On child indoctrination and religion based education
Just a little rant I wrote. Constructive critism is always welcome.
Disclaimer: This article is in no way scientific, researched, or supported by anything. It is merely the opinions and ranting of an individual.
Everyone is born atheist. However, only a fortunate minority stay that way. For the rest of us, indoctrination into the religion or belief system of our parents is in order. Now depending on aforementioned religion, and the severity of the parent’s belief, this can have a varying degree of impact on the child. For those born into muslim families, particularly in the Middle East, this indoctrination will be virtually impossible to escape from in latter years. For those in a Western environment, leaving the belief of one’s parents may have largely varying results, depending again on the factors mentioned above. The purpose of this essay will be to explore and condemn, through my personal experiences, the morally reprehensible fact of child indoctrination. The focus will be on fundamentalist christianity, as this is of course what I experienced and likely the majority of the readers.
I had what can only be described as the extreme misfortune of being born into a christian family. One that could be viewed as fundamentalist. Now, while it is true there are far worse things that could happen to one, I’m still not fond of the fact. My earliest memories involve christianity in some form or another. I was engulfed in it before I had the slightest discernment of true and false, before I could question anything. I was sent to christian schools my whole life. I was never asked if I wished to attend such facilities, neither did I think anything of it. Even at five, I was steeped in it; I thought nothing of my christian surroundings. I have a clear memory at about five years of age, when I first recited the ‘sinners pray”. The teacher instructed us to follow what she did, and of course we did. I was never asked if I wanted to be a christian, or if I understood the implications of my acts. I was simply brainwashed before I had any inkling what I was doing. I would repeat this prayer many times through out my schooling career, no doubt a reinforcement of that initial indoctrination.
Why do people do this? No adult would be forced into something without understanding and accepting it. Why then, is it perfectly acceptable to prey on children who will trustingly believe what ever an adult says. Is religion that desperate as to take advantage of a child’s natural naivety and innocence? It is ironic how christians will decry muslims who bring their children up to never know anything else, while their child is busy learning creationism.
Now, woes betide those who, upon reaching their mature years, decide this isn’t for them. Many will attest to the fact that coming out the closet in regard to religious differences is difficult in the extreme. Many will be forced to live a lie, others cut off from their families. And again, because children were forced into something they didn’t understand. The child must then suffer because his parents decided he will believe what they do. Yes, you have free will, but don’t try using it.
Another aspect of this which I believe is equally important and detestable is religion based education. This is a magnificent tool for brainwashing. I spent 13 years at christian schools. The child is constantly bombarded with religion, surrounded by dozens who have been similarly indoctrinated, and usually free thought is quickly suppressed by teachers. I realize this may sound like an angry rant, I may seem like I want christian schools on par with concentration camps. However, one who has been freed can not help but be disgusted. Hundreds of children, forcibly fed the bible, compelled to pray, to recite pledges to god. I don’t believe any of them asked to be there. They have never known anything else and possibly never will. Is this christianity? Is this free will?
Now I was a great indoctrinate. I wholly accepted the message and never blinked or saw anything wrong with the system I was on. I had about 8 months of school left when I became an atheist. Then I saw everyone in new light. Going to a Christian school when you find yourself to be a vehement atheist is not easy. It is torturous. What upsets me the most though, is my education. I feel severely cheated. I often heard people say that when they became christian, they had a “thirst” for god. Well, when I became a atheist, I had a thirst for knowledge. This is were the problem is. My fundamentalist christian education was …lacking. I believe my science knowledge must be disturbingly sub-standard. After all, I was taught creationism as scientific fact. That dinosaurs and humans co-existed. That the flood was how fossils were created. That the earth is 6,000 years old. And I never doubted it for a second. Indeed, when required to write 200 words on why I didn’t believe evolution, I easily filled two pages. History too, was marred by what can best be called “skewed viewpoints”. Now that I am finished school, I have to go re-learn the truth. When it comes to things like evolution, I have minus knowledge. My science consistently ridiculed evolution. And I knew no better. I have biblical studies on my Grade 12 certificate. Seriously? What am I supposed to do with that? Now it’s up to me to find the desire and time to learn the truth. All because I was never asked, never given choice.
This is why I find child indoctrination so repulsive. It is all well for the parent, content that they are doing good, but chances are it will leave the child in a unhealthy situation. Free will is supposedly the foundation of christian god’s love, so why don’t his followers try applying some to their own children.
Psalm 14:1 "the fool hath said in his heart there is a God"-From a 1763 misprinted edition of the bible
This is getting redudnant. My patience with the unteachable[atheists] is limited.
Argument from Sadism: Theist presents argument in a wall of text with no punctuation and wrong spelling. Atheist cannot read and is forced to concede.