Recently, at a social gathering, I came across what just might be the youngest militant anti-theist!
The young man was perhaps 7 years old – but, I’m not so good at guessing age, so he could have been a year or so older or younger. He was adamant that there was no way he would ever believe in a God, and that saying there was one was ‘stuuupid’. When I didn’t challenge him, but asked him to tell me about it, he told me that “the way people believe in God is stupid!” and he’ll “never never ever believe in any stupid God himself.”
Seeing he still had an audience, he added “I only believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. But that’s IT! No God!”
Intriguing….his choice of words was quite telling….he didn’t like ‘the way people believed in God’! Suspecting there was more here than early rebellion against parental values, I continued to make sympathetic noises, and listed. I admit, I was curious what made him come to this unusual combination of opinions – because he was clearly convinced that this ‘belief-in-God’ was a bad thing.
It turned out that he was very frustrated indeed. He had two best friends: one was Jewish, the other Muslim. He liked to play with both of them. But, his Muslim friend had been forbidden to play with his Jewish friend. As a result, he now always had to choose which friend to play with, and which one to leave behind! What a ‘mess’ for a kid to deal with…
He felt deeply angered at being ‘stuck’ in this position. When somebody explained that these two friends were no longer allowed to play together because they ‘believed in God in different ways’, he decided then and there that ‘the way people believe in God is stupid’.