My Semi-Fictional Life #145 (A Plea to My Christian Friends)

Christian friends with children, may I have your attention. Now, while you have every right to believe what you like to believe, I would warn you against forcing your children to bow to your beliefs. Let them come to it on their own. I do not want to believe that any parent would knowingly brainwash their young, but I’ve seen the call-to-baptism at the end of church work in such a way as to guilt-trip a child into joining a church, into being baptized. I have been that child. I have had my mother placed before me, on her knees as I sat in a pew, her eyes filled with tears, and given the option to break her heart or take a dip in Jesus’s dunk tank. It seems I’m not the only one who’s experienced this…

From BLACK BOY, by Richard Wright:

“This business of saving souls had no ethics; every human relationship was shamelessly exploited. In essence, the tribe was asking us whether we shared its feelings; if we refused to join the church, it was the equivalent to saying no, to placing ourselves in the position of moral monsters.”

In context, in the book, Richard’s mother is used by the pastor to guilt-trip him into joining the church. His mother even goes as far as saying, “Don’t you love your old crippled mother, Richard?”

Religion, like racism, is a learned behavior. We are not born with a concept of god(s), as we are not born with a concept of hate. This is why pastors must resort to the mob to help them during the call-to-baptism. Over a dozen churches I’ve been to in my life have pulled this tactic. It is not our place to force our children into theology. It is not a required aspect of life. We’re born to question, and in questioning, some might stumble into religion because religion offers one of many impossible-to-prove answers to the meaning-of-life question. Allow your children the right to deny your beliefs. Doing so does not create “moral monsters”. Doing so creates people who can think for themselves.

That’s my two cents, at any rate.

See you tomorrow,


Pic of the Day