Violence or sex? A parent’s choice.

Last night Miss2 decided she was hungry at the ungodly hour of 11pm. I like to be in bed at 9pm. Since I felt guilty for failing my “read 3 books per day” rule (due to unexpected visitors) & to alleviate my grumpy-ness at being awake when I really didn’t want to be, I decided to kill two birds with one stone = I reached for the closest thing resembling a children’s story in my living area (aka grown up) book shelf & settled in for a story and cuddle to the background soundtrack of Miss2’s steady crunching on corn crackers.

The book I had chosen was my own childhood copy of My Book of Bible Stories. I flicked through, trying to find a “good one” to read to her:

– Adam & Eve eat an apple, God punishes Eve with the pain of childbirth & punishes Adam with gardening and weeds. It’s a bit depressing. Flick.
– Cain kills his brother because God likes Abel better. Flick.
– Demons come to earth and rape women & the resulting babies are giants who rape women. Flick.
– God decides he hates everyone except Noah, his sons & their wives. Noah builds an ark, God kills everyone else. Nice guy. Flick.
– God asks his best mate Abraham to kill his only son that he had waited years to conceive. God changes his mind at the last minute & says, here, kill a sheep instead. Flick.
– God smites Sodom & Gomorrah because they’re gay. Lot’s wife gets turned into a table condiment. Lot survives but then he has sex with his own daughters.* Flick.
– Jacob falls in love with a girl called Rachel. But Rachel’s dad sends her sister Leah down the aisle instead of her. Jacob has to do 14 years of slave labour to earn two wives. Miss2 is a bit young to learn about the joys of polygamy. Flick.
– A girl called Dinah is in love with a guy from a different tribe. When her brothers find out about it they massacre the other tribe. Flick.
– Joseph’s brothers don’t like him, so they sell him into slavery. Flick.
– A rich woman tries to seduce Joseph so he gets thrown in prison. One of his fellow inmates gets his head cut off, which Joseph helpfully predicts in a dream. Flick.
– Job loses all his cattle & camels, his kids die, then he gets boils & his wife curses him. Flick.
– Babies are getting killed left right and centre (for population control) in Egypt so Moses’ mum puts him in a basket and pretends not to be his mum, then she gets paid to breastfeed him. Flick.
– Moses grew up and killed someone. Flick.
– There are 10 plagues in Egypt: all water gets turned into blood, frogs then fleas then flies infest Egypt, then all the animals die, everyone gets boils, everyone else dies by lightning strike & hail stones the size of cricket balls, the locusts eat all remaining food then the earth falls into darkness for 3 days.^ To top it all off, all the firstborn children get sick & die. Awesome. Flick.
– People make a golden statue, act all debauched and then 3,000 of them are murdered at Mt Sinai. Flick.
– The tabernacle housing the ark of the covenant is built & many celebratory burned animal sacrifices ensue. Flick.

I started to think I wouldn’t be able to find a story I’d consider reading to my 2 year old. They’d all cause nightmares (potentially).

I flicked right through the whole old testament (lots of rape, murder, incest, lions, incestuous rape, slavery, people chucked into fires, millions of penis tips cut off, more sacrifices)…

And then I *finally* reached Jesus Christ’s life story.

Now, he seemed to be a good guy. And guess what his message was?

He was basically saying “Forget all the old religious stuff, ditch all these archaic rules & sacrificing & fighting & churches… and just LOVE each other so much that you’d never hurt anyone else. Spend time eating and drinking and dancing. Sit quietly in the garden or near the ocean and think happy thoughts any chance you get. And you should be especially nice to orphans, prostitutes, widows and lepers because they don’t have enough family members to love them.”

What a rebel!

Without even turning the page I knew that Jesus would soon die a terrible bloody and excruciating death ala The Passion. So i closed My Book of Bible Stories and reached for Life-Span Human Development and looked at babies in utero. It was either that or The Prehistoric Origins of Human Sexuality and since my parental aptitude has already been questioned this week for allowing Miss2 to fall asleep in my bed while i watched The L Word (& MrO played Call of Duty: Black Ops on our largest screen)… i figured unborn foetuses were the better option.

*Okay, this last bit IS in the Bible but thankfully wasn’t really mentioned in my childhood Bible Stories book.
^ Funnily enough, this made me think about the Mayan prophecies & pole shift predictions and wonder if days of darkness would accompany or precede Earth’s axis switching ends? All the old stories are the same in essence.

Footnote: This morning I saw this headline “Can violent games hinder the development of empathy in children?” Imagine the damage caused by reading & re-reading all this religiously justified violence over the years?

I’m pretty sure that if Bible reading had been a habit back in 33CE, Jesus would have been against that too. Because it’s a depressing and negative book in my opinion. Give me dreaming stories any day.

Jesus Christ and his crown of thorns.

Jesus Christ and his crown of thorns.

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3 thoughts on “Violence or sex? A parent’s choice.

  1. We’ve been reading our kids Steiner stories for years. They are very gentle and seem to resonate with kids at particular developmental stages. For Ms 2, try Starbright – Meditations for Children by Maureen Garth, and Earthy Delights: Stories from a Southern Land by Connie Grawert.

    1. Thanks Gavin! I’d never heard of Steiner… his teaching method sounds wonderful!

      “all subjects are introduced through artistic mediums, because the children respond better to this medium than to dry lecturing and rote learning”
      “defined… education as… awakening what is already in the learner rather than impressing facts or concepts on the mind from outside… the curriculum must parallel the ripening awareness of the child”

      http://www.steiner-australia.org/other/anthrop.html

      Appreciate the reccommendations 🙂

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