My Children Believe In God

My children believe in God.

That isn’t that big of a deal except that we aren’t very religious people.

My children believe in God and they like to tell me that. A lot.

Sometimes I think they like to rub it in because I am an Atheist, and while I support their beliefs I’m not really sure where they came from. None of their grandparents or parents currently practice any religion and if any of them have any strong beliefs either way they aren’t really talking about it.

My children believe in God and they believe that he is an invisible giant with no feet.

And I say If he is invisible how do you know he is a giant? And how do you know he isn’t a she? I want to be supportive. I want them to know that I am a well-wisher for whatever belief system they choose to ascribe to. I have chosen my own, but that doesn’t mean I think that they have to believe what I believe. I want them to be able to think for themselves. I want them to be able to choose for themselves.

My children believe in an invisible, giant God with no feet.

Their deity inexplicably has no feet.

And they are (well, at least the boy is) scared of the puppet devil.

And I’m not sure why.

I have no idea how to deal with that. How to I explain the the puppet devil isn’t real when they know I don’t believe in God either. I mean sure, I say, Well, he is a puppet. He is felt with some guys hand up in there. And they say Why can’t you see the guy? and I say Because he is squatting down where the camera can’t see him and that just isn’t good enough for them.

For right now my kids believe in an invisible giant God with no feet and the puppet devil.

And I’m not sure to what to do with that information besides tell you about it.

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  1. I spent dinner last night trying to explain God to Mia, it was hard. Maybe I should have the Goon Squad give her a lesson.

  2. Bluebottle says:

    My middle girl once (aged about 4) informed me that God was Santa because they are both in the sky, have beards and know if you’re good or not. But said she was safe indoors because he/they can’t see you with a roof in the way.

    She’s now 10 and a borderline believer with atheist parents/siblings.

  3. When Ian was 3 1/2 he asked me if God and Santa were the same person.

  4. My husband and I are both atheists and we live in a very religious area in the south so we recently started attending a Unitarian Universalist fellowship. We wanted the boys to learn about different religions so they can choose but we didn’t feel like we could provide that education. It’s nice to be in a group that tolerates all beliefs, even non-belief. Even nicer to have structure to help our boys explore their questions and have support in getting answers to them.

    But I don’t want to leave random comment sounding like a religious nut! So I will also tell you how my boys keep saying “juke” instead of “jewish” whenever they talk about people who celebrate hanukah. I laugh out loud every time they ask me, “Are we jukes mommy?”

  5. I think you should use the puppet devil to your advantage for behavior corrections. You know, stuff like “Stop hitting your brother/sister or the devil puppet might show up!!” etc.

    My kids go to a baptist church for pre-k, they love God and Jesus. I tend to be more “meh” about the whole thing.

  6. I had a conversation about this with my 9 year old last night. He informed me he believed in God but also in “evolution and the Big Bang theory”. I’m cool with that but I was also a little surprised. I’ve told him before that I don’t believe in God but that other people do and that’s ok too. I kind of wonder with my son if he’s just testing it out and seeing if it REALLY is ok with me if he believes something different.

    I too am unsure what to do with this information. I was composing a blog post about it in my head all day but now that you’ve written this I’ll probably never get around to typing it out. Way to make me waste my whole day.

  7. I think they’re probably experimenting, and since you are so open about it, they will keep experimenting with their beliefs for a while. Which I think is awesome.

    Just keep doing what you’re doing — honesty and support are, IMO, the most important things you can give them.

  8. Molly Chase says:

    I have an uncle (well, I guess I *had* an uncle; he died earlier this week) who was very old. He came to our house once this summer, and Max came into the kitchen while I was doing something out there. I asked where his father was and Max said “He’s in the living room with God.” He meant my uncle.

    In light of him dying this week, this is maybe more morbid and creepy than funny. But at the time it was hilarious.

    Carry on.

  9. Did they say why God has no feet? Because that’s the part that I can’t seem to wrap my head around (why would God have no feet?).

  10. I could have written the first part of this post, well…until the god with no feet part. 😀 Seriously, we need to get our kids together again because it would be freakin’ hilarious. The other day Alex was asking me all these questions and I just didn’t have the answers. He is standing up on the couch towering over me and he goes, “All I really want to know is HOW DID THE EARTH GET HERE?” and then Mia looks at him and goes, “Duh, GOD!” And down he goes fully satisfied with HER answer as I stand there with my mouth gaping open.

  11. My husband and I were both raised as Christians but neither of our parents were practicing Christians. I think that as educated adults we gravitate towards logic and science. I like the idea of taking the kids to a Unitarian church to learn about other religions. I believe in educating our children so they can decide for themselves.

  12. read my sisters blog: she’s probably one of the best religious writers I know… http://onething.beautifulheritage.com/

  13. I feel like a lot of kids raised without religion believe in God because it’s what they hear all the time. I was raised the same way, with parents with a ton of religious upbringing that rebelled by not taking us to church. I went with a friends a couple times, and felt I believed in God, until I got old enough to think independently about it, when I realized hey, I don’t actually believe in this at all.

    Your kids are still young and probably hear stuff about God at school and with friends a lot, so it seems like something they should believe in. They may continue to believe but they may also change their minds. My parents never cared either way (they were a lot more upset when they thought I might be a Republican…). They might just need to time to figure out they’re atheists, too. Or not. Whatevs!

  14. Forget converting them to athiesm, start with something more tangible, like the great giant spaghetti monster. The jump from athiesm is less scary from there.

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