He feels that every time someone throws the bird with his or her middle finger, that person is pointing that finger directly at God.
While I'm not eager for my son to become religious, I'm not eager to flood him with my current philosophy.
I can't have him blowing my cover. My son is an all-in-one tape recording blabber mouth machine. My son would blab about my skepticism and force me out of the closet!
But, I couldn't resist when my son persisted to talk about how the bird was a direct insult to god.
I clearly expressed to him that I certainly do not want him to use this gesture. However, I did not want him to obsess over the matter either.
So, I had a little talk with him:
"Son, where is up, anyhow?", I challenged.
"Up is up there, Daddy. Don't you know that"? (yeah, my son is a smarty pants).
"Ah, but son, we live on a globe. From your present location, pointing up is not the same direction as if you were -- for example -- pointing up while at the South Pole".
"Yes it is", he corrected. After all, my son is seven and knows everything.
I showed my son an apple and preceded to further illustrate my point.
"Do you see what I mean, now?" I thought my illustration was definitive, but he still didn't want to give up.
"But, you're still pointing out to heaven . . ."
"How so?" I further challenged. "Where is Heaven, anyhow? It's not in the sky or the clouds. Heaven isn't at the moon or the stars. Where is up? Where is heaven?"
"Well", my son surmised, "Heaven must be in the fourth dimension".
Well, at least I got my son thinking . . .
Then my son really got wacky . . .
"I wish my birthday was on Christmas . . .", he said, out of the blue.
"Why?" -- I thought his mind was still chewing on the Heaven paradox.
"I'd be closer to God because my birthday would be on the same day as God's."
"Son", I replied, "we celebrate Christmas on December 25th only because it's a tradition. No one knows exactly when Jesus was born."
Maybe I should have just let that one go . . . but I didn't want him developing a complex over this idea, either.
"My bible says Jesus was born on December 25th." My son seemed so confident.
"Nope. No date is given. People can only speculate." I could see he didn't agree.
"I read it in the Bible", he proclaimed.
"In which Bible? Where? I can tell you that you did not read such a thing. I dare you to look for a place that says Jesus was born on December 25th within the scripture text. If you find it, show me. I'd like to see it."
But then I added, "Don't just take my word for it. Look it up yourself one day."
With that, he gave up.
I didn't directly tell him that Heaven or Jesus were myths. But, I wanted to remind him to think beyond what he's told by various people and seek out reality for himself.
For Heaven's sake! I sure hope he was listening.