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How Far Would You Go?


Mister Pappy
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My Friends,

 

I am a firm believer that our children are vulnerable to influences other than our own. I pride myself in teaching mine to think instead of what to think, but I cannot protect them from the world outside when I'm not there. This causes me a significant amount of stress on occasion.

 

I also believe that it is a basic human right of every child to grow up with an undamaged mind - one free from religious molestation in particular. Nothing gets me riled up more than someone "feeling up" my little girl's brains. I suppose a physical molestation would have the same effect on me, but I am not sure it would be as harmful to the child.

 

In this poll, I am not asking, what is the RIGHT thing to do, what is the legal thing to do, or even what is the socially acceptable course of action. I'm asking, what would you do. How far would you go in these instances? Please elaborate some on your responses if you don't mind.

 

Pappy

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My First Approach in all these instances would be to make sure the other party understands my feelings and beliefs on the matter and that they respect the way I raise my child. Only if they continue doing the same thing after that initial discussion will I go further. Might get violent LOL

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I have gone through the chain of command before when my younger son was a teenager, until I found the right person, only to have my son told, he can't go to church at all because I got mad. That wasn't exactly what I said though. I reaffirmed what I put in writing and that was I did not want him exposed to Evangelical Fundamentalist teachings, but he had the freedom to attend a service like an Episcopal one if he wanted, but not Evangelical. They supposedly didn't know what Evangelical Fundamentalist was. :rolleyes:

 

I have also talked to a friend who was pushing her Rapture/End Times books (what are they called again?). She asked me to read one. I couldn't get past the first chapter or two before I threw a fit about it to her. She didn't push them on my sons again.

 

As for my mother, I told her, "My sons maybe grown (they were 18 and 20 at the time), but you stay away from them with your beliefs" because she was trying to say my younger son was demon possessed, needed a healing service, and my older son was going to hell for not being Xian (my fault of course). She knew I was VERY serious.

 

So yes, I make my voice heard and I would go as far as suing a school if I had to, but not a baseball bat or anything like that.

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As far as the school situation is concerned, I would scream bloody murder and demand that the teacher be censured for her proselytizing. I would tell them I was going to bring this behavior to the attention of the FFRF ( Freedom from Religion Foundation ) to see if they felt they wanted to take legal action. I would not be satisfied until there was a written apology from the administration stating what their policy was going to be about assuring that it's staff and faculty do not engage in religious proselytizing and grandstanding.

 

With the parents of your child's friend, I would wait until next time the child was invited over and before giving permission, call the parents and say "I would appreciate it if you would not try to convert my child to your religion or even mention it. "You have your beliefs and we have ours. Would you want me to try to teach Islam to your children and tell them they are bound for hell because they don't believe Mohammad is Allah's prophet?"

 

Chances are though, your child may not be invited back after that.

 

With the grandparents, I feel I would just have to be direct but gentle so they know how I feel.

 

In today's religious climate, I doubt either approach would be very fruitful. There is no stricture against discussing politics or religion in our culture any more. The friend's parents, the school teachers and especially grandparents all feel their belief is much more important than the respect for boundaries between people. Fundies and evangelicals feel commanded and thus justified in violating your rights because the word of the Lord trumps you, your family and your dignity as human beings. They feel persecuted when they are rebuked for being rude, disrespectful and presumptuous. They see their motivation as one of love, as if that justifies walking all over people.

 

You are in a thorny situation my friend. No one could criticize you for not saying a word. Nor could a person criticize you for raising hell. I hope that in all things your children will be open with you about what they encounter and open to you about processing the experiences in a skeptical and rational way.

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My answers were all what would be my first responses. After that, I'd do whatever it took, short of physical violence. I'd also be sure my kids would know the reasons for my actions.

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I chose the most reasonable ones because I tend to reasonable until pushed to far.

 

The teacher would be reported on first instance. If it happened again a lawsuit would ensue probably with help from the ACLU and Freedom from Religion.

 

Parents would basically be told to not talk about it unless asked. This may acutally be an issue later as my sister in married to a pastor, but they live in CA :shrug:

 

Family friend would be told first, if it happened again kid would not be allowed to stay over again..their children could come over but it would not be recipocated.

 

Most likely there would also be many discussion about what different people believe.

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Thankfully for me all these scenarios are highly unlikely but assuming they did happen my reactions would be the following:

 

School friend: If my child's friend's parents preached to them I would go ballistic. I would verbally abuse them, demand an apology and warn them if anything like this happened again there will be consequences (legal ones).

 

Class teacher: Go to the school and demand an apology and the resignation of the teacher.

 

Christian parents: Since my parents are not Christians this shouldn't be a problem (unless something happens in the future) but assuming they were and I had children and they came home with stories of hell, I would click it. I would tell my parents off and tell them they have no right to indoctrinate my children with their beliefs and if they want continued interaction with them, they better cut down on the Jesus talk.

 

If however my child wanted to go to church or read a Bible or whatever due to the influence of school friends (not their parents or other adults) my reaction wouldn't be so "violent". I would be open to them experimenting and "trying" it out for themselves and letting them wak them selves through it.

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School friend & family: Since I know it's likely that if I approached the parents or the child my child would become ostracized from someone they enjoyed being with, I'd probably reinforce my beliefs with my kid. I tend to have to do this a lot. My son is only 4 and is being indoctrinated by his grandparents, but it's because it's literally the only time they will watch him. He comes home saying "God loves us." I answer "Some people believe there's a god, some don't. It's OK to not believe in a god." He answers "No, it's not." I think it's mostly 4 year old 'independence' talk because he does the same thing when I tell him the grass is green not blue.

 

The school, now that's another issue. I'd firstly reinforce my beliefs with my son. Then, I'd contact the principal and take it from there.

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I'm disappointed at no options being "I'd TALK TO MY KIDS, and show them why Christianity doesn't make sense".

 

Because, apart from school preaching which is illegal where I live, none of that stuff would make me angry. In lack of better options to choose from, I chose "do nothing" in those cases.

I realize that christianity in Norway is obviously something else than it is in the USA...

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I'm disappointed at no options being "I'd TALK TO MY KIDS, and show them why Christianity doesn't make sense".

I was taking it for granted that this measure would have been taken on a regular basis throughout the child's life already but you make a good point.

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My Friends,

 

I am a firm believer that our children are vulnerable to influences other than ourselves. I pride myself in teaching mine to think instead of what to think, but I cannot protect them from the world outside when I'm not there. This causes me a significant amount of stress on occasion.

 

I also believe that it is a basic human right of every child to grow up with an undamaged mind - one free from religious molestation in particular. Nothing gets me riled up more than someone "feeling up" my little girl's brains. I suppose a physical molestation would have the same effect on me, but I am not sure it would be as harmful to the child.

 

In this poll, I am not asking, what is the RIGHT thing to do, what is the legal thing to do, or even what is socially acceptable course of action. I am asking, what would you do. How far would you go in these instances? Please elaborate some on your responses if you don't mind.

 

Pappy

 

It's getting interesting as our daughter is sixteen, which is an age when peers become so important to a kid. We raised our daughter to be a critical, independent thinker, and she has not disappointed. We attend a Unitarian church and she had an excellent grounding in the religious education program there for a couple years. However, last year she fell in with a school mate who is Christian. She joined the soccer team, before I learned that the assistant coach was a Young Life leader for this friend's group. Soon our daughter was asking to go to these fun social events, lead by Young Life.

 

Teenagers can be tricky, and often the more a parent forbids something, the more attractive it can seem. We allowed her to attend various YL functions. After a while I got concerned and spoke with the YL leaders. I found them to be non completely candid. I told them I was concerned about the way they emotionally manipulate children and asked how ethical they felt this was. We had a few conversations, and I eventually asked them to not be in touch with my child any more. These days, there are so many ways your teen can be accessed by adults or other kids that are beyond your sight and hearing - via internet, cell phone, texting, at school, at soccer practice >:-|

 

My daughter and I have had some interesting conversations. She now has the most recent Bart Ehrman book in her room, though I do not think she is really that interested in theology issues - more in social interactions, which YL exploits.

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Ironically enough, as a substitute teacher in the public school system here in the Bile Belt, we were all told in a meeting, that we are not to tell kids they are going to hell because it is abuse. I thought, "Well, there's a score for the public school system."

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You didn't specify how old the child was. So much of how I would deal with it would depend on how more mature and independent she was becoming. Obviously someone telling my 7 year old about people burning in hell would elicit quite a degree of difference in response than someone telling my 14 year old that, not that either is acceptable. So what ages are we talking here?

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I also believe that it is a basic human right of every child to grow up with an undamaged mind - one free from religious molestation in particular.

 

I can empathize with your intentions, but I'm not a believer in that right. Your kids, as everyone else, will grow up in the real world and will be exposed to all kinds of legitimate and illegitimate claims and versions of reality. You can't protect them from exposure, nor should it be your primary goal.

 

For example, you win this war and keep them from any religious indoctrination. They still will be faced with a world that is complicated, where people don't tell the truth, where there are agendas, political and otherwise. Protecting them from influences just leaves them vulnerable to other influences. Why not just focus on giving them the tools to reason with so that they can address what life throws at them in a reasonable and responsible manner rather than try and protect them from everything.

 

It amounts to holding back an ocean by trying to build a dam or just building them a ship that allows them to sail.

 

JMO

 

Ps, consider starting them with some critical thinking guides. There are a lot of books and other tools out there.

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So what ages are we talking here?

Just personalize it to fit your particular situation. These are all hypothetical anyway. My girls are 9 and 12. They both had birthdays this month. This hasn't happened to my children - yet, and I hope it doesn't. I am just exploring what different people would do if faced with it - with their own unique set of circumstances.

 

I also believe that it is a basic human right of every child to grow up with an undamaged mind - one free from religious molestation in particular.

I can empathize with your intentions, but I'm not a believer in that right. Your kids, as everyone else, will grow up in the real world and will be exposed to all kinds of legitimate and illegitimate claims and versions of reality. You can't protect them from exposure, nor should it be your primary goal.

Why can't I, and why shouldn't I? I can protect my children from sexual molestation. I should, and I do. Why not protect them from molestation of the mind, which I consider to be equally as harmful?

 

 

Protecting them from influences just leaves them vulnerable to other influences.

Should we protect our children from drugs? Alcohol abuse? Sexual promiscuity? Why should we if something else is just going to pop up to fill its place?

 

Why not just focus on giving them the tools to reason with so that they can address what life throws at them in a reasonable and responsible manner rather than try and protect them from everything.

I do focus on giving them these tools, but doesn't it make more sense to protect them while they assemble these tools and learn to use them properly before tossing them into the "real world"?

 

 

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,,, free from religious molestation in particular. Nothing gets me riled up more than someone "feeling up" my little girl's brains. I suppose a physical molestation would have the same effect on me, but I am not sure it would be as harmful to the child.,,,

 

Interesting that you put it this way. That is very much how I felt about my daughter when she was being worked over by these Young Life evangelical fundamentalists. Sullied.

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,,, free from religious molestation in particular. Nothing gets me riled up more than someone "feeling up" my little girl's brains. I suppose a physical molestation would have the same effect on me, but I am not sure it would be as harmful to the child.,,,

 

Interesting that you put it this way. That is very much how I felt about my daughter when she was being worked over by these Young Life evangelical fundamentalists. Sullied.

And you are right to feel that way. Folks put a whole lot of stock, and rightfully so, on the physical virginity or purity of their children, but I feel that the spiritual virginity and purity of those same children is equally important. Both aspects are important and both can cause long term damage if exploited at a young age - just my opinion.

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,,, free from religious molestation in particular. Nothing gets me riled up more than someone "feeling up" my little girl's brains. I suppose a physical molestation would have the same effect on me, but I am not sure it would be as harmful to the child.,,,

 

Interesting that you put it this way. That is very much how I felt about my daughter when she was being worked over by these Young Life evangelical fundamentalists. Sullied.

And you are right to feel that way. Folks put a whole lot of stock, and rightfully so, on the physical virginity or purity of their children, but I feel that the spiritual virginity and purity of those same children is equally important. Both aspects are important and both can cause long term damage if exploited at a young age - just my opinion.

 

Yes but as the above poster said, there is a whole big ol' world out there and much as we want to protect our children from it, it jut is not possible.

 

I grew up in a metropolitan area and was approached by every single kind of cult out there. EST, Hari Krishna, blah blah blah. Fortunately, I had learned to trust my own mind when I rejected the superstitions of my mother's religion.

 

I trust my daughter has now seen first hand the manipulation and psychological mind games of a cult. Which will help her in the future, because there is sure to be more.

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I trust my daughter has now seen first hand the manipulation and psychological mind games of a cult. Which will help her in the future, because there is sure to be more.

She is obviously old enough now to defend herself. If so, I agree totally. We can't hold their hand forever, but at 9 and 12 years old, I don't let my girls cross busy streets alone, let alone navigate the crazy world of religious propagandists without my protection. I may be an overly protective father, but I don't think so. I know what the consequences to the human psyche are, when a defenseless mind is ravaged, and the papa bear in me is alive and well.

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I also believe that it is a basic human right of every child to grow up with an undamaged mind - one free from religious molestation in particular.

I can empathize with your intentions, but I'm not a believer in that right. Your kids, as everyone else, will grow up in the real world and will be exposed to all kinds of legitimate and

Vigile ... do you believe it is a basic human right of every child to grow up with an undamaged physical body - free from sexual molestation? If so, how do you define the differences between sexual molestation and emotional molestation? Why does one merit the right to be protected from and the other not?

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I have also talked to a friend who was pushing her Rapture/End Times books (what are they called again?).

I think you are talking about the "Left Behind" series of 16 books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins - scare tactics at their finest. Those books remind me of the "hell house" crap that some evangelical churches put on. Blah! This stuff is all designed to scare teens to Christ. There is no limit to the extremes these idiots will go in an effort to persuade others to become part of their cult.

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Why can't I, and why shouldn't I? I can protect my children from sexual molestation. I should, and I do. Why not protect them from molestation of the mind, which I consider to be equally as harmful?

 

Because you aren't facing literally millions of sexual predators, but you are facing millions of potential xians who might seek to influence your kids directly and indirectly. Moreover, your kids can't get molested by them if you give them tools to reason with. Finally, these reasoning tools will help them in virtually all areas of their lives.

 

Should we protect our children from drugs? Alcohol abuse? Sexual promiscuity? Why should we if something else is just going to pop up to fill its place?

 

You protect them from these things by teaching them, not by running behind them all day making sure they aren't approached by drug dealers and horny boyfriends. What I'm suggesting here is no different. Teach them, don't run around complaining to all their friends and friend's parents who might try and exercise free speech with your kids.

 

But if you're really serious about protecting them from it all, why not just move to Russia? :D There are literally no zealots running around here trying to spread their religion.

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I also believe that it is a basic human right of every child to grow up with an undamaged mind - one free from religious molestation in particular.

I can empathize with your intentions, but I'm not a believer in that right. Your kids, as everyone else, will grow up in the real world and will be exposed to all kinds of legitimate and

Vigile ... do you believe it is a basic human right of every child to grow up with an undamaged physical body - free from sexual molestation? If so, how do you define the differences between sexual molestation and emotional molestation? Why does one merit the right to be protected from and the other not?

 

Contributing ideas to your kids isn't molesting them, that's just the spin you choose to put on it. There is a right to free speech in the country and religious speech is protected. If your kid's teacher tries it, you have recourse, and you should take it; I would. But if your kids friends talk to them about religion and if your friend's parents try and ask them to church, your girls are just being exposed to the reality out there that most Americans face. It's not molestation even if you choose to call it that.

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Because you aren't facing literally millions of sexual predators, but you are facing millions of potential xians who might seek to influence your kids directly and indirectly.

So ... because the numbers of those who might wish to molest my children's minds is great, I should concede?

 

Moreover, your kids can't get molested by them if you give them tools to reason with.

Shouldn't I give some consideration to whether or not these "tools" have been assimilated into their abilities before expecting them to be able to use them with at least a minimum amount of skill?

 

You protect them from these things by teaching them

I repeat the above by asking if one should not allow some period of time for this "teaching" to become effective?

 

Teach them, don't run around complaining to all their friends and friend's parents who might try and exercise free speech with your kids.

You have got to be kidding me ... free speech? Are you saying that it is the "free speech right of these fucktards to attempt to "speak" their bullshit into the minds of my children?

 

But if you're really serious about protecting them from it all, why not just move to Russia?

That, and the fact that you have no children, explains a lot. I am an American, and this is my home and theirs. I shouldn't have to move to a different country to secure their rights. Vigile ... thank you for getting my hackle feathers up in a bunch. It doesn't happen often. I like it.

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Contributing ideas to your kids isn't molesting them, that's just the spin you choose to put on it.

That's not spin. That's reality. Would you consider it spin if some grimy old man decided to "contribute ideas" to your child about how all children should jerk old men off? I don't think so. What is your major malfunction?

 

It's not molestation even if you choose to call it that.

Obviously you have never been brainwashed by adults when you were young. Don't speak about things you know nothing of. Dude, you really piss me off! I can't believe how much I enjoy it though. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif You need to take the whole Russian country and pound it up your ass! Damn that felt good. I really do like you and want to hear more of your philosophy about free speech and such.

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