Obviously, that's changed today. It came up when Kirsti and I were discussing day care. Turns out that this is something that will not exactly be cheap. I was hoping that our new puppy would be old enough to watch out for our son, but I'm having a tough time training her to change diapers. It looks like, for the first year at least, we're going to be shelling out some serious moolah and making a few adjustments to our spending habits.
While discussing this, Kirsti informed me that when Logan's a bit older, we could save some money by having him attend a church-run preschool. Of course, I bashed my fists on the table and cried, "By Odin's beard! I say thee nay!" After all, I don't believe in Jesus; therefore, I need to make absolute certain that my son never even hears about Christianity. When Christmas rolls around, I will simply refer to it as "The Holiday". I will make sure that all people say "gesundheit" instead of "bless you" when he sneezes. And I will personally tear down all the crosses that adorn the churches in my neighborhood. After all, that contradicts my beliefs, so I can't have him being exposed to it.
Of course, that's idiotic. My actual response was, "Cheaper, eh?" In all honesty, I don't even see it as being a compromise. I have no problem with him being exposed to religious beliefs. In a way, I think it will be good for him to hear some Bible stories from actual Bible believers. When he asks me what I think, I will be honest, but I'd prefer it if he made up his own mind about it. (And I'm realistic enough to know that no matter how much I encourage him to think for himself on the matter, until he reaches his teen years, he's probably just going to agree with me.)
I do want to make clear though that I don't want him going anywhere that plants fears into his mind about going to hell. I think it's safe to say that most of these preschools aren't really that interested in doing that sort of a thing either. I'll take the time to ask the faculty there about that sort of a thing, but I'd like to make sure. I don't want him to worry about things that in all likelihood simply don't exist. I also don't want him worrying about being caught in a tractor beam of the Death Star.
I thought of this again just recently when talking with some relatives. Apparently there is a certain somebody in my family who forbids not only his children, but his wife even, of seeing or hearing anything that goes against his belief system. On the list of banned movies were Brokeback Mountain and anything starring Jane Fonda. I was pretty puzzled by this behavior. Not only can I simply not imagine telling my wife what she can and cannot see, I think that once my son is of a certain age, it will up to him to determine what he wants to watch. If they want to check things out that have some sort of political/philosophical difference with my own beliefs, then that's fine with me. I'm secure enough in what I know and believe that I don't feel threatened by it. In fact, I welcome challenges to my beliefs, as if there's a better way of looking at things, I want to know about it. I figure that any opposing viewpoints will either sink or swim on their own merits.
I took a moment to ask myself if I really was so different than this particular relative. The first thing that came to my mind was my willingness to have my son be exposed to religion. The way I see it, I have nothing to fear. I'd rather he rejects it because it doesn't make sense to him than reject it simply because I told him to, and if this means that he winds up accepting it, than that's the price I'm willing to pay.