Raising Evangelical Children

How to raise kids to feel healthy

Watching Jesus Camp on Hulu it occurred to me that most of our children in the western world are raised this way, whether believers or not.

Instead of welcoming our children into the human race to form their own unique personality, they are here on probation—simply candidates for humanity. (1) Instead of letting them know up front that our particular way is only one particular set of rules for life (that when they are older they can make their own rules) but are only accepted fully if they behave properly of their own freewill. Whatever you do—we can either praise you or blame you, so if nothing else, at least pretend you are one of us until your old enough to care for yourself.

Undoing what was done to us when we were young is new age enlightenment —through psychotherapy.

My children know that house rules are simply temporary ways of having family cohesion, and they are encouraged to know that whoever they are, they are loved and accepted by me.

My way isn’t the only way, but to the children it is a breath of fresh air to know that compliance to some of the things they don’t like—is only temporary. There is nothing wrong with them if they start to see things differently.

Whereas, my evangelical niece was shunned and criticized for not speaking in tongues and is now living estranged from her family.

Blue Amber under magnification

(1) Alan Watts


Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

47 thoughts on “Raising Evangelical Children”

  1. Yeah, I get the way communities need some shared values and beliefs for coherence, but I reckon we’ve got a very long tradition of forcing way too much conformity upon kids when they’re in no position to evaluate or object.

    Religions are bad enough – teaching you there’s an ultimate judge spying on everything you do and think and toting up any deviance from the norm for a final, eternal reckoning – but I reckon education systems are even worse.

    We’re trained for 12+ years to turn off our critical thinking and learn to regurgitate everything that’s been forced down our throats or get slapped with a ‘failure’ label that can stay with us for life. If we deviate too far we’re now ‘mentally ill’ and can be drugged into addictive compliance with the wondrous products of the pharmaceutical industry. It’s no wonder some people turn out like tildeb.

    And we’ve known for a century what sort of schooling turns people into well-rounded, skillful, self-directed adults, but it remains unavailable for the vast majority.
    Hard to avoid the conclusion it’s not meant to turn us all into miserable, mindless cogs in the machine.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Just curious as a little exercise, do you think shared beliefs are really more valuable than honesty about such positions, and diversity, which really are our best assets? Belief isn’t really a virtue and maybe, just maybe those shoehorns should be put in the museums with our crazy evolutionary past?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Just curious as a little exercise, do you think shared beliefs are really more valuable than honesty about such positions, and diversity, which really are our best assets? Belief isn’t really a virtue and maybe, just maybe those shoehorns should be put in the museums with our crazy evolutionary past?

        I think you need to start from certain shared beliefs and values that probably have no objective ‘truth’ to them to have a society at all. For instance, there’s no way to prove the continuing survival of the human race is a good thing unless you start from that assumption. You also need to suspend disbelief in dualism to have any values at all or even to communicate. So whether you consider it a virtue or not it seems to be a necessity for society to function.

        I don’t claim to have any special insight into where the line should be drawn on what is too much or too little belief, but my reading of history suggests to me our communities and societies are well into the territory of ‘too much’ right now. That’s why so much is poured into our various propaganda institutions towards making as many people as possible buy into belief systems that not only lack credibility but also social and individual utility.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Not sure what this is all about other than a continuation dedicated to deliberately misunderstanding and mischaracterizing others, often to the point of absurdity. If 900 comments can’t get your point across maybe it’s time to address your real problems with the internet?

        I can delete your embarrassing moment free of charge if you can take it back to bioethics—or are you just being sarcastic?
        Maybe you’ve forgotten that not all arguments can be won, and that discussion should be civil to be productive.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Cabrogal on this comment thread:

          “If we deviate too far we’re now ‘mentally ill’ and can be drugged into addictive compliance with the wondrous products of the pharmaceutical industry. It’s no wonder some people turn out like tildeb.”

          Of course, you let this accusatory smear go without a peep but when I RESPOND to the false allegation with a pretty anodyne comment, you think THIS requires your intervention.

          Good grief, Jim.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The difference is your comment today has nothing whatsoever to do with this thread. Some would call it trolling. I think it’s probably deeper than that. Not all arguments are meant to be won, especially after everyone else has gone home.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. To my mind, it is time to actually investigate the efficacy of the nuclear family, because in 99% of cases the nuclear family is the biggest source of human woes! Parents have virtual ownership of their children till sometime in the teenage years and often beyond, and can nurture conformity to parental beliefs into them like good little brainwashed children. Much of that brainwashing lasts into adulthood and becomes the way each next generation will parent in its turn. The opposite to this brainwashing for some is to completely turn against their parents’ teachings who often become the underbelly of society, alcolics, drug addicted failures, criminals, or worse.

    In between lie the lucky few who are not fully brainwashed, but are allowed to develop their own minds during their childhood (sounds like you and your wife, Jim), or those who are strong-willed enough to make up their own minds about things — without causing so many waves the they can survive their parents brainwashing. And that takes a hell of a well-adjusted child!

    In my mind is a very well theorised way to bring up children without resorting to the “nuclear family” style of child raising. I have written about it before, but got so much horrible feedback. HOW DARE I SUGGEST THE VERY MOST BASIC HUMAN BELIEF ABOUT HUMAN SOCIETY NEEDS IMPROVEMENT! That outrage just showed me how right I am. If born to a religious or political lifestyle, that child MUST BE RAISED in the parents’ likeness.

    And there starts almost every human social and political problem! Or destroys the individual who tries to go out on his or her own too early!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. To add, this method is not just meant for evangelical children, but for every child born to parents who are themselves steeped in any kind of constraining ideology, including rasicm, wealth, or even poverty! It also provides for children born into situations that might start as loving homes but that break down for whatever reason, and especially those born to single mothers who are unable to safely and healthily bring up their half-nuclear children.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Excellent point rawgod. And like tildeb inferred, most parents don’t give it much thought until parenting has already begun, they just continue the charade that they were taught.
      Being honest here, my oldest still suffers emotional trauma, ingrained by me in religious fundamentalism he can’t escape. He suffers greatly, can’t yet escape it, and married a like minded zealot. Their kids are a mess—12,10, and 8, in religious counseling, anti depressants and anxiety disorders. They are all a mess. And you know what the solution is—add more Jesus. It’s insane.


      1. Sorry to hear that, Jim. But at least you are trying to set up something new. The nuclear famile will be the hardest thing to overcome, iI has spread across most of the world. But to save the world from humans, it must be done. That is glaringly obvious to me.

        Liked by 3 people

      1. How many new parents ask themselves the question what is the goal of their parenting and then put in the time to answer it BEFORE undertaking the raising of children? It seems to me that most parenting is a series of responding (all too often inappropriately and sometimes destructively in hindsight) rather than measured and directed towards that goal.

        If the goal is to create irresponsible automatons for Jesus, then evangelizing children is the way to go. But how many evangelical parents would honestly say as much when holding their newborn?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. When holding their newborn? If I understand your question correctly with some hesitation on your part, I think it is more common than you think. From the time they get their first glimpse of the new life, there is nothing at all secular in the home. Every picture, video, even science books and music are all Christian based. I have many neighbors with this very theme. It their solemn responsibility to raise them up to the lord, not thinking that this is a crippling way to promote full living. Check out Jesus Camp if you have some time to be angry. It’s so thick the people being documented hold nothing back like it’s a missionary tool.


      2. I hear your gripe with Christianity, however I brought Christ to the table. He was born, and lived and died humble. And said to children what he said to everyone- “Come unto me.”

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I used “if” because Christ, when someone once called him “good” answered back, “Why are you calling me good? God alone is good.” To me, that means Jesus offers himself up to my judgment.


            1. Sure, because your belief came before the fine print, and finer points of contradiction.
              It does make me shake my head a bit seeing christians worship the messenger and fall to grasp the good news and what it really was. Instead settle for idol worship of the guru. You have no idea what you’ve got. I guess for most the watered down version makes them feel like they’ve going somewhere with this, but it never arrives at anything but more belief. The reality of that Bible quote isn’t what you infer. He wasn’t who everyone was trying to promote.


            2. Arnold, you can do whatever you want, which seems to be dismissing the obvious by Handwaving Christianity to follow Jesus. Without your Bible there is no Jesus. Theron lies the problem. You can dismiss all that if you want but it is disingenuous.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. I have a special relationship with the Cookie Spirit that lives in various pouches, tins, and bags who use siren calls to lure me to come eat the fruit and transubstatiate this spirit into flesh, turning each cookie eaten into living within my biology. This spirit is my constant companion when these cookies are nearby and advises me particularly on shopping trips for groceries about which isles are more holy than others.

              Liked by 3 people

            4. I think the cookie aisles on the isles are in at the entrance to center earth under the polar ice caps. Hiding with the ten tribes

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Well in all fairness it seems that some sort of belief is necessary to us mere mortals. Why not choose from one of the big ones? It’s your legal right to believe whatever you want. All protected by law because they can’t stand on their own merits.

              Liked by 1 person

            6. I have a special relationship with my Cookie Spirit. It whispers in my ear… eat me, come eat me, find the bottom of the bag where I reside… seek and ye shall find…

              Of course, you must open your heart to hear this message, an organ I often mistake for my mouth. But hey, I’m imperfectly made and so I’m in need of such guidance. If you can’t hear the Cookie Spirit’s quiet voice, too, then it’s all your fault because you’ve closed your heart, Bad Person, (and you will suffer… oh, why do you hate the One True Spirit? And when you DO hear the call – for ALL are called – (and it is promised on this napkin I’ve just written on), you must obey to be moral. And I’m a VERY moral person, donchaknow. You could be moral, too, or….

              Anyway, I lived a blessed and moral life because I hear this voice and so I’m never alone. It’s WAY better than dieting…

              Liked by 1 person

            7. “Come unto me all that are heavy laden and I will give you—cookies?
              It’s nice to see you have a lighter side, but not for long with all that butter and chocolate… 🍪

              Liked by 2 people

            1. I haven’t seen anyone surprised yet. The fact the gospel today hinges on a never-known is a great way to keep the game alive. It is t what the message of Jesus was, now was it?

              Liked by 1 person

  3. After reading all (ok, most) of this, I wonder. Hugely hypothetical, but if we were to end religion, would there cease to be a god? Can any modern god exist without scripture or the tyranny of religion?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think maybe not, Bill. But it would have to be redefined to something that makes more sense like magic crystals and sage. Funny, but that does make more sense. Hahah
      Really though, we’ve been at belief so long… I don’t know. I imagine without the variety of craziness life might just be a flat bore. Maybe someone with a better imagination should answer that.
      If we live long enough to solve all the riddles and live forever, what then?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t be so…. Wait, I like it. “My god got mo’ betta’ mojo than your god.”
        Now I really wish I was back in the PNW. A few tokes would clear my mind for sure.
        All I’m asking for is one winning lotto ticky. Is that too much for the Universe? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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