It’s no secret that we talk a lot about religion in this house. Mainly because my kids get grilled about not being Christians by peers at school, but also because my kids – Nikki especially – finds it all so fascinating. Her new interest is that fact that there are still groups of people in the world who believe in multiple deities. She thought that was a “Olden Days” thing left behind with the Greeks. This came up when someone insisted to Wesley that there’s only ONE GOD! and he reminded this friend that there are religions who believe otherwise. Nikki said, “Well…they all believe in ONE God, right? But just that God might be different?” And I pointed out that no! Depending on how you define “deity” or “god” there are plenty of people in the world who have more than one in their religion. And again – this was one of the many times I wished I had a world religion scholar on my speed dial.
But lately the talk is about Easter and Zombie Jesus. I don’t mean that to be crass, but it’s VERY hard to explain to a non-Christian the spiritual aspect of the resurrection of Christ in the age of Zombies. When I was a kid, zombies were not part of pop-culture so it never occurred to me that someone “rising from the dead” was anything but spiritual. But nowadays, zombies are EVERYWHERE, so referencing someone rising from the dead has a connotation to it that has nothing to do with heaven or God.
Actually – let’s back up a second. Let me ALSO point out a difficult point I’ve had to explain recently: Jesus and Christ are the same person. Nikki still forgets this and doesn’t get it, and will often reference, “Jesus And Christ” when she’s talking about religion. Again – this is something that, growing up, never occurred to me as weird…that we used different names for Jesus and sometimes we put them together. He’s Jesus, He’s Christ, He’s Jesus Christ. That’s very hard to explain to an 8-year old. I’m sure there are theologic definitions explaining to when to use which one, but the average Christian uses them interchangeably, which confuses those of different faiths. She thought they were two different people and still thinks that sometimes.
Okay. Back to the Resurrection. It’s hard as hell to explain the spirituality of the Resurrection to a kid raised in the Zombie era. She has no problem with most of the Christian teachings, and sometimes talks about going to Church some day, but the Rising From The Dead thing as being something good is REALLY hard for her to grasp. No matter how much I explain the relation of Jesus to God, it’s hard because – in reality – even the bible sometimes wavers in it’s own text about when Jesus “became” God. And there’s TONS of theologic debate about that, did Jesus believe he was God? Did he become God with the resurrection or was he always God born as a man? Did he become God when he was baptized? Even the most devout of theologians can debate that, so explaining it to an 8-year old? Basically impossible. I tried to explain it in the different ways different parts of Christianity believe – but then it gets tricky because there are plenty of people on earth who don’t believe Jesus was anything more than a prophet.
So, yeah. Explaining Christmas is MUCH Easier.
One of these days I’m going to find me a World Religion Scholar and we are going to sit down and write kid’s books together explaining the World Religions in a way that makes sense to a kid in elementary school.
And maybe then…it will make sense to me. Because, god forbid she ask me to explain holidays observed in Judaism. I consult this wiki page constantly just so I can try to interpret Facebook statuses of my Jewish friends. I feel like an idiot that I can’t keep it all straight, considering how big of a religion Judaism is. Which is what I remind myself regarding my kids and their confusion re: Christianity. At least I was raised a Christian so that stuff I can explain, but damn, if we lived in a community where they had a high concentration of Jewish friends? I’d be screwed. I’m terribly uneducated in any religion but Christianity. And I’m often very ashamed of that. I do learn more each time she asks me hard-hitting questions, but the retension of information is minimal. I bet I’ve looked up the basic tenets of Hinduism 100 times and I still forget them whenever she asks.
Basically, she’s being taught by an idiot, so she’s screwed.
Anyway! I hope everyone has a great weekend, no matter how you celebrate it.