There is a great blog story up today by a former COG member who responds to an article in United News, Treasure Digest: The One Snowman, where the author is proud that their children suffer by being "different."
I recently read an article on just this subject by a member of one of the many little groups that splintered off from the church Mr. Armstrong founded, titled Treasure Digest, The One Snowman . Reading that piece brought back memories of being that little lonely girl, feeling lost in a culture that she was told was evil, being terrified of being found out for wanting some of the joy the other kids, and just being plain old confused by it all.
When I read the article again, I became angry at the tone and the theme of the piece. They acknowledged that their children endure ridicule and loneliness and even shunning for the faith of their parents. But they took that acknowledge as a matter of pride. They wrote:
“While I think we need to give our children credit for what they have endured for our beliefs, I also think there are important lessons that we adults can learn from the children and especially from the example of the one snowman.”
I don’t know if the writer of the piece ever stopped to consider that the reason why their child drew a snowman instead of Santa. They drew a snowman for the same reasons I drew what I did; because they were terrified not to. It wasn’t courage, or obedience or even faith that prompted me to not participate along with the rest of my class. It was plain old fashioned fear. We had a choice, to face the strange looks and whispered gossip from our schoolmates and the lack of understanding of our teachers and friends, or face the lectures and guilt heaped upon us by our parents, no matter how well meaning, and the ever hanging fear of what God would do to us for putting colored balls on a second graders rendering of a pine tree.