Monday, May 16, 2011

The Huffington Post Celebrates Indoctrination

I thought I'd take a look at what was happening around the world in religion, and I found an interesting (read: nauseating) article on the Huffington Post entitled: "The Importance Of Teaching Religion Well". The article starts out explaining how most people who quit religion, do so before they turn 24. According to this journalist, this means that they have been dealt an injustice —an inadequate religious education — and that their new-found lack of belief is the result of a poor understanding of religious practice and belief. She thinks that this appalling statistic of ~16% of Americans who have disassociated themselves from religion could be fixed by providing children with more effective religious education programmes.

Hold it right there, before you go all evangelical on me with your Qur'an quotes, I have to straighten something out. I take huge offense to your suggestion that people leave faith because they lack understanding of it. In my case, and in the case of most other comrades in heresy, it was quite the opposite, we decided to opt out because of our understanding. Understanding the humble human origins, and in some cases, the pretentious human origins spurred us into rethinking our commitment.

Before I continue, I'd like to warn you that you may wish to fetch a bucket, or have a toilet bowl handy, this may induce severe vomiting. (Omissions were purely for length)
"When I was in the second grade at our mosque's Religious Education Center ... I thought I saw God. ... Our teacher told us that if we closed our eyes and prayed ... we would be able to see and talk to God. She said we should try it right then and there. So we, as a class, being as obedient as we were in our innocent youth (that would change later), closed our eyes and prayed.

... So with my eyes closed, I conjured up an image of an old man in my mind's eye. He had a long white beard and wise eyes, and he held a staff ... He smiled at me kindly.

When we all opened our eyes, I made sure my hand was the first one to be in the air. When my teacher called on me, I proudly declared,  "I saw God! He has glasses!" My teacher observed me. I waited for her to dispute me, call me ridiculous and explain that it was just a metaphor. But she didn't. She smiled at me kindly.  "Excellent!" she said.  "See? It just takes faith."
It saddens me greatly that someone who could otherwise be considered to be educated, has continued her whole life under the pretence that her childhood imaginary friend is actually real. Not only that, but she is advocating that we make a better effort to indoctrinate children to prevent them from learning how to aptly use their mental faculties. We should not be teaching children to have faith in things, but rather teaching them how to reason, and make up their own minds. That's not to say we should prevent them from playing 'make-believe', but to allow the fantasies of children to take such a deep root in their psyche that they still play make-believe in their 30's is atrocious.

I should know better than to expect stellar articles from the Huffington Post (though to their credit, they sometimes do, although rarely), but this trashy excuse for journalism has pushed you almost as low as Fox News on the credibility scale.



  2. This is beyond pathetic. Next time someone says that faith isn't make-believe, point them to this post.

  3. I know right! People invent their own gods, there's not a lot of cohesion even within one religion, let alone between different ones.