Consider “Parental Rights” in Light of Friendly Atheist Advice to 14-Year-Old

9 09 2010

UPDATE: Good advice for book banners and burners everywhere: read the supposedly damned thing first!

Here’s a quick test of your knowledge of scripture. Where does the following passage come from?

“Behold! The angels said: “O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee – chosen thee above the women of all nations.”

Let’s try another, with more modern language:

“Behold, the angels said, “O Mary, God announces good news to you by a Word from God named the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the hereafter.”

The first from the King James Version of the Bible and the second from the Revised Standard?

No on both accounts. . .


From The Friendly Atheist blog comes the kind of concern that even home-educating Thinking Parents ponder, when religious homeschooling gets caught up in the control meme and forgets the whole purpose of “education” anywhere is more and forward and freedom, not less and backward in a box:

Your parents seem to suffer from an anti-intellectualism that is sadly common and widespread in America. Their upbringing has engrained in them the belief that truth and virtue come from a Central Authority, rather than from investigation and personal responsibility. They struggle to live in a world that every day becomes a little more suited to you and a little less suited to them, so they are continuously defensive and reactionary.

Try not to become bitter toward your parents, even though they exasperate you. The fact that your resentment is justified will not prevent it from hurting all of you, and you the most. Like acid, resentment eats holes in everything it touches. On the other hand, I also acknowledge that the fact that they’re acting out of love does not make their restrictions any less stifling and oppressive to you. Deep, slow breaths, deep, slow breaths.

So I suggest two things. One, endure until your age brings you more autonomy, and two, in the meantime get a little sneaky. I feel a little sad to suggest that you should smuggle knowledge into your fertile mind under your parents’ radar, but like your body, your mind must be given what it needs to be nurtured now, not later. Youth, with its amazing powers of absorption, is very brief. . .

Several of the comments offer good suggestions btw, about access to independent sources of information and ideas apart from the religious indoctrination fearful parents allow.

Snooking that relates:
More Church Abuse of Its Own Members

This one’s ironic considering the worldwide-reverberating whacko-right religious turmoil in Gainesville FL this week, but maybe that’s actually a good sign of some sort, that the terrifying religious control meme knows its days are numbered but just won’t go gently into that good night?

Religious Left Emerges, Religious Right Erodes

Wonderful Tradition of Philosophy and Science:

. . .as intelligent and reasonable as humans now may be, people the world over including our own American media when the cartoonish becomes scary enough, still pretend and defer to religious claims that divinity plays humanity like puppets in a scripted play, a play that casts most humans as unworthy and doomed no matter what.

Thus in the third millennium “there is no bigger subject than God” and religious leaders still can bully this modern world into abandoning it all — our hard-earned philosophy, science and reason — via their (heavenly or hellish?) weapons of mass destruction, from controlling education, information and economic progress, to genital mutilation and genocide, to the increasing threat of nuclear bombs.

What Is Conservative [Christian] Homeschooling?

Do you experience the conservative homeschooling meme as principled belief in personal freedom and limited government, fueling politics meant to secure and protect equal opportunities for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, for all kinds of Americans as autonomous individuals? Or do you see conservative homeschooling as centered on religious rules and authority trumping secular authority, politics meant to impose fundamentalist social controls that supplant individual freedom (despite “libertarian” arguments and rhetoric)?

Homeschool Freedom Fighting: It’s So Not About the UN

Never Mind That Using Kids Is Immoral In Any Belief System

Handy-Dandy Public School Test for Constitution-Waving Conservative Christians

Logical Fallacies and Propaganda Christians Have Been Known to Use

What’s Young and Stupid? What’s Old Enough to Know Better?

Happy Scopes Monkey Trial Birthday:

The specific charge of the indictment is that on April 24, 1925, John T. Scopes, “did unlawfully and willfully teach in public schools of Rhea County, Tenn., which said schools are supported in part and in whole by the public school funds of the State, certain theory and theories that deny the story of Divine creation of man as taught in the Bible . . .

And in conclusion:

Oh my! (fluttering and fanning herself in a ladylike but vigorous fashion) MisEducation has always preferred the inspiring and deeply personal magic of theatres and libraries to the curriculum of the typical classroom, and this amazing news suggests that once again, she is ahead of her time in recognizing the Real Magic all around us.

It’s the Humanity, Stupid!



3 responses

9 09 2010

Ooops. I came to your site, was interupted, got distracted, repotted a fern, took a shower, just sat down and, oops, I’m still here. 🙂

I’ve been dreading the holidays this year (especially if the election goes badly), but I like Richard’s advice. Maybe it works for enduring parents, no matter what your age.

re: the 14-yr-old… Funny, if there’s a better way to inoculate a child against the Christian religion, I don’t know what it is. 😀

9 09 2010

True. And you lose out on your relationship with them, too. High price to pay for cheap goods!

It’s so fraught when the subject is religion versus academic freedom to learn but the real problem is trying to control your kids period. Take tv, or food, or whatever:

Is Your Love for Your Kids Controlling?

If you restrict tv now,
will you try to restrict them from the things they want when they are teens, too? It won’t work and everyone knows it, but parents don’t know what else to do. They act like they can control their teenagers, but that is so obviously not true, teens whose parents are restrictive will often put themselves in much more risky situations than otherwise.

Start trusting them now if that is the relationship you hope to have when they are teens. You can’t just manufacture it later, it is built on years of showing trust and confidence and support of their interests.

18 11 2010
Power of Story Can Change the World « Cocking A Snook!

[…] And remember, whatever your personal world and worldview: . . .the whole purpose of “education” anywhere, is more and forward and freedom, not less and ba… […]

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