Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Training Children

Should people have the right to raise their children however they see fit?

Scenaria 1:
Denise is a psychologist. Having heard about Wiesel's kitten experiments, she decides to try some of them on her child. She covers one of the child's eyes with an eyepatch, preventing that eye from "learning" to see. Her child grows up and is killed in a car accident (16) due to her poor depth perception.

Scenario 2:
Kathy is an anti-abortion activist. Having been inspired by Paul Hill, she decides to teach her child from an early age to emulate him. She explains that it is every good person's duty to shoot abortion doctors. Her child grows up (16), kills an abortion doctor, and is sentenced to death.

Scenario 3:
Paullette is a Jehovah's witness. She teaches her child that blood transfusions are an abomination unto the Lord. Her child grows up (16), is injured in a car accident, and dies after refusing a transfusion.

It's my view that these parents are responsible for the deaths of their children. It's one thing to say that everyone has to be responsible for their own actions. But when the person you were supposed to be able to trust most gives you false information (or impairs your ability to perceive the world around you), and you take actions based on this information, it's hard to see how you could have done things better. When you have been raised in a situation of extreme psychotic religious abuse, is there any way to break free?

So, my focus here is on prevention. The three children might not have died had they been protected from their parents. And the only plausible protection that can be given to these kids is from the government.

Now, I know what you're thinking (maybe). The government... aren't they the bad guys? Shouldn't the government stay out of families? What's to keep this from being like Big Brother in 1984?

Well, that's kind of a backward view. A human stranded on a desert island doesn't need government. But a group of any size really does. Government is our human way of keeping our lives running smoothly, of smoothing out interaction with other people. The government is us (yes, I know there are dictatorships where the government is one guy) making and enforcing the rules of the game of human interaction. When the police lock up a serial killer, that's us (the government) keeping ourselves safe. When child labor, slavery, segregation, and unpaid overtime are outlawed, that's us deciding what we won't tolerate in our society. When women and minorities were guaranteed the vote, that was us deciding that they are included in us.

Government is already involved in families. When CPS takes an abused girl away from her harmful environment, the government did it. When an unwanted child goes to foster care and is adopted by caring parents, the government did it. The government says you can't mistreat your child or force them to work in coal mines. The government also says you can't abuse your spouse, or have more than one.

I don't have any specific laws that I'm promoting here. All I'm saying is that brainwashing children is harmful to them, and that the only tool we have to prevent it is government.


  1. What Is At Stake
    I was reading this on The website of American United for the separation of Church and State.
    Wanted to know what you thought of this.

    Why is this issue important?
    At its core, creationism undermines the wall of separation between church and state. Parents are free to teach their children religious concepts at home and in houses of worship. That is not enough for the creationists. They want to expose all children to those concepts in public school science classes. They want to use a captive audience to spread their theology. This they cannot legally do. Public schools, the Supreme Court has repeatedly said, are not allowed to promote religion.

    Furthermore, creationism and ID threaten good science education in America. The core findings of evolutionary theory are no longer questioned by the scientific community. Evolution is taught without controversy in secular universities all over the nation. Failing to teach it in high school does a disservice to our students and leaves them ill-prepared for higher education.

    Resistance to standard science instruction could cause our country to fall behind other nations. Religious opposition to evolution is practically non-existent in Western Europe, Japan, Canada and Australia. As a result, the United States’ position as the leader in cutting-edge biotechnology is now in jeopardy. Our country will not continue to lead in this area if our students are not adequately educated about modern science.

    In light of this, claims that schools should teach both evolution and some form of creationism and let young people decide are unpersuasive. There is no longer a controversy in the scientific community about the validity of evolution. Pretending that there is only does a disservice to our students. We cannot substitute theology for science in our classrooms and expect to remain the world leader in increasingly important scientific fields.

    Because so many different religions and cultures have different beliefs about origins, public schools must take care not to elevate any one understanding over others. For this reason, intelligent design and other forms of creationism must be kept out of our science classrooms.

  2. This article was well written and I can't find anything in it I don't agree with. It pretty much summarizes the point of view of scientists, atheists, agnostics, and secularists, as well as those religious people that believe in separation of church and state (including, historically, Baptists).