I have commented on the problem of religious indoctrination at secular New Zealand schools before (see What really happens in religious instruction classes? and Cynical evangelisation of children.) That’s bad enough but a friend recently described such indoctrination occurring at a day care centre! This was a secular centre, but influenced by a church. So the obvious happened – infants came home asking about gods, devils and hell.
It’s bad enough when they go after children of school age – but it seems they also consider children of preschool age, other people’s children, “fair game” as well.
Unfortunately, the concentration on children is common among evangelical Christians. Consider the document is “Evangelisation of Children.” This was prepared several years ago and sees indoctrination of children as part of a general plan of world evangelisation (see my post .
Jerry Coyne has a video showing an even worse side to the evangelisaiton of children – the use of emotional methods (see A Christian brainwashes two-year-olds). These people recognise that bible stories just aren’t enough. Kids go through the intellectual learning procedure and come out the other end without a strong commitment. But emotional experiences can be a lot more powerful than intellectual exercises in getting commitment.
Again, it’s one thing to know that consenting adults take part in happy clapping speaking in tongues to get their kick. But imposing it on children? Even babies? That is what this video shows.
Perhaps parents are a bit naive to think the religious instruction classes in our secular schools are harmless. After all, they might think, it helps kids understand how others think and won’t education in science and reason supersede these myths in the long run. That’s the message of the recent Jesus and Mo cartoon below.