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Playground Theology


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So I was at the playground at the local park with my son (5) while we were waiting for my daughter (7) to finish soccer practice when our former pastor’s brother and family showed up. We’ve only been gone for about six months so, of course, their kids recognized my son.  The parents did their best job to avoid eye contact and chose to sit on a low brick wall on the opposite side of the playground when there was a perfectly fine vacant bench right next to me, but whatever. The kids, however, had no problem interacting. The first thing the pastor’s nephew (6) says to my son after climbing up on the monkey bars with him is, “Do you believe in God?”

 

My son nonchalantly replies, “Yeah, but my mom and dad don’t believe in God.”

 

Visibly relieved, the pastor’s nephew says, “OK. That’s good. You’ll still get to go to heaven.” He pauses and follows that up with a straight-faced, “You won’t want to visit your parents, though, because they’ll be in hell.”

 

Initially I found it kind of funny, because the kid obviously has no real understanding of what hell is supposed to be. But after having a second to process it, the whole dialogue struck me as kind of disturbing. Right now that kid may not know a lot about hell, other than that it’s a bad place and you don’t want to go there. Eventually his understanding of what hell is will expand and that could be terrifying for him. He’ll probably have to dehumanize us a little to feel OK with it. I really think that doctrine has to be one of the most reprehensible things about Christianity.

 

My son and I talked about it afterward and he seemed unfazed. His god doesn’t do things like send mommies and daddies to hell. He won’t even give his god credit for bad thunderstorms.

 

My daughter came over to the playground after she finished practice and was similarly subjected to inquisition from the kids. She handled it like a champ and gave them the sweet seven-year-old equivalent of, “That’s none of your goddam business. It’s nice to see you too.”

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It's so ridiculous that they (the adults) couldn't even say hello to you and your family.  Even more ridiculous that they clearly have spent plenty of time gossiping about you and your family with their children.

 

Good for your daughter!  That's got to make you feel proud.

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My daughter came over to the playground after she finished practice and was similarly subjected to inquisition from the kids. She handled it like a champ and gave them the sweet seven-year-old equivalent of, “That’s none of your goddam business. It’s nice to see you too.”

 

 

This used to be how some christians viewed it. 

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Wow!  Just wow.   

But what a story.   And yes, it does hint at some pretty bizarre discussions going on in the pastor's brother's home.   I can only imagine what was said.  

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It's so ridiculous that they (the adults) couldn't even say hello to you and your family.  Even more ridiculous that they clearly have spent plenty of time gossiping about you and your family with their children.

 

Good for your daughter!  That's got to make you feel proud.

 

Well, I figured they had to explain our absence somehow and the older kids around them would've talked about it anyway, especially their older cousin (the pastor's daughter). Also, I have no idea what the pastor relayed to his brother about our conversations and email exchanges. The last thing I heard was that he was telling people that I was trying to "bring down his ministry", so who knows. As a side note, the pastor's last Sunday is next week, so it looks like my sinister plan worked. rolleyes.gif

 

And yes, I was very proud of my daughter. :)

 

This used to be how some christians viewed it. 

 

Well, to be fair, it was their kid and he was understandably concerned about his former playmates.

 

Wow!  Just wow.   

 

But what a story.   And yes, it does hint at some pretty bizarre discussions going on in the pastor's brother's home.   I can only imagine what was said.  

 

Yeah, it's bizarre. The thing is, knowing this dude, I'd be inclined to think that he was probably proud of his kid for "telling it like it is." I'm not so far enough removed from that mindset that I don't completely understand it. It's just now it seems really warped.

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He pauses and follows that up with a straight-faced, “You won’t want to visit your parents, though, because they’ll be in hell.”

 

 

I believe there is a small visitation area in Hell that is air conditioned. :-)

 

Maybe I have an unhealthy emotional disconnect but I don't really want to visit my dead relatives in heaven. I'd rather live my own (after)life.

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The doctrine of hell IS the most horrible thing about Christianity IMHO. A part of me wishes it were illegal to teach young minds that people who don't believe in religion A go to hell, but at the same time, once we start screwing with peoples right to raise their kids with their values, how long until similar restrictions are applied to other values in a different time?

 

  sorry if my post's seem ridged or impersonal, it's because I've never done forums before and I'm shy, but I've liked these forums for a while from afar, so I'll get over it.yellow.gif

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Your children sound very sensible and polite, but I feel sorry for the other kids, they sound like they are going to grow up in a community where religion is the only thing that matters in a person. Very sad.

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