Little Serpents

Libby Anne has a great post on the effects of Calvinism on child rearing, “Little Bundles of Sin”: Evangelical Child Rearing. Basically, when viewed through the lens of Reformed Christianity, children are little unregenerate heathens without a speck of good in them, and they remain that way until they’re old enough to repent and make Jesus their personal savior. Libby notes the genuine fear this creates in parents who are terrified that their children will grow up to become gay liberal atheists because of original sin, and use abusive methods of child rearing in order to keep their kids on the straight and narrow.

This only needs a quote from the ultimate source of this doctrine to finish it off. Here’s John Calvin, from his First Sermon on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ:

Let us look now at what shall become of us. What are our affections? What of our thoughts? All those are enemies that battle against God, as says; St. Paul. Here God pronounces that we are altogether perverse and that all that man can imagine is but falsehood and vanity. Even from our infancy we show that we are steeped in the complete infection of sin. Little children coming into the world, though the malice does not appear, do not always fail to be little serpents full of poison, malice and disdain. In this we truly realize what is in our nature even from the beginning. And when we have become of age, what of us then? We are (as I have said) so evil that we do not know how to conceive a single thought which is not at the same time rebellion against God, so that we do not know whether to apply ourselves to this or to that, since we are always led astray from the true norm, even if we do not come to a clash with God in a provocative way. What a fight, then, is necessary to draw us back to the good! When we see that our Lord Jesus, in Whom there was nothing but integrity and uprightness, had to be subject to God His Father, even to renouncing Himself, is it not important that we should give ourselves entirely to it?

I’ve always wanted to start a Calvinist day care, where we keep the kids in terrariums and give them heated rocks to sleep on.

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