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My Life Is Not A Donut

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When I was little I used to sing:

“Life without Jesus is like a donut, is like a donut, is like a donut,
life without Jesus is like a donut, cause there’s a hole in the middle of your heart.”

I now have a life without Jesus. I guess it is sort of like a donut because it’s pretty sweet. But I ain’t got no hole in my heart.

This song is really just another example of Christians painting non-Christianity as empty and awful. I’ve talked about this before. Here and here. Feeding children songs like this teaches them that they do not want to ever lose Jesus. It scares them out of thinking critically.

Honestly, I think my heart was emptier when I did believe in Christianity. The constant guilt, the knowledge that I belonged to Him; I felt loved, but I felt so out of control. I felt like I could do nothing without Him, that I was nothing without Him. I felt like I was trying to keep up with God, trying to serve Him and be more like Him, but I could never keep up. It was like He kept leaving me behind, abandoning me.

Obviously this was all in my head, because God doesn’t exist. I think I was afraid of the truth, but I felt like I couldn’t escape. I didn’t want to become like a donut. Then I realised that I had no choice. The doubts were growing whether I liked it or not. In the end, I did not become a donut, my heart became more complete than ever.

Another song I used to sing went like this:

“I’m too young to march in the infantry, ride in the cavalry, shoot the artillery
I’m too young to ride over land and sea,
But I’m in the Lord’s Army! YES SIR.”

This song also is troubling. Given the fact that we live in an age of religious extremism, the military analogy is extremely inappropriate. Even grown-up Christian organisations do this: The Army of God church, the Salvation Army… why the violent imagery? These militarily named organisations often do great charity work, I certainly support that, but these war words make me very nervous and uncomfortable. Imagine if there was a mosque in your street called The Army of Allah. I would be freaking out. Why is it okay for Christians to do it?

Songs are great tools for teaching (or brainwashing) children, so be very careful that what you teach is true.


About Ellen Rose

Blogger curious about how travel helps us to lead more meaningful lives.

10 responses »

  1. I can see your point about army terminology being used in children’s Sunday school songs. Sadly, there are radical people in all groups and we need to teach and model gentleness and respect to our children towards everyone ( faith-based, atheism and anything in between).

    Blessings ~ Wendy

  2. I forgot about the “I’m in the lord’s armeee” song! Oh, floods of horrible memories coming back. Luckily I was too stupid to ever think about what I was saying – mindless repetition in all things.

    • criticofchristianity

      Yeah I never really thought about the words I was singing at the time, but I think it did reinforce the things I was being taught in Sunday school, making me more deeply indoctrinated.

  3. I sang the lord’s army song my entire childhood. In fact, I have very vivid memories of prancing down the halls in my grandparent’s house as a child singing the song to and for whoever would listen. I would sing that song and another song called, “This Little Light of Mine” everywhere. It saddens me because I grew to love music and singing (I actually ended up doing it professionally for a while) and my first memories are of performing religiously brainwashing sing-songs meant to drive the thought of god/Jesus even further into my little, developing brain. I rarely think about the effects that Chrisitianity had on my life as a child anymore as it tends to bring up feelings of stupidity, naivety and regret- none of which I allow into my daily life as an adult. However, I do realize that there was nothing I could have done about the way I was raised or the family I was born into. And, perhaps it was my upbringing that tempted me to think critically for myself. Either way, thanks for the post. This was a real blast in the past for me!

    • criticofchristianity

      When I think about the effects that Christianity had on my childhood I mostly just feel angry towards my parents, which is how I feel most of the time anyway, so it’s not really a problem. I’m still trying to understand the effects by upbringing had on me.

      But you’re right, there’s nothing we could have done about it and maybe it was for the best.

      I used to sing This Little Light of Mine too. Actually, I used to be an assistant teacher in Sunday School and would teach the song to kids, which is something I’m not exactly proud of. But it was what I believed at the time. I feel awful that I did the exact thing that I am so strongly against now. But it’s all part of the journey.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

  4. I remain Christian, and find the doughnut song repellent. Judging the outsider is what we are told not to do. Whoever is not against you is for you.

    I sang in the Scouts, Gingang Gooliegooliegooliegoolie wah-wah, ging gang goo, ging gang goo. And who could argue with that?

    • criticofchristianity

      Didn’t Jesus say the opposite? Luke 11:23: “Whoever is not with me is against me.”

      But I agree that judging the state of the heart of the outsider is wrong, especially when you don’t even know them or their story.

      Hahaha of course no one could object to such meaningful lyrics! 😛

      • Jesus said both actually: Luke 9:50. From which I learn that morality is addressed to me: if I am not with Jesus then I am against him, but if another is not against me he is for me.

        Morality is addressed to me, with no justification for me judging others. My moral race is against myself. Whether someone else is Good, or “on God’s side” is not a question I can answer. That is what I get from the two sayings, together.

      • criticofchristianity

        Oh I didn’t know he said that as well! and I do like your interpretation. I wish more Christians had the same understanding of those verses. A non-judgemental Christian can be hard to find.

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