Churches Want Your Kids!

As you read this, try not to throw up …

Churches want your kids, so they develop elaborate programs to get them. The church knows that if they don’t get a kid before that child is an adult, the task of converting them becomes exponentially harder. Conversely, if you can convince a child as young as five or six years of age that they were born flawed, inherently evil, worthless and in need of saving, then it is possible with the right amount of “training” to have a disciple for life. (emphasis mine)

More in this article.

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40 thoughts on “Churches Want Your Kids!

  1. I work in children’s ministry, i have done so at 3 different churches, and i have never experienced this. I am sure it exists, wackadoodle churches do. But it is far from normal. Our church provides free special needs services for my son, and does extensive background checks on workers. The consistent message is that they are loved, valued, and have so much to offer to people in need no matter their age. I have never heard one teaching to the contrary.

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  2. There’s no doubt this group is more radical than most, but it can’t be denied that it’s a fundamental part of Christianity to tell people they are sinful and in need of “saving.” Even when it’s done in a loving atmosphere, children are extremely susceptible, plus the fact their mental capabilities have not developed enough to truly understand the concepts of sin, heaven, hell, and “fighting for Jesus.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. =truthtangible: Why do “wackadoodle” churches exist anyway? Of course, many churches show their noble intentions doing. I’m an agnostic, and, my main objection against organized religion is a principle nicely phrased in the article Nan refers to:
    ==“Train up a child in the way he should go,” as the Book of Proverbs says, so that when the child is grown “he will not depart from it.”==.

    That, in my opinion, is exactly the problem of religious education – both at home and at school. Children may certainly [perhaps we could say, they should] be taught that the Torah and the Bible and the Koran exist, but not that these books contain “The One and Only Truth” (moreover, each states his own truth!) Children must learn to think for themselves. What is wrong with departing, later on, from what parents and teachers tell you? I go one step further, and daresay that few experiences are more beautiful and revealing that showing kids the way to horizons. I admit that the ability to discover other ways to see the world requires a certain mindset, and that it may be hard for a person to follow other paths if the neurons in his brain fail to make the necessary connections. But he will at least be aware of other aspects of life.
    With regard to things or situations that seem unworkable, I used to like the optimism of those convinced of its possibility, saying “Just try it, the sky is the limit”. But now I’m happy to have learned a new adage, “The sky is not the limit”.-

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    • Wackadoodle churches exist because Wackadoodle people do. This is not just a church thing. I mean people believe in healing stones, horoscopes, and all kinds of stuff.
      Children should be allowed to decide for themselves. But even if you don’t teach anything to your kids they tend to become what their parents are. Most people just don’t start to think for themselves until adult hood if at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. == Re my previous post at 5:26 p.m.: Just want to clarity that, with regard to neurons forming certain circuits, I used the word “failure” but that has nothing to do with intelligence or reasoning. I intend to distinguish between mindsets that tend to believe without any – or in spite of – evidence (cognitive dissonance), and ways of thinking that reject blind belief.-

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    • In his book, 1984, George Orwell coined the term doublethink, which has been defined as not just the ability to say that black is white, but “also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink. Doublethink is basically the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Arch, can we donate negative money?” – My bank account consists of little else.

    Anyway, maybe I’m dense, but I don’t see the connection to this post.” – You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to ME?

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  6. Wackadoodle churches exist because Wackadoodle people do.” – I LIKE this!

    But even if you don’t teach anything to your kids they tend to become what their parents are.” – Would you please tell that to my Bible-thumping daughter?

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  7. Even the least wackadoodle church is indoctrinating on some level. I for those of us who have deconverted, it has to be the hardest on ones brought up in church. I wasn’t and for that, I’m grateful.

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  8. Did she become bible thumping while you were a Christian?” – Oddly, TT, this comment didn’t show up in my email – had I not been browsing, I’d have missed it entirely, and you’d have had reason to believe I was ignoring you. I can’t help wondering how many other comments I’ve never gotten. Yay, WordPress!

    Giving up religion, for me, began when I was five or six and finding myself wondering, as I thumbed through National Geographics, how, of all the various religions in the world, the celebrations/rituals of which were featured in the magazine, could my family know that Christianity was the “right” one. “It just is, that’s all,” was the only answer I could ever get, which meant to me that my parents didn’t know either. By the time I was twelve, I was pretty much done with it, so, no.

    Understand, I didn’t TEACH atheism within my family, religion was simply never mentioned, just like any other irrelevant subject – I prefer that children think for themselves. She did, and I accept that (although I don’t REALLY believe she did, she was hammered with it by her maternal grandmother, who once threatened to blow my head off – sweet lady – I wish I knew where her grave was, I have a dance I’ve been saving up for the occasion).

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    • The comment section is weird on this thread for some reason arch. I’m having to scan also.
      So she became what was pushed by her grandma. That is rough. I hate when grandparents interfere. It’s like you had your chance. Now back off.

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  9. Quick note from the administrator (me) — I prefer not to set up my comment section using the “reply” option … for various reasons.

    Nonetheless, Arch, I’m not sure why you didn’t receive notification. Perhaps you just accidentally overlooked it. If you get as many notifications as I do (from all the blogs I’m following), this could easily have been the case. In any case, glad you were able to get back into the flow. 😉

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  10. @koppieop

    “Train up a child in the way he should go, he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

    You seem to understand this aphorism as strictly relating to indoctrination. As a general statement, I see nothing wrong with the Proverbs line. Kids need guidance; they don’t always make the right choices.

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    • Kids need guidance; they don’t always make the right choices. – What makes you think you know what those “right choices” are?

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      • Well, to give an example of what I mean, award-winning teacher Rafe Esquith in his wonderful book Teach Like Your Hair is On Fire recounts a trip to Washington D. C. where a student of his felt ill and threw up the night before. The next day the student felt well enough to get food at the food court before the class was supposed to go visit museums. After offering him advice to stick to bland healthy stuff, the student ended up loading his tray with brownies and chocolate chip cookies.

        “Now, Timmy is a wonderfully bright kid and I love having him in class. But he’s ten years old. He needs to be guided. I took the junk food off his hands and helped him make some wiser selections. He soon felt better and went on to have a good day.

        Children–even very bright ones–need guidance. Whether they are selecting food or literature, kids need our leadership to help them find the right path (34).”

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        • Had he eaten the junk food, he might well have learned another lesson, entirely on his own – though we’ll never know now, as the teacher made the decision to do his thinking for him, assuring that he will be programmed in the future to not trust his own judgement, but rather to submit to authority. He’ll make a good little Christian.

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        • Your argument is a slippery slope fallacy.

          1. Event X has occurred (or will or might occur).
          2. Therefore event Y will inevitably happen.

          1. The teacher made the decision for him
          2. Therefore it is assured that he will be programmed not to trust his own judgment.

          There is no reason to believe from this one data point or event that this student will never “trust his own judgment.” That’s a rather extreme assumption. Indeed, much of Esquith’s educational philosophy is about getting kids to be independent thinkers. However, the more important point is that kids do need to be guided in developing character, work ethic, their interests, judging media, etc.

          Here he is in his own words.

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        • 1. Event X has occurred (or will or might occur).
          a student of his felt ill and threw up the night before.
          
2. Therefore event Y will inevitably happen:
          BELIEVED sufficiently serious as to warrant taking the boy’s choices away from him.

          Funny thing about slippery slope fallacies – they can work both ways.

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        • I don’t really see how that constitutes a slippery slope, but okay.

          I imagine his primary concern was that his student had a good trip to D. C. Anyway this is all beside the point. People need guidance sometimes to be the best people they can be

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        • Somehow, I wouldn’t expect you to.

          People need guidance sometimes to be the best people they can be” – Should they seek it, I couldn’t agree more, but not if it’s foisted upon them as your adult did to the child, over whom he had complete authority.

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  11. Thank you Console for visiting and offering your thoughts.

    I’m not sure that I agree with Arch about letting the student go ahead and eat the junk food. I do think the better choice was to intervene. However, having said that, I’m curious. Was it pointed out to the student before dumping the junk food why it wasn’t a good choice? Or was the junk food just “dumped” without any explanation? And then, was the student taken back to the line and told what to choose, or was the student given guidelines on what was healthy and what wasn’t?

    Sometimes it’s all about how a situation is handled as to what is learned and what will remain with the person when similar situations arise.

    P.S. If this is addressed in the video, I apologize as I didn’t take the time to view it.

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      • I didn’t always keep ice cream in the fridge, but on the occasions when I did, we had it for breakfast together. After all, it’s the most important meal of the day.

        My children are all grown now and all well-educated, professional people, primarily because I allowed them to think for themselves instead of imposing my own ideals and principles on them. We had one rule – one, count ’em, one – growing up: “You can do anything you like, as long as you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else.” It seemed to have worked rather well.

        There were times when I had to step back and relax the first half of that rule in order to allow them to learn that actions have consequences. Old Groucho Marx joke: Man goes to a doctor, wiggles his arm a certain way and says, “Doctor, it hurts when I do that!” The doctor says, “Well don’t DO that!” When they came to me complaining of something they had done to themselves, all I ever had to say was, “Doctor, it hurts when I do that –” Internally, they finished it themselves, and lessons were learned, lessons they taught themselves.

        Would I have allowed them to jump off the roof? Having done it a number of times myself (once, while wearing a cape – I quickly learned that flying was not a part of my skill set – Douglas Adams once wrote that flying involves throwing yourself at the ground, and missing – I never missed), I don’t know. Fortunately for everyone concerned, I never had to make that decision.

        Consoled, I was exactly the opposite kind of parent – I spanked (but HATED every second of it), I told my son (the first-born) what to do and what not to do – in essence, much like your teacher, I did his thinking for him – until I enrolled in “Principles of Secondary Education” in college, and was introduced, as one of our textbooks, to A. S. Neill’s “SUMMERHILL: A Radical Approach To Child Rearing.” That changed my entire outlook – I literally did an overnight about-face (I read all 385 pages in a single evening). 85-year old Neill had run a school, Summerhill, in England, for 50 years, dedicated to the freedom of children, and he taught me how to raise happy, free-thinking kids.

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        • I’m glad your children grew up to be happy and well-educated. I’m certainly not criticizing your parenting style or choices, and I hope that wasn’t what was coming across. I am suspicious, however, of one-size fits all. After all, there are plenty of people who are happy and well-educated who didn’t grow up with the model you described.
          As the video that I linked to eight posts above shows, Esquith challenges his students to critically think about their behavior and the behavior they see around them and wants his student to get to what he calls Level-6 thinking in his interpretation of Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development. He also understands this isn’t a one day a process and requires a lot of work, a lot of modeling, and a lot of reinforcement. In his book, he talks about how as a young teacher he tried to control his classroom with fear, but as he got older he saw the error of his ways and tried for something better; he wanted his students to listen because they developed an inner moral code and could see the worthwhile reasons to listen. So I think you’re grossly mischaracterizing his ideas from one example.

          His students are mostly Central American and Korean second-language speakers from impoverished families and often very bad home situations. So, yes, sometimes they need a little more explicit guidance than your own children might’ve needed precisely because they have many other social factors working against them and influencing them as well.

          Neill’s book sounds interesting. I’ll check it out sometime.

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        • So essentially then, you’re saying that his students were a captive audience, in that they could afford no other school.

          I found Kohlberg’s “Stages of Moral Development” interesting, but was surprised he had the audacity to determine what was “moral,” and what was not.

          I couldn’t help chuckling at his “Stage 4: Law and order thinking” – “Leaders are assumed to be right” – that brought to mind Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

          Sounds like I’m a definite Stage 6

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        • It’s more like I am saying many of his students managed to thrive when they likely wouldn’t have otherwise precisely because they had him as a teacher and sometimes explicit teaching of certain values can be effective and one-size doesn’t fit all.

          Out of curiosity, are you a teacher?

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  12. According to the book, he had a conversation with the student before they went to select food, discussing with him how it was a good idea to select bland food since he had been sick and then telling him some examples (soup, veggies, bread). Then the student went off and started selecting the junk food anyway. Esquith then went back over to him and “took the junk food off his hands and helped him make some wiser selections.”

    So it’s not clear if he had a second discussion, but my guess reading his teaching philosophy is that he probably did go into the reasons. Esquith’s video (only 5 minutes long) gives a better sense of what he is hoping to impart as a teacher.

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  13. I can’t help wondering how many other comments I’ve never gotten. Yay, WordPress!

    I have written you tons of derogatory non-comments that you never receive, believe me.
    Check your emails. I guarantee you’ll find them not there.

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    • “When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not. Now, as age advances, I find it more and more difficult to recall things that never happened.”
      ~~ Mark Twain ~~

      Liked by 2 people

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