we were little we would side with my dad because we didn’t want to go to church… Once we became older, we chose in what to believe… You explore and you search and then you draw your own conclusions… She’ll decide later on in life…

  5. I’d be happy to see a very (very) simple religious education for kids – ie Jesus lived, historically speaking, and was a very good man who set a good example – because it’s a useful moral compass and at least makes Christmas more than a commercial goody-fest..It also gives them a more balanced platform on which to make informed decisions about belief later – you can’t really accept or reject something you know nothing about.
    But that’s it. Once we get to the heavy stuff – very unfair! I pulled my daughter out of scripture classes because sin and hell had crept in – she was 6, and afraid to skinny dip in our (totally private) pool in case god disapproved.
    A lot that comes out of America strikes me as salaciously prudish (if there is such a thing). Does this relate to the prevalence of punitive evangalism?

    • I had a similar experience with my daughter when she was that age. I was disturbed to hear her singing a song about throwing Satan in the river and I didn’t like that they baptized her without my consent or even an invitation!

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