A different sort today. The past two weeks, my folks have been getting some digs in on me. I feel free enough to post this here because, honestly, neither of them is likely to read it, and if anyone does my dad is the least likely to. They are picking a fight with me, and they should know better. They are liable to lose, and to get the silent treatment for awhile.
Silence is something I am fairly good at, after living alone for this long. It’s enough that I wonder if I could stand people being around all the time.
Anyway. The news is that my nephew is going through his first communion. I hear even my pagan brother sent him a gift. I’d like to think the folks were being dishonest. The mind reels. I’m sorry, but I just cannot celebrate indoctrination. Especially of unsuspecting children.
These kids have no defense from you, none! They haven’t learned enough to be able to apply critical thinking to this religious ceremony — instead, they’re born and raised in it. To the point that it’s immunized from any critical thinking skills they may gain in the future. You can see it in the scientists that hang on to religious beliefs despite their knowledge and skills. Indoctrination teaches them to set that aside, in just this one area. This one’s special. To compartmentalize the nonsense; or perhaps the critical thinking, I can’t be sure which.
Many religions foment real, physically harmful abuse of their adherents, children and otherwise. I have some of the details from here, it’s worth a read-through for the interested skeptic. Found it by way of Richard Dawkins. It is a fine denouncement of organized religion’s child abuse. Beyond just the salacious scandals tearing into the catholic church, there’s children being sucked into armed conflicts under the guise of religion and sectarian or ethnic strife. There’s female genital mutilation.
And to even set all of that horror aside, the RCC builds up your kids with gender discrimination, reinforced by every catholic priest and his flowing robes and thrilling headgear. Reinforced by your holy book, should you on a lark choose to read it and not have it read to you. Do you remember how Eve, woman, is blamed for the fall of humankind? How in the new testament, women aren’t supposed to speak in church or lead them? Do you ever even ask why they’re all men in charge? Or does this disease get overlooked while you fight the symptoms out in society?
Now there’s a line that could piss off my mom. She probably doesn’t deserve that, but the men-folk sure do. It’s the price of accommodationism, eh? Go along to get along, and you end up giving it your tacit support.
I was sucked into that nonsense pretty bad before I broke out; I put some good effort into making contact with the xian god-concept. Wasted effort. And I remembered that, and I resented it. Enough to study until I could survive a scriptural drive-by or the arguments and apologetics of the casual believer, at least. And there were some, from my folks, even the priest of the church I had given up on. Well, again I should qualify it. Mostly my dad.
So here we go again, maybe. Old age and treachery. Well, I won’t take it out on the kids. From this distance, I can’t, really. That may be for the best.
But I have some paperwork at home, a Declaration of Defection that I have considered and repeatedly set aside, a formal break from the church rather than just being ‘lapsed’ as I am now. It may be time to rally some gumption and send it to Pittsburgh, and have done with it. Something I will think about this week, I suppose.