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Lori

..."but on the other hand Iz is SIX, and didn't tell anyone what was going on for several days."

If it's any comfort, I was 'saved' when I was five (a babysitter sprung it on me), and look how I turned out. They tell me Jesus is still in my heart b/c once you invite him in, he can never leave.

badgerbag

Kind of like herpes!

owlmonkey

i guess the cheap facilities are subsidized by people who are hoping to spread these beliefs. if they were just up front about it you would have some sort of "informed consent". is that part of the evilness in your mind, that they are brainwashing kids without warning you ahead of time that those beliefs would be a part of the program?

badgerbag

Well, yes, that's the deep evil of it. If they want to have "bible study-no-dinosaurs-going-to-hell-tennis-camp" then let them have it - but they should call it what it is.

Iris

I'm not getting the dinosaur relevance.Is it because they didn't feature in the Garden of Eden scenario?

Major Rook

Why would you need to apologize to me as token christian? These people seem to be total fuckwads. I need no apology for calling them out as such.

Seymour

Squid and I were pretty pissed, but we also felt a bit foolish. OF COURSE they would do that. It's a Pentecostal facility. Doh!

What caught Squid and I by surprise is we had put Iz in swimming lessons there last year, and there was no sermonizing. That explains why Iz kept compaining of getting 'dunked' all the time ... they were trying to baptize her! Dangnabbit!

All kidding aside, what made me quite cross was that I felt tricked. My kids don't need saving from me, thank you very much. I parent them. You teach them to hit a volley. Got that?

We UU's have a saying: "we take the bible seriously, not literally." So for crissake, don't insist to them that the earth was actually created in 6 calendar days. And that G_d just put the bones there for HIS (God is male, and most people believe that you know) mysterious reasons. Since God is powerful, and forever, you know. Just a few of the things I helped my daughter unlearn today.

But hey, life is full of people who espouse different views than one's self. We've had some great conversations with her today about all sorts of things we might not have otherwise. I just would have liked to prepare her for this encounter. I might have even let her go knowing there was biblical content, but she would have gotten a 30 second preamble from us to put in in context.

My fear about their subverive teachings is she would think because we sent her there *we* must believe those views too, and that they were teaching her this with our blessing. Lucky we had our semi-regular breakfast and talk at the coffee shop, or she'd still be unsure of what her parents wre trying to say. She wants to believe these authority figures, but she's also heard us say things that are different. Talking to your kids is not just for teenage years anymore.

And to her credit, when IZ was confused about what she had heard in her 11 o'clock 'tabernacle time' - yes, you heard me, 'tabernacle time' during tennis camp - she wanted to talk about it and get my opinion. She even tried some of their ideas on for size, seeing what my reaction would be. After a moment of panic, I realize that indeed she is 6, and unlikely to form permanent religous views just yet. And devil's advocate is fun game to play. :-)

One thing I don't think I handled well - I kept bringing it up with her and I think she felt a bit guilty/conflicted about it, like she was bad for hearing the stories, or disappointing us. It was OK for her to listen, and even like it. Not her problem. Gotta watch that and just trust her.

badgerbag

Wow -- that is so intense!!! You guys are the best....

I keep thinking about Moomin and what it would have been like for him, and realizing that we have not prepared him at ALL for any similar encounter. Yikes. I mean, he knows a lot about comic books and dinosaur battle etiquette, but not about, like, the science or philosophy of anything. Other than a kids' science book or 2 about space and the planets. I should do more...

Prentiss Riddle

One theme that comes up a lot at our house is "some people believe that". As in, some people believe that boys are better than girls or white people are better than black people or men shouldn't love men and women shouldn't love women or God is a man with a long white beard sitting on a cloud or God is a bunch of people with lots of arms (some with necklaces of severed heads) or God created people at the same time as the dinosaurs. Most of all, some people believe that you're going to hell if you don't believe what they believe.

It's not all to teach the lesson that crazy fools believe the wildest things -- things that I believe and their other loved ones believe are also in the mix. (For instance, one of their kind and loving grandmothers believes that George Bush is a good president while I believe the opposite, and they have family members in the long-white-beard and lots-of-arms camps.)

It's usually followed by "And what do you believe?" although sometimes I worry that that is a prompt for them to tell me what I want to hear.

squid

FYI, I said I wasn't angry with the teen tennis coaches who led Tabernacle Time, as they were doing their jobs. I am certainly angry with the people who organized the camp.

badgerbag

What would ahve been completely hilarious is if they had looked through the bible to find quotes that sound like inspirational tennis coaching and made it all about tennis!

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