As a Pagan, I follow the wheel of the year, and so do the kids. As Americans, we’re exposed to the idea of god everywhere (which is mostly totally fine, I’m not complaining. It’s just a fact). I’ve brought the kids to the Universalist church on occasion, and Margie and I have had a lot of conversations about various religions before. Their dad is an atheist, and celebrates the major holidays like Christmas and Easter secularly with the kids. Just on a whim I asked Elliott some questions about god and religion to see what he’d say.
(And, no, I’m not capitalizing god, because, even though it sounds like it, I am actually not specifically referring to the Judeo-Christian one. Rather I’m asking about a general idea of god where he might be a personal god, or an impersonal spirit. What SoulCollage refers to as “Source” I guess. Sorta.)
Me: Elliott, what is a soul?
Elliott: It’s the thing that keeps you alive. Like if you don’t have it then you die.
Me: Who’s god?
Elliott: A soul
Me: What’s Heaven?
Elliott: It’s one of the places you live when you die.
Me: And Hell?
Elliott: Same thing.
Margie: But COOLER.
Me: Who’s Jesus?
Elliott: The guy who lives in Hell.
Me: *snorting and spitting out my drink*
Margie: No, he lives in Heaven.
Me: And who’s Buddha?
Elliott: I don’t know.
Elliott: Jesus is like the prince. But instead of being next to be king, he’s next to be God.
Me: Is God real?
Elliott: Yes. Because if he wasn’t it would just be (motions toward the sky) *boop boop boop boop* there would just be darkness.
Margie: *INTENSE SHRUG* Mmmmmmm?
The conversation was hilarious and insightful and mildly horrifying and the idea of god as a soul is kind of beautiful, I think. But it also highlights the differences in my children. My daughter is inherently an atheist like her dad, my son, I think, is a more spiritual person like I am. The cool thing about Paganism is that it works for both beliefs. Not that my kids have to be Pagan, of course. It’s just a nice one-size-fits-all religion for my family. Because who doesn’t love appreciating nature?