Too Young To Decide

I play cards at a game shop about once a week. It’s nice to have a break from any screens or even concerns outside of what strategies are and aren’t working.
Last time I was out on Friday night, it was at a much larger gathering. There were more younger kids, ones that were about middle school age, with the rest of us ranging from late high school through middle age. I’m naturally a bit aloof and outside of conversation, and this particular place wasn’t my regular haunt, so I spent most of my time observing and listening. It’s amusing to hear how young kids speak, and considering this is similar to the crowd I grew up amidst, it’s plenty familiar.

Some of the younger kids were chatting and at a random point, one of the boys declared that he’s an atheist. The others at my table heard it too and gave each other looks. They were a group of brothers with another friend or two. And one said to the group, “Wow. A bit young to be deciding that sort of thing?”

As is my normal reaction, I am silent with a non-commital look. Think of Jim from The Office.

And then it festers in me, until I’m doing some other irritating, mindless task, such as trying to get my sprinkler pump to work again (no dice on that). Then the realization: it’s a huge double-standard.

I could be incorrect, but my presumption is that group of nearly identical, blond young men were Christians. And I should have replied to that statement,

“Well, that’s a bit of a double-standard now isn’t it? How old were you when you could tell someone ‘I’m a Christian.’ Even more specifically, when could you first say definitively that you were a Lutheran or a Baptist? I know I disbelieved in a god earlier than I disbelieved in Santa Claus.

“Granted, every 14 year old is a fool, as well they should be. We all pick absolutes that get completely shattered by our second decade. Kids spout whatever they think will make them strong, so there you have it. But drop the idea that we’re all Christian by default and everything else is a decision.”

Something along those lines. Wish I was a combination of more outward and quicker wit to come up to any kid’s defense. But alas, I’m left with passive aggression on a mostly-neglected blog.