The Herald Sun reports:
A massive billboard has been erected in Bulleen claiming state schools “are not church playgrounds”.
Which is stupid. Of course they are!
More relevantly, of course they should be. The thing is, I want my children to be indoctrinated with my religion before they have a chance to think critically about it themselves. I don’t want them being presented with unbiased information about the world’s various faiths – what if they ultimately choose a different one to mine! I can’t stop that happening when they’re adults, sure – but I can at least make sure that they associate any kind of spiritual feeling with my preferred religion.
So if they decide there is something out there, they’ll see it as evidence for my personal belief structure, not one of the other ones that it fits just as well.
You can’t necessarily force all children to believe what you do, but you can give your religion the best chance to own them by
- having it taught to them by their teachers at school as if it were an objective truth like maths or chemistry – the credibility their teachers work hard to earn teaching them indisputable facts can then be squandered on making vulnerable children think that what their teachers are teaching them about “God” is equally indisputable. (And sometimes my religion really does need the help. Particularly when trying to convince someone that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, even the bits that contradict the other bits, and even the bits where what my supposedly kind and benevolent God does is monstrous.)
- presenting it as the only spiritual choice in the atheism-religion fake “binary”. It’s surprising how many adults genuinely fall for logical fallacies like Pascal’s Wager – something they’d never do if we hadn’t burned this “Christianity or Atheism” false choice into them.
As a parent, I can’t indoctrinate my kids into my religion every hour of the day. It’s vitally important that the six or seven hours they’re at school aren’t wasted teaching them stuff like Maths, English, Chemistry, Physics, History, Music, etc without my personal religious beliefs constantly being imposed on them.
All parents have the right to deny their children a religiously-neutral education where they get the information about the various philosophical options in a neutral fashion and are free to make up their own minds.
I don’t trust my kids’ judgment. And I don’t trust my religion’s ability to persuade new adherents in a fair marketplace of ideas. And that’s why my religion must be forced on my kids when they’re most gullible and prone to indoctrination. At school.