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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A child's perception of church

In this video, a child (toddler) delivers a sermon in raving gibberish. What is most concerning about this is that the child is simply mimicking the behaviour modeled to him by the regular preachers. In his mind, church is about going to a big pretty room and being yelled at by a wildly gesticulating man pacing around the stage.

It's scary to think that children are being exposed to this type of service (I recognise that not all religious services are like this), where they can't yet understand the message being delivered and are just exposed to the tone of the delivery.

Church should be a child-free environment. If a child wishes to start learning about their parent's faith at an age where they are able to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts involved, I don't so much mind. But to expose very young children to the frightening sermons of the more 'enthusiastic' rligious denominations is wrong and comarable to child abuse.


  1. Not only do the Sydney Atheists want to drive faith out of the public square, now it seems they want to drive it from the private sphere as well!

    How ironic it is that so many atheists wish to control what people teach their children, yet, simultaneously they wildly rail against Christians who they perceive as pushing their morality on others. What incredible double standards.

  2. That's almost as ironic as those who claim Richard Dawkins is some champion of reason, when even fellow atheists like Michael Ruse and Julian Baggini are condemning him and his polemics and poor philosophy.

    On that note, I'd absolutely love to see Dawkins debate William Lane Craig, he'd probably get a spanking even greater than that handed to Hitchens (by all accounts, including atheists). But alas, Dawkins turned down the offer.

  3. It's funny that even a toddler can parody the faux-intensity of the typical Christian preacher. At least this one didn't intentionally lie to, molest, or steal from his audience.

    Atheists don't want to control what parents teach their own kids. Alan's probably just appalled, as I am, by such a disturbing display of indoctrination.

    Your non-sequitur about Dawkins and Hitchens is just bizarre. It's like an apologist mantra. Blah Blah Blah Dawkins Blah Blah Blah Hitchens Blah Blah Blah Darwin Blah Blah Blah because the bible said so

  4. Are you serious Trav? William Lane Craig? Dawkins wouldn't waste his precious time debating that fool and all his nonsense "mathematical and entirely scientific" equations.
    I think the issue of indoctrination at this level and at this age is a matter for public concern. I actually care about children that aren't my own, so to see a baby like this being exposed to this type of indoctrination concerns and disturbs me greatly. As Alan said, he should be able to make up his own mind at an appropriate age. It is disgraceful.

  5. hitchhiker, I'm not sure if indoctrination is the right word. I'm not sure if I'd want my kid up there performing, it isn't even appropriate for that to be in a church service anyway IMO.

    I'm afraid your comment about atheists not wanting to control what their kids learn is completely falsified, in Alan's case at least.

    And I'm not sure what non sequitur you're referring to- perhaps have a re read, there's no non sequitur there at all. I'm not saying Craig would kick Dawkins BECAUSE he smashed Hitchens. No, it's more logical than that. Craig would smash Dawkins because he's a more learned man in a multitude of relevant disciplines, and he's also a persuavive speaker and quick thinker. Heck, Dawkins wouldn't even stand a chance. He really doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Craig when it comes to arguments about God's existence and the like. Dawkins is just a good biologist who wrote a ranting polemic or two. Craig's a great philosopher who's devoted his career to developing these issues in both scholarly and popular works.

  6. I wrote this:

    I'm afraid your comment about atheists not wanting to control what their kids learn is completely falsified, in Alan's case at least.

    Just confirming that I meant "controlling what others teach their kids".

  7. Trav - the non-sequitur is that you bring Dawkins and Hitchens into the mix at all. What do either of them have to do with childhood indoctrination?

    Alan may have some desire to restrict what kids are exposed to at an early age, but I don't think his opinion is common among atheists, at least among my frieds.

    However, his position is not unlike more common restrictions preventing children from watching R or X rated movies, listening to music with explicit lyrics, or reading particular books. Young children aren't usually able to accommodate the implications of such mature content.

    I happen to be against censorship in any form, but many aren't, as Alan's and Anonymous' posts suggest.

  8. You're right- many are pro "censorship", and want to control what others want to teach their kids. Which was my whole point.

    And re: Dawkins yeah, I was just changing the topic, there's no logical non sequitur anywhere.