We’re driving down the road and pass a Christian Church near our house when my 8 year old asks me “Would you go to a Christian church if you had to?”
Hmmm, I think. What’s the ‘right’ UU answer to this one.
“That’s what I like about our church,” I told her, “is it isn’t about ‘having to.’ I don’t think I would go to any church if I ‘had’ to.” We pulled into our driveway and garage then and I thought to ask “Why do you ask?”
“No reason. But it seems like in RE (Religious Education) they want us to believe in Jesus ‘n God ‘n Stuff,” she said.
So I asked why she thought that and tried my best to explain it was just a convergence of the curriculum and the season and then later asked my 11 year old to give me her take on it who confirmed that she thought they were talking about Jesus and God a whole lot more than they used to ‘downstairs.’
I told them I didn’t think our congregation is turning ‘Christian’ (and by my 8 year old’s standards, that means people who believe in an external God, a heaven where the streets are paved with gold, and a hell where people who don’t pray to Jesus go–and all this information is based on her real-life experiences and discussions with her best friend).
And I’m not worried about the girls getting too much religion in RE–what worries me is that my girls have the idea that if they are talking about God and about Jesus (and even about ‘stuff’), that we are telling them what to believe and that we are becoming ‘Christian.’
It worries me that we have missed many an opportunity to paint a larger, broader picture of what being Christian means in America, and/or about what being religious looks and sounds like in a UU context.
No answers here. Just questions–about Jesus ‘n God ‘n Stuff.