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Kids' Bible Stories: Bible Stories about Kids That I Would Never Let My Children Hear
Kids' Bible Stories: Stories about Kids in the Bible are Not Suitable for Children
I was gifted a book once of Bible stories for kids. The well-meaning gift-givers thought they were doing a nice thing, providing my children with a set of stories meant for them, from a book that the gifters consider (unthinkingly) to be a superior moral guide.
I threw it away before my children saw it. Why? Not because I didn't believe the gift-givers were sincere (although misguided, in my mind), but because I didn't approve of the material. I spent much of my time teaching my children to be peaceful, non-violent beings. Do not hit, do not throw things, do not throw tantrums, do not harm others. Treat all living things well. Unfortunately, the bible has other ideas about what is acceptable.
Well-Known Stories that Children Shouldn't Read
This cutesy, child-oriented book started out with the story of Noah's ark and the flood. This is a well-known story that is told over and over at Sunday schools and churches every week and year. Commercially, this ark and flood story is a money-maker, too. There are, for sale, cute little animal playsets with boats so kids can play Noah's ark. You can decorate your nursery with the images of pairs of cute animals peering over the side of an undersized boat.
What is conveniently left out is what happened to the millions of other beings that were not on the ark. What the inhabitants of the ark would likely see when they peered over the edge of their boat would have been lifeless, bloated, floating bodies. Mommies, daddies, pregnant women, children - just like the intended reader of this story, babies and goats, lions, sheep, giraffes, penguins, baby lambs.... THEY ALL DROWNED. They died a horrible, terrifying, torturous death. I will not teach this to my child as if it were fact, let alone somehow GOOD.
This was followed by the story of David and Goliath. By the time I got here, I knew the book was destined for the trash. I remembered this story from my own childhood, the discord that existed between what my parents taught me - do not throw rocks or hit (or kill) - and what God helped David do - slingshot a rock and then kill a giant. David, a lowly peasant boy, armed only with a slingshot and his faith in his God, defeats Goliath, a nine-foot giant that inspired fear in every soldier he encountered. David takes the giant down by delivering one well placed slingshotted rock to the giant's forehead. But, it wasn't good enough to teach the giant a lesson. David then uses the giant's own sword to kill him.
Ah no, my preschool-aged children did not need to be taught that killing is the will of a being they are supposed to love and revere and who supposedly loves all his creatures. To me, it would be bad enough to read these stories to your kids as fiction, but as FACT, OH NO, not in my house.
And let's not forget the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham, on orders from his loving God, prepares to sacrifice his child. He binds him and has the knife to his throat, fully intending to carry out this gruesome and horrific act, when an angel intervenes just in time and stops him.
Let's visualize....A father is HOLDING A KNIFE to the neck of his child! People read this story to their children, REALLY? Not in my house.
Instead of focusing on how sick and sadistic it is to test someone's faith by requiring the blood sacrifice of his own child, whom he loved and cherished and waited years to be 'blessed with'!!, we are supposed to take away a message that if you trust and have blind, unquestioning faith in the lord, you will be rewarded or provided for, or some such nonsense.
It seems that a ram was a suitable substitute. God still required a blood sacrifice, it just didn't need to be Isaac. Whew - good save. Great story.
******But, did you know that there is an actual HUMAN SACRIFICE of a child made to the Lord in the bible? Were you aware that being savagely, brutally TORN APART BY BEARS (sent by God) is a suitable punishment for little children who mock a bald man? How about the fact that there are many instances where God ORDERS THE MURDER OF BABIES AND CHILDREN? In one instance, he even sends Moses back to finish the job because his army left some of the little boys alive. Did you ever hear about that in Sunday school?*****
HUMAN SACRIFICE - JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER (Judges 11)
Jephthah makes a deal with God, which God seemingly accepts. Jephthah, after praying for guidance about a particular war, agrees to make a burnt sacrifice to God if he is successful in his military campaign. He tells God that he will sacrifice whatever creature greets him first at his house upon returning from a battle with the Ammonites, if only God would make sure he was able to defeat the enemy.
God "delivered" the Ammonites and granted Jephthah victory. Jephthah returned home to see his precious, innocent young daughter run from the house to greet him. Devastated, he explained to her about his deal and that she had to be offered to the Lord as a burnt offering. After being granted her last wish of wandering in the wilderness for a couple months, she returned to her father who dutifully stabbed and then burnt his own daughter to death to keep his end of the bargain with God. Nice, eh?
How do you explain this to your children? That someone would murder their own child to keep a deal with God. If kids can't trust their own parents, who can they trust? God - nope, he's the one accepting the sacrifice. How horribly confusing this would be to children if this story were told in it's sickening entirety to small kids.
ELISHA AND THE BEARS ( II Kings, 2)
Elisha was a prophet of God, and an underling to the great prophet Elija. When Elisha became a full-fledged prophet in his own right, he was irked when some children mock him and didn't believe he was a real prophet. They taunt him and call him insulting names, making fun of his baldness.
He curses them in the Lord's name, of course. The next thing we know, all 42 children are being attacked in a bloody, vicious mauling and being ripped open by two bears.
Let's reiterate: children were violently murdered for making fun of a man's bald head.
Can we really not find a BETTER way to parent than all-out terrifying our children into compliance. Could not a "loving god" as he's called by his followers, find a better way to teach the children a lesson than having them violently disemboweled? REALLY?
I absolutely teach my children not to tease, taunt or bully anyone. But, I do not think that being torn to shreds by bears is fitting for the 'crime'. Imprinting stories like this in children's brains in the hopes of teaching a lesson or imparting a warning is at least bordering on being emotionally abusive, I think.
GOD ORDERS, APPROVES OF AND ENCOURAGES THE KILLING OF CHILDREN
The more I read, the more I realize that this book, the Bible should be locked up, away from children. There is no other book so full of rape, petty jealousy, hatred, genocide, destruction, violence and murder that I would leave within the reach of my children. Why would this one be an exception? But the religious advocate for this God to be put back in our schools and to be part of our daily lives? I've just gotten a renewed sense of urgency to fight this. Keep this away from my children.
On the topic of God killing babies and children, I will let the "good book" speak for itself.
"Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children." (Isaiah 13:15-18)
"Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple." So they began by killing the seventy leaders. "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded. "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!" So they went throughout the city and did as they were told." (Ezekiel 9:5-7)
All who curse their mother or father must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:)
...and in Numbers, Chapter 31, we join up with Moses after the slaughter of the Midianites. In verse 7 we are reminded that the battle of Midian and the slaughter of the males was as the Lord commanded. It seems that all the men were killed initially. The women and children were spared, but Moses, still an agent of the Lord, clarifies his order telling the soldiers to go back and "kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him." "But all the women children that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." (Numbers 31:17-18)
With you I smash man and woman; with you I smash the old man and the boy; with you I smash the young man and the girl...". (Jeremiah 51: 22)
"The people of Samaria must bear the consequences of their guilt because they rebelled against their God. They will be killed by an invading army, their little ones dashed to death against the ground, their pregnant women ripped open by swords." (Hosea 13:16)
...and it goes on...
As I was writing this, I realized that there is enough material here to write a book. But, alas, someone already did so with some of the stories...and it's illu
AND THERE ARE OTHER STORIES THAT I DON'T WANT MY CHILDREN TO HEAR
I also think the drowning of 2000 pigs by Jesus in the New Testament is a cruel story for kids. (Matthew 8, Luke 8 and Mark 5). How uncaring to remove evil spririts from men, place them in pigs and then send the poor pigs to their deaths by drowning. And this is in the "kinder, gentler" new testatment. I'm not sure the pig farmers whose livelihoods depended on those pigs thought so. And it's just needless, pointless destruction of animals. I do not want my kids to think that's ok.
While we are on the subject of the New Testament, the story of Jesus having a little temper tantrum and cursing a fig tree is odd, to say the least. Jesus was angry with the tree and caused it to wither because it had not produced figs out of season when he was in the mood for a fig. Temper tantrums, when you don't get what you want or expect it unreasonably should not be glorified as an acceptable course of action by the 'perfect' human/god. At least, I will teach my children better than that.
There are too many others to go on...the destruction of cities including all the children, Lot and his daughters, the cannabalism by a mother of her son after a famine inflicted by God, ...