Some Things Children Should Not Be Taught

From the headline you’d expect something like “how to commit bloody murder”, “the joys of setting cars on fire”, or “that the earth is flat”. Alas, those would be much more entertaining articles than this clap-trap nonsense suggesting a public commission should be setup to teach highly questionable religious doctrines to young people. I’d normally ignore this sort of thing but as I’ve seen it linked around various places and it’s been sent to me a few times I thought I’d point it out, and point out what is going on with it. This is how this article came to be; at some point, the author of our article, whether by intent or by accident, has watched a bucket-load of God TV. He, as a man convinced that God is non-existant and Jesus is nonsensical, has had his mind blown by this. How can people preach such things in this day and age? Do they not know how wrong they are about this magical sky fairy? Will someone not thing of this poor vulnerable children and their malleable brains? And he has thought; something must be done! And what is this that should be done?

I believe a public commission should be established that issues non-legally binding guidelines on the forms of doctrines that it is desirable that children are taught. The preaching of hellfire or of divine faith healings to children could form part of such guidelines. Non-compliers could be “named and shamed” by such a commission.

So if you teach some extreme Christian belief like “I believe in a hell for the unrepentant” or “I believe Jesus can physically heal people” you should be named and shamed by a public commission who have established which doctrines are desirable to teach to children. The funny thing is, we had a public commissioned document presented in parliament a while ago stating what was desirable to teach children. It was called the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Maybe we should base it on that?

All this commission business is of course, a very silly idea. And one that will probably never actually make any headway because it is so silly. So let’s not worry about that. It’s perhaps worth thinking about how much you can agree with or disagree with someone who’s fundamental world view is opposite to yours without descending into “you’re wrong”, “no you’re wrong”, “no you’re wrong and so is your mum”, but I have nothing to say about that now and there is something more pressing that the author mentions, something that is worth turning our attention to:

Given the propensity of religious groups to inspire in young people long-term allegiance to their particular faith, questions also arise concerning the potency of the doctrine that religious institutions preach to youngsters.

What magical youth work is this that he knows of that inspires young people to a long-term allegiance to their faith? Has he youth work secrets we don’t know about?