The greatest gift my parents bestowed on me was to not encumber me with either religion or politics. It enabled me to become a free thinker.
My parents took the view that childhood was a time to play and learn about nature. They brought me up with morality and a sense of awe and wonder at the world. They took the view that I could explore religion and politics when I was an adult.
I think they were right.
I used to think that human beings are able to think for ourselves but now I am not so sure. We are the products of our culture and the principles instilled into us.
The human brain appears hopelessly inept to me at thinking for itself. We tend to blindly accept what we are told. The ideas that are fed into us as children seem to solidify into concrete. We are immensely susceptible to indoctrination.
‘Give me a boy until the age of seven and I will give you the man’ – the Jesuit motto.
All too true, I am afraid.
All over the world parents and religions are busy feeding concepts of god and religion into young receptive minds that have no facility to evaluate or reject. Those concepts are neatly injected into the grey matter to solidify. It seems to me that once entrenched they are impossible to remove.
I see people like Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard whose lives vacillate between extremes and are racked with guilt. I find that sad.
What are we doing to our children?
Shouldn’t we be educating them to explore and question rather than saddling them with guilt?
Surely we can teach our children morality and awe and wonder without burdening them with medieval concepts that have no foundation?
When they are old enough to make up their minds they can then explore religion, can’t they? Shouldn’t it be a personal choice rather than imposed?
What god demands this blind obedience under pain of everlasting torture?
Are we not abusing our children?