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February 14, 2014

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The only reason people oppose religious indoctrination is because they don't really think a religion can have good evidence in its favor. Nobody opposes teaching kids that specific things about history are true or that specific things about physics are true.

Indoctrination is just teaching somebody that a particular thing is true. All education is indoctrination. Even if you don't teach somebody that a particular religion is true, if you're going to teach them about world religions at all, you have to at least assume you know some true things about those religions and intend to teach those things accurately. So indoctrination is unavoidable.

I don't see why "indoctrination" has such a negative connotation or why we should accept that it does. If we believe Christianity is true for what seem to us to be good reasons, then it seems to me we have just as much responsibility to teach our kids that Jesus was raised from the dead as we do to teach them that the colonies won their independence from England.

Besides that, the Bible recommends that we indoctrinate our children.

Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it."

Ephesians 6:4 "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

Deuteronomy 6:7 "These words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."

The reason people like Dawkins think it's child abuse to raise a kid in a religion is because he doesn't think any religion is true and teaching a kid something that isn't true is child abuse. But if it IS true, then it's not child abuse. If Christianity is true, then it's child abuse NOT to teach it to our kids.

Even non-religious parents teach their children right from wrong, and they're not all up in arms over whether they can prove morality or ethics or whether they should teach them, "Well, some people think it's okay to marginalize people because of their race. You have to decide for yourself. I'm not going to tell you what to believe." Of course they are going to tell their kids what to believe even if they can't prove it. They're going to teach them what they think is true because they think truth is important and shouldn't be kept from a kid. That's the responsible thing to do.

But of course we should teach critical thinking skills. After all, logic is also part of reality, and there are correct ways of thinking, reasoning, and doing epistemology. And there are nuts out there who deny logic and adopt absurd epistemologies. We don't teach our kids, "Well, some people believe in logic and some people don't. I'm not going to tell you what to believe. You have to decide this for yourself."

Yes it is indoctrination. We are teaching our children the doctrines of Christianity.

Everyone is constantly learning doctrine. Disney teaches the doctrine that we are snowflake-princesses whose dreams should all come true. Rap teaches that you should not be employed and mistreat hos.

It's no surprise that the world hates the doctrines of Christianity. It's not shocking that they would prefer to bar us from catechizing our children, and instead catechize our children in evil.

What is shocking is that the American church has virtually given up teaching any Christian doctrine, preferring emotional manipulation, life coaching, and entertainment.

How is alleged indoctrination through religious education different from other forms of influence on children like advertising and song lyrics? From where do our reference points come for determining what is good influence or bad? Leading pre teens' religious education in a secular setting, is it not better to ask questions to stimulate thinking about how Jesus may have affected the culture then and now?

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