Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Forsaken Merman

In Literature we just finished The Oxford Treasure of Classic Poems, or at least those the girls and I found suitable. Brighteyes had read them all of course but she didn't understand them all, and she wondered why I skipped reading some aloud. When I read them aloud I explain them as I go. The next time I came to a skip point I told her the next three poems dealt with massacres, which is where a person or group of people deliberately murder lots of other people. Did she want me to read them or skip them? She looked very sober and decided to skip them.

She found "The Forsaken Merman" the most disturbing poem of any I read from the book. She wanted to know why the Mommy had to leave the Daddy and their babies. I explained that Christianity was a religion that told people who they could or could not fall in love with and marry, and it didn't like magic or mer people. She stared at me in silence for several moments then asked me if the Merman was real. I said I didn't know if the Merman was real, but the issue of the Christian church telling people whom they could or could not marry was very real and going on right now. She stood up and turned away from me with her fists clenched.

After a while she asked me, "How can a God be a bully?" I explained that the Christian God didn't appear to be a bully on paper, but that Christian churches were all too often run by bullies who interpreted what their God said in a way that allowed them to bully other people. She thought that was unfair, but understandable. She can comprehend people who are bullies, but not a God who is a bully. I told her I had trouble understanding that idea too, but that the Goddess would love her and her sister no matter what.

I confess I didn't expect such theological depth at her age. I'll have to talk to her more about religion.


Anonymous said...

What do you plan to tell her when she asks how do _you_ know what the Goddess thinks?

Lioness said...

To use her ears, her eyes, her mind and her heart. We're already working on how to figure out what the Goddess is trying to tell you for yourself.