For those who aren’t aware, I vacillate between being agnostic and an atheist. On my worst days, with my bad attitude, my thought is, “I don’t know, and, really, neither the F do you.” Generally I’d like to think that there is a supreme being, yet I don’t believe it. It’s a hard place to be. It upsets people, and I do understand the desire for a “tribe” of people who come together in support and love around a central concept — God. I don’t try to take that away or convince people that believing is, for lack of a better word, wrong.
Here’s the ironic part. While I am not religious, I am fascinated by religion — all of them that I learn about. One of the great parts about teaching 6th grade in California is that you teach ancient cultures. This includes religion and the history of it. I try very hard to tie the ancient to the present so that it’s real. My students are also fascinated by religion. They want to know if God is real. I always tell them that you can’t prove God, but you also can’t DISPROVE God. This is why it is a belief and a faith. If it were science, then we’d have to prove/disprove. However, if they hold God, then they do. That God is theirs.
I’m also incredibly attached to the rules and laws of religion. I think it’s completely HYSTERICAL that people get their panties in a twist “because the 10 commandments can’t be posted outside of the courthouse”. It’s as if they don’t get that inside the courthouse, those laws already exist. In fact, I expect the students to know and understand biblical edicts. I get all heavy-handed too.
I make sure students understand that the real “them” is the person they are when no one is watching. Such as, would you steal if no one was watching you? Are you nice to my face and not when my back is turned? If you steal from me, lie to me, and generally treat me poorly, that doesn’t say anything about me, but it speaks volumes about you. I tell the students, if I was made in God’s image, you should be a little afraid of God. In that light, they are.
However, Jerome took some offense to this (former minister, remember?). He said I should tell them that if God doesn’t look like them, they should be angry. So I brought it up. This thought, more than any other, really seemed to twist them.
It’s good. They need to think.