Mama, what does praying mean?
It means talking to god baby.
But we don’t believe in god, do we?
Well, your father and I don’t, but you can make up your own mind.
I think I believe in god.
OK, what does god mean to you?
I think god is a bit like Alan Jones.
(trying very hard to keep breathing) And why do you say that? Alan Jones isn’t a particularly kind person, is he?
No. Just like god.
Now, mindful that some people I love very much do believe in god, I am hoping you will give me the benefit of the doubt when I assure you that I have never knowingly planted the idea that god was like a shock jock. Although we are atheists, I have always tried to talk about belief in respectful and positive terms, about the comfort that people get from spirituality and community, and the strength that can be drawn from faith. The Alan Jones thing is a bolt from the blue.
Any ideas? Ideally I would like him to have an objective overview of religion so that he can choose his own path, but clearly something is missing!