36. THIS IS NOT MY GOD

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

In the summer of 2002 as our eldest prepared for college, our daughter prepared to enter high school. She had some heavy reading assignments for her honors English class. Fortunately, our eldest was an avid reader of the classics so we had the books she needed. One on Greek and Roman mythology and the other, a King James version of the Bible.

And Jarys had read them both as well the Wiccan handbook, books on Native American spirituality, books on Buddhism, Islam and Judaism, interpretations of the Dead Sea Scrolls, well, pretty much all the theological books in our library.
Unlike her sibling, Kyra was not much of a reader, but she had no trouble with the mythology. Yet halfway through the book of Genesis, she stated, “This is not my God!”

“What do you mean?” I asked, serving dinner.

“The god in this book is a very mean and judgmental god. I like the Greek gods better.”

Jarys tried to explain that the reason her teacher had assigned this reading material is that these works have greatly influenced western civilization.

“No one believes in the Greek and Roman gods anymore, but who believes in this god?” She held up the bible.

“Christians and the part you’re reading is also in the Jewish scriptures.” Her sibling explained. “Just think of it as a story book. At the end of the Christian version, there’s a tragic hero.”

“What happens?”

“He’s killed.”

Now she was getting upset. “That’s how this ends? I hate stories with sad endings.

“Oh, there’s a sequel. He’s supposed to come back and save all the people who believe in him.”

“Come back. You mean reincarnated?”

Jarys laughed. “Oh no, there’s no reincarnation in that book. That’s Buddhism and Hinduism.”

She shook her head sadly, “I don’t get it. Why are there so many religions?”

“Because there are so many different cultures and each has a different way to explain life and death.”

She nodded. “You’re going to make a good teacher, Jarys.”

“Thanks.” They said and buried their head in a book.

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