Family Stories – The Religion Ambiguity
Sometimes our family daily conversations sound like lines out of an Woody Alan movie. I am pretty sure they make a nice thing to remember, so I started to keep track of them.
A little background
Where we live, the church is very involved in the community. Every time I take Carla (Alin’s 6 years old daughter) to school we pass by St. John’s church, a pretty, but dark building, surrounded by flowers. Beside checking out fox holes in its garden, Carla has never manifested any interest in it.
A few weeks back, she asked out of the blue:
Carla: “Oana, can we go in there?”
We went in. Carla’s parents have decided to let her choose her own religion at the proper age. So we always approach the matter of god quite relaxed. A few times she even solemnly declared that she doesn’t believe in god. It’s probably something she had heard around. That is why I was a little surprised by her request.
When we went in, she was extremely curious about the leaflets on a table, checking every one of them. Then she saw a panel with children’s artworks and was very satisfied when she discovered a door that led into a little atelier, in the back somewhere. It was probably the place where kids were getting creative. She mentioned that one of her colleagues goes there and it’s really fun. Carla is pretty artsy, so I immediately understood what she wanted.
We left the church. On the way …
Carla: “Can I also go there?”
Oana: “Well, I think that in order to go to that atelier, you’d have to be part of the church.”
Carla: “Can I be part of the church?”
Oana: “I think you can, but for this you have to pay. Since you don’t have any money, your parents would have to pay and become part of the church. And I don’t think they’d want that.”
Oana: “First of all, you have to believe in god to go to church and second of all, it’s not really cheap. Do you believe in god, Carla?”
Carla. “Yes, I do.”
Oana: “Hm, that is funny, some time ago you said you don’t.”
Carla: “I changed my mind.”
Oana: “It doesn’t work like that, Carla. This is something that comes from inside. This is something you know. You don’t get to change your mind so easily about it.”
Carla: “But I do. I choose to believe in god.”
Oana: “Again. It’s not something you just choose, like you were to choose a pair of socks.”
Carla was thinking. I could almost hear her wheels turning. She said after a while:
Carla: “Does it count if I believe in Santa?”
At that moment I couldn’t hold back my laughter. I realised it was wrong. These things were serious for her. I apologised and tried to explain.
Oana: “Carla, god and Santa are pretty different. You know god had a son, Jesus. They say he did lot of miracles. Santa is an old man living at the South (?!) Pole flying on a sleigh bringing presents to kids.”
Carla’s answer will stay with me forever.
Carla: “Isn’t that a miracle?”
So yeah, she basically nailed it.