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Jesus Understood 
26th-Jun-2007 09:15 am
Wild Thing
Since I've been playing with the scanner lately, I decided to share this 3-page story from Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories. I read these over and over as a child, and sort of realized they were strange and creepy (half of them are religious, the other half are about ambiguously named children learning how to be good). There's even a story about a little girl praying to find her mitten so her father won't beat her. Anyway, this is (to my knowledge) the only one to feature an illustration of a dead child:

Click to make bigger/readable. It's worth it.

There are so very many things wrong with this, the most of which is the little hand sticking up on the dead boy. You can bet that I never accidentally left my hand up as a child...Jesus would come along and take me away... The last sentence is also particularly pithy.
28th-Jun-2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
Yeeikes! Yeah, that's super creepy, especially the hand sticking up, like you said. Why couldn't Tommy give poor Bobby some encouraging words about pulling through, instead? If Tommy knows so much about Jesus, then surely he's heard of a little thing called miracles. It seemed like Tommy was all, "Dude, you may as well face it, you're toast, and if you want to get to Heaven, you best do as I say", and then Bobby just gave up. Also, doesn't Tommy look a little shifty on Page Two, looking around to make sure no one is hearing his "advice"? I wonder how many OTHER kids he had convinced before Bobby to hold their hand up for Jesus? The book kind of served two purposes - to show how dangerous it is to cross a busy street, and to teach little children that Jesus is the Grim Reaper. Sleep tight, little ones!
30th-Jun-2007 06:27 am (UTC)
I never even paid attention to those details before. Why is a perfectly well-looking Tommy hanging around the hospital anyway? Is he some death recruiter or some such? Did Bobby help fill his quota? How did I not notice that ever?

The scary thing is, this isn't even the worst of the stories (which are meant to...teach lessons...I suppose).

Another gem is the one where the boy realizes he loves his sister after she helps to save him from a fire....THAT SHE STARTED.

Or the one where the Mother starves because her children are selfish and she always feeds them first.
26th-Jan-2014 03:19 am (UTC)
And why is nobody actually taking care of Bobby? And where are his parents?! That story would have scraed the crap out of me as a kid!
27th-Jan-2014 10:47 pm (UTC)
That's a good question...where WERE his parents? Why did they just let him die alone in a hospital?
30th-Nov-2014 10:10 pm (UTC) - Still spooked 40 years later
i am on this site because last week I saw an old car and it gave me a flashback to the illustration in this story. This stupid book creeped me out as a child and it is still buried in the back of my brain.

So many things wrong. The driver apparently didn't stop and help. Bobby's parents are nowhere. There is clearly something wrong with Bobby for not knowing anything about Jesus. Tommy is more interested in what happens after Bobby dies than fighting to save him. And apparently Jesus would leave him behind in the hospital if he didn't put his hand up. Salvation only to those with a completed application form!!

I hate religious instruction for kids. Hate it. Who are these people who wrote this, and put it into the hands of children?

But that big car, it haunts me still.
1st-Dec-2014 06:13 am (UTC) - Re: Still spooked 40 years later
I recently learned that these were canon for Seventh Day Adventists (according to a SDA pastor friend).

I'm suspicious, as an adult, that Tommy smothered Bobby in the middle of the night. . .
4th-Feb-2016 01:08 am (UTC) - Jesus Understood
I never realized until now that the car was probably "Christine" from the Stephen King novel.
12th-Oct-2017 10:02 pm (UTC)
I read this story in the dentist's waiting room in the 1970's.

To this day, I always make sure that my hands and arms are flat on the bed, to prevent any premature and unintended "salvation death."
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