Today’s Going To Be Rough

I don’t think my family realizes how willing I am to play with fire for their benefit.

My sister works at my old church’s daycare center. She’s organizing a recital or pageant for the small children, aged about 2 to 4 years old. It’s going to be in the church sanctuary, where around fifty young kids are going to get up and sing their little songs for their parents and family. Sounds very placid, except maybe that kids will do as they are wont to do, so that might be whimsical.

I don’t know what happens when they start singing praise songs.
It is a church daycare. To be clear, I really don’t want to begrudge anyone the ability to parent their children as they see fit. The thing is, when those kids start singing about how Jesus loves them or about cleansing blood, I’m not sure how I’m going to feel about that.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, take a look at this post by Neil Carter over at Godless in Dixie. It has the major logical fallacies Christianity uses, along with some examples of how this affects people. The one that gets used the most in children’s ministry is the appeal to emotion. I know I’m going to walk into an environment that is pure vanilla Jesus-love.

Of course, my view is tainted by my experience. I wasn’t given a choice to learn children’s praise songs, sing them for adults, and read cult fanfiction to the last remaining Canaanite god of war. I know that the sugarcoated version kids sing about when they’re really young is only a small part of the overall message that they haven’t been told yet (I hope). I want to think that those kids are eventually going to have a real choice to make as to what they believe, rather than get hammered into subservience every time they voice a doubt about the existence of deities.

Sure, not every kid and parent is there is going to get an arm twisted into fundagelical belief. Some family members might even be like me, an atheist there to support a loved one. They’re going to get to struggle in silence, their only break being when everyone else bows their heads in prayer. Part of me hopes I’ll see the embarrassed glances of non-belief in the crowd. I want to give them a smile to let them know they’re not alone.

I’ll have to work hard to remember why I’m there.
Although I’m not comfortable with all of what might be going on, the reason why I’m there is to support my sister’s production of all of this. She had to put this together, along with figuring out how to get kids to stand in one place without doing something completely random. I don’t have to philosophically agree with everything in life just to show my support for something my family accomplishes.

In other words, showing that support is more important to me than a little bit of discomfort. I can get through the rest of it if I know what I’m doing is okay. Maybe the kids will make things interesting by being agents of pure chaos. And maybe I’ll get to meet other non-Christians.

Today’s going to be a little rough, but I think I can manage. I’ll just have to make sure I get some appropriate music onto my mp3 player:

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