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AWANA clubs: Fun for kids, or social engineering?

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posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by solomons path
Forgot to even comment about the OP . . .

I feel any religious groups, like AWANA, sole purpose is to indoctrinate the youth. I wouldn't have a problem with these groups if they, mainly, stuck to the "boy scout" aspect. Make it inclusive and mingle the religion in . . . But, AWANA, from my memory, was all about memorizing the scripture and giving witness . . . our "study" groups small and non-coed, when we all gathered together we were encouraged to recite scripture for reward (usually candy) and preach (as our study group/usually about 3).

It's tant amount to brainwashing and unfair to subject a child to, IMO.


The funny thing is, my parents actually took me out of the GIrl Scouts to put me in AWANA clubs.


Once again I am not trying to insult the theology here, but I just don't see the point of encouraging kids to memorize for rewards. I typically forgot the verses 5 seconds after I had recited them.

I suppose teaching scripture to children is good if that's your faith, but the key there is teaching them--showing them a practical application, encouragin g them to study it and compare it to the rest of the BIble at the very least, which was not the goal of AWANA>

Beyond the socialistic aspects, the group seemed to be wholly about religious "belt-notching," where children were taught to expect a reward for every person converted or every verse memorized.




posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 03:44 PM
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Originally posted by asmeone2

Originally posted by solomons path

I do remember making the leaders very frustrated that I would never asked to be saved in front of the group . . . it was the only check that I didn't get in my "workbook" . . . They'd even call me out in front of the whole group.


I do not remember that being a part of the protocol, and honestly I can't imagine putting kids through that.
I'm sure many would find that absolutely traumatizing.


I could have been, but they were never abusive or mean-spirited, but definitely frustrated . . . almost like I was keeping him from a bonus


Yeah I don't remember doing too much that wasn't "study" related . . . in just over a year of being in AWANA . . . I can remember going up north to see some snow, once and going horseback riding at a fellow member's ranch.



posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 03:48 PM
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Originally posted by solomons path
[
I could have been, but they were never abusive or mean-spirited, but definitely frustrated . . . almost like I was keeping him from a bonus


Yeah I don't remember doing too much that wasn't "study" related . . . in just over a year of being in AWANA . . . I can remember going up north to see some snow, once and going horseback riding at a fellow member's ranch.


I wouldn't have classed that as outright abuse, just inappropriate, why force a kid to get out in public in front of so many people like that (My group, at least, was very big.)

I do remember a lot of extracurricular activities. There was "Awana Olympics" and "Awana camp" and this thing, I can'r remember the name, where the kids went to compeate on Bible knowledge.

[edit on 2-12-2008 by asmeone2]



posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 03:54 PM
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reply to post by solomons path
 


I dont remember that stuff. I remember getting my block of wood for the derby. I remember the tan colored shirt. I remember being told over and over that I needed to get more patches and replying over and over that I didnt give a !@#$ and being asked over and over why I bothered showing up and responding my parents made me and when they threatened to tell my parents I said go ahead maybe then theyll stop making me come here.


Boy Scouts was cool because we went out and did stuff. I crossed the line and clocked some kid with a pumpkin during an orienteering exercise and was booted out. I found the pumpkin first. It was my right to chuck it at a friend dammit.

Any and all group dynamic from two participants to two million can be "brain washing" or "indoctrinating" and all that. Hell, just having parents is indoctrinating and brain washing.

You get out of it what you want. If you want to be indoctrinated Awanas or the Boy Scouts or MSNBC are more than happy to do it for you. If youre just there to take up space then thats all you'll do. Until I got kicked out of Scouts I learned cool stuff because I wanted to. I dont remember any of those Scout pledges or anything like that. I would just mumble a monotone noise and pretend to give a !@#$ until it was time to break out the rope or head out to the trail.

Awanas had no positive or negative impact on my life. Unless you count the .75 cents weekly dues as a negative.



posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 03:58 PM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


My my, it was only .5o when I was there! Inflation!


In all seriousness though. If we want to do a Boy Scounts vs. Awana debate I would say yes, the Boy Scouts can be brainwashing, but they are not an abjectly religious institution. THey may pay lip service to GOd in their pledges and many of the participants may be Christian, but the focus is far more on practical skills, community service, and moral character.

[edit on 2-12-2008 by asmeone2]



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:09 PM
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My parents make me go to awana every week (during the school year) and I absolutely hate it. they made me say all four books from 3rd grade -6th grade which is 128 verses in one sitting. But out of all those verses i probably new less then 1/4 of what those verses actually meant or were talking about. they also make me do bible quiz I did it with one church for two years that had all or most of the kids in tears within 1/2 an hour. I am of the Opinion that AWANA should be shut down it does more harm then good if you ask me. I have plenty of horror stories from being in that program.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:13 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


I remember being in an Awana program growing up, and even then I was spooked out about it.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:24 PM
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Originally posted by solomons path

I feel any religious groups, like AWANA, sole purpose is to indoctrinate the youth.


Thank you for sharing, and yes, it does seem a bit odd.

This is not something I share often, but I will for the sake of relating. I was raised by my grandparents for awhile, who were very old school in terms of how they intigrated Christianity into their daily lives (they were Missouri Synod Lutherans). I was a very bright, curious, and reluctant child. Once I reached the appropriate age, for about 2 years they made me go to sunday school and participate in similar, albeit less radical christian youth group activities. My problem was is that I asked alot of questions. Not only was I told by the group and my grandparents that asking questions was bad, because I should not question the lord, but also that it was sinful. Basically because I questioned the bible and its contents, I was being regarded as being sinful, and my grandparents scolded me for it. Fortunately for me, my Dad got his act together in life, and took me out of that environment (hes agnostic).
It seems like the tone is "get indoctrinated, or your bad". No wonder there are so many religiously shallow minded people in the world, it is most likely becasue from the time that they are young, they are taught that anyone that is different is bad.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:24 PM
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You guys are just a little off the deep end and highly highly ignorant. Lets go for starters. There are people in this world who believe in God..that there is a God who did in fact create everything. And its no harder to believe that than it would be to believe that all of this is here on its own. Each belief takes a leap of faith. I believe in God and Jesus and the bible..I believe that we were each created not just here by happenstance. My daughter attends AWANAS and has done so since she was 3 year old..she is no different than any other child....at all. Except? she never understands why children wish to be mean to other children...(i.e. bullying? cattiness, etc) she talks respectfully and can carry on a worthwhile conversation on any number of topics. I've gone to everyone of her classes and yes..they read the bible, and yes they learn bible verses from the New Testament..they also play sports games, dodge ball, basketball, they have water day where the church brings in a bunch of bouncy houses..places hoses on them and the kids have a ball! The church that holds this particular AWANAS is The First Baptist Church of Woodstock by Johnny Hunt. We also attend Northpoint Community Church run by Andy Stanley (he gave the inaugural prayer for Obama and one that would have really hit home if Obama had bothered to really hear what Andy was saying ) there is nothing sinister or weird about the clubs. You guys are the ones who really make me wonder what kind of world we will be bringing our kids into when a simple christian based club is considered weird...because whether you know it or not..your feelings and beliefs will run off onto your own children..hmm..much like you accuse christian parents of doing to their own kids...hey how bout that..you guys always accuse us of being judgemental hypocrites...and now you get to be one to! please stick to topics that you actually know a bit about ...like UFOs and how no planes crashed into the twin towers.

[edit on 3-6-2010 by Nkinga]



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by Nkinga
 


My children will be able to make whatever choices they would like to pursue on the own volition. I am hardly like either of my parents, and that is because they were kind enough to allow me to grow, mature, and learn in my own way, and not have to deal with their choices and preferences unloaded upon me. By the way, I am a "christian" as well, and believe in the gospel. But there is a right way and a wrong way to convey the word of God, and unfortunately most people in today's world abuse it.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:32 PM
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Well it is VERY obviously a christian group they are like christian boy scouts. A christian parent would put their child in a group like this, they would probably take them to church also.
Im not sure what you are getting at



OMG CHRISTIAN GROUPS TEACHING CHILDREN CHRISTAIN THINGS OMG CONSPIRACY!!!!!! Why don't those guy teach kids WHAT I BELIEVE IN 0MG BRAINWASHING!!11


I think i covered it here pretty well

[edit on 3-6-2010 by zaiger]



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:35 PM
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Originally posted by zaiger
Well it is VERY obviously a christian group they are like christian boy scouts. A christian parent would put their child in a group like this, they would probably take them to church also.
Im not sure what you are getting at



I understand your logic, Zaiger, and thank you for your input. However, I think what the concern is is how it is being conducted. Is brainwashing and indoctrinating children who lack the intellectual understanding to know what the camp is about ok? I am inclined to say that no it is not.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:40 PM
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reply to post by Nathwa
 


It is only "brainwashing" and indoctrination when it is something you do not agree with. Brainwashing really has no objective deffinition and it is just a word tossed around to insult something.



Is brainwashing and indoctrinating children who lack the intellectual understanding to know what the camp is about ok?


According to that logic children should not be tought anytype of philosophy because they are children.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:44 PM
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reply to post by zaiger
 


Good point. I would agree with that in hindsight, brainwashing is an inappropriate word to describe the situation. However, it is indoctrination. Webster defins indoctination as process with an aim "to imbue with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle". This is what Christianity is, is it not? And yes, I would agree that children should be free from this process. Let them come to apprecciate said philosophy when they are old enough to consent to it.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:50 PM
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reply to post by Nathwa
 




Let them come to apprecciate said philosophy when they are old enough to consent to it.


At what age do children magically get the ability to consent or choose what they want to believe in? What about separation of church and state? It is okay to prevent someone from learning about a religion due to age but perfectly to prohibit it? The only places i know of that have done this have been communist dictatorships.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by zaiger

At what age do children magically get the ability to consent or choose what they want to believe in? What about separation of church and state? It is okay to prevent someone from learning about a religion due to age but perfectly to prohibit it? The only places i know of that have done this have been communist dictatorships.


I will try to answer your questions in order.
1. Its different for every child. The only person who knows when you are ready to do something is you, and no one else.
2. Seperation of Church and state is a vital philosophy to our country and should be emphasized. However, I also beleive in freewill. How many of those kids that go to those camps actually want to be there? A number of fellow ATSers said that they did not want to go, but were forced to. That is wrong.
3. No it is not ok to prevent someone from doing something. It is wrong to force someone to do something.
4. Communist Dictatorships suck.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 04:01 PM
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reply to post by Nathwa
 




1. Its different for every child. The only person who knows when you are ready to do something is you, and no one else.


So how would you pick the children that would want to be christian and the ones that did not? If you barred children from learning about religion untill they are "ready" how would you expect them to make a choice? Would you have the people who teach their kids about religion punnished for doing so?



2. Seperation of Church and state is a vital philosophy to our country and should be emphasized. However, I also beleive in freewill. How many of those kids that go to those camps actually want to be there? A number of fellow ATSers said that they did not want to go, but were forced to. That is wrong.

There are many kids that want to go there and do and you are right the ones that do not want to go should not have to but how many kids would go to school if they were given the choice?



3. No it is not ok to prevent someone from doing something. It is wrong to force someone to do something.

Where do you draw the line?



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 04:12 PM
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Originally posted by zaiger




So how would you pick the children that would want to be christian and the ones that did not? If you barred children from learning about religion untill they are "ready" how would you expect them to make a choice? Would you have the people who teach their kids about religion punnished for doing so?


I would not pick children. All I am trying to say is that if they do not want to participate, then they should not have to.



There are many kids that want to go there and do and you are right the ones that do not want to go should not have to but how many kids would go to school if they were given the choice?


This is what I have been trying to say, I guess my message just got caught up in symantics. School is different because it is institutionalized by the state. Thats a slightly different argument.



Where do you draw the line?


Sorry Zaiger, as much as I hold your pontifications in high regard, and as much as I enjoy our discourse, I am not looking to get into an intellectual peeing contest. I just do not like people being forced to do something that they have the choice not to do. Kids get stuff shoved up their rear-ends, I know I did. I had to do alot of things that I did not want to do, when there should have been a choice. I did not want to go to bible camp, but that did not matter, because apparently me going was "for my own good", when I knew that it was not. Thats what is at the core of my message.


[edit on 3-6-2010 by Nathwa]



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 04:22 PM
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reply to post by Nathwa
 




I did not want to go to bible camp, but that did not matter, because apparently me going was "for my own good", when I knew that it was not. Thats what is at the core of my message.


So i guess after all that "forced indoctrination" you still had the ability to make up your own mind even though it was forced on you at a young age?Everyone has been forced to do something by their parents that they did not want to do at one point or another. Whether it be going to grandma's house, doing chores or going to summer camp. Religion or lack of religion does not make anyone special.



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 05:16 PM
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Originally posted by Nkinga
There are people in this world who believe in God..that there is a God who did in fact create everything. And its no harder to believe that than it would be to believe that all of this is here on its own. Each belief takes a leap of faith. I believe in God and Jesus and the bible..I believe that we were each created not just here by happenstance.
[edit on 3-6-2010 by Nkinga]


I DO believe in GOD and that he created everything. But I do not believe that you have to be baptised to go to heaven. And in AWANA (at least in my club) they yell at you to get baptised or you are going to hell. the bible says "belive on the LORD JESUS CHRST and you will be saved". It does NOT say belive on the LORD JESUS CHRIST and be baptised and you will be saved. you can look the verse up (it should be in one of your daughters awana book) it is ACTS 16:31. I have also been in AWANA since I was 3. Please do not take any of this the wrong way. I am not trying to be mean.






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