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Thw allow children to sue their parents for religious indoctrination

  • Yes I do

    But there really is an important difference between including your children in harmless traditions, And forcing on them un-evidenced opinions about the nature of life or the cosmos. Tradition is fine where it amounts to songs or literature, Styles of dress or architecture. But tradition is a terrible basis for ethics, Or beliefs about the origin of the universe or the evolution of life.

    Indoctrinating your opinions into the vulnerable minds of your children is bad enough. Perhaps worse is the defeatist assumption, Almost universally made by society at large, Including secular society, That children as a matter of fact do automatically inherit the beliefs of their parents and our language should reflect this. Non-religious as well as religious people buy into the notion that children should be labeled with one religious name or another.

    Even labeled for life: when you enter hospital, Or join the armed services, You fill in a form where you have to nominate your religion (which can be “none”).

    We regularly read demographic projections like, “By the year so-and-so France will be 50 percent Muslim. ” Such a forecast can only be based on the assumption that all children born to a Muslim couple are little Muslims who will grow up to raise their own little Muslims in due course.

    Divorce courts may be asked to decide whether a child of a broken marriage should be “raised Catholic” or “raised Protestant. ” Nobody ever asked a divorce court to rule on whether a child should be “raised soccer” or “raised rugby”; “raised ornithologist” or “raised stamp collector”; “raised liberal” or “raised conservative”; “raised Macintosh” or “raised Windows. ”

    Feminists have successfully raised our consciousness about sex-biased language. Nobody nowadays talks about “one man one vote, ” or “the rights of man. ” The use of “man” in such a context raises immediate hackles. Even those who use sexist language know they are doing it, May even do it deliberately to annoy. The point is that our consciousness has been raised. Our language has changed because we have become aware of hidden assumptions that we previously overlooked.

    Let us all raise our consciousness, And the consciousness of society, About the religious labeling of children. Let’s all mind our religious language just as we have learned to over sexist language. “Catholic child, ” “Muslim child, ” “Hindu child, ” “Mormon child” — all such phrases should make us cringe. Whenever you hear somebody speak of a “Catholic child, ” stop them in their tracks: There’s no such thing as a Catholic child. Would you speak of a “Postmodernist child” or a “States Rights child”? What you meant to say was “child of Catholic parents. ” And the same for “Muslim” child etc.

  • NO No No

    But there really is an important difference between including your children in harmless traditions, And forcing on them un-evidenced opinions about the nature of life or the cosmos. Tradition is fine where it amounts to songs or literature, Styles of dress or architecture. But tradition is a terrible basis for ethics, Or beliefs about the origin of the universe or the evolution of life.

    Indoctrinating your opinions into the vulnerable minds of your children is bad enough. Perhaps worse is the defeatist assumption, Almost universally made by society at large, Including secular society, That children as a matter of fact do automatically inherit the beliefs of their parents and our language should reflect this. Non-religious as well as religious people buy into the notion that children should be labeled with one religious name or another.

    Even labeled for life: when you enter hospital, Or join the armed services, You fill in a form where you have to nominate your religion (which can be “none”).

    We regularly read demographic projections like, “By the year so-and-so France will be 50 percent Muslim. ” Such a forecast can only be based on the assumption that all children born to a Muslim couple are little Muslims who will grow up to raise their own little Muslims in due course.

    Divorce courts may be asked to decide whether a child of a broken marriage should be “raised Catholic” or “raised Protestant. ” Nobody ever asked a divorce court to rule on whether a child should be “raised soccer” or “raised rugby”; “raised ornithologist” or “raised stamp collector”; “raised liberal” or “raised conservative”; “raised Macintosh” or “raised Windows. ”

    Feminists have successfully raised our consciousness about sex-biased language. Nobody nowadays talks about “one man one vote, ” or “the rights of man. ” The use of “man” in such a context raises immediate hackles. Even those who use sexist language know they are doing it, May even do it deliberately to annoy. The point is that our consciousness has been raised. Our language has changed because we have become aware of hidden assumptions that we previously overlooked.

    Let us all raise our consciousness, And the consciousness of society, About the religious labeling of children. Let’s all mind our religious language just as we have learned to over sexist language. “Catholic child, ” “Muslim child, ” “Hindu child, ” “Mormon child” — all such phrases should make us cringe. Whenever you hear somebody speak of a “Catholic child, ” stop them in their tracks: There’s no such thing as a Catholic child. Would you speak of a “Postmodernist child” or a “States Rights child”? What you meant to say was “child of Catholic parents. ” And the same for “Muslim” child etc.


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