I had seen movies (and cartoons?) where the villian would tie some victim to the railroad tracks. Then, I heard that Jesus had died on "the cross". In my young mind, I combined those two pieces of information into the conclusion that Jesus died by being tied down at a railroad "cross"ing.
Originally I thought that God lived on top of the clouds. The Care Bears changed that! They lived on top of the clouds so, God must live in space among the stars or on the moon.
'God is always watching' my mother would tell me endlessly as a child. I always wondered how many televisions god would watch simultaneously and did he ever get bored simply watching me washing my teeth, so I would dance around to entertain him so he wouldn't get bored.
I used to believe that God was the Incredible Hulk - he was green and muscly and had purple trousers.
I used to think the verger at our church (Mr Bickle, aged 60, tall, shock of white hair, long black cassock down to his feets, benevolent smile as we entered church) was God. It was only when I was 9 that I realised that he was just the verger.
I used to think that Jesus was buried in my back yard, near some bushes behind my play fort. After all, my neighbor Jeffrey told me so and Jeffrey was 5 1/2 years old to my 4 years - so everything he said had to be true. My parents were quite suprised when I told them about this - especially because we never went to church!
When I was a very small child, for some reason, I pictured God as an enormous, kind looking zebra. Each night, I would say my prayers to a huge zebra! I still have no idea where that came from.
When I was little, I asked my mom what God was. "He's a being," my mom said. I thought she said, "He's a bean." So for years I pictured this little bean sitting up there on the clouds, looking down on his creation.
At mass, when the congregation said -
"Thanks Be to God" I thught they were actually saying -
"Thanks Peter God"
My father's name is Peter. It bothers me that I never really questioned why everyone thought My dad was God.
My son aged 17 recently divulged that when he was told that Jesus was a carpenter he thought that he laid carpets!!!Lots of demand for shag pile in Bethlehem !
Digging tunnels in the dirt in the play-yard of the daycare center in which I was imprisoned while my parents worked, I feared briefly that I may dig too deeply and reach Hell and thereby loose Satan upon the Earth's surface.
Raised a Baptist, I was taught to believe in Jesus' imminent return. Accordingly, I often would gaze at the sky in hope of seeing Him descend in glory from the clouds--an event I avidly awaited, as I was anxious not only to enter bliss eternal and to meet Jesus and Jehovah but to meet Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets, who was my hero at the time.
Until my parents corrected me when I was about 7 or 8, I used to think that the 3 wise men brought to baby Jesus - Gold, Frankenstein and Mud.
I only realised a few years ago exactly why Noah took two of each animal onto the Ark.
I thought it was so they didn't get lonely.
When I was about five, I was told that God was everywhere, watching me all the time. This, of course, made me connect him to Santa Clause, and I used to think that Heaven was Santa's summer home, and God went skiing at the North Pole, because they were best friends. I was rather confused as at why Santa wasn't ever mentioned in the Bible.
I used to think that God looked like the cartoon on the front of the Robin Hood flour bag. I always thought it was strange that God wore a green felt hat with a feather, but hey - He was God and He could wear anything he wanted to. Everytime my Mum had that bag of flour sitting on the counter, I always made sure to be on my best behaviour.
When I was little, I thought I had met Jesus. After church on Sunday, the pastor would stand outside the door and shake hands with everyone as they left church. One day Jesus was there right next to the pastor and everyone was shaking hands with him, too. I thought it was pretty special that he was visiting our church. It was like meeting a celebrity. One day when I was in my 20's, something made me remember it. I couldn't have met Jesus! Did I dream it? I asked my parents and my brother if they remembered that day. They laughed and remembered the day the odd transient man walked up and got in the reception line after church. All the nice folks just went ahead and shook hands with him also and he seemed to really be enjoying it. Nobody knew that I thought he was Jesus. Hmmm...
At age 9, I used to believe that there were only three religions in the whole world: Catholic, Jewish, and Satanist. My best friend was Jewish, and one day I asked her about the Jewish faith. She leapt into the subject with much enthusiasm. She said that Moses and the Israelites were forced out of Egypt by the not-Jewish pharaoh. She described this in gory detail, gleefuly recounting rather more deaths then there were people. I asked her whether the pharaoh and other Egyptians were Satanist, to which she said no. Therefore, I reasoned that Catholics had driven Moses out of Egypt.
And that, my friends, is how I decided that devil-worship was not as bad as those cruel, awful Egyptian Catholics made out. (I was only disabused of this notion in the 5th grade.)
My friend told me that when she was about four she was looking at a picture of her cousin. She asked who he was, and her mother told her it was her cousin Rob. She heard 'cousin God'. For years she thought God was her teenaged cousin.
When I was 3 or 4, I learned in Sunday School that God is the Father. I took this literally and belived that God was my father, being too young to understand the theological implications of such a thing. Once I got upset with my "earth Dad" and told him that he wasn't my real Daddy. I'd imagine that it sparked an interesting conversation between my parents until they figured out I was just confused rather than alerting him to Mom's infidelity with another man.