“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Good evening Heathens and Hell-Bound friends and foes alike! Tonight will be the second official article in my series about religious indoctrination. If you’d like to read the first article in this series, click here: Inoculation Against Indoctrination: Ages 0-3: Sights and Sounds.
I can remember the first Sunday that I left the Nursery Class and entered into the Beginner Class at Sunday school. There were still games and songs but the lessons actually took on actual stories from the Bible, or at least a form of these stories with all of the grit removed. Isn’t it somewhat strange that the Bible has sections considered too graphic for children? That’s a bit odd to me.
So while you will be learning the Bible you won’t be getting the full story. Instead what you get is a fluffy and loving approach to these stories. This serves a purpose, one that I doubt many religious leaders would admit. It provides small children with the idea that god loves them, that he would never do anything to harm them, and that he never does anything bad. Truth be told, many believers never get past this stage of the stories, they never read deeper or ask questions and so the story remains in their mind a blissful myth filled with unicorns, giant fish, and talking donkeys.
Some things that these children will not be told at this stage in life is just how much god acts like a petulant child in these stories. Nearly every story from the old testament, the source of most of these kids lessons at this age, has god killing a person, or many people simply for not loving him in the right way.
Stories you will find at this stage:
- Noah and all the fluffy animals
- Balaam and the funny talking donkey
- Adam and Eve and the big bad snake
- Old people having a baby
- Joseph and his multi-colored coat
Stories that you will not find
- God murdering countless children in the flood
- A guy beating his donkey for not going to the place that god told him to go….because god is a trickster and tells the man one thing and the angel another.
- Adam and Eve being punished for sinning before they knew what sin was.
- An old man willing to murder his child for god.
- How the pyramids were built for grain.
Ok I added the last one as a joke, Sadly they might learn that completely illogical idea in many of America’s churches. Our government even has members who believe this nonsense…
That’s Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon, and current secretary of housing and urban development. I share this simply to point out that you can be both incredibly intelligent in one facet of your life as well as incredibly dumb in other facets of life. Please stick with separating twins Dr. Carson and leave the pyramids to the archaeologists.
Tonight I want to touch on one story…first I will give you the biblical version and then I will give you the child friendly version. The story I will use as an example is Noah and his famed ark.
So Noah is 500 years old and he then he has three sons. We’re then told how angels are horny and impregnate women with giants. God doesn’t like giants and he doesn’t like mankind. The bible specifically says…
“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.” -Genesis 6:5-6
So god feels really bad about creating mankind and so he decides to kill them. Just before he wipes out all of mankind he sees this guy, Noah, who is over 500 years old, and thinks, “Boy he sure is awesome.”
God then tells Noah to build a giant boat, out of wood, and fill it with all the animals on earth. 2×2 or 7×7 depending on which chapter you’re reading, and whether the animals were clean or unclean….even though animal cleanness would not be discussed until several centuries in the future during the time of Moses. Noah does all of this and 100 years later the flood occurs. Killing all of mankind.
I want to point out. Nowhere in the old testament story does it say that Noah preached or tried to save anyone other than himself and his family. God specifically says he is going to save Just Noah and his family, there was never a chance for anyone else to receive this salvation.
So anyway God sends the flood and kills everyone other than Noah’s family because, reasons, that’s why. They are on the boat for 40 days and 40 nights, then the flood covers the earth for 150 days. It then begins to go down taking several more months, stating that when they finally reach dry land Noah is in his 601st year. They then disembark, Noah sacrifices a bunch of the animals to god, because why save them if you aren’t going to burn some of them, and then god sends a rainbow and some excellent dance music.
There were bad people on the earth, you know bad guys, the kinds that superheroes fight, well the earth was filled with them. This made god very sad and so he decided to flood the earth and get rid of all the bad guys. Before he did this he saw Noah, who was a very good man, and told him to build a boat to save the animals in. Noah built the boat, filled it with all the animals on earth. Dogs, Cats, Pigs, Birdies, Snakes, Chickens, Penguins, Kangaroos, Naked Mole Rats, Coyotes, Lions, Tigers, and Bears…OH MY!
After Noah preached for a very long time. The bad people didn’t listen and so god sent the flood. It then rained for 40 days and 40 nights. After this they get off the boat and god sends a rainbow and some awesome dance music.
Children do not have it explained that god is murdering everyone. They don’t have it explained that god kills all the other cuddly animals that don’t make it on the boat. They also are not told that after they disembark the ark, god has Noah cut up and burn a bunch of the animals he just saved. Every questionable part of the story is removed in order to make it child friendly.
This is pretty funny to me since the bible is supposed to be so easy to understand that even a child could grasp it and two if god does nothing bad then why are children shielded from the more gruesome details of this story?
You’ll find that every biblical story told to children has been dumbed down and cleansed of any of gods more questionable aspects. The reason for this is simple. If you make the bible fun, if you make it cute, if you make it fast paced and easy to remember, then these stories will stick with people long after these stories have been told to them. This is the beginning of indoctrination and is readying children for the next stage, telling them they are completely evil without god.
For the next article in this series, click here: Inoculation Against Indoctrination: Ages 7-12: Servant Mindset Begins