My Little Atheist Sister and the FSM

My 11 year old sister has said she was an atheist for about a year now - at first I was a little concerned she was just saying this because she looks up to me so much and wasn't really making the decision on her own, especially because she is so young. I've talked to her about it though, and she says she just doesn't understand how people can believe in God. She goes to Church when my mom makes her, and says she tries to pray, doesn't feel anything and "just doesn't get it". Ever since then I've tried to educate her in the ways of skeptical thinking, and it's been a great bonding thing between us.

The church my family goes to is very liberal, as far as churches go. The current Reverend is a lesbian, my mom is not at all Christian (she's some weird "spiritual" combination of Buddhism, the love teachings of Jesus, Pagan, and other stuff) - the Reverend knows this full well and yet still has my mom teach Sunday school. So it's a pretty accepting place.

Anyway, my little sister was at a youth group meeting a few weeks ago, and the leader gave everyone clay and asked the kids to make something that represented God to them. My sister apparently stands up and says "But I don't believe in God" (she's definitely got some balls), so the youth group leader just tells her to make something that represents some higher power to her. She makes this:

And proceeds to give it to me for my birthday.

She's great. Haha.

(I'm having some issues getting the picture to show up, here's a link: http://www.twitpic.com/pltcp)

Views: 11

Comment by Bob on November 17, 2009 at 9:16pm
Sounds like a little sister to be proud of! It must also be nice to have such an accepting church community, not all of us were so lucky growing up.

Considering your title, I'm guessing she made the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster (All Hail his Noodly Majesty), but I cannot see it! The picture doesn't seem to be there at all for me, could you please re-upload it? Thank you!
Comment by Danielle on November 17, 2009 at 9:42pm
I don't know why it's not showing up - when I go to edit post it's in there but it's not showing up once I hit "publish".
Hm.
Here's a link right to it:
http://www.twitpic.com/pltcp
Comment by Lord Atheist on November 17, 2009 at 9:44pm
Can't see the pic.
It's good you challenged her to choose being an atheist on her own terms as opposed to doing it because sis is.
Comment by Ashli Axtell on November 17, 2009 at 10:29pm
aww! That's pretty cute!
Comment by James on November 17, 2009 at 11:10pm
Cool sister and that's a really nice FSM she made there. :)
Comment by Danielle on November 18, 2009 at 12:33pm
@Matthew - leary is a good word, it's definitely how I feel too. I feel similarly (although a bit less leary and more horrified/concerned/etc) about when kids so young have given themselves completely to a religion. Then again, I became an atheist when I was 7/8-ish.
Comment by Dave G on November 18, 2009 at 2:11pm
Your sister will do well. :)
Comment by Pitabred on November 18, 2009 at 3:17pm
Ok, I hate being a grammar nazi, but Leary is a comedian. Leery is a feeling ;)

Props to your sis, though. That's a great model... she's got some skill, especially at 11.
Comment by Cara Coleen on November 18, 2009 at 6:32pm
I don't think we give kids enough credit. You've obviously done a great job instilling thought processes into her that her brain is already attempting to utilize at her age. I mean, don't we all gain more of a sense of self at that age? Isn't that the age we all finally start reasoning? Kids who profess a belief in Christ/God are expressing regurgitated ideas from the parents they trust to give them correct info, and their reasoning development is being stunted. Instead of being taught HOW to think, they're simply being taught WHAT to think.

I think our culture would be a lot further along if they taught Critical Thinking classes in elementary school. I mean, kids brains are so prepped for that kind of learning at that age! If we can learn how to do math and learn how to read young, why not how to reason and analyze.

Although I understand why people would be leery of an 11 year old making such a bold statement, it's actually just a matter of fact if she understands why she doesn't believe. I stopped believing in Santa at 6 because Santa seemed unbelievable... for all the same reasons God is. The difference is we haven't had to come up with any terms to label people who don't believe in Santa... there are no asantaists ;).
Comment by Johnny on November 18, 2009 at 7:00pm
Great post Danielle! Be sure to stop by the FSM site, and send the story and pic to Bobby.

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