Kids Never Force-Fed Religion
My son, Arion, graduated from High School on June 16th., and turned 18 the next day. He was exposed to all of the influences of the Columbine boys who turned into killers. He played violent video games. He went to "Goth" nightclubs. He watched violent films and listened to violent music. He wore dark clothes and had his eyebrow studded. He attended Marilyn Manson concerts.
What is perhaps noteworthy, is that Arion has never been forced into any organized religion by his parents. His father is an existentialist. I am a zen Buddhist. Neither of us ever forced him to learn our personal philosophies or to practice our ways of being. He has never been exposed to church, temple or other religious indoctrination.
What's more, we never invaded his privacy, ransacked his room for evidence of misconduct, nor monitored any of his phone calls, e-mail or other correspondence. We never rejected his friends, regardless of their appearances, gave him a curfew or hounded him about his preferences. We never made him into a "suspect."
Arion graduated with honors from his school and will begin college in the fall. He has been working in information technology since he was 13 years old, and will continue towards a career as a systems engineer. He has never used drugs or alcohol, although it is always available. No one ever had to tell him not to.
There is nothing exceptional about Arion. He is an ordinary teenager, exposed to all the influences that other teenage boys are exposed to. He didn't need God or religious indoctrination or authoritarian parents in order to sort out the difference between fiction and reality. He didn't need to be force-fed the Ten Commandments in order to become a decent person. He didn't need prayer in the classroom to keep him from bringing in automatic weapons and opening fire.
The religious propaganda being promoted by members of the "Moral Majority" as the necessary "cure" to keep kids in line is outrageous. If anything influences kids to go astray, it must be the obvious hypocrisy of the Goverment, which deifies nothing so much as money and power, regardless of how they are acquired.
The one thing that children become jaded by is deceit. Children have a natural need for the truth, to know what is real, to "believe" in what is authentic. When they are nurtured in a System that is built on lies and treachery, they lose their youthful innocence. It is hypocrisy that corrupts, not exposure to the media or violent video games.
The "answer" is not religious indoctrination. Children need to be shown examples of parents who live honest lives, not lives of quiet desperation, shufflin' for the Man, trying to insulate themselves from the grim realities of a government built on deceit. Give them something real. They'll be all right.
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