i know i haven't posted anything in a while, because mainly, who gives a shit. but this happened last weekend and i felt like i wanted to share it. i've never been as proud of my little free thinker.
my oldest boy (9 yrs) and i were leaving his baseball practice last sunday evening when we passed another team that was finishing their practice as well. they had all taken a knee around the coach. as we passed by, they bowed their heads and were obviously praying. the conversation went pretty much as follows:
K (him): what are they doing?
M (me): they're praying
M: do you know what that is?
K: yeah. sorta like telling god what you want from him. like a christmas list, only not at christmas.
M: (laughing) yeah, kind of like that. people also thank god for things they have too.
K: what if the pirates (his team) prayed after practice?
M: would you want to do that?
M: why not?
K: cause there's no such thing as god.
M: why do you think that? (he knows i don't believe, by the way, but we haven't gone too far into the reasons why)
K: cause there's no proof.
M: like what would be proof?
K: well if someone saw him or heard him or if he did something that you could actually see.
M: some people claim he does do those things when they pray to him.
K: it just seems like prayers don't work much. and if something good happens, how do you know if it was cause of prayer or just cause it was gonna happen anyway, like when people get sick and then get better without praying? and there's lots of times where people get sick and pray and they still don't get better.
M: well that's a good point.
K: some kids at school say that the bible is proof.
M: why are you talking about religion at school? is it in class? (i'll admit my fucking antennae went sky high at this point)
K: no, just kids talk about it sometimes.
M: ok, well what do you think about the bible being proof.
K: it doesn't work.
M: what do you mean?
K: (struggling for the right words) well a thing can't be the proof of the same thing.
M: (knowing EX-FUCKING-ACTLY what he meant, but wanting him to reason it out verbally) how do you mean?
K: like......well...(wheels turning in his head)......i couldn't say that the spongebob cartoon is proof that spongebob is real.
M: (positively beaming at this point). you're right. that's called circular logic. you can't say that a book or something that makes a claim can be proof of that claim.
K: ok. i didn't know how to tell the kids that.
M: what did you tell them?
K: i didn't say anything. i stayed quiet.
M: (good thinking - this is fucking texas) probably a good idea, buddy. but that is slowly changing.
K: what is changing?
M: the % of people who don't believe is growing and the % of people who do is shrinking. eventually people won't have to worry about admitting they don't believe. maybe by the time your kids are grownups.
(silence for a while. i swear i could actually hear the gears in his head processing all this)
K: so what if the pirates prayed after practice?
M: and you didn't want to pray?
M: i guess i'd say something to the coaches about it being inappropriate in a public league.
K: what's a public league?
M: not a church league.
K: what if they still made me pray?
M: no one can make you pray. and if they tried, i'd yank you off that team really quickly.
K: that would never happen though.
M: you're right, not on this team.
at this point i felt like telling him, "good talk, russ" and sharing a beer with him. instead, that was it.
i'm trying to not push my non-belief on him and instead i encourage him to think about what other people believe and see if it makes sense to him. i will admit that i'm proud that he sees things the way i do for now.
and i hope i'm right that if he stays an atheist, he won't lose friends over it, like i have. although in my case, it could just be that i'm an asshole too.