Thursday, February 14, 2008

After this, I promise to stop talking about it

Guess who's never ever going back to Awanas?

She had fun. I knew she would. That's how "they" get you. She even came home with candy. Fun Dip to be exact (Lik-em-Aid for all you oldsters like me).

After she brushed her teeth and got into her pajamas, I laid down next to her to talk about how it went.

Right away she tells me that "if you're good, you get to spend forever with your family up in heaven. If you're bad you go down to the hot lava".

Those fuckers got that into my kid's head in two short hours.

Then she said "And you put it in your mouth and then it's in you."

(I about had a heart attack. "WHAT is in you, Mina?!")

"Like Jesus is in you and sticks to your heart"

(Again with the palpatations.)

"Like the candy they gave us."

(Coronary over, but blood pressure still high)

I didn't go into this blind. Having grown up with Fundie parents, I knew what we were getting ourselves into letting her go to this. I just didn't think they'd pull out the "big guns" the very first night!

So, I started gently with the fact that Mommy and Daddy don't necessarily agree with what those people said. Sometimes people believe different things and that's alright.

I asked her if she thought there really was a pit of hot lava waiting for the "bad people", and she thought about it for a second before deciding that both we and "they" were right.

In her six year old mind, this is a distinct possibility. I tried to tell her that what she chose to believe is up to her, but that Mommy and Daddy don't choose to believe what "they" said.

I told her that people can be good and nice and do good things for others and not go to church--that sometimes people are nice just for the sake of being nice and not to avoid this bubbling pit of iniquity.

I told her that it makes some people feel better in their hearts to believe in heaven and hell, and that's alright but Mommy and Daddy don't.

She looked like she was really thinking about it, but she was pretty tired, so who knows.

I'm going to go ahead and assume that Bethany's Mom will now invite Jim and I to go to church. That's how this works. Get the kid all fired up, then go after the parents. I may be willing to let Mina explore other avenues, but honey I've done my time and that book has been closed and put away on my end.

I actually do hope that we get invited so I can be honest with Bethany's Mom. She seems to genuinely like me. We get along and have had a few laughs together over this and that. I hope that when the proverbial ball drops, I will have somehow shattered her (assumed) preconception of Atheists.

Or maybe she will shun my ass.

She'd better invest in some kneepads for all the praying she will be doing for my everlasting soul.


twoluvcats said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I've been following the posts. Now I have an idea what I'm in for. My daughter's friend wants to take her to church as well. (she's 6yrs too) I said she could go, and then instantly regretted it.

SkylersDad said...

We get a whole lot of "laying on hands" and "God only gives you what you can handle" stuff from the overly religious folks who see us with Skyler.

Sometimes I bite my tongue, other times I let them have it with both barrels.

Tanya Espanya said...

Glad to hear about this update.

Hot lava indeed.

Anonymous said...

Jesus is a Fun-Dip? What the hell?
Everyone knows he's one of those little wax bottles full of sugar water.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

You handled that potentially sticky situation great. It's best that your kids know both sides of the issue and that there are people who do nice things because it's right and not just because the some book of stories tell them they have to.

Johnny Yen said...

One of the things my ex-girlfriend and I could agree on about our son when we hammered out our custody agreement was no religion forced on him (she and I are both atheists). When he went to preschool at YMCA, they talked about religion and he talked to friends about religion. He started coming home with questions about god. We just kind of avoided the questions and he eventually forgot about it.

Grant Miller said...

God bless!

Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

Honestly, I can't read these kinds of stories. They make my head explode. I think you should have Mina invite her little friend over and then do some sort of "fun Pagan ritual" with them. Maybe that'll send a message...

Coaster Punchman said...

OH MY GOD! The audacity of these people - telling six year olds that. I think it's child abuse and it should be illegal.

I had a brief bout with Awanas while growing up in Palatine - thanks for the memory bump - I may blog about it now.

Geez I have the willies.

Coaster Punchman said...

Ok, I posted. Thanks for jogging my memory on this.

Michael K said...

Howdy. Sorry to hear about all this. My sister had a close friend who took her to her families cult gatherings as children and now she is an alcoholic twice divorced mother of 2. I'm sure your little lady has better genes than my sister but... Just be careful.

Michael K said...

Howdy. Sorry to hear about all this. My sister had a close friend who took her to her families cult gatherings as children and now she is an alcoholic twice divorced mother of 2. I'm sure your little lady has better genes than my sister but... Just be careful.

Dale said...

What do they offer the adults in lieu of Fun Dip I wonder? It's great that you've given her your views and more to think about.

Weeping Sore said...

Spare your kid these nutjobs. Tolerance of insanity is insane.

SkylersDad said...

So where have you been? Did the Awanas capture you and take you back to their "indoctrination center"?

jewgirl said...

I read about this over at Cpunchmans digs. Like you, I am vehemently opposed to indoctrinating children into religion by fear. It's horrible.

You handle it so beautifully, child.

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