[lit-ideas] Re: I shall say this only 5,000 times (allo allo)

  • From: Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 16:41:36 -0500

Not being religious myself, I didn't send my kids to Sunday School. Years later, I wished I had. I could have, of course, provided some substitute for the religious stories that they missed, the myth that underlies so much of our cultural heritage (this is changing even as we speak, of course). They didn't know what cutting off Sampson's hair meant. They didn't know that Eve's creation from Adam's rib (as an afterthought) lay behind some people's devaluation of women. They didn't recognize the lines in Moby Dick (I only am left behind to tell the story) came from the heart of the Story of Job. All diminutions of their ability to get every drop of promise and imagination out of literature. It isn't not believing in Santa Claus that's the problem. Millions of African kids grow up without Santa and are not harmed. What's harmful is not participating in and understanding the myths around you. Not having myths is an impoverishment. When they're older they can relegate the myths to their proper place....as embodiments of what we wish was true, or of what might have been, and so forth. Besides you'd deprive them also of the joy of figuring it out for themselves. I detect more than a little pride in your rendition of being smarter than your parents. Ursula

Paul Stone wrote:
So I guess my question to the group is: is it deprivation to let a kid grow up without this childish nonsense? If it is... what exactly am I depriving him of?

Paul (soon to be Mr.) Stone

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