While perusing the Internet, I stumbled upon a video series called Kids Talk About God (www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org), the Christian fundamentalist version of Art Linkletter's Kids Say the Darndest Things. Basically, a group of young children answered questions about religion in their typically simplistic, discombobulated, adorably childlike manner.For example, when the question “What is Heaven?” was posed to a cute, pig-tailed, blonde girl (about 5 years old), she answered, “Heaven is a big, big place, and it's very nice for you.” When the tubby boy with the crew cut (10-ish) was asked, “What do they do in Heaven?” he responded, “It's a place where you go to music every day, and learn songs because God has a big old choir.” And when the adorable olive-complected girl (7-ish) with the plastic-rimmed librarian glasses was asked, “What do angels do?” she replied, “Angels come to my room and protect me from monsters.”
Some of the Kids Talk About God (KTAG) responses were cause for concern, such as the girl who was asked, “Do you ever sense the presence of God?” and said, “God always talks to me and says, ‘God is near, God is near.'” To which I say, “Get that girl some therapy.” All kidding aside, religious people, anyone who thinks God literally speaks to them is in need of professional help. Even God would tell you that, if God ever actually spoke to people.And when another cute, pudgy crew-cutted boy was asked the same question about sensing the presence of God, he answered, “Sometimes, when I'm in the shower, he taps me on the shoulder… and I look back… but there's nobody there.'”
To which I say, “Are you sure that wasn't your stepfather, kid? Maybe you should ask him about at it dinner tonight.”Boy: “So there I was, alone in the shower, and God touched me.”
Stepfather: “Er, uh, yes, son, that must've been God. I was nowhere near the bathroom at that time.”
Anyway, as cute and hilarious as these KTAG interviews are, they are also a tad depressing for the future of a free-thinking America. I listen to their notions about religion knowing full well that most will grow up thinking and talking about God in the same infantile way they do now—as if God is an old white guy in the sky, with a beard, and a crown, on a throne, with a choir, who watches over everybody in the world but still has time to talk to you.
To underscore this point, I found comments on the web from adults (with no connection to Kids Talk About God) who happened to be answering the same or similar theological questions: For example, the question “What is Heaven like?” is answered on the North Star Zone website (www.geocities.com/Northstar zone/LIGHT.html).
Heaven is “a brilliant, shining city,” writes the author, “with light streaming through its jasper walls and pearly gates, and a full spectrum of color gleaming from its jeweled foundation.” (Yeah, sure, and the roads are paved with chocolate and the trees are made of cotton candy!)
On the blog Praying in Victory (www.pray ingscriptures.com/angels.shtml) the host tackles the question “What do angels do?”
“Angels are like secret agents working on our behalf,” he writes. “They follow you around waiting for you to tell them what to do.”
And on a Yahoo! message board, this reply to the question “Do you ever sense the presence of God?” wins the prize for Best Circular Reasoning in a Religious Discussion:
“He is always with me. I believe in Him. I believe because I know He exists. He is my life. My proof.”
Jesus Christ, people! Your reasoning, your logic, your notions about these matters are impossible to distinguish from the children's notions, because they are the children's notions. The children never outgrew the fairy tales. That's why, as cute as those rug-rats are on the KTAG interviews, I feel such sadness for them, for us, for the future of a free-thinking America.
With two exceptions:
1. When a bunch of punks were asked, “What color is God?” it was a pasty-faced bald boy—who broke from the pack and said, “I think God is every color because he created everything.”
Hallelujah, son! That's as close to a rational thought as one can have when one is trying to describe the physical attributes of a deity. Because, if God is every color, then he is no color at all, and probably no gender, no race, no age and has no facial hair, either—which makes a helluva lot more sense than the old-bearded-white-guy-who-lives-in-the-sky theory.
2. But it was the brown-haired, freckled girl who won my heart and gave me hope for future generations of America. When asked, “How do you win the race of life?” She answered, “You pray and read the Bible and be very good.”Now, it's not what she said that was so wonderful, but how she said it. She said it with a mischievous smirk and a sarcastic tone. It was as if she knew this was what her parents, the interviewer and all the adults in her life expected her to say, but her rebellious little brain was already planning on cutting class, smoking cigarettes and showing her privates to boys in the woods behind the school.
There's hope for us yet, people, there's hope for us yet.
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