Linda Ronstadt on belief

I’ve never listened to much Linda Ronstadt, but it sounds like she’s a lady on the ball. She was interviewed recently about her career and choices made to leave her hometown of Tuscon, Arizona in the process. She gave a lot of reasons but this one’s relevant to my blog. She talks about the effect of the school on her kids at the time. It was homophobic in some ways and some of the children they were meeting were too keen on parroting the religion of their parents.

“And then one day, my son went to have a playdate with a little boy, about 8 years old, and he said, ‘What church do you go to?’ And we said, ‘Well, we don’t go to a church,’ and he said, ‘Well, you’re gonna go to hell, then.’ So I had to stop the car. I wasn’t mean to the little boy, but I had to explain to him that my son was a fine person and that I didn’t think there was anything wrong with him and that we didn’t even believe in hell. And certainly he wasn’t going there, even if we did, and that I didn’t like that kind of talk. …

It’s unlikely that most people can quit schools and move out of town to avoid these kinds of conversations. Failing that, parents need to help their kids understand that there will always be differences of opinion when it comes to beliefs. Maybe the most important thing to know how to do is question it all and look for the facts and evidence. Don’t believe everything you’re told. Be willing to put the effort into finding out how true it is.

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3 Responses to Linda Ronstadt on belief

  1. N. E. White says:

    She should also warn her kid that folks might continue to say that to him.

    I have family members that still think (and say) I’m going to hell, too. It’s sort of an automatic response. It’s drilled into them every Sunday and, honestly, I don’t think they can help themselves. Sort of like saying “god bless you” when someone sneezes. I guess. That’s my excuse for them.

  2. Laurance says:

    Well, Minion, I got Linda Ronstadt’s son beat. I was only five. My little friend was Catholic and said something about god, don’t ask me what after all these years. I didn’t know who god was, coming from a family of freethinkers and unbelievers. My little friend got all grim and serious and told me he was going to have to go and get his daddy’s gun and shoot me because I didn’t believe in god.

    I wasn’t upset. Somehow I wasn’t scared and didn’t really expect Freddy to shoot me. Silly boy talk.

    Now in retrospect after some 69 years I’m more mollified. At age five a little Catholic boy has already learned that unbelievers are to be killed. And this wasn’t in some backwards uncivilized place. It was a college town in the northeast.

    My nonbelieving parents didn’t teach me that there were certain categories of people who should be killed, and that I’d be justified if I got a gun and shot them. What on earth did Catholics teach children back in the 1940’s? And do they still teach kids these things?

  3. 1minionsopinion says:

    I just remember my Christian cousin telling me not to say “Gee” or “Geez” because they was too close to Jesus which would have been bad. I believe my response was, “Um… okay….” and we moved on. I had it pretty easy. I also seem to recall my mother laying into that aunt when she got upset one day that we weren’t converting.. Church for us was only weddings and funerals because those were what churches tended to be used for.

    (We got a marriage commissioner to come to an art gallery for ours. It was lovely.)

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