Playground Theology

Lil’T came home upset from school a few days ago.  

“Some kids were being mean,” she grumped.  Over snack time a little more of the story came out.

Someone said something about god.

Lil’T asked “which god?” to which the kid(s) replied “THE god, stupid.”  Or something like that.  

The kids kept saying “God is real and you should believe in him.”  Lil’T kept saying that no one really knows if god is real or not so we shouldn’t tell people to believe in him.  

The kids kept arguing and she kept arguing back.  (She does not give up easily.)  

And then, on the bus, her seatmate was talking about Santa.  To which Lil’T had the same reaction.  

“He’s not real.”  

“Yes, he is!  You don’t know anything!”

 “You don’t know, you haven’t seen him.”  

“Yes I have!”  

“That wasn’t a real Santa, that was someone dressed up!”

“If you don’t believe, you’re stupid!” (This from the same girl who told Lil’T real princesses never wear socks or throw snowballs so Lil’T could never be one.)

She turned her big mournful brown eyes at me and asked “why does everyone try and force me to believe it?”

So we talked about how you can’t force anyone to believe something and that pointing out we don’t know if god is real or that Santa couldn’t really fly around the world isn’t helpful either.  I told her it was ok for people to believe in Santa or gods.  Telling her she should believe didn’t change her mind, and telling other people they shouldn’t believe doesn’t change their minds either.  

Today she came home triumphant.  

“The kids were talking about Santa today, and I didn’t say anything!  I just sang songs to myself and only talked when I had to!”  

I should take notes from her I think.

I wonder if those other kids told their parents they had witnessed to a little atheist girl.  I wonder what their parents told them.  And why are 7 year olds still believing in Santa?

For the record- Lil’T is convinced fairies are real.  She has seen them.

4 thoughts on “Playground Theology

  1. I wonder why some adults never seem to have grown out of childhood and are still intolerant of other people’s beliefs (or disbeliefs)?

  2. TWF says:

    Hmm. I missed this post somehow. Great story. Lil’T’s turning into quite the woman! With such a level head and resistance to peer pressure, she’ll be unstoppable. 🙂

  3. -rb says:

    Good for her! I think part of the problem is that some kids of religious parents are taught that if they don’t believe in God, they will suffer for all eternity in a horrible, hot location. This sort of psychological stress results in a need to ensure that there aren’t any disbelievers around. Disbelievers might introduce doubt, thereby putting the kids at risk for all eternity. It’s damaging to little minds.

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