Monday, May 30, 2011

Anti-theist complaints: Indoctrination of children

[Disclaimer: When Lent started, I figured I would do a whole bunch of "Snarky Theology" blog posts, followed by "Evil Religion" blogs. And, while I was at it, I asked Matt, friend of this blog, artist, atheist, and a few other things, to generate a list of what he found to be problematic with religion. He gave me a few.

I promised him I would use it. And I keep my promises

This is the last week I'm doing what my friend Jason calls "high-intellectual" blog posts. They are time consuming, draining, a lot of work, and I'm not sure they are at all entertaining. They've garnered some response, much of it hate mail.

My replies are long-winded, so this may take a few posts.

If you find yourself here by accident, or have no interest in the topic, I invite you to look around. Our most popular blogs are in the sidebar, as are the short stories, what this book is about, and we have entries on why anyone can enjoy this book, any politics involved, spytech, and even a section for fans of Sherlock Holmes and science fiction. If we don't have something you like ... wait five minutes. :)

Anyway, onto the complaint ....]

Indoctrination of children

I'm half with atheists on this one. Evangelicals run Jesus camps, which are really freaking creepy. I think “Children of the Corn.”

However, I know someone who went to a Jesus camp, skipped out on all of the camp stuff, and is a believer despite those particular schmucks.

And for Catholics … oh good God. This isn't indoctrination, this is drivel … not because of the ceremonies, etc, but my friend Matt once pointed out, I haven't found any Catholic school that explains what the hell the ceremonies are for! I only know reasons for them because I have a father with a PhD in Catholic Philosophy, I've a graduate degree in history, and I had to do most of my own fricking research. Catholics don't indoctrinate their children in the faith, they educate their children … badly.

Besides, if Catholics  indoctrinated kids, we'd have a better retention rate....

What? You think I ran all of these apologetics blogs to explain stuff to non-Catholics? Please, the Catholic educational system, like all private schools, are leaps and bounds over public schools ....

Except in teaching Catholicism!!!!!

Yeah, anyway....

Anyway, at the end of the day, I would like to see children raise kids without religion. And I mean any religion, even if it's the religion of santa, or "won't get better if you pick at it", or even "kisses make it better" and "your face will freeze that way."

I think I can summarize a world without religion like this. It is an exchange from Terry Prachett's novel Hogfather -- where the Hogfather is the equivalent of Santa Clause. In a world run by the materialists of the day, I'd like to see them answer it.

Death: Humans need fantasy to *be* human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.
Susan: With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?
Death: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.
Susan: So we can believe the big ones?
Death: Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing.
Susan: They're not the same at all.
Death: You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder, and sieve it through the finest sieve, and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet, you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some, some rightness in the universe, by which it may be judged.
Susan: But people have got to believe that, or what's the point?
Death: You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?

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