Friday, May 17, 2013

Religious Education

Yesterday when Lily brought the boys over, Owen had a Christian tract that someone had given him. He had insisted on bringing it over for me to read to him. Lily apologized and said, "Try not to go off too bad," and I laughed and we set the thing down in the kitchen and I thought that Owen had forgotten about it but no, after a fun morning of goat-feeding and egg-collecting and pirate-playing and sitting-on-the-backsteps-and-eating-Chex Mix-and-being-delighted-at-the birds,

he remembered it and went to fetch it for me to read to him.
Okay. This thing was ridiculous. The Ten Commandments for kids. Cartoony and definitely geared for young children. 
"For Kids Who Like To Think!" said the cover. 
And here I was, me with my Pagan Ways, about to read this damn thing to my precious, pure grandson. 
"Owen," I said. "This is what some people believe. That does not make it true. Okay?"
"Okay," he said. 
I read him the Ten Commandments. As presented. 

And sure, there's some good stuff in those commandments. I'm right onboard with Thou Shalt Not Kill. Although this tract used the more easily rationalized, "You shall not murder." With a bomb. Are we talking terrorist attacks here? Stealing and lying are wrong in my opinion too. I like the idea of honoring your parents. If they deserve it. But not having other gods before The Big Guy? Not making idols? Eh, not so much. 
And how to explain committing adultery to a three-year old? He didn't ask and I didn't try.

So we went through the commandments and I said, "Okay, that's it," and went to put the tract down. He said, "No. There's more."
So we flipped over to this page:

I sighed and began to ask him the questions. 
"Okay, Owen. Have you always obeyed your parents?"
"No," he admitted without hesitation.
"Have you ever lied?" 
"Yes." Again, no hesitation whatsoever. 
"Have you always loved god?"
"No." As solemnly as a...preacher.
"Have you ever stolen anything?"
"Have you ever been greedy?"

He showed no remorse for any of these answers. He was just being truthful. 
I pulled him closer to me and laughed and laughed and said, "Owen, I adore you so much. I love you. You are perfect."

And he is. And I did my job and read the stupid thing to him because that's what he wanted and when Gibson brought me a book entitled "Farm Animals" I read that to him. And later, Owen wanted to hear Danny and the Dinosaur and we read that too.
I am a grandmother. This is what I do. And then I come here and write about it because this is who I am. I dreamed last night that I was looking for a hard copy of this blog (which I do not have in real life) and I found part of it on one of the shelves of a changing table that I had in real life when Hank was a baby.
I don't need to consult a psychiatrist to figure that one out. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. You know, this is probably why I don't like organized religion. Or at least the organized Christianity I've experienced. A flyer for kids that tells them how bad they are? WTF?

  2. I'm glad you didn't read the part about how he has to be clean before the day of judgement... At least I hope you didn't even though he came 'clean' on every single thing. There is another of Gibson's pure expressive facial expression to love! Sweet Jo

  3. Well I love that picture under this post so much, it's easy to imagine their own babies crawling on them.
    And I love how you handled the pamphlet/propaganda of someones view of their beliefs. My best cure for that was to read this wonderful picture book to my kids called What is God, and it allows for all different faiths and beliefs, including not believing at all, and it opens their eyes and hearts to the world, and I always told them to substitute the names of Gods with Love and who knows how much of that stuck? They are honest, like Owen, and big thinkers, and think so much of the world is pure horseshit that I'm not sure if I've done right or wrong by them....

    You're saving those sweet boys souls with pure Love. xo

  4. 'Adultery' is when we forget how to be as honest and loving as children.

  5. Actually the oldest known version in Hebrew/Aramaic is more correctly translated as 'murder' not 'kill'. Because there is a lot of god ordered killing going on in that book. killing wasn't seen as bad when you were meting out punishment or in war or in self defense. but murder, that was forbidden.

    and you did good. you satisfied his curiosity.

  6. Damn damn damn. You are kicking ass with this grandparenting thing. Owen is probably figuring out he would rather stay away from the reading materials that judge. He is smart like that.

  7. Blue Gal- Exactly. No god needs to send his son to be murdered for babies. What a crock.

    Sweet Jo- No. We didn't read that part. I couldn't bear it.

    Mel- Well, I can only tell them what I believe in words they will understand. And let them make up their own perfect minds.

    Magnum- Amen, brother. Amen.

    Ellen Abbott- I hope so. I really do.

    Jill-Owen is full of the devil and made of perfection. Like we all are. I think he'll figure it out.

  8. I like how Owen was not afraid with his answers. He simply told the truth. But the judgement stuff is just too much. You did far better than I would in reading it.

  9. Bravo at maintaining your composure through THAT difficult task. (Did you read that last part about the Day of Judgment? Because...eeew.)

    I'm glad the Farm Animals came along afterwards.

  10. At least you got to balance the commandments with a dinosaur ;)

    I love Owen's confession. He knows the ways of the human heart, clearly!

    wv: Projoyea effect


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