Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Imaginary Things

Posted by He Said

It has been a long time since I blogged and my fingers and brain are feeling rusty from the lack of it, so bear with me.  With all that has been going on, we are just finally getting settled.  Our new house is shaping up, a change in my job is settling and I am getting back into an old groove of game development and our kids are getting settled in their new routines with soccer and scool.

Now it’s not that I haven’t had the time to blog, or stories to blog about, its just a matter of lack of motivation.  So this is me trying to point the canoe upstream and start paddling towards a goal.  Not just one, but several.  Blog more, eat less, exercise more, brush teeth less, or something like that.  So forgive me if the story sways or the grammar is poor or, well, I forget an apostrophe or two.

She Said has been prodding me (I can’t call it nagging because she has been WAAAAY to gentle for me to call it nagging) for me to blog.  I have a short story to tell, but I have to warn you.  If your religious sensibilities are easily jarred, then you should just stop reading now.  I can say right here, that means every member of my immediate family should just click here, and not look back. This should scare the rest of you off.  This post is about my lack of religion…run…run away NOW!  The rest of you heathens can stay.

A few days before our move the kids and I were home vegging and I let them watch Santa Buddies.  Back off.  I don’t judge you, don’t you DARE judge me.

Wait, I can sense that some of you that shouldn’t be reading this are still here.  Seriously…some of you should just leave now, you have been warned.

Out of the blue Braedyn looks over at me and says “Daddy, some people believe in god, but I don’t.”  WHAM, it was like a 2x4 hit me out of nowhere.  Kind of like when She Said asks if she can go shopping.  I mean, it NEVER happens.

My five year old just hit me with sentence I waited until I was 17 to throw at my parents, and that I can tell you didn’t go well.

I think I was more confused as to how to handle this than if he had asked “Daddy, why does my penis get hard?”  But I pulled myself together quickly and responded as best I could.  You see I may not believe in god and frankly I think we can all agree that as a general rule parents EXPECT their children will believe (or not believe as the case may be) along the same lines as their parents, BUT I also want my children to make their own decisions and especially be respectful of other peoples beliefs. To. A. Point!  To steal a phrase She Said uses a lot.  You are free to believe in your religion.  Just don’t get any on me.

So I responded as best I could. I explained that while we may not believe in a god, that many people do.

Sounding good so far, right?

I continued on that his uncles, aunts, grandma, niece and nephew and the rest of our family all believe and that we should respect that.

Then things went downhill and I took the easy way out.

So to make life easier for all of us we just don’t talk about god with our family, ok?

Yeah, I never said I was going to get the Best Atheist Parenting Award.  Lets just avoid talking about it shall we?  You see, it’s impossible to win the religion argument when logic is completely removed from the discussion.  So I figure lets just not argue about it.  And let me tell you, I am logical.  My family used to call me Spock.  Thank FSM that one didn’t stick or I would have been labeled a geek for the rest of my life. Wait, CRAP, that happened anyway.

Braedyn seemed to understand.  He stared at the ceiling for a moment as if contemplating the depth of my Carl Sagan like insight and then responded.

“But I believe in Santa Claus.”

Me too Braedyn, me too. 


  1. If we ever meet, I'm definitely buying you a beer.

  2. What's wrong with Santa Buddies? Not that we've ever watched it, because it doesn't have any fairies or princesses or fairy princesses, don't ya know.

  3. My 7 year old step-daughter goes to church with her mom every Sunday and last week she asked if we go to a different church. To which my husband said no and she asked him if he was afraid of going to hell... So he was honest and said he doesn't believe in it and explained a little bit of why (on a 7 year old level). I wonder what her mom thinks of that...

    I think that there is some power bigger than us that we are probably incapable of understanding anyway but it wouldn't be so petty as to care what we do every second and it isn't necessarily aware of us anyway. Pantheism is closest probably but most people look confused when I say that so I mostly just tell people I'm an atheist because it's easier. It's not like FSM cares to much if I do that, anyway.

  4. We had to talk about God for Boy Scouts. Fun. It went much the way your talk did. Some people believe and we respect that. Mom and Dad don't. Yeah, good thing our Pack doesn't care that much or we might get ousted. Since my Mom has passed I miss the community of people from her church. I have thought about heading back, but I wouldn't know where to start in Bozeman, so I've been putting it off. I, too, have a lot of relatives that are overzealous which is irritating. Even if I did believe, I don't want to hear or talk about it 24 / 7. At that point, it would feel like they were trying to out Christian me. At this point, it just feels like they're trying to force me to live exactly as they do. (Part of why I don't go back. I don't want to hear about how I chose wrong. Sigh.)

  5. I have three children I'm raising as little free-thinking individuals. Kudos to you ... I think you did an excellent job. I take the same route in as far as the "no-talking-about-God" rule we have with other family members. And as an aside, my 11 year old still kind of believes in Santa and is contemplating the existence of "God" (middle gal is atheist and oldest gal is agnostic).

  6. We've tried to teach the kids to be respectful of other people's beliefs. This has apparently sunk in. When we were visiting friends who just happened to be atheists, our son stopped in the middle of horsing around and asked our friend, "Do you believe in Jesus?" To which our somewhat stunned friend replied, "Uh, no, actually." So Newt said, "Oh, okay. Then, 'Help me Baby Jesus! Help me Baby Jesus!" And proceeded to run around the room like a crazy person. At least he knows his boundaries.