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.