Two-Year-Old Reciting The 23rd Psalm

Discuss:

(via The Daily Dish, where they refer to the video as “Hitchens Bait”)

  • Tom

    :( That’s dreadful. Indoctrination at such a young age. In fairness though, a child intelligent enough to manage that at 2 years old stands a strong chance of breaking free and thinking for themselves.

  • Kindra

    What happend to fairy tales ?

  • http://whatthefaith.wordpress.com Jaime Delgado

    (facepalm) They better be just trying to teach her to read…

  • http://nathandst.blogspot.com Nathan DST aka LucienBlack

    When she says “Lord,” it sounds to my ear like “world.” Which frankly, puts a different spin on it.

    Good job on her part for memorizing that. It is a nice bit of poetry. Sadly, it’s a reasonable assumption that she’s going to be taught to see it as a bit more than a nice bit of poetry. One could easily make the argument that this is indoctrination (although at this point I highly doubt she has any understanding of its meaning).

    On the other hand, how do we define “indoctrination?” If someone came up with a poem describing the scientific method and taught a two-year old to memorize it and take it seriously, would that be indoctrination? If so, my next question is: is that so bad?

  • mihoda

    I’m sure she can recite the laws of thermodynamics and Darwin’s theory of natural selection, right?

  • Alphonsus

    I could have swore she said the word pancakes in there, which could mean she’s on to a new and delicious alternative to those wafer things.

    In all honesty, this is probably no different than what most Catholics do every week. They’ve learned everything by route and pay no attention to what they are really saying anyway.

  • Tom Bourque

    Feel bad for this child.

  • http://stevebowen58.blogspot.com Atheist MC

    When my daughter was two, we taught her to name complex geometric shapes by sight and she could recite “where the wild things are” in its entirety prompted by the pictures. My wife and I used it as a party trick and even convinced the grandparents that their two year old granddaughter could read fluently, which obviously she couldn’t.
    Kids are very pliant at that age but not really absorbing the meanings. I haven’t tested her but at 11 years old now I doubt my daughter would instantly name a dodecahedron if she saw one.

  • therovingrockhound

    I have a horrible time understanding little kids. What makes this video extremely disturbing is that the only two words I could clearly make out, after the first sentence, were “death” and “enemies”.

  • Robin (not Robyn)

    From time to time, children babble incoherently; this is just another example of it.

  • http://www.jaytheatheist.blogspot.com/ Jay

    I could be wrong, but I don’t see her ‘reading’. This seems to be straight up memorization – which is worse since it implies no understanding.

    -J

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    I’m a dad, several times over. I’ll put good money on the kid having no clue as to what she’s saying.

  • Russell Altizer

    My first thought was “Bah, she’s only two. It’s not like she really understands what she is saying.”
    Then I remembered that the same is probably true for the majority of people who recite it, yet that doesn’t stop them from beating others over the head with it.
    Now I’m bummed out a little.

  • Wes

    In response to the above comment about an alternative to the religious indoctrination being “scientific” indoctrination, that’s creating a false dichotomy. That’s saying that religion and science are in some way shape or form, comparable. Science is based in sound logic, reason, and empirical evidence. Religion, however, is not. “Indoctrinating” children into science would be using the same logic as to say you would “indoctrinate” children into proper grammar and whatnot. Religion is intentionally false, or at the very least bad logic (IE; assuming the existence of an undefinable entity, essentially affirming a hypothesis without having the necessary evidence to make that rational choice)

  • mthrnite

    Next up: 2nd Kings 2:23-24

  • Mike E

    All is not lost. That could have been me at only a slightly older age of 3 or 4. I’m now a fully born again non-theist. The 23rd Psalm is one of the nicer pieces of Biblical literature. If all of the Bible were that harmless, the human civilization would be a whole lot better off.

  • SeniorSkeptik

    The parents should be charged with child abuse! Shame on them for brainwashing a 2 year old.

  • Anonymous

    via The Daily Dish, where they refer to the video as “Hitchens Bait”

    Gay, Catholic, occasional conservative Andrew Sullivan and Christoper Hitchens have some history. Here’s the most shallow of it
    http://wonkette.com/405544/christopher-hitchens-makes-out-with-andrew-sullivan-dances-to-rap-music
    but the meat of it can be found on Youtube.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ChristopherTK ChristopherTK

    Oh joy. No need to worry about a depletion in the ranks of religious drones.

  • Erinn Foley

    The scary thing is…there are a TON of these kids on youtube doing the same thing… pure memorization… that’s it… too bad they will grow up and probably believe this crap.

  • Valdyr

    Imagine the Christian outrage if it were a video of a little girl reciting passages of the Quran.

  • Claudia

    As a stunt I think its kind of cute, just as if she were to memorize any other story or these kids who know all the presidents, or stats+capitals etc.

    What makes this worriesome is the (probably well founded) assumption that the memorization of the Bible is no accident but rather the start of a long road of severe indoctrination.

  • Annie

    And when she misbehaves, they make her recite from Job.

    Honestly, it’s sweet that some adult spent enough time with this child for her to memorize a rather lengthy piece. Although it wouldn’t be my choice, it’s obviously theirs. She didn’t seem terribly bothered by doing it, and she didn’t seem particularly thrilled, either. I just hope the adults are giving credit where it is due… to the little girl, and not to Jesus.

  • NotYou007

    Valdyr Says:

    June 21st, 2011 at 5:52 pm
    Imagine the Christian outrage if it were a video of a little girl reciting passages of the Quran.

    You mean like this???

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyjRPKNg0gw

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

    Child manipulation, even if it’s “cute”, just… no, man. No. Not cool.

  • echidna

    My son could sing all the verses to “A frog he would a wooing go” at that age. Not exactly religious indoctrination, but he really wanted to master that song.

    I got the impression this girl was more interested in the intonation of the psalm than the words.

  • Richard Wade

    Da Woad is ma seppud. Ah sheu not want…

    So much “awwww” and so much “ewwww” in the same place.

    As a counterpoint, I’d like to see a smart little two yeew ode reciting Tom Leherer’s The Elements complete with all the baby tawk infweckton.

    Dehrs auntie money, awsenik, awoominum, seweenium, an hidwojen an akeegen an nitwogen an weenieum…

  • http://www.noforbiddenquestions.com/ NFQ

    Wow, wow. It’s pretty clear that she is not actually reading, since she’s not looking at the pages most of the time. I hear something very familiar in the way she pronounces the words — they’re not really words to her, just sequences of sounds. For a while as a little kid, I knew that people would sing Auld Lang Syne at New Year’s, but I thought the line was something like “should old akwaint and spee forgot.” Being a toddler is a lot like playing a game of Mad Gab with the adults around you.

  • Jenny Wren

    From a Youtube comment of 9 months ago…
    “The fact is this adorable baby reads this and accepts it with our reservation or human logic or rational getting in her? way.”
    (The rest of the comment was even less coherent.)

    This is why they start them so young. :(

  • http://www.summerseale.com Summer Seale

    She said it wrong.

    It wasn’t in Hebrew. =)

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    I think that children should be exposed to poetry at a young age. I’d say the bible wasn’t the ideal book to help a child with memorization, rhyme and rhythm because it tends not to be written in couplets or have a consistent set of stresses. The symbolism in the bible is sometimes forced and sometimes far too blatant and some of the scenes in parts of it are just not suitable for the very young and impressionable. I imagine that the family make do with the books that they have lying around.

    The bible books for me hold no special horror or wonder though I do find it disturbing that others would think that it is important enough a publication to expose young children to when they lack the comprehension to master such a long and complex text. I mean Lord of the Rings is one of my favourite set of books but I haven’t tried to get my kids to read it yet. I want them to enjoy it, not dread the experience.

    Also I wouldn’t give a prized book to a small child to read. I’d give them a children’s book that I don’t mind ripped pages or artistic enhancements (colouring in) being added. If a book is important to me then it can wait till the child is respectful and mature enough to read it.

  • Aimee

    My kid could barely talk at all at 2 and certainly never would repeat anything even when I tried. I rather teach my kids to understand concepts than just memorize stuff

  • http://www.quietatheist.com Slugsie

    Yet another example of trying to indoctrinate a child long before they can even vaguely comprehend what they’re apparently being taught.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com Anna

    Judging by their YouTube channel, this child’s parents are hardcore fundamentalists. That’s what makes this video so disturbing. It’s not the recitation, but the fact that this little girl is already being indoctrinated. I find it sad that most children (at least in America) don’t remain default atheists past toddlerhood. The parents obviously know that teaching their beliefs as fact (starting in infancy) is the best way to ensure that their children believe in the “right” deity and follow the “right” religion. There’s no freedom of belief, no freedom of thought, no freedom to discover, no freedom to make up their own minds. These babies are being told, over and over and over, that a particular god is real.

  • littlejohn

    The good news is that she can’t possibly understand what she is reciting, just as I never considered what I was doing when I had to pledge allegiance to the flag then recite the Lord’s Prayer in elementary school (yes, I’m that old).
    And the cupcake on her outfit is adorable.
    The bad news in that in 12 years she’ll be pumping out crack babies.

  • CRB

    My 2.5 year old essentially can recite all of his mother goose stories (who needs to read to him?) though he sometimes needs prompting for the first word. He often also bursts into songs that we often sing to him… not to mention knowing a bunch of Cat in the Hat. I’m not too surprised she managed to memorize a bit of the bible…


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