Monday, August 27, 2012

What do athiests tell their children?

Saturday night, Bebe had a friend sleep over at our house for the first time. What a milestone for her (and for me, who put up with them until they finally crashed after midnight)!

Her friend who came over is our neighbor, and I know that her family doesn't attend church at all. During dinner, we were talking about how she would be going home before we went to Mass the next morning. The friend says, "Oh well, at least you go to a Catholic church. My friend Sissy took me to her church. I think it's called the Morgan [Mormon] church? They were so strict there. I didn't like it. We don't go to church. I don't really believe in that God stuff and I don't really care to figure it out, either. I believe in Big Foot, and unicorns, and fairies, and mermaids... that kind of stuff."

I giggled at this comment, but later when my brain was on rapid-fire while the girls watched a movie and fought sleep, I started thinking. I know for a fact that this child and her family celebrate Easter and Christmas. As kids get older and they talk (don't they always?), the children of unchurched families will learn that to some people Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birth, and Easter is the celebration of Jesus' resurrection. But--here's where I'm stumped--what will their parents tell them when they ask why Santa comes on the day Christians celebrate the birth of Christ, and why the Easter Bunny comes on the day that Christians celebrate the resurrection? I mean, if there's no connection, then why doesn't Santa come on New Year's Eve, or Hannukah, or some other random day that's not December 25th? And why doesn't the Easter Bunny come on a different day as well?

I haven't stopped wondering about that all weekend...


  1. I don't know. I hope I don't know any atheist kids when I have kids, lol. I know, that's probably unlikely, but yeah...what DO they say? Do the parents even mention it like "Well, Christmas for some people is about a man named Jesus who was born a long time ago on that date...but we don't do that?"

    Now I'm wondering how many atheists know about Christianity (they say that atheists actually know a LOT about different religions) and if what they know is correct...but even if they do know all of that, would they tell their kids? What if the kids were suddenly interested in Jesus? I'm sure some parents might be OK with some exploration/learning and say, "here's what I know," and (for older kids) "we can get a book about him at the library," but I'm sure there are other parents who would balk at ANY questions/curiosity about Jesus (or any other religion).

    Now you've got ME thinking about all of this!

  2. The Christmas one you can easily "commercialize" with the TV specials and santa but Easter would be harder since Easter is ALWAYS a different day every year. Now that I think about it there really isn't as much "commercialism" about easter now as there was even 20 years ago.

    I always wondered this. My sister has even said, "Well kids that grow up in church are "better people" but I don't know what religion I think is "right." And other times she's like I don't want to be religious but i want my kids to be hahahaha

    Sometimes I think people are atheists out of pure laziness..being a "christian" is too hard, i want to lie/cheat/steal it's more fun..

    I don't know the answer as I don't really know many atheists but I've also wondered the same thing as I know nothing outside of being Catholic...


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