Originally posted by they see ALL
atheists aren't forced...
not ALL Christians force their kids to be Christian...
if they're smart, they will not...
Do you mean to tell me that atheist parents who raise their children to believe that it is impossible for there to be such a thing as a god, are in
some way different than parents who teach their children to believe in a god? How is it only brainwashing when a child is taught TO believe in
something, but not when they are taught NOT TO believe in something?
All parents teach their children the things which they hold to be true. My mother believes that Christianity is the ultimate truth. When I was a
child, I was taught to believe in the same things as my mother did. As time went by and I began to think for myself, I instinctively started to
question the things that didn't make sense in her religion. Eventually, I chose not to adhere to any religion, much to the dismay of my mom.
To this day, she fears for my soul, because she knows that I no longer subscribe to her beliefs. She isn't angry because I chose not to be a
"Christian", rather she is afraid for me, because she truly believes that Christian "Salvation" is the only way to get into Heaven. Since I
don't share her beliefs, I am going to end up in Hell after I die.
Now, I could resent the fact that I was forced to attend, not only, a Christian church, but also a Christian school, my entire pre-adult life; or that
I was never taught anything about what other people believe (other than how all other religions were decoys from the devil); or that I wasn't allowed
to listen to secular music (other than golden oldies) growing up; but there would be no point in doing that. Not only would it be a slap to the face
of my parents, who sacrificed a lot of themselves in order to raise me in the best way they could; but it would also ignore everything good that I
learned and experienced in my youth.
Yes, I was indoctrinated for about 15 years to believe in Christianity as the one true faith, but I also have the ability to understand the Christian
perspective on things. I have a great amount of respect for those rare, true Christians, like my mom, who live as examples of their faith and are not
Yes, as a child I hated the fact that my parents wouldn't let me attend public school, have a TV., or listen to secular music, but they did allow me
to have close friends, who attended public school, had TV’s and listened to B95. I also had a very vivid imagination since I had no TV to ruin it;
I didn't have to experience the cruelty or insecurity many kids did in school, since my school only had (at most) 45 kids from K thru 12th grade; and
I even developed an appreciation for old time radio shows & a wide range of musical styles, thanks to my parents refusal to allow me to listen to the
uninspiring pointless music of the day.
Even my mom's unwillingness to doubt her religion, when I was confused by questions that couldn't be explained, helped me in a positive way. If it
had not been for my church's "True Christians don't doubt the infallible Word of God" stance, shared by my mother, I might never have felt like
something was "rotten in Denmark". Without that feeling, I would never have bothered to try and find out what the Truth really was.
I am who I am today because of the values that were instilled in me and the examples that my parents set for me, when I was a small child. While I
may not share their religious beliefs as an adult, I know that the reason they were so dedicated to raising my brother and I up as Christians, was
because they considered it their responsibility, as our parents, to provide us with a firm grounding in the "truth" to protect us once we entered
the real world.
Whether they were right or not, I don't know, and it doesn't really matter. What I have taken with me from their so-called attempts to
"brainwash" me, is simply that my parents lived according to their principles and refused to conform to the expectations of the world around them,
even though life would have been much easier, because the most important thing in their life was raising my brother and I the best way they could.
Their love for us, and the examples they set by the way they live are what influence me today, and it was their religious beliefs that inspired them
to be the parents they were and are.
Parents have an obligation to teach the values of honesty, compassion, perseverance, humility, courage, respect, confidence, and tolerance to their
children, through both word and deed.
These are principles that are central to every moral and religious code in history, and it doesn't matter if the parents instill these principles
because of their religion or not.
All that matters is that they try their best as parents, to show their children how to incorporate these basic values into their lives, and hope most
of it sticks.
If parents fail to serve as positive examples for their children, it won't make the slightest difference whether they have been brainwashing their
kids with their beliefs. The only thing their kid is going to learn is how best to "do as I say, not as I do".