Yup, it’s that time of life I guess. As our readers know, I have a young son and as he grows, he likes to ask his father, The Middle, questions which are not so simple to answer. Previously, for example, he has asked whether god is made of atoms, and whether dinosaurs preceded man. Daunting questions to be sure.
So the latest came about inadvertently when a friend of his happened to mention that the Jews killed Jesus. Yup, considering these kids have yet to hit double digits in age, these are weighty topics to discuss. Needless to say, when he mentioned this to me, I almost had a heart attack and barely missed hitting the Camaro driving in front of me. Then again, I wasn’t all that concerned because the guy had a big cross hanging from his rear-view mirror which means that 1) he has lousy taste and probably has pretty ugly furniture at home, and 2) he may well believe the Jews killed Jesus. I mean, why not? Lots of people believe it – remember The Passion? How many times did the illustrious director/producer/actor Mel Gibson have the Jews in the crowd shout to Pontius to “kill him?” I lost count at 45 or so.
But, I am a darn good driver, and despite my advanced age the reflexes are still going strong. I swerved, missed the Camaro with the swinging cross and simultaneously began to grill my son. “Where did you hear that?! Who told you that?! What was your answer?!”
An astute observer of humanity in general, my son also knows his dad and immediately realized something was up. He covered up and changed the topic.
All of a sudden we were discussing Lego.
I like Lego and always have. I have fond memories of building hot air balloons with Lego when I was a kid, and have kept my son swimming in boxes of the stuff. So I allowed the topic to be changed to his latest bionicle toy. If you don’t know what Bionicles are, imagine the perfect moneymaking scheme devised to dupe parents.
…Getting back to Jesus the Jew and whether he was killed by fellow Jews…
The issue troubles me somewhat because I realize I can’t shield him forever from the outside world. The fact is that in some ways our very culture has been determined to some degree by the belief that not only was Jesus the messiah, but that he was killed because of Jewish treachery and actions. Of course, most Jews disagree and will refute these claims, but frankly, it is irrelevant whether we refute them or not because they belong to a much larger religion than ours and are something that to this day permeates many people’s beliefs even if their institutions do not really publicly endorse such positions.
So, any ideas on how to handle this portion of his upbringing? Should I just show him a photo of ck wearing a christ-killer ™ t-shirt and be done with it?
Lego genius from the Brick Testament