There but for the Grace of... who now?
Last night we were eating dinner. About half way through, Sophie put her hands palms together and says something incomprehensible. We ask her what she is saying. She does it again: "God is Great, God is Good..."
It felt like being hit in the stomach.
Carly teaches swim lessons at the YMCA.
I teach philosophy (and religion in the Fall) at an Episcopal College.
We accept that we are in the South, and that we are exposed to this sort of thing all of the time. But somehow we assumed our children were insulated from it.
The kids spend a couple hours a day in the daycare at the YMCA (for free) while Carly teaches. It has worked pretty well up until now.
I am sure Sophie has no idea what she is doing or saying, but the thought of some Daycare person encouraging, correcting and leading MY children in this sort of thing makes me sick and furious. It is this sort of indoctrination of the youth, before they can even think to question, when they are sponges soaking up what adults tell them, and when they are most eager to please us, that infuriates me.
On the other hand, this is the Young Man's Christian Association, and the kids are going to be exposed to Supersthroughout their lives, especially so long as we are in the South. What should we expect? I guess I hoped I wouldn't have to deal with this so early in their lives. Before they could even begin to make sense of the concepts (which I maintain or fundamentally incoherent).
95% of the time, the YMCA is just a club with a pool. Carly may cringe a little when they start their meetings with a devotion (me too for faculty meetings). But, the work and play at the site is mostly just healthy fun physical activity.
I am not really concerned that saying grace before snack-time will convert my kids to Christians. Once they begin to talk about that stuff, I am pretty sure we can counter this indoctrination with some reason and education, and let the kids (when they are more mature) decide for themselves. We include the myths about Santa and the Easter bunny in their lives. We sing Christmas carols with Jeebus in the lyrics and such.
There is just something creepy about the daycare/daycamp people with their sacchrin smiles telling our impressionable children all about God and the baby jeebus.
Am I overreacting to all this?