Religious groups educating your children about God. The effects of religion on children.
I have just returned from a humanist brunch, attended by members of the British humanist association, Atheists NI, Northern Ireland humanists, secular atheism and yeah basically every atheist form of the Judean’s people’s front and the people’s front of Judea etcera etcera (for those of you who don’t get the reference, watch the movie Life of Brian).
It was here I met a married couple (the husband being a humanist celebrant) who told us of the excellent story of their six year old son in school.
They had been visited by a certain group whom I will leave nameless for legal reasons until I am sure I won’t be sued within an inch of my life: a zealous group of fire-and-brimstone Christians who focus on school children. It was these jokers who handed out leaflets to the children and instructed them to read and write it out with their names to it.
The passage they were instructed to do so with went roughly as follows:
I ________ promise to devote my life to God and Jesus.
I am so sorry for being a dirty sinner, I repent for my sins and wish to be saved. I know that simply reading this will not be enough and that I need to mean it with all my heart if I want to escape eternal punishment.
It gets worse and I am still trying to obtain an original for your reading pleasure.
I often laugh out loud at this sort of behaviour from Christians first before discussing it. Though I often just feel like I am talking pointlessly when I discuss this because it is so common now, I am not pointing out any new shock story of Christianity. This sort of behaviour is expected, and I suppose to an extent; tolerated because we are just so used to it.
This in itself to me, is evidence of just how dangerous religion is.
This organisation was confronted and challenged by parents about this harmful material and attempt to influence and scare their children. They have since apologized and stopped teaching this to the children of that school although it may (should) not surprise you to learn that they are still using this tactic in other schools.
Protect your children’s minds
We must be extremely vigilant and aware of believers around our children. I do not mean to imply that they are horrible people with vile intentions, of course not. Yet they coerce belief out of our children with threats of eternal torture and subliminally tell the youngsters that they are born dirty and should feel ashamed. That the only “salvation” is through the church. How is a young and innocent mind supposed to see the flaws in this?
I doubt most believers are aware of how insidious their message is, how downright disgusting it really is and those who are should be ashamed of themselves. Children’s minds are innocent and extremely vulnerable to such material. I remember myself at the age of six or seven being terrified of death, not just for death but of what the potential “hell” could be like after.
No child should be subjected to such atrocious, vile, insidious and unfounded nonsense.
Can we trust the religious to leave our children alone due to their lack of critical thinking?
Absolutely not, for two reasons:
- The religious believe they are right and as such they should not spare anyone from hearing their scripture, especially those who are as susceptible as children. The corollary point of only targeting adults who have full use of critical thinking would be that there is a chance their religion is wrong or to admit there is a damaging subliminal message to what they teach that people should be cautious of, and to admit either would open them up to a world of very valid points and arguments. They don’t have to talk about the point if they don’t admit it exists.
- Religion would perish: Without growing up fearing the possibility of hell or at the very least having the tiny possibility uncomfortably resting in the back of your brain (as it does with a lot of atheists) children would grow up with a far better understanding that you need critical thinking and evidence and be more capable of both. They would not grow up with such an example of a case where you don’t need evidence so long as you “know” through some metaphysical (unverifiable) or emotional means. I am not suggesting that we would see a generation of geniuses, instead I am suggesting our children would grow up without believing that there are cases in which it is okay to accept claims with important effects with little or no evidence. Even without studying philosophy they would be more inclined to demand significant evidence for a significant claim.
This would be an inhospitable and deadly zeitgeist for religion. There is no evidence for any religion to be true and any “evidence” that is used is inadmissible because it is used by nearly all religions (there’s a book, I know in my heart etc) which makes it paradoxical because virtually all these religions are incompatible(the Judeo-Christian god cannot co-exist with Thor or Mithra).
To be concise; the religious have no choice but to teach our children their damaging scripture of hell fire and damnation for the sake of their religion’s credibility and survival.
Please leave your thoughts, opinions or even better; your stories of similar experiences.
You do not need to be overly articulate with a posh English accent to have good points or relevant stories, I love to hear from everybody.
Leave them below or contact me at email@example.com.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.