“We’ve been got at, and our principal spiritual battle is waking up to that fact” (Douglas Lockhart, Dark Side of God, 233).
It’s a free world, so churches have a right to advertise to adults, but when they impose their ideas on young children they’re playing dirty. Youngsters are prime targets because it’s easy to sell them mythical nonsense. They’re uncritical, trusting, sensitive and pliable; suitable soil in which to sow a seed. Churches own schools for this very purpose.
Churches are like a schoolyard bully preying on little kids for their lunch money. Children’s heads are filled with prayers, hymns, and stories about heaven, hell, Jesus, sins, death and guardian angels. Behavior is judged in Christian terms, and they’re told Satan is a bad guy out to get them. Hell is a concept deliberately designed to create distress. To teach it to children is just plain sick, and in my opinion amounts to child abuse. Junior is offered Jesus as his best buddy, and some church people think that’s justification. Yet Jesus can’t stop children’s nightmares. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzGVateOWto ).
Convictions inculcated in children can become so embedded in their subconscious young people can’t shake them. The consequences can include paranoia, anxiety, poor self-expression, guilt about sexuality, poor self esteem and hurt due to hypocrisy and prejudices. These problems often don’t become apparent until later in life. I will elaborate on this in chapter 24.
Well-meaning Christian teachers and parents don’t realize churches are using them to fill children’s
minds with so much superstitious nonsense it makes the advertising on television look small time. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTedvV6oZjo).This promotional blitz has one aim – to develop brand loyalty to a church. Brainwashed kids become compliant consumers, pliable people willing to part with their cash. They help indoctrinate the next generation and the cycle continues. Churches have refined the system that keeps them powerful by targeting youngsters. They make the corporations of the commercial world look like amateurs.
I think a fundamental feature of an exceptional education is to give children a mental picture of their world that’s in tune with reality. Children should also be taught how, not what, to think. They need encouragement to explore. They should be told that they control their own destiny, and that they must be open-minded. Christianity undermines all of this. To teach children to find solutions by praying to an imaginary judgmental sky buddy is a subtle form of child abuse.
I think parents should question the use of repetition in prayers and hymns. Surely if the teaching is that terrific, it should sell itself, and be taught without trickery.
If parents insist their kids be coached in Christianity, why not teach it when children are experienced enough to reason for themselves? There’s no need to indoctrinate and prejudice young minds. Geography, trigonometry, and economics are universally regarded as valuable, but nobody believes a five-year-old should be saturated with them.
The fact is that most church leaders know it’s imperative to get inside little one’s minds early. Their agenda is the institution’s growth, and the child’s development is secondary. That’s inexcusable from organizations claiming to promote people’s welfare.
All youngsters deserve nothing but the best. What makes kids happy, well adjusted, with a healthy self – esteem, is love, gentle discipline and stimulation. Consider the happily radiant children found in close-knit communities who have never heard of God or Jesus. Human love and interactions with people are real. Nonsense about an ancient God with odd ideas, whom they can’t see, hear or touch, isn’t.
Some people may accuse me of being cynical, yet have they considered church greed and the reality of indoctrination? I say a culture of church loyalty has been so heavily stamped into some people they can’t cope with their church losing little clients. Consider what most Christian parents would think about another denomination or the church in another suburb teaching their children. The dogma is almost identical, yet they’d be put out, because a “Christian education” is all about shoring up the numbers in their own church.