Religion and youth
Posted: 30 December 2006 04:56 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Several authors decry the "programming" of the young at the earliest age in the faith of their parents. It is truly a progressive parent who allows a child to make those decisions when they are appropriate for the child. I think this is one area that we could focus on… most parents of all faiths just automatically assume that their children will share their beliefs. This is then supported by the cultural milieus in which they are raised . I suspect that many of us had serious reservations about our early brainwashing, but it was hard to move away from it. College did it for many of us. When I at about 8 years of age asked my mother where heaven was, she parroted what she had heard from some itinerant preacher, "its up there in the sky near the North Star where there are no other stars. If you go through there, you'll get to heaven." (She's now 90 and still believes that). The first semester in college, I took an astronomy course and you know where I swung the telescope! My thought was, "what else did they lie to me about?"

After dedicating 35+ years of my life to public education, I lay a lot of the blame for the current situation right there. We do not teach critical thinking and quite frankly, do a miserable job teaching science at the elementary and secondary levels. Is it any wonder 80-90% of our population believe in a personal God and Intelligent Design? Maybe the schools didn't teach it, but we defaulted to the society and their teachers who probably believed it . I, for one, am very glad the current discussion is taking place in our society.

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Posted: 30 December 2006 05:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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The problem with people allowing their children to decide is that a substantial number of people quite literally believe that their children will go to hell if they don’t believe.  This goes far beyond the mere assumption that they will believe the same way, and causes violent opposition to anything seen as interfering with the indoctrination.

-Matt

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Posted: 06 January 2007 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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What if you just wanted to teach your Children that drinking and driving was not only a good idea but was what an old man in the sky wanted.

It the same for religion., but worse because drunk driving doesn’t start wars.

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Posted: 06 January 2007 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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[quote author=“taoseno”]Several authors decry the “programming” of the young at the earliest age in the faith of their parents. It is truly a progressive parent who allows a child to make those decisions when they are appropriate for the child. I think this is one area that we could focus on… most parents of all faiths just automatically assume that their children will share their beliefs. This is then supported by the cultural milieus in which they are raised . I suspect that many of us had serious reservations about our early brainwashing, but it was hard to move away from it. College did it for many of us. When I at about 8 years of age asked my mother where heaven was, she parroted what she had heard from some itinerant preacher, “its up there in the sky near the North Star where there are no other stars. If you go through there, you’ll get to heaven.” (She’s now 90 and still believes that). The first semester in college, I took an astronomy course and you know where I swung the telescope! My thought was, “what else did they lie to me about?”

After dedicating 35+ years of my life to public education, I lay a lot of the blame for the current situation right there. We do not teach critical thinking and quite frankly, do a miserable job teaching science at the elementary and secondary levels. Is it any wonder 80-90% of our population believe in a personal God and Intelligent Design? Maybe the schools didn’t teach it, but we defaulted to the society and their teachers who probably believed it . I, for one, am very glad the current discussion is taking place in our society.

An excellent book that I think ought to be required reading in 10th grade is Doris Lessings “Prisons We Choose to Live Inside.”  That in itself would be a good start on defundamentalizing students.

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Posted: 07 January 2007 02:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“taoseno”] The first semester in college, I took an astronomy course and you know where I swung the telescope! My thought was, “what else did they lie to me about?”

I really appreciated the poignancy of this one meaningful act.

I was raised Jewish.  While we weren’t terribly religious, I did go to services on the two high holidays each year, went to Hebrew School and was bar-mitzvahed.  It all meant absolutely nothing to me.

I think the bar-mitzvah may have been something my parents first asked me about, and not wanting to disappoint, I said why not.  In retrospect, it only set my financially struggling parents back even more, and *poof* - I was a “man.”

I have a young cousin who, in a 180º, dedicated his life to the Torah, moved to Israel to study it, married, and began raising orthodox Jewish children.  He had been a promising musician, studying at the Curtis Institute of Music.  Now men are not allowed to touch his wife, nor women him.  That includes handing objects to them.  When his family visits his parents in NY, the parents are expected to Kosher-ize their house for him and his family, including mandatory dress codes for mom.  And they comply because they want to see their son, who they still love. 

Are there any other raised-Jewish folks here who have had similar/different experiences from mine of my cousins? 

Honestly (and perhaps embarassingly) I never cared much for religion, and so actually know very little about the one under which I was raised.  It always struck me as silly and boring, though I never said as much to my parents.

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“The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray.”
          — Robert G. Ingersoll

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Posted: 07 February 2007 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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If one teaches a child early that god and religion are silly superstitions: Odds are that the child will hold that belief for the rest of his or her life.


Andrew Greeley. Who I don’t like but He’s right about getting kids as early as possible.
http://www.agreeley.com/articles/hardcore.html

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Posted: 08 February 2007 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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[quote author=“Doug”]If one teaches a child early that god and religion are silly superstitions: Odds are that the child will hold that belief for the rest of his or her life.


Andrew Greeley. Who I don’t like but He’s right about getting kids as early as possible.
http://www.agreeley.com/articles/hardcore.html

Not necessarily: they hit adolescence and start rejecting parental teachings, just like some kids brought up in a religion reject it.

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