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Sins of the (Pumpkin) Flesh

By Klym ~

Every day I find new reasons to be glad/relieved that I am no longer imprisoned by Christian theology. Here's a fine example that was posted on my Facebook news feed just yesterday. A former student of mine who became a Christian in her teenage years posted some Bible verses that had her really upset about celebrating Halloween. A "friend" of hers posted the following on her timeline---and I copy it verbatim:

"When I taught little kids Sunday school class...we made a jack-o-lantern...but used it as a teaching tool about salvation. How we are all dirty & yucky on the inside(sin) & how if we ask Jesus to forgive our sins...He cleans out all the yucky stuff...and puts His light inside of others will come to know Him from His light shining in us. Our classrooms didn't have once I put a candle in it...we turned off the light and saw just how much light one little light could give off. And we sang This Little Light of Mine. Also made a construction paper Jack-O-Lantern for each child to take with eyes, nose, mouth cutout...then glue yellow piece to the back to be the light. On the eyes, nose, and mouth we wrote Jesus is the Light of the World. You can't keep kids from seeing jack-o-lanterns this time of year...but you can help them associate it with something good! It's never too early to start pointing your children to Jesus."

OH MY GOSH---there is so much WRONG in the twisted story above---where do I begin?? First of all, what's up with all the ellipsis?? And then, the assumption that pumpkin flesh is "dirty & yucky". In my world, pumpkin flesh is delicious!! Add some sugar, spices, milk, and eggs and you've got pumpkin pie--yummy! Then there's pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin seeds roasted to perfection, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin egg-nog, and my all-time favorite---the exquisite pumpkin ROLL! That's pumpkin cake rolled up with a spiral of gooey, delicious cream cheese inside---not only is it beautiful displayed on a plate; why, it's a culinary orgasm just waiting to happen with the first creamy bite! So why is this Christian bashing an innocent piece of fruit and making it into a symbol of sin? Why not just leave the poor pumpkin alone and let it be itself.

Oh, she answers later:
"it's because it's never too early to start pointing your children to Jesus."

So, when young, impressionable, naive children see a Jack-O-Lantern, what will they think? Well, if it were me, and I was three years old, I would be thinking about what a piece of yucky crap I am and that I need my insides scraped out so that Jesus can light a fire inside me. OUCH!! Why is Jesus so mean? Were my insides really so dirty and yucky? Why does he want to burn my insides? Oh, yeah, because he loves me. That's right. Hmmm, not a real comforting story for me, because that's how I thought of things when I was a toddler. Very literally.

Fellow Ex-C'ers, you might be wondering what I posted on that news feed. Well, I posted that I am no longer a Christian because of similar hateful, scary lessons I was taught as a child. I said that it took me 50 years to overcome the damage that was done to my heart and psyche by such a mean-spirited theology. I stated that if I offended adults with my stance, then so be it. I also said that wrong is wrong, and that to teach little children that they are pieces of excrement and to scare them with a non-existent hell is mental and emotional child abuse, period. Another person then posted that we needed to be civil and polite, even though we have dissimilar beliefs. To which I replied, "I will be civil and polite as long as young children are not being abused by a sick and twisted theology. I will advocate for the children, regardless of whether I come across as civil or not."

I have hidden in my closet for so long. I have been afraid to come out as an atheist now for years. But maybe I need to stop hiding and come out for the children. How much longer will I stand by and let this ignorant nonsense proliferate? I think I am about ready to inch open the door and leave my closet. Maybe our world needs more thinking atheists like me (and many of you)to stand up once and for all for the children. Or, maybe I just need to stop reading Christian posts on Facebook???