My eldest son is merely eight and he has already come to the opinion, with very little guidance from myself, that he flatly refuses to believe in God, Jesus or the teachings of the holy bible. Sacrilege, I hear you cry, what awful parents, how dare they subject their son to such morality lows. In my defense, he has come to this opinion, all on his own, I will not lie that I am not on the same page as he (but yes I am ) but my approach is softer and appreciative of a persons right to believe in whatever the fuck they want. As long as you do not judge another for not accepting or following that belief. We all have the ability and right to make our own choices. This is where my parenting begins with K1’s religious education. No matter WHAT he believes, he must never demean another persons right to chose and to have an opinion. As he has called his brother an idiot for thinking that we will go to hell if we do not believe in Jesus, to quote his words, “Jesus does not exist and neither does hell, that is just stupid”! We have worked hard on tempering this attitude and harsh delivery of his belief 🙂
K1 is head strong, willful, pig headed, intelligent, he also sits on the autistic spectrum, so he struggles with areas that are grey. The world is black or white., God or no God. He believes in science, planets, evolution, Darwin, dinosaurs, he also believes that the earth is his guidance, nature his energy source, what he must believe in and nurture, kindness is his road to enlightenment and rocks are mystical and sacred. He always carries a semi precious rock in his pocket or bag, to hold, to manipulate or peek at, to wonder at.
So imagine my surprise when he agreed to go to church with his best friend, who is catholic. He had to sit in church, through the sermon in silence, for a FULL hour. Not a peep did he make. I am pleased he went, it is important for him to understand how others believe and for him to be able to make an informative decision on where he wants to sit (if ever) on the belief spectrum. It was kind of my friend to share this family experience with him (she said he was a very good boy, I was slightly panicking that he would announce that they were all fucking dumb and god never existed). But he stayed silent, he listened and he appreciated. When I asked him how it was? He said “I kinda liked it, it was nice and quiet and we listened to music”, “do you believe now”? I asked, “no”, he said, “but I enjoyed listening”. he even said he would go back. I was so proud of him, he chose for the love of his friend, to respect and share this experience with him, he realized it made his friend feel accepted and respected and that although their religious differences, it meant no divide, or hate or heart break.
Then they went and played Lego, a whole new religion.