God, the Devil, Zeus, and Skylanders: Religion as seen by 2 eight year olds.
“What do you think happens when you die?”
Thankfully, this question was not asked of me, for I fear any answer I would give might a.) confuse my child even more or b.) terrify him so he doesn’t ask me any further soul searching questions in the future. I was also choosing to ignore the fact that this question was asked by my son’s eight year friend as we were cruising down the highway. Were they trying to send me a not so subtle clue as to what they thought of my driving?
Anyways, that aside, I turned down the radio just enough so I could eavesdrop in on what was sure to be an interesting conversation. It went something like this:
Ry: I don’t know. I think it’s like going to sleep.
Friend: Yeah, but I heard you don’t see anything.
Ry: So, you see like black then?
Friend: Noooo… because black is a color. You don’t see anything. Not even color. Close your eyes and try to imagine something without color. You can’t right?
Ry: (squinting hard.) Nope, I can’t.
Friend: What do you think that means?
Ry: I don’t know.
Friend: What about God?
Ry: (who has a very limited religious exposure) Well, I heard he’s good.
Friend: Yeah, I heard that too. And the devil is bad.
Ry: Oh. Does he (the devil) really look like that?
Friend: Yes. He lied and then grew a tail and horns. He got even more mad now because he was ugly so he turned red.
Ry: What did he lie about?
Friend: I don’t know. Something about an apple and a snake. And naked people.
Giggling ensues from the back seat.
Ry: So, God is like Zeus right?
Friend: Yeah, I think so. I heard he has lightning.
Ry: So, would that make him a fire type or a water type or an earth type?
Ok, well for those of you who may not have young children, this current question is in reference to a game called Skylanders. There are different types of powers that they have. I don’t know all of the differences, but if you feel so inclined, I’m certain you can find information on line to form your own belief on what type God would be.
Friend: I would say a fire type.
Ry: Yeah that sounds about right to me.
Friend: Well wait.. I heard the Devil lives in.. well..a place with lots of fire. Maybe the devil is a fire type?
Ry: Can they both be? I think Fire is the most powerful one.
Friend: (shrugging) I don’t know.
Ry: Why is it so complicated?
Friend: I don’t know. Want to play chase when we get home?
Ry: Sure. And then maybe mine craft.
And thus concluded the incredibly insightful thoughts on religion by two eight year olds. Truth be told, I think I liked their version better than any of the ones I have heard discussed by adults. It was very non assuming, well thought out (for their age) and ended well. I’m quite happy that I have a child who simply won’t parrot back whatever he heard but rather tries to understand it in the terms he knows best. Of course, I may regret this later when he is challenging my own rules through a well thought out argument with key points, but I’ll worry about that later. =)