Thursday, January 31, 2008

Holy Crap

Getting my hair cut is always a lesson in Bible belt piety. My stylist, afraid of the very real gang activity in her son's school, has put him in a Christian school. He's learning some strange things about what it means to be a Christian. He told his mom recently, after a very innocent touch with a relative that, "Men shouldn't touch a woman until they're married." Wow, his high school days are going to be very awkward.

My stylist also told me that she came home tired and angry one day and used some adult language in front of her child. "You need Jesus," was his reply.

Hmmm. So, Jesus keeps us from swearing and teaches us that men can't touch women until they marry them. This is what I call "Holy crap." I'd say it's "shit" but then someone might tell me that I need Jesus (to wash out my filthy mouth, I suppose).

Is it just me who gets irritated with Jesus being used as behavior control for children? Why can't we simply teach children that, in polite society, it's best not to swear and when a woman wants you to touch her, she'll let you know, whether you're married to her or not, and it's called sexual assault if you touch her when she doesn't want you to. Why must we drag Jesus into this? He never said any of this stuff (except maybe that if you lust in your heart, you've already committed a sin).

Why aren't we teaching children the real meaning of Jesus - that we are to love everyone and judge no one as below us or unworthy of God's love? Why can't we teach our children that the greatest thing they can do is help another person and put the needs of others above our own? If we truly taught the kind of love Jesus came to teach us we'd all be able to understand that swearing is unnecessary and touching anyone without their permission is bad. Our behavior would improve greatly - no matter what our age.

But, the pap that passes for Christianity today is prevalent. Scott Bateman has animated comedian Eugene Mirman routine about "Revolve" - a copy of the New Testament made to look like a teen magazine. The tips offered are just as banal as what my stylist's son is learning in Christian school.

Holy crap, indeed.

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