Franklin Graham, dilute progeny of Billy Graham and head dude of Samaritan’s Purse, fixes Bosnian Children with his Operation Christmas Child. Otherwise known as, shoe boxes filled with miracles. My kindergartner brought this very religious book home from his his public school library. I might have shrieked at him, poor kid.
Deep breaths, censorship is bad, no wonder he was in such a foul mood yesterday, mumbling about being depressed and stuff.
Then I read it. Next I searched out the gritty details about these boxes– because I’ve yet to meet a Christian organization that giveth without some strings. Like the Christianity agreement that these kids get before getting their gift. Scroll to the end, I’ll wait. Doesn’t it feel, I don’t know, wrong, to hand a refugee child a book that basically tells them their lives are filled with blood and terror because they don’t pray to the JC. Take away the orphaned refugee part and your still left with the bright, shiny magical thinking of children. American children believe a giant bunny delivers eggs and that a fairy collects teeth in exchange for cash. The kids, they are easy to fool with their hopefulness.
Just to summarize this uplifting holiday tale, a mother lives with her two kids, 9 and 3, in the cellar of a bombed out building.The 9 year old forages for food in the streets at night, while hop-scotching his way past flying bullets. He sleeps on a chair. His 3 year old sister used to have a doll, but she lost it in the street while running from sniper fire.
The above text is not hyperbole, but actually the text of this feel-good children’s story.
Where is the Dad? you ask.
What a great question, I’m glad you mentioned it. The family assumes Dad is still alive, but since he’s in jail they just can’t be sure. The fear for Dad’s safety makes Mondays really suck. No worries though– part of the end-story miracle includes busloads of prisoners being delivered back home just in time to receive their own shoe box.
In the meantime, poor mom has certainly been forced into prostitution to make some sort of cash, but Graham leaves those details out; the only real miracle in this shoe box of craptastic.
Thanks to this stupid book, I spent a long chunk of my evening trying to explain the Bosnian war’s traumatic effect on women and children (and the busloads of male prisoners) to a 6 year old. You’d be correct in your assumption that it is difficult to find an age-appropriate way to describe the trauma of a family torn apart by raging war.
My distaste for Franklin Graham continues to grow. In fact, I’d call Franklin Graham a giant douchebag, but that insults the occasional usefulness of a good douche. Perhaps a simple charlatan.
Beyond my personal feelings about Mini Graham Cracker, will I always knee jerk about the religious stuff available in public, government-supported schools?
Hey, at least my state doesn’t sneak religion (Christianity only, please) into schools through sponsored legislation. Aw, dammit; never-mind.
The Bosnian sniper fire book did provide a brilliant segue into Zach’s next question about black history month and “how exactly were they able to purchase, um, people? And why only the brown-skinned people? And, while we’re at it, why didn’t they pay them for doing the work?”
Technically because the bible told ’em it was their right to do so, but that’s hard to pack into a 6-year old’s brain box. Maybe I should draw a little information booklet.