Sing me a song. I said.
Which one, Mommy?
How about “Hallelujah”?
I don’t know all of the words. Plus I can’t sing it. I’m not allowed.
Why? Because it has a bad word in it.
I scan my thoughts. I’ve been singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” all week. I can’t think of any curse words in the lyrics.
Which one, Honey?
My poor kids.
I will talk to them about anything. They are four and they know where babies come from, they have heard books about paranormal experiences, they know the difference between a c-section and vaginal childbirth and we have even discussed vampire ponies.
The thing is that when it comes to questions about God and religion I can only tell them what other people believe. I don’t have any answers.
Of course I told her that Jesus wasn’t a bad word, but there were some ways that you could say it that some people found offensive.
I grew up in a house where my parents had very different religious beliefs. My mother was raised Presbyterian and my father was raised Jewish. My dad no longer practices any religion, but my mom took us to church for Sunday School when we were little.
When people grow up with two parents that strongly believe in the same thing they are not given a choice. You are taught what is right. It is absolute. I could learn things in Sunday School and I would think about them. I could say to my mom “Do you think that [insert anything in the Bible here] is true?” and she would say “Yes, I believe that.” Then I would go ask my dad the same question and he would say “No, I don’t believe that is true.”
And I was allowed to decide for myself.
After spending time in several different churches that paid me to sing and suffering a miscarriage I have pretty much decided that it is all bullshit. I know some very lovely people who practice many different faiths, but I also believe that organized religion is riddled with corruption and hypocrites.
I respect your choices and I expect you to respect mine. And I want my children to make their own choices. Their own educated choices.
So what do I tell them in the meantime?