One of Many Reasons They Don’t Let Me Teach Sunday School

My five year old son said to me “Can you believe that Paige has to go to church on Easter?”

Well, crap. I guess I have neglected to tell my children about The Resurrection.

“Yes, Honey,” I said. “Easter is the most important holiday for Christians.”

Then I proceeded to tell him all about the son of God, and the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I will have you know that I tried very hard to be fair and unbiased. I tried very hard to say that “This is what Christians believe” without any sarcasm in my voice.

I will also say that when you tell a person that God sent his only son to Earth to die on the cross so that we could be forgiven for our sins and then he came back to life and ascended to Heaven it might sound like crazy talk to someone unfamiliar with these concepts.

I thought I did a pretty good job remembering the talking points considering I have not attended a church service that wasn’t wedding or funeral related since before my children were born, and even then it was only because the church was paying me to sing. I have not belonged to a church since the 80s.

I was mistaken about my comprehensibility.

My son later told his father that he talked to me about Easter and he pretty much figured that Jesus must be a zombie.

zombie-jesus

If you think about it, he is a pretty astute kid, but that totally is not what I said. What I was trying to articulate was that Easter was a very important holiday to Christians and that no, it was not at all surprising that Paige would be going to church on Easter – that to some people Easter is a sacrosanct time and not just the day when kids get candy in a basket.

I have no idea what became of the zombie Jesus conversations, but I do know that on Sunday morning Ian climbed into bed with me and said “Remember what happened today a long time ago? Before the dinosaurs?”

I bit. “What happened today before the dinosaurs?”

He rolled his eyes at me. “You know, Jesus came back to life.”

I always thought it would be less confusing to raise children without religion.

I was wrong.

As usual.

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  1. When my son was 5/6?, I was rushing out the door to speak at the Maundy Thursday service. I decided not to take him with me for lots of reasons. He wanted to know what the service was all about and I told him that it was a celebration of the Last Supper because Jesus would be crucified and then brought back to life on Sunday. I didn’t explain communion or any of the other stuff.

    When I came home, my sweet Pagan husband asked me what I had told this poor child. He apparently thought that Jesus would be in church on Sunday and was really jazzed about it. That was when I bought him his first story bible because I obviously wasn’t to be trusted.

    (BTW, Story Bibles are great boy reads. My kid loves the battles and the gory and the black and white of the Old Testament. It scares the heck out of his Dad that he might turn into some kind of Bible beating Christian but I think he mostly likes the stories that don’t have phrases like, “Because I’m the parent and you’re the kid.”

  2. Zombie Jesus. That is so awesome though.

  3. I tried to explain the meaning of Passover to my 4yo but found plagues and slavery a tad difficult to describe. I resigned myself to showing her that Charleton Heston movie instead.

  4. It’s so hard to keep that sarcasm out of your voice sometimes, isn’t it?

    At least your kids will understand someday. I haven’t “belonged” to a church since the mid 70’s & no one ever explained things to me. Now I explain what I can, but mostly tell them to go ask dad.

  5. This? Just one of the many reasons I love you. The zombie things makes a lot more sense to me.

  6. Wait. So instead of singing praise I was supposed to be moaning brains? All this time?

    Well that changes a lot.

    Please tell me you’ll be rolling out a Goon Squad branded Zombie Jesus hymnal soon.

  7. I think I luff zombie Jesus. I’m raising mine without religion too. I wasn’t raised with any and I turned out just fine. Snort.

    My daughter wondered just a few weeks ago, why her friend has to go to church every single week. Don’t they know about god by now?

    Yeah…my grandfather may have rolled over in his grave at that one.

  8. I’m a practicing Episcopalian (the dinner fork goes on top) and I LOVED this post. The Easter story is indeed utterly insane when taken at face value. I assume you have read David Sedaris’s “Jesus Shaves”? http://www.esquire.com/features/three-stories-sedaris-0300 (scroll to the second story)

  9. Wait – I thought you were in a church choir of sort. Of course you’re confused. Zombie Jesus ate your brain.

  10. We have rehearsals at a church, but it a community choir. I don’t have to sing on Sundays or anything.

  11. I’d promote the lad. I call that Brilliant.

  12. Well, I think you probably explained it perfectly, clearly. It is a hard concept to understand even if you are an adult.

    I only go to church on Xmas and Easter and only to make my grandmother happy. And I still don’t understand half of what is going on.

  13. Jeanette says:

    that’s why we celebrate Easterween. about half way to Halloween and a guy coming back from the dead.

  14. Zombie Jesus? Is that a George A. Romeo film?

  15. HA~i have that zombie jesus as a wallpaper for my phone. bc i’m a good person. and role model. obviously. ahem.

  16. Clearly, the boy is a genius.

    Oh, I think this calls for a celebration in the form of a sing-along to the ultimate zombie Jesus song, “Night of the Living Christ:” http://www.muzic.com/song/351

    “He will leave a trail of goo as he preys, he preys on you…” Friggin’ hysterical.

  17. Apryl's Antics says:

    Last year, my daughter’s PUBLIC school, 2nd grade teacher explained the Resurrection to the class prior to Spring break (and not a word about Passover). I was PISSED. But, since I live in the bible belt and I’m one of the few who doesn’t attend church in this county I kept my mouth shut. I have to pick my battles carefully.

  18. Lumpyhead's Mom's friend Sarah says:

    My 9-year-old asked why his grandmother was going to church all morning on Good Friday. I said it was an important day, because it was the day Jesus was killed. He looked stunned, then asked, “But theyn why is it called GOOD Friday?” Having exhausted my limited knowledge of religion, I told him to ask his father.

  19. I don’t think I have ever left a comment on your blog but I just love your site.

    As devout non-theists my husband and I struggle with the religion stuff all the time with our 6 and 3 year olds. We also happen to live just south of DC where the only preschool options are church run programs (your choice of religion though). We did recently join a UU congregation which has a great religious education program. It has helped a lot with explaining all the religions to the kids in a non-faith based way.

    Anyway, we also explained the importance of Easter as a Christian holiday to our kids. Then my husband and I were sort of joking around about us celebrating zombie day instead.

    As you can probably imagine the fall-out from our joking around was not good. 😉 My very verbal nearly 4 year old goes to his southern Baptist preschool and tells his class how we celebrated zombie day instead of Easter by eating rabbit shaped chocolates.

    Mama had A LOT of explaining to do during her phone call with the school director on Tuesday afternoon. It was not fun.

    :) Gia

  20. I’m a math teacher, so I find this particularly funny…
    These are Venn diagrams showing relationships between seemingly-unrelated ideas. Check out slide #2. I think your son would like it.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/06/funniest-venn-diagrams-th_n_347552.html?slidenumber=t68gFwAm6Sw%3D#slide_image

  21. Best illustration ever.

  22. You did a fabulous job explaining it to Ian! You want to explain what a bris is to Josh? I should have you come over and give Josh an overview of why we had Dr. Fitzig cut off the foreskin of Josh’s penis and then afterwards we invited friends and family to join us for lunch.

    Because no matter how I word it, it sounds crazy.

  23. My 9-year-old asked why his grandmother was going to church all morning on Good Friday. I said it was an important day, because it was the day Jesus was killed. He looked stunned, then asked, “But theyn why is it called GOOD Friday?” Having exhausted my limited knowledge of religion, I told him to ask his father.

  24. that’s why we celebrate Easterween. about half way to Halloween and a guy coming back from the dead.

  25. Last year, my daughter’s PUBLIC school, 2nd grade teacher explained the Resurrection to the class prior to Spring break (and not a word about Passover). I was PISSED. But, since I live in the bible belt and I’m one of the few who doesn’t attend church in this county I kept my mouth shut. I have to pick my battles carefully.

  26. I don’t think I have ever left a comment on your blog but I just love your site.

    As devout non-theists my husband and I struggle with the religion stuff all the time with our 6 and 3 year olds. We also happen to live just south of DC where the only preschool options are church run programs (your choice of religion though). We did recently join a UU congregation which has a great religious education program. It has helped a lot with explaining all the religions to the kids in a non-faith based way.

    Anyway, we also explained the importance of Easter as a Christian holiday to our kids. Then my husband and I were sort of joking around about us celebrating zombie day instead.

    As you can probably imagine the fall-out from our joking around was not good. 😉 My very verbal nearly 4 year old goes to his southern Baptist preschool and tells his class how we celebrated zombie day instead of Easter by eating rabbit shaped chocolates.

    Mama had A LOT of explaining to do during her phone call with the school director on Tuesday afternoon. It was not fun.

    :) Gia

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