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Religion doesn’t just happen in the 21st century in the West. Religion must be instilled into children, magic and fable must be taught to be revered and most darkly, the fear of eternal punishment must be enshrined in young minds.
Hell for children is a very real fear – it torments their thoughts and causes a great deal of unnecessary anxiety. My question to the religious is simply this:
Why make your children fearful?
Isn’t there enough to worry about life with regards to food, shelter, and security to add another imaginary layer of anxiety to the mix? Is that a responsible action to take as a parent?
Of course it isn’t.
Being afraid for yourself is not a great motivator for ethical action, and yet that is the implicit lesson that resonates through so much of religious teaching. Consider also how the fallacy inducing mode of binary thinking is encouraged and reinforced. You are good with Jebus and bad the the Devil… etc. Serious ethical actions and thoughts require moving past that first easy binary of good and evil because almost every encounter we have as individuals in society is a mixed bag of ethical and unethical choices and behaviours.
Stating moral relativism here always leads to the conclusion that somewhere down the line – anything and everything will be permissible. Given that the last 1700 hundred years or so of religious dominance in the field of ethical behaviour I would have to say that absolute morality path isn’t exactly a slam dunk either, as far as worthwhile moral systems are concerned.
I’m always here on Sundays giving both barrels to religion and its antiquated notions of how the world is – seldom do I offer what I would like to see happen instead of the religious tomfoolery so easily demarcated and dispatched.
The vision I have is one that requires a society that understands how ill equipped our species is for rational, logical thought. Bearing that in mind no expense must be spared to raise children in a safe, welcoming, and stimulating environment in which the only worry they will have is what new thing they will learn after lunch.
How far off is this goal?
Too damn far away. Every time I’ve been called to a kindergarten or pre-k class some of the children there have come to school hungry. Nothing defeats curiosity and learning like an empty belly. Too many times I’ve been empty handed at lunch, because I’d already distributed my lunch to other children, yet there was yet another to feed. (Don’t worry we always find something).
I need my society to realize how important it is for all children to have the basics of life taken care before I can start helping them explore and comprehend the world around them.
Bringing this back to religion and the insecurity it supposed to soothe – how about some more focus on doing ‘good works’ rather than all the political nonsense currently dominating the religious sphere. How awesome would it be to have another volunteer (religious or not) in every classroom there to support learning and socialization?
There are so many ways to help children. The problem being that the outlay of time and emotional investment (for both the secular and religious) is prohibitive; and that, sadly, is structural feature of society.
Add i believe you, it’s not your fault to your bookmarks, your blog, your whatever. It is too important not to.
The Best Revenge is Living a Good Life. (TW Rape, Child Abuse)
I am the only female child in my family of four children and I am the youngest. When people hear that, they often think of me as the spoiled little princess child. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I was sexually abused by two of my brothers and, eventually, my father as well. My abused started when I was young. Five or six, I can’t remember exactly. It started with molestation and without my saying no because I was little and I believed my brothers would never hurt me. But they did. Repeatedly. Night after night. Day after day. Things progressed to become more violent when I started saying no. Until one day, after I got home from school when I was 13, my brother raped me. Not the violent act most picture in their minds when they hear the word rape. By this time, I had become numb and would typically “zone out” when the abuse was happening.
My life changed that day. I became pregnant from the one incidence of rape. I am that statistic. I was young and didn’t have regular periods so I didn’t realize I was pregnant until my mother saw stretchmarks on my breasts.
You may wonder, “Where was your mother when all this was happening? Why didn’t you tell your mother?” I suppose deep down, I knew my mother would never “save” me. Her response to the fact that I was pregnant, by my brother, from rape, was to go into another room and cry hysterically while screaming, “My baby!” over and over again though never once coming to “her baby” to console me.
My father arranged for an abortion. I was in my second trimester at this point and had to go to a hospital for the procedure. When my parents “discovered” what my brothers had been doing, they kicked them out of our house. And then my father started waking me up for school in the mornings. He began molesting me.
I contacted Child Protective Services on my own behalf. I was placed in the first of two foster homes. My mother came to see me and, weeping, asked me, “How could you do this to our family?” Eventually, “we” went to trial and…eventually my father admitted his guilt. My brothers were never charged. “We” were sentenced to family counseling and I was told I would be placed in juvenile hall if I did not participate. Fourteen months later, the counselor proclaimed us “healed” and I was placed back into my parents custody. Yes, my father began molesting me again.
But the good news is, I grew older. I eventually moved away from their home. I got married. Got pregnant…
My life changed again. I became the mother to a little tiny princess. Four years later I was blessed with another tiny princess. Both beautiful and strong and everything my heart ever needed to heal. I was still in contact with my family at this point. Then the mother tiger in me was awakened. I had a birthday party for my oldest. I left the party for a few brief moments to get something I had forgotten. When I came back home, the birthday girl was nowhere to be seen. I asked my husband where she was and he said, “She’s in the backyard with your dad.” (Yes, my husband knew about what had happened to me.) I can’t even describe the utter horror, the panic, the fear that coursed through my veins. I found her in the backyard. She was fine. Nothing had happened but the guilt of exposing her to what I knew in my soul was a potential high risk changed me. I cut all ties with my family.
I tried for a while to keep in contact with my mother. Until the day my mother said to me on the phone, “When are you going to get over it?” This conversation took place 15 years ago and I can still hear the words as if they are still floating in the air. My response that day and still is… “How about never?”
This tragic tale may make you feel sorry for me or make it appear that my life has been horrible. I’m here today to share the tragedy but to also share the wonderful life I am living. Never forget, “THE BEST REVENGE IS LIVING A GOOD LIFE.” I am the mother of two gorgeous human beings who humble me and make me proud everyday. I have a fabulous job. I own my own home. I have three dogs who love me unconditionally. I am attending school while working. I go to concerts all the time. I go to the beach. I have a life that many of my friends envy and I know why they do! My happiness overruns constantly. I have a great life.
You will too. Live a good life. Smile. Laugh. Engage in the positive that is out there. Never ever ever feel that the sickness that hurt you defines who you are. You are a blessed child of this Universe and you were made for love. You were made for happiness. Seek it as often as you seek nourishment for your body. Don’t forget to nourish your soul.
I believe you.
It’s not your fault.
It was never your fault.
Need more learning and less stress in the classroom? What you do behind the scenes can make or break your work day. :> Being a fan of organization strategies, this video makes me happy on several levels. Enjoy.
A troubling situation for women around the world. No thanks to religion. :P Go here for a bigger version, thank you NeuroNotes.
A fine video by QualiaSoup.
Further breaking news: The Edmonton Public School Board will also remove Soylent Green Recipe Book from the Foods curriculum.
How does feculence like this happen in my school system?
“An Edmonton teen and her mother have filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission over a high school sex education class delivered by a religious-based group. Last year, Emily Dawson, 18, took part in a two-day class delivered as part of the Career and Life Management course at McNally High School. The teenager says she was shocked by what she heard.
“Basically shaming the girls and making them gatekeepers and meanwhile making it sound like the boys had no impulse control,” she said.
The Edmonton Public School Board used the Pregnancy Care Centre to conduct the course. The centre is affiliated with Care-Net, an American based anti-abortion movement. Both groups focus on advocating abstinence from sex.
How many other little “whoopsies” does the EPSB have up its sleeve? The NRA about the value of gun control and firearm safety? Exxon on Environmental Stewardship?
What the crap?
First, lets establish what our Experts in Christian Misogyny are advocating. From Care.net -
“Care Net promotes and supports sexual abstinence until marriage among youth through its LifeWise Program. LifeWise services are available free of charge to churches, schools, and any youth-serving organizations. Care Net will also partner with parents to provide neighborhood programs in homes or at Care Net’s facility on the east side of Madison.
Care Net works to end abortion, not primarily through political action but by building a culture where every woman receives all the support she needs to welcome her child and create her own success story. By empowering women and men to make courageous, life-affirming choices, Care Net and our affiliate pregnancy centers end abortions every single day.”
Well, isn’t this just a “Grade-A” glistening block of bullshit on display. They also run Pregnancy centres to hoodwink traumatized women and baffle them with religious bullshit and obstruct them while they attempt to obtain a legal medical procedure.
What a charming bunch of folks, god bless their hearts, we are dealing with here.
So, let’s take a look at the facts of the matter just to show exactly how full of shit our christian care.net friends are and the poisonous message they brought into the Edmonton public school system.
The Failure of Abstinence-only Education: minors have a right to honest talk about sex. - Published in: Sexuality and the Law Symposium, Columbia Journal of Gender and Law Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 12-62, 2006.
“Abstinence-only sex education is anything but educational. At best, it deprives students of the knowledge necessary to manage their own sexual health. At worst, it is dangerous to minors and to the public health. As the Waxman Report concluded, “[s]erious and pervasive problems with the accuracy of abstinence-only curricula may help explain why these programs have not been shown to protect adolescents from sexually transmitted diseases and why youth who pledge abstinence are significantly less likely to make informed choices about precautions when they do have sex.”18 In a society that purports to value children, the state should foster healthy, informed minors who are equipped to manage their sexual health responsibly. At the very least, the state should not encourage or support educators and programs in misleading children and promoting false, dangerous, and potentially injurious practices.”
“In light of the potential health risks associated with these curricula, abstinence-only education cannot be justified as intending to serve any significant state interest. While the government may have an interest in encouraging abstinence in unmarried youth, its current policy is being pursued at the expense both of truth and public health. Importantly, there is no evidence that providing comprehensive sex education promotes increased sexual behavior or dilutes the message that abstinence is a preferable choice, as proponents assert.250 Furthermore, the government’s singular focus on abstinence represents an educational policy that is inconsistent with the democratic educational objective of preparing adolescents to make responsible, informed choices.”
More on efficacy of Abstinence only versus comprehensive sex education.
“Using figures from 1995-2000, Advocates for Youth (www.advocatesforyouth.org) reports that the HIV rate for Americans 15-24 is five times that of German youth of the age. The U.S. teen syphilis rate is six times higher than the Dutch; the chlamydia rate is 20 times that of French teens; and our teen gonorrhea rate is a whopping 74 times higher than the Dutch.
European programs that provide uncensored sex education and promote condom use are the reasons for this success. Contrary to what one might expect, European youth have fewer sex partners than Americans do and begin sex slightly later than Americans. What is alarming, however, is that America has the largest percentage of girls who have sex by age 15.
The U.S. also has the highest teen birth rate among 28 developed countries. According to a UNICEF study, less than 10 per 100,000 teenage girls in Korea, Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Sweden gave birth in 2001, whereas 52 American teens per 100,000 did.”
More on the failure of Abstinence Only Education – Here, Here, Here, here… Let us conclude then that our dear Christian Misogynists are the engineers of the fail-train; happily throwing more coal into the fire as they move full speed ahead and with Jesus and Ignorance at their side, they are unstoppable.
We should get back to Kelly and Emily and their experience with these professional dispensers of mendacity.
Kathy Dawson says she tried to pull her daughter Emily out of the class for the second day. But she says the school informed her that Emily had to take the class in order to pass her course. So she joined her daughter in the classroom. A single mother, Dawson said she was shocked what students were told about families like hers.
“Well, that our children are prone to depression, suicide, juvenile delinquency,” she said.
The remarks also surprised her daughter. “It’s not something that you hear every day where you’re getting bashed for being in a single-parent home.”
Kathy Dawson was also upset the class appeared to focus on values instead of science.”
See. Seeeeeeeeee?!? This is what happens when you let this sort of religious malevolent altiloquence into the secular classroom. Shaming single parent families, fuck-ya god hates you – and lets not forget about the eternally burning homosexuals…
“I have a friend that is a lesbian and she was asking what would happen if she didn’t want to stay abstinent and then the educator said, ‘We’re not here to talk about that,’” Dawson said.
Yes, telling young children that they’ll burn seems a little out of place in Canada (and the norm for secular societies), so we’ll just ignore your question instead. The nice people at Care Net are so full of love, tolerance, and compassion.
Full marks to Kathy Dawson for taking action to get these people out of the school system.
The Alberta Human Rights Commission has now accepted the Dawsons’ complaint.
“I’m training up my kids to respect science and demand science in their education,” Kathy Dawson said. “So this is a long haul, and I’m fully prepared to take it all the way.”
This is pretty much a slam dunk. Is religious bunk allowed in the classroom? Yes/No If the answer is yes, then the leaders of secular school board will have some explaining to do.
The EPSB took action -
the EPSB wrote that it had a registered nurse observe one of the presentations unannounced and found the information “met our standards and expectations on every level” but that it would still look for new presenters for the next year.
“Having said that, we’ve heard a lot of concerns expressed from the public over the last several days about guest speakers invited to present on the topic of sexual health education,” the board wrote.
“We are asking our schools in the fall to use different presenters so that we can continue this conversation, and focus on meeting the needs of students and parents.”
Well the school board doesn’t have its head entirely up its ass. Woo!