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Playground Preacher


ShackledNoMore
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I took my kids to the playground yesterday where there was an average sized crowd of kids and parents. My daughter started playing with another girl a year or two older than her, they were playing nice and having fun. The two of stop over where the other girl's mother is sitting, about 100 feet away from me, still no red flags. Then I see the woman with a book, talking to my daughter. It was a Bible!!!! My daughter is only six years old!!! It took me three or four seconds (instead of zero) to realize, since the situation had seemed totally benign and safe. I quickly strolled within earshot. By that time, she was just talking about how many chapters was in one of the books, and even if she had tried to give a hard sell before that, she would have only had five seconds max. Then my daughter and the other girl went back to play. Being more observant after that I noticed some earmarks of an overzealous fundy: the fish on the mother's tee shirt and the particular style in which the daughter seemed to be manicured. How offensive pulling out one's own brand of religious text on somebody's child right in a playground! Gotta be careful and pay attention.

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That sure would have been unsettling to me, SNM, but I can recall from my own childhood of a similar incident when I was about six years old. My cousin and I were playing, and we were accosted by a "missionary" in much the same way. Afterward, I pretty much forgot it. We were six years old, and not much of an attention span for that sort of thing. Hopefully your daughter will forget it quickly as well. It's just the idea, though, that a fundie would pounce on innocent kids that way. That's almost predatory. Damn!

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How offensive pulling out one's own brand of religious text on somebody's child right in a playground! Gotta be careful and pay attention.

 

Should that ever happen again and should I be nearby (pretty unlikely considering where I live, but hey, we can dream...), call me up and I'll give fundie bitch a taste of her own meds. Let's see how she likes it if I start reading the Poetic Edda to her brat :fdevil:

 

(Damn, I definitely want to do that! Where are fundies when you really want them close to you? :lmao: )

 

Yeah I know that such a thing, if I came over to the reich, may well get me in trouble... but we all have to die someday :wicked:

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I was 6 years old when the christians started working on me.

Nice, impressionable age. So eager to please the grownups.

By the time I was 7 I was so indoctrinated that I couldnt shit without my jesus.

 

They like their prey to be young and naive.

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Totally disgusting. Putting myself in your story brings out very visceral, violent feelings ... I would have a tough time handling that civilly ....

 

It just came to mind that it is true that schools are there to indoctrinate, not educate. If the opposite were true, this religious thinking, none of which can even be formed into a relevantly testable hypothesis, would be allowed. And under the same laxness that makes this possible, what other bullshit can seep in?

 

My fully concluded answer to that, in a nutshell, without outlining and illustrating each point (which would require a new thread), is that socialization is the enemy to free thought. I am a sociopath, and I consider that an accomplishment in thinking developed from clear perceptions.

 

But, speaking to your issue, this is just one of the many instances in which a parent hopes that their kid doesn't follow along with the herd. All you can do is your best as a parent, and it sounds like you certainly do.

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What is interesting is that many of those fundies haven't actually read their bible cover to cover. It's usually pretty easy to trip them up on some of the nastier stuff in the bible. That said, I would have interrupted and said to the kids quite loudly: "Oh, you don't want to hear any of that boring bible crap, do you? Go on and play." After all, to children, it is boring crap; hearing that from an adult reassures them that it's okay to be a kid and just want to play.

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This reminds me that my sister and I used to "witness" to other children at the park and other places when we were pretty young ourselves. We were taught the importance of it, but I was usually pretty shy and reluctant to do it, and my sis was better at it. I must have been only about 8 or so when we encountered a little boy on the sidewalk and started asking him if he had ever been saved. He said that once he was drowning and his brother saved him, and that answer puzzled me at first. I was thinking that he just didn't understand what we were talking about. Now that I consider it, it makes perfect sense that he would take it that way if he hadn't been indoctrinated like we were. He would try to think of an instance when someone had rescued him from danger. BTW, I'm pretty watchful of my own kids on the playground, but I remember one time my 8-yr old was talking to another child about Jesus and church. It's a little embarassing to me, but in this case, the little girl apparently had been to church and didn't seem to think it was strange for him to talk like that.

 

Sparkyone

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i am happy you handled that situation with intellect. i don't know if i could've, and i don't have any children. personally, that's a situation, where you could've went bitch on her ass, and verbally smacked the hell out of her, but you didn't good job.

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There are ways to raise your children in an environment you don't want them to adopt. Talk to them about your values and what you consider to be right and wrong. Inform them of things like religion and the Bible that you consider to be harmful. Explain your position on a level they can understand. Discuss any questions they might have. Increase the depth and detail of these discussions as they grow older. This is what people do who are obligated to raise their children in an environment different from what they want their children to accept when they grow up. If you also provide your children with an alternative social experience so that they will have friends who "believe like them" outside of school and the park that will be a major benefit. Children who are raised with different values but have no social life, other than the one the parents don't want for them, normally end up socializing with and marrying one of the people they were raised with.

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It may have been an honest mistake on the womans part. Most Christians assume 1) Everyones a Christian and/or 2) No one but Christians have ever heard of Jesus Christ and the Bible.

 

Plus, if your daughter said something like "What are you reading" you can't blame the women too much for talking about the Bible, as a book (with chapters and numbers of pages etc... which is totally harmless). But you made the right move in non-hostile swooping in to here what the women was saying. If the woman was like "YOUR A SINNER AND YOUR GOING TO HELL!" then by all means you should go and bitch her out and save your kid from the person trying to "save their soul"

 

B)

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