Faith has been on our minds a lot this month. Firstly, EldestGirl’s (non-faith) school celebrated harvest festival, with lots of wholesome, earthy songs about the food chain, and hard work of non-gender-specific farmers, and then went and spoiled my atheistic enjoyment with a chat from the vicar and a song thanking God (who presumably could have solved poverty, and abolished the need for a food bank collection, if He put His mind to it, what with all that omnipotence and everything).
EldestGirl has questioned faith before. Her best friend goes to a different school as her family is Catholic, so we had to field these questions a while back when she asked why they weren’t going to primary school together. “Some people,” we ventured, “believe in God.”
“What is God?” asked our little heathen.
Me: Well, some people believe that God made the world and watches us all of the time.
EldestGirl: I don’t believe that.
Me: Mummy and Daddy don’t believe that either. We are atheists. That just means we don’t believe in God. But it is fine if you want to believe in God.
EldestGirl: What do you believe made the world Mummy?
Me: Mummy and Daddy believe that science created the world. But other people believe that God created the world, and that is just fine, and there is no way to tell who is right. It doesn’t really matter what you believe, so long as you are kind to everybody. Some of our friends believe in God, some of them are atheists.
EldestGirl: I believe in Afiess.
Me: You have plenty of time to make your mind up.
EldestGirl: I think God sounds like a silly idea.
Me: OK, maybe keep that opinion to yourself for a bit.
So it was with a bit of trepidation that I picked EldestGirl up from Rainbows today. She bloody loves Rainbows. I knew she would. I loved Brownies as a child. I am not sure where an all-girl group sits on my Feminist Soap Box; part of me totally embraces it (go sisters!) and part of me thinks we should seek to be as integrated as possible. All I know is right now, it’s all about Rainbows for EldestGirl.
Today they had been learning about their Rainbows’ Promise, which I was delighted to see no longer specifically references God, but has a more vague, “I promise to think about my beliefs”. Each Rainbow had been tasked with colouring in a rainbow and drawing a picture for each section of her promise. Under the “I promise to think about my beliefs” section, EldestGirl had drawn something which looked worryingly like an angel. I thought I’d wait until we got home to query that one. Surely one Goddy song at school, ten minutes’ of a vicar’s lecture and a bit of Rainbows hadn’t sent her full-on Christian.
“EldestGirl,” I ventured.
EldestGirl: Yes Mummy?
Me: You did some lovely drawing at Rainbows.
EldestGirl: Thank you, Mummy.
Me: What did you draw for the beliefs section of your picture?
EldestGirl: Well, Mummy, we had to draw something we believed in. So I drew the Tooth Fairy.