Skip to main content

Beyond Fundamentalism: My Kids Know Stuff I Don't

By Incongruous Circumspection ~

I know. Shocking.

Actually, it's not really that big a deal. As a child of a fundamentalist and crazy Mama, my brain told me she knew everything about me because she wielded such heavy-handed power and control. If I was fifty states away from her, I would still feel as if her watchful eye was hovering above me, waiting for me to screw up, just to give her the chance to bring that boar-bristle, hardwood brush down on my head (thankfully cushioned by my wavy and thick locks).

But she never did. I kicked my own arse by telling her about all my infractions when I would get home. She didn't even have to ask. I just did it. It felt cleansing. Like admitting all your impure thoughts about ice cream during lent, to a priest.

So, naturally, I thought that all parents of all children kept track of everything their kids did and learned. I know now that most of those fundamentalist parents lived in a state of denial, while their kids hid as much as they could from them. I was just an idiot outlier.

I began thinking about this while listening to my six kids and a few neighbor kids, sitting in the dining room, eating gourmet sandwiches that cost me too much, discussing what Star Wars characters they would be after lunch.

I never saw Star Wars, except for the first old one in 10th grade. I liked it a bit, but only because my 10th grade English teacher was so freaking hot. She had mid-back length blonde hair, perfect skin, tightly wrapped around her beautifully shaped cheek bones, the bluest eyes I ever laid my own on, hands that were as delicate as a floating snowflake around Christmas, and a voice that sang like a swallow on a sunny day. After graduating from her class and failing to capture her heart so she would leave her new husband for me, I lost interest in the series.

I saw the first one again a few months ago and laughed at it the whole way through. They tried so hard to take themselves seriously and failed so miserably at it. The special effects are atrocious and the story line, completely unbelievable. I got up from the couch and threw the remote at the television, a bad taste in my mouth.

I'd been duped. Grown men wept when new Star Wars movies came out. They would get on their knees in my office and implore me with Shakespearean prose, begging me to reconsider my interests and succumb to the inevitable fact that Star Wars was the best thing known to mankind.

All lies.

Frederic (8) made sure that the boys were the good Star characters and the girls were the bad guys. Apparently Laura (9) cut a deal, Fred allowing her to be Chewbacca who is or isn't good - I'm not sure. As they sat there and went through character after character, discussing the decency of each, I became more acutely aware of my ignorance.

But guess what? I'm okay with that. Not because I am completely disinterested in the subject, but simply because I don't want my kids to be me. I want them to be who they are and find the unique person they believe themselves to be. And Star Wars lovers or not, I'm going to stand behind them - even if I have to bail them out of jail a few times on their way there.



Popular posts from this blog

Are You an Atheist Success Story?

By Avangelism Project ~ F acts don’t spread. Stories do. It’s how (good) marketing works, it’s how elections (unfortunately) are won and lost, and it’s how (all) religion spreads. Proselytization isn’t accomplished with better arguments. It’s accomplished with better stories and it’s time we atheists catch up. It’s not like atheists don’t love a good story. Head over to the atheist reddit and take a look if you don’t believe me. We’re all over stories painting religion in a bad light. Nothing wrong with that, but we ignore the value of a story or a testimonial when we’re dealing with Christians. We can’t be so proud to argue the semantics of whether atheism is a belief or deconversion is actually proselytization. When we become more interested in defining our terms than in affecting people, we’ve relegated ourselves to irrelevance preferring to be smug in our minority, but semantically correct, nonbelief. Results Determine Reality The thing is when we opt to bury our

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part VII.

By Robert Conner ~ T he first mention of Jesus’ resurrection comes from a letter written by Paul of Tarsus. Paul appears to have had no interest whatsoever in the “historical” Jesus: “even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, we know him so no longer.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:16 ) Paul’s surviving letters never once mention any of Jesus’ many exorcisms and healings, the raising of Lazarus, or Jesus’ virgin birth, and barely allude to Jesus’ teaching. For Paul, Jesus only gets interesting after he’s dead, but even here Paul’s attention to detail is sketchy at best. For instance, Paul says Jesus “was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” ( 1 Corinthians 15:4 ), but there are no scriptures that foretell the Jewish Messiah would at long last appear only to die at the hands of Gentiles, much less that the Messiah would then be raised from the dead after three days. After his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus—an event Paul never mentions in his lette

Christian TV presenter reads out Star Wars plot as story of salvation

An email prankster tricked the host of a Christian TV show into reading out the plots of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Star Wars in the belief they were stories of personal salvation. The unsuspecting host read out most of the opening rap to The Fresh Prince, a 1990s US sitcom starring Will Smith , apparently unaware that it was not a genuine testimony of faith. The prankster had slightly adapted the lyrics but the references to a misspent youth playing basketball in West Philadelphia would have been instantly familiar to most viewers. The lines read out by the DJ included: "One day a couple of guys who were up to no good starting making trouble in my living area. I ended up getting into a fight, which terrified my mother." The presenter on Genesis TV , a British Christian channel, eventually realised that he was being pranked and cut the story short – only to move on to another spoof email based on the plot of the Star Wars films. It began: &quo


By David Andrew Dugle ~   S ettle down now children, here's the story from the Book of David called The Parable of the Bent Cross. In the land Southeast of Eden –  Eden, Minnesota that is – between two rivers called the Big Miami and the Little Miami, in the name of Saint Gertrude there was once built a church. Here next to it was also built a fine parochial school. The congregation thrived and after a multitude of years, a new, bigger church was erected, well made with clean straight lines and a high steeple topped with a tall, thin cross of gold. The faithful felt proud, but now very low was their money. Their Sunday offerings and school fees did not suffice. Anon, they decided to raise money in an unclean way. One fine summer day the faithful erected tents in the chariot lot between the two buildings. In the tents they set up all manner of games – ring toss, bingo, little mechanical racing horses and roulette wheels – then all who lived in the land between the two rivers we

Why I left the Canadian Reformed Church

By Chuck Eelhart ~ I was born into a believing family. The denomination is called Canadian Reformed Church . It is a Dutch Calvinistic Christian Church. My parents were Dutch immigrants to Canada in 1951. They had come from two slightly differing factions of the same Reformed faith in the Netherlands . Arriving unmarried in Canada they joined the slightly more conservative of the factions. It was a small group at first. Being far from Holland and strangers in a new country these young families found a strong bonding point in their church. Deutsch: Heidelberger Katechismus, Druck 1563 (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) I was born in 1955 the third of eventually 9 children. We lived in a small southern Ontario farming community of Fergus. Being young conservative and industrious the community of immigrants prospered. While they did mix and work in the community almost all of the social bonding was within the church group. Being of the first generation born here we had a foot in two

Morality is not a Good Argument for Christianity

By austinrohm ~ I wrote this article as I was deconverting in my own head: I never talked with anyone about it, but it was a letter I wrote as if I was writing to all the Christians in my life who constantly brought up how morality was the best argument for Christianity. No Christian has read this so far, but it is written from the point of view of a frustrated closeted atheist whose only outlet was organizing his thoughts on the keyboard. A common phrase used with non-Christians is: “Well without God, there isn’t a foundation of morality. If God is not real, then you could go around killing and raping.” There are a few things which must be addressed. 1. Show me objective morality. Define it and show me an example. Different Christians have different moral standards depending on how they interpret the Bible. Often times, they will just find what they believe, then go back into scripture and find a way to validate it. Conversely, many feel a particular action is not