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Old 08-13-2006, 10:36 PM   #16
meretricious dilettante
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,068
I like your answer, TruthSeeker. It's a good point to make that with the Bible, there is probably a fair bit lost in the translation(s), myriad as they have been in both literal and figurative senses. It's also true that it's still powerful and has some very good things to say along with the bad. The class went really well -- I didn't have to say anything to compromise myself, a lot of the kids already knew parts of the story, and well, they're all pretty great kids.

Well, Brynn, most of the kids were at the grade 2 or 3 level with only a few at grade 4 or 5 (we had 12 in total, it was a pretty full house for the summertime). I know most of them pretty well, from previous years, and I know enough of their parents well enough to know that not everyone there would want me to do anything much beyond indoctrinating. This is a very tolerant church -- they tolerate me, for instance -- but I'm not going to overstep my boundaries. Our own daughter got the unexpurgated version plus every thought her dad and I had about it, however.

Which brings me to the story of why I'm there. Our daughter's middle namesake was a woman of the sort that I call the True Believer -- an almost indescribably good person of Mennonite faith (the sprinklers, not the dunkers -- she married a dunker and I believe it was their only issue of argument throughout a long and happy marriage). I was given her Bible when she died suddenly, when our daughter was just a toddler. Every page was inscribed with her thoughts and reflections, some of which were quite wrenching. Reading them made me decide to honour her memory by doing what I could to explore theology (I'd long made a hobby of exploring philosophy, but had really neglected the Other Side of things) to see if doing so would make me anywhere near as integrity-filled as she had been -- and also I vowed to make sure our daughter knew something of the beliefs her great-grandmother held so dearly. We'd been married in a liberal Baptist church, so I started attending Bible study and services and taking her to Sunday school. Periodically I wonder if we should still be doing this -- usually at times when I don't have faith in anything other than my dog -- and make some effort at trying to halt this arrangement. But our daughter remains very stubborn about wanting to stay at this church. We deal with our own concerns about "indoctrination" by being very open about them. But she argues quite convincingly for her side of things, and she is a very decent little person, so it's not like I'm eager to remove any of her current influences. If nothing else, I want her to take out of this the understanding that people who hold to faith are not brainwashed or unthinking. The vast majority think about it an awful lot.

Oh yeah. And the short answer? If you've got a kid in Sunday school, you have to teach a summer session!

Last edited by trisherina : 08-13-2006 at 10:38 PM.
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