21 Sep 2007

God and the Devil

I don't mean to be turning this into "The Benjamin Show"...but this was too good not to blog about:

Friday mornings always seem a little more pleasant - Mike and I have the 'ah, the last rushed morning before the weekend' feeling, and even the kids are more animated and chatty while eating breakfast. On that note, Benjamin stole the show this morning.

You have to know that our household is non-religious. Mike is a self-proclaimed atheist, and I'm...well...I'm still thinking about it, but tending towards the agnostic side of things. However, we tread gently when it comes to our children. We do not want to push our views onto them, but rather let them have a chance to make up their own minds in due time.

Benjamin, having just turned 7, has been deemed too young to really talk to about this as of yet. So we've kept it at the level of 'some people believe...' and 'other people believe...', and tried to instill in him respect for different beliefs and the idea that this is a really private and personal matter.

Clearly, we need to do better, because unbeknownst to us, Benjamin has already acquired a lot of information on this subject. I almost coughed out my toast when this headliner came out of my lastborn's mouth as he finished his yogurt:

"God was lucky to die first!"

Mike and I looked at each other in stunned silence. 'What?!'

"What do you mean?" I inquired.

Well, that just opened the floodgates - God was lucky to die first because he got to go to Heaven and become God. Everyone else died after him and could not become God, because that job was taken.

Although Jesus was a nice boy who helped God and all the others. Benjamin's enunciation can be a little off sometimes, so 'Jesus' came out as 'cheeses'. Mike didn't get it first, and asked "God was helped by cheeses?". Only a man.

Benjamin also informed us that the Devil is made of fire and stone, and has a spear. He is not very nice, because he uses a weapon.

And when it comes to Heaven, well, it is divided into two. The first half is God's side, which is about 72000 miles. The other half is the Devil's half, and it is only 2000 miles. God's side is larger because Jesus helped him.

I have to admit, for a fleeting second after he said this I was tempted to turn this into a math problem (they are doing fractions at school). You know, 'is it really two halves, if one side of Heaven is bigger than the other?' But I wanted to hear the rest of it - and besides, that would just be such a lame 'mother' thing to do; turn everything into a lesson.

God's side - which is also called Heaven (yes, I see the inconsistency, but this is what you get when your poor son is left to his own devices) - is cloudy with water, and it looks like you are on the clouds, except you don't fall off. The Devil's side is called (lower your voice to a whisper) - Hell - but we are not allowed to say that, because it is a bad word. So we only say the Devil's side. It has red clouds and has fire, and you sleep on spikes.

As I said, we were stunned.

But wait...there's more... Benjamin wants to be the God of Thunder. Apparently that position has not been filled. Because the Norwegian God of Thunder - called Thor - died when he killed a snake, and it killed him back just before it died (this was a bit confusing, but he was adamant they both killed each other). Then a French God took over the thundering! Mike - and his British ancestry - was quick to seize this opportunity, "So we can blame the French for the thunder and lightning?", but Benjamin explained that the French God had died, too.

And there you have it. Any questions?


SoccerMomofTwo said...

Oh my... I love the minds of kids. SO SO CUTE

Cyn said...

Sounds like B is doing what kids do best -- thinking for themselves without their minds being clouded by adults! Thanks for sharing his insights.

p.s. I'm hoping to make it to God's "half" of Heaven... think there will be room enough?

Who She She said...

Oh my god. I mean, Oh my cheeses, that's funny. (And wouldn't it be really funny if it turns out it's true!). So glad you wrote this down. Kids come out with the most amazing stories. What a lovely, complicated, creative boy you have.

I'm with you on the leaning-toward-agnostic thing. My husband is Catholic which makes it a rather difficult course to navigate, esp. with the kids. So far, our lesson plan has mainly featured avoidance.

Karen MEG said...

That would blow me away too...I was just thinking about the religion thing, as my sister has decided she will probably baptize baby, much like I did the kids. But I really only did it to cover our bases ... just in case, you know, we're not really practicing etc... but you never know.
B's version sounds very logical to me, LOL... Mike and the Cheeses - too funny! It all comes back to the English vs the French, doesn't it :)

Rational Jenn said...

Oh Cheeses! That was great! Your son sounds very much like my son (5.5) in the imagination/storytelling department. I think this is a wonderful example of him thinking things out for himself. Those wheels are really turning!

We haven't quite hit the religious discussions yet, apart from "Who invented the universe?" Should be interesting though! (My husband and I are atheists.)

Victoria said...

Oh, our children would get along spectacularly! My eldest (7) loves a good religious debate, while my youngest (4) is shaping up to be quite a believer in God and "Cheeses" (LOVE that, BTW!). Nice to have "found" you - I look forward to reading your adventures!

hellomelissa said...


we're non-religious around here, too, and have taken the same route as you... the "some people believe..." one.

the things that come out of my kids' mouths sometimes are priceless. but you told the story in a post far better than i ever could have. plus, i can't wax philosophical on my religious views because i have neighbors that read my blog and i don't feel like being lynched today.

gmcountrymama said...

'cheese and crackers got all muddy!' Thats a creative kid you have there. Where did he hear about all that?
I was raised Jewish, my husband not, and we both are non-religious now. I also find it hard to find the "correct" way to explain that to my kids.

My name is Rima. said...

Oh, that was brilliant! I love the fact that Heaven is 72000 miles wide. And extra points for the Norweigan mythology. The kid is a genius!

Family Adventure said...

Thanks everyone! :)

Hae Yung said...

Benjamin always makes me laugh. He definitely adds an interesting twist to everything. I am glad that he has his future job lined up, God of Thunder. I wonder how it pays. He's so funny.

linda-sands.com said...

hahaha. The only story I know of Thor is part of a dirty joke, told by a girl with a lisp. Living in the South we ALL have religion of one sort or another.