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Childhood Indoctrination In A Nutshell


bfuddled
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Tracie Harris is freaking RAD, IMO. She was on the Thinking Atheist this month and said this about the childhood indoctrination of children. I was literally in tears listening to it, it describes so succintly some of my feelings and struggles that I (and I'm sure many of you) encountered.

 

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Excellent vid. I understand my Christian friends better after watching it.

 

I didn't grow up in the church. I wasn't indoctrinated. I felt like this terrible person when I was in the church because I couldn't reach out and grab onto the certainty. I wasn't afraid of not believing, because I knew what that was like. I knew that I wasn't horrible, sinful, worthless with God. Since I didn't have that fear, I couldn't understand what my Christian friends were saying about those things.

 

To them the world is fear. The world represents uncertainty. Desire. Sin. Apart from God, they have nothing. To live in fear of The Lord is a blessing to them. God gives rules and he is black and white. God is easy; the world is hard. Thinking for yourself is hard. Especially when you've never been given the tools to do it or to do it well.

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Excellent vid. I understand my Christian friends better after watching it.

 

I didn't grow up in the church. I wasn't indoctrinated. I felt like this terrible person when I was in the church because I couldn't reach out and grab onto the certainty. I wasn't afraid of not believing, because I knew what that was like. I knew that I wasn't horrible, sinful, worthless with God. Since I didn't have that fear, I couldn't understand what my Christian friends were saying about those things.

 

To them the world is fear. The world represents uncertainty. Desire. Sin. Apart from God, they have nothing. To live in fear of The Lord is a blessing to them. God gives rules and he is black and white. God is easy; the world is hard. Thinking for yourself is hard. Especially when you've never been given the tools to do it or to do it well.

 

I think you hit it pretty square on. I often wonder what it would be like to grow up without the teaching that you are worth nothing apart from God. I actually was very lucky in that my parents also taught us to think for ourselves, and my dad has always been a bit of a rebel, which I think was passed down to us kids. Our church/parents also never really pushed the Hell doctrine (although it was taught as a literal place) as a means of control, so although that was a consideration for me growing up, I never really was afraid of it.

 

At this point me and my 2 siblings have deconverted, and my dad is on the way. My mom isn't quite sure, but they haven't gone to church in a few months. I look at my husband and his upbringing, which was very different from mine, in that his family is extremely dogmatic and judgemental and encourages obedience without questioning. I don't know that he ever will break free from the trap of Christian thinking, it is so deeply ingrained. I just keep trying to slowly and gently introduce things to him, but I think it will be a very long process, if it's even possible.

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