I am an atheist. That means that I don’t believe in God.
I do not know some of the mysteries of our existence but do not subscribe to the explanation that a ‘God’ created the things that I do not know. I am NOT an anti-theist - I do NOT condemn or belittle those that DO believe in a higher power or existence of a supreme being. I do NOT discriminate and DO follow science, physics, and biology. These things fascinate and make sense to me. And yes, I enjoy the writings of Dawkins and yes, dear Hitchens (RIP) - as vulgar as he may have been at times.
That being said, here is my conversation with the kiddos (kiddo initiated I might add).
MR: God made the world, right Ms. Chelsea?
MA: Yeah, he did!
SP: furrowed brow
ME: Yes. For those that believe in God - he did! For those that don’t believe in God, he did not.’
MR: People who don’t believe in God are bad, right?
ME: Not necessarily sweetie. It’s not bad to not believe in God. Some people do, some people don’t. Some people say ‘I don’t know!’. That’s all ok. We are all different and believe different things.
MR: But you believe in God, right Ms. Chelsea?
ME: No, I don’t actually. And that’s ok. You do, and that’s ok too!
Then we talked a little about baptism and what that means in the church they attend. He wanted to be baptized this morning and I promised to thaw him out afterward since it was so cold outside. We had a good chuckle.
Mayer and Soren were listening intently. I was really impressed with the questions and the willingness to talk about it. Soren had his furrowed brow and Mayer’s were raised - I adore their ‘taking it all in’ facial expressions.
The conversation got a little hairier when I was asked where people came from. I offered up the Christian belief - 'Man was created from the earth' and the Theory of Evolution - 'Man came from Apes, but it took a REALLY REALLY LONG time'. I should’ve just rolled with the mommy and daddy explanation, but honestly - it wasn’t what they were looking for. They know that.
I tried so hard to speak on their level and fairly for both sides. One of my issues with some (not all, I am not stereotyping) organized religion is the discrimination that to think differently about God makes you ‘bad’. But when you are 5, this could be a simple misunderstanding and I treat it as such. I don’t think people that believe in God are ‘bad’ or ‘evil’, either. I am not a fan of discrimination of ideas in general.
So this conversation was a bit of a double edged sword. I’d hate for the kids to face discrimination for the way their mother/step-mother believes but I simply can’t and will not lie to them. Ever. But being informed about the differences in belief systems and having the knowledge to choose for one’s self is invaluable. Knowledge is power. Power of confidence and individuality. That is what we all are - individuals. And that should be celebrated. NOT discriminated against.
authored by Chelsea Crutcher