"Joyful Heart" (read, gleefully mean, and I can get behind that) Ministries gives us 10 OH-so honest "tips" for sending your child to hell. Actually it's 10 insults against non christian parents. I think that's the author's way of showing what a good Christian he is.
1. Remove prayer from your home. The schools have taken the lead here, so your kids won't expect prayer at meals or at times of family crisis. Just make sure that you never pray in front of your children. If they see you bowing to a higher power it might make them feel somehow weak, inferior--as if they did not control their own destinies.
Ok so far. Apparently there are no atheists in foxholes. What an ass.
But take the "higher power" thing and shove it. Electricity, in a high enough voltage, is a higher power. Other people can be stronger than you. "Higher " is not an atheist phrase, dingbats. It's for non-denominationals.
As for family crises, I agree that falling to one's knees and appealing to Zarquon the Space God is probably not the best parenting move. How about staying calm, putting it into perspective and thinking it through? That would be a tad better role-modeling to your youngun, than being a drooling idiot reaching into your checkbook for a love-offering to Benny Hinn.
2. Keep a Bible around. Now this may surprise you. While you must ban prayer, don't ban the Bible. Keep a copy on the shelf--a high shelf. This is how you can appear open-minded while preserving the Bible as a closed book. To keep your kids heathen, however, you must never read to them from the Bible. "Seen not heard," is the safest rule. Bible story books--especially ones with attractive pictures--are dangerous, too. There's a chance your child might pick one up by accident and ask you to read stories out of it. Don't allow one in the house.
Gee, whiz, why wouldn't I want my kid to read stories about mayhem, murder, rape, incest and terrorism?
Thing is, I wouldn't tell them the stories, especially the ones with demons and exocisms, were true and righteous. That's why the Christian, yet again, has got it all backwards. Christians want to make sure the kids don't read the bible, because it most likely contradicts the secular values they may be trying to teach. But Christian homes can be pretty screwed up and bizarre, so what are you gonna do?
Anyway, sure, I'd let them read the bible, because by the time they have the intelligence and stamina to read the awful thing, they'd have the moral compass to intelligently judge it.
3. Plan family events for Sunday mornings. This way your children won't have any excuse for going to church with their friends. Don't let your children hear the phrase "The Lord's Day." Instead, say something like, "Sunday is my only day off," or "Sunday is the only day I get to sleep in," or "Sunday is the only day our family can do things together." Before you know it, your child will be permanently trained to think selfishly about Sunday mornings, and will be very unlikely to be found in church.
Oh, the horror of the secular family. Brainwashing their kids to be different from the other kids. What do you suppose they'd think about going to Temple with their friends, or doing Sabbath properly?
Note how clumsily the author tries to evoke guilt with the use of the word "selfishly." That could backfire. Yes, Sunday is a day of hardship, by default, apparently--even though the "7th Day" depends on your sect's opinion and not on anything you could possibly get out of scripture. To utilize your day off for the benefit of your family and your health is bad, bad, naughty.
Does anyone besides Orthodox Jews and Amish really believe this? People like to write about it a lot, but crazy parents who believe in it belong on Lifetime Television movies.
4. Try to have your child attend a wedding held in a church. That way your child can never say, "I never went to church when I was a child," like so many children say these days. But be careful. There's a chance he might hear prayers and become confused. It might be better to arrange for him to come to the reception only.
This one's for Christians to feel guilty about. I see now. He's talking to Christians, hoping to raise fear and guilt.
5. Spice up your family vocabulary with occasional references to God damning someone. That'll help the children think God is angry at people and only wants to condemn them. Some families have found it helpful to say "hell" when they're angry so the child will associate it with swearing instead of a real place. Using "Jesus!" and "Christ!" and "God!" as expletives is also quite effective in inoculating your child against the Christian faith.
That might be a good idea. I don't know how a kid is supposed to innately know what "damn" means. If all this nonsense is in everyone's head, why Sunday School? But if my kid wants to learn about the jealous nature of God, she'll figure it out. I sure as Hell (haw haw) don't want my kid to go through the terrorI did, thinking that Hell was real. What an awful, irresponsible, lazy thing to teach children.
6. Block Christian broadcasting from your television by reprogramming your VCR's scanning menu or insisting that the cable company doesn't transmit those kinds of stations to your home. Be extra careful, though, to monitor your child's viewing so she doesn't accidentally watch a Billy Graham Crusade or something equally dangerous. A good substitute might be "The Simpsons," or some other character-building cartoons.
Well, if I believed in censorship like these guys do, I'd agree. But frankly, if there was a way to opt out of these disgusting and immoral stations, I would. They are funny like Ed Wood, but a young child is not ready for that kind of sarcasm. I can see, however, that watching these stations might be a good way of introducing that kind of humor to a 12-14 year-old. Perhaps it too could be used to help a kid develop a good skeptical sense, to develop intellectual armour against such salesmen. And yes, "The Simpsons" is a really moral show.
But a VCR? Come on.
7. Don't invite grandparents or other relatives to your home without first making sure they won't talk about Jesus or God. Tell them that all families have rules, and your home is designed to be "religious values neutral." It would also be a big mistake to let your children stay with their grandparents if they are known to engage in any of the above taboo activities. Perhaps the children could meet with Christian grandparents for a supervised visit in a park. But letting your children visit for a day or more is just too risky.
I'm sure they would welcome Uncle Akbar or the Mormon inlaws with open arms, and encourage them to take the children into their bedrooms to give them the good news. Because, after all, I certainly was welcome to say anything I wanted to my fundamentalist relatives' children about religion--not.
But if I have some obligation to invite the crazies, I'm sure my kids, depending on their age, already know about how some people have invisible friends. But no one would be allowed to terrorize my kids with demons, monsters, and hell, that's for damned sure.
8. Separate moral instruction from religion. It's all right to tell your children the difference between right and wrong, just so long as you don't tell them that God is against stealing or killing or lying. That way it will be easier for them to adopt an "everything is relative" belief system which won't inhibit their lifestyle as teenagers and adults.
What the fuck does religion have to do with morality? And why would I shove the religious notion of moral relativism down my kids' throats? After all, Christianity is The religion of moral relativism.
9. If your child asks to attend church, tell her proudly that when she is eighteen she can make her own decisions, but while she is in her impressionable years you don't want to expose her to any pressure for or against God. Tell her that you are a politically correct parent. That you believe in separation of church and state, and that you only want what's best for her.
Why wouldn't I want my kid to attend a Kickapoo Snakeoil Medicine Show? Go! Here's some money! And if their children want to go to a Coven on Samhain, I'm sure they won't be beaten/exorcised.
10. Train your child to say "Protestant" when asked his religion. Don't bother to explain it. "Agnostic" or "atheist" or "heathen" might be more accurate, but people could consider you a bad parent. And it's best to avoid using the term "Christian" because it includes the name of Christ in a non-swearing context, which might raise questions in your child's mind.
Because all atheists are cowards! Jesus Christ. I don't know if any of you do this; I tend to doubt it. I mean, there's never been a Christian child ever in history to commit any act of violence against a "heathen" *cough*Inquisition*cough*witch burning*cough*the 1950's. But the real burning, shining dumb in the above paragraph is not the insult--I can take it, you might be able to--it's the first sentence. They think their children have a religion. Pretty stupid. What moron asks a young child his religion?
Yes, I know. There are many, many morons out in the world. And if you have children, I wish you all the luck in the world braving them. Do your best. (Just don't do the "moral relativism" thing. That doesn't make any sense.)