The Bible should be mandatory reading

I found an article about the ACLU’s claims that an Alabama school distributed bibles to students. My only question is … are people so wrapped up in the politics of religion that they’re afraid their kids might read?

You can read the brief article here:

I’m an Atheist. I was born in Montgomery, Alabama and raised as a Methodist. Long story short, despite Journey’s advice, I stopped believing. Now, I’m married to a Christian, and we have a 6-year-old.

If my daughter came home from school today with a Bible and started reading it, I would be ecstatic. No matter what you believe, the Bible is a complex literary work. Soak it up. Sentences. Adjectives.

Every day I ask my daughter how school was. She says, “Good.” Yes, please, learn new adjectives. Pleasant. Delightful. Ohhh oh oh… Incendiary.

Think about the language. “Peace be unto you, Father.” If my kid sincerely dropped that sentence on me, I think I’d burst into tears and drive her to Toys R Us. There’s a nice indication of how language has changed. LOL, WTF?

Most adult Christians don’t even read the bible. I mean sit down, crack open Genesis and head all the way to the Apocalypse. Copying and pasting passages from random Facebook posts doesn’t count. Leaflets from church, signs at football games, movies, TV none of those count.

Honestly, I think reading the Bible should be mandatory for kids. I think all other significant holy books should be mandatory as well. What’s the worst that’s going to happen they get smarter? They grow tolerant? They read a book that changes their life?

From birth, parents sequester their children spiritually to minimize witness tampering from those ne’er-do-well other religions. I understand this. Some religions absolutely suck for kids and don’t get much better for adults. So it’s hard to maintain a convincing argument for your child’s soul when another religion looks more attractive.

Religion has a lot of weight. It’s heavy. That’s why there are so many awesome metal songs about it. It’s also why it’s tough for someone to consider examining their own beliefs. Religion is spiritual insurance, and parents have made a lot of payments in their policy.

Just remember two things.

First, no one knows more than you do about death and beyond. We all know nothing. People have faith in different theories, but none of them can, at this point, be proven. I include myself in this as well. I don’t believe there’s an afterlife of any kind, but I don’t really know.

Second, education is king. School House Rock was right. Knowledge is power. One day your child is going to come home with a question about your core beliefs. Rather than protest the source of those questions, seek your answers together. If you’re afraid that a simple book can shatter your beliefs, then you must read that book.

As for the teacher and librarian … seriously? Kids don’t read. Bibles ain’t free, baby. As awesome an idea as it might have seemed, you dumped 180,000-word books in the hands of beings who have a 10-minute attention span. Most of those books are probably wedged under the seats of mini-vans, in the garbage or shoved in the back of a closet.

You have to sneak it to them now-a-days. Just wait until they’re walking out the door and say, “Have a good day, Billy! By the way, Gandalf was Jesus.” Something like that.

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