Tuesday, May 11, 2010

God's Assistants

The other night at dinner, little kid was asking questions about God.

"I can't wait until you start pre-k, little kid. You'll learn about God there and I think you'll like that," I said, looking forward to the day that the Lutherans take over in this department.

"I wanna learn about God too," Big Kid said.

"You learned a little about God when you were in pre-k, except they were Jewish so it was a bit different. Same God we talk about, just different history, holidays and characters. Same guy up there looking after you though."

"I know a little bit about God," he said, cheerfully. "You know who made humans? God.

You know who made the Earth? God.

You know who made the flag for the United States of America?"

I was getting ready to correct him about God's involvement in the physical creation of the American flag (and was also considering complicating the conversation with the theory of evolution) when he finished--

”God's assistant! Betsy Ross! And she didn't mess up when she put 13 stars on. There were only 13 states then. So she did it in a circle but now we have 50 states and we put them in straight lines, which looks nicer, I think, so I'm glad we got those other states.”

I agreed.

I also signed him up for Vacation Bible School. With the Baptists, who are hard core but they also have the most money and the best ideas for fun stuff to do. My children are going to know everything about every religion, mostly because their parents are too lazy to do it themselves and are leaving it up to others. Then they can choose whichever holidays and characters they like the best.

As long as they know it's the same guy up there looking out for all of us, I'll be happy.


Anonymous said...

This is hilariously all too familliar. Both my husband and I are Catholic.. (I went K-12 to a Catholic school.) And, after 18, we just kind of quit going, and now are considered Creasters. (Christmas and Easter attendees only..lol) Anyway.. we totally are the same way with the melting pot belief system. One summer, the kids attended a Christian church camp, Methodist bible school, and an Episcopalian mass. Im already scouring the papers for more this summer. I LOVE that they can draw their OWN conclusions and beliefs, and also develop their tolerance and compassion skills. Not to mention that they feed them lunch and snack at most of the camps. LOL. Anyway.. I love that you are open to that stuff too! P.S. Did you ever find your glasses??!! ~CoCo

Charity said...

I am all for learning about other religions or denominations! I was raised Lutheran, my girls go to a Baptist church with my Grandma, I do a bible study once a week with some Jehovah Witness ladies and will have Mormon missionaries come this summer for their 6 week study. I also want to attend a Buddhist temple and a synagogue. I know how I feel about God, that won't change, but I'd like to see how others view him also.

Jennifer said...

That is sweet and cute all at the same time. We are the same way.. teaching our kids about everyone's beliefs so they can decide when they are older. When my son was in pre-k ( funded by the state, not a church) he made a little Hanukkah menorah and brought it home and announced he wanted to be Jewish so he could have 8 days of presents. We all laughed and he eventually decided he would rather celebrate Christmas because he didn't want to give up Santa, but every year, when we put up the Christmas decorations, he gets out the tiny menorah and places it gently on the window sill.

Jackie said...

Man, I'm with you. My (childless for now) husband and I have had the religion conversation a lot. He's a lapsed southern methodist raised in a town of southern baptists, I'm a lapsed catholic school girl who attended more bar/bat mitzvahs than sweet 16s in high school because my town was 60% Jewish.

I think the Jews have it on the traditions--they've been doing the same thing for thousands of years, which I think is pretty cool. I also think the catholics have the world-wide political powers going for them (and the kennedy dynasty), the baptists have the best community vibe (at least where we are), and the protestants have the american history. Then again, I've always thought the Greeks/Romans had the right idea with the multiple gods with human tendencies (I think we're kidding if we pretend god doesn't kick back with some wine and watch bad reality TV).

It also doesn't help that my Catholic grandmother has served us latkes and manischewitz along with our fish on Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember because her mom was from Poland and manischewitz was cheap.

Go with the characters you like, and just be nice to people. And when you get to college, read all the books!

Maggie said...

As long as the message given and received is that God loves us all, they'll be fine!

Anonymous said...

Not to burst your bubble, but we're talking about dogma here. I was raised just like you are raising yours - my dad thought when you're dead your dead and my mother was a lapsed Catholic. She sent me to every church coming and going.

I did nothing to choose a religion - until I had kids. I thought about how I was raised and decided a little organized religion was a good thing. I shopped around and ended up in the RCIA class. Why? I liked the priest and nun at my neighborhood church and the line of thought made the most sense to me.

My husband and I talked about your post and came to the agreement that you cannot apply scientific and philosophical reasoning to dogma. Chances are unless there is a major event in their lives (marriage, kids, etc.) your children won't every pick a religion. So if that's important to you, pick your belief system, live it, and realize that God will loves you no matter what you do or believe. Kerry

Heidi said...

God's assistant! Betty Ross!

That is too cute!!! :) :)

Unknown said...

But for me personally, I don't mind if my children decide not to choose an organized religion (ever). When I struggle with my own faith-related issues, it's easy for me to accept that there is one supreme being guiding our lives and universe because that matches up with things I've experienced personally...it's everyone's dogma that complicates things.

But just because organized religion doesn't work for me, doesn't mean I want to exclude my kids from it. I want them to be able to draw their own conclusions from real life experience when they're old enough to do so. I know so many people who were raised religiously who then turned away from it--maybe because they weren't afforded the opportunity to choose what worked for them or maybe because the inability to mix science and philosophy with dogma didn't sit well with them.

If, like you, they decide to choose one eventually, I'm fine with whatever they decide. I consider myself more spiritual than religious and for me, it's one higher power that everyone has different history/prophets/messiahs/stories to celebrate. I don't look down on anyone who does practice organized religion and I don't think anyone is right or wrong--everyone just has their own interpretation.

Accept others, be kind and have hope is what I want for my kids (and I think Jesus would approve)--the rest is up to them. I'll pick science and philosophy over dogma any day.

(Disclaimer: I'd be weirded out if they chose to become Scientologists. Just saying.)

Layne Street said...

You HAVE to milk those Baptists for all they've got. :) Just kidding - but this is pretty awesome.

Shannon said...

yeah, my kid goes to a Baptist pre-school. It's nothing for her to bust out in song, "Jesus...God...I love God, Jesus is the best, God is here all the time, God made the world, etc..." Whatever she feels like making up.

Caren said...

I read this post a couple days ago and came back to read the comments today. My son went to a Jewish pre-school for his first year of pre-school and then went to the YMCA pre-school for two years after that. Pretty much only because they were both good schools and the times fit our schedule.

I'm not religious at all but was raised in a Presbyterian Church. I like Judeo-Christian philosophies on how we should treat others and all that stuff, but the thing that stuck out for me the most in this post is that Betsy Ross didn't really make the flag! I laugh at myself because clearly, no one else noticed that. I'm a former Museum Educator from the Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia History and honestly, I skimmed right by the religion stuff and was all concerned about Betsy Ross! I guess that shows how much religion my son has in his life...I do find it especially adorable that Betsy Ross is one of God's Assistants though, she was a good, hard-working, Episcopalian woman.

Deb said...

I dig knowing that Big Kid gets why we have the number of stars on the flag that we do. I wonder how many grown-ups know that.