Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Comparitive religion for the under 5's

Tonight at dinner, Ben kicked off the conversation with "Did you know Jesus is our king?". Clearly the Christmas season has begun at his Uniting Church pre-school. I responded with "That's what Christians believe, yes." and then went on to give a cursory definition of religion and attempt to discuss Buddhism and a very vague notion of the rest of the Judeo-Christian family.

He told me that he believes it (exactly what "it" is remains slightly obscure), and I told him that's fine. I also warned him he wouldn't be seeing much mention of Jesus at our place around Christmas. Jesus is not the reason for my season. He informed me (very importantly) that Jesus is what Christmas is, and I told him that it has been other things to other people both before and after "Christmas" came along, but didn't push the point.

I don't want to create a monster for the pre-school, I'd much rather he lecture me than his teachers or (even worse) the very lovely minister who spends a lot of time with the kids. So for now, it will be a very gentle message that there are other beliefs out there (I haven't tackled atheism yet), without any suggestion that he should hold them. I figure he should at least get to kindergarten scripture before he starts lecturing his teachers. It seems to me that an element of respect for other people's beliefs is not sicking a self righteous nearly-five year old armed with my opinions on them. :)


  1. Katie has been coming home with a selection of lovely songs she has been learning for the end of year concert (which we will very sadly miss as it clashes with her dance concert for which we have invested real money)which range from the usual religious Christmas carols to "We will Rock You" by Queen.
    This has not encouraged any religious discussions, by she is exploring the concept of heaven

  2. I've just been having a discussion with the kids about how religions that are no longer believed by anyone get called mythology while mythology that people still take seriously gets called religion. At which point they began asking difficult questions about the Greek pantheon and I had to go looking for the encyclopedia of mythology - which I couldn't find.