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Breaking the Trust - Is it ok to lie to our children?
Brainwashing begins early
Brainwashing techiques demonstrated in the film "Jesus Camp"
Raising an army starts young
All children are born aethists
"It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so" - Ernestine Rose
Do children have any choice in where they are born? Which family they are born to? Which religion their family practices? Its interesting that good parents strive to give their children the opportunity to live their own fruitful lives, to peruse their own interests, explore their own career and life options but when it comes to religion, the prevailing notion is to brainwash the child at an early way and to give them a single choice.
I believe religion should not be introduced to children under the age of sixteen otherwise its simply brainwashing. It also sets up the parent child relationship for a possible confrontation later in life when the child leaves the nest and discovers that the world is not a black and white as the parents and church made it out to be. Can you imagine the amount of hurt a child feels when they find out they've been lied to?
In the documentary film "The God Who Wasn't There" by directed by award-winning filmmaker (and former Christian) Brian Flemming, Brian takes us on a personal journey from schooling in a fundamentalist school, to his questioning of his religion and to the conclusion of confronting the people at the school he accuses of downright deceiving him.
In the film "Jesus Camp" we get a glimpse at extreme religious adults "hell-bent" on creating a new generation of super-religious Jesus warriors. They see fundamental Muslim groups in the middle east indoctrinating children to become tools for extremist groups and they want to do the same with Christian children. Watching the movie I could not help but think that the techniques used were brainwashing and child abuse. What gives any adult the right to take away a child's free will and natural abilities to reason and think?
Isn't Santa A Lie?
I remember a good Dr. Laura radio moment when a caller asked the radio advice host if we shouldn't push Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny myths on our children. Won't we be breaking the trust with our children? Dr. Laura's advice was that these were "white lies" that we all share as a society. Unless one goes over the top with trying to keep our children believing in Santa past a normal age, it was harmless. Basically the kids figure out that Santa and the rest are all just fun stories with a great payoff for believing. The kids know its all a game way before the parents catch on that the kids know. Its a "wink wink" sort of lie.
Of course kids don't start out believing that the Bible stories told at Sunday school are any different that the other stories they hear. To kids God is about as believable as Courdory the Bear or their own stuff animals who keep them safe at night. The difference with religion is that the parents and adults around them don't stop when the kids figure it out. Instead the brainwashing intensifies as the wisdom of the curious children figure out that something doesn't quite make sense among all of the fantastic tales of Noah, whales who can swallow people, walking on water and the parting of seas.
If your adopted religion (one of thousands available) is truly the best then why not wait until the child is old enough to make the decision to join on their own?