Note to Parents

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Smart Kids (offsite)
Mr Wiseass (offsite)
In practically all cases concerning what kids are taught, religious folk are hypocrites. Starting as early as possible, believers inject religion (god-belief) into their kids (and anyone else's kid who happen to be around), but resent atheist parents teaching their own children that God is imaginary.

Religious people had rather atheist parents leave their children's minds as blank slates (in regard to god-belief), so that religion can readily be written therein.

Peer pressure is a powerful force, but much moreso when the person being pressured has a mind that is as a blank slate. Also, the subtle god-injection in the Pledge of Allegiance is much more contageous when subjects haven't been inoculated with healthy doses of skepticism.

Also note, a child can easily be scared witless with boogeyman tales. The fear can be so deeply penetrating that the child will be unable to enter a dark room to retrieve a toy. Therefore, a child whose mind is as a blank slate could be marred for life with tales about "Satan" or "The Devil" (another imaginary god). And threatening a kid (whose mind is as a blank slate) with eternal damnation could severly traumatize the child.

Furthermore, beware that religious folk lie to their children and teach that morals are strictly based on religious conviction. Whereas, a child's morals are based on the emotions the child has absorbed in regard to a particular behavior. For instance, a friend of mine was raised as a Hindu and indoctrinated with the notion that eating meat was a sin. College and life's experiences gradually caused him to quit believing in God. Nevertheless, he is still a vegetarian. He knows that eating meat is not a sin. But the emotions he feels in regard to eating meat (disgust for one) results in him retaining the moral value of vegetarianism.

Christianity teaches that homosexualism is a grave sin, but more than a few Christians still become involved in homosexual behavior. This is because factors such as brain chemistry, hormones, emotions, and unconscious memories (that may be stirred up by present day situations), all have an effect on behavior - effects that in many (perhaps most) cases may be unknown to the person experiencing them. As a consequence, morals are not determined by religious conviction, but by the mindset one has developed and the emotions he (or she) has acquired in regard to the behavior (as a result of life's experiences). I am not a thief merely because my mental development and life's experiences have made the thought of thievery very offensive to me. (In fact, now that I look back on my life, I feel I was more immoral as a Christian than I am now that I have become an atheist.) I don't have more "moral integrity" than the thief. Life has merely given me an aversion in regard to thievery that the thief doesn't experience (because he wasn't exposed to the similar circumstances).

Therefore, atheist parents, don't be ashamed or afraid to use the same emotional displays used by the preacher in the pulpit. He has an unfair advantage when he is allowed to be emotional while expressing himself but you are not. The religion of a speaker is irrelevant to the effectiveness of the speech. The emotional displays and emotional associations during the speech help the morals be remembered and retained. Religion doesn't help a person be moral.