I just want some more opinions on childhood indoctrination. 
He more I read, the more I'm around my kids and others, 
The more I realize how vulnerable the situation is: infuriates me 
That adults willfully plant this fantasy in kids heads!
What can we do?
I see it as psychological abuse. 
How do we confront believers?
These kids have rights! 
They have no way of defending themselves 
From this "Santa-like-God" that you keep always
(after deciding the other Santa was just make believe)!!!

Tags: Childhood, Indoctrination

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I'm heading towards an extreme example, but here it goes. I agree with your sentiment about pain. Experiencing pain growing up is very useful later on in life. As a 13 year wrestler, football player, and the 2nd youngest of 9 cousins, growing up on a farm, I experienced pain. As an adult, the times that I've been put into pain, I never lose my mind and focus on the pain or the incoming pain, I can still do everything possible to prevent it.

Been down on Motorcycles once over 100 mph, second at 3 mph ( mf'r 3 mph!) At 100 mph I tucked in tight and the fairing and motor took the damage. I was knocked off an elevator mast to where I was holding with one hand 115 feet up and calmly signalling the crane with the radio in the second hand. (Crane operator didn't switch to a slower clutch and I had no where to go.) The knowledge that I can deal with the pain, so let's focus, has saved my life multiple times. Now, I'm not suggesting we induce pain on childrens... but there is a pay back. But my work life has been a bit on the edge compared to most.
The world and life within it is what it is. It is valuable that children learn to live within and deal with reality on reality's terms. However, a helmet on a bycyclist is not impeding that learning experience. It is protecting them from serious harm. The issue is really not to shield a child from the realities they face, but to protect them from the harm that might end or severely cripple a successful life in that reality.
Your argument is invalid because you misspelled bicycle. :D

Draw the line wherever it suits you as a parent. The next parent might say elbow pads protect from potential staph infections. Both are equally lethal and likely. I have no stats on the likelihood, but I've had Staph three times and never bounced me noggin on a bike. I'm suggesting that sending them to school dressed for hockey to cross the street makes them feel invincible. Imagine dating for the first time as an adult, getting crushed and not being able to work well for a week. Pain is valid preparation for the world. Someone trademark that for me!
Your argument is invalid because you misspelled bicycle.

Lost on a technicality! Dammit!

I don't think that drawing the line anywhere is equally valid on all issues. There are stats showing injuries, especially head injuries, to children riding bike sickles. We know that helmets reduce these injuries. A child suffering brain trauma due to a bike related accident is not learning anything valuable. Accidents happen and many times there is nothing to learn from them other than that they can happen, they are unpredictable, and if you wore your helmet you wouldn't be staring vacantly and drooling on a hospital gown.

I agree with you that there is such a thing as sheltering a child too much and I agree with you that it is not beneficial to that child. Maybe helmet laws cross the line and maybe they don't. But what about seat belt laws? Are they preventing people from learning the valuable lesson of kissing the windshield in a crash?

Your move. ;-)
is believing,god,satan,angel,heaven,hell,Reality, or a Big Fat Lie? when is lying to a Child,acceptable,in your opinion?

I'm not sure who you are asking, but...

If you believe what you are telling your children is true even though it probably is not, are you really lying?

I think overtly lying to children is not acceptable in most cases (I won't commit to all cases since I have not pondered it enough). However, what I find unacceptable and what I think should be illegal are not all the same things. And the only practical and systematic way to immediately and directly intervene on behalf of children and against their parents is through the legal system.
I also believe it's abuse. I can't say much more than that. I agree with Dawkins' take on the situation, where he asserted that religious indoctrination of any sort is denying a child the right to experience reason as a method to look at the world and is therefore a form of abuse.
I agree with Dawkins, also. But the real question is what level of abuse is it beneficial for society to intervene, i.e. through law.

I don't thinkt that religious indoctrination reaches that level. The argument can be well made that society would benefit with a more rational public, but the price is individual rights and I don't think the justification to trump those is there.
Well, ideally, I wish we *could* intervene, but I can agree that most religious 'indoctrination' does not constitute as intervene-worthy. SOME does, however, such as Mormon living complexes that still practice religious polygamy and force pre-teens into marriage and sex with a man with several wives already, usually much older than herself. Honor killings in Islam should also be prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law, where young teenage girls are brutally murdered by their male family members for experimenting with western tastes (this does occur in America, yes).
Well, I think that under the age of consent or honor killings certainly falls under current law in most societies. But the most insidious nature of indoctrination is of the moderate kind that the law doesn't prohibit and in many cases protects.

It is a tough subject for atheists that agree with Dawkins' assesment of an abusive label. I count myself in his (and your) camp.
Are you sure that you responded to the right part of this conversation? I'm struggling to see how your remarks reflect anything that Reggie or Ava have said in their exchange.
Moderate Christians teach children that their lives are practically worthless and their real life begins in heaven after they die. So, nothing matters in this world except obeying and worshiping Jesus. You call yours murder, I call mine enslavement. Calling them these things makes it much more cut and dry so we can declare them evils.

But, beliefs can not be legislated. Beliefs probably should not be in any cases. Of course, your example has incitement of violence in it. That is illegal here in the States.
I actually just wrote about this on my blog. I have two small kids and extemely religious in-laws, well here's the blog post if you're interested...


My relationship with my mother-in-law has been, well, nightmarish from the very beginning. I’ve tried very hard to be the bigger person over the years, but the ups and downs, hopes and hurts have caused so much damage. A few years ago we allowed her back in our lives and being older and stronger it was actually not that bad. She would push me, but I had learned to push back a little just to remind her of the respect that I expected, and deserved. It took a long time before I felt comfortable leaving the kids alone with her, but I think that was mostly because my wounds were still pretty fresh from the debacle she caused at the hospital when I had my first child (that is a long story that I would rather not go into at the moment because it tends to get me extremely riled up and it’s not that important to this blog anyway). I didn’t really feel like the kids wouldn’t be safe with her. She did love them and I could tell that. So eventually we started letting them babysit. I’m not sure how it started, but about a year ago they started picking them up every Sunday for church. The kids had fun there and my husband and I enjoyed getting to see a movie and have lunch alone together once a week. Occasionally, against my better judgment, we would let them stay with them all day and go to the Sunday night service with them as well. She would practically beg Daniel and although I did not like them spending that much time there, I knew it meant a lot for him to be able to gift the gift of time with his children to his parents.

So one day I was at the grocery store with the kids and I always was letting them pick out apples with me. I reminded them that they could not eat their apples until we got home and washed them. Jordan urgently said, “We have to pray over it too”. I was kind of surprised. I wasn’t surprised so much by what she said, but by how she said it. It is her nature to be overly serious and obsessed with rules, but I didn’t understand what made her feel like this was a serious rule that need to be followed, rather than just something she saw adults doing and wanted to copy. If it had been lighthearted and cute I would have smiled and agreed with her. Without really thinking about it yet I replied, “No honey. You can pray over it if you want to, but you don’t HAVE to”. She angrily told me I was wrong and I quickly realized I was about to get into a religious debate with my 5 year old daughter in the middle of Walmart. So I let it go until we got to the car. I then asked her why she felt to strongly that she NEEDED to pray over her food before she ate it. With much attitude she answered, “Because Grammy said that if you don’t pray over your food before you eat it will make you sick”. I wasn’t really surprised, but hearing her say that was a little like a punch to the gut. Just the simple fact that she valued Grammy’s word over mine was too much for my super sensitive heart. Looking back I know that’s ridiculous given her age, but at the time I was crushed. I asked her why she believed Grammy and not me. Her answer was that Grammy was old and old people know things. This sent me from heartbrokenness into suppressed laughter. I literally debated with her all the way home. I explained that I felt it was important to be thankful for the food we are given and that gratitude should be something we express as much as possible, but that praying over your food does not change the food in any way. I told her that if she forgot to pray over her food she would not get sick. I reminded her of all the food she had eaten that hadn’t been prayed over that had not made her sick. She was so stubborn and if I hadn’t seen the apparent fear on her face I probably would have dropped it. I hated the thought of that kind of fear being cultivated in my little girls mind. It actually angered me. After getting home and calling my mom for reinforcement we were able to get her to understand why Grammy believed things that didn’t always make sense and that she couldn’t believe everything she told her. Now I struggle with this, because my belief is that we should have the freedom to create our own belief system. I don’t want to tell my kids what is right and what is wrong when it comes to spirituality. The problem with that is that my job as a parent is to protect my kids and knowing firsthand how harmful religious fear is I cannot sit back and allow it to take over my child’s life. I’m not saying that her life was being taken over by fear, but I felt that it was just the beginning of what I had always feared would come from too much exposure to church – religious brainwashing. That may sound harsh, but I was not going to wait for the day that my daughter came home crying that her mommy and daddy were going to go to hell because they didn’t go to church, etc. When Daniel got home we all talked about it and I think hearing her Daddy say that Grammy was wrong was very helpful for her. You could see the relief on her face when she finally accepted what we were telling her, that her health was not dependent on whether or not she remembered to say a prayer over her food. Needless to say, we agreed that the kids stop going to church with their grandparents and that’s when I realized that we needed to make more of an effort to explain what religion was to them. My mom bought them some books on world religions and I try and explain it the best way you can whenever they have questions or something comes up. They still spend time with their Grammy, but not nearly as often and thankfully there have been no further incidents, of the religious kind anyway.

I believe that the greatest gift we can give our children is simply having an open mind. Love is acceptance and acceptance is all anyone really wants in a relationship. We teach them right from wrong (the way that we see it) and then when they get older we should find joy in the way that they choose to see things. I can’t say I would be happy if one of my girls became a strict religious follower, but I would be proud of her nonetheless, and proud of myself for not pushing my own beliefs on her. The freedom to go on my own spiritual journey was a gift my parents gave me a few years ago and I know that because of that, my children’s path will be a little less bumpy, and I’m excited to see where it takes them.

http://christinapopeblog.blogspot.com

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