Monday, July 26, 2010

Bible Study? Moi?

I am going to be teaching an evening Bible Study course this summer.  Stop laughing.  I know.  It gets better.  The Bible Study that I am about to teach is on a fascinating topic...  Wait for it...

The Twilight Saga.

That's right.  I was asked a couple of months ago to help teach this course for junior and senior high school girls.  So I met with the Youth Minister at my church and the conversation went like this:

(warning - Twilight spoilers)
Lydia: Thanks for asking me to do this.  But I'm not really sure why you want me, other than the fact that I'm sort of a nerd about Twilight stuff.
Youth Minister: We think you'd do a great job!
Lydia: So there's four sessions, right?  That's convenient  - one for each book.
Youth Minister: There are four books?
Lydia: You haven't read them?!  But you're going to be teaching this with me!
Youth Minister: Oh no, you're going to be the instructor.  Just you.
Lydia: ARE YOU INSANE? I don't think that's a very good idea.
Youth Minister: You'll do great.  Tell me some of the things you might talk about with the girls...
Lydia: Um... Well, I think Bella is sort of a bad role model for teenage girls.
Youth Minister: I thought she was good role model? 
Lydia: Well... She sort of only cares about her boyfriend.  And she lies to everyone she knows including her parents to accommodate the relationship.  Were you thinking about the whole abstinence thing? (Youth Minister nods) Well, actually she only agrees to marry her boyfriend so that he'll have sex with her and then turn her into a vampire.  Because Edward - that's her boyfriend - doesn't believe in premarital sex.
Youth Minister: (looks a little alarmed) So Edward is the good role model?
Lydia: Ummm... Sure.  I mean, he denies his sinful nature and all by only killing animals and not people.  And he totally wants to bite her and eat her and have sex with her.  She's the forbidden fruit - the apple on the cover on the book.  So there's that.  But before they were dating, he used to break into Bella's house every night and stare at her while she was sleeping.  That's a little creepy and stalkery.
Youth Minister: Ahem.  Oh.  Wasn't there a werewolf?
Lydia: Yes! Jacob.  He's pretty cool.  Except for this one time he sort of forced himself on Bella and she had to punch him the face to get him to stop making out with her and then she had to go the hospital because she broke her hand.  And then he threatened to kill himself so she would say she loved him and make out with him again.
Youth Minister: These are books for kids?
Lydia: Young adults.  So how do I talk about the sex parts?  And the pregnancy? And the half-vampire baby that ends up killing her after chewing its way out of her stomach and breaking all her bones?
Youth Minister: I don't think... Maybe you shouldn't talk about that part.
Lydia: Seriously? What about how the Volturi - who are the sort of like royalty or the government or whatever - are totally corrupt and evil?
Youth Minister: Seriously?  I need a minute...  (pauses)  You know what?  I think you should talk about whatever you want.  If kids are reading this stuff, it sounds like they should have the chance to talk about it with a responsible adult to help process some of these messages.  And the parents can sit in if they want, OK?
Lydia: Responsible adult?

So I'm on my own.  I have to come up with a curriculum all by myself.  But I have carte blanche!  Which is scary but also cool.  I've decided that it's a bad idea to base it on something I saw on Twitter last week, even though it would be awesome: 

"Teenage Girls, if your boyfriend is all sparkly in the sunshine & won't have sex with you, he's not a vampire. He's gay."

Then I thought of using The Oatmeal's amazing book synopsis as a jumping off point.  Then I thought again.  Then I considered using Mom-in-a-Million's book reviews.  Then all of it was rendered unnecessary.  Because I found out the awful (albeit hilarious) truth. 

The Youth Minister called me and layed it all out.  There are no junior and senior high school girls signed up for my class.  They're all mommies in their 30's and 40's.  Because the teenagers are all: "Twilight...yawn. Where's my phone?"  And the mommies are all: "Omigawsh!  Have you seen Eclipse yet?  Can you stand Taylor Lautner?! He's so cute!  Squeeee!!!"

The Youth Minister seemed sure I would be disappointed.  I was actually thrilled.  It means that I'm writing a Twilight curriculum for myself.  I anticipate that I will have excellent course evaluations.  People will wonder why everyone in my Bible Study leaves feeling so calm and happy.  Here's my outline:

Twilight Bible Study Curriculum For Moms by Lydia (in four sessions)
1. Tap T-box.  Pour into small foam cups.  Distribute.
2. Press play.
3. Giggle and make obnoxious comments.
4. Say Amen.
5. Go home.

It's going to be an epic saga, my friends.  I'm not really sure it has anything to do with the bible, but we'll figure that out later. 

xo, Lydia

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  1. I so want to sign up for the Twilight for Moms class! =)

  2. I was a YA librarian until a few weeks ago so I am quite familiar with the drama surrounding these books and their affect on teenage girls. Knowing you are so gaga over them has often made me question your taste, not in the entertainment value of them because I really enjoyed them too (but not the last one, it sucked). I was worried that you thought Edward and Bella were actually valuable characters in some way. So glad you see how horrible they are. :)
    And have fun. I wish I could be in your Bible Study!

  3. OMG, this is too funny! I don't really know what Twilight and bible study have to do with one another but I really wish I was going to your class! I loved the youth pastors response to all the stuff in the book LOL!

  4. Once they've met the prereq of the Twilight saga, you can do a senior seminar on the *other* Anne Rice books.

  5. LOL I so want to come to this class. I am a christian mom whos actually read and enjoyed the twilight books (more than I probably should have) and I still baffled at the christian community trying to make any kind of faith connection with the twilight series.

    That and I totally don't think the Twilight series is all that young adult friendly, sure an easy read but still Breaking Dawn had some pretty intense themes. I sure as heck plan on hiding the books when my kid is old enough to read them.

  6. And you didn't even get into the werewolf imprinting on the newborn baby!! :-)

  7. I have never really had any desire to go to a Bible Study class, to be honest, but this one sounds like something I could really enjoy! The poor Youth Minister. You didn't tell him about all the rampant vampire sex in the fourth book either. No sleeping, just property destructing sex. tee hee

  8. lol, Gina he would have fainted on the spot! Read them twice myself before allowing my 12 yr old to read them. Thought it was best we had the sex talk before she discovered sex a'la vampire ... altho she is more of a Jacob fan.

  9. I have seen girls as young as 3rd grade coming out of my son's elementary school with their noses buried in the twilight books....evidently not all parents pay as close attention to what their kids read as I do with mine...hope they pay closer attention to them on the internet (jessi slaughter!) and tv....would love to hear what you guys would tell jessi slaughter and her parents....!

  10. No kidding Gina, I think that part was more disturbing to me than anything else!

  11. ha! that is great! just great!

  12. Why in the world would a church want to indulge youths' interest in a book so degrading to girls, so full of violence and twisted sexual mores?

    Why not focus on the Bib...uh, wait, um.... nevermind.

    Pass me my cup.

  13. Ooooo! I could be a guest speaker even though I don't know anything about the Bible! My portion of the lecture would go like this: "Renesmee is a stupid name even though it kind of honors their mothers which I heard was in the Bible. Discuss."

  14. I am a pastor though not a parent and I want to point out that y'all assumed the youth minister was a man. Interesting. I also wonder if you've read some of the juicier stories of the Old Testament, which could definitely rival what you're describing about the Twilight series, which I have avoided like the plague.

    Love this site. I'm not sure why (see the non-parent part) but clearly it's because y'all are great writers and I need opportunities to laugh. Peace.

  15. This is hilarious! I wish I could join your class!

  16. The thought of an informed, intelligent, Christian adult teaching teens how awful Twilight is (you are bang-on about Bella being a crap role model) was extremely exciting to me. Too bad it's not going to happen. Oh well, enjoy your t-box!

  17. You MUST be Methodist! I've been to many churches in my life, and I am positive that Methodist is only donomination that would even consider this! As a side note, I ultimately chose the Methodist as the best place for me :-)

  18. Uh, there is actually a study ( religious) prepared at Chalice Press.... Have Fun!

    From Twilight to Breaking Dawn

    Religious Themes in the Twilight Saga
    From Twilight to Breaking Dawn
    ISBN 9780827210479
    List Price $14.99

    Web Price: $11.99

    by Sandra L. Gravett

  19. Makes me want to go to church and that is saying a lot! Have fun!

  20. OMG! I wish I could go to this Bible study! Ours are always about character building...would much rather discuss Jacob shirtless.

  21. I love that an ad on your page right now is for "Immortal Night : Lycan or Vampire"

    I hope my pastor asks me to teach on Twilight soon!!!!

  22. T - 2 weeks till beach. t- box will be tapped and yes, I will be rereading all 4 books while at the beach. I can't wait to relive the fun! Still, Buffy would have made a MUCH better bible study class. Can't help that I'm biased...

  23. Apparently I don't understand Bible Study any more than I understand the Twilight obsession.

  24. I think the whole religious connection comes from the author herself - if I remember correctly from an article about her in a local paper, she's hardcore Mormon and admits to the whole not-before-marriage/celibacy metaphor central to the relationships...

  25. This is my first visit to your page, having arrived here by following a Christian blog's link. From the cartoon, I thought it was probably an ironic feminist screed--and this misunderstanding was only reinforced by the Target ad, which announces "Expect More--Pay Less." Ah, those oppressed YY persons.
    (I have an X chromosome and a wife and a daughter, incidentally.)

  26. There is an enormous religious connection in the Twilight books, though it's to Mormonism, not Christianity. It is thoroughly (and hilariously) unpacked in the series of posts that starts here: Enjoy!

    Also - Bruce - women have two X chromosomes, men have XY. Science FAIL.

    1. LOL. I was going to point out Bruce's error there. My family doctor says it's like an X chromosome, but missing the good bits!

  27. Awesome comment, Sindy!!!

    Who wants to see my Vampire vs. Werewolf meatloaf?? You know you do.

  28. tell me when and where and i'll be there possilby with my own t-box

  29. My favorite quote from this site/script:
    ‎"No! I’ve been dumped by my high school boyfriend! The only natural reaction is to have violent night terrors, sit in my room and mope endlessly, and detach from my friends entirely!"

  30. Ooo, I hope there are later posts that describe how this all went! I can't wait. I know I am fully in the past here, but if I haven't read it, it's news to me, lol.

    I don't know how I will deal with my daughters and twilight or whatever they like in the future. But I love twilight! And Monet and Harry Potter and all the other stuff that is too popular to be good and says loads about me that I'd rather it didn't. But I always wonder why Bella has to be a good role model. She's just a character who has flaws. Anyway, I always thought HP was a very overtly Christian story and would make for great bible study. Can't wait to see how this worked out for you.




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