Teacherlin I apologize in advance - this is going to be a tad long, so please bear with me. First of all, just want to say I really appreciate what you're saying here and feel bad about getting nasty the other day (was that yesterday?) regarding the shark fin thing
E04teacherlin wrote:I seem to have lost a post so I will repost.
Yeah I think they did a site maintenance - couldn't get on earlier. Sorry you had to make the extra effort to re-post.
Everything you mentioned is violent in nature and doesn't really reflect the issue of teaching your kids about religion. Granted some very violent things are religious but that does not mean religion is bad.
I agree. My point was just that we just have to be careful about equating "feeling superior to people" and "feeling reasonably justified in thinking that a particular behavior is wrong - and saying so". My problem in this case wasn't really with religion, but with what I consider the force-feeding of religion to little ones who aren't intellectually prepared to be skeptical about what they are taught.
I have sympathy for your situation with your mother in law and being catholic but do you really think bashing those who are trying to educate their kids with religious concepts are the correct target for your aggression and disgust. You need to find a way to deal with them not the rest of the people who are happy with the lives they lead.
Thank you for your suggestion and sympathy with my situation. Actually it's not a huge problem (the MIL issue); really more of an annoyance, but believe me, I'm very glad I have her in my daughter's life, no question about that!
However I must point out that in my recollection, I never "bashed" or expressed "aggression and disgust" for religious believers. My post in the parents forum never name-called (unlike some who responded to me) or expressed any opinion at all except that the visitor to that thread might also want to take a look at the certain other references.
Some folks have said they thought that was still very rude - and I'm still open to opinion on that - but seriously, I'm not convinced that "Bible stories for children" thread belonged in the parenting forum to begin with. Quite frankly, if it had been in the religious forum, I'd never have seen it or felt motivated to respond. But to me, it seemed to be sitting there in the parents' forum where it was ostensibly safe from criticism, innocently, saying:
"Yep, teaching children about the Bible (specifically
the Bible, and not religious texts in general) is just a normal part of parenting"
...and I just had to say something.
People are herd animals and tend to follow along with whatever seems perceived as "normal". I haven't visited Forumosa much in years and don't know the OP, so maybe I'm totally off-base in questioning her intentions, but anyone, at least I didn't try to censor her or or suggest that she be censored. I just made what I felt (perhaps wrongly) was a polite suggestion - although admittedly my real intention was protest and "consciousness raising", as I realize the OP almost definitely wouldn't be interested in the information I offered.
As far as the main issue here, honestly after these discussions I'm less convinced than I had been that religious indoctrination of children is harmful. To sum up some conclusions I've made, I'd say:
1) Dawkins is probably unfair in over-emphasizing religious indoctrination over other forms of indoctrination that children are inevitably subjected to.
2) That said, religious indoctrination can sometimes be more blatant than other forms - you don't hear most Republicans telling their children that they are God's chosen people, that only they are qualified to enter paradise or that Democrats are condemned to burn for eternity, for example.
3) Regardless of what we ideology or religion we might be attached to, we ought to seriously consider whether it's better to teach our children something simply because it's how we were raised and what we have always believed, or if we shouldn't try to help give them the tools to evaluate opinions and acquire information themselves.
Hope that clears some things up somewhat, and again, sorry for my verbal diarrhea!