Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Taking on the CRE again

Both girls are now in the Christian Religious Education program at their school. Again I've requested the syllabus for both courses so I can follow along and offer alternate opinions. Ask more questions. Encourage the girls to ask questions, not just take what's being spoon fed to them.

It's patently obvious the current religious view is that the bible and Jesus and being a Christian is all wonderful, loving, warm, light, giving and goodness. I think it's interesting how picking out the nice and disregarding the frightening and tragic is in any way helpful to having these kids grow up be good Christians. I mean if you're going to be a Christian, you've got to know the whole thing you're getting yourself into, right?

Here are some the areas Sassy's 5th grade class are going to be looking at over the next few weeks:

1.) For students to understand that Jesus as the "light for the world" is a role model worthy of being followed.

2.) For students to understand that when they follow Jesus' model of loving, helpful, fair actions they brighten up the community around them like lights.

3.)For students to understand that God is like a forgiving father.

That's just a few, there are actually 13. Of course I have issue with some of it. Who is the more forgiving father: The one who says how bad it is to lie and steal coins from his bedside table and punishes by giving a speech about how disappointed he is and taking away the Nintendo DS for a week, or the Father that punishes by sending you into lake of burning fire for all eternity? Think about it if you need to...

I also don't know what bible they're reading from because I read my bible and there are definitely bits where Jesus was talking killing children and encouraging followers to mutilate themselves. He wasn't all "Light". In fact there's not one bit of Revelations in the whole year.

The stuff for Shorty is about how Christians are so good. Aren't Christians great? Butter wouldn't melt, you know. They do so many great things, blah blah blah. Like they have the market cornered on good. Not to mention both my kids have Muslims and Buddhists in their class. Think they'll quote any of Jesus' Jew hate? Not bloody likely.

Shorty's class is going right to the guts of the bible and telling the Easter story. I've never understood how the Easter story is supposed to be great and wonderful. God let his "son" die horribly by us/for us and didn't intervene. That's not a loving father. What is it about the bible and infanticide? People have tried to explain it to me and it's never made sense - God gave his only son to be killed by us so his blood could save our souls and erase our sins. What?! I'm a parent - fuck you, you're not killing my kid to save anyone. And what if I don't want Jesus' sacrifice? What if I want that serial murderer to get his proper punishment? It's all fucked up. I genuinely have no idea how Christians can talk about it like it's all good. I'm thankful that Easter bunnies and modern marketing have perverted the original story. Fluffy ducks, chicks and bunnies. Perhaps in another century it'll all be myth like the Roman gods.

So yes, this whole debacle winds me up. Australia likes to think it's secular but it's not. It has no clue what secular truly is, I hope everyone figures it out soon.

I also hope I don't come across too grumpy in this post. I'm not attempting to make my kids miserable in god wars. I honestly want them to know what's out there. I was told CRE was "just a bunch of bible stories." but it's not. It's indoctrinating kids into Christianity, it's another layer added outside of the church and it's not welcome. Not by me. The only reason the kids are in the class, and I've not opted them out is because Husband wants them to know the stories. Well, I'm just going to make sure they know the whole story. Their morality will come from us, not the bible. The bible's morality is sick and vile.


Overboard said...

Excellent, Lyvvie! Loved it! Your kids have the best mother!

Anonymous said...

I think the most important thing about learning religion is to learn all sides of it. I put both my kids in Catholic school, not because I want them to be Catholic, but because I was raised Catholic and felt they should be exposed to it before they chose it. Both my kids would call themselves Atheists at this point. They learned to use logic, thanks to my questions and comments. Your daughters are learning this too. High five!

Liz said...

This post makes me feel sad, and somewhat sick to my stomach first thing in the morning.

That some (many?) people feel like this just shows me that we, as Believers, have a lot to do to counteract the negativity generated by the radical right, hate mongering "christians" who give us all a bad name.

True Believers, in my realm, are ALL Love, Light and totally NON-JUDGEMENTAL !!!

Sorry, I just had to speak up.
Shoot me (as our friend would say)
Mata ne

Lyvvie said...

Thanks Roxy, i think this is the common ground Husband and I need to be at because he's not an atheist, but he doesn't quite like to be called an agnostic so he just avoids any label. and the topic. unless it's the kids getting bible stories in class, then he pips in.

I dunno Liz, maybe what you've got is a new kind of Christianity on the cusp of a change. It's happened 30,000 times before. One that can reject the hate within the bible and not be frightened by the threats of non belief. There are other Chrisitans who obviously take great glee in having a hellfire and brimstone kind of God on their side - the want to help torture the non believers in the fiery pit.

I also commend you for saying there is a bad element in Christianity that's hate mongering and negative. I don't come across it enough. I'd love to find more people like yourself who can and are willing to stand up to those Bullies For Jesus.

I find many who are pretty much agnostic but keep religion around because it's all they've known, Granny may be disappointed, why bother it hurts no one, Pascal's Wager types etc. Or a few like myself who are genuinely confused about where the idea of love and Light comes from - I've read the bible, I don't see it. There must be some pretty good preachers out there who can give that spiritual joy and not include any of the bad - I'm just not sure it's the moral way to be a Christian. Like I said, you have to take all it's parts or you'll also be damned.

Liz said...

Oh, it's NOT all Love and Light and Joy in the bible, that's "fer shore" (as our friend would again say ;)).
But as a "Full Gospel, NonDenominational, Spirit Filled believer (some would call us Holy Rollers ;)), it is what I have found in my life as a result of "giving my life over" to my Higher Power (who happens to be Jesus). And as such(FULL Gospel), I also believe the whole Bible (good and bad bits) to be the Word of God.
Remember though, that what most people are reading (KJV) is a very slanted translation of the original Greek and Hebrew, done during a very repressive and opressive time in history.
There are quite a few newer versions, (NIV is my favorite) where they have gone back to the original G and H and translated more within the original intent and context.
And yes, there was a lot of feuding and fighting going on back then, too. Some things never change for us homo-sapiens.
Just my $.02. :)))
Mata ne

Overboard said...

Cor. I learned a lot here. Thanks girls.

Chick said...

I like that you are not a little following lamb & question things & really think about them. Good for you for teaching your children to do the same.

Sy said...

If your husband wants them to know the stories, why don't you just teach them those stories at home? Why does that need to be left up to the school?

I personally would throw a royal shitfit if the school wanted to put my son in anything like that. I pulled him out of the DARE program when he was in kindergarten because he was bringing home drawings he had done of hypodermic needles and because he was yelling to everyone in the grocery store that we did drugs (because they were teaching the kids that alcohol was drugs too - kindergarteners are just way too young to differentiate).

My point is that even with a syllabus, you will not know the details that will be taught in the class and what they are going to be exposed to - maybe until it is too late and you have a store full of people gaping at you, pulling their children toward them thinking that you are horrible and evil and maybe even thinking about reporting you to the authorities.

But then again, maybe that's just me.

Nej said...

Does hubby know of your issues with the class? I mean, if it's a matter of just them knowing the stories, have him tell them. Sounds like something you're not comfortable having the school doing..and I completely agree...they need to know the good along with the bad.