Thursday, May 31, 2007

Child Abuse

I finally made it all the way thru Jesus Camp -- the documentary about the indoctrination of young kids by evangelical parents.

It's even scarier than I thought. My only hope is that those that follow this "formula" are so small a minority in our society that they will eventually be treated as the pariahs that they are ... and hopefully brought up on charges of child abuse.

I watched in horror as a small boy -- no more than 8 or 9 years old -- struggles with his disbelief and doubt in a room filled with tongue-speaking nut-cases determined to convince him that "his doubt" is evil and that absolute belief in Jesus is the only thing that can save him.

You can translate the pastor's exhortations: "put aside reason ... don't be skeptical... join all of your friends and just believe whatever us grown-ups tell you"

What a wonderful life-lesson.

Adults who indoctrinate children in this way are not only screwing up the kids -- for life... They are helping to screw up our society. As I recently posted on the Intellectual Insurgent's blog: many in our society value 'belief' over rationality and hence genuflect at the alter of tyranny. The relationship is so obvious (and has been demonstrated countless times throughout history) that it shouldn't even be necessary to repeat: a populace that is willing to believe in "anything" is ripe for the tyranny of a charismatic leader. Teaching children at such a young age that reasoned approaches to understanding -- such as the scientific method -- are not only inferior to faith but dangerous is a path to the dark ages.

We need another Enlightenment -- a realization that the human mind is capable of wondrous things, not the least of which is using reason, logic and observation to glean truths from not only our physical world, but the world of ethics and morality. Because if there are truths in the world of morality and ethics -- and there are -- they are discernible by the very mental processes that allow rational people to recognize real moral teachings (such as the golden rule) and dismiss bogus ones (like stoning your neighbor for working on the sabbath).

It is simply a sign of mental illness -- or brainwashing in this case -- when an individual truly believes that someone should be punished or held in disdain for breaking one of god's pseudo-rules.


mrsleep said...

If parents have one responsibility in life it is to teach their children to think for themselves, and to make informed decisions (don't take ANYTHING blindly as fact). Think it over and draw your own conclusion.

Now, this will lead to a number of conflicts between parent and child, since children will not view everything the same way as their parents.

Rarely did we force our children to do things because "we said so!!". When we did give them a directive, we always explained what our basis of reasoning way.

Yes, this is scary.

Putting blinders on, eventually comes back to bite you in the ass.

skip sievert said...

C.B.N. or Christian Broadcast Network expounds on like themes.
Minister John Hagee, is a proponent of like bigoted and mind numbing concepts.
These people are pumping up the next war also.
Israel promotes and praises these assholes.
These people want to destroy Israels 'enemy's'
Bush is a member of that club.
Countdown to chaos.
We are going to do the crash test.
Buckle up.

Reign of Reason said...

What's also troublesome is that these idiots paint 'belief' as the foundation of our republic... as opposed to the enlightenment values that really got this country going.

The most important thing you can teach any human is to use the grey-matter between his/her ears to evaluate the world around him.

These people simply can't see they are advocating a society of automata that can be easily manipulated by any charismatic who comes along.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

These people have always been around and will always be around. It's just their religion that changes. Today it's evangelical Christianity, tomorrow it's patriotism and the day after it's capitalism.

No less brainwashing involved in one or another.

skip sievert said...

There will always be fools and idiots around yes insurgent. It does not help to have an educational system that encourages their progress though, and bases many parts of itself on outright lies and distortion.
A good basic education without the B.S. would be an improvement. That is not available now in the public domain under the present 'system'.

Reign of Reason said...

Good point II...

The repugs (and dems to a lessor extent) have the same blind-faith in capitalism... they seem to treat it tenents as religious dogma as opposed as a means to an end.

I'll have to blog on this when I get a chance... Thanks!

The education system is also a problem -- more and more students seem to think studying business and getting an MBA is not only gonna make them money, but somehow "help" society... What a crock... I'm biased, but where are the engineering students? The architects -- people that actually want to make something??

Most are foreign transplants. Tells you something about our values.