This act of agnostic teenage rebellion was not my idea...

Here’s the scoop. As mentioned in this thread from a few months back, I have a young cousin, “Jess,” who got in trouble with her fundamentalist parents because she refused to say something in church that she did not believe; basically at the time she was asked, or ordered, to publicly thank Jesus for dying for her sins, and as she was not certain she believed it, decided that doing so was a lie, so she refused to. For her trouble she got grounded and possibly spanked and the vast majority of her library was tossed into the trash heap.

That was October. Now, it seems, she is in trouble again, only this time she seems to be courting it.

Here’s the scoop. At my cousins’ church, they make a big deal of Sunday School. The classes themselves last a good hour, and afterwards there are public reviews in which the each age group spouts whatever they have been indoctrinated in during a given week. Yesterday, apparently, each member of Jess’s class was required to recite his or her “favorite” Bible verse, which they were expected to choose. Jess chose a very brief passage, Judges 1:19, which reads as follows:

This caused some … dissension when she got home. Apparently her mother demanded to know why she chose that verse; she would reply only that she liked it. Her father asked her what she thought that verse meant; she replied that clearly it meant that the God of the Hebrews had limits, since he could not defeat an army of iron chariots. Her mother replied that she was clearly being deceived by the Enemy, that Satan was pulling the wool over her eyes, because God is omnipotent and can do anything. Jess asked what the verse meant, then, since it was not to be taken literally, whereupon she was grounded again.

So she’s a ballsy little kid. She probably won’t see the sun again till she turns 18, but she’s ballsy.

Can someone report this thread for me? The hamsters ate what should have been the thread topic: “This act of agnostic teenage rebellion was not my idea…” and every time I tried to correct it I got logged off instead.

Steel wool then, and non-ferrous testicles. She has a bright future in metalurgy.

At least she’s standing up for what she believes. It’s a hard road to walk, give her whatever help you can.

Skald, you can report your own posts now. Click on the little red triangle to the right of the post number. I’ll go ahead and report this one for you. But you owe me. Big time.

That was your 10,000th post. I’m only at 3K something. Gimme a break. :wink:

But I will go ahead and teleport you a box of ginger snaps, as soon as I figure out which box has has the 'snaps impregnated with the chemical that makes the eater sexually irresistible to anyone he or she chooses. I’m sure you want the other, what with all your pride & stuff.

Skald - is there anyway you can call her or email her and let her know that at least one family member thinks she is doing the right thing by asking questions and standing up for her beliefs?

I wish I had someone do that for me when I was going to CCD every tuesday night until I got confirmed [catholic]. The day after I got confirmed I never set foot in the church again for mass. It’s been 20 years.

Darn nuns told us a girl could get pregnant through jeans! BASTARDS!
ETA: Congrats on 10k Contrapuntal

I always liked that verse too.

Thanks for the update. I enjoyed it.

Hey, I remember noticing that passage when I was a kid (in my personal reading, not in class)! I was raised in the Church of Christ, a fundamentalist church if there ever was one. I never followed up by asking anyone about it, though (I already had plenty of doubts about biblical inerrancy, but I didn’t feel like being confrontational); I probably should have, I wonder how that situation would have gone down!

I have already emailed her, as I got this news from her directly. She was apologizing because I was supposed to take her and one of her cousins out to a play this weekend, and now she can’t go. But she knows I’m on her side.

Now that I think about it, I can’t recall EVER reading that passage in all the Bible study that was forced upon me as a youth. More than once we did the ‘read the Bible all the way through in a year’ thing, and it’s something I would have seized upon. My stepdaughter is doing one of those now; I’m going to have to take a look at it and see if that passage is mysteriously skipped over. Even more than the many accounts of Yahweh’s atrocities, it seems dangerous.

I first read this when I was in high school and playing a lot of D&D. The first thing I thought was “God’s a faerie?”

Hey, the more I read the Bible (and I read it through-and-through a number of times), the more convinced I was that it simply could not be taken literally. (I felt that way from a pretty early age.) Encourage your stepdaughter to continue in her reading of the book – it is actually fun to read, especially if read in conjunction with other mythologically-oriented material from various cultures.

I decline to either encourage or discourage her on this issue.

Skald, I have no input on this particular situation, but I did send you a private message on another matter. Dunno if you have the notification thingy turned on or not.

I got it…did you not get my response?

No, haven’t seen it. I assumed you were seeing another middle-aged right leaning semi-druidic atheist behind my back, and ordered a new wardrobe of sackcloth and ashes for mourning.

This is from a Christian perspective:

Someone should tell the parents that **they **are doing exactly the right thing to drive their kid *away *from faith. Persecution makes people dig into their position.

Could you tell them that for me, Skald? I enjoy your posts and think you’re a stand-up person. Could yo do that for a doper 1/4 around the world who is seething in frustration he can’t do it himself?

They *should *praise her for her honesty, and courage to stand up for her beliefs. Such was & is the courage of martyrs of the faith. If she regains her faith, she will be equally strong in defending it.

It’s much better that they have a child who places their belief front and center like that than just mouth the words for as long as they’re living in their parent’s house.

If they a)genuinely love their child and b) are genuinely concerned about her doubts & her faith, not what others at church might think, then they should be having calm, loving talks with their kid listening to her & her doubts. LISTENING and trying to understand. I suspect it is too late for them to learn to do this at this point.

Otherwise, and you may most certainly quote me to them, they are being a bunch of arrogant Pharisees, and will have to answer personally for driving her away come judgement day. Feel free to mention giant millstones, they will most certainly get the allusion.

It’s so frustrating sometimes to see how smug, self-satisfied, arrogant, quick to judge & condemn and downright hateful these followers of a God who teaches humility, forgiveness, compassion and love can be.

When I was in my late teens, probably I was 18, I was dating a guy who was in a Christianity based cult. I don’t mean that he was fundamentalist Christian, I mean an actual cult. He lived in a house with several other guys, all of them in the same group, and they all had a meeting every! single! night! for fellowship and worship. At any rate, we loved each other, and he was talking about marriage. Because he was so into this religion, I started to seriously read and study the Christian Bible. I was a Protestant back then, though Harlan Ellison’s short story “The Deathbird” had really shocked and worried me, and made me question religion. At any rate, the more I read and thought about the Bible, the more my faith dissolved. I started discussing my problems and religious ideas with that guy, and we broke up over it. Not long afterwards, I became a serious, committed atheist, and I haven’t looked back.

I think that the Bible has some pretty good advice for living, when it’s not talking about faith. For instance, it says “The laborer is worthy of his hire”, which means that employers should pay a fair wage. It also says something like “when you shit, be sure to cover it up”, which to me means both that you should literally cover up your excrement even when you’re traveling and not staying in one area, and that you should clean up your own messes, whatever they might be.

And trupa is 100% right. This is exactly the way to drive that girl away from religion. And it’s exactly the way to ensure that the girl won’t have much contact, if any, with her parents or family after she’s self-supporting.

Ah, Jess! I really admire her.

Skald, you really need to tell your cousin that what she needs is the Song of Solomon.

For some people, realizing that the Bible has bits praising boobs, or comparing the size of a boyfriend’s wang to those of various animals, is quite head-asplody. Good stuff.