Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bible Lessons

So we're hanging out in the waiting room at our doctor's office this afternoon, the kid and me, and there's not much to read, basic Good Housekeeping journals and Hunting magazines, Dr. Phil is jabbing away on the TV, we're bored stiff. I pick up a bright primary-colored kiddy Bible and we begin reading it together solemnly.

We get to the Noah's Ark page and the kid's eyes widen.

The Kid: Mom...

Me: What?

The Kid: I just occurred to me...

Me: What?

The Kid: If there were only two animals of each kind on the boat? And only Noah's family?

Me: Yeah?

The Kid: God killed kittens?

Me: Yep. And puppies.

The Kid: And babies? Toddlers?

Me: (Trying not to laugh): Well, yes. But see, they were evil babies.

The Kid: Evil toddlers?


j0lt said...


You should forward this to pharyngula-PZ would get a hoot out of it.

Bronze Dog said...

Apparently, he did. It's why I'm here, after all.

Interrobang said...

All toddlers are evil. I thought that was a foregone conclusion. :)

Zifnab said...

Makes a certain degree of sense. I mean, fat babies don't deserve health insurance.

llewelly said...

You MONSTER. That story should NEVER be read to children.

Michael said...

I got rid of a couple of Mormons (I think they were) one day that way. My son was two, playing in a pool under a tree in our front yard while I did some lawn work. I asked them politely if they believed in Noah and the Arc, oh yes they replied. I then asked them why they would want to have anything to do with a God that would kill every innocent child on the planet like my son. They departed quickly.

LexAequitas said...


Oh relax, it's just a story.

I think children should know exactly the kind of things the Christian deity is reported to have done.

Unknown said...

Exactly right.
When it was read to me when I was five, I knew something was up and I became a skeptic right at that moment.
As I learned even more throughout my life, I became a full out atheist.
That story alone is so hate-filled, so filthy, that it alone is justification for atheism.
Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Why can't people understand sarcasm in writing??? They're just not smart enough.

LexAequitas, Llewelly was being FUNNY. And it was actually very funny, hence their BOLDED ITALICS.

bastion of sass said...

I've commented previously on Pharyngula that looking at a toddler's picture book about the flood and Noah's ark absolutely horrified my preschooler. "Mommy, why is God going to drown that little bunny?!" I don't know why anyone thinks it's an appropriate story for kids other than to convince them that the god of the Bible is a despicable entity.

konquererz said...

Very nice! I have a kid who is having the same questions. I grew up a fundy, so I never got to experience the child like realization that this story, this book, this god, is simply a fairly tale.

Anonymous said...

Here's a more kid-friendly version of the flood story:

Unknown said...

One of my religious relations gave us a pillow with a Noah's Ark scene on it when we had kids. Oddly, enough, the pair of lions both had manes (and were clearly male), and the sheep both seemed to be ewes.

Anonymous said...

Tressure: Obviously, the lions were meant to lie with the lambs... ewes...

EW. :-}

BobbyEarle said...

Toddlers are evil.

But they are delicious if well basted.

Vance Maverick said...

We recently grabbed a pile of books at the library -- one of them, chosen because it was in Italian and had good pictures, turned out to be a serious version of the Noah story, told in excerpts from the Bible version, thus with no soft-pedaling of the vindictive destruction. My 5-year-old daughter wanted to hear it all (in English). At the end, she asked, "What's the moral?"

(She hasn't heard much God-talk, but clearly recognized the parabolic mode from Aesop. I don't remember what we said -- perhaps just the straightforward answer, OBEY.)

Vance Maverick said...

Incidentally (sorry to ramble on), the end of the flood, with the bird going out once, bringing back the olive branch, then going out again and not returning, is powerfully imagined.

Anonymous said...

If god killed all the evil toddlers (a redundancy)
Answer me that godists! :)

delagar said...

Vance -- my favorite version of the Noah story is the one drawn by Peter Spiers. He uses the Biblical text (I believe the KJV) and does these lovely detailed drawings to go along with it.

Well, there's this one series of pictures where all these animals are standing outside the ark, while the water gets higher and higher and higher...I remember an entire herd of elephants, including a baby elephant standing with its mother's trunk around it, all of the animals looking sort of resignedly at the ark, which has its doors and windows shut.

Spiers added no commentary to the text, but then he didn't have to.

Vance Maverick said...

Interesting, thanks! I've requested it from the library. Rosa (and more likely her mother) will wonder why I'm obsessed.

Vance Maverick said...

And fwiw, we were looking at Jane Ray (collected here). Italian publishing seems dominated by imports, even for material one might think could be handled indigenously.

Ed Darrell said...

I got rid of a couple of Mormons (I think they were) one day that way.

When I was about 7, a nice substitute teacher lady in our primary class (Mormons will tell you about primary) asked us to draw pictures of one part of God's glorious creation.

I drew a dinosaur. The substitute told me dinosaurs had never existed, and that I should draw something else. I looked at her a long time wondering why God made such stupidity and let it grow to the age to reproduce. I thought long and hard about the fossils I had at home on my dresser, the dinosaurs shown in my brother's paleontology texts, and wondered how she could really be so stupid.

The next week my mother wondered about driving me to primary class, and I told her I wasn't going any more. When I told her why, she didn't question my reasoning. My father continued reading the science stuff to me as bedtime stories.

It was a woman drove me from Mormonism, and I never stopped to thank her (apologies to W. C. Fields).

Years later, while debating pollution for the high school debate topic, our coach got us a couple of days with her brother-in-law, a professor of biology at Brigham Young U. He was fantastic, and a great source of information and argumentation.

Near the end of our time working the debate topic I asked him how he could teach biology at a university for a faith that didn't follow evolution. He blinked a couple of times and explained that Mormons have not theology against evolution and that it was required in BYU biology classes for students to understand the theory and data supporting the theory.

So, not only was that woman wrong about evolution, she was wrong about her own faith.

I see such misperceptions continue.

BYU has great biology and geology courses, and the better-educated Mormons get a great deal on how evolution works and why -- all with the blessing of the church.

When will the truth trickle down to the little kids?

Veloute said...

Getting in the mood for Halloween? Definitely a teachable moment :)

Also here from PZ's blog!