U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-04-2011, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,621 posts, read 7,001,870 times
Reputation: 3631

Advertisements

Last night, as a good handy-man type, I was doing some volunteer work on a physical-plant issue at the church where my wife works. Coincidentally, the evening Children for Jesus meeting was ongoing. The kids come down one afternoon during the week, and they get a free "nutritional dinner" (more on that later...) plus some spiritual guidance under the guise of a music, activities and acting-out program.

The target age group was all elementary school age; 5 to 8 or 9 yrs of age.

I saw them receiving food that was, sadly, on a par with the local school kitchen's offerings; previously frozen fish sticks, chicken "nuggets", and potato tots. There was also a plate of relish (pickles, black olives and the like). One of the nice older church ladies had prepared a wonderful, appealing plate of fresh raw veggies: broccoli, carrot sticks, celery and ranch dip. That one remained essentially untouched, except that she smiled wanely at me, and I gratefully took a handful, dipping into the also-handmade Ranch dressing. Tasty!

Then, the kids were treated to day-old donuts donated by our local super grocery store. How thoughtful of them! "Sugar For Jesus!"

Now then: the program: They were first conjoined in a rugby-type scrum prayer (all in an arms-locked circle, chanting "God is Great, God is Good; Yeahhhhh GAWD!" ) A sort of cheerleader-squad rant. The adult leader then added an inquisiitive and loudly yelled "Right, kids?? RIGHT? God IS Great! YEH!??" immediately after this chant, to confirm the words and mood of the rugby roundhouse chant.

Then there was an egalitarian sit-in-a-circle meeting in which the leader read from some sort of visually charming tract, and showed the kids some of the colorful pictures therein. I'd say it was a religious comic book, but I don't know for sure.

Then my wife took over: her part was to enthusiastically lead the kids in religiously oriented sing-along songs, in which, again, all things positive were attributed to, and acknowledged to be from and by God and Jesus.

Then there was ≈ 20 - 30 minutes of rousing singing, in which some of the songs relied on predictably co-dependent participation by individuals in the group taking up small solo parts in which they profess their undying (!) loyalty to the God of the house. Group acceptance by subversive manipulation? I mean, some of these 6 or 7 very young and socially inexperienced kids seemed quite afraid, but yet they went along with it all. Reluctantly, but also looking up at the room's ceiling from time to time. Avoiding God's wrath perchance?

Later, I (jokingly, of course..) offered my teacher's services to provide an unbiased counter-point directly from the open-minded atheist's perspective, but talk about a wan look from my wifey! She seemingly felt it would have been more than a bit dis-respectful given the setting!

Oh well then; OK. I'll have to hold off, but the psycho-damage was being done on purpose right in front of me, IMHO, and it's never too late to save a few young souls from perdition, I say! As well, can you imagine: this sort of unchecked weekday subversion is ongoing all across the fruited plain 52 weeks a year.

So: bigger question is: do any of you also feel this is a bit subversive? Taking advantage of the innocent young mind at it's most easily approached or manipulated? Do you see any overt manipulation here? Or do you see or hear any alternative perspectives simultaneously presented (at your church, for instance...), just to make it fair?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-04-2011, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Marion, North Dakota
10,844 posts, read 4,429,600 times
Reputation: 4260
While I believe teaching of all subjects should begin at an early age, I feel the most important lesson that can be taught is the need to always ask questions and never accept anything simply because somebody says it is true.

But, I also understand that few if any religious instructors have any actual knowledge as to what teaching is.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2011, 12:15 PM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
6,685 posts, read 5,406,417 times
Reputation: 3844
It was kind of you to volunteer to do some work on the building, rifleman.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2011, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Earth
1,048 posts, read 1,200,685 times
Reputation: 643
I must be missing something.

You are volunteering to help a church that you feel brainwashes kids??

Why?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2011, 12:24 PM
 
7,902 posts, read 5,527,621 times
Reputation: 3130
It's part of the creepiness that led me away from organized religion.

They use the same propaganda techniques as the Hitlerjugend or Soviet Young Pioneers.

If God is all that, why would He need such tactics?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2011, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
2,756 posts, read 3,308,883 times
Reputation: 4458
Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
Last night, as a good handy-man type, I was doing some volunteer work on a physical-plant issue at the church where my wife works. Coincidentally, the evening Children for Jesus meeting was ongoing. The kids come down one afternoon during the week, and they get a free "nutritional dinner" (more on that later...) plus some spiritual guidance under the guise of a music, activities and acting-out program.

The target age group was all elementary school age; 5 to 8 or 9 yrs of age.

I saw them receiving food that was, sadly, on a par with the local school kitchen's offerings; previously frozen fish sticks, chicken "nuggets", and potato tots. There was also a plate of relish (pickles, black olives and the like). One of the nice older church ladies had prepared a wonderful, appealing plate of fresh raw veggies: broccoli, carrot sticks, celery and ranch dip. That one remained essentially untouched, except that she smiled wanely at me, and I gratefully took a handful, dipping into the also-handmade Ranch dressing. Tasty!

Then, the kids were treated to day-old donuts donated by our local super grocery store. How thoughtful of them! "Sugar For Jesus!"

Now then: the program: They were first conjoined in a rugby-type scrum prayer (all in an arms-locked circle, chanting "God is Great, God is Good; Yeahhhhh GAWD!" ) A sort of cheerleader-squad rant. The adult leader then added an inquisiitive and loudly yelled "Right, kids?? RIGHT? God IS Great! YEH!??" immediately after this chant, to confirm the words and mood of the rugby roundhouse chant.

Then there was an egalitarian sit-in-a-circle meeting in which the leader read from some sort of visually charming tract, and showed the kids some of the colorful pictures therein. I'd say it was a religious comic book, but I don't know for sure.

Then my wife took over: her part was to enthusiastically lead the kids in religiously oriented sing-along songs, in which, again, all things positive were attributed to, and acknowledged to be from and by God and Jesus.

Then there was ≈ 20 - 30 minutes of rousing singing, in which some of the songs relied on predictably co-dependent participation by individuals in the group taking up small solo parts in which they profess their undying (!) loyalty to the God of the house. Group acceptance by subversive manipulation? I mean, some of these 6 or 7 very young and socially inexperienced kids seemed quite afraid, but yet they went along with it all. Reluctantly, but also looking up at the room's ceiling from time to time. Avoiding God's wrath perchance?

Later, I (jokingly, of course..) offered my teacher's services to provide an unbiased counter-point directly from the open-minded atheist's perspective, but talk about a wan look from my wifey! She seemingly felt it would have been more than a bit dis-respectful given the setting!

Oh well then; OK. I'll have to hold off, but the psycho-damage was being done on purpose right in front of me, IMHO, and it's never too late to save a few young souls from perdition, I say! As well, can you imagine: this sort of unchecked weekday subversion is ongoing all across the fruited plain 52 weeks a year.

So: bigger question is: do any of you also feel this is a bit subversive? Taking advantage of the innocent young mind at it's most easily approached or manipulated? Do you see any overt manipulation here? Or do you see or hear any alternative perspectives simultaneously presented (at your church, for instance...), just to make it fair?
No: I don't feel that any sort of subversiveness was going on there. Not a speck.
What I DO feel though, is that you're an overly-cynical atheist who wears his anti-religion stance on his sleeve and are constantly on the lookout for any sort of public religious activity where you can construe it as being "subversive manipulation" simply because you don't agree with it.
What you witnessed in the church was merely a Church-based religious program for children. No harm was done and in fact I'd hazard to wager that the children enjoyed it immensely and are looking forward to the next one. The bias and non-objectivity of your post was blatantly evident from the git-go, when you began criticizing the food--which, again, I'm sure the kids enjoyed--and then went on to ridicule the prayer chant.
The weird thing about all this is that I'd also wager that this whole ordeal bothered you more than either the kids, or their parents. So, I guess right now I'm trying to figure out that dynamic, as well as attempting to get the unsavory image of a bitter old atheist dude lurking in the bowels of the church while watching this event.

Last edited by DrummerBoy; 11-04-2011 at 01:26 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2011, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Marion, North Dakota
10,844 posts, read 4,429,600 times
Reputation: 4260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeroman View Post
I must be missing something.

You are volunteering to help a church that you feel brainwashes kids??

Why?
From what I read in Rifleman's posts I have come to the conclusion he is a very compassionate human being who cares deeply about all people. I suspect if somebody needs help with anything, he has no qualms about doing what he can to help where a need exists.

I suspect he saw a building in need of maintenance if a bunch of innocent kids were going to be safe and comfortable.

I do not speak for him nor can I, But I suspect he would never say anything that may appear to be bragging on his part. so, I will just step in and say he impresses me as being a nice guy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2011, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Earth
1,048 posts, read 1,200,685 times
Reputation: 643
Since I asked his answer will not be bragging.

Also, whats the difference from volunteering and just giving them money to hire someone to fix something?
But then again maybe he gives money to churches that he thinks brain wash kids.

Curious minds want to know..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2011, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
11,334 posts, read 10,147,224 times
Reputation: 10455
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrummerBoy View Post
You're a cynical atheist who wears his anti-religion stance on his sleeve and are constantly on the lookout for any sort of public religious activity where you can construe it as being "subversive manipulation" simply because you don't agree with it...
And How!!!!

Good job Rflmn! Sometimes it takes serious cajones to do do good things for dumb people!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2011, 01:18 PM
Status: "Status edited!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
4,650 posts, read 3,386,077 times
Reputation: 2959
Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
So: bigger question is: do any of you also feel this is a bit subversive? Taking advantage of the innocent young mind at it's most easily approached or manipulated? Do you see any overt manipulation here? Or do you see or hear any alternative perspectives simultaneously presented (at your church, for instance...), just to make it fair?
Hmm.......

Perhaps (following this line of reasoning) we should not allow children of a certain age to attend school. Or watch TV. Or engage in sports. Or....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:46 AM.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top