Monday, December 31, 2007

A Weird Look From the Atheist Spouse

Santa dropped off a great present for the family, an Indiana Jones Collection DVD set. It's one of those sets that a family NEEDS to have, like Star Wars (the original series anyway) and Lord of the Rings.

On Boxing Day we put in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Catherine and Harry were having a great times watching until Catherine asked what the ark was exactly. Shannon replied that it was the ark of the covenant from the Old Testament, that it holds the 10 Commandments. She looked at him blankly. He turned around and gave me a weird look that said, "You're the freakin' Christian! Aren't you teaching these kids?"

See, bible stuff has sort of fallen by the wayside the last few months. We've actually had lots of discussion about Christianity but not been reading the Bible or doing related activities. And it was the atheist in the house that was taken aback by that.

We talked about it and both agreed that, religion aside, a good understanding of the bible and Christianity is important for cultural literacy these days. The creationism debate, the effects of native residential schools on the communities of friends, the French/English conflict in Canada, even our socialized medicine all have deep roots in the bible and Christianity. And pop culture...It makes even X-Men a richer read when you understand exactly what being a devout Roman Catholic can do to the demonic-looking Nightcrawler. It also helps when you're trying to figure out why yet another villain is named Cain.

So we're agreed. More Bible. And it was the unbeliever who insisted on it.


Meg_L said...

Don't forget that if they ever read any 'classic' literature. Understanding the biblical references are also a plus.

Frankie said...

I agree with you about the cultural literacy. Very much so. We're all believers here, but non church goers, and we really slack off on reading the bible. Thomas wants to -- it's just hard for me to fit it all in.

When I was in high school, we had a couple of classes that were study of the bible from a secular point of view. (Public school, after all.) I remember specifically reading Job and Ruth. I kind of wish there was a curricula out there that was a secularized study of the bible. It's hard for me to know where to start reading. I prefer a gentler approach than the Christian stuff because it's way too, um, preachy for my tastes. If that makes any sense!

Dawn said...

I agree. I've looked at a lot of stuff online on the Bible but so much of it is evangelical prostestant stuff that's meant to be literal and simply memorized.

My course on the bible and Christian history has some great stuff on textual and historical criticism that might be useful - you'll get a few sample lessons, the best for an introduction being the first few from Year 1. If the course looks interesting you might try contacting some local Episcopal churches. Anyone from any denomination (or no denomination) is welcome to take the course.
It takes a liberal Christian view which is also in line with secular scholarship.

I'm sort of thinking it might be something good for my kids to take when they get older.

For another good introduction to textual criticism you can try Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus.

Dawn said...

Meg - Classic literature? When there are comic books around to read?! Puh-leeeze!