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s/o said to my dd @ church ;(


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Here's how the conversation went in kids church. Dd "my dog died this weekend, but she's in a better place." Her friend, "dogs don't go to heaven." Uggggghhhh...

 

Sometimes, I just want to ring their pretty little necks!!!

 

Same girl who spent the night last weekend and told my kiddos Santa isn't real. So what...if I want to keep the fantasy alive a bit longer!!!

 

I lost patience and told dd to ignore her friend!!!:glare:

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Are you familiar with the "Rainbow Bridge" concept? (Google "Rainbow Bridge+dead pets.") It's really sweet; it's a poem that says that beloved pets go to a wonderful place on this side of Rainbow Bridge where they are well-fed, healthy, and have green fields to play in. When their master appears they have a happy reunion and then cross Rainbow Bridge together, never to be parted.

 

When our dog was put to sleep, our vet sent us a Rainbow Bridge sympathy card. Even though we obviously don't believe in such a thing, it's a comforting thought.

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Forgive me for being stupid, but why wouldn't a dog go to Heaven, provided there is such a place? :confused:

 

 

Some people think that animals don't because Jesus didn't die for them. To which I say, "they never ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, so they are sinless."

 

Some think that people are the only ones with an eternal spirit, but in my opinion there's to many biblical refrences to animals in heaven. Come on, who was pulling the chariot of fire that picked up Elijah? OR where did Jesus's white horse come from in Revelation?

 

I think God and Heaven is big enough :)

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I have a friend who is an amazing woman of faith who says her cow had BETTER be in heaven when she gets there.

 

A cow? :lol: Well, OK. I do think pets go to heaven.

 

I really like the Dog Heaven book by Cynthia Rylant. If your dd needs a picture of what it would look like, it's an amazing book.

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I have a friend who is an amazing woman of faith who says her cow had BETTER be in heaven when she gets there.

 

A cow? :lol: Well, OK. I do think pets go to heaven.

 

I really like the Dog Heaven book by Cynthia Rylant. If your dd needs a picture of what it would look like, it's an amazing book.

 

Thank you!!!

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I think 'friend' is wrong. God says we will have all we need to be happy in Heaven. I will not be happy without my animals. So I believe they will be there.

 

:iagree:I also think we're going to need bigger beds in heaven. They'll be a lot of kitties curled at my feet, a few on my head :), and a pack of dogs vying for room on the floor around me.

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Some people think that animals don't because Jesus didn't die for them. To which I say, "they never ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, so they are sinless."

 

Some think that people are the only ones with an eternal spirit, but in my opinion there's to many biblical refrences to animals in heaven. Come on, who was pulling the chariot of fire that picked up Elijah? OR where did Jesus's white horse come from in Revelation?

 

I think God and Heaven is big enough :)

 

God also specifically blessed animals in the creation story, so I'm thinking he's not just going to abandon them when they die.

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Some people think that animals don't because Jesus didn't die for them. To which I say, "they never ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, so they are sinless."

 

Some think that people are the only ones with an eternal spirit, but in my opinion there's to many biblical refrences to animals in heaven. Come on, who was pulling the chariot of fire that picked up Elijah? OR where did Jesus's white horse come from in Revelation?

 

I think God and Heaven is big enough :)

 

Animals do not go to heaven because they do not have a soul. Only humans have a soul.

 

In Revelation, the white horse is symbolic of perfection and purity.

 

Not to say that I don't believe animals hold a special place in our hearts here on Earth. While it would be nice to believe that heaven is full of sweet pets (being as I am a huge pet lover and just lost my cat in july), I don't believe it.

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I don't see what's the problem, the other child was expressing her theological convinctions based on the idea that animals don't have a soul. It might appear somewhat "cruel" to contemplate on theological considerations in such circumstances, but they're KIDS, of course that once in a while they're going to mess up a situation by saying something inappropriate.

 

Regarding telling that Santa doesn't exist, my kids messed it up for at least five other kids. Not because they were cruel and wanted to ruin the fun, but because they felt a moral obligation to inform their friends of the fact that they've been deliberately mislead by their own parents. What seems "ruining the fun" to you is actually a serious ethical consideration for some children (as serious as ethical considerations can be at their age), the same would be here, with theological. I don't see what's the whole fuss and why her friend should suddenly not be a friend.

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I don't see what's the problem, the other child was expressing her theological convinctions based on the idea that animals don't have a soul. It might appear somewhat "cruel" to contemplate on theological considerations in such circumstances, but they're KIDS, of course that once in a while they're going to mess up a situation by saying something inappropriate.

 

Regarding telling that Santa doesn't exist, my kids messed it up for at least five other kids. Not because they were cruel and wanted to ruin the fun, but because they felt a moral obligation to inform their friends of the fact that they've been deliberately mislead by their own parents. What seems "ruining the fun" to you is actually a serious ethical consideration for some children (as serious as ethical considerations can be at their age), the same would be here, with theological. I don't see what's the whole fuss and why her friend should suddenly not be a friend.

 

:iagree:

 

While we've spoken with the boys about how other children believe in Santa, Easter Bunny, etc, and that it's not their place to 'correct' other children, it can be tricky. I mean, let's pretend your daughter asks my son what he's leaving for Santa to eat on Christmas Eve, or what he's asking Santa for for Christmas. How would you want my son to respond? He'd probaby say something like 'we don't do Santa', but he may blurt out 'Santa's not real, so he can't bring presents'. They're 7 and 4; they aren't always graceful and tactful. And we teach them to be honest, so it would not make sense to them to say something that's not true, just so another child can go on believing something that is also not true.

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:iagree:

 

While we've spoken with the boys about how other children believe in Santa, Easter Bunny, etc, and that it's not their place to 'correct' other children, it can be tricky. I mean, let's pretend your daughter asks my son what he's leaving for Santa to eat on Christmas Eve, or what he's asking Santa for for Christmas. How would you want my son to respond? He'd probaby say something like 'we don't do Santa', but he may blurt out 'Santa's not real, so he can't bring presents'. They're 7 and 4; they aren't always graceful and tactful. And we teach them to be honest, so it would not make sense to them to say something that's not true, just so another child can go on believing something that is also not true.

 

I would have no problem with that response from a 7 or 4 yr old boy...this is a 10yr old girl. :D

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I don't see what's the problem, the other child was expressing her theological convinctions based on the idea that animals don't have a soul. ( It is cruel, and with this girl it's not once in awhile.) It might appear somewhat "cruel" to contemplate on theological considerations in such circumstances, but they're KIDS, of course that once in a while they're going to mess up a situation by saying something inappropriate.

 

Regarding telling that Santa doesn't exist, my kids messed it up for at least five other kids. Not because they were cruel and wanted to ruin the fun, but because they felt a moral obligation to inform their friends of the fact that they've been deliberately mislead by their own parents. ( That is wrong!!!!! No ones kids have the right to go against other kids parents at this young age. You would flip, if some adult/or child, thought it was their "moral obligation" to tell your kids Jesus is myth and your parents are deliberatly misleading you! ) What seems "ruining the fun" to you is actually a serious ethical consideration for some children (as serious as ethical considerations can be at their age), the same would be here, with theological. I don't see what's the whole fuss and why her friend should suddenly not be a friend.

 

I never said her friend was suddenly not a friend.

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Animals do not go to heaven because they do not have a soul. Only humans have a soul.

 

Really, can you site that for me? I would like to know.

In Revelation, the white horse is symbolic of perfection and purity.

 

Although I agree with what the color represents, that is not what the horse represents.

 

Not to say that I don't believe animals hold a special place in our hearts here on Earth. While it would be nice to believe that heaven is full of sweet pets (being as I am a huge pet lover and just lost my cat in july), I don't believe it.

 

We will have to agree to disagree, on this.

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Food for thought...

 

 

Even so, the prophet Isaiah says God will include animals in the new heavens and new earth: "The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, says the LORD." (Isaiah 65: 25, NIV)

 

Just thought I would throw that out there! :D

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:iagree:

 

While we've spoken with the boys about how other children believe in Santa, Easter Bunny, etc, and that it's not their place to 'correct' other children, it can be tricky. I mean, let's pretend your daughter asks my son what he's leaving for Santa to eat on Christmas Eve, or what he's asking Santa for for Christmas. How would you want my son to respond? He'd probaby say something like 'we don't do Santa', but he may blurt out 'Santa's not real, so he can't bring presents'. They're 7 and 4; they aren't always graceful and tactful. And we teach them to be honest, so it would not make sense to them to say something that's not true, just so another child can go on believing something that is also not true.

:iagree: And it's not so much the age of the teller, it's their understanding about what is true, and what is not true, and their obligation to tell their friend the truth. I'd consider the girl who told to be a *truer* friend *because* she told, even if you might've wished it had happened later. At what arbitrary point do you decide your child should be told the truth? (And I mean that as a rhetorical question, not an actual "you".) :001_smile: I understand it can be sad to let go of childish things that brought joy in the past, but you can rejoice in the new maturity of your child as they learn, grow and enter a new stage. :grouphug:

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I don't see what's the problem, the other child was expressing her theological convinctions based on the idea that animals don't have a soul. It might appear somewhat "cruel" to contemplate on theological considerations in such circumstances, but they're KIDS, of course that once in a while they're going to mess up a situation by saying something inappropriate.

 

Regarding telling that Santa doesn't exist, my kids messed it up for at least five other kids. Not because they were cruel and wanted to ruin the fun, but because they felt a moral obligation to inform their friends of the fact that they've been deliberately mislead by their own parents. What seems "ruining the fun" to you is actually a serious ethical consideration for some children

 

:iagree:

 

We believe very strongly that we should never, never lie to our children about anything. I would be horrified if my children learned that they could trust another child's word more than they could trust mine.

 

It honestly hasn't occurred to me that I need to prepare my children to have this type of discussion with another child. I certainly wouldn't encourage them to lie to another child in order to give the other child false comfort. Hmmmn.

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We got a Rainbow Bridge card, too, when our dog died. It is such a sweet concept.

 

Not to start a theological debate, but it doesn't explicitly say in the Bible that dogs won't be in Heaven, so your DD's friend really had no reason to say that.

 

:grouphug:

 

Agree. I really never believed that God wastes any of his creation.

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Well, as a Christian I believe there will be a new heaven and a new earth i.e. creation renewed. That means animals. Scripture also says that the lion will lay down with the lamb and that doesn't appear to be metaphorical. Animals are also sinless.

 

Apart from that, it's just nuts to tell anyone who is grieving a loss something that will only add to their pain instead of be comforting.

 

Some people really need to educate their children on propriety.

 

((HUGS)) Faith (I recently lost my perfect little torte colored dutch bunny who was my perfect therapy animal - he used to lay on my chest and nap there while I napped, petted him, read, or corrected papers - so I know how you feel!)

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While we've spoken with the boys about how other children believe in Santa, Easter Bunny, etc, and that it's not their place to 'correct' other children, it can be tricky.

I actually had the following conversation with one of my daughters when she was 5-6 years old:

 

Eva: It's the parents who are actually getting kids presents, right?

Ester: True.

Eva: But the kids are not pretending.

Ester: What do you mean?

Eva: It's not a game, it's not that parents are pretending and kids are pretending, it's only parents are pretending that Santa gives presents, but kids are not pretending, kids actually believe.

Ester: It's because their parents don't tell them it's a game.

Eva (shocked :D): THEY'RE LYING?!

Ester: Well, you may call it lying, yes. It's a custom by them.

Eva: But why can't the parents give the kids the presents without lying abougt who gives them?

Ester: They consider it a sort of game, so parents pretend there's also a Santa. Just like you sometimes when you play pretend there are things which there aren't, or you pretend the dolls are alive, and similar.

Eva: But I KNOW I'm pretending and kids I'm playing with also know I'm pretending and we all know we're pretending and nobody is lying to anyone because it's a game that we all play.

Ester: Well, "they" play the game the way only the parents know it's a game, it's one of their customs.

Eva: But it's a bad custom. We don't do that.

Ester: No, we don't.

Eva: I should tell them their parents are lying.

Ester: But you're ending the game that way. They can no longer pretend.

Eva: They shouldn't play a game in which not everyone who plays knows it's a game! It's cruel! It's making fun out of people.

Ester: Well, we view it that way, but they...

Eva: We don't know how they see it, because they don't know it's a game.

Ester: True. They believe it's not a game.

Eva: So I should tell them it is.

Ester: They might be sad to know it's their parents. Their parents might be angry because you ruined the game for them.

Eva: But their parents know they pretend. They're not telling them about Santa because they really think Santa brings presents. Since they bring presents, they must also know that Santa doesn't bring presents.

Ester: Yes.

Eva: So parents have no excuse. They know what they're doing is wrong.

Ester: Eva, it's a custom. That's how they do.

Eva: But it's not alright! It's wrong!

Ester: But it's a custom.

Eva: But it's a BAD custom if it's a custom and it shouldn't be a custom if we know it's bad. We shouldn't do bad things just because other people before us did bad things and these people are doing bad things and know they're doing bad things when they lie to their children about who gives the present. I should tell my friends.

Ester: But they will find out anyway, in a year or two. They don't believe it forever, you know. At some point they learn, so they all pretend from that point on.

Eva: But I cannot not tell them. I have to tell them, because I know something they don't know which concerns them and which is bad and I MUST tell them.

Ester: But it's their parents' place to tell them, they're playing.

Eva: No, if I know something wrong is happening, it's also my place to stop it! If I don't, it's like I take part in it! And you always say that the one who is silent agrees.

 

And so on and so on, pretty much like that. :D Tried to convince the kid it's really not her personal responsibility, but she was deeply troubled by both what's going on AND the idea that she somehow "shouldn't" tell. So she told. :D

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Food for thought...

 

 

Even so, the prophet Isaiah says God will include animals in the new heavens and new earth: "The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, says the LORD." (Isaiah 65: 25, NIV)

 

Just thought I would throw that out there! :D

 

Yes! I love this verse and think of it often! :smile:

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I actually had the following conversation with one of my daughters when she was 5-6 years old:

 

Eva: It's the parents who are actually getting kids presents, right?

Ester: True.

Eva: But the kids are not pretending.

Ester: What do you mean?

Eva: It's not a game, it's not that parents are pretending and kids are pretending, it's only parents are pretending that Santa gives presents, but kids are not pretending, kids actually believe.

Ester: It's because their parents don't tell them it's a game.

Eva (shocked :D): THEY'RE LYING?!

Ester: Well, you may call it lying, yes. It's a custom by them.

Eva: But why can't the parents give the kids the presents without lying abougt who gives them?

Ester: They consider it a sort of game, so parents pretend there's also a Santa. Just like you sometimes when you play pretend there are things which there aren't, or you pretend the dolls are alive, and similar.

Eva: But I KNOW I'm pretending and kids I'm playing with also know I'm pretending and we all know we're pretending and nobody is lying to anyone because it's a game that we all play.

Ester: Well, "they" play the game the way only the parents know it's a game, it's one of their customs.

Eva: But it's a bad custom. We don't do that.

Ester: No, we don't.

Eva: I should tell them their parents are lying.

Ester: But you're ending the game that way. They can no longer pretend.

Eva: They shouldn't play a game in which not everyone who plays knows it's a game! It's cruel! It's making fun out of people.

Ester: Well, we view it that way, but they...

Eva: We don't know how they see it, because they don't know it's a game.

Ester: True. They believe it's not a game.

Eva: So I should tell them it is.

Ester: They might be sad to know it's their parents. Their parents might be angry because you ruined the game for them.

Eva: But their parents know they pretend. They're not telling them about Santa because they really think Santa brings presents. Since they bring presents, they must also know that Santa doesn't bring presents.

Ester: Yes.

Eva: So parents have no excuse. They know what they're doing is wrong.

Ester: Eva, it's a custom. That's how they do.

Eva: But it's not alright! It's wrong!

Ester: But it's a custom.

Eva: But it's a BAD custom if it's a custom and it shouldn't be a custom if we know it's bad. We shouldn't do bad things just because other people before us did bad things and these people are doing bad things and know they're doing bad things when they lie to their children about who gives the present. I should tell my friends.

Ester: But they will find out anyway, in a year or two. They don't believe it forever, you know. At some point they learn, so they all pretend from that point on.

Eva: But I cannot not tell them. I have to tell them, because I know something they don't know which concerns them and which is bad and I MUST tell them.

Ester: But it's their parents' place to tell them, they're playing.

Eva: No, if I know something wrong is happening, it's also my place to stop it! If I don't, it's like I take part in it! And you always say that the one who is silent agrees.

 

And so on and so on, pretty much like that. :D Tried to convince the kid it's really not her personal responsibility, but she was deeply troubled by both what's going on AND the idea that she somehow "shouldn't" tell. So she told. :D

 

Ester Maria, your Eva sounds just like my Zee. He really is kinda horrified that some parents lie to their kids and 'trick' them into believing in Santa. Not because dh and I have ever told him that people who pretend Santa are 'bad', or anything like that. It's because he doesn't understand how lying to your children and getting them to believe a totally fake story is fun. It seems cruel to him; when dh and I first explained the whole 'Santa' thing to him, he thought we were teasing. Seriously. He thought we were making it up that people do that.

 

Just goes to show how different we all are, doesn't it?

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Regarding telling that Santa doesn't exist, my kids messed it up for at least five other kids. Not because they were cruel and wanted to ruin the fun, but because they felt a moral obligation to inform their friends of the fact that they've been deliberately mislead by their own parents. What seems "ruining the fun" to you is actually a serious ethical consideration for some children (as serious as ethical considerations can be at their age), the same would be here, with theological. I don't see what's the whole fuss and why her friend should suddenly not be a friend.

 

I may be a big meanie-pants for saying so, but I agree. Others have the right to parent however they want to the extent that it doesn't encroach on me and my family's choices. If you want to tell your kids there's a guy in a red suit who flies around giving presents to kids on Christmas Eve, then you certainly have the right to do so. But I am under no obligation or moral imperative to help you maintain that illusion, which I personally view as a lie. I have told my kids that it isn't their place to correct others' beliefs about Santa, tooth fairy, etc., but if they slip, it's not my problem. And the conversation with Eva sounds very much like my own thought process when I found out at age 5-6. My feelings of being "punked" by my own parents are the reason we don't do the Santa game with our kids.

 

I don't think the girl in question did anything wrong. Your daughter can still share her own beliefs about the matter and tell her she thinks she doesn't agree (just as we're doing here as adults).

Edited by WordGirl
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( That is wrong!!!!! No ones kids have the right to go against other kids parents at this young age. You would flip, if some adult/or child, thought it was their "moral obligation" to tell your kids Jesus is myth and your parents are deliberatly misleading you! )

God is VERY hard to disprove (or to prove...), in fact, it's in the realm of the logically impossible: invisible, bodiless, timeless, except for miracles doesn't do actual physical interventions into the world, etc.

Even the brightest and the most advanced among children aren't suitable for serious theological discussions on the existence or lack thereof of God(s) before middle school, even upper middle school. They can say, "We don't do Jesus/God.", but they don't have enough knowledge to claim seriously that Jesus/God doesn't exist. If anything, other kids can disprove them by showing them NT as a source. And very, very few children of that age are going to think along the lines "Hmm, it's written in a book which claims it's true, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's true, books tell good things but they may also lie", etc.

 

Theological discussions before t(w)eenage years are almost impossible among children, it requires way too much abstract thinking.

 

On the other hand, Santa, Tooth Fairy, and similar popular customs are very physical phenomena, and it's very known that parents do that, amongst everyone other than small kids themselves. It's provable as well: just stay up and pretend you're sleeping to see who will REALLY bring the presents into your room. It requires a significantly lower level of abstract thinking to conclude that they don't exist, that it's just a popular custom and that, therefore, parents are deliberately misleading the children. Many young children can reason enough to reach that conclusion and to really feel OBLIGED to inform their friends of what's going on.

 

Also notice one more thing: believers don't really "mislead" their children. Misleading supposes you KNOW you're misleading, you're doing it on purpose, while believers actually believe in the truth claims of their religion. They're not "misleading" - they might be raising their children into what atheists would consider false claims, but it's not "deliberate misleading" unless parents don't believe in God, but pretend they do. It's not the same situation.

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I actually had the following conversation with one of my daughters when she was 5-6 years old:

 

Eva: It's the parents who are actually getting kids presents, right?

Ester: True.

Eva: But the kids are not pretending.

Ester: What do you mean?

Eva: It's not a game, it's not that parents are pretending and kids are pretending, it's only parents are pretending that Santa gives presents, but kids are not pretending, kids actually believe.

Ester: It's because their parents don't tell them it's a game.

Eva (shocked :D): THEY'RE LYING?!

Ester: Well, you may call it lying, yes. It's a custom by them.

Eva: But why can't the parents give the kids the presents without lying abougt who gives them?

Ester: They consider it a sort of game, so parents pretend there's also a Santa. Just like you sometimes when you play pretend there are things which there aren't, or you pretend the dolls are alive, and similar.

Eva: But I KNOW I'm pretending and kids I'm playing with also know I'm pretending and we all know we're pretending and nobody is lying to anyone because it's a game that we all play.

Ester: Well, "they" play the game the way only the parents know it's a game, it's one of their customs.

Eva: But it's a bad custom. We don't do that.

Ester: No, we don't.

Eva: I should tell them their parents are lying.

Ester: But you're ending the game that way. They can no longer pretend.

Eva: They shouldn't play a game in which not everyone who plays knows it's a game! It's cruel! It's making fun out of people.

Ester: Well, we view it that way, but they...

Eva: We don't know how they see it, because they don't know it's a game.

Ester: True. They believe it's not a game.

Eva: So I should tell them it is.

Ester: They might be sad to know it's their parents. Their parents might be angry because you ruined the game for them.

Eva: But their parents know they pretend. They're not telling them about Santa because they really think Santa brings presents. Since they bring presents, they must also know that Santa doesn't bring presents.

Ester: Yes.

Eva: So parents have no excuse. They know what they're doing is wrong.

Ester: Eva, it's a custom. That's how they do.

Eva: But it's not alright! It's wrong!

This where I would have corrected my dd. Saying something is wrong is her "opinion", and not everyone shares her opinion.

 

 

Ester: But it's a custom.

Eva: But it's a BAD custom if it's a custom and it shouldn't be a custom if we know it's bad. We shouldn't do bad things just because other people before us did bad things and these people are doing bad things and know they're doing bad things when they lie to their children about who gives the present. I should tell my friends.

 

Again "bad" is her opinion and qualification, I would have to tell dd that it is fine for her to think it is "bad." Other people value different things...make believe, mystery and traditions very much.

 

Ester: But they will find out anyway, in a year or two. They don't believe it forever, you know. At some point they learn, so they all pretend from that point on.

Eva: But I cannot not tell them. I have to tell them, because I know something they don't know which concerns them and which is bad and I MUST tell them.

Ester: But it's their parents' place to tell them, they're playing.

Eva: No, if I know something wrong is happening, it's also my place to stop it! If I don't, it's like I take part in it! And you always say that the one who is silent agrees.

 

And so on and so on, pretty much like that. :D Tried to convince the kid it's really not her personal responsibility, but she was deeply troubled by both what's going on AND the idea that she somehow "shouldn't" tell. So she told. :D

It sounds like you have a very smart and passionate little girl! Kudos, momma! I don't agree with everything in the above conversation, but I love your dd spunk!!!

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God is VERY hard to disprove (or to prove...), in fact, it's in the realm of the logically impossible: invisible, bodiless, timeless, except for miracles doesn't do actual physical interventions into the world, etc.

Even the brightest and the most advanced among children aren't suitable for serious theological discussions on the existence or lack thereof of God(s) before middle school, even upper middle school. They can say, "We don't do Jesus/God.", but they don't have enough knowledge to claim seriously that Jesus/God doesn't exist. If anything, other kids can disprove them by showing them NT as a source. And very, very few children of that age are going to think along the lines "Hmm, it's written in a book which claims it's true, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's true, books tell good things but they may also lie", etc.

 

Theological discussions before t(w)eenage years are almost impossible among children, it requires way too much abstract thinking.

 

On the other hand, Santa, Tooth Fairy, and similar popular customs are very physical phenomena, and it's very known that parents do that, amongst everyone other than small kids themselves. It's provable as well: just stay up and pretend you're sleeping to see who will REALLY bring the presents into your room. It requires a significantly lower level of abstract thinking to conclude that they don't exist, that it's just a popular custom and that, therefore, parents are deliberately misleading the children. Many young children can reason enough to reach that conclusion and to really feel OBLIGED to inform their friends of what's going on.

 

Also notice one more thing: believers don't really "mislead" their children. Misleading supposes you KNOW you're misleading, you're doing it on purpose, while believers actually believe in the truth claims of their religion. They're not "misleading" - they might be raising their children into what atheists would consider false claims, but it's not "deliberate misleading" unless parents don't believe in God, but pretend they do. It's not the same situation.

 

There are many who would disagree though. :) and I don't think "good" theological conversations are beyond kids. Why would Jesus say we have to be like them to enter the kingdom of Heaven?

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I actually had the following conversation with one of my daughters when she was 5-6 years old:

 

Eva: It's the parents who are actually getting kids presents, right?

Ester: True.

Eva: But the kids are not pretending.

Ester: What do you mean?

Eva: It's not a game, it's not that parents are pretending and kids are pretending, it's only parents are pretending that Santa gives presents, but kids are not pretending, kids actually believe.

Ester: It's because their parents don't tell them it's a game.

Eva (shocked :D): THEY'RE LYING?!

Ester: Well, you may call it lying, yes. It's a custom by them.

Eva: But why can't the parents give the kids the presents without lying abougt who gives them?

Ester: They consider it a sort of game, so parents pretend there's also a Santa. Just like you sometimes when you play pretend there are things which there aren't, or you pretend the dolls are alive, and similar.

Eva: But I KNOW I'm pretending and kids I'm playing with also know I'm pretending and we all know we're pretending and nobody is lying to anyone because it's a game that we all play.

Ester: Well, "they" play the game the way only the parents know it's a game, it's one of their customs.

Eva: But it's a bad custom. We don't do that.

Ester: No, we don't.

Eva: I should tell them their parents are lying.

Ester: But you're ending the game that way. They can no longer pretend.

Eva: They shouldn't play a game in which not everyone who plays knows it's a game! It's cruel! It's making fun out of people.

Ester: Well, we view it that way, but they...

Eva: We don't know how they see it, because they don't know it's a game.

Ester: True. They believe it's not a game.

Eva: So I should tell them it is.

Ester: They might be sad to know it's their parents. Their parents might be angry because you ruined the game for them.

Eva: But their parents know they pretend. They're not telling them about Santa because they really think Santa brings presents. Since they bring presents, they must also know that Santa doesn't bring presents.

Ester: Yes.

Eva: So parents have no excuse. They know what they're doing is wrong.

Ester: Eva, it's a custom. That's how they do.

Eva: But it's not alright! It's wrong!

Ester: But it's a custom.

Eva: But it's a BAD custom if it's a custom and it shouldn't be a custom if we know it's bad. We shouldn't do bad things just because other people before us did bad things and these people are doing bad things and know they're doing bad things when they lie to their children about who gives the present. I should tell my friends.

Ester: But they will find out anyway, in a year or two. They don't believe it forever, you know. At some point they learn, so they all pretend from that point on.

Eva: But I cannot not tell them. I have to tell them, because I know something they don't know which concerns them and which is bad and I MUST tell them.

Ester: But it's their parents' place to tell them, they're playing.

Eva: No, if I know something wrong is happening, it's also my place to stop it! If I don't, it's like I take part in it! And you always say that the one who is silent agrees.

 

And so on and so on, pretty much like that. :D Tried to convince the kid it's really not her personal responsibility, but she was deeply troubled by both what's going on AND the idea that she somehow "shouldn't" tell. So she told. :D

 

YES! Your daughter is awesome.

 

I've had that same stance since I was a little girl and found out my parents had been lying to me! I was horrified and couldn't (and still can't) figure out why they thought that lying to me for fun was a good idea.

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You would flip, if some adult/or child, thought it was their "moral obligation" to tell your kids Jesus is myth and your parents are deliberatly misleading you! .

 

I'm not Ester Maria, so feel free to igore me answering what you said to her. :D

 

But why would I flip if someone said that to my child? IMO, people tell my children that frequently by their actions. Just because they decide to put it into words and speak it to my children would not make a difference.

 

We teach our children from infancy that there are many, many people in the world who do not believe in Jesus. If someone said the above to them, I would not flip. I certainly hope that dh and I are doing a good enough job instructing our children in our beliefs that the unbelief of another does not shake their faith.

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I'm not Ester Maria, so feel free to igore me answering what you said to her. :D

 

But why would I flip if someone said that to my child? IMO, people tell my children that frequently by their actions. Just because they decide to put it into words and speak it to my children would not make a difference.

 

We teach our children from infancy that there are many, many people in the world who do not believe in Jesus. If someone said the above to them, I would not flip. I certainly hope that dh and I are doing a good enough job instructing our children in our beliefs that the unbelief of another does not shake their faith.

 

In a sense you are right. I was probly responding a bit out of the thread where someone was upset that a sunday school teacher took it upon herself to insuiate she was being over protective, by homeschooling.

 

It seems some of us are more sensitive to others butting into our/kids lives than others :001_smile:.

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And so on and so on, pretty much like that. :D Tried to convince the kid it's really not her personal responsibility, but she was deeply troubled by both what's going on AND the idea that she somehow "shouldn't" tell. So she told. :D

 

Hmmm. One of my kids wanted to do this about God.

But there IS no God. It's just a myth! Why are these people lying to their kids about heaven & hell and all that stuff?!

 

Would that have been so :D too? I certainly didn't think so.....

 

Um, no, dear child. Not your job to offer to lend out your copy of the God Delusion to the kids in the hs group.

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In a sense you are right. I was probly responding a bit out of the thread where someone was upset that a sunday school teacher took it upon herself to insuiate she was being over protective, by homeschooling.

 

It seems some of us are more sensitive to others butting into our/kids lives than others :001_smile:.

 

I don't think this is about sensitivity, really.

 

There's a big difference, imo, between a child telling the truth to another child and an adult chiding a parent (or trying to convince a child) about a choice.

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simka2 - The first thing that came to my mind is from an old episode of Father Ted where the bishops were coming to visit & Father Jack was temporarily sobered up & taught to answer all questions "Yes!",

"No!", or

 

"That would be an ecumenical matter!"

 

It's now my standard response to all theological issues. Shuts people up, wheter it is an ecumenical matter or not...... :D

 

 

& also for your dd:

 

"

An old man and his dog were walking down this dirt road with fences on both sides, they came to a gate in the fence and looked in, it was nice grassy, woody areas, just what a 'huntin' dog and man would like, but, it had a sign saying 'no trespassing' so they walked on. They came to a beautiful gate with a person in white robes standing there. "Welcome to Heaven" he said. The old man was happy and started in with his dog following him. The gatekeeper stopped him. "Dogs aren't allowed, I'm sorry but he can't come with you."

 

"What kind of Heaven won't allow dogs? If he can't come in, then I will stay out with him. He's been my faithful companion all his life, I can't desert him now."

 

"Suit yourself, but I have to warn you, the Devil's on this road and he'll try to sweet talk you into his area, he'll promise you anything, but the dog can't go there either. If you won't leave the dog, you'll spend Eternity on this road."

 

So the old man and dog went on. They came to a rundown fence with a gap in it, no gate, just a hole. Another old man was inside. "S'cuse me Sir, my dog and I are getting mighty tired, mind if we come in and sit in the shade for awhile?"

 

"Of course, there's some cold water under that tree over there. Make yourselves comfortable"

 

"You're sure my dog can come in? The man down the road said dogs weren't allowed anywhere."

 

"Would you come in if you had to leave the dog?"

 

"No sir, that's why I didn't go to Heaven, he said the dog couldn't come in.

We'll be spending Eternity on this road, and a glass of cold water and some shade would be mighty fine right about now. But, I won't come in if my buddy here can't come too, and that's final."

 

The man smiled a big smile and said "Welcome to Heaven."

 

"You mean this is Heaven? Dogs ARE allowed? How come that fellow down the road said they weren't?"

 

"That wasn't God. That was the Other Guy and he gets all the people who are willing to give up a life long companion for a comfortable place to stay. They soon find out their mistake, but then it's too late. The dogs come here, the fickle people stay there. GOD wouldn't allow dogs to be banned from Heaven. After all, HE created them to be man's companions in life, why would he separate them in death?"

 

Author Unknown

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simka2 - The first thing that came to my mind is from an old episode of Father Ted where the bishops were coming to visit & Father Jack was temporarily sobered up & taught to answer all questions "Yes!",

"No!", or

 

"That would be an ecumenical matter!"

 

It's now my standard response to all theological issues. Shuts people up, wheter it is an ecumenical matter or not...... :D

 

 

& also for your dd:

 

"

An old man and his dog were walking down this dirt road with fences on both sides, they came to a gate in the fence and looked in, it was nice grassy, woody areas, just what a 'huntin' dog and man would like, but, it had a sign saying 'no trespassing' so they walked on. They came to a beautiful gate with a person in white robes standing there. "Welcome to Heaven" he said. The old man was happy and started in with his dog following him. The gatekeeper stopped him. "Dogs aren't allowed, I'm sorry but he can't come with you."

 

"What kind of Heaven won't allow dogs? If he can't come in, then I will stay out with him. He's been my faithful companion all his life, I can't desert him now."

 

"Suit yourself, but I have to warn you, the Devil's on this road and he'll try to sweet talk you into his area, he'll promise you anything, but the dog can't go there either. If you won't leave the dog, you'll spend Eternity on this road."

 

So the old man and dog went on. They came to a rundown fence with a gap in it, no gate, just a hole. Another old man was inside. "S'cuse me Sir, my dog and I are getting mighty tired, mind if we come in and sit in the shade for awhile?"

 

"Of course, there's some cold water under that tree over there. Make yourselves comfortable"

 

"You're sure my dog can come in? The man down the road said dogs weren't allowed anywhere."

 

"Would you come in if you had to leave the dog?"

 

"No sir, that's why I didn't go to Heaven, he said the dog couldn't come in.

We'll be spending Eternity on this road, and a glass of cold water and some shade would be mighty fine right about now. But, I won't come in if my buddy here can't come too, and that's final."

 

The man smiled a big smile and said "Welcome to Heaven."

 

"You mean this is Heaven? Dogs ARE allowed? How come that fellow down the road said they weren't?"

 

"That wasn't God. That was the Other Guy and he gets all the people who are willing to give up a life long companion for a comfortable place to stay. They soon find out their mistake, but then it's too late. The dogs come here, the fickle people stay there. GOD wouldn't allow dogs to be banned from Heaven. After all, HE created them to be man's companions in life, why would he separate them in death?"

 

Author Unknown

 

Hornblower...thank you!

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Food for thought...

 

 

Even so, the prophet Isaiah says God will include animals in the new heavens and new earth: "The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, says the LORD." (Isaiah 65: 25, NIV)

 

Just thought I would throw that out there! :D

 

 

But it doesn't say that our pets will be in the new heavens and new earth.

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I've never been able to tell my DD something that was not true. I don't blat out all the facts about every little thing, but if I tell her to believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and later she finds out that they are not real, why would she believe me about important invisible beings that are actually real and in Whom it is crucial to believe? The risks are too great.

 

So I played Santa and played TF, and answered her questions honestly as they came up. If we want our kids to be honest, we need to be honest with them.

 

I also taught her not to argue about this with other children. I told her that some parents like to pretend more about this, and that I disagree with that but that it is none of our business. I don't think she spilled the beans to anyone else.

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& also for your dd:

 

"

An old man and his dog were walking down this dirt road with fences on both sides, they came to a gate in the fence and looked in, it was nice grassy, woody areas, just what a 'huntin' dog and man would like, but, it had a sign saying 'no trespassing' so they walked on. They came to a beautiful gate with a person in white robes standing there. "Welcome to Heaven" he said. The old man was happy and started in with his dog following him. The gatekeeper stopped him. "Dogs aren't allowed, I'm sorry but he can't come with you."

 

"What kind of Heaven won't allow dogs? If he can't come in, then I will stay out with him. He's been my faithful companion all his life, I can't desert him now."

 

"Suit yourself, but I have to warn you, the Devil's on this road and he'll try to sweet talk you into his area, he'll promise you anything, but the dog can't go there either. If you won't leave the dog, you'll spend Eternity on this road."

 

So the old man and dog went on. They came to a rundown fence with a gap in it, no gate, just a hole. Another old man was inside. "S'cuse me Sir, my dog and I are getting mighty tired, mind if we come in and sit in the shade for awhile?"

 

"Of course, there's some cold water under that tree over there. Make yourselves comfortable"

 

"You're sure my dog can come in? The man down the road said dogs weren't allowed anywhere."

 

"Would you come in if you had to leave the dog?"

 

"No sir, that's why I didn't go to Heaven, he said the dog couldn't come in.

We'll be spending Eternity on this road, and a glass of cold water and some shade would be mighty fine right about now. But, I won't come in if my buddy here can't come too, and that's final."

 

The man smiled a big smile and said "Welcome to Heaven."

 

"You mean this is Heaven? Dogs ARE allowed? How come that fellow down the road said they weren't?"

 

"That wasn't God. That was the Other Guy and he gets all the people who are willing to give up a life long companion for a comfortable place to stay. They soon find out their mistake, but then it's too late. The dogs come here, the fickle people stay there. GOD wouldn't allow dogs to be banned from Heaven. After all, HE created them to be man's companions in life, why would he separate them in death?"

 

Author Unknown

 

:):):)

 

Simka, am I mistaken that your problem isn't really theological, but rather that it was a hurtful thing to say to your dd who is taking comfort in the thought that her dog is in Heaven, and it was helping her deal with her grief? I think that the girl probably didn't mean it to be mean or facetious, but likely it was a not so thought out comment on the behalf a 10 year old who really didn't understand your dd's grief. Maybe Hornblower's story and the idea that the girl really didn't understand where your dd is emotionally right now would be helpful to your dd.

:grouphug:

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"

An old man and his dog were walking down this dirt road with fences on both sides, they came to a gate in the fence and looked in, it was nice grassy, woody areas, just what a 'huntin' dog and man would like, but, it had a sign saying 'no trespassing' so they walked on. They came to a beautiful gate with a person in white robes standing there. "Welcome to Heaven" he said. The old man was happy and started in with his dog following him. The gatekeeper stopped him. "Dogs aren't allowed, I'm sorry but he can't come with you."

 

"What kind of Heaven won't allow dogs? If he can't come in, then I will stay out with him. He's been my faithful companion all his life, I can't desert him now."

 

"Suit yourself, but I have to warn you, the Devil's on this road and he'll try to sweet talk you into his area, he'll promise you anything, but the dog can't go there either. If you won't leave the dog, you'll spend Eternity on this road."

 

So the old man and dog went on. They came to a rundown fence with a gap in it, no gate, just a hole. Another old man was inside. "S'cuse me Sir, my dog and I are getting mighty tired, mind if we come in and sit in the shade for awhile?"

 

"Of course, there's some cold water under that tree over there. Make yourselves comfortable"

 

"You're sure my dog can come in? The man down the road said dogs weren't allowed anywhere."

 

"Would you come in if you had to leave the dog?"

 

"No sir, that's why I didn't go to Heaven, he said the dog couldn't come in.

We'll be spending Eternity on this road, and a glass of cold water and some shade would be mighty fine right about now. But, I won't come in if my buddy here can't come too, and that's final."

 

The man smiled a big smile and said "Welcome to Heaven."

 

"You mean this is Heaven? Dogs ARE allowed? How come that fellow down the road said they weren't?"

 

"That wasn't God. That was the Other Guy and he gets all the people who are willing to give up a life long companion for a comfortable place to stay. They soon find out their mistake, but then it's too late. The dogs come here, the fickle people stay there. GOD wouldn't allow dogs to be banned from Heaven. After all, HE created them to be man's companions in life, why would he separate them in death?"

 

Author Unknown

 

I LOVE this.

 

I used to attend a Catholic Church and oldest dd went to Catholic school for a few years. When our dog died (one we had before dd was born that she was very, very attched to) the priest in charge of the parish told her that if heaven would only be heaven for her with her dog there, then she would be there. That the love that people had for their pets would give them a place in heaven.

 

There's a lot from the Church that I don't believe (I never was Catholic) and I'm not sure I believe in heaven but I truly appreciated this priest's response to my 7 year old daughter.

 

Edited to add: we do "do" Santa Claus. I never felt betrayed when I found out the truth I think because my mother never told a direct lie. If we asked about Santa her response was always "He comes for those who believe". Oldest dd didn't feel betrayed and enjoyed Santa Claus and enjoys doing it with her younger siblings.

Edited by dottieanna29
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Since your daughter was grieving, it would be nice if this girl could have just kept quiet.

 

But in theory, apart from the fact that your daughter is actually mourning and should be allowed to comfort herself, I don't see why your daughter is more entitled to state her doctrinal position, "Dogs go to heaven" than her friend, "No they don't."

 

I have no dog in the doctrinal fight. I always just assumed dogs don't have souls and do not have eternal life, but then when my dog died, a lot of Christians who I think of as thoughtful, intelligent people said things about seeing her again in heaven. I have not really sat down with my Bible and worked out a position on this, so maybe they are right. Don't know. I loved that girl, so I hope they are right. But I do think that, again, apart from the issue of good friends not having to argue every point at every moment, other kids are going to feel just as entitled to state their position on God, dogs or Santa as your children are.

 

I think we have to either really keep our children close to us and within earshot at all times, or we have to teach them that not everyone believes what Mom and Dad believe and that we have firm reasons for believing what we do.

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:):):)

 

Simka, am I mistaken that your problem isn't really theological, but rather that it was a hurtful thing to say to your dd who is taking comfort in the thought that her dog is in Heaven, and it was helping her deal with her grief? I think that the girl probably didn't mean it to be mean or facetious, but likely it was a not so thought out comment on the behalf a 10 year old who really didn't understand your dd's grief. Maybe Hornblower's story and the idea that the girl really didn't understand where your dd is emotionally right now would be helpful to your dd.

:grouphug:

 

For the most part...yes! But after reading some of the responses on here, I am begining to understand that this girl felt a "need" to educate my dd. At first I was just putting it down to imaturity. WOW...to be told that this little girl was doing my dd a favor!!!

 

No, it's not theological...My beliefs are set :)

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I haven't read the entire thread, but wanted to say that this reminds of a James Herriot book. I can't remember which one it is, it's in the All Creatures Great and Small series. In this story, an elderly lady is dying and is concerned that her pet who is also old and dying (or maybe who had just died, I can't remember) won't be in heaven with her because pets have "no souls". James Herriot says “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans. You’ve nothing to worry about there.â€

 

That passage made me cry, because I have a cat whom we had to put to sleep for a very sad reason and I was grieving for him. I feel sure that my pets will be in heaven with me. :001_smile:

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Since your daughter was grieving, it would be nice if this girl could have just kept quiet.

 

But in theory, apart from the fact that your daughter is actually mourning and should be allowed to comfort herself, I don't see why your daughter is more entitled to state her doctrinal position, "Dogs go to heaven" than her friend, "No they don't."

 

Ummm...I never said she was more entitled. She never said dogs go to heaven. She simply said to her friend, "Penelope died this weekend, I really miss her, but it's okay because now she can be my heavenly guard dog." Kids do need to be educated to be sensitive. Her friend can believe what she wants, that doesn't give her the right to be insensitive.

 

I have no dog in the doctrinal fight. I always just assumed dogs don't have souls and do not have eternal life, but then when my dog died, a lot of Christians who I think of as thoughtful, intelligent people said things about seeing her again in heaven. I have not really sat down with my Bible and worked out a position on this, so maybe they are right. Don't know. I loved that girl, so I hope they are right. But I do think that, again, apart from the issue of good friends not having to argue every point at every moment, other kids are going to feel just as entitled to state their position on God, dogs or Santa as your children are.

 

I think we have to either really keep our children close to us and within earshot at all times, or we have to teach them that not everyone believes what Mom and Dad believe and that we have firm reasons for believing what we do.

 

She knows that not everyone believes what we believe. She was really upset that her friend would say that to her. My dd is wired to comfort others.

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Hmmm. One of my kids wanted to do this about God.

But there IS no God. It's just a myth! Why are these people lying to their kids about heaven & hell and all that stuff?!

 

Would that have been so :D too? I certainly didn't think so.....

 

Um, no, dear child. Not your job to offer to lend out your copy of the God Delusion to the kids in the hs group.

My eldest found online a comparison of living in the religious US with living in the world in which everyone believes in Santa. It's a very long piece of writing, published on some blog or something, that made me chuckle - google it, or PM me for it, since if I put the link here, the thread is BOUND to go downhill. In any case, a very interesting read. Give it to your kids too. :D

 

The 'problem' with God is that you cannot logically disprove an existence of anything, including invisible giant teapots, God, whatever you wish. Which statements about the empirical world cannot be true if God exists, or if God doesn't exist? It's a topic which requires dealing with many philosophical and theological subtleties.

 

On the other hand, who brings the presents on Christmas Eve to those kids that celebrate Christmas is a very direct, concrete question that deals with the sphere of that which is observable. There ARE statements about the empirical world whose veracity depends on that very questions. That's why kids generally CAN debunk the Santa myth, the Tooth Fairy myth and similar... while God is a more difficult cookie to debunk for the age group in which kids buy, or don't buy, Santas and Tooth Fairies.

 

I'm not familiar with Christian apologetics very much, but Judaism has a whole set of very elaborate arguments on its own veracity. Those arguments can be MUCH more convincing that something like Quinquae viae - say Kuzari for example. I successfully studied Russell's debunking of Quinquae viae with my kids last year in 6th-7th grade (we studied parallelly argument by argument, and they often noticed original flaws which Russell then brought up later), but Kuzari was a lot tougher cookie to notice flaws in at that age, and they were pretty frightened by it (frightened in sense, "wait... this whole Judaism thing might be... actually... true"). And I'm talking about really bright kids, not somebody that falls for everything they read without thinking. In fact, many ADULTS - with terrific Jewish education and all intricacies of thought it involves - don't see anything problematic with that argument even after they've studied it and regularly cite it as a proof of the veracity of the Jewish tradition. I even know people for whom the Kuzari argument was pretty much the turning point of becoming religious.

 

What I'm saying is, basically, those are very intricate matters, and theology can go very crazy. Kids aren't likely to have those discussions. And even if your kids do try to ruin the fun for religious kids, they might be surprised at the amount of apologetics that religious kids get regularly taught. Most religious kids IME fare very well with statements such as "There is no God" because they're armed with proofs of God's existence (whether or not these proofs are logically flawed is another thing), as well as taught that not everyone believes, so it's not a shock.

 

On the other hand, Santa... Santa is real, concrete, we can prove it's a deceit, it has a completely different effect to say something along "There's no Santa.", than to make such claims about timeless, bodiless mind that doesn't really manifest itself in the world the way you can notice it. It actually upsets kids MORE to hear about Santa than to hear about God. When you talk about God, they may think you simply aren't blessed to believe, or aren't confronted with the same arguments they are, etc., and to your kids' question "How do you know?" they actually CAN answer, and ultimately finish any discussion based on "personal experience" (IMO personal experience proves nothing since people in all kinds of altered states of mind had all kinds of experiences which didn't happen in reality, but that's where the discussion pretty much ends with those who believe they did have a personal contact with God). And their parents, church, etc. will back them up. With more arguments. More stories about how belief is a gift (which therefore not everyone has), how these people who don't believe simply weren't yet in a position of God influecing their lives so they believe, etc., etc. There's a myriad of ways to soothe a kid on that one.

 

But on Santa... parents won't go further to maintain the illusion, so it's a lot harder to live with being told that by other kids than with figuring it out on your own or being told by your parents. That's why I understand people who are actually more upset if your kids ruin Santa than if your kids attempt to ruin God. The latter they can cope with philosophically and theologically (again, whether those are actual or pseudo arguments is a whole other story, but they ARE equipped to respond), but the former one is so concrete that you have to reply to it sometime directly, and it can lead to negative emotions in a kid, distrust towards their parents, etc.

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