It’s not a secret that many Christians are terrified of letting their kids make up their own minds about the question of God.
It’s not a secret that many seem to feel, instinctively, that without constant, repetitive drilling of faith concepts into their kids’ heads from the earliest possible age, they will not believe. In effect, they’re saying that the argument for God is not persuasive enough on the basis of reason, evidence, and logic, but must instead be force-fed to children from infancy before they develop a way to ask questions or form a rebuttal.
Or, as the Bible puts it, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
And while this is, I’m happy to report, not strictly true (certainly not exclusively, as myself and many other former believers can attest), it’s a pretty deeply entrenched concept all the same. To do anything less than indoctrinate kids as soon you can is to risk their soul — because children left to examine the evidence and arguments for religion on their own are children who may reject it. By not passing along your faith, you’re avoiding your greatest duty as a parent: preserving your children’s souls. In short, reason, evidence, and freethought be damned when souls are on the line.
It’s bad enough on its own, and it certainly reflects poorly on the perceived strength of religious arguments. But then you find parents justifying this bad idea with a full-on embrace, taking it to conclusions that are so much worse.
Parents like Christian blogger James Uglum, who recently wrote a piece describing why letting children skip church is a monstrous thing. Worse, in fact, than letting them play in rush-hour traffic.