A debate by children ages seven to twelve.
Potato - my seven year old son
A - my eight year old cousin. Her Grandpa is very involved with his Church.
J - my nine year old cousin. They're family is mostly Sunday Christians.
Monkey - my ten year old son.
B - my twelve year old cousin and J's brother.
Ladybug - my thirteen year old daughter. She's very outspoken about being Pagan.
There were many raised voices the other morning at our campsite. For a while I just stayed in my tent to listen, until the "debate" became heated enough that I felt I should step in.
J - Yes God is Real!
B - You can't prove it.
A & J- God is real!
B - Well I don't believe in God
Monkey - I don't believe in God either. (this made me very unhappy to hear. I thought I'd done a good job of teaching my children a belief in God and the Goddess)
J - If you don't believe in God then you're going to go to hell. H-E-double hockey sticks. Hell.
B - You can't prove God is real with science.
Monkey - Yeah. It's not science. Everything that's real is science.
A - Yes God is Real!
J - I'm telling if you don't believe that God is Real!
At this point their voices were so loud I felt that I should get up and step in.
J - (to me) Tell the boys that God is real.
B - You can't prove it with science
Me - I believe in God. You are right, you can't "prove" that God is real. That is why it's called faith. You just have to believe that God is real. I feel bad for anyone who doesn't believe in God, because it's important to have faith in something.
Potato - I know all twelve zodiacs. (I think this was his way of joining the conversation.)
A - What do the zodiacs have to do with God?
Potato - I know them.
At this point they decided to talk about zodiacs for a while, so I thought the debate was over. But no another debate was about to start.
J - Lets get back to what we were talking about. God is real and Jesus is God's son.
A - Jesus is God.
J - No Jesus is God's son.
A - My Grandpa says that Jesus is God.
J - He's not.
Me - Some people believe that Jesus is God's son. And some people believe that Jesus is God's son and also God. So you need to respect that people have different beliefs.
I then went inside the trailer for some coffee and continued to listen to them debate about Jesus. While inside I mentioned to my mom, "I'm glad Ladybug wasn't part of the debate, she would have really thrown them all for a loop."
Ladybug - (she walks from her tent to the trailer) Actually Jesus was Jewish.
I almost died of laughter right then. Because of course A and J didn't believe her and Ladybug was just so causal and blunt. Thankfully though her comment ended the debate. I don't think anyone would have "won" in the end. They are all too young and stubborn to see another person's point of view.
I did take Monkey aside later to talk to him. He told me he does believe in God, but he is concerned that you can't "prove" God exists. I'm relieved that he does believe in God, but concerned that he didn't want to admit it because his older cousin doesn't. I also wish he didn't need proof. We talked about how God is all around us; in the trees, plants, the earth, and inside everyone. I guess I'll have to think about how to "show" him that God is real.