Friday, October 7, 2011

Theology 101

After pretty much avoiding the topic for 4 years, I decided to give Charlotte a quick run-down on some uber-basic Christian dogma.  Matt is Catholic in name, but uncomfortable with Catholicism in general, and I'm kind of vague on most religious topics.  I am very well-read and well-researched, but I am culturally somewhat Christian with some pagan/Buddhist leanings.  I am, however, a HUGE fan of Jesus, so that keeps me as kind of a lowercase "c" Christian.  Organized religion in general drives me nuts, because it tends to lose what I love about religion (love your fellow man! communicate directly with God!) and hammers home what I don't like(don't trust yourself, you must to through clergy to talk to God! women can't lead! hypocritical hierarchies! corruption!).  The majority of our family is pretty Christian, though, and pretty Catholic, too.

So during snack time I hit some major talking points - we believe that God is a loving and protective (and I may have said "magical" - I have my reasons) spirit who watches over us.  I said that God is powerful, and while we can't see God, God is always there.  I did point out that we often call God "He" or "Him" because it's easier, but God isn't a person.  I told her that when we ask good for help, or celebrate him, or offer him thanks, it's called praying.  And that when you are very happy, you can feel God in your heart, or if you are lonely, you can ask God to help you in your heart.  I threw in that we believe that when you die, you get to go to be with God in heaven, and that he will keep you safe there forever, and you can be with all your loved ones that die before you.  I asked her if she remembered when we talked so much about Jesus at Christmas, and told her that God sent Jesus to be with Mary and Joseph, and to be born as a baby.  Jesus was sent to teach us to love each other, and to be kind to everyone, and to help others when we can, and to learn how to forgive.  To forgive is to say, "I'm sorry," and "It's okay."  (Charlotte pointed out that those are the rules for pre-school, and I said, "Exactly!")

This was a big whammy of information, and while Matt thought that she would probably ask me a million questions, my theory was that she would kind of brush it all off and move on, while it percolated in the background.  And that seems to be what happened.  She mentioned Littlefoot's mom (a dinosaur that dies in The Land Before Time, and the first instance that Charlotte really started grasping "death") once, and wanted to know if God dies.  (Well, honey, there is this guy named Nietzsche....)  But that was pretty much it.  I expect her to lay something wildly inaccurate and inappropriate on her grandmother this weeked (capital C CATHOLIC) because that is the way these things work.

Oh, Charlotte did have one other profound connection to make.  "I know God!  And Jesus!  It's like when you say 'golly geez.'  That's God."

Crap.  I guess she really did grasp the whole taking-his-name-in-vain thing.

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