Tell it like it is, Kringle


Via Pharyngula.

The best comment in the thread:

I love it. I was having a discussion with a friend about the pros and cons of teaching children to believe in Santa. She was for it, said it would “teach them to believe in things.” At first I was against, saying it teaches them that the things their elders tell them to believe turn out to be lies. Then I realized what I just said. Now I’m all for it.


2 responses to “Tell it like it is, Kringle

  1. Penn Gillette, the large & loud half of Penn & Teller, used to do a radio talk show with fellow juggler Michael Goudeau. It didn’t air here in New Orleans, but I’d listen to the podcast. Both are firm atheists with small children, and on one show they discussed their attitude towards mythical beings like Santa and the Easter Bunny.

    Penn was absolutist; he would not have his kids’ heads filled up with that junk. Goudeau was more relaxed and thought it did no harm at the age where their friends still believed. But he had a rule for himself. If asked directly, he would not lie. So he told this story.

    Recently his son, about 7, had lost a tooth, put it under his pillow, and gotten a quarter in the morning from the Tooth Fairy. But when he got back from school that day he was troubled, because he’d told another kid about it and had been told there was no such thing as the Tooth Fairy. So he looked up at Goudeau and asked, “Dad, who is the Tooth Fairy?”

    There it was, the direct question. Goudeau replied, “Actually, the Tooth Fairy is your Mom and Dad.” And his son looked back at him with wonder in his eyes and said, “You go to EVERYONE’S HOUSE???”

  2. That’s excellent, Steve! Mrs. MG and I are expecting in 2008, and these questions are starting to percolate in our minds. I think the “answer truthfully if directly asked” rule is a good one.

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