Religion and the left

Thomas Kruse tkruse at
Wed Jun 3 10:00:55 PDT 1998

Justin notes:

>My own daughter. at age 3 1/2, reduced a Christian classmate at daycare to
>tears by announcing loudly that "Jesus is just a story, like Zeus."

I've had some go-rounds with my son on this that have been challenging. The death of children -- something hard to explain, accept -- has hit us a couple of times in the last 2 years, and here people fall back on the simple "s/he's in heaven now" when it explaining it to the young ones. For me, this is *not* an OK "solution", but what's the alternative with a 4-6 year old? How handy (some) religions would be in such situations.

Improvising (about 90% of parenting I find), I said "some believe the dead are in heaven or hell. For me they live in our hearts and minds, as long as we remember them." Not as tidy as the angel business, but it'll have to do.

And a comment on the "religion and the left" strand. Much of the discussion seems to suggest that religion is stuff folks have in their heads, usually presented as so much mumbo-jumbo, with a minority cultural relativist thread that pulls the epistemological rug out from under us asserting we all live within our respective mumbo-jumbos.

But what of practices? Rituals? The stuff folks do? I've often felt that political meetings really are a kind of mass, especially when dealing with people who feel that going to meetings is the beginning and end of political work, just as many religious folks must hold that going to services is the beginning and end of religiosity.


Tom Kruse / Casilla 5812 / Cochabamba, Bolivia Tel/Fax: (591-42) 48242 Email: tkruse at

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