“Mom, is Santa Claus real?” No, it’s just a fun thing to pretend. “Good.”
Soon: “Mom, magic isn’t real, right?” Right. “Just checking.”
Later: “Mom, what’s a god?” Something like an imaginary friend who hogs all the good stuff and bosses you around, then gets mad whenever you do something they don’t like. “Why would anyone make-believe that?!”
Best question ever! But of course I feel that way; I’m an atheist.
I had a religious upbringing, but what I actually believed growing-up was that everyone in town got together on Sundays for a big game of pretend. We listened to fairy tales and sang songs about magical things, just like in Disney movies. Church was fun until someone broke me the bad news: In a community of true-believers, I was the only one pretending.
My son will obviously never have quite the same experience with religion that I had growing up, but atheists are still in the minority. Truly secular parenting resources are scanty compared to the faith-based alternative, so whenever I come across something supportive of science-based living, I am delighted. Especially when that support takes the form of a music video I can add to an online playlist for my son to sing along with whenever he’s not in the mood for magical things.
For skeptics and others with a good sense of humor about faith, I give you the Irrational Nonsense Blues, by Ross Exton:
5 thoughts on “Geek Has The Irrational Nonsense Blues”
We teach our kids what we believe to be true. I believe in God and creation, I believe in the Bible. That is what I will teach my son but I wouldn’t dream of teaching it to his friends whose parents don’t. I also believe that not everyone shares my beliefs, and there’s a lot out there that people believe that I find ridiculous so I enjoyed most of this song!
Yeah, I’m no preacher. When I quit church at age eight, my relatives brought a lot of missionaries around to try to ‘bring me back into the fold.’ We had some serious quarrels because I was unwilling to be proselytized to and they suspected me of trying to convert other kids to atheism (which they called satanism). It took a lot of patience on my part to convince them that a: Nobody converted me in the first place – I was never a believer, and b: I thought it profoundly rude to insist that other people must agree with my (or anyone else’s) perspective. Sure, I would have enjoyed growing-up with like-minded peers, but I understood I was in for a decade of waiting for that sort of social acceptance.
I tried for a tongue-in-cheek approach for this post because, as an atheist, I can’t really take for granted that I won’t offend people just by sharing something that satisfies my skepticism. Humor seems to take the edge off social risk-taking, and so I’m glad and relieved you found something likable about the video.
I really appreciate this post. Thank you from one atheist Mom to another.
You’re so welcome!
I’m a Unitarian Universalist, which is essentially church for people who believe in something bigger than themselves, but not necessarily a god, and they have some of the best children’s education I’ve seen. I actually taught a few months of a “web of life” curriculum where we taught about the food web and went looking for local wildlife and I explained how a miracle is how a tiny acorn is able to grow into a giant oak tree, even though we know how it works.
http://www.uua.org for the curious
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