Posts Tagged ‘mawlid-al nabi’
Butterfly’s class today talked about helping people. And one of the boys, whom we’ll call George, was annoying. George was the one who last week suggested giving beer to the homeless man, and today he said a swastika was a symbol of peace (it didn’t sound like he was talking about the Buddhist symbol either). Not only that, but as they discussed serving in the military as a way of helping people, George said that the soldiers in Iraq “could do more for their country,” and he didn’t know that we’re using up our natural resources. Butterfly was quite offended. She was so hung up on George that she seems to have missed everything else that went on in class because that was all she could remember about it.
The younger kids started out with a chapel service again. The thing that struck me this time was the lack of adults as we went in the room. I was looking around for the teachers, couldn’t see any, and took it upon myself to interrupt the boy who had another boy in a headlock, and the ones who were tripping each other and sitting on each other. I think they wondered who in the world I was and why I was telling them to keep their hands to themselves. Why aren’t the teachers in the chapel with their classes?
The subject of the chapel lesson was redemption. Apparently it’s what they’re talking about in the adult services too, and I wish I could have heard the sermon because it’s hard for me to separate redemption from sin, and I don’t think you can have sin, exactly, in Unitarian Universalism. Can you? For the kids they talked about it in terms of taking a bad thing and making it better — i.e. being honest when you do something wrong and apologizing, learning from your mistakes, etc. It was very age-appropriate.
The holiday for NinjaBoy’s class was Mawlid al-Nabi, Muhammad’s birthday. I was only in the room for part of the class, but got to hear Muhammad’s life story. Later they decorated prayer rugs and learned how to use them — NinjaBoy demonstrated for me at home afterward — and tried jordan almonds. The teacher mentioned that not all Muslims celebrate Mawlid al-Nabi; there is a concern that it exalts Muhammad too much.
There was poster up front that said something like “Unitarian Universalists believe that religions arise out of people’s needs and longings.” That’s about what I would say on the subject. And they are a way to help people in a certain society or culture live together (put up with each other) by adhering to shared values. What those values are and how they are expressed in a religion depends on the circumstances the group lives in.
I tried to do a little helping people of my own halfway through the class. My favorite kind of service, the kind where you help other people by reading a book and eating cookies. Unfortunately, my iron was too low and they wouldn’t let me donate. Dang it! I’m taking iron supplements and everything!
Next week I’m hoping to go to the worship service. Really, I think it’ll happen this time.