The Child Before Religion

Nakedpastor was referring to creativity, but it applies to religious dogma, too.

Love all people… until your church teaches you that gays and lesbians don’t deserve the same rights as you.

Treat other people as you would like to be treated… until your pastor tells you “men are the head and women are the helpers” in a family.

Don’t be so quick to judge others… until the religious figurehead on TV tells you that people who don’t believe in God are to blame for an unthinkable tragedy.

Children learn all this bullshit — not at all churches, but many of them — and it ought to be one of our duties as atheists to help cleanse their minds of all of it as soon as possible.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • SK

    But how? Reasoning doesn’t seem to work.

    • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

      If we can convince parents not to indoctrinate their children, that would be a start.

    • John_in_Vegas

      Then don’t reason it away from them. Just firmly take it out of their reach, as you would from a child: “These are MY civil rights and not YOUR religious beliefs. They belong in MY possession and under MY control and no, you may not keep only the morality part.”

      If we continue to grant religion the ability to define any aspect of our rights, we will lose total possession of them.

      • Anti Statist

        The only rights you have are what the state allows. You sure as hell don’t think you are “edowed by your creator with inalienable rights” do you?

        • coyotenose

          The actual argument is that the state recognizes the natural rights due to all people. Apart from that, your comment seems totally unrelated to the one to which you’re responding and more of a knee-jerk response to certain trigger words.

  • Doug

    Your “article”, if you can even call it that, is a complete joke. It’s hard to even pick a place to begin, because there is a complete lack of focus and direction, not to mention facts. You qualify nothing, yet you feel it an atheist’s duty “to help cleanse their minds”? You have told us nothing of your expertise in theology, child rearing, teaching, science, psychology. You give no reason or evidence of any kind that suggests people should listen to you in any way whatsoever. In fact, what you have done is build a “strawman” fallacy, which is very typical of a left wing liberal. You take words and phrases out of context and assign a ridiculous outcome to what you portray to be the truth. This is how weak people fight. Weak in the mind, weak in the soul. You respect nobody unless they agree with you, and you believe yourself and people like you to be highly intelligent and enlightened in thought, yet you apparently think that it is your calling to destroy the lives of people who don’t think the same as you. Christians try to save people because they understand what will happen to the person if they are not. You save nobody. You want to deny people their eternity because they are not you. Ignorant hypocrites, who have no qualms about using exaggerated and inaccurate information, instead of actual facts when lying out their position on a subject are a very dangerous, because you end up attracting more of the same type of people who are lacking morals, just like yourself.

    • lefty

      indent your paragraphs

    • Patterrssonn

      I’m sorry, are you trying to show how to create a strawman fallacy? Otherwise I’m not getting your post.

    • tinker

      Doug, this is not a blog for you. This is a blog for us. Hemant is not arguing with you, he is making a point to other atheists. I do understand that you Xtians are so trained to be offended that you have to go looking for things to be offended about but do not come into our house and poop on the carpet. That actually IS offensive.

    • coyotenose

      I hear that Jesus loves people who speak in ignorance of others, who are judgmental, who are insulting without cause, who ignore the beam in their own eye. You know, people like you.

      Also people who are too stupid to realize that this is an ongoing blog and that not every point has to be restated and affirmed in every new post. Again: people like you.

      Jesus was very clearly a Communist. So much for your politics informing your religion, hypocrite.

    • tobias27

      doug,
      I think the point here is that humans are born as free-thinking enjoyers of the incredible possibilities on this planet. Religion is one of the leading purveyors of guilt, shame, hate, self-loathing, and at least a dozen other things that serve no purpose other than to diminish human life – all in the name of some bullshit made-up “father’. You don’t need a bunch of degrees to clearly see how twisted all of this mind-control is. The evidence is all around us. We are merely inviting you to join us in understanding how wonderful your life might be if you would just let go of all of that degrading dogma. At the very least, couldn’t you stop inflicting such a debasing indoctrination upon our young ones. They deserve better.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1353603101 Joe Montoto

      Please tell us which facts you rely on, other than the “facts” that were written by wacky bronze-age sand encrusted bedouins who, struggling to come up with a play book that competed against pagan myths, wrote volumes that were dictated to them by the voice in their heads, which they claimed to be the big bogey-man in the sky who would “getcha” if you didn’t follow their rules. You mean those “facts?”

    • Dan

      I have two degrees in Science, Biology and Geology, and religion goes out of its way to confuse reality and inhibit free-thinking about earth, its history, and the organisms that inhabit it. Trying to teach biology over this bullshit w/o the admin getting on your case is impossible. I have taught for over 20 years both in the US and abroad, and religion is the largest impediment to scientific literacy. Satisfied?

  • SangerLied

    Of course, all this assumes that the child has not been aborted…which is a big assumption, considering that murdering mamas kill a third of their unborn children,

    • coyotenose

      I’m sorry that you’re too stupid to know what the word “murder” means, or that embryos are not children. Actually, you appear to be totally ignorant of the basic arguments surrounding womens’ bodily rights, and yet you’re of the opinion that you have worthwhile points to share. Why are you so narcissistic?


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