This kind of news always makes me wonder what to believe.
Is it more ludicrous to believe that there is a god that allows these sorts of tragedies to take place just to make us need him more, or that this 17-year old boy will not face an afterlife of eternal torture for what he’s done because there IS nothing after death?
I have a very inquisitive almost-seven-year-old and Lokes and I have a philosophy of telling her the truth in a way we are sure she understands for a child her age. She’s asked about babies, death, religion. Each time, we’d hesitate, saying, “Give me a minute to find a way to explain this very important thing to you.” Ultimately, we’d only answer her question in a very limited, compartmentalized manner.
When she was about five, she asked what happened when people died. We told her that we buried them or turned them to ash, but they lived on in our hearts as memories. She was a little sad about that because she was thinking about her grandparents (they’re still alive and well but she was in a contemplative mood).
When she asked about babies, I answered, “Something called a sperm from daddy and an egg in Mommy, when they are put together, makes a baby that grows in Mommy’s tummy.” Her answer was, and is always, “Oh.” And she’d walk off to ruminate. She never asked how the sperm would get there.
One day, she asked if everyone was Christian, because she was reading a picture bible someone had bought for her a long time ago. We never stopped her because to us, it’s still knowledge. I told her that people have different beliefs how things work in the world, and that Mommy and Daddy believe in science. She was happy with that answer, being somewhat of a science geek herself.
I wonder what I’d say if she asked why that boy shot all those kids (children these days are very observant and I won’t be surprised if someone from school starts talking about it). Frankly, I’d be stumped. I can’t say he was nuts because he may very well just be evil. Is evil a kind of mental disease? Psychologists have been debating this for centuries.
What would you say if your child asked you about why bad things happen to kids? What would you say if she or he asked what happens when this bad person takes his own life?