So, we’re at Smashburger for dinner and Chloe starts up with her 1,001 questions. Something she’s prone to do on at least a weekly basis. Tonight’s theme evolved into a discussion about religion.
I chose the word ‘evolved’ on purpose, as you’ll soon learn. The evening began innocently enough. Her science teacher showed a movie about Darwin and evolution. Following is the series of Chloe’s questions and commentary.
“Did you know that in the 1800s people used to marry their first cousins? That’s inbreeding isn’t it? That’s gross. Darwin married his first cousin and their kids had health issues that Darwin attributed to the close blood ties he and his wife shared.”
“Just think. With Adam and Eve, and their kids, the first people on Earth had to inbreed all the time. That’s really gross. If religious people believe in all those stories, does that mean religious people think inbreeding’s ok?”
“Where did Adam and Eve come from?” I explained to her that if you believe in that stuff, God created Adam and Eve came from Adam’s rib. “Mom, that’s crazy. Do people really believe that happened? First of all, men can’t have children, so how could Eve come from Adam’s rib?”
I then said that for people who believe in the story of creation, that’s no more bizarre to them than the notion of the big bang, and microscopic animals evolving into creatures small and large that in turn evolved into monkeys and then humans. Needless to say, Chloe wasn’t buying my attempt at diplomacy. Smart girl.
I suggested she read Genesis so she could learn about how God supposedly created the Earth in six days and took the 7th day off to nap. And how the snake told Eve not to eat the apple off the tree of life, and how Eve, being a woman, and therefore evil and dumb, didn’t listen to the snake and ate the apple.
“The whole apple thing is like ‘Snow White.’ Do you think ‘Snow White’ takes after the story of Adam and Eve?” I told her that was a very interesting theory. And the wheels in my head started to spin. Such a theory could be the subject of a super college essay. Stop, stop, stop. I shouldn’t get ahead of myself.
“And what’s the deal with Jesus? I know he existed, but why is he so special?” Papa mentioned that he was a prophet for the Jews and Muslims, and the father of Christianity. She wasn’t impressed.
Then I mentioned the notion of immaculate conception and told her the story of Mary and Joseph. “How can a baby just appear in someone’s belly? That’s ridiculous.” I explained that it’s supposed to have been a miracle. “That can’t happen. I just don’t get it.” Welcome to the club, my sweet. Welcome to the club.