Friday, May 19, 2006
The Ascension

by: doug

So I was lying in bed this morning really not wanting to get up. You know the feeling. My 4-year-old daughter had climbed into bed with us at some point in the night. Everything was just sort of calm and peaceful. My wife got up to take a shower, leaving my daughter and I snoozing as the sunlight filtered its way through the blinds.

Somewhere in the distance I could hear the rumbling of heavy equipment. This is a strangely calming noise to me. I don't know why. I suppose it reminds me of when I was a kid and we lived about two miles from some train tracks. On a still Winter night you could hear the trains, but not during the Summer. I suppose it has something to do with leaves and trees and stuff. Whatever. The point I'm making is that I was lying peacefully in bed ... content you might say.

My wife returned from her shower and, like every other morning, gently started waking our daughter up. I could feel the moist warmth as she leaned over me to kiss her sleeping forehead. Such a tender moment. I think I may have smiled in my half-sleep.

My daughter's beautiful blue eyes fluttered open, her cheeks flushed with sleep she parted her rosebud lips and said, "If you live with Jesus you don't have to be afraid."

*

* *

? ? ?

My initial reaction was to vomit.

My second reaction was to say, "I thought you were afraid of ghosts." But she probably wouldn't have understood that.

Really what I did was sort of look at my wife who was looking at me with a mild amusing incredulity. She, being the less sarcastic and more sensible of the two of us asked, "Where did you hear that?"

My daughter said that one of her friends told it to her. I already knew the answer to it, as did my wife. We'd heard stuff like this before:

"Jesus is the boss of the world."

"Jesus lives in heaven with the angels."

My reaction is always the same. A worrisome little bit of bile trying to work its way up from my gullet pulling along with it a snide and/or sarcastic comment ("If Jesus is the boss of the world why can't he get us longer coffee breaks?"). Fortunately I inherited--from my mother's side of the family--a cast iron-stomach and an awesome sense of timing.

The thing is, I have absolutely no problem with so-called Christians. In fact the underlying concept of Christianity is fairly palatable. It's when Man got his little hands on it that things started getting ugly.

But I don't want to talk about that ... it's all academic anyway.

What I can't stand, more than ANYTHING ELSE about modern Christianity, is the brain-washing aspect. The filling of 4-year-old minds with rhetoric like, "Jesus is your buddy." Young kids have a lot of stuff to learn, they don't need clutter like that elbowing out "how to tie your shoes" or "don't walk in front of a moving car."

I'm sure there are some middle-aged women somewhere dressed in whatever passes for haute couture among the religious-right, the "bad smell" expression permanently etched into their faces despite being drenched in the latest noxious fumes from a Calvin Klein knock-off think that when a kid says, "Baby Jesus cries every time you tell a lie," it's just the cutest thing in the world.

Well, it's not. I know cute. I'm surrounded by "cute" 24/7. Rhetoric is NEVER cute. Rhetoric gets people in trouble. It makes the smart people of the world not want to take you seriously. We just roll our eyes and walk away. Arguing with someone spouting rhetoric is like arguing with a 4-year-old.

Caveat: it's not just Christian rhetoric that makes me want to puke. A lot of things make me want to puke. Maybe I'll resurrect my own blog someday and foist my opinions on the world. But opinions make me want to puke too ... so, there you go.

PS: My wife just informed me that the actual quote was: "If you live with Jesus you don't have to take naps." This changes everything.
9:08 AM ::
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