All in all I would consider my self to be a fairly rational person, but I am not entirely clear of superstition (I am having to type this blog on one leg). I know there are no such things as ghosts or things that go bump in the night yet I really don’t like walking around a dark house in case I should stumble across one.
Many of the beliefs we hold as children often vanish as we reach adulthood. For any children or adults in denial (which is 4,132 miles long) you may want to skip this next sentence. Now we are older we know that Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny don’t exist. I can’t remember whether I believed in these or not, I don’t remember the moment when I stopped.
It seems strange to think that once we all would hide a tooth under a pillow expecting a fairy to take it away, or that we accepted that magic allowed a jolly fat man to jump down the chimney of every house in one night. I remember staying awake one Christmas Eve to catch a glimpse of the of who it was that left presents in the stocking at the end of the bed, it seems that even at a young age I was skeptical of superstition.
This also means I do not hold any religious belief, I used to go every Sunday to church until the age of 16 so it’s not as though I have discounted it due to absence of exposure.It’s just that I decided that believing in the literal truth of scriptures did not seem to make any sense. I believe some of the over-riding messages are really useful (like be nice to those less fortunate than you) but then there are whole sections I just find weird and offensive (like not eating bats on Fridays).
There were two occasions at school that really put the kibosh on my belief, and both times it was someone of faith who put the doubts into my head. We once had in some members from the local Christian Centre who stood in front of the whole Religious Education class and proclaimed that there was no writing more literally accurate than The Bible. When I asked if I was to write down my name on a piece of paper would that have less truth in than Genesis they proudly announced “The Bible is more accurate”. That didn’t seem right to me, and later on when questioned over some of the more awkward passages regarding punishment via stoning they told us that not everything is true in there. Didn’t fill me with a lot of confidence in this thing called faith.
I’m going to have to make decisions on what I tell my children. Mrs G wants to take them to Sunday School and I am more than happy to let her do so, I’ll be like Homer Simpson in the episode where he gave up church sitting in my pants while Springfield burns around me.
We will let them have Santa and Tooth Fairies until they decide they don’t want to play, it will be just as much fun for me as it will for them.
Most importantly we will let them decide for themselves. It is as wrong to force a belief on someone as it is to try to prevent one. What is vital is that they choose what they want as truth or superstition.
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