Saturday, 30 March 2013
The Easter Parade
I sometimes worry that my boys aren't getting the spiritual guidance that they should from me, this especially comes to the fore at the times of the Christian holidays. Max will ask me why Jesus had to die on a cross, or why Moses had to build an Ark and other things and I give him so half arsed attempt to explain something that I firstly don't believe in and secondly I don't know that well and I'm afraid that Max is wise to this and I fear that it won't be long before his brother latches on to the fact that their dad is a bit sceptical when it comes to faith.
There was a prime example of this yesterday morning when both of them jumped up and down on the bed clutching an chocolate egg in both hands and asking if they could open them. I tried to explain the significance of the egg, that it symbolised the rock in front of Jesus's tomb and shouldn't therefore be eaten 'til Easter Sunday to which Max, quick as a flash said to me "but you don't believe all that anyway, so where is the problem?" To which I had no answer.
My problem with Christianity stems back to when we moved to Lanark. I was in Primary 7 and had moved from a rather forward looking progressive school which taught little bits about lots of religions but didn't force Protestantism down our throats, the brand of Christianity that I am supposed to follow, which is hard to believe being in Chapelhall which was just another bigoted village in the central belt of Scotland.
As I said, I moved to Lanark which was back in the dark ages, where every morning in class started with the recital of the Lord's Prayer and some poor bugger having to rhyme off the books of the bible. Twice I was picked to stand up and spout this indoctrination, the only problem being I did not know the books of the bible and when I told the teacher this, well I could have told her my name was Damien and she would have looked more kindly at me. I was given a week to learn them, which I had no intention of doing, not because I was being a rebel but because after discussing it with my mother, at this time an assistant head teacher in my old school, we came to the conclusion that it added nothing to my education.
The fateful day came when I was told to stand out on the floor and do the necessary, which I said that I could not do and told her my reason. I was then marched off to the head teacher's office. The head teacher was a particularly slimy and sadistic man who took great pleasure in handing out my punishment, four of the belt. The belt or Lochgelly was a particularly nasty invention, a strip of leather about an inch thick and a foot long which split into two tongues at the end, it was designed to hurt but not mark, lovely. I would like to say that I didn't cry but I did, it was fucking sore. But my stance did benefit others, as the very next day my mother went to see the head teacher and amongst other things explained to him just what non-denominational meant.
Nobody was ever belted for not knowing the books of the bible again.
But I still have this nagging doubt about religion. I mean I am not arrogant enough to think that I know everything and when I look at the folks going to their churches I wonder if maybe I'm selling my boys a pup. I have never said to them that I don't think that God exists and that Jesus "is just some Spanish boy's name" but Max isn't stupid, so maybe in future I should be a bit more enthusiastic when discussing other points of view with them.
I am trying to bring my boys up correctly as I see it. With a sense of what's right and wrong and that no matter how much you disagree with some-one they are entitled to hold their opinion. But more than that I am trying to instill the idea of fairness and equality.
And now I get round to the point of the post.
When I think back to to that good Christian teacher and her ways. Also that evil woman who sent 1000 people to their deaths just so she could get re-elected and her spawn who can tax a woman for her dead son's bedroom, all of whom would think of themselves as good Christians I think that I might just take my chance with auld nick.
Here endeth the lesson
The Faith Brothers - The Easter Parade