Bad Theism · Inoculation Against Indoctrination

Inoculation Against Indoctrination: Ages 7-12: Servant Mindset Begins

Good evening Heathens and Hell-Bound friends and foes alike! It’s time for another edition of the indoctrination series. For the last article in this series, click here: Inoculation Against Indoctrination: Ages 4-6: Jesus Loves You. If you’d like to start at the beginning of this series, click here:Inoculation Against Indoctrination: Ages 0-3: Sights and Sounds.

shrugged

So let’s get this out of the way…Did you know that you are trash? You’re garbage and there is absolutely nothing good about you. The only possible thing about you that could be good would be your love and adoration of god. Do you love god? But do you really love him? No, seriously, do you love him more than anything else in this world? Well you better because if not he’s going to hurt you.

hell

Ever fallen off your bike? Well imagine feeling that pain times 1 gazillion, now you know just how bad it’s going to hurt if you don’t love god more than anything else in this world. Now…how are you going to prove to god that you love him? Well, you’re going to volunteer in the church, you’ll collect the weekly offerings, sing songs to the lord, tell your friends about Jesus and definitely invite them to church so that they can be injected with the fear of hell as well.

santa

Ages 7-12 are crucial years when it comes to indoctrination. You’ve spent the majority of your life up until this point being told that god loves you, he wants you to be happy and you’ve heard all the fun stories about all the people who god loved in the past. Now it’s time to take on the next step because you are starting to ask actual questions. During this time you will stop believing in Santa, the Easter Bunny, Unicorns, and other mythical creatures….and so in the back of your mind you begin to question whether or not this god character is real too.

So how do you put an end to the doubts? You add a healthy dose of fear. Most churches believe that the age of accountability, or in other words the age that you know right from wrong begins somewhere between the ages of 7 and 12. It’s time to learn about hell. Hell is the opposite of everything that you have been told about god up to this point. It’s dark, painful, filled with evil people. Are you evil? If you don’t worship god perfectly then you most definitely are.

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You are also beginning to make friends between these ages that are more than simply the play dates that you may have had prior to this age. So the church puts a big ad on your forehead, in some denominations literally, and tells you that you must tell all your friends about Jesus so they don’t go to hell. Also, it’s very important to understand that any friend who scoffs at your witnessing is evil and you should cut ties as quickly as possible or else they may drag you to hell with them.

One of the things that bothered me the most, even when I was a minister is how few people ever advance past this stage of belief. They know just enough about the biblical stories to give a brief synopsis and faith statement and they fear hell just enough to keep them from leaving the faith. While this bothered me greatly it’s actually how it’s meant to be when it comes to the church, they don’t want you asking big questions, they want you dumb, gullible, and perfectly happy dropping loads of money into the offering plate.

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Two words that I never heard a minister ever preach about…”Critical Thinking.”

Soon you will be old enough to join the youth group and really start living in service to god, at the moment though your service will primarily be within the church. Putting on plays, skits for the adults, singing in the choir, and maybe acting as an usher in some churches. You won’t be given tough tasks but you will be given a ton of praise for those tasks you are given, even if you do poorly. The idea is to get the pleasure center of your brain associated with servitude and acceptance.

Bad Theism · Inoculation Against Indoctrination

Inoculation Against Indoctrination: Ages 4-6: Jesus Loves You

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
-Proverbs 22:6

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.

noah

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

drowning

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.

shrugged

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.

Biblical Version:

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.”

lions

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.

 

noah2

Children’s Version

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?

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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

Bad Theism · Inoculation Against Indoctrination

Bad Theism: Melodramatic BS

DISCLAIMER

Suicidal thoughts are a serious issue and should be dealt with by the help of a psychiatrist and most likely medication. Let me just say that anyone who is actually considering this should seek help, and I do not want anyone to think I am making light of a bad situation. People who have followed this blog will know that my struggles with faith began with the suicide of my cousin. Please, if you are suicidal, seek help. Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Good Evening Heathens and Hell-Bound friends and foes alike. First off I would like to thank Genetically Modified Skeptic for providing me with the idea for tonight’s article. If you haven’t checked him out, please do so and definitely subscribe to his channel. Also, if you’d like to read the last article in this series, click here: Bad Theism: Angels

William_Lane_Craig

So tonight I want to talk a little bit about melodramatic bullshit. We’ve all seen this argument from time to time,

“If god didn’t exist there would be no reason to go on.”

It’s another one of those platitudes that theists love to use as an excuse for their continued belief, even in the face of mounting evidence against their claims. Well, tonight I’d like to tell you it’s absolute bullshit and if it’s true then these people already need psychological help.

Another great example comes in the form of a comment, posted on this brilliant video created by Genetically Modified Skeptic.

The video is obviously meant to be satire and just to have some fun with some of the arguments that apologists use in support of their claims. However, take a look at this comment.

Melodrama

picard gifI’m not even going to touch on points 1-3….ok maybe a little…I’m a glutton for punishment.

Point 1: Can you name one prophecy or miracle that is supported by actual verifiable evidence? Has any of your evidence been verified by the scientific method?

Point 2: According to your scriptures, is Satan able to create anything? If Satan cannot create anything then how could he create the concept of evil? Who created Satan?

Point 3: An Appeal to Authority doesn’t necessarily negate the argument given but only if the authority that you are appealing to has proven the point in a satisfactory nature, meaning provided verifiable evidence to back up the claim that you are attempting to defend. Since god has not even proven himself to exist with verifiable evidence, any appeal to his/or her authority can be automatically dismissed in an argument.

Now that we have that out-of-the-way, what I really want to talk about is the comments 4th point.

shrugged

He’d kill himself?

All I did was quit the ministry and start blogging, perhaps I was doing it wrong???

Truth is, I really don’t think he would kill himself, and if you really want to know, I think he’s already on his way to becoming an atheist. I’ll let you in on why I believe that later.

When I was in high school I was in an incredibly abusive relationship. I didn’t have a lot of confidence at the time and so I put up with it. The main reasoning for this was that it was better than not being in a relationship, at least by high school standards.  However, I could only put up with it for so long, and when I finally broke off the relationship, my ex said that she was going to kill herself. She did not and is still living today.

When I told my ex-wife that I was leaving, she told me that she would kill herself. Going so far as to shave her head and get herself committed. Once again, she is still alive and thankfully far away from me.

Here is what happens when the very religious begin to doubt the existence of god.

  1. You try to up your faith, praying more, fasting more, reading the bible more.
  2. These efforts fail.
  3. You get depressed.
  4. You get mad
  5. You either leave the faith or find some way to delude yourself even further.

That’s it…

Now I’m not saying there has never been someone who committed suicide after losing their faith. Depression can cause even the best of us to question the value of life, I’ve struggled with depression for most of my life. However I’m still here.

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Theists like to promote the idea that without god there would be no purpose to this life, but life is filled with a plethora of things to bring us purpose. I have numerous friends who are atheist and they all find ways to give purpose to their lives. Some are YouTubers, others are photographers, some are foodies, artists, musicians, sculptors, writers, podcasters. Many atheists are highly charitable and find ways to help others, giving back to their community and making the world a better place. They all live life with purpose and I would say that the majority of them are pretty content with their lives.

My cousin committed suicide just a week after he got saved in my church. God did not grant him purpose, he wasn’t filled with a blissful spirit that led him to embrace life. He took a shotgun, put it in his mouth, and pulled the trigger.  Purpose is not found in god it is found within ourselves, in what we choose to spend our time and energy on.

Morality

Theists also like to claim that without god, we would all live in a chaotic world where murder, rape, and Justin Bieber dance parties would be the norm. I think Hitchens puts it best in the following video.

The idea that we can only have morality with god is preposterous.  I would lay claim that I am much more moral, now, since I left the faith than I was when I was a still a minister and a believer. You want to know why I say this? It’s actually quite simple.

When I was a believer and I did something wrong, I would pray for gods forgiveness and then feel better. I no longer have that security blanket to make me feel better about the mistakes that I make. Instead, I simply try to not do anything that I should feel bad about later.  If I do something that hurts another person, I don’t ask god to forgive me, I seek out the person and tell them how sorry I am for having hurt them.

Atheist in the Making

Lastly, do you remember when I said that I believe the author of the comment is already on the way towards atheism?

Church

Well here is the case that I’d like to submit.

When I began to have my doubts I started acting even more religious. I fasted more, I prayed more, I read the Bible more, and I made idiotic comments online arguing for my faith. I was the worst of the worst when it comes to bad internet apologist trolls. I used every bad argument that you can think of in an effort to feel as if I was doing something good for god and that he would reward me by strengthening my faith.

I don’t think that I was unique in this aspect.

I honestly believe that a lot of people are like I was not so many years ago. Their faith has been waning for some time and so they are desperately doing anything they can in an effort to restore their faith. They sink deeper into their delusions and try their best to rationalize their faith in the most absurd of ways. They say that atheists have no purpose, no morality, and that without god they would kill themselves.

I know this, because I said this. When I was a theist I remember clearly saying that if I found out that there was no god, I would kill myself. I’d have no reason to live, no purpose, and I would choose to end it all. Life is a struggle and why would I put myself through this struggle if I didn’t know that I was on my way to heaven?

I’m still here.

My purpose is still to help others. I was a minister not because god called me but because I earnestly wanted to help people. I love causing people to laugh, making people think, and being able to be there when I am needed. Learning is my passion, I read voraciously and absolutely love a good documentary on just about any subject. I love my family and want to see my children grow up and have kids of their own. I want to grow old with my wife and enjoy her company for as long as possible.

My purpose is what I say it is, and that’s why I’m still here.

Bad Theism · Inoculation Against Indoctrination

Inoculation Against Indoctrination: Side Effects of Religious Indoctrination

Good Evening Heathens and Hell-Bound friends and foes alike. For the last article on this subject, click here: Inoculation Against Indoctrination: Atheists? Before I push forward in this series I thought there was another topic that I would touch upon. I think it’s necessary to understand how indoctrination affects the adult mind before we go into how someone can be indoctrinated.

I’m several years outside of the walls of religious faith and so I think it puts me in a position where I can discuss the side-effects that still cling around after someone leaves the faith. These things are going to be especially true the more fundamentalist you were in your former faith. If you were from one of the more liberal Christianities these issues are probably not as severe yet you may experience them to some degree, even if slightly. So without further ado, here are the side effects of religious indoctrination.

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Trust Issues

It is incredibly hard for me to trust someone at face value. After years of religious indoctrination, if you aren’t willing to show me some evidence for why I should trust you, it’s not going to happen. I realized after 30 years that my life was based on a lie, a lie that people might have told me with good intentions, but a lie nonetheless.

For years my life had been built around something that was doing deep harm to my mind. It was shaping the way I saw people, made me fear the outside world and cling to the faith harder and harder. I knew that if I strayed from the faith it would mean death and punishment so I clung even harder. Once I got away from it, I realized how deluded I had been and so today I still fear deluding myself again, or having someone else feed me their delusions.

anxiety

Severe Anxiety

So you are taught for years that everyone outside the faith wants to do you harm. They are after one thing only, to destroy your soul. You know that lady or man who smiled at you, she is going to lead you into temptation. Science spends billions of dollars per year with the sole purpose of causing you to believe in evolution and thus disbelieve in the bible.

This anxiety does not go away simply because you’ve realized it’s a lie. I still have great issues accepting invites from friends as well as a severe fear of meeting new people. My mind still instantly goes to how this person might try to get me to sin.

Bald Britney

Depression

Many people who come out of faith have issues with depression. This can come from a feeling of hopelessness, a loss of community, or being disowned by family and friends. Some people who leave the faith lose their jobs and have great financial struggles.

There are of course organizations that can help, for example I’m a member of The Clergy Project, a foundation set up to help former ministers find a community and new direction in life. Other organizations might provide financial support or counselling to those in need. However, depression is not something that you can really beat, at least not in my opinion. I still struggle with depression to this day and will more than likely struggle with depression the rest of my life. Religion was such a huge part of my life and now it’s gone, I realize that it was simply bells and whistles but they were bells and whistles that my entire life was centered around.

Bald Britney

Regret

This one is bigger with those who are former members of the Clergy. I have huge regrets over the things that I taught for many years.  I preached doctrine and dogma, and so I preached that homosexuality was a sin, that if you were a sinner you were going to hell, and that salvation could be found through a human sacrifice. Children sat in the front rows during my services and I warned them of the evils in the world that would constantly try to lead them away from the faith.

Proudly I can say that the majority of kids who were in my church are actually now atheists. I often wonder if they questioned their beliefs after finding out that their former minister had rejected his own. Even so that would do little to remove the regret that I feel for every single sermon I ever gave on and subject that I now think completely different about.

Bald Britney

The Fear of Hell

This one never goes away, it sits in the back of your mind like a time-bomb waiting to go off at any moment. I can be watching TV and all of a sudden have images of hell enter my mind.  I’ve awoken in the middle of the night in a cold sweat because I dreamed that I had gone to hell and was burning for all eternity.

The religious will try to use this fact as evidence for the existence of hell. They will say, how can you fear something that you don’t believe is going to happen.  Isn’t the fear of hell evidence that hell exists and that god must also exist? No, it simply means that I was taught to believe in hell from as young as I can remember and those lessons are still deep within my mind. It is just a sign of the indoctrination and not a sign of any truth to that indoctrination.

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In the End

It’s clear that the taint of faith will forever be on my mind. You cannot be taught something for nearly 30 years and then just believe it’s going to go away. The good news is that the longer that I am away from the faith, the less I experience these side-effects. Maybe one day they will cease to exist entirely but I doubt that. Something tells me that no matter how long I am away from the faith I will still have some issue that faith caused. My anxiety is getting better but it’s still there, my trust issues are lessened but still there, I still suffer from depression and regret, and I will never fully remove the fear that was driven into me as a child about hell.

Religious indoctrination is abuse, no question in my mind, and like any abuse I will always be tainted by the hand that beat me, that told me I couldn’t live without it, and that promised if I ever left I would be punished. That hand is religion, and it definitely poisons everything.

Bad Theism · Inoculation Against Indoctrination

Inoculation Against Indoctrination: Atheists?

For the last post in this series, click here: Inoculation Against Indoctrination: Ages 0-3: Sights and Sounds.

So I started this series with a basic idea to describe how religious faiths indoctrinate people into their beliefs. However, the very first comment that I received on this through my twitter account was: “Are atheists indoctrinated as well as theists?” So, obviously we need to touch on this idea a bit before moving on to any other age groups.

indoctrination

First let’s look at the definition of indoctrination.

Indoctrination – Noun

-the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.

So with that said can Atheists indoctrinate their children? The answer is of course yes, they could indoctrinate their children and probably some do, but I don’t see it as being as large of an issue as it is with religious faiths. In this article I will try to explain why?

First off, why would an atheist feel the need to indoctrinate their child? For example, when my daughter comes to me with a question, I don’t simply make things up, or go with what I have been told about something. If it’s something I am unsure of, the answer is as easy as, “I don’t know but let’s find out.” For the most part I try to raise my daughter to think critically, and to come to these answers on her own.

If she asks me what I believe about something I will be more than willing to tell her my own personal views on a topic and show her evidence to support those views, but I am not in the business of telling her this is how things are because I say this is how things are. Perhaps she will be religious when she grows older, so far she doesn’t show much interest in faith but there have been times that she has asked why we don’t go to church?

Her life is her life to live, it’s not my life. She is free to be an atheist, be religious, spiritual, gay, trans, straight, asexual, bisexual, her life choices are really none of my business as long as she isn’t hurting anyone or being hurt herself. My job is to keep her alive, make sure she gets an education, feed and cloth her, and then send her into the world with the tools that she will need in order to survive.

critical thinking

I’ve already touched on it, but the second reason that I don’t think atheists indoctrinate their children to the degree that theists do, that being critical thinking. I teach her to question what she is told, if she thinks what I said doesn’t quite make sense I always encourage her to look it up for herself. We had a discussion about evolution the other day and she wasn’t quite getting the connection between apes and humans, as best as I tried to answer her questions it just wasn’t quite enough. A few minutes doing her own research and she was able to claim for herself that she now knows why humans are considered apes.

Religions for the most part are fairly lacking in the area of critical thinking. My entire blog is devoted to exposing these illogical and irrational mindsets. God said it and so I believe it is the epitome of non-critical thought. If god said it why did he say it, and how do we know which god said it or if this god that supposedly said something even exists. Critical thinking leads you to asking these questions and many more.

As I stated before, my daughter is her own person. I’m not trying to shape her into anything or make her conform to any mindset. Sometimes I will agree with the choices that she makes and other times I will disagree. I made a lot of mistakes growing up and I’m sure she will make plenty of mistakes as well. It’s a part of life and one that it will be her responsibility to sort out.

Evolution

Lastly, lets talk about the fact that I was indoctrinated into religion. I was taught chapter and verse every single day of my life for nearly 20 years and then I followed the faith for another 10 years after that. No one indoctrinated me into atheism, I came to atheism when I began to think critically about my own beliefs and try to make sense of them in a world where they do not make sense.

  • Why did god have to die so that god could forgive us from god?
  • Why do creationists fight science so much?
  • Why is there absolutely no evidence of a global flood?
  • Why is there no evidence of an exodus?
  • How could Adam and Eve understand the concept of sin if they hadn’t ate the fruit yet?
  • Why is the evidence for Jesus so scarce outside the gospels?
  • Why did the gospel writers wait decades before writing anything down?

Once I started looking at these ideas in a truly critical way, they completely fell apart and I was left with the choice of continuing to pretend being a believer or simply accept the fact that I no longer had a belief in god.

My story is actually pretty common, the number of people born to atheist families is fairly low compared to those who become atheists at a later date.  This makes sense due to the fact that atheists make up a fairly small portion of the general populace. We aren’t indoctrinated, we freed ourselves from the chains of indoctrination.

So when you say that atheism is simply another form of indoctrination, you are really no better than stating that the act of being free from slavery is equitable to still being a slave. My mind is free, I have no belief in god. I might have people I enjoy listening to, reading their books, or watching their videos, but I do not worship these people, I don’t base my life on the religion of Dawkins, the philosophy of Hitchens, or the creeds of Harris. I am my own person who looks at the evidence and come to my own conclusions.

Bad Theism · Inoculation Against Indoctrination

Inoculation Against Indoctrination: Ages 0-3: Sights and Sounds

Tonight starts another brand new series that I hope you will all enjoy. In Inoculation Against Indoctrination I will be speaking of what a religious upbringing does to the brain, and how it changes as a person grow older or when they enter the faith. I was raised in a fairly strict Pentecostal home, though I can say that I knew others who come from an even more strict family. Yet, I from what I’ve read of others stories and how religious faith works in general I think a person from any faith will see parallels to their own upbringing.

birth

So you’ve just spent 9 months in the womb, you squeeze yourself into the world of the non umbilical connected entities and where do you find yourself. Well, outside of what I hope is a hospital, it’s a good chance that you were born to religious parents. You don’t even have control of your own head before they parade you to church, synagogue, or a mosque. Some of your very earliest memories will probably be within the walls of your own faiths version of a temple.

Before you are even able to talk you hear songs and see people acting in strange ways. Everyone wants to touch you while closing their eyes and mumbling a bunch of random sounds. If you are born with a penis, one of your first painful experiences was probably of someone lopping off a piece of it. Unfortunately in some parts of the world, if you are a female you may have to go through an even worse form of circumcision at some point in your life.

So you’re laying there in your mother or your fathers arms and you hear people sing the hymns, you hear the voice of the religious leader as they speak, you hear prayers and testimonies. All of these things are flowing into your infant mind and shaping how you view things that are normal, even though you might not be making many memories, what your mind does collect will have a great deal of influence over how you view faith as you grow older.

baby2

Once you’ve gained control of your head and your limbs, mastered standing and maybe walking around a bit, and begun talking a bit you find that people are trying to get you to say new words all the time. If you’re born into a fundamentalist Christian family, one of the words that people around you try to get you to say is “Jesus.” Aroud this time you are probably christened or “dedicated to god”, which is a ceremony that basically says you are owned by god and your parents are simply your guardians here on earth.

Around this time you begin mimicking your parents and those that you see in your religious environment.  The more you mimic the adults the more praise you receive by those around you. Praise is good and it feels good and so you mimic more and more. Maybe your family sees your wonderful mimic skills as actual faith and so they post videos of you on YouTube like the one below.

You’re beginning to speak more and more. At around three years old you are taken from your parents when at church and placed in Sunday school with other children your age. Not much in the way of learning is done but their are games, toys, and songs. You really like the songs and they are easy to remember so you sing them throughout the day. Little do you know that you’ve spent your entire life, readying yourself for the next stage, when indoctrination truly begins in the minds of most children raised within the church. The only thing that you know is…

“Jesus loves me this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little Ones to him belong,
They are weak but he is strong.”

shrugged

For the next article in this series, click here:Inoculation Against Indoctrination: Ages 4-6: Jesus Loves You