Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Kids Say the Darndest Things About Religion

We live in the great state of Utah, a.k.a. Mormon-land. We are not Mormon, but we are surrounded by it. We aren't any other religion, in case you were wondering. We just sort of don't do anything at all in that respect. I know most people think it's important to raise kids with some sort of religious foundation, but I don't because I don't know the "Truth", and I don't pretend to.  That being said, I feel it would be morally wrong to tell my kids what to believe about God. I'd rather that they make up their own minds about their own beliefs. We are not anarchists or Atheists , but you get the idea. I think you should live by the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you'd have done unto you." I think if you stick to that, you'll be okay in life and in death.

 My kids are social beings and they ask questions about religion and the things they hear from their friends.  As we tow the boat up to the lake Sunday morning, we pass tons of churches and most of them have parking lots full of cars. My girls wonder why people would spend their Sundays in a church instead of being outside, and I tell them, "To each their own". In fact I don't just tell them that, I drill it into their heads. We do what feels right for us and others do what feels right for them. Everybody is happy and no one gets hurt. We don't all have to be the same.

So now that you have a general summary of our beliefs, this story will make more sense.

When Mormon kids turn eight, they get baptized. My oldest daughter is in that age range and some of her friends and neighbors are getting baptized into the Mormon church. When my daughter asked what that was all about, I gave her a short lesson on what baptism involves in the Mormon church. I told her that the neighbor boy will get all dressed in white and his dad, also clad in white, will dunk said boy in water and BAM, he'll be baptized. Oh and there will probably be some talking parts too....but you get the idea.

I thought my description of the process was adequate, but I laughed out loud when I discovered the actual picture that I had painted in my child's mind. After a trip over to the neighbors house this evening, my daughter came home with a look of confusion. She told me that she informed the neighbor boy that she was totally aware of what his upcoming baptism would be like. I guess he told her that her idea of Mormon baptism was a bit off and she came home to share it with good old mom. Praise the lord for that, because mama needed a giggle.

She took this concept from my simple story. She thought that the neighbor boy, dressed in white clothes, would be placed on the seat of a Dunk Tank. She then thought that the boys dad would throw baseballs at the target of the Dunk Tank until he finally hit it and the boy would then fall off his perch into the dunk tank water. At that point everyone would cheer because the kid was now soaked AND baptized. She also mentioned that it's inappropriate to be soaking wet in white clothes. True that kiddo!

Although her concept is essentially wrong, I think that she might be onto something here.  This new and more entertaining version of baptism sounds like a riot and a true right of passage. Plus, I think my daughter would be more inclined to attend the neighbor boys baptism if it went down like she imagined.

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