Recently, Ross wrote on the #ChurchCrimes facebook page about what cutting children off from real, solid, scientific, and factual knowledge can do. His post was so outstanding and true, I wanted to put it here as a short piece. He was referencing a link in which children who had been homeschooled for Jesus were spouting propagandizing lies and called "cute" or "sweet" for it. Just like I was. Christian "schools" and "homeschooling for Jesus," need to be seen as the crime against children it is. Here is his most amazing post.
"I think by now nearly everyone has heard of the physical and sexual abuse that has been going on for decades in the Catholic church and other religious institutions, and the vast majority of us find it deplorable. But is it not also deplorable to teach children lies and misinformation, instilling ideological propaganda in the place of real knowledge about the world they live in, and at an age before they have the critical reasoning ability to tell the difference? I think, unquestionably, yes. It not only teaches them falsehoods, it effectively blocks the path to true understanding creating a state of enforced ignorance. Strategies like this, which come straight from the cultists playbook, serve a purpose which has nothing to do with educating children to understand the world they live in, and everything to do with social and psychological control.
When a cult uses the strategy of indoctrinating its initiates into accepting beliefs which would be considered ludicrous and outrageous by society in general outside the cult, the initiate's mind becomes more tightly bound up with the church and increasingly detached from society at large. The division between in-group and out-group is thus increased, and the initiate becomes more easily controlled and manipulated. The penalty for rejecting such beliefs can extend to a complete loss of family and community, and the regret of having wasted so much time and energy on behalf of a delusion. Contemplating the idea that such beliefs may not be true results in massive cognitive dissonance, and the resulting sense of panic puts enormous pressure on the initiate to restore their sense of normalcy and equilibrium by accepting the belief. Eventually they learn to instinctively avoid such questioning in the first place. Instilling this habit of reflexive, uncritical acceptance of cult ideology opens a pathway for further indoctrination, moving the initiate ever closer to the state where they can be easily and effectively programmed to believe anything. The story below from the Friendly Atheist gives an example of this strategy in action: the teaching of evangelical Christian propaganda masquerading as scientific truth, extending the doctrine of creationism beyond its customary domain of biology into the realm of mathematics. It is nothing less than the early stages of the process of turning children into well-behaved drones.
Let us speak plainly about this: evangelical Christianity is a cult, what it teaches to children are lies, it does it for the purposes of brainwashing, it does it for social, political and financial gain, and it does it under the cover of a social acceptability that other cults like Scientology can only dream of: a result of the millennia old social dominance of the Christian religion."
Link to the Friendly Atheist blog that inspired his words. He has also been inspired to interest and anger by my life story being raised in Christian Evangelical Fundamentalist schools.