‘Cause you gotta have faith

15 Sep

Remember how I finally stopped talking about it and actually bit the bullet and went back to college this semester? And how I’m taking a class about texts of all sorts? And how the class focuses on religion and society and women’s place in it? And how that class, being about different texts, talks about the Bible and religion and how people think things that are in the Bible actually aren’t? Yeah. Now you do.

First, you should know that I love religion. As in, I’ve considered becoming a Religious Studies major in school because I just love it THAT MUCH.  It’s fascinating. To learn the religion of a people, be it a modern or ancient, is to learn about their culture.  Learning about faith and religion answers so many of the questions I’ve had about various peoples.  I like to ask “Why?” a lot, and lucky for me, a lot of the questions are answered with religion.

So yesterday, in class, we’re talking about the Bible.  Gen. 1-3 to be exact. That’s the bit with the creation stories. Yes, stories.  We’re not talking about Christianity, or Judaism. We’re talking about the Bible, as a sacred text. We’d taken a quiz about 20 minutes earlier and one of the questions was about Satan and his presence in Gen. 3. He’s not mentioned. At all.  Not once.  There’s a serpent in there, yes.  But Satan isn’t there.  You follow?

So, after reviewing the quiz this girl raises her hand and says that she’s Catholic and just went to the Vatican website (IN THE MIDDLE OF CLASS) and that, according to the Vatican, the serpent is Satan so therefore Satan is mentioned in Gen. 3 so there! And I go, “No, the Vatican states that the serpent represents Satan, but Satan himself is not, in fact, mentioned in Gen. 3.” So she gets all puffy and goes, “Yes, he is because the Vatican says so right here.” And I go, “No, that’s the Vatican’s interpretation of what happens in Gen. 3.” And then, because she is totally useless and not understanding at all yells “So you’re saying the Vatican is WRONG?!?” And then the teacher steps in and attempts to explain things to this girl but she just won’t listen because she’s CONVINCED we’re all against her and wrong and I just laughed because really. We had 2 readings that explained that, by name, Satan isn’t mentioned in Gen. 3. Nor is sin. Nor is “the Fall.” And that’s when we all should have realized that this is the shit our teacher was talking about. This is the shit about not being able to study religion effectively unless you learn to BRACKET your own ideas and opinions and open your damn mind long enough to read Gen. 3 and realize that while there is a snake, SATAN IS NOT MENTIONED.

The nifty thing about the Bible is that it can mean a lot of things for a lot of people, and I think that’s part of it’s power.  If you need something to back you up, or lift you up, or encourage you through something, it’s got it. That’s why it’s a bestseller.

Later, we’re looking at pictures of Adam & Eve and whole serpent thing as painted by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.  And this same girl goes:

“This might be, like, inappropriate, but like, if Adam’s supposed to be, like, so important and the first man and stuff, than why, I mean…like….Why is his junk so small?”

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8 Responses to “‘Cause you gotta have faith”

  1. ohhayitskk September 15, 2009 at 10:51 AM #

    may or may not have just died laughing.

  2. H to the Izzo September 15, 2009 at 12:51 PM #

    Why am I not surprised that the same girl asked both those questions?

    Can I come to class with you sometime? I miss school and would love to argue about religion.

    You make an excellent point about not beign able to study religion objectively unless one can put aside their own beliefs. That’s why agnostics are much better at studying religion.

    re: the Bible, “That’s why it’s a bestseller.”
    –My favorite line, ever. Going to start using that (will credit you).

  3. Margaret September 15, 2009 at 12:56 PM #

    It’s always appropriate to state what you believe, but shouldn’t ever try to stuff it down someone’s throat.

    The serpent represented satan.

  4. chasingparadise September 15, 2009 at 2:56 PM #

    Oh.My.God. How did you not pee your pants with laughter?!

  5. Rachel September 16, 2009 at 10:00 AM #

    oh that girl seems like such a winner.

  6. emiliemarie September 16, 2009 at 9:29 PM #

    I really dislike people like that in my classes. I continually have to remind myself that this is my last semester of having to hear insane comments like that…
    Good luck!

  7. san September 17, 2009 at 12:28 AM #

    My goodness, I just peed my pants 😉

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