On my way home from the societies exhibition yesterday, I popped in at the Stellenbosch Gemeente offices to pick up the “creed” (is there a better word for “geloofsbelydenis”?) recently used by the children in Stellenbosch Gemeente. The “creed” was based on what the children suggested, using their words. From the sound of it, the only [direct*] adult influence in the creed was to put it together and to organise it. As such, it should hopefully be a pretty good indication of what they believe. (*Yes, what they were taught by the adults, of course.)
You will have to wait for the actual creed: this is all in preparation for a future post on childhood indoctrination, drawing from my own experiences. It will take some time, as I first want to do some more research. In particular, I want to see if Richard Dawkins, who apparently claims religion is child abuse, has any particularly interesting arguments in The God Delusion (which has a chapter on children, if the table of contents is anything to go by). I am hoping I’m wrong in believing I can predict the majority of the contents of that chapter.
The “popping in at SG” became a longer visit, as I sat down and had a very nice discussion with Deon Botha, who is in charge of “children church” at SG. The discussion focused largely on what the children are taught and what they are not taught. I very much liked what I heard, but I did not take notes. I’m sure we will have more discussions in the future. The particular detail that I want to share, the detail that is responsible for me making this post today: they are not taught about hell and Satan. That is considered completely unnecessary, as well as dangerous. Sweet! (Note, these are my words, my paraphrase of our discussion.)
Deon also told me about some of the horrifying things a pre-primary school teacher in Stellenbosch is doing to the children in her care. I’m not even sure I want to share that right now. Basically, teach children to see Satan everywhere, and they will.
Time pressure will probably prevent me from getting to the “Religion and [Supposed] Child Abuse” post (title still under consideration) before late March. The problem is I don’t really have time to read right now. Or maybe I should skip the research and write mostly from my experience, revisiting the topic when I get around to reading relevant material?
I’m kinda hoping someone drops a comment about how bad it is to not teach children about hell and Satan. Any takers? (And I mean people that seriously believe that: please motivate why you think it is bad.) If this discussion does pick up, can I request that the atheists and anti-theists watch from the side-lines for a while? I’d like an opportunity for some discussion to take place between Christians before you start playing hard-ball.