In light of a recent news story regarding my Christian Day Care blog, I feel the need to clear a few things up and address the folks that responded on the news site that ran this story.
Despite my comments being taken out of context—I do not feel that all Christian Day Cares are equal to child abuse. I would never say that. It’s a complete exaggeration of my statement.
Please read more than 4 lines of text before spewing your hatred toward people that disagree with you.
My actual stance on Day Care facilities is this: They can be guilty of mentally abusing children if they focus on indoctrination into religion rather than early education, while that child is in early stages of brain development. That’s why I said “choose your child care facility carefully.”
I do stand by this statement that was quoted: “forcing [children] to learn things as fact that you don't even know to be true is a form of child abuse: inducing psychosis with thoughts of good and evil watching over them, as if they are constantly being graded and evaluated. It's bad for positive self-esteem, and slows social development later in life.”
Your religion is based on faith. They all are. Therefore, teaching your child that you ‘know’ it, or that these things are ‘facts’ is unfair to the child’s educational future. My point here is that many children of Christian families lie in bed at night fearing ‘the Devil,’ or ‘demons,’ or ‘going to Hell.’
I know this because hundreds of former Christians have admitted to me that they suffered from those fears, as did I. Are you willing to say that this level of magical fear is good for them?
Now to address some of the comments which were posted on the news site:
“I bet this bigoted jerk doesn't have the stones to write something like this about Muslim parents.” - R.D. Helm.
Well, RD, here you go: The forced indoctrination of ANY religion, including Islam, and the teaching of faith as a fact, is unfair and abusive to children. Their minds are so weak and so gullible, and taking advantage of that weakness for the advancement of one’s own agenda is abusive. When you really think about it, indoctrination isn’t fair to the religion either. After all, one is supposed to make a conscious decision to accept that belief—not be forced to ‘know’ it as a fact from 3 years old by chanting cult-like songs that praise a leader while demeaning one’s own self-esteem. On to your insult: I’m not sure where you get off that I’m a bigot. That’s what I fight against every day—the discrimination of all people, whether it be nonbelievers, gays, blacks, Muslims, or Christians. I think we all have a voice and we should all be heard. That is the opposite of a bigot. As for the jerk comment—you may be on to something there ;).
“Are the atheists free to be atheists? Ungrateful jerks should go live where their self-centered philosophy is celebrated and law-enforced.” – B.O. Stinks. (I didn’t make that name up)
This is bigotry. The United States government is in no way founded upon the Christian religion. Google that statement—it was an official announcement of our Founding Fathers. Making the statement that I should agree with you or “get out of the country” is just unpatriotic. Our freedom to disagree is what makes this a great place to live. This is a free country, not a Christian nation. I have the freedom to speak out against anything I choose, and support which ever civil rights I choose. I will stay right here and do it, as my rights as an America guarantee. If you don’t like my freedom, it is YOU that can get out of MY country.
“Mr. Smalley, you don't want religion separated from government. You want government to mirror your atheistic religion, you hypocrite.” – Hockey Kid
Your insults only make you appear childish and demeans your Christian stance. Think about the word hypocrite. WWJD? Besides, Atheism is not a religion; it is a lack of belief. It is a realization that religions do not have sufficient proof for their claims. I just want this country to be the free nation it was designed to be. Religion is separate from our government because our government does not have an established religion. That is a fact. If you want a government ran by believers of religion, please feel free to move to Iran. Perhaps ancient rules motivated by metaphysical fears are what you want to live by. That’s not the United States of America.
“David Smalley is only parroting what High Priest of Atheism, Richard Dawkins has gone on record as saying…Both Dawkins and Smalley seem to be very concerned about children's education, but only so much as it conforms to their radical atheistic agenda. “ – Stage9.
I wasn’t aware that Richard Dawkins said that. So thank you for the compliment. Richard Dawkins is a very educated, highly respected biologist and professor in the scientific community and it is an honor to be insulted right along with him. The only ‘atheistic agenda’ that exists is to keep equal rights equal—not only available to Christians. Our statements about the potential abuse of children are to warn those that read our words to be careful—not all religious teachings are good, and indoctrination is harmful for your children, and for the religion.
“One must ask the question - what exactly is it the atheists are promoting that they think is so much better?” – Slyrr
Your answer: equality.
Christians, Atheists, Muslims, and every other world view should be able to live and breathe together without ‘forcing’ one another to conform, and without forcing their children to turn out exactly like them to further their own agenda. Atheists want equality for everyone, including non-believers. That is much better than name-calling, fights, and wars in the name of your god.
In response to my quote: “In short, by starting your child off in a Christian environment, you are heading them down the path of forced ignorance”… ‘Tenebrous’ said this… “Ignorance of what exactly?” And then he/she claimed that I wanted to control all children on the planet.
To answer the question, I’m addressing ignorance of many things: the actual history of Christmas; the beginnings of the Winter Solstice; the Pagan traditions that Christians accepted; the fact that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th: the fact of evolution: the presence of 10,000 other religions including ones that Christianity stole most of its material from; the true origins of ethics and the evolutionary biology of compassion. Instead, they are taught that all of that comes from God, and that’s that—forced ignorance. As for me wanting control of all children on the planet: no thanks—my two are a handful enough.
“Hay, Smalley, if people are smart enough to accept Christianity when they are "at the age of accountability," as you argue, shouldn't they also be smart enough to reject it even if they were exposed to Christianity as a young age?” –CobraMan
No. That’s the entire point of my post, and thank you for bringing it up. When studying child and adolescent development, we learn that things that enter our mind during the critical stages of brain development stick for good. This is how many mental disorders are started. Countless experiments have been done on children at early stages of development. It’s very hard to undo something that was learned during that phase of life, no matter how wrong it is.
That’s why even today, we have millions of adults that will stand and scream that the Bible is the word of their god, while not even knowing that the very book they are defending includes that same god condoning slavery, killing homosexuals, murdering misbehaving children, wiping out entire villages, killing innocent infants, and sacrificing helpless animals. It has been ingrained in your heads for so long that “the Bible is good” that you just accept it without questioning the content or doing your own research. You have been indoctrinated.
That’s the fear, and that’s the problem with indoctrination. Kids don’t get a chance to ‘choose,’ you make their minds up for them before they can do it for themselves. That’s what my post was warning against.