Teaching a Child the Art of Confession
By David Shumate
It is best not to begin with Adam and Eve. Original Sin is
baffling, even for the most sophisticated minds. Besides,
children are frightened of naked people and apples. Instead,
start with the talking snake. Children like to hear what animals
have to say. Let him hiss for a while and tell his own tale.
They'll figure him out in the end. Describe sin simply as those
acts which cause suffering and leave it at that. Steer clear of
musty confessionals. Children associate them with outhouses.
Leave Hell out of the discussion. They'll be able to describe it
on their own soon enough. If they feel the need to apologize
for some transgression, tell them that one of the offices of the
moon is to forgive. As for the priest, let him slumber a while
Poem snicked from roitelet. When I was in high school, my Western Civ teacher set up a mock-debate with various people representing Adam, Eve, the Serpent and God. We ultimately agreed that God was most responsible for the disaster in the Garden and that Eve could not be blamed for listening to a snake who was making so much more sense. *g*
Wednesday started with a raging thunderstorm that knocked down trees around the area; it woke me in the wee hours, so that I was tired and fell back asleep after younger son left for school and slept till nearly 10! Needless to say this put me quite behind for the day and I have not yet caught up. I did write three articles (Shatner's kidney stone selling for $25,000, Takei joining New Voyages, news bullets) and work on a book review, and I forgot to eat breakfast or lunch until around mid-afternoon I started wondering why I had such a headache. Older son called and asked to be picked up at the bus stop, still not feeling 100 percent, so all of us are kind of dragging...
This evening we all watched The War that Made America, the first part of the PBS series about the French and Indian War told mostly with reenactments narrated by Graham Greene. We spent maybe ten minutes on this when I was in high school, mostly in the context of "and here is where George Washington learned to fight," so it was very interesting and quite well done, if depressing...the Americans (as the program calls them throughout, to differentiate between the French and the British colonists) were going to lose no matter what. Duquesne is a much prettier name than Pittsburgh and I think Pennsylvania should consider switching it back...okay, but no one would be able to pronounce it and it would become like Des Plaines, Illinois, which is pronounced "diss playnes" by the people who live there.
I promised sparowe that I would post some reptile photos from the National Zoo (which is also where yesterday's beaver photos were taken, as I forgot to mention). Here are some lizard-types, all shot with the new camera through glass, with better guesses in some cases than others. Snakes will be forthcoming at a later date.
Tomorrow I must get up very early as apaulled has his early meeting, then I am having lunch with gblvr whom I have not seen since last year! Am happy about HP:GOF on DVD so soon -- March! And Narnia in April, though I don't care as much about that one. I want a release date for King Kong so I can give up any urge to see it in the theater! My kids have no school on Monday due to some teacher's thing and they are lobbying to go see Hoodwinked, since if we do a family movie this weekend it will certainly be The New World.