Robotson was playing Robot Wars in the living room when I heard him say that if Queen (a robot) wasn't careful, he'd knock her all the way down to heaven. I found this rather peculiar since we've never talked about heaven or hell, and he didn't seem to realize that heaven is generally in the other direction. So I asked him about it. He said, "Some people believe when you die you become like a ghost called an angel and you go to heaven." (His words, I kid you not.)
"Where is heaven?", I inquired.
"Oh yeah, up in the clouds."
"Do all people go to heaven?"
"Only the good people." (Uh oh.)
"Where do the bad people go?"
"Into the ground. No wait! They get turned into evil demons!" (Great....)
"Says who?", I actually asked calmly.
"I watch a lot of t.v. mom." (No he doesn't, but alright.) "You know how in cartoons there are good guys dressed like angels on one side and the bad guy dressed like the demon on the other?"
"Yes, I know, like Pluto right?"
"Yeah! Well that's where I learned all this stuff."
Oh so casually, I asked "What happens in reality?" (Probably not the best phrasing, I know.)
He says, "Oh well everyone just goes into the ground, but sometimes I like to pretend there are angels and demons."
"Cool, me too." I said.
Funny that this should come up now because a couple of weeks ago, at the Skeptics in the Pub, Dale McGowan said most kids get introduced to the idea of heaven and hell by their peers sometime around age six. Since all of our friends are secular and none of our family is very religious, it's never come up. I asked if I should even mention it to him since he, a. hasn't asked and b. doesn't seem interested. Dale said it's probably a good idea to just mention it because it might be the one thing that really freaks him out when he does finally hear about it. I could see his point, but it seems weird to just bring it up out of nowhere. Dale mentioned televangelists on t.v. as an "in", but we don't have t.v. service. This conversation tells me a little bit about what he does know about the concepts though. It's more than I thought, but nothing that concerns me. He seemed comfortable with the idea that angels and demons are not to be taken seriously.