Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Proud of my Son

So tonight my son, who is turning seven next month, expressed his concern that in his school's winter program, they are singing songs about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and some other stuff about winter, but there are no Christian or traditional Christmas songs celebrating Christmas specifically. I didn't bring it up, his mother didn't bring it up, he did. He figured it out on his own that his beliefs and experiences weren't being represented. He feels cheated. He doesn't want to participate.

He's got a strong sense of justice and righteousness. He's a Scorpio, and a little genius. He's not opposed to singing the other songs, he just wants his beliefs represented too. He wants it to be fair.

As a Christian Magician, I know how he feels. Most of my friends and colleagues are pagan liberals. I'm a moderate Christian, with decidedly non-mainstream interpretations of what it means to be a Christian, but I get the blow-off from other magicians more frequently than I should. I understand why; Christianity has done wrongs in the name of Christ for thousands of years, and is chock full of disgusting loud-mouthed opinionated bigoted hypocrites. People have been hurt by people in the name of Christ, and it didn't just happen hundreds of years ago, it's happening right now as I type this, somewhere in the middle of America.

It's not fair though. People desperately demanding equal rights don't give them. People demanding "justice" don't want the scales even, they want them in their favor. They don't see their own hypocrisy. No one ever does.I want people to overlook the wrongs other people have done in the name of Christ and see what I'm saying and judge it on its own merits. I try to do that with others. I fail sometimes, but I at least try.

I want $7 Million Dollars, too.

I expect to get the money before I see non-Christians treat Christians with the respect they expect.

So my son wants to opt out of the Winter Holiday recital. We sent an email to the music teacher to get a list of the songs being sung, so that we can see if there's something in there that represents his beliefs that he doesn't recognize as traditionally Christian or Christmas-ey. We haven't been to church in a year or so, he might just not recognize the songs as Christian. I'll feel pretty lousy if that's the case. I want him to participate with his friends and not to feel like an outcast because of his beliefs, if possible.

If the school is presenting religious songs and excluding Christianity, I'll stamp my feet and raise a stink. If it's a secular Program, then I'll explain the separation of Church and State to my son as best I can, and see if he wants to participate. If he still feels morally, ethically, or just plain old conscientiously unable to perform in it, then I'll support him in his determination. Hell, he's so stubborn he'd probably go but just stand there and not sing if I tried to make him anyway. He's nobody's fool.

But I do expect to find out that Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are represented while Christianity is left out. I expect that all mention of the word "Christmas" will be verboten because it dares to have "Christ" in it. I expect my son to learn that his beliefs will, at times, leave him ostracized, pushed to the side, and treated disrespectfully. That saddens me, but I'm pragmatic and know he'll learn it anyway.

But I am totally and completely proud that he is willing to take the ostracism and stand by his convictions. That rocks.


  1. "I want $7 Million Dollars, too.

    I expect to get the money before I see non-Christians treat Christians with the respect they expect."

    I got my extra $10,000 it just took 11 mths instead of six. I really owe Iophiel a public apology
    which I will get round to doing soon when the last couple of thousand come in next month. It brought up some areas of interest and matters that needed addressing to get it, (rolls eyes) angel work, never a walk in the park...

    I have the opposite problem here. We live in a tiny little country town where part of the local school program includes 'scripture' which is realy short for shoving 'Jesus' down the kids throats. Backed up by 'puppet shows' and other stuff that are really pointedly Christian. Beth comes home and talks to me about them and I see in her little mind the verdict is still out. I think she wants to be a Christian like all her friends are but then she also appreiciates that I don't lie to her about anything if she asks. We discuss a lot of different religious ideas at various times and thanks to my friend Ryan who reformed me from being a bigot I am able to discuss anything I know of Christianity in the same light as I would discuss the Greek Myths or other religious ideas.

    I could exclude her from scripture if I wanted to but then she would never understand what she was being excluded from. So she participates and talks to me about it if anything doesn't sit right with her or if she doesn't understand it. I can usually give her other examples from different systems that either back up or conflict with the ideas she is being taught and if she asks me about anything she gets the truth as I know it or the answer that it is something that no one will know for sure for themself until they experience it. That of course doesn't stop her pretending if she wants to or being part of school and community activities to. I am leaving the doors all pretty open for Beth. In the end it will be up to her to make her own mind up on what she wants to believe or not.

    LOVE Kathy

  2. Very good points. I like how you can see both sides of the issue.


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