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← Bible stories for children - would you do it?

Bible stories for children - would you do it? - Comments

keithapm's Avatar Comment 1 by keithapm

Agree, but only if you co-worker would be prepared to read The God Delusion to your kids (if you have any) in a similar situation.

Alternatively pick up the Bible itself (how can they refuse it's the bible after all) and read them that delightful story about Elisha, the children and the two bears or about the rape of Lot by his daughters or... You get the picture. Don't water it down, it's the word of god after all.

Keith

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 08:16:57 UTC | #614357

debonnesnouvelles's Avatar Comment 2 by debonnesnouvelles

I would absolutely refuse to read them Bible stories. "Because it is so much more fun to make up your own stories before bedtime..." I would invent a story that seems to fit in the moment. If they act disappointed, I will stick to "if you want the story read from a book, we can get daddy to do that of course, as he always does". If they find that too boring, they will listen to my made up story, which will be friendly, not involving scary stuff. And it will be very clear to the children that I have made it up, that that is something I enjoy doing - making up stories because it is fun. Not because my imagination is sacred or super human in any way.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 08:24:20 UTC | #614361

Austin K's Avatar Comment 3 by Austin K

The Bible breeds atheists. I'd read it to them, and when they ask in horror why God killed the Pharaoh's baby, and all the babies in all of Egypt, I'll tell them what I was told, "because he's God and he can do what he wants." Then I'd ask them to think about it and tell me if they think it was the right thing to do. The whole book is a good story about bullying. Does might make right?

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 08:39:41 UTC | #614365

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 4 by SaganTheCat

it's just a story, assuming it's a child friendly bible story it'd be ok. i'd respond to their questions as i would any other fairy tale though such as agreeing so and so is a nasty/nice man, it's only a story etc. maybe if they ask an awkward question just ask what they think. that's probably something that doesn't happen much in a fundie home

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 08:45:50 UTC | #614370

Sofa King Cool's Avatar Comment 5 by Sofa King Cool

I would ask them if i could read them something more interesting. How about a few chapters from a Goosebumps book? Or maybe a few chapters from The City and the Stars?

I remember seeing a tv infomercial for a childrens dvd of the bible. The commercial shows the young child sitting between his parents and they are smiling as they learn about the lord. I wonder if they cut out all the barbarism and intolerance in the good book. I wonder if they teach their child about hell and tell them how they will suffer if they do not believe every word of this manmade text. Why not indoctrinate your child with Buddhism? At least then they have a shot of growing up as a decent human being.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 09:27:35 UTC | #614383

wolfhoundGrowl's Avatar Comment 6 by wolfhoundGrowl

Just read the book, it's just a story anyway and iut's not your kid to make the call on .. I don't understand all this "only if they're prepared to read God Delusion" ... what, you really make your decisions based on what others do first ???

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 09:28:44 UTC | #614386

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 7 by ZenDruid

The child specifically asking for your participation, suggests to me that she would rather have something other than the regular fare.

I'm sure everyone here, in a pinch, could come up with a reasonable facsimile of one of Aesop's fables. Tart it up a smidgeon for a sleepy young imagination, and the story has legs.

I wouldn't antagonize my friend in any way though, by explicitly rejecting his preference. Any story from the book in question with a healthy message and a happy ending would be my choice.

More importantly, offer the child a choice.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 09:46:03 UTC | #614390

ScottB's Avatar Comment 8 by ScottB

Well, unless accompanied by a childhood of brainwashing, they are just stories and kids love stories. My two kids heard bible stories, but because they were never pushed one way or the other it seems to have done little damage. One has become a very staunch atheist (not with my encouragement, I might add; I only ever encouraged them to think critically, never instructed them in what to think) and the other couldn't care less if there's a God or not as long as facebook continues to work.

I'd read the story. But I may flick through looking for the least stupid choice.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 10:06:11 UTC | #614395

1Sokkie's Avatar Comment 9 by 1Sokkie

Yes, read them the story. And afterwards, when they are sleeping, debate the matter with their parents.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 11:09:28 UTC | #614412

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 10 by AtheistEgbert

Refuse. Atheists must be defiant.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 11:15:07 UTC | #614414

Fujikoma's Avatar Comment 11 by Fujikoma

I tell my four year old sister (she was three at the time) that she needs to pick a book that you can see the letters in. Offer to help and ask if the book is one they want. You have to get into it though. Kids like the extra affects and effort into voicing it. My mom and I have some arguments about it, since she doesn't want me to 'disparage' her god. I just tell her I won't lie to the kids and that if I have to read something like that to them, I'm going to explain why such and such isn't right.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 11:15:45 UTC | #614416

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 12 by TheRationalizer

No, I would not do it. I would tell them another story like The Ugly Duckling or something from memory.

In fact I was at Wonderland in Telford recently. There was a miniature mock-up of a classroom there, whilst inside I found a children's book about Noah's Ark and how god told Noah to "save the animals from a flood that was coming" (as if it weren't god's fault to start with.)

I didn't have it in me to steal the book, so I hid it in the classroom instead.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 11:22:10 UTC | #614422

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 13 by SomersetJohn

I am assuming, being trusted with this persons' children, you count as a friend. The way I see it, telling the kids anything which the friend would specifically disapprove of would count as a betrayal of the friendship.

If I could not in good conscience pick a bible story I approved of, such as the "Good Samaritan", I would decline to read.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 11:37:21 UTC | #614429

Sean_W's Avatar Comment 14 by Sean_W

I'd read it.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 12:27:10 UTC | #614453

El Bastardo's Avatar Comment 15 by El Bastardo

I would read it to my kids, though would be in the same vein as any fairy tale. Of course it's hero sets out on quest, there's danger and peril but everything works out in the end and the bad guys get their comeuppance.

I wouldn't be telling my child about how some god/man was tortured, beaten, abused and murdered in a grotesque fashion to cleanse them of some inherent evil and that they should be thankful to said god/man whilst simultaneously feel bad about the fact he did this to himself on your behalf.

On a side note, the BBC childrens show "Tweenies" recently had Noah's flood as their story-time segment of the show with no mention of god at all.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 12:46:28 UTC | #614463

El Bastardo's Avatar Comment 16 by El Bastardo

I did as the OP suggested

If you're inclined to answer, try to do so before reading anyone else's comments so you're not influenced in any way.

Having gone back and read the comments after posting mine, you can tell who here has kids and who doesn't, and on some cases, who shouldn't.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 12:49:30 UTC | #614465

zengardener's Avatar Comment 17 by zengardener

How about I tell you a story?

The news just came in from the county of Keck, that a very small bug by the name of Van Vleck, is yawning so wide , you can look down his neck.

It may not seem very important, I know. But it is, so I'm bothering telling you so.

Dr. Suess is the answer. I love fantasy and science fiction. Biblical stories are different in that too many people take them seriously, for them to be responsibly repeated to children.

It is irresponsible to feed children's delusions. We should encourage their imaginations.

If children started thinking that Wookies were real, then I wouldn't let them watch StarWars until they understood the difference. I certainly wouldn't read a child Biblical stories. I wouldn't even suggest that the parent do it themselves. I would suggest something else. Dr. Suess.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 13:20:30 UTC | #614483

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 18 by Alan4discussion

I have often read fables and myths, and some Bible stories & parables are no different. (Although Mr Men stories are much better). The important thing about fantasy & fiction is learning to recognise it!

There are many allegedly factual or biographical stories which have been reworked to specific agendas. Children are constantly bombarded with anthropomorphic attitudes in books, films and cartoons. Bambi, Mickey Mouse, Free Willy, Peter Rabbit, Thomas the Tank Engine etc) Is it a surprise that some creationists seem to think the "Flintstones" is a documentary, that farming should be based on sentimentality, like keeping pets, or that Noah's global flood is a credible wildlife story!

Children MUST have plenty of interesting factual books to contrast with the myth & fiction.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 14:07:30 UTC | #614500

Outrider's Avatar Comment 19 by Outrider

Personally, in most cases, yes I'd read it. Any discussion, though, would be focussed on the morals of the story - there aren't many bible stories that don't have a useful moral that it's useful for children to learn, and I'd not emphasise the 'god' bit.

If they asked, I'd point out that the lesson applies as much to people who believe as to people who don't.

O.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 14:13:16 UTC | #614503

Non-plussed's Avatar Comment 20 by Non-plussed

Just read it. If you have to, engage the child in discussion about it afterwards, but for me one of the most important things about being an atheist is that we don't get worked up about things like this. I'd feel like some lunatic spraying a Quran with holy water if I refused to read a bible story to a child.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 14:24:53 UTC | #614508

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 21 by Ignorant Amos

Read the story, it is after all exactly that, just a story, make believe. I, like I'm sure many here, having been given the usual wooly biblical fare at Sunday school, turned out in the knowledge that Jonah never lived in a big fish, or the biggest boat that Noah could possibly build, still wouldn't do the job the bible says it could. It's all bollocks, like Iggle Piggle, Santa, the Grinch and Harvey, kids will grow out of it with education or they won't, it isn't biblical fairy tales that makes religionuts...it takes a bit more than a few exotic yarns. It's all the scary shit that is force fed that usually does it and I would flatly refuse to relay that to any youngsters.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 14:46:41 UTC | #614520

Markyboy01's Avatar Comment 22 by Markyboy01

I'd go with Aesop's Fables. better morals and at least you know that a talking lion and mouse isn't going to mess a kid up later in life.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 14:52:01 UTC | #614523

Markyboy01's Avatar Comment 23 by Markyboy01

now that I've read some of the other posts, I would not be comfortable reading "children's bible stories" as I'd be inclined to tell the REAL stories rather than the "edited for children" versions. "Lot was the only holy man in town who as an alternative to letting the mob rape the angels he offered up his own daughters to be raped instead."

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 14:53:54 UTC | #614524

Nordic11's Avatar Comment 24 by Nordic11

As a Christian who actually believes the Bible stories are true (let's please forgo the moron comments and other name calling; I already know you think I'm an idiot), I thought it might be helpful for you to hear what goes on at bedtime in our house (I don't know how typical this is). We read a scripture verse or two at dinner most nights, often from the proverbs or gospels, but my boys read a side variety of materials for their nighttime reading such as fantasy (The Lightning Thief, Castle in the Attic), nature books, and Greek myths. Less than 5% of our reading time includes Bible stories, but we have some excellent illustrated books that do not shy away from the tough Bible stories such as the conquest of Jericho and the parable of Lazarus and the rich man.

I would not expect an atheist friend to feel compelled to read Bible stories (that would be rude), but I would love for an atheist or agnostic to listen while our family reads a Bible story so that we could discuss his/her views afterward. I desire to ground my sons in our faith, but I certainly don't want them to grow up in a believer's bubble, and we talk often about the time when they will need to make their own decisions about choosing to believe or not.

Unfortunately, my three atheist/ agnostic friends all moved out of our area, and I have no other nonreligious friends. This is a great discussion though. Perhaps I should search harder for non believing friends to be a part of my boys' lives. I do try to explain the atheist's and agnostic's position to them, but of course, I am biased. Having them hear different views about Bible stories would be great for their education.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 16:09:53 UTC | #614553

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 25 by Tyler Durden

Comment 24 by Nordic11 :

As a Christian who actually believes the Bible stories are true (let's please forgo the moron comments and other name calling; I already know you think I'm an idiot), I thought it might be helpful for you to hear what goes on at bedtime in our house (I don't know how typical this is). We read a scripture verse or two at dinner most nights, often from the proverbs or gospels, but my boys read a side variety of materials for their nighttime reading such as fantasy (The Lightning Thief, Castle in the Attic), nature books, and Greek myths. Less than 5% of our reading time includes Bible stories, but we have some excellent illustrated books that do not shy away from the tough Bible stories such as the conquest of Jericho and the parable of Lazarus and the rich man.

I would pay good money to be there when the story of Lot's Daughters comes up on the schedule.

"Daddy, what's incest?"

I desire to ground my sons in our faith, but I certainly don't want them to grow up in a believer's bubble, and we talk often about the time when they will need to make their own decisions about choosing to believe or not.

Er, too late.

In a child's early life, the parents are the most important role models they can have - if you've introduced "god" to them as a reality, they could be just like Rod and Todd Flanders before you know it.

Unfortunately, my three atheist/ agnostic friends all moved out of our area, and I have no other nonreligious friends. This is a great discussion though. Perhaps I should search harder for non believing friends to be a part of my boys' lives. I do try to explain the atheist's and agnostic's position to them, but of course, I am biased. Having them hear different views about Bible stories would be great for their education.

Stick around here for a while, we're not that bad once you get to know us :)

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 16:31:18 UTC | #614559

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 26 by Cook@Tahiti

Editorialise with commentary, footnotes, and sources

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 16:39:07 UTC | #614564

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 27 by Alan4discussion

Comment 24 by Nordic11

Having them hear different views about Bible stories would be great for their education.

Have you had them look at the "Gospels" outlawed by thr Roman Bishops. The Coptic, Gnostic Dead Sea Scrolls etc. There are also interesting geology reports on post ice-age floods, flood myths and even a theory on the end of Sodom and Gomorrah! The Israeli archaeologists are arguing about if there is evidence King David existed, and serious doubt about the existence of Jesus / Josephus! Many who simply were told as children that the "Roman approved" gospels were the "true" account simply believe what they were told without question or evidence.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 16:39:15 UTC | #614565

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 28 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 24 by Nordic11

So you believe that when your wife has her period she is unclean for seven days and on the eighth day you must appropriate 2 doves or pigeons so she can take them to your head holy roller for sacrifice in atonement for daring to become unclean?

Do you believe this shite? If not, why not? If ya do, do you sacrifice 2 birds each month to your lord god Yahweh? These are the sort of ridiculous instructions I have problems with, and there are pages and pages of such nonsense in this inerrant word of the lord.......and I'm betting you don't believe or follow too much of it, if any? Excepting those cherry picked gems that just suit your wee personal pious position.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 16:41:02 UTC | #614567

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 29 by Schrodinger's Cat

Any story that begins 'once upon a time' and ends 'they all lived hapilly ever after'......with the bad guys being trounced.

Oh...wait....I guess that would have to include the Bible.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 16:51:15 UTC | #614573

EchoSider's Avatar Comment 30 by EchoSider

I would read it to them like I would read any other fairy tales.

Maybe read them something they're not accustomed to, like something from Leviticus or Revelations.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 17:00:08 UTC | #614576