So, while my hermit, space-bubble loving self cringes every time, I have no choice but to take my newborn shopping, which results in lots and lots of strangers randomly ogling my child and choosing to talk to me. Yesterday, a cashier at our local Fred Meyer dropped quite the bomb on me though. She stopped, despite a line, stared at my baby, and then proceeded to inform me about three times how my child was a “gift from god.” Now, I’m pagan, and not the look-at-my-pentagram-I’m-so-goth-I-sweat-Satan neo-pagan pagan either. Our family follows the old Norse faith. However, being respectful of others faiths I just smiled and sort of nodded. Then she goes on to explain to me the reason that children these days behave like animals is the schools are teaching them that we all evolved from animals, and repeated numerous times that my baby was just a precious gift from god…again. At this point my WTF-lady-you’re-at-work-not-church meter kind of exploded. I’m not sure what about checking out at the grocery store invites an employee to randomly share her thoughts on religion and the state of today’s youth with random customers, but I wasn’t in the mood. I handed her my coupons and said, “In my religion life oozed out of the armpit of a giant born of the thawing ice of our dead world and then the Gods made us from two dead trees…sort of makes these coupons like..dead babies,” looked her dead in the eye and smiled. The look on her face shall make my week.
I’ll skip my rather opinionated thoughts on her obvious opinion that evolution has no place in schools. The point, of my likely fan losing story, is that parents in particular need to recognize that not everyone’s child is of their religion whether that religion is the “norm” for the region or not. Its fine with me if my cashier felt my child was a gift from god, but being insistently annoying about it was just rude and assumptional. Something as innocent as telling a cute little Bible story at a play date or requesting prayer at snack may not strike you as overstepping your grounds, but if that child isn’t of your religion you likely are plowing right over the line. Personally, I leave religion up to my children. As they age they’ll be taught of all faiths and they can settle on which one is right for them, but until then, I’d prefer everyone from cashiers to my own family not pervert their clean-slate with ideas just as much as I’d prefer they keep their parenting preferences to themselves, so please, think before you act.