Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
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10-04-2013, 01:48 PM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
I hear ya. When my wife announces on Sunday that we are going to Church, the kids usually say they don't want to go. to which I reply, I know, but your mom wants us to go. Trying to reinforce the fact that I don't want to go either. When we get there, I don't stand and sing, and stay seated the entire time reading a book my oldest son knows is not a bible....

He's only 7, so not much is really sinking in at his age when he is at church as I don't think he is paying attention. However, maybe I should start asking him questions, rather than waiting for him to ask me........maybe ask him what he thought of the sermon or if he has questions, etc

Things have been fine, but this whole email thing I got yesterday really has me fired up. I DVR'd "Jesus, The Rise to Power" from the History Channel. I'm going to make my wife watch it with me, so she can be more educated on what she believes so deeply in. Maybe it will force her to ask some questions. I think it is highly ignorant for her to believe is something so deeply and want to push it upon our kids when she doesn't know anything about it. She can't recite any verses, she doesn't know about the hero theory, how the Roman Empire catapulted Jesus into being. etc
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10-04-2013, 11:46 PM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
A relationship is a two way street, I would drive that home before going after her for her religious beliefs. She should understand that she cannot ask you to not push your beliefs on the children, but then force her's. Thats a double standard that is unfair to you.

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11-04-2013, 05:21 AM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
(10-04-2013 08:01 AM)Chas Wrote:  While the public schools may be questionable, there is no question that the Baptist school is ugly.

It will be far easier for you to enhance their education if the public schools are lacking than it will be to fight the brainwashing of the Baptist school.

Pull him out of there, send him to public school.

This right here says it all.

You can fix what they don't learn in public school, but you can NEVER fix the brainwashing in the baptist school - once they get hooked on Jesus, you'll be fighting a permanent losing battle to bring them back to reality.

So far, I have never found, in 30 years of searching, any argument or combination of arguments, that can turn a happy believer into an atheist. I can instill doubts, I can help them with answers to questions they come up with, but unless they're already questioning their delusions, there is just no way to break through that brainwashing.

If you let them get brainwashed in that school, you may see them NEVER become an atheist - they might get so brainwashed, especially with mom in their corner, that they never come out of it.

If you leave them there, be prepared to live with that.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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11-04-2013, 05:38 AM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
(10-04-2013 09:19 AM)jasonetc Wrote:  I am really deep down just trying to hold out until they are old enough where I can be honest with them about it.

The problem is, the church KNOWS that the way to have a believer for LIFE is to get them while they're young. There is a ton of pressure on the school and on your wife to get the Jesus hooks into your kids right NOW. Even if no pastor has ever said to your wife "Hey, get those kids in here so we can brainwash them while they're still young" (I'm sure that's never been said to her), they all still know that people who are born and raised baptist probably stay that way, but people who find Jesus later in life are far more likely to un-find him and leave the church.

They know this, and they will all do everything they can to indoctrinate your kids immediately.

Even your wife. She thinks she's doing it for them, to save them, to give them that wonderful relationship with Jesus that she has, and her heart's in the right place as their mother, but it's just because she's robotically following what was done to her, and what's being said to her.

Stop it now before the damage is done.

(10-04-2013 10:47 AM)jasonetc Wrote:  Before we had kids, we rarely went to church.

As the kids were getting older, she wanted to get more active in going to church to get them involved. She explained if we're not going to church all the time, then I want my kids in the baptist school. Well, now she is wanting to go to church much more often. I go sometimes so the kids don't resent her for making them go.

So, she started off slow. Let's get a little church. Let's get a little more. Hey, they need lots of church. And they need religious school too. And more church. And more religion. Now, right now, NOW!!!

She is feeling a strong sense of urgency for exactly the reasons I've already mentioned. Brainwash them now (she probably doesn't use that word) while they're still young so it will become a permanent part of their life. Period. Don't wait.

There is no way, absolutely no way, that your wife, her pastor, or the kids' school will ever accept "hey, let's wait a while, let them be atheists until they're old enough to make up their own mind" because they all know that they gotta brainwash them young to make it permanent.

(10-04-2013 10:47 AM)jasonetc Wrote:  Hell, if she's gonna take them to church more, maybe we can pull them from the baptist indoctrination school right?

Sounds like the perfect compromise.
1. School is neutral. Don't send them to a school that brainwashes them for or against any religion.
2. Mom teaches religion, with the help of her church. They go on Sundays and any other time there's a church function. You married her, she's their mom, there isn't much of a way around this.
3. This is important. You spend just as much time teaching them atheist answers to make sure they get equal time and know that there is more than one way to answer questions about where we came from and why we're here. if your wife is reasonable, she'll understand this. Not gonna happen, but I think this is a sticking point that you gotta draw the line in the sand and demand equal time teaching your kids about non-religious answers.

(10-04-2013 10:47 AM)jasonetc Wrote:  You're right, I'm sitting here on the sideline. Time I speak up a bit. We need to come to an agreement that if the kids want to get in to religion, they can at their own pace and she shouldn't be immersing them in it.

Never gonna happen. She will immerse them. It's too important to her to let that slide. So find the middle ground where they're at least not getting bombarded at school. Go to church with the kids and offer alternative answers to every sermon. But you can't go to school with them so the school is brainwashing them right in front of you. Get them out.

(10-04-2013 10:47 AM)jasonetc Wrote:  I agreed to keep my mouth shut, but if they are going to be indoctrinated like this, maybe it's time I start the pre-emptive strike by getting them to question things a bit. Maybe not the 4yr old, but my 7yr old is the one I'm worried about now.

Absolutely.

Get them questioning church stuff, show them the flaws in their mom's religion (you know the church, and maybe their mom, is doing the same thing - or will be - by trying to destroy evolution and cosmology and every other scientific reason to disbelieve).

Also give them alternative answers. Tell them what you believe.

(10-04-2013 10:47 AM)jasonetc Wrote:  I do subtle things like, when my son says, Well, Jesus is the boss, I say, well, when he shows up he can be the boss, but for now, in my house, Dad's the boss.

Nice, but not enough. You're still letting him have Jesus. What his simple little seven-year-old mind heard right there is that "Jesus is the boss of mom AND DAD and the bible says he's coming back and when he does he will be the boss."

You didn't refute the idea that Jesus is the boss, you simply reinforced it.

(10-04-2013 10:47 AM)jasonetc Wrote:  Stuff like that, or when they say things they've heard at school, I just not and say Oh really, that's interesting.....

..... and then give them a different answer, I hope.

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11-04-2013, 05:43 AM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
(10-04-2013 01:48 PM)jasonetc Wrote:  Things have been fine, but this whole email thing I got yesterday really has me fired up. I DVR'd "Jesus, The Rise to Power" from the History Channel. I'm going to make my wife watch it with me, so she can be more educated on what she believes so deeply in. Maybe it will force her to ask some questions. I think it is highly ignorant for her to believe is something so deeply and want to push it upon our kids when she doesn't know anything about it. She can't recite any verses, she doesn't know about the hero theory, how the Roman Empire catapulted Jesus into being. etc

Absolutely!

She has had her way, unobstructed. She can tell them anything in support of her religious indoctrination and you say nothing about it. One of your other posts you said you've always kept your mouth shut, by agreement.

I suggest you tell her that it's time for "equal time". You have suffered through years of her church, it's time she suffers through some educational programming about her religion (as opposed to only having inspiration programming supporting her religion).

Equal time.

She will hate it. She will fight it. With everything she has. Don't give in.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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11-04-2013, 09:17 PM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
^ I agree with everything Aseptic has said...it's the only way to make things fair, and a relationship.

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17-04-2013, 04:26 PM (This post was last modified: 17-04-2013 04:34 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
(10-04-2013 07:28 AM)jasonetc Wrote:  I just received this email below from a school official about chapel today. Granted my oldest son is in 1st grade, so he will miss it this year, but it will come around again next year I'm sure and I really don't like the idea of it. It's indoctrination through immersion, peer pressure and authority and I believe it is absolutely ludicrous to subject children to this at any age younger than 12 or so.
In other words, WE ARE THE BORG, RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!

Yes, you need to fight back. But whatever you do, you make a risk of threatening other people's beliefs. This is a problem. Regardless of who is right (you are), if you are a threat, they stop listening to you and use many defensive tactics.

It's tricky but in your place I'd do two things. I'd try to spend lots of time with the older boy, teaching him how to think and many other fun stories of religions and gods that people ever made up.
Secondly, I'd try to spend time with the wife, taking up some tough questions but in a different way. A very... honest way. Let's say you look at the map. Put a finger to Africa and Asia, chances are Muslims live there. Put a finger a bit north, Christians. Move on to India and the place's full of Hinduists. If you took children of Muslim parents and brought them up in India, they'd grow up as Hinduists. Religions seem to be something parents stamp on their children. Their faith is just a weak copy of their parents' faith that needs to be renewed every sunday in church, or it falls off. It's not genuine, it's a bad copy, a fake. The children don't know what it means, they just go through the motions and have strong feelings, but they never grow in faith. If they're indoctrinated as children, they stay childish in faith forever. They attend church, ask for money and success in prayer, and think that god is here to heal our ailments, protect our car, do good and prevent evil and wipe their behind. If God fails to do that, they stop believing in him. And perhaps there never was such a God as they want him, but there sure are many infants in faith.
I am pretty sure somewhere in the New Testament it is written that a believer must grow in faith and go through stages of maturation that will make him a capable heir of God's kingdom (cherrypick freely). I once heard it from one wise preacher years ago...
Point is, indoctrinate the children now and you'll make them emotional puppets, not spiritual people, that's what your wife needs to understand.

(10-04-2013 07:28 AM)jasonetc Wrote:  I'm thinking maybe I don't freak out, it's not going to happen until next year. Do I throw the gauntlet down with my wife and say I'm not standing for this? Do I simply pull my child aside and tell them not to feel pressured to commit to anything they aren't sure about? Do I simply hold my kid out of school that day and take him to do something fun?
Yes, but if you want to give your son a gift for the life, teach him how to think. Don't give him mere knives, toy guns and bows, give him a sharp mind.

You need to manage to teach him one thing. We do not think through the things we say. In order to say something real, we need to have "semantic triangle" There must be the word, like a house, la maison, etc. Then there must be the notion or idea of a house, a place to live with lockable doors, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and so on. And of course there must be actual houses somewhere in the world where we can see them, so that when you say the right word, anyone in the world will imagine the same thing. This is how we know the word refers to reality.

But there is another way. If the semantic triangle is broken, we may use a word, this word may have a convention link to some notion, but the reality end of the triangle will be arbitrary. Everyone will imagine something else when we say the word.
We might say god, Gott, kami-sama, Bog, le Dieu, and everyone will know we mean some guy up there in the clouds watching us. But everyone will imagine a different guy or multiple guys or not even in the clouds, there are still believers in Poseidon today.
This triangle of nonsense is held together by very strong feelings of love, devotion and attachment. And we call it a buzzword. A buzzword does not bring understanding, it brings a surge of feelings. It feels real, but nobody thinks it through.
Anyone who uses the buzzword has control over the masses. The buzzwords give power to lead people like cattle. It gives power to demagogues and crazy preachers. Hell is a buzzword. Furthermore, political correctness steps in. It prevents us from thinking things through. Nonsense is protected by resorting to bad definitions of "faith" or "theory". Faith must be understood as "pretending to know things that we don't know". Basically, your son needs to understand logic and noetics. How to tell that something is true or false and how to tell if someone really knows something or is just bullshitting us.

You have two basic choices here and you can take both. Try to read your boy some Plato. Plato and Socrates are generally very wise and sometimes irreverent men, at least so they were introduced to me in my philosophy lessons. Socrates taught us, that by mere asking questions we are fighting. People don't think things through, don't have proper definitions and by asking questions we expose that. They peer-pressure us to accept their vague buzzwords as facts. God, faith, justice, freedom...
Here's more philosophy, showing that even young children can think philosophically, that is, think about thinking.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/children/

Secondly, you can read books like Natural History of Nonsense by Evans Berger or Tyranny of Words by Stuart Chase. You can have your wife reading them. It means a turn away from valuing personal opinion, including your own. Show that you're never ashamed to say "I don't know, let's Google it," these words are worth more than any statement of faith.

If you spend the year wisely, you might actually be able to do something about moving the child to another school without causing too much conflict with your wife. Learning how to think and why is a wonderful, mind-expanding experience that any parent and any school should teach. But hey. I'm used to being tough on myself and picking on inconsistencies in my thinking. I suppose few people are like that. Normal people can live a lifetime without looking into their head. So please also consider other people's advice here, it may be less thorough but more realistic. Equal time is a wonderful idea and you have the right to it.

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25-04-2013, 10:04 AM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
Brilliant! Thanks for putting in the time to write such a detailed explanation. I really appreciate it. Also, thanks for the book references.

I am on a course to really make my kids think rationally and ask lots of questions. I have decided that as my 7yr old gets a little bit older, I will let him know what I think and tell him he is able to think and believe what he would like as well. Don't believe what people say, research it for yourself. Once it's held under a microscope, the argument falls apart.

As far as my wife goes, it's southern baptist you know.....it's deep, really deep down here. Her entire family is in it up to their eyeballs. It's going to be hard pulling her away, but I have decided over time, I will introduce ideas in to her head when possible to at least get her to start thinking about things, and maybe question things a bit. Hopefully some day she will come to me with some questions and I can research along with her or tell her about what I think.
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25-04-2013, 10:07 AM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
My 4 year old told me the other day that I don't know everything. I agreed. Then he said, Jesus knows everything. I said, buddy, that might be so, but I highly doubt it, because a lot has changed since he died 2000 years ago. He said, yeah he's dead. Which means he has learned about him dying on the cross in school, but doesn't know much about the resurrection story. This is good though, and I will build upon it
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25-04-2013, 01:38 PM
RE: Freaking Out a Bit about Religion In School
(10-04-2013 07:28 AM)jasonetc Wrote:  I'm an atheist and have been since I was very young. My wife is a christian and comes from a very strong southern baptist family who is heavily involved in the church. We've been married for 13 years and really our differences didn't matter until we had children.

We've got two kids, 4 & 7 years old. I told her I would back off and let them make their own decision about religion but when they are old enough and start asking heavy questions, I am going to tell them what I think. So it's like a very slow storm building in the household as I feel the need to protect them from religion and my wife feels the need to have them involved a good bit while they are young.

They attend a baptist private school, mostly because we live in southern Louisiana and the public school system is questionable. Also because my wife wanted them in a christian school. The rhetoric is high and I'm not crazy about it.

I just received this email below from a school official about chapel today. Granted my oldest son is in 1st grade, so he will miss it this year, but it will come around again next year I'm sure and I really don't like the idea of it. It's indoctrination through immersion, peer pressure and authority and I believe it is absolutely ludicrous to subject children to this at any age younger than 12 or so.

"Dear Parents,

I wanted to take a moment to give you information about our upcoming chapel service tomorrow. I will be speaking to students in 2nd-4th grade about the difference between knowing about Jesus and really knowing Jesus. We will also discuss how Jesus knocks on the door of our heart but we must answer to let Him in. At the end, I will talk about the ABC's of salvation - Admit, Believe, Confess. At that time, we will have a few minutes of prayer. Students will have the opportunity to talk with their teacher or parent (if you attend) to share if they want to accept Christ or simply to ask questions. They will not be pressured in any way.

I wanted you to know this to especially encourage you to attend this week. If you can't attend, please follow up with your child and ask what they learned in chapel. I believe that some of our students are ready to make this life-changing decision and need the opportunity to do so.

I would also ask that you take a moment today or tomorrow to pray for our students"


I'm thinking maybe I don't freak out, it's not going to happen until next year. Do I throw the gauntlet down with my wife and say I'm not standing for this? Do I simply pull my child aside and tell them not to feel pressured to commit to anything they aren't sure about? Do I simply hold my kid out of school that day and take him to do something fun?


Any thoughts would be appreciated.

No offence, but I can't believe you didn't see this coming! Christian schools are a rediculous idea and should be illegal! It's like having a Klu Klux Clan school! If I can teach your children that every religion except the one that I enjoy is terrible, and that those people will roast, why can't I also teach them that (forgive me folks, for being frank) "Niggers" are less than human and that it's perfectly O.K. to use them any way you want. I don't envy your fight, but pull them out! And don't forget they have allready been indoctrinated! You've put yourself in a predicament, my friend!
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