... without inciting anger from my mother and his mother?

My mother sent my nephew to a bible camp this summer and now he has a curiosity towards Jesus and heaven. How do I remedy this without starting a holy war in my own house?

Sorry if anybody thinks this doesn't belong here, I wasn't sure where else to post it, and it's been bothering me a lot.

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I was absolutely devastated when my parents told me Santa wasn't real. I cried for hours because I was upset that they lied to me.
That reminds me of the day I had a Christian friend over with his 9-year-old son because we were exchanging gifts on the day of the Winter Solstice. I'd explained that people have always celebrating around the time when the days would get longer bringing back warmth and light and growth.

I'd given the son some gifts and as the guy I knew was leaving he said, "We don't celebrate winter. The cold and snow and gray days aren't something WE celebrate."

I replied, out loud in front of his son, "And we don't believe Jesus was the son of god so we don't celebrate that."

Under his breath he said, "Thanks for saying that in front of my kid."

The next time I saw him, about a day later, I was braced for a tongue-lashing. I didn't get any. I guess he didn't have an argument.
He said it really sarcastically/angrily.
Thanks! I wish someone had told me the whole Jesus story was a belief and not factual information. It was presented to me as historical fact and I was well pretty old before I realized it wasn't regarded as fact by the rest of the world.
Ooh, I'm really glad this discussion came up... It turns out that how my daughter understands my position as doesn't love Jesus rather than doesn't believe in God. Brianna if you're reading this I retract my earlier comment: five years is a perfect time to start talking to kids about the non-existence of God. I'll do that as soon as possible... once she gets back from church... :-(
My parents 'felt convicted' to teach my brothers and I that Santa Clause was not real; they were afraid that once we realized it was a lie, we'd also come to question God's existence. We were told that he (Santa) wasn't real and that all the kids that believed in him would eventually come to know the truth. I remember saying to my dad once, "I think Santa is probably pretend like you say, but I kind of want to believe in him ... is that bad?" He told me that if I really wanted to believe, I could, but that he didn't want to teach it as true. I then expressed concern in how I should react to friends that did believe. He told me just be smile and let them believe. I also explained that it was lonely being the only kid with that view and he told me not to worry; that someday they'd also learn the truth.

It's sick in a way, but it served their purpose in delivering the message "they don't believe you now, but they will!" which mirrors the Christian worldview, ironically enough. As I grew a bit older and saw that my friends were indeed learning 'the truth' about Santa , it only solidified 'my' little views on God, especially when other kids didn't believe - I just thought back to those Santa days.

Based on that, my personal opinion is that it's best to separate fact from myth, and to start early. Kids should have fun with myths, but should also know the difference between fact and fiction. I know that some may think it's just cold to deprive a child of Santa or the Easter Bunny, but they have imaginations ... they will find their own unique ways to fantasize if ever they need mental comfort in something.

I don't think it's fair to push a certain comfort on them - like God or even Santa Clause. I think both are sending the message that happy lies > facts. Maybe there are emotionally sensitive people in the world that do better with a view to lean on. That's fine, but I'm sure they'll have no trouble finding one on their own. I think we all have a tendency to lean on happy lies sometimes - and I don't think it's always bad (they can allow cancer patients a better experience in a shortened life, for example). Fantasies are natural ... but we can't improve unless we get out of our comfort zones once in a while. Therefore, I think emphasis should be placed on truth and learning to handle it.

I agree with what many have already stated, that it's important to demonstrate that it is not only okay but essential to question the world around you. Nothing should be 'pushed' - and kids should be encouraged to try and figure out the 'whys' on their own.

"Son, you are in time out because you hit your sister. Do you know why that was wrong?"

In everything, I think they should be encouraged to try and find the answers on their own rather than having it pressed on them, which doesn't leave the sense of freedom to think independently. Super-strict parents are really only a) teaching their child to follow blindly or b) setting them up to rebound in the opposite direction just to spite them (often 'blind' rebellion).

I like that my parents didn't lie to me about Santa Clause; contrary to popular belief, I do not feel deprived. :) I only wish they could have been just as honest about God and the Bible! Yes, I blame by deprived childhood solely on those things! >.< blahhh
You don't directly teach him that there's no god. You teach him that he has a trustworthy conscience, that he is capable of understanding the universe, and that he lives in a fascinating and intriguing universe. If he redefines 'God' to fit the criteria I mentioned so be it and it's just semantics, otherwise he'll drop religion.



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