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God and Santa Claus This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By , Roberts Creek, Canada
I stopped believing in God (at least, a theistic god) about the same time I stopped believing in Santa Claus. I didn't suddenly have an epiphany after meditating under a cherry tree for a year. The cause was closer to home. It started in a book.

For the first few years of my life, I was as Christian as a non-baptized person can get. I attended a Catholic school from the age of four. There, I was taught that God created the world in six days, and that Adam and Eve were the first humans but were cast out of the Garden of Eden for eating forbidden apples. I lived a few doors down from a church, and every once in a while I went to Sunday school to learn about stuff like Noah's ark and Jesus' disciples. I prepared for Communion with my class and drew pictures of what God might look like. At night I'd make my parents read me the story of creation because I liked hearing about how God made all of the animals. I took in everything about religion with unquestioning faith. After all, why would my ­teachers teach me something if it wasn't true?

After four years, I moved to another town and attended a different (non-religious) school. Learning about God was pushed to the back burner as I made new friends and read encyclopedias. Toward the end of elementary school, I borrowed a book about physics from the library (I was, and still am, a giant nerd). It taught me about Newtonian mechanics, relativity, and quantum field theory. It also disproved the existence of Santa Claus. Evidence like gravity and relativity was the straw that broke the camel of faith's back.

After I finished that book, I realized that I didn't believe in Santa Claus. What's more, I saw that I hadn't believed for quite a while. Sure, I'd wanted to believe in Santa, but wanting to believe and believing are very different things.

The same thought process led me to doubt the existence of the god I'd learned so much about as a kid. Before, I'd assumed that God had made the dinosaurs and planets and stars. Now I began to wonder. The Bible said that the Earth was made in six days, and that all of that occurred about 6,000 years ago. But hadn't my teacher told the class that the Earth was four billion years old, and that it had formed millions and millions of years after the sun was created? Gravity seemed to fill in for God nicely in that respect, and these time frames made more sense.

I had another problem. If God existed, why wouldn't everyone worship the same one? ­Instead, the ancient Greeks were pantheistic, and Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shintoism were practiced in Asia. Why would God make himself apparent to only half the globe? It just didn't make sense.

As I grew up and became more interested in science, other stuff I read made my doubts grow. How did evolution fit in with the creation story I'd loved as a kid? Why did God let good people in third-world countries die of starvation, but then reward the bullies at my school with cell phones and iPods? It didn't seem possible to me that the God I had read about in the Bible – who cared about his creation – existed today. This thought made me sad.

I like the idea of having someone watching out for me, and I haven't completely ruled out the existence of a god – but if there is one out there, it's certainly done a good job of hiding itself. The jury isn't out yet. Sometimes, late at night, I'll still say the occasional prayer, just in case anyone's listening.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 25 comments. Post your own!

mlpisfun said...
Mar. 20 at 7:26 pm:
People belive in diffferent gods because not eveyone has the same veiws on what a god is. Like some buddists they worship some big human guy Some people see animals as    gods and some worship statues That doesnt mean threr isnt a god And I am not trying to offend anyone but america is getting more and more unrelligious, I know a good amount of things about the bible I would say more than the average catholic adult (im not catholic and theirr not the only type of christian)... (more »)
 
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ZaraclaylimeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 13 at 10:45 pm:
I agree with Lovethislife. Why don't you research religion as well? Try learning by yourself instead of being taught. You'll find that it actually is the truth. Give God another chance! He's waiting for you with open arms.
 
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Lovethislife said...
Jan. 21 at 10:29 pm:
I appreciate you expressing your point of view. Please know, though, that someone IS listening to your prayers. He is the one who created you (and the world), loves you,  and died for you. Science, unfortunately, doesn't have all the answers. Do you really think that science can explain morality and the human body? Do you really believe that the human body and the entire perfection of the universe was created by "evolutionary chance"? . I know that God loves you more than anyt... (more »)
 
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rheameThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Oct. 17, 2013 at 6:53 am:
yes. even i too dont believe in a particular God but ya i do believe in a power,a power which controls everything .i am not sure if it exists but i somehow have full faith on it.It gives me comfort and assurance thinking that some one , up there  is watching me with love and helping me.
 
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AnInklingThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Sept. 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm:
Hey! I enjoyed reading your article, and you have some very good questions, and I would like to show you what I have seen in regards to them if you don't mind, too much. And please, I don't want to "force" any belief on you, I just want you to see some facts which the science books are hiding. I think that everyone deserve to see all the cards but it is up to you to decide.   First you said that God, who supposedly created the earth in 7 days, 6,000 years ago, does not... (more »)
 
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monochromatic said...
Apr. 1, 2013 at 11:00 am:
I want to point out that the fruit Adam and Eve ate was not a forbidden apple - aples are just commonly used for some reason. The Bible gives no reason to beleive the fruit was an apple, or that the fruit is even still around today.  also, you state that you were as Christian as a non-baptised person can be. According to the Bible, isn't baptism a way of showing that you have become a Christian instead of being part of becoming a Christian? and what is your definition of Christian? do... (more »)
 
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AcrossTheUniverse said...
Jan. 23, 2013 at 4:58 pm:
A) My disbelief/wanting to believe in Santa Claus happened in a similar way. B) I too am a big nerd but still believe in God. C) The creation stories are myth (no one shoot me) in the sense that they reveal a religious truth and not necessarily a historical trith. God did create the world and humans in God's image, but not the first "humans" were not necesarily called Adam and Eve. Heck, it could've been two A. africanus 's called Oog and Bhoog.
 
AcrossTheUniverse replied...
Jan. 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm :
I forgot to mention this metaphor. Look at the night sky. Every night (whether or not your night is at the same time as everyone else in the world) people will look up and marvel at the moon (when it's full). Different people, same moon; different religions, universal higher power. Had to be technical to sate your nerd-ness.
 
monochromatic replied...
Apr. 1, 2013 at 10:05 am :
trying not to shoot you - you say that the creation stories are a myth, and God did create everything, but not the way He says He did. Basically: theistic evolution. A compromise of opposites. the order in which everything is said to have evolved is opposite the order in which the 'creation story' says things were created. If God really did create the universe, but by using evolution, how much of Genesis is a lie? all of it. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth&qu... (more »)
 
AcrossTheUniverse replied...
Apr. 2, 2013 at 5:50 pm :
"...God did create everything, but not the way He says He did." The book of Genesis was written by Israelite prests/scholars probably around the time of King David (apporximately 1000 B.C.): they placed creation story in the order that it was. You don't say Scripture is a lie: it's a myth. Lies have no meaning; myths profess a deeper truth. I recommend researching Rosemary Radford Ruether's story of creation in three acts. By the way, the Santa ... (more »)
 
monochromatic replied...
Apr. 2, 2013 at 7:32 pm :
if God didn't create the universe the way He said He did, then isn't He a liar? And the Bible claims to be written by men inspired by God. Also, the Bible claims to be completely true. Also, the Bible claims that God's Word shall never fail - it will always be avilable to some part of the world, which means He wanted us to have what was written, which would be unlikely if the scholors just made stuff up. Logically, the Bible is either really God's word and what He meant to be wri... (more »)
 
AcrossTheUniverse replied...
Apr. 3, 2013 at 5:14 pm :
I'm glad you researched the story of Santa Claus and I apologize that the other evolution/creation sotry could not be found. Anyway... You're missing the point. Many people mistake the Bible for a science textbook or a history textbook, which it's not. The Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit to communicate the message of God's existence and plan for salvation for all of humanity. Genesis is a myth but conveys the universal truth that God created everythi... (more »)
 
monochromatic replied...
Apr. 3, 2013 at 9:30 pm :
I have a question: what makes you believe that the Genesis creation story is a myth? logically and reasonably. true, the Bible is not technically a science or history book, but the funny thing is: everything in the Bible besides supernatural occurences can be proven scientifically and found historically.
 
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Anima said...
May 17, 2012 at 5:58 am:
Okay, first, We buddhists don't worship any god. We worship Buddha. Buddha is not a god. It was intresting, maybe when or if it gets posted, you could read my post on the exhistence of god, it is a little bit more informed.
 
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Anima said...
May 17, 2012 at 5:54 am:

Good point. Science can't prove it. But the Bible can prove Gods non-exhistence. Don't get me wrong, the Bible is a great book of parables.

But in the Bible you see the multiple faces of man. Not god. You hear about how "Miracles" happened. Well, go ahead believe that. But miracles don't happen. It says in the bible that we are the children of god. But wait, no, that can't be right because i thought Jesus was gods only son. Now, your reply to that will probably be that jesus was the fl... (more »)

 
AcrossTheUniverse replied...
Apr. 2, 2013 at 5:56 pm :
How does a religious book contradict the existence of something it professes? O.o How do you know miracles don't happen? Explaining the Trinity is difficult because primarily IT CAN'T FULLY BE EXPLAINED (otherwise it wouldn't be a mystery). Jesus is the Son of God and actually part of God himself (for you linguistic folks that's homoousian). God has adopted humanity as heirs (hence "children") to the promise of eternal life/Resurrection.
 
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Anima said...
May 17, 2012 at 5:46 am:
All the bad things that have happened to me all were Gods doing? God must have a pretty sick sense of humor.
 
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NobodyYouKnow said...
Mar. 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm:
GREAT article. I never believed in Santa as a kid, and I actually felt grateful, even then, because my parents weren't lying to me. When I was about seven, I decided that I didn't believe in god, either. I'd never really thought about it before, but I realized that I had never really seen evidence of a god. I thought about it for the next few years, and my train of thought was very similar to what you are describing here. I was very impressed with your writing style, your beautiful narritive, an... (more »)
 
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KaylaSammiRose said...
Dec. 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm:
I fully believe in God (not in Santa though, that stopped forever ago. ;D). Anyway I wont pretend to understand any more than you do why bad things happen. But when people say that bad things prove there is no God, think about this. If the world was perfect would we really feel the need to search for God or the answers? We would think we would be tine on our own. If anything I think that the existence of bad and horrible things proves that their is a supernatural evil at work. And if there's evi... (more »)
 
AcrossTheUniverse replied...
Apr. 2, 2013 at 5:58 pm :
TE MUCHO GUSTO!!! Wonderfully explained!
 
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