Over at CNN iReport, the evil blogger TXBlue08 explains, Why I Raise My Children Without God. She does not have to make the case to me. I firmly believe that it is wrong to subject your children to your religious doctrine before they have developed “formal thought” (the ability to think abstractly), which generally occurs by around the time of puberty. Because really: if people got to choose their religion without the propaganda value of having one particular sect crammed down their throats, don’t you think they would pick different religions? The fact that people overwhelming choose their parents’ religion (or one that is closely aligned) does not indicate that one religion is right. Children of Buddhists tend to become Buddhists and children of Catholics tend to become Catholics. They can’t both be the One True Religion!
TXBlue08 gives good reasons for not raising kids to be religious:
- God is a bad parent and role model.
- God is not logical.
- God is not fair.
- God does not protect the innocent.
- God is not present.
- God does not teach children to be good.
- God teaches narcissism.
That last one is my favorite. Humans display so much hubris. Why do we think that we are so important? The universe was most clearly not developed for us. Want proof: we would instantly die almost every place in the universe. If God has a plan, it ain’t for us!
Go read the article, it is good. But it isn’t why I’m writing this. When I first clicked to the article, a splash screen popped up telling me that the article had been flagged. Did I really want to read this terrible article? Absolutely. But I got a tickle out of the warning. Angry theists were doing what they do best: oppressing the non-believers.
But there is good news. CNN posted a very nice update:
So good for CNN and bad for the “believers.” I guess the argument is that believers have the right to raise their children as they wish because, you know, they have God’s ear. This actually brings up an old philosophical idea: in the absence of God, humans must play the role. And most believers play the role perfectly—just as you would expect from a narcissist.
I want to head off an objection I might hear to the first paragraph above. Teaching your children that there is no evidence of God is not a religious statement. Even the most hardcore atheists will admit that they don’t know. In fact, that’s the point. But Christians do not tell their children that maybe there is a God. They tell them that there is a God and that He is a very particular God. And that is just teaching kids things you have no right to teach them. It is like his father teaching Calvin that the sun is the size of a quarter. Except not nearly as fun.