So, as the father of a child and, as you’ve no doubt noticed, being of somewhat philosophical bent, I’m given to regularly regret exposing my son to Veggie Tales. In the event you haven’t been exposed to Veggie Tales before, describing it as “Bible stories enacted in somewhat parodic manner by talking produce” makes it sound way more absurd than it really is. They are usually smart, well-done productions.
They’re also very (from the humanist Jewish perspective) Christian. (I’m sure there are Christians who think the Veggie Tales folks are heretics. But I’m not so worried about that–they’re definitely Christians to me.)
In any case, I first saw Veggie Tales stuff while I was in grad school, lo so many years ago, and enjoyed them. So, we got some DVDs for my son when he was little, and now Veggie Tales videos are part of his cyclical shift of stuff he likes to watch. (He’s autistic, so we’re still watching things now that we watched five years ago. At least he’s consistent!)
I now have the opportunity to appreciate the irony of me being, well, me, and having exposed my son to Veggie Tales. What did he say first thing in the morning when he woke up two days ago? “Hurt, give it to God.”
Which ties nicely into this post on Kveller.com, a site about Jewish parenting: http://www.kveller.com/traditions/Jewish-Living/is-my-toddler-more-jewish-than-me.shtml. Needless to say, I feel the author’s pain a bit, and this is a thing I worry about even more because I’m just not sure how to communicate about religion to an autistic child–especially since where we as a family sit on the Jewish spectrum is hard enough for people who know what they’re doing! And, sadly, there are really almost no resources on having these kinds of discussions with an autistic child that don’t immediately assume that God puts autistic children in churches (or synagogues, I guess–but I’ve found precious little about Judaism and autism in the same place) to show other believers how to reach out to the least among them.
And so I have a child who, through no fault of his own–indeed, entirely through my fault–uses God language when I would not. And I’m stuck.
This is all made more ironic by some moves I’ll be making in the next few weeks. But keep posted for that.