A week ago there was a very unhappy bunch of primary school children.
Not unlikely you might say, although dissatisfaction as regards school attendance generally kicks in later on, but this particular group of children had, in my mind, a justifiable reason.
Why so, because a well intentioned member of the cloth, had “inadvertently” destroyed any belief they might have had in Father Christmas. He hadn’t realised that he had caused any offence, and it seems that it hadn’t occurred to him that destroying such a myth and relating stories of gore and bloodshed could cause any harm.
Not surprisingly some of the parents were annoyed when they saw their distraught children crying their eyes out, and protests soon followed. The member of the cloth has apologised for any harm caused, and his apology has been accepted, but there is two aspects of this news story that puzzle me
- How can any Christian throw doubt on somebody’s belief when his or her own faith cannot be proven, and
- when we are so concerned about children growing up too quickly, why are some of us so intent of curtailing their dreams
Anyone think I’m being harsh, well just read on
The Christian faith, originating from the Judaic faith, is based on what can only be described as interesting foundations. There is God that no-0ne has ever seen, a holy ghost that not even the clergy are too sure about, and a son of God who is conceived under circumstances which at the very least can be described as being bizarre. The son achieves adulthood, and then start to perform miracles, before finally falling foul of the governing authorities and dying on the cross. Then after 3 days he is resurrected and, at some point, we are told he will come again.
Under such circumstances how can anyone have the temerity to say that other beliefs are wrong, and how would that vicar reacted if someone had marched into the middle of his church service and stated that Christianity was a fraud?
As adults we know that Father Christmas doesn’t exist, nor all his trappings, factories , or reindeer, and we know that the tooth fairy, or stork delivery of children is also questionable, but to destroy the faith of others when you have no proof of your own is wrong, and to curtail some ones childhood, is, in my book an even greater crime. I’m not saying for a moment that the basis for Christianity, or nay faith, is non-existent, as I follow the motto that everyone to their own. what I am saying though is any official representative of such a faith, any faith, should think a little more carefully before ending the dreams of a child.
As regards my second area of concern I will be even more direct than before. As a society we cannot com-lain about the end of childhood and children growing up too quickly, and then proceed to shatter what is left of their childhood dreams. In time they will know all about Dad coming down the stairs at midnight, rampant consumerism, tooth loss and dental decay, and a whole host of other myth busters; and in an even shorter time they will now more about their bodies, and what to do with their bodies, than we, at their age, could ever dream, so what’s all the rush an hurry?
We dreamed our dreams as children, we made lunar vehicles from cardboard boxes, climbed trees and refought the wild west with our imaginary pistols. We fought naval battles with a pen a piece, a pile of books and two sheets of paper, and as knights in shinning armour many a dragon lay as dead as a dodo by our side. Few adults came up to us and ripped out our dreams. They wanted us to enjoy our childhood, and they wanted to be children. As such we were children and we pursued our dreams. Sure we fell of our bikes, sure we got covered in mud and God only knows what from lay around us, and sure we took risks by ourselves which, by modern standards would be deemed irresponsible or insane; but we used our mind, we used our imagination, and we learnt adapt to the world around us and think for ourselves.
Was this so wrong. Do we now live our lives like naive simpletons; full of trust and without a care in the world. Of course we don’t, for we all have adult responsibilities, but at least we know what childhood means, and we can actually remember being a child.
So what is my message to that honourable cleric, or to any other adult who thinks it’s wrong for a child to dream. Be more careful when you start dispensing honesty. Get a life, get real, and get over yourself. Then take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror, be a damn sight more careful when you talk to a child.
- Wiltshire vicar ‘accidentally’ ruins Christmas for schoolkids by telling them Santa Claus isn’t real (freethinker.co.uk)
- Vicar tells schoolchildren Father Christmas is NOT REAL in gory tale of butchered kids sold as ham (mirror.co.uk)
- How to keep the story of Father Christmas alive for children (telegraph.co.uk)
- Lie, and lie again: a parents’ guide to a child’s happiness at Christmas (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Father Christmas: Part 1 (madeleineemeraldthiele.wordpress.com)
- Almost too good to be true (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- On Christmases Past and Present (texthistory.wordpress.com)
Categories: Just a thought