Tag Archives: children

Explaining religion to my niece and nephews

HP and I are going down to visit my parents this Christmas. I'll be hanging out with my sister and her kids at some point. My sister is an atheist, but ever since her kids got old enough to talk, suddenly she's officially Catholic again. In front of the kids she does a convincing job of pretending she believes in all that horse shit, and gives me The Look when I roll my eyes when she talks god to the kids. But get her away from the family and suddenly she's rational and her need for fairy tales and magic to explain the unknowns in the Universe falls away.  I vastly prefer this person, my sister when she's away from her family. 

I find it all very sad—-that she feels the need to pretend. That her default doesn't lie in honesty. Her motivation for putting mythology into her kids' heads was something along the lines of the behavioral modification that goes hand-in-hand with being raised in the guilt-steeped culture of the church. Whatever. They're her kids and she can lie to them all she wants. I guess guilt is cheaper, easier and healthier than Ritalin.

My niece and nephews, 7,  10 and 13, respectively, may ask me about Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, God, Heaven, or other fairy tales. I have a feeling that I'll probably just avoid giving an answer. "Oh, that's an interesting question. You're mother would probably prefer I not discuss that with you. Sorry kid."   I have a feeling I may be brutally honest though, if I've had anything to drink.  Ugh.

Dilbert creator Scot Adams said, I’ve described the clash of Islam and Christianity – everything from the Crusades to the war on terror – as “The people who think a guy walked on water versus the people who think a horse can fly.” I submit that anything you add to that description is unnecessary for understanding the global clash of civilizations.

Most of all, I feel sad for her eldest, now going on 13—that he's being raised in a church where they teach him that an invisible man with a beard watches his every move and writes down any dirty thought he may have about sex. It's going to ruin and pervert all the magic of his discovery of masturbation.

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