Tag Archives: Bible

“Vegetarism is Unbibical”

According to a relative of mine.

I’ve just come back from visiting relatives down in Cornwall, mainly because my Grandparents are getting older and more fragile and I wanted to make sure I saw them again.  But I stayed with other relatives, and at the dinner table on the first night, one of these relatives asks me why I’m vegetarian.  I say that it’s mainly due to environmental reasons – I’ve done a fair amount of reading around the subject, and eating meat considerably increases your carbon footprint.  I’m not going to demand that anyone else turns veggie, but that is why I chose to become vegetarian.  He, in response to this, claims that the bible tells you that you must eat meat, so therefore, by not eating meat I am defing the bible.  I was quite taken aback by this accusation – I am quite aware that I have sinned against the bible, but vegaratism was not on my list of ‘sins’!  I resisted saying ‘What?!?! That’s *%$^£*!!!!’ and instead formed a rational argument back.  I stated that the bible tells us to take care of the world, and because meat has such an effect on your carbon footprint, then not eating it is one of the small things that I can do to help protect the environment.  He replied that the bible doesn’t say anything about carbon footprints, so he doesn’t believe it.  Well of course the bible doesn’t say anything about carbon footprints – humans hadn’t destroyed the world by then, I replied.  Science, I explained, has proven meat consumptions impact on the environment, since the bible was written!  My relative simply stated that he believed the bible, not science.  I could see I was never going to change his fundimentalist viewpoint, so I replied with ‘well, I take both the bible and science with interpretation’.  And we agreed to disagree.

He just made me so annoyed.  I did my best to control my anger, mainly because he’s someone I love and I didn’t want to get into a blazing row with him, especially because it was obvious he was never going to alter his views.  But for the rest of the evening, there was a little ranting voice in my head.  He took one of the Christian-based decisions I have made, and declared I was defing Christianity by doing it!!  Maybe I should have told him that at SCM events there are more veggies than non-veggies – are they all heretics?! Don’t answer that question – SCMers maybe heretics, but not for being *%&^$ veggie!!!

Ok, rant over.  For the rest of the weekend I avoided any religious discussions.  After attending their church on Sunday and biting my tongue throughout the 50 minute sermon, I was asked at the dinner table what I thought of it, and I simply said ‘it was ok’.  Which I feel slightly ashamed of, but there were two kids at the table and considering I disagreed with something in every minute of the sermon, I just didn’t want to start that inevitable argument.

Theological Perceptions of a six year old

As many readers will know or will have gathered, I work with children. I love working with children and one of the things I love most about children is the way they naturally express their view of the world. They very often, just say what they are thinking, without any worries of what people might think. Some of the things they will say to you, are just classics! A few years ago I used to keep a quote book of funny things that children that i knew, had said to me. Unfortunately I’ve not kept up with it, but whenever I dig it out, I always have a good laugh! Quite often, although amusing, they can also have a very serious and deeper meaning, which is what makes children so magical and insightful.

One clear example I can think of, is something I said to my Dad when I was about 6. I toddled up to him, and said something along the lines of ‘Dad, in school I was told that the dinosaurs existed a long, long time ago, before humans were around. And in Sunday school, I was told that God made the earth in 7 days. So, where do the dinosaurs fit into the creation story?’ My dad smiled to himself, and said that I should ask X. X is a senior professor in old testement theology at a major university, and a good friend of the family. The next time I saw X, I went up to him and repeated the question. He did his best to explain to a naive 6 year old, that not everything is as simple as it might initially seem, and that lots of people believe lots of different things.

Looking back on that incident, I think it was a very insightful observation to make. I had no idea at the time that I had asked such a controversal question. I expected my Dad to give me a straight forward, black and white answer. Like, the dinosaurs were only on the earth for a few days before the humans came. Or they were on different parts of the earth, so they never actually met each other. I dunno, I had a creative mind.

Since then, obviously, I have established my own opinions about the creation story and evolution. But the purpose of this post was not to share them with you. I just wanted to demonstrate the inquistiveness of children’s naive minds. And how they, especially at that age, believe everything they are told. It really is something special, and it should be valued.