Atheist comedian Julia Sweeney (Letting Go of God) recently watched the movie Jesus Christ Superstar with her daughter Mulan.
Since Mulan wasn’t raised with religious beliefs, a lot of the story was brand new to her…:
Mulan and I watched it. I thought maybe it was a good way for her to learn about Jesus. HA. She was so bewildered. I realized that since she hasn’t been inculcated with religious behaviors, everything just seems weird to her. Things I would have never had the naive open-mindedness to even ask. For example, at one point she asked me, “Why do those sick people want to touch Jesus?” I said, “Because they think he’s magic and can heal them.” Mulan said, “Why would anyone think that?” Me: “Because they didn’t have very much scientific information.” Mulan: “That’s crazy.” Then I had to stop the film and tell her that lots of people in the world still believe things like that.
Later she asked, “Why are all those women putting oil on Jesus’ head, and sort of leaning on him like that?” I said, “Well, one — Mary Magdalene, is like Jesus’ girlfriend. The other women — well, when you’re a cult leader, or actually this can be true of any very high status man — women fawn all over you.” “Creepy.” Mulan said. Then she fell asleep and I didn’t wake her up.
If they weren’t so used to their own mythology, you have to figure Christians would completely dismiss the idea of a talking snake, a woman being created from the rib of a man, and a guy rising from the dead…
Have any of you had similar teaching experiences with your children?