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Church recruiting drive targets two-year-olds - Comments

GodsDontExist's Avatar Comment 1 by GodsDontExist

This is sick! I think this is why militant Atheists get up everyday and fight the good fight.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 02:15:00 UTC | #425752

Stephen Tapply's Avatar Comment 2 by Stephen Tapply

"We would endorse ways of interesting children in the Christian faith and the Christian story."

By telling them lies?

Then, when the children were older, and learned the truth about Santa Claus, hopefully, they'd remember everything they'd been told about Jesus.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 02:18:00 UTC | #425754

DeepFritz's Avatar Comment 3 by DeepFritz

You may notice that they call it "Youth Group." If you get em sucked in when they are young, then they are going to have a hard time unlearning the rubbish. If you were to first teach it to a person at age 12 that "Because a boy (note it had to be a BOY - NEVER A GIRL) was born, that all humans would be saved in some afterlife." The first response you would get apart from "That sounds like crap to me." would be "Prove it!"

I think "The God Delusion" "Letter to a Christian Nation" and "God is not Great" should be compulsary school books and that "The greatest Show on Earth" and "the Ancestors Tale" should be compulsary bedtime reading :)

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 02:24:00 UTC | #425756

j.mills's Avatar Comment 4 by j.mills

What a lovely photograph of cultish initiation...

So, basically, the CoE is saying that it can't convince people with working mental faculties, so in desperation it needs to go after children. This is my surprised face.

The Church of England already sponsors 27 academies - government-funded but independently run secondaries - and has eight more in the pipeline for 2010 and another 30 under discussion.
Just to be clear, "sponsors" doesn't mean that they put any money in: academies are almost entirely taxpayer-funded. And ULT, the CoE's academy-management arm, has been told by the government (which is mad for academies) to pull its socks up before it gets any more schools to ru(i)n.

"We do not endorse high-pressure techniques, we would not endorse anything that places psychological pressure on someone..."
Putting a child in an environment of grown-ups all parroting the same fantasies with apparent authority is, ipso facto, applying psychological pressure. The intent is chilling. It's only fortunate that the church is so ineffectual.

"If you're in a split family will you go to church or go to see your dad? You'll go and see your dad. It's a different day than it used to be and the impact on the old-fashioned model has been quite serious."
If the old-fashioned model was worth a damn, would your family be split in the first place?

We are hopefully looking at drawn-out death throes here, although a hardcore of evangelical fundies will be less easily emasculated.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 02:29:00 UTC | #425759

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 5 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Give me the child at 2...

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 02:59:00 UTC | #425765

A's Avatar Comment 6 by A

Recent history has shown that children entrusted to the Christian faith have been - literally - fucked by the clerics, even here 'fucked' is a kindness, the correct term being 'raped'.

Putting aside the inevitable 'no true Scotsman' already on it's way, these elderly men in dresses do not merit our trust, especially so when it comes to our children.

I have a wonderful 22 month year old son, the big 2 in March, I would no sooner put him in the hands of these people as I would grant access to a known sex offender.

Keep this shit to yourselves.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 03:05:00 UTC | #425768

msloane's Avatar Comment 7 by msloane

Maybe (assuming you can get non-theists herded) we should counter the initiative with one called "Learn the Truth - the beauty of the world around you".
Or, "Myths and Legends of the World's Religions".
Or "Introduction to the god of the old testament".
Or "... ..."

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 03:58:00 UTC | #425772

prolibertas's Avatar Comment 8 by prolibertas

"We do not endorse high-pressure techniques, we would not endorse anything that places psychological pressure on someone. We would endorse ways of interesting children in the Christian faith and the Christian story."

But why children? Because they're still too young to think for themselves or know any better? What other possible reason could there be?

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 04:27:00 UTC | #425776

chewedbarber's Avatar Comment 9 by chewedbarber

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 06:23:00 UTC | #425785

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 10 by Jos Gibbons

So, let me guess this straight. The Church of England is being abandoned in its droves for the Catholic Church by people who would rather stand with child abusers than with women. That's why Jan, a woman in the Church of England, feels the best way for the COE to respond to this is to target 2-year-olds. You can't even make this stuff up.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 07:56:00 UTC | #425795

AshtonBlack's Avatar Comment 11 by AshtonBlack

Desperation. I wish we had a operation between church and state. This is sickening.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 08:04:00 UTC | #425796

wonderweirdo's Avatar Comment 12 by wonderweirdo

If someone approached one of my kids, there will be a news making altercation.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 08:06:00 UTC | #425797

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 13 by Peter Grant

What really gets me is how proud they are of their propaganda campaign.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 08:15:00 UTC | #425798

JSB2024's Avatar Comment 14 by JSB2024

Lies, damned lies and religion. Why should they have the right to indoctrinate impressionable children with Bronze Age myths! Imagine how we would react if we discovered an alien race that believed in an invisible man, worshipped him day and night, demanded respect and public support for it, and tried to get as many children as possible loaded onto the bandwagon! It's sick!

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 09:02:00 UTC | #425802

Paul42's Avatar Comment 15 by Paul42

If kids can be convinced that the bible is true.
That jebus was a real person and the son of god.
That belief and faith are more virtuous than critical thought...

They can be convinced of anything...

How handy is that for those in control?

This is shameful in a modern society.

Love.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 09:15:00 UTC | #425804

Vaal's Avatar Comment 16 by Vaal

There should be a law preventing proselytizing of children before the age of 12.

Targeting 2 years old? Yep, get them when they trust everything an adult tells them as absolute truth, where they have no critical faculties, and then tell them they have another Superdaddy in space, who loves them, a supernatural reflection of their own parents. So much for morality. Just cheap snake-oil salesman, classic brain-washing techniques. They should be ashamed to look at themselves in a mirror.

Pews getting emptier as a more sophisticated population can see through the bullshit? Target infants instead. Have you no shame?

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 09:30:00 UTC | #425807

stevencarrwork's Avatar Comment 17 by stevencarrwork

Can't the Church's imaginary friend just appear to children and convince them that way?

What a puny imaginary friend these people worship!

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 09:38:00 UTC | #425808

flying goose's Avatar Comment 18 by flying goose

The tone of the conversation here is predicated on an assumption, which may be right, that religion is a bad thing.

That will not be an assumption held by many, even amongst liberals, in church circles.

Which shows the gulf that exists between the two 'worlds'.

So let me ask some questions? Should we ban nativity plays?
What about the annual christingle/crib services that held every year especially for children?

These are genuine questions, I do not assume that my answers to them are correct.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 09:41:00 UTC | #425809

Vaal's Avatar Comment 19 by Vaal

Hi Flying Goose. Yes, I would say that religion is a bad thing, even with the best intention in the world. It is teaching children untruths, and inculcating them into a cult they may never be free from.

Now, I have always liked nativity plays, Xmas carols, etc, as that is part of my cultural heritage, but I have always considered them as fiction, for as long as I can remember. Maybe that is because I am just a contrary git :)

I used to enjoy Sunday school, after the tedious interminable boredom of services, as you got together with your friends on a Sunday morning. It was a social club, nothing more. I also used to like asking the Sunday school teachers questions they couldn't answer :)

EDIT: Oh, Happy Mythmas to you and your family :-)

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 09:49:00 UTC | #425812

Stonyground's Avatar Comment 20 by Stonyground

I was glad to see that the majority of the comments on the original article were hostile.

Flying Goose, I don't have a problem with telling Bible stories to children (apart from the sexually explicit and violent ones which is to say most of them), it is pretending that they are true that is the problem. Indoctrinating children with known falsehoods is child abuse in my wiew.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 09:55:00 UTC | #425814

retep57's Avatar Comment 21 by retep57

Just finishes Sam Harris' book End of Faith, if you still think religion is a good thing, try reading this book - as RD say " read Sam Harris and WAKE UP"

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 09:56:00 UTC | #425815

MartinHowe's Avatar Comment 22 by MartinHowe

This is terrifying. Because alcohol can alter how one thinks, it is (a) restricted to adults only and (b) the decision to be drunk has to be made while still sober. If somebody tried to indoctrinate toddlers to drink alcohol, there'd be an outcry!

However, religion has both of those properties, so this isn't about whether or not religion is a good thing; it is about forcing a non-essential behaviour on people before they are capable of deciding *whether or not* that behaviour is a good thing.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 09:56:00 UTC | #425817

jel's Avatar Comment 23 by jel

• An information campaign to supply schools with materials to fulfil their legal duty to conduct a daily act of worship amid reports that many schools have dropped it.


we need to work to get this law changed. the fact that many schools have dropped it is good and they should not be pressurised back into reintroducing it.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 10:08:00 UTC | #425819

sara g's Avatar Comment 24 by sara g

Their desperation is a ray of hope. Children (and their parents) having lives outside of church is the beginning of the churches being empty. If organized religion goes out of business, personal religion will follow shortly after. These current efforts against children will not counter the fact that they value their weekends too highly to waste them listening to old preachers blabber about old myths.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 10:14:00 UTC | #425820

A's Avatar Comment 25 by A

Flying Goose The tone of the conversation here is predicated on an assumption, which may be right, that religion is a bad thing.

That will not be an assumption held by many, even amongst liberals, in church circles.


Putting aside the insane epistemology and naked superstition, the breathlessly towering arrogance, the stymying of science and promotion of death and suffering to the chorus of their song - on a very practical level, when it comes to the specific issue of indoctrination of children, Christianity has the thorny problem of the facilitation of organized child rape - this alone I would have thought would be a sound enough reason to not let costumed hysterical elderly virgins access to our children.

Flying Goose So let me ask some questions? Should we ban nativity plays?


I cannot see a reason why you would want to do this, and you yourself offer no reasoning, so - no.

Flying Goose What about the annual christingle/crib services that held every year especially for children?


As long as a child is accompanied by a responsible adult, then I see no reason why they should not enjoy culture of any kind.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 10:31:00 UTC | #425821

Eventhorizon's Avatar Comment 26 by Eventhorizon

Religions have long known the power of childhood indoctrination and just how difficult it is to shake off even in adulthood. Despicable!

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 10:32:00 UTC | #425822

chameleonpete's Avatar Comment 27 by chameleonpete

I got all the indoctrination later on at an RC school. To be honest it had little effect, I considered it as just stories like any other fiction - but that was just me. I found it very easy to shake off, once I'd left that school at age 11.

Desperate measures by the ~C of E, trying to eek out it's pointless existence a bit longer.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 11:02:00 UTC | #425826

flying goose's Avatar Comment 28 by flying goose

Thanks for your answers. For what its worth I do not think children should be targeted at all, I am not really that sure about collective worship in schools.

However it might be worth making this point about children and the church. One of the most constant complaints I get from parents with pre school and primary aged children is not, that they are being targeted. Their complaint is rather that there are not enough services that they could bring their children too.

I am all for including parents an their young children in service provision. Indeed the most popular service by far is the family service, once a month.

If this report aims at being inclusive, I am all for it. If it is about targeting. Then, no I am not.

BTW A. I am not an 'costumed hysterical elderly virgin', I am middle aged, married father of two, like many of my colleagues. I do realise that you were not accusing , I am just pointing out wrong denomination. Not that most of them are either.

FBTW, it won't work any way.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 11:09:00 UTC | #425828

MattHunX's Avatar Comment 29 by MattHunX

This is absurd!

Remember RD's problem with labeling children, saying they're a part of religion when they're too young to understand what it is?

Well this is going to be his nightmare! Two-year-olds?

What is wrong with these people!?

I sure hope that this 'plan' of theirs gets enough negative response so it will go straight into the bin.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 11:19:00 UTC | #425829

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 30 by irate_atheist

28. Comment #444424 by flying goose -

One of the most constant complaints I get from parents with pre school and primary aged children is not, that they are being targeted. Their complaint is rather that there are not enough services that they could bring their children too.
Great. I know ehre you're coming from, FG, but I am always going to be suspicious of the motives of parent who really, really, really want their children to get indoctrinated go to a service with them.

If I could do it all again, I'd have point blank refused as a small child to go to the Sunday School I was sent to. I didn't want to go then and regarded it as a waste of time. Being older and having had friends even younger than me die already, I now pissed off that people wasted my time - time I will never, ever, get back - on this non-sense.

What good justification can there be for wasting a reasonable proportion of a child's life on this nonsense when they too are never, ever, going to recover the time they have lost to it.

Imagine saying to your children, "Well, I know it's not true, but I wanted you to spend every sunday for the first 10 years of you life there instead of you enjoying yourself/playing sport/learning something at a museum/spending time with me."

The older I get, the angrier I get about this. Once you realise that this is the only time that yourself - and other people will ever have to spend their time on this planet - and the full implications of it, the less willing one is to accept these things, let alone condone them.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 11:33:00 UTC | #425830