The Boy Explains The Resurrection
We’re Jews, and not terribly good ones at that. Oh, I’m raising my kids to be good people who do unto others and all that, but I’m afraid we’re sorely lacking in the formal education department.
This isn’t entirely my fault. My own parents fled from traumatic early religious training, and this tended to trickle down to my own upbringing. My father rebelled by filling our Seder plate with take-out Chinese food (pork spare ribs stood in for the lamb shank), but my mother developed an inconvenient and uncontrollable propensity for nervous hysterical laughter during spiritual events, which interrupted any chance my sister and I might have had to learn about religion.
Over the years, this has gotten us 1) ejected from the original theatrical showing of “The Ten Commandments” during the pivotal scene where Charlton Heston converses with shrubbery, 2) “escorted” out of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in mid-tour by men of god who really should have been much better at turning the other cheek, and 3) the evil eye from the rabbi who performed my marriage ceremony when my mother became totally incapacitated at the point where she needed to agree to give me away. So you can see why I turned out the way I did.
I didn’t realize how this affected my own children until I talked to them about the fact that this is Easter weekend. I might not know a lot of details about major religious events, but what kind of mother would I be if I didn’t at least discuss these things with them? Without laughing, I mean.
“So you know about Easter, right?” I helpfully informed The Boy over dinner.
“Oh yes, it’s very dangerous”, he said, solemnly munching his sushi roll.
Personal note to people who don’t have children: sixth grade boys talk amongst themselves a lot, and only about 0.00001% of what they come up with is accurate, or even sensical. You have to be ever-vigilant about correcting whatever nonsense comes home from their friends at school. If you don’t, it tends to snowball until they grow up to be the kind of people who believe that being black and President is a leading cause of socialism. I put down my chopsticks and prepared myself.
“Yes, Easter is when you have to be on the look out for Zombie Jesus”, he explained.
I thought about this for a moment. It’s not hard to understand how, with just a few random facts scattered about the pre-teen landscape of his brain, he might have come to the conclusion that Jesus’ being resurrected qualified Him for zombiehood. But I decided to set him straight — or at least do my best to set him straight — so he wouldn’t get himself into trouble.
“No, honey, Christians believe that a great miracle occurred after Jesus was crucified. He rose from the dead.”
“Isn’t that what a zombie is?”
“Well then, why isn’t Jesus a zombie?”
“Because He’s just not! Eat your sushi.”
So I’m fairly confident that I’ve educated him at least a little. And I kept a straight face the entire time.