Aug 31 2007

Christian Indoctrination

Published by at 11:42 pm under random

Editor’s Note: I’ve always welcomed my son with the opportunity to write about a topic of his interest on my blog. The following is his work entirely with three minor spelling / grammatical corrections, and I removed his name and specific location. Obviously, it’s a little different to what I usually write about, but I hope you enjoy my son’s perspective about Christianity.

Hello all.

I’m 16 years old, in year 11 at a K-12 Baptist school in Sydney. This is just some background to the true topic below.

I’ve been at Christian schools for 6 years of my life, almost two thirds of my schooling. The last four and a half years since I started at this school in year 7, religion has obviously been a very large part of the school and its message. Which, as someone going to a Christian school, I am more than happy to put up with. I’m not at all anti-religious, even though I choose not to partake in it.

Which is where I’m coming from when I’m writing this, a non-Christian in the heart of a fundamental Baptist school. I’ve dealt with peer pressure on the topic in the bucket loads, absolutely backwards fundamentalists, and speeches that seem eerily reminiscent in tone and substance to those that preceded the infamous Kristallnacht.

On the other hand, I’ve also seen some of the best that Christianity has to offer, I’ve seen the good that those who truly practice what they preach have done for the school and local communities, three of whom I’d count amongst my closest of friends. This seeming contradiction in extremes has made me think long and hard about the role of religion in education, and I’ve come up with an idea that I’d like some of you to critique, if possible.

Every school camp that I’ve gone on has had an overtly Christian message within it. If you didn’t get the gist of it from the activities and leaders, then the mandatory hour of bible study gave it away. Again, this was bearable. Some verses were read and discussed, some life lessons were told and some advice given. All stuff that I can choose to listen to or not. The rather lacklustre part comes afterwards, when the preacher asks the kids to raise their hands if they’re Christian. Most do. Instantly, all those who haven’t raised their hands are now the glaring centres of attention.

Being different is not something one wants to be when they’re in the second week of high school, with a good half of the grade already being good friends in year 6. The preacher then asks those to keep their hands raised, and then tells whoever is going to convert tonight to raise their hands as well. A further twelve hands, out of one-hundred and twenty, pretty much simultaneously raise their hands. Leaving me, and some other person as the only people to have their hands down. I can tell you now, of the twelve that raised their hands, only one was actually committed. This is the first example of the school using peer pressure to convert and alienate the non-religious section.

Skip forward two years, year 9 school camp. This time the speaker managed to disgust the majority of the year. His entire one hour speech was about how Christians and non-Christians should keep their contact with each other at a minimum. True Christian’s faith might be damaged if they’re around the religiously impure, after all. Engaging in any kind of relationship with a non-Christian is tantamount to spitting on the Bible, as a later part of the speech went on to explain.

I’ve always been a self-thinking and independent person when it comes to these kinds of things, even when I was that young. It’s what kept me from raising my hand, “God knows” I could have used the friends, but not at the cost of my dignity. Following this speech, I actually felt dirty having listened to this. In a reasonably wealthy suburb of one of the most advanced nations in the world, I was being told I should abandon my Christian friends to keep their faith pure. I was, in no uncertain terms, being told I was lesser than a Christian.

The other thing about me which is relevant to this line of discussion is that I’m not at all anti-religious, and that I do actually listen to speeches and the like on the matter. I feel I have a reasonably good understanding of Christianity and what it’s all about. This is why I was so utterly shocked to be told that yes, everyone is created equal in the eyes of God, but you’re actually a lot more equal if you’re a Christian. The reality of it, is, of course, regardless of your acceptance of Jesus Christ, you’re still totally unworthy to partake in eternity. It’s because God’s such a nice guy that you get to live forever. Luckily, however, my grade seems to be reasonably intelligent, and the most vocal of the Christians also happen to be some of the smartest people in the grade, all of whom thought what the speech was saying was absolute tripe. Which was at least lucky.

Then there’s the indoctrination of the primary school. It’s the only phrase I can use to describe it. Having not gone through the primary school, I can’t really comment on it in depth, but from what I’ve heard from various friend’s younger siblings, it’s pretty bad. If religion is being taught next to maths and history, how is a young child meant to gauge that it’s a choice to be Christian, not a fact of life.

The kicker to this all is that I really like the school. The teachers who don’t touch religion are all dedicated, hardworking, likable and competent. The people that make up my friends and my year are all good people, three of whom are the most committed Christians in the year. The only good I have seen in religion has been through these few people. They’re the people who say they’re Christian and truly mean it, rather than the others who say they’re Christian because they converted at camp, but really only pay attention to the parts of the bible they like to follow, and ignore the rest.

Here’s where almost five years of being the vocal non-religious person at a very religious school has led me. Quite frankly, people who say they’re of the faith, but do absolutely nothing to live by any of the guidelines set by it, and just go around making a bad name for it, are good to absolutely no one. They’re not good for Christians, they’re not good for non-Christians, they’re good for absolutely no one.

Which is why I can’t figure out why people are being pressured into the religion at a young age without actually knowing the first thing about what it means to be Christian, what it entails, what it is. Instead, why can’t they do the seemingly most obvious thing?

Simply; teach what Christianity is. What it’s about. What it means to be a Christian, what it means to have a relationship with Jesus, and then, leave the rest up to you? This school has completely turned me away from religion for at lest the next few years, and I’m surely not the only one. The demi-religious people it’s churning out are only hurting the image of the religion, and turning even more people away from it. I know that the only reason I would have become a Christian way back when is because I was around absolutely amazing people, who always did their utmost to help you, talk to you, be friends with you, and everyone else for that matter. People who say “yes, I’m a Christian. I think it’s great, if you want to know more, talk to me about it. But anyway, how was your day?”. Those that are actually sure of their religion, of their faith, and of the fact they’ve chosen the right path, and don’t feel it necessary to trumpet it so everyone else thinks they’re cool and spiritual. Knowing these people has truly been and honour and an experience.

It’s these people who are the future of the religion. If the school could create ten of these in each year, as opposed to one hundred of the other kind, then in the end, there would be more Christians in the world. I could guarantee you the religion would be spread so much more effectively by these people to those that they touch in everyday life.

I’ve never been offended once when someone has tried to convert me. I understand Christianity enough to know that people do this out of love, out of compassion, and not the need to meet an arbitrary quota of souls or something similar. I don’t know about religion, and I don’t know why we’re here, but it just seems to me that the way this is all happening isn’t the right way to find it all out.

What do you think?

31 responses so far

31 Responses to “Christian Indoctrination”

  1. ozwebfxon 01 Sep 2007 at 4:13 am

    Enforcing religion on children is child abuse.

  2. Kinon 01 Sep 2007 at 6:03 am

    What an amazingly articulate post! I agree 100% and I count myself a Christian (some would disagree). I count myself very lucky to have been at a Christian school with supportive, loving people. Not ONCE was anyone pressured to “commit”, and the example shown by those vocally committed secured more goodwill towards Christians than not.

    With a range of religions present in the school, including a Hindu in my class, Religious Education was just that: a study of religions. I do admit to ignoring most of the study we did on Romans and Acts, which is where I’m guessing the “contact with non-christians should be kept to a minimum” was quoted from.

    My husband, a non-Christian, has been nothing but supportive of my faith. I never claim to be a “good” Christian, merely trying to do my best, which quite frankly isn’t always good enough in my mind. The examples I’ve seen from people I met through my school and associated Churches has always motivated me. I remember an aquaintence really, and her father (a minister) skipping HIS Sunday evening service to comfort me and my family in hospital as my mother lay dying. When these are the examples provided and inspiring to you as a young person, regardless of your faith you can be assured of growing into a person to be proud of.

    Thank you for writing something far more articulately (and respectfully) than I ever could.

  3. Andrew Boydon 01 Sep 2007 at 9:26 am

    Hi Meg,

    interesting article – your son writes well, please pass on my thanks for an interesting read.

    My thoughts – as someone who shares many Christian beliefs yet cannot be called that in the current sense of the word – are:
    – there is a lot of debate between the “salvation through faith alone” camp and the “salvation through good works” folk – the former tend to be Literalists of the Prosperity Theology movement and the latter more practical everyday Australians. I get along better with the latter, though I have met some very good people amongst the former – my point here is that while a lot of people will tell you otherwise, there are many different types of Christian. This article picks up on this nicely.
    – If anyone is interested in finding out more, they could do worse than read John Spong’s “Why Christianity Must Change or Die” and Tanya Levin’s “People in Glass Houses”. While I found it a bit dry, Marion Maddox’ “God Under Howard” gives some nice background to Tanya’s concerns about political influence.
    – Lack of tolerance by those that insist on it from others is a problem for many faiths – self-honesty is a good cure.
    – This is a difficult subject to discuss without raising pro- and anti-Christian emotions, but I think that we should be able to talk about it in a civilised way. Thank you for publishing his article.

    Best regards, Andrew

  4. Alister Cameron // Blogologiston 01 Sep 2007 at 10:07 am

    Wow Meg… you raise them smart and articulate, all right!! He’s a credit to you :)

    I really don’t know where to start on a topic like this… it’s so vast for someone like me who has given his life to Jesus.

    It hurts me deeply when I see “Christians” behave so offensively about their faith that it turns other well-meaning enquirers off. Your son’s comment that he’s been turned off for at least the next few years really saddens me.

    But the issues are complex, and cut to the heart of the “adulterations” that have made their way into Western Christianity. Not least, the felt need to ghetto Christian kids in their own schools for fear of their corruption out in the “world”.

    As I said, I really don’t know where to start, except to say that in the midst of these corruptions the truth still shines. The Lord is always renewing, restoring, redeeming and reforming his church, his bride whom he loves and for whom he has given his life.


  5. […] that seem eerily reminiscent in tone and substance to those that preceded the infamous Kristallnachtread more | digg story var bz_url=’’; var […]

  6. Johon 01 Sep 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Thanks for the great post. Your ability to express yourself is powerful. You add to my impression that the majority of young people are incredibly intelligent, thoughtful and compassionate. I love that you have given this such reflection and been able to articulate it.
    I also work in a Christian (Catholic) school as a non-religious teacher. After reading your post I feel pleased we don’t have such a high level of indoctrination at our school, because I don’t think I could stay there. I find the experiences on camps and listening to the prejudices of the speaker quite revolting. I hate to think people would operate like that. I agree with you that it is not a successful way of ‘converting’ if that is their aim!
    I also must say I enjoy the community I work within and find the ‘christian’ behaviour, which is really love and compassion as I understand it, a great place to live and learn.

    To Meg: Thanks for sharing your son’s message with us. I know you would be deeply proud of such a thoughtful and reflective son.

  7. Rodon 01 Sep 2007 at 12:51 pm

    I wish I could write like that! Well done.

    I won’t comment on the religion side of things but I admire your ability to think critically which is an absolute asset and at times requires a certain strength. Good on You.

    I hope you find the time to continue writing, I’d enjoy reading about some of the challenges facing youth today.

  8. Meg's Sonon 01 Sep 2007 at 1:11 pm

    First of all, thank you all for your praise and encouragement. It makes me feel a whole lot better about writing this article.

    Kin; It’s always those true Christians who do the best for the religion. Knowing people like that, who would go completely out of their way for you, regardless of the cost to themselves, is just such a comforting thing. It reminds you that the world isn’t such a bad place.

    And religious studies at my school is a study of Christianity, the only thing we learn about any other religions is why you shouldn’t associate with them. This is most worrying because with all the things the media is saying about Islam, combined with a chronic lack of education about it, I fear that the sentiments that led to the Cronulla Riots in 2005 could still continue to be harboured. I know a little bit about the other religions, but most know nothing at all.

    Andrew; The “salvation through good works” type of Christianity that you mention is the main reason why, despite all the negatives that I’ve seen come from the religion, I’ve never truly turned away from it. Seeing the good that these people do is one of the only redeeming factors of organised religion that I can find.

    Alister; The “ghettoing” that you speak of is right on the mark. I was talking to a Christian at the school just before we were about to leave to go to the year 9 camp, about our respective beliefs. I brought up the point of evolution, and what he though of it. He said that is was absolutely silly, asking me “what? do you really think that when you die you’ll come back as a dog or butterfly or something?”

    In year 9, he didn’t know the difference between evolution and reincarnation. Also kind of highlights the school’s science classes as well.

    Joh; A lot of the people I know are quite smart, but by the same token a lot aren’t the brightest and most thoughtful people around. The good news is that those who are smartest are actually putting their intelligence to work in the community and in the school, trying to do something with it. Which is definitely a good thing.

    It’s also good to see that my school seems to be at the extreme end of the spectrum. I couldn’t agree more about the Christian environment that you speak of. Working and living in it is something that’s a unique and quite a good experience.

  9. Bryceon 01 Sep 2007 at 8:02 pm

    This truely was an amazing article to read. This sort of thing is why I have shied away from going to catholic schools. It is this fundamentalisation and commercialisation of some organised religions that makes me sometimes be ashamed to associate with the name.

  10. Scott Yangon 01 Sep 2007 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks for the interesting write up. Here are some of my thoughts, as a Christian coming from the “Salvation by Faith” camp.

    1. “Salvation by good works” means you only can be saved by doing good, which means as a Christian you can never be sure whether you have been saved, because you can never be sure whether you are “good enough” — which is not what has been taught in the Bible.

    You’ll find that many “do-gooder” Christians are actually believing in salvation by faith, i.e. one can only be saved by trusting in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as no one can be “good enough”. Doing good for Christians is the result of being saved, not a prerequisite of being saved. Christians help out others, provide hospitality, give encouragement, take care the needy, etc because they know that they are already right with God. Doing good is natural to them.

    2. At the same time, Christians are bad people, i.e. they recognised that they are incapable to be “good enough” to pass God’s standard, so they begged for mercy. They are not saints, but saved sinners.

    Although they are told to change and live a new life, but saved sinners are still sinners and make mistakes. There are numerous examples where Christians have wronged others (and I wish I could apologise for them all), however I do not think the misbehaviour of minority individuals should generalise what Christianity is about.

    3. As of Christian schools, I think it might have to do with parents’ expectation. My daughter will start kindergarden in 2010, and I am lining her up with a near by Anglican school. Why? As a Christian parent sending kids to a Chrisitan school, I am expecting Christian values to be taught in classes.

    Well, these are my perspective. Now let me find my flame suite :)

  11. Colin Campbellon 02 Sep 2007 at 7:27 am

    Growing up in Scotland, we said the Lords Prayer and sang a hymn every day during Primary School. It was just part of the curriculum and we thought nothing about it. We had an itinerant minister who would come around and the teachers would often read extracts from the bible. That said, there was very little arm twisting since it was part of the curriculum and people were not judged one way or another.

    When we got to secondary school, religion was toned down, but we still sang hymns at the weekly assembly.

    I think that the alienating method of encouraging participation that you describe is wrong. Given the right environment, people will make their own choices.

  12. Bengton 02 Sep 2007 at 4:13 pm

    This is a very well written post about a somewhat touchy topic.

    If you can keep your open mind, being able to see both (or more) sides of an issue, through life you will manage well!

  13. Meg's Sonon 02 Sep 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Bryce; Indeed. It’s a symptom of the world in which we live.

    Scott; There’s a large difference to Christian values being taught in class and religion being forced upon someone. Every school teaches Christian values in class, as we are a Judeo-Christian society whose very fundamental laws and rules are pretty much lifted from the Bible word for word. Christian schools teach to convert more so than just teaching the facts for people to make up their own mind. From my personal experience they’re best at doing it when the kids are more vulnerable/impressionable like primary school and years seven and eight.

    Colin; The high school you mentioned just the way it should be at religious schools. Letting everyone make up their own mind in their own time. By giving them the facts on religion you allow them to make the best informed decision in regards to their personal beliefs and situation.

  14. Renaeon 04 Sep 2007 at 11:12 am

    I am sorry that you were told not to be friends with Christians because it would “weaken” their faith. As a youth I was told similar things (I was on the Christian side) but I realize now that those statements are based on fear. When individuals base their faith on what they are told and never reason it out for themselves their faith is weak anyway.

  15. Cameron Reillyon 04 Sep 2007 at 10:11 pm

    Great post Meg’s Son. I was part-amused, part-infuriated today to read the perhaps the best known “good works” type of Christian in modern times, Mother Teresa, was a fraud. For most of her adult life she doubted the very fundamentals of her religion. For reasons I don’t understand, she chose not to speak publicly about those doubts, allowing the world to assume she had some special spiritual “thing” which drove her life when, in fact, she was deeply miserable and empty – just like the rest of us.

    I am also amused by Alister’s allusions above to ‘the “adulterations” that have made their way into Western Christianity”. Any reading of the Christian Bible will demonstrate quite clearly that violence and intolerance are at the heart of Christianity and always have been. Although the New Testament is a big improvement over the Old, it is still replete with intolerance and violence towards anyone who doesn’t believe what they believe. So this isn’t an “adulteration”. This apple is rotten from the core.

    Not to mention that there is absolute ZERO contemporary evidence to support even the actually existence of Yeshua… but that’s a whole other subject.

  16. Allthings2allon 05 Sep 2007 at 5:18 am

    On Christian Indoctrination: He’s Talkin’ ‘Bout His Generation…

    I was scooting about in cyberspace a couple of days ago and came across this post, Christian Indoctrination, written by a 16 year old guy who isn’t a Christian and who attends a Christian school. He’s attended Christian schools for a total of six yea…

  17. Alister Cameron // Blogologiston 06 Sep 2007 at 2:23 pm

    To Cameron Riley: *yawn*.

    The Bible, they say, is the anvil that has worn out many hammers.

    I’ll ignore the Mother Teresa stuff (which sounds utterly ridiculous), but as for the issue of contemporary evidence for the existence of Yeshua (Jesus)…

    What “contemporary evidence” do you have in mind? He was on the planet in bodily form 2000 years ago, mate! Nothing contemporary about that!!

    If you mean by contemporary, proof that he is still alive today (albeit in Heaven), then that’s a great conversation to have. But you sure don’t sound up for it.


  18. Andrew Boydon 06 Sep 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Cameron and Alister,

    let me ask you some questions :)

    If it were about the way a person behaved – first last and always – would it matter if Mother Theresa’s faith was a little shaky, or that there may or may not be hard evidence for the existence of a historical Jesus?

    Which is more important – that there is a series of verifiable facts, or that both Mother Theresa and Jesus were (and are) good role models? Which (the facts or the behavior) would allow a person to sleep better at night? Is selling the doctrine of literalist atheism (on one side) and literalist Christianity (on the other) more important than how we live our lives?

    And the supplementary: what is more important to you – your actions and their results, or your intentions?

    Cheers, Andrew

  19. Alister Cameron // Blogologiston 07 Sep 2007 at 10:47 am


    You can’t divorce the historical facts from the moral/theological stuff.

    Paul said we Christians are most to be pitied if Jesus did not rise from the dead. Everything about the Christian faith hinges on the bodily resurrection of Christ (and that, ergo, he is alive today), and if you can disprove that, then I have nothing to base my faith on. Full stop.

    But no one has ever disproved it. Many who have serious tried have ended up giving their lives to Jesus after realizing that this story “stacks up” (and I’m sure they “met” him in the midst of their research, somehow).

    It’s important that people understand, then, what the Christian faith is: it’s the imitation of Christ, and it’s a continuing journey of relationship with him, mediated by the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer. In other words, I have the Holy Spirit somehow inside me to make my relationship to God/Jesus real and powerful and effective for living the life he has called me to.

    Now there is both a moral dimension to that (living a good life), and a spiritual dimension to that (relationship with Jesus). But the former makes no sense without the latter.

    I can’t separate them. It makes no sense for a Christian to do that, because in the day-to-day it’s about imitating Christ, and seeking to please him, because I love him.

    I choose to live a “good” life, not because “it’s the right thing to do”, but because I want to please him and I so dearly want to be more like him. I an enamoured with him and utterly convinced he is all he says he is, and all the Bible says he is.

    But… I define “good” as what I see in his life and words, not what some “moralists” convey. “Good” then, is clearing out the temple in a rage, it’s choosing to spend time with very broken and difficult people, it’s refusing to resort to violence to get things sorted out, it’s sacrificing money I’d love to spend on me, to spend on orphans… whatever.

    Living like Jesus is hard sometimes. But I am committed to it… with all my failings and shortcomings. I am convinced he is the “way, truth and the life”. He is worth it.


    PS. I hope that’s some kind of answer to your questions.

  20. […] 16-year-old son of a major Australian blogger has written an amazing essay objecting to the Christian indoctrination at his school — particularly the peer pressure and other psychological tactic brought to bear. A taste: […]

  21. Ravenon 10 Sep 2007 at 12:51 pm

    Good for you Meg.

    Spent my high school years at CCHS. Know what you are talking about. I was the penticostal preachers kid at the baptist school. So I was the happy clappy. Tell you what, I would rather have been the non believer.

    Keep thinking and writing, it is working for you.

  22. matton 26 Nov 2007 at 1:47 pm

    To Meg’s son

    Firstly, that’s a nice photo – I recognise it becasue I live in the suburb you’ve shown in a street right next to the soccer field!! And I can guess the school you’re referring to is probablythe one over the bridge on the right of your photo.

    I think indoctrination of any kind – christianity, judaism, islam or even atheism/humanism – is reprehensible. And i’m sorry to hear what happened to you. Misguided parents believe they are doing the right thing by introduing their kids to religion and ‘instilling morals’ but what they are actually doing is forcing their own religious beliefs on to their child at a time when they will uncrtically accept anything they are told – and in the end this indoctrination can only ever be temproary becasue when the child approaches adulthood they will form their own views and make up their own mind. Parents should leave their kids to make up their minds as adults – indoctrinating kids is a socially acceptable form of child abuse

    Morality needs no divine permission – in fact it is more often the case that immorality proceeds from divine authority (the Crusades where christains burned ‘witches’ at the stake, christain shooting doctors at abortion clinics, muslims flying planes into buildings, Mormons refusing thier children life-saving blood transfusions and so on and so on).

    I strongly suggest you YouTube authors like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Ayaan Hirsi Ali top hear very interesting debates on belief. And also of course buy their books if you can. YouTube is an excellent way to hear these great thinkers and orators at the click of a mouse and with no expense/delay.

    You are obviously independent enough not to succumb to religious pressures thus far – however from your note it seems you are unaware of the pitfalls of belief and the huge negatives of subscribing the religous superstition – the guilt and the watsed energy. You seem open to religious belief.

    The religious instructors at your school beleive all non-christians (i.e. most of the planet) are destioned for an eternity of suffering for not accepting their religion’s message. Of course they gloss over the facts that most of the planet has never even heard their message, and never will – and they also conveniently gloss over the fact that we (humans as a species) pre-date christainity by at least 98,000 years (and maybe up to 248,000 years). Try to do the sums on past/present/future people damned for an eternity for not even hearing the message and it staggers the mind!! So even if you accept that there is a God, it would seem montrous if the christains claims are correct – and that eternal well being rests solely when/where you are born!!! Soelly on hearing the christain message – and accepting it!! Nonsense…

    In any event, there are many many water proof arguments against believing the Christian god story – and in your schooling you would not have been exposed to the various dark/disturbing passages from the bible are never mentioned by the faithful. I just suggest to you not to swallow their god story whole and just take some of the postives from it but also seek wisdom from other sources, including form non-religious writers and commentators.

    If you can read ‘The God Delusion’ (Dawkins) and ‘God is not Great’ (Hitchens) – it would be well worth your while investing the small amount of time taken to read these books before aligning yourself to a life-time of adherence to any faith. My theory is that people like simplicity – they want all their answers in one book, one doctrine, one religion, one person, one deity – but I suspect there is much more to be had from life than that. I think accepting any one religion or way of thinking is very limiting and I hope this would not be the path you choose.

    Good luck to you

  23. matton 27 Nov 2007 at 9:18 am

    This is a story posted yesterday (26 Nov 2007) – if the link doesn’t work google “eye-gouging exorcism”. It is about a girl in NZ who is recovering from emergency surgery to save her eyesight – why you ask? Well her relatives performed a Maori exorcism ceremony which involved gouging her eyes – and incidentaly her cousin also was subject to an ‘exorcism and died. Yes died!!

    This is just the type of outcome religion is capable of – it’s just crazy. They are not christians in this case but the same principle applies. Otherwsie sane people doing insane things in the name of religion. The ‘demons’ referred to in this modern day story – and also those referred to in the bible – are likely to be nothing more sinster than epilepsy or some form of mental illness. Rather than seek care from health professionals and approproate medications this poor girl is subjected to eye gouging!!!. Or in the middle ages the christians would have probably burnt this girl at the stake for being possessed by a demon or being a witch!!

    I won’t add any more comments for you – i just thought it was funny that as soon as i entered a post a prime example of religious lunacy cropped up in the media that same day!! Also while i’m posting one another book i forgot to mention that you should read to give you a very good perspective on christianity – in addition to Dawkins and Hitchens – is an old book called “the bible”.

    After reading Dawkins/Hitchens & co I suggest actually reading what’s in the bible – not just the main passsages the faithful always refer to that seem harmless but read the whole book – you will find it frightening to see the violence, the contradictions, the pointless vengence, blatant racisim and ethnic clensing, illogical anger/jealousy, blood sacrifices (human and animal) and so on and so on – it is an absolute mess. Spending some time actually reading the bible quite clearly underscores that it is not a ‘divine’ document in any sense – it is patently man-made and a product of its time. You or I could knock together a far more profound, more compassionate, more complete, less contradictory and more wise document in a few days….and it’s no wonder we could – we know far more about the universe, the earth, mpdern evolution and medcine than biblical authors because of when we were born….

    please don’t let the faithful suck you in to adopting their iron age faith. They are often very nice people, and most of my own family is religious, but in the end they are misguided …and they are unwittingly and unknowingly limiting their own life experience and they want you to join them…..

    Again good luck to you…and i hope you access wisdom from a wide array of sources rather than being sidetracked in religious faith…

  24. matton 28 Nov 2007 at 10:09 am

    Otherwise sane people doing insane things in the name of religion – yet another example in today’s paper.

    This would be funny if it wasn’t actually happening. In Australia we have legislation that proposes that …..”REPRODUCTIVE donors will be able to demand their sperm or eggs only go to certain religious, ethnic or cultural groups or be reserved for heterosexual couples under government legislation expected to pass the NSW upper house today.”

    Sane people doing insane things….christians donors who believe in a non-existant deity called ‘Yaweh’ refusing their reproductive donation (egg/sperm) to prospective recipients that may beleive in another non-existant deity such as ‘Allah’ or who do not believe in any deity…..this is absolute madness – and what’s worse is that this nonsense has actually made it to our parliamanent….I will be watching the outcome of this disgraceful state sanctioning of bigotry..

    this is yet another example of immoral an unethical thinking emanating from a religious base…

  25. […] Family – This isn’t about my family, but it was a guest post my son wrote about something he felt strongly about – Christian Indoctrination. […]

  26. Jeffon 25 Sep 2008 at 4:15 am

    A wonderfully written post….thanks for your efforts. Although I am not a deeply religious person I consider myself a christian.

  27. Jeannyon 10 Mar 2009 at 5:13 pm

    # Bengt; If you can keep your open mind, being able to see both (or more) sides of an issue, through life you will manage well!

    I agree with this comment. Stay true to yourself!! I was raised Catholic yet I didn’t understand the religion completely until I was 33 yrs old (3 years ago). When I finally understood, I convert to Christian because, to me, that was what my heart desired. Your heart will guide you in no time. Just be sure to listen to your heart very well. I applaud you for being honest with your opinion. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. I do pray you find you way to our Lord and Jesus Christ. They’re really so good. I love you! A.S.A.P= Always Say A Prayer!!

  28. Black Jeopardyon 26 Apr 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Very well articulated from the first point to the last. I will be linking you to one of my latest posts, if you dont mind :)

    Black Jeopardy’s last blog post..Dear Beloved Friends.

  29. Rhyson 13 May 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Wow Meg’s Son – you restore my faith in Oz youngsters.

    Have no fear, your open minded approach to the ‘most hotly argued question ever’ will get you there in time. It is a journey not a dilemma, and if you keep your mind open to what your heart tells you, you will arrive and succeed.

    The only real answer is subjective, because the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven can only be found in your heart – not in clinical objective analysis. When you do find the proof it will be in the form of inner conviction – and that will be unshakable by any doubt expressed by unbelievers.

    Works for me…………

    Rhys’s last blog post..How to Preach

  30. […] Check out this post about his experience with Christian indoctrination […]

  31. Joannon 21 Feb 2011 at 1:32 pm

    This was a very interesting and fascinating Blog. It was very thoughtful and well written, and it was written with deep respect to the Christian faith. It didn’t bash the faith in any way, shape, or form, as some Blogs critical of Christianity often do. This Blog was extremely refreshing, and I very much enjoyed reading it. Meg, your son’s spelling and grammar was absolutely superb, the best I’ve seen in a very long time. Not many kids his age can type and spell as well as he can, and not very many young adults my age and even older can, either, for that matter. Anyway, I totally agreed with everything in this Blog as it was very truthfully written. Why can’t the children who are being brought up in the Christian faith be allowed to think for themselves, rather than be subjected to Christian indoctrination at such a young and impressionable age? I mean, look how we teach our children to believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or even the Tooth Fairy. It’s the same thing. Children pick up on it and will believe anything and everything you tell them. But allow a child to start thinking on his own and begin questioning everything you are force feeding them about your Christian faith, and suddenly, it is a whole different ball game. I’m a Christian, and I’ve believed in Jesus my whole life, but it was never shoved down my throat as far as I can remember. I’m still not afraid to think for myself. However, what I find to be sadly surprising is how I feel I have to hide all of my disagreements about what my preacher is teaching me and others and keep it all to myself because I still don’t have enough courage to stand up and break free from some of the lies that I’ve heard and actually question everything and point out that there is, in fact, some contradictions in the Bible, which proves that an all powerful and all knowing God can’t possibly be the Author because, being the perfect Being that He is, He would never contradict Himself, would He? But if I ever tried expressing my own viewpoints about what I think the Bible is really trying to tell us, and even tried to point out the fact that imperfect, mortal men were the Bible’s true authors, and that God was simply the Divine Inspiration behind it, I’m pretty sure I would either be cut off, interrupted, and ignored, as I was one evening about two years ago while I was trying to explain why I support human surgical sterilization (because people who are either selfish and irresponsible or mentally handicapped, blind, or deaf shouldn’t be allowed to have children) and human euthanasia (people who are very old and/or very sick with a terminal illness shouldn’t be forced to continue living with their own pain and suffering, it’s wrong and inhumane, and it doesn’t make you Pro Life at all), right after I went and saw Ben Stein’s “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” with my Bible Study group, or I would more than likely would have been forced to eventually back down, give up my true beliefs, and out of anger and frustration, pretend to agree with them when I really do not. Pretty sad, huh? I love being a Christian, and I would never give it up for anything in this world, but sometimes it’s very difficult to be yourself in church and around your Christian friends when all they want to do is try to change you and make you into something you’re not.