April 10, 2011

My Daughter, The Religious Zealot

I consider myself to be a fairly enlightened person.  I don't claim to be an expert in anything (least of all parenthood) but I do feel as though I can speak intelligently (relatively) and have a basic discussion on almost any topic.  I enjoy a wide variety of subjects from literature to astronomy to culinary arts to landscaping.  My interests are so eclectic and ever-changing that when I was put back in touch with a good friend from high school after many years, one of her first questions to me was "What are you obsessed with these days?"

There are a few conversations that I generally avoid.  The big one is sports.  I know next to nothing about sports and I can't understand the obsession with it.  I find most sports boring to watch.  More so than this, I find that if you express this belief, you get stared at as though you just tore off your own head and replaced it with a Jack-o-lantern that has been carved to resemble Frido Kahlo.  Then the tirades begin.  They usually start with asking what is wrong with you and wondering if you were beaten as a child during baseball games and move on from there, generally culminating in shouting and accusations of witchcraft and terrorist ties.

These reactions are heightened as you approach Pittsburgh to the point where sharing my true feelings about sports at work is enough to get my coworkers to attack me with pointed sticks smeared with various strains of bubonic plague.

The next two topics of conversation that I try to avoid with my friends and coworkers are politics and religion.

My views on religion in general and God specifically could be considered heretical at best and condescending at worst.  I avoid discussions because I have difficulty keeping my part of the discussion polite.  I don't want to use this as a forum to preach and to even discuss God, so for the sake of this post, I will simply state that I am a firm believer in the theory of evolution.  I find it to be logical and supported by enough facts and evidence to sway me.

With that in mind, it is with a heavy heart that the following phrase leaves my fingers and makes its way into the greater world.

I think my daughter is a fanatical creationist.  **cringe**

I say this not as the result of a long discussion with her about the merits and drawbacks of evolutionary theory.  No, she's too devious for that.  I have come to this conclusion by observing Harper's repeated attempts to disprove the concept that humans beings have evolved over millions of years to climb our way to the top of the evolutionary ladder.  She is doing her best to show that "survival of the fittest" is simply untrue.

Allow me to list her latest arguments, as played out in her recent actions:

She runs headlong towards hard or sharp objects while flailing her arms to upset her bipedal locomotion and looking backwards to minimize the advantages of human sight.

She attempts to subvert her evolved human hearing by trying to pierce her ear drums with drinking straws.

She repeatedly puts objects in her mouth that are perfectly suited to obstruct her windpipe.

She only wants to play with things that will hurt her.

She is either determined to prove Darwin and his theories wrong by demonstrating the lack of survival instincts, or prove the existence of divine intervention by her lack of debilitating and permanent injuries thus far.

I love my daughter and whatever religion/deity she chooses to follow is fine with me.  I will love her no matter what.

But please, God (Vishnu, Ra, no one, whatever), please inspire Stephen Hawking to start writing bedtime stories for children.  Trying to indoctrinate her by reading Origin of the Species before bed is not having the intended effect.

Sigh.  Here is a totally unrelated video from two weeks ago that I promised and finally got uploaded.



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