Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Indoctrination and brainwashing

I make my living through language. I make my entertainment through observing language. I love to listen to what people say and how they say it.

Since becoming a Christian I notice a lot of pejorative language about what we believe and how we act. Here is one example: kids in a Christian home or whom attend a Christian church are being 'brainwashed.'

However, kids who live in another kind of home or whom attend other congregational type meetings are being 'raised.' Kids who learn how to be a Democrat because their parents are Democrats are simply being raised, or trained, as parents are supposed to do. Kids who learn that Italian culture is the best, to be a vegetarian, aspire to Eagle Scout, learn tennis are only being offered opportunities to become the person they were meant to be.

Kids who attend Sunday School are being brainwashed, however. They are undergoing, not an experience their parents are offering them so they may become fully the person they were meant to be, but are being indoctrinated. Into what? I don't know. And why is that 'what' different than weekly attendance in, say, a boy scout troop, I don't know. I have never heard it said that Jewish children who attend weekly Hebrew classes or Synagogue as being brainwashed. But the Christian world view has been separated from the herd and ascribed a negative language all its own.

I am 47 years old, world-weary and intelligent. But tell someone outside the Christian faith that I became a born-again believer and there you have it. "They got her. She's been indoctrinated."


christie said...

I've been struggling with this. As a non-religious person I'm not sure how to approach the topic of religion when lil' H starts asking questions. For this reason, we are considering private religious school so he will be introduced to the subject by people who know far more about it than I do. I will, of course, tell him what I think but hopefully in a way that doesn't not stifle or narrow his own choices. I want H to come to his own decision about these things.

I know people who are religious who would never consider introducing their children to, say, Buddhism, because it doesn't fit with what they believe.

Perhaps this is the problem of monotheism. It's difficult to be comfortable allowing research into other religions when you're only supposed to believe in one.

Anonymous said...

My ex is supposedly very religious. I won't question her faith like she does mine. However, she frequently chooses to have the kids go to hockey when the schedule conflicts with CCD (sunday school for Catholics). She pays for hockey so that takes priority. Drives me nuts.