September 17, 2008

I think I'm going to have to take him to church

Two Sundays ago Robotson asked again to go to church with him grandparents.  Again, we said no.  It's not a place for children.  My MIL understands but my step-FIL doesn't really get it.  He was telling Robotson that kids can go to church and he wanted him to go.  They just like to spend time together, it's not about indoctrination.  My son has no idea just how confusing, and more importantly boring, church would be for him.   So I've thought about it, and I guess I could go with them.  That way I know what's going on and I can answer any questions he has.

 My son isn't afraid to talk to anyone.  On the way down to FL we stopped at a McDonald's to use the bathroom and I hear him in there talking to two guys about where he's going and what he's going to do.  Apparently he was quite funny because one guy came out laughing hysterically.  Sometimes this kid scares the crap out of me!   We had a nice long talk about how you don't talk to strange men in a strange bathroom.  Anyway, I just know at church he'll talk to anyone about anything.  I can imagine a couple of scenarios.  One in which he comes home telling me I've been lying to him.  God is real, there's a place called heaven and hell, and I'm definitely going "there".  Or I can hear my MIL telling me how he was telling everyone who would listen that we don't think there are any gods and going into great detail about how our bodies will decompose and be eaten by maggots when we die, plus did you know we are all made of stars?  And on and on.  I certainly hope the the latter but you never know with my kids.  

So I guess the next Sunday that he's over there I will need to be ready to take him to church with them.  Hopefully it will only take once to nip that right in the bud.


  1. Both of my boys have been to church with their grandparents. My oldest son is 13 and he knows what he believes and really always has, so it never bothered me. He just keeps his opinions to himself and politely listens. He's a very smart, logical child and is filled with lots of questions and thoughts.
    My youngest son was too young to really know or say anything so I never worried about it. He is 8 now though and I think I'd be a little leery about letting him go alone. I think he'd blurt something out or ask me in the middle of church real loud about why we don't believe in god. Or something like that. haha!
    The interesting thing is when we go to dinner and my parents pray and my boys sit there like they don't know what the heck is going on. haha!

  2. Char, you hit the nail on the head. I think 7 is just too young to go without one of his parents. He's very smart and inquisitive and is bound to have a lot of questions. I know he loves his grandparents and they want the best for him, but I think his first exposure to religion up close needs to be supervised. It's not the actual exposure to Christianity that I have a problem with, it's the hellfire and damnation I worry he'll be threatened with if he lets his own opinions be known.

    I hope one day he is like your oldest, able to make his own decisions and feel confident enough in them that he can participate in anything he wants to do.

  3. Hopefully a little controlled exposure to the virus will help to build up his immunity :-)

  4. Yeah, we managed to dodge that bullet with a birthday party the next weekend, being out of town the next, getting sick, and then Granny was in a car accident and broke her ankle so no one is going to church! It must be divine intervention ;)

  5. Don't shelter your children from learning about religion! Whether we like it or not, it's part of our society and important to many people (including members of their family). It would be a mistake to pretend that it doesn't exist--not unlike the mistake that some strictly religious parents make when they isolate their children from secular aspects of society they disagree with.

    One of the most inspiring things in Barak Obama's "Audacity of Hope" is the description of how his atheist mother would take her kids to different places of worship on religious holidays (Christian, Buddhist, Hawaiian, etc.) Think of it as going to a museum, theater or the zoo--you (and your kids) will be learning more about the world that they live in, and the visit will spur all sorts of interesting questions.

  6. nonplus- I do admit that there is a little part of me that wants to keep them away from religion but I know I would be doing them a disservice.

    As far as exploring different religions goes, I am very interested in them myself. Right now the kids don't care though and I'd rather they have an interest before I start dragging them all over the place. My son only has an interest in this one particular place because his grandparents were going there.

    I have not yet read Obama's second book, but I really enjoyed Dreams From My Father. I'll have to pick it up sometime soon!