Jump to content

Religious Indoctrination Of Children


Skeptic
 Share

Recommended Posts

Something that I've been thinking about a lot lately is the indoctrination of children into their parents' religion. I just saw a documentary called Baby Bible Bashers (here's the link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7727492488443592976) that follows three kids--a 7 year old, a 9 y.o, and a 12 y.o.--who are all preachers. The nine year old was ordained a pastor. The 12 year old girl has a huge following in Brazil. All of them were "preaching" at young ages, at least two of them starting at three years old. Another documentary on this subject is Jesus Camp. The entire documentary is on YouTube. I know these are extreme examples, but children around the world are being brainwashed into believing these things at young ages, most at birth. I was one of those kids and I know a lot of us here were, too. My question is how could anyone condone this? I know christians believe that it's their duty as parents and they want to keep their kids' souls out of hell, but how could anyone possibly think that a three year old child could possibly comprehend abortion? Even the five to eleven year olds at the camp in Jesus Camp could not be expected by any reasonable person to understand abortion from a medical or emotional point of view. They're just told that women are killing their children and they feel horrible about it and parrot it back. That's how the child brain is set up from the time a child is born until around six years old. Kids who are brought up to depend on their elders to tell them what to believe stay in this dependent state for longer than that. How did this become normal in our society and why would anyone think that this is a good idea or that they're coming up with their own ideas when it's evident that they're just regurgitating what their parents and clergy tell them?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

but children around the world are being brainwashed into believing these things at young ages, most at birth. I was one of those kids and I know a lot of us here were, too.

 

That is one of the most hopeful statements I've ever heard. You WERE one of those kids. Apparently, such extreme training backfires and the kids eventually learn to think for themselves. At least some of them. It has been observed that some of the more extreme sects survive almost ninety percent on converts. The group I come from survives 99.99 percent on off-spring. (I think the rate of converts is lower than that but I am too poor at math to get it more accurate.) They may appear extreme to outsiders but what outsiders see is only skin-deep culture. In attitude they are similar to the Catholics, who also survive on off-spring (I think). It's the kind of religion that keeps members oriented to, and in contact with, the real world. They very intentionally do not teach children about God too young because they have seen since the 1800s the extravagances of the "spiritual" religions. However, getting out of their community is probably far more difficult than deconverting from such raving and ranting child preaching church. I'm not going to pretend that the drilling from birth that certain material culture is holy is not indoctrination.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember when a preacher once said that children aren't born into Christianity like they are in Islam, but even as a believer I thought that was bullshit. Even I knew that children were born and indoctrinated in Christianity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Basically, when someone agrees with the information being relayed, they call it "teaching values" and when they disagree, they call it "brainwashing." That's how they rationalize it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was one of these kids. From birth. My brother and sister. My nieces and nephews. All from birth (though to different degrees). I was baptized at age 27 days (Lutherans do baby baptisms and not just dedications). I count my "conversion" at around age 6 though Lutherans require catechism/confirmation later on to make things "official" (at least they used to...I assume they still do because there was no munching down on the SYMBOLIC, silly Catholics ;), body and blood until I did all that studying, passed some tests and made my position on what I believed on this whole "jesus" issue quite clear).

 

So I had 27 xian free days at the start of my life. I imagine that I got hauled to church and there was religion around me but I wasn't forced to be involved for nearly 4 whole weeks. That's a pretty good run I think.

 

REAL LATE EDIT: Not more than 10 minutes after posting this I happened across the hymnal I was given as a confirmation gift. It was dated May 22, 1983. I guess that marks the "official" date I became a xian in the eyes of the church. No wonder I don't recall this since Return of the Jedi came out 3 days later and was a much bigger event. :)

 

mwc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard Dawkins, in 'The God Delusion', says that he is sick of people saying things like, "those are muslim children", or "those are christian kids". He said it is more appropriate to say, "those are children of Muslim/christian parents". I agree with him. It is so stupid to lable them as something when they are far to young to make up their own minds as to what they believe. We can't expect them to make political or economic decisions, so why on earth do we not grant them the freedom to grow up and choose for themselves what they want to believe? Well, the answer to this is sad but true. They are indoctrinated and brainwashed as early as can be so that the chance for them to be lead astray, ie. see the truth, is greatly reduced. They have a far greater chance of staying in the group if they start at a younger age. All against their will, for at these young ages, they have no idea what their "wills" even actually are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Guest goodfaith

I have a child and always raised him to be open-minded. His father is a strong atheist, I was for many years a strong christian, but I always felt his religious beliefs, apart from educating him somewhat, were important to come from his own spirituality.

 

Funny though, he doesn't believe any of it, never a word. 'They're just stories' he would say from the youngest age.

 

Maybe you have to indoctrinate to believe it on the same level as other things we think...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow I haven't been here in a long time, I miss this community it is really good. :3:

 

This topic I see it in my own family, (cousins and their kids) it is sad that they do not know that there is something else other than Christianity, and their way of thinking may be wrong but the indoctrination goes so deep I don't know how far it is. What is sad because I did not follow "the Christian mindset" one of my older cousins and stuff accused me of being indoctrinated because I did not vote for the religious right in the election and voted Obama. It is funny what happens when you go against the grain and think for yourself something which Christianity or religion does not allow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't it funny that children who parrot good Christian beliefs are considered wise beyond their years, but when we ask what happens to non-Christian children who die, they say that they aren't old enough to be held accountable and know what's going on. :scratch:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The pastor of my last church used to say, "We must brainwash our kids for Christ". Even as a Christian I found that very disturbing. At that time the Southern Baptists for years had experienced more baptisms in the 7 to 12 year old range than any other age group. I would imagine that that is still the case.

 

Child indoctrination is not a new phenomenon. Remember, the Mother church, the Roman Catholics, have been baptizing infants literally from the onset of the church. It is one of the seven holy sacraments. The Jews have been practicing Bar and Bah Mitzvahs for centuries as a rite of passage preceded by intense religious instruction.

 

Arthur Schopenhauer says that children should not be exposed to philosophical or religious teachings until they are at least 16 years old and I heartily agree. Children do not have the ability to wrap their minds around complex ideas, to reason beyond a very elementary stage. Those child phenom "preachers" are nothing more than parrots. I would imagine that if asked to explain the theology of eschatology or soteriology they would begin to drool and possibly convulse.

 

On an aside, that same pastor of mine encouraged parents to not have an xmas with Santa. He felt that it would lead children to later disbelieve in Cheesesauce Crust when they came of age since they would eventually discover that the Jolly Old Fatman was a mythical creation. As an Atheist parent, I was very happy to continue the myth of Santa at xmas after I left the church and my faith. Although it was a tender sore moment for my son when he discovered that Santa was his parents, it was a very strong teaching moment in that we were able to teach him how cultures use myth and fantasy in some celebrations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Skeptic, the indoctrination of children also bugs me big time. Although there are many reasons I don't want to have children, one big reason is that I don't want them indoctrinated by their grandparents. I enjoy a wonderful relationship with my fundie parents. They are truly good people who mean well, so I just leave it alone (I haven't even told them about my deconversion and they are sweet enough to not say a word about the fact that I don't go to church). HOWEVER, if I were to have kids, all that would change. They would take every chance to tell my kids about Jeebus no matter what I said...all for good reason (in their minds) since they truly would be concerned about their eternal well being. I would end up having to go no contact and that is just not something I want.

 

Zaramon, what you said about Southern Baptist baptisms in the 7 to 12 year old range hit home for me. I was baptized at 6. Eeeeek!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Windstorm
Skeptic, the indoctrination of children also bugs me big time. Although there are many reasons I don't want to have children, one big reason is that I don't want them indoctrinated by their grandparents. I enjoy a wonderful relationship with my fundie parents. They are truly good people who mean well, so I just leave it alone (I haven't even told them about my deconversion and they are sweet enough to not say a word about the fact that I don't go to church). HOWEVER, if I were to have kids, all that would change. They would take every chance to tell my kids about Jeebus no matter what I said...all for good reason (in their minds) since they truly would be concerned about their eternal well being. I would end up having to go no contact and that is just not something I want.

 

Zaramon, what you said about Southern Baptist baptisms in the 7 to 12 year old range hit home for me. I was baptized at 6. Eeeeek!

 

 

Well, you are a lot nicer than me Gypsy79. If I had children and my parents attempted to indoctrinate them with that BS, you had better believe that I would make certain that they would never come in contact with my children again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, you are a lot nicer than me Gypsy79. If I had children and my parents attempted to indoctrinate them with that BS, you had better believe that I would make certain that they would never come in contact with my children again.

 

Oh yeah, no doubt I would do the same thing. I would definitely cut off all contact. That is why I am so glad I don't want kids; it will never be an issue. *Sighs in relief*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.