24th March 2012

“Religious workers should not be allowed access to children in public schools to discuss sex or sexuality for any reason, in any situation, ever.”

Maralyn Parker

12 Responses to “24th March 2012”

  1. Xhim Says:

    OK, this has to be a crass example of perspective blindness, but would someone explain why this is so dangerous?

  2. reetBob Says:

    xhim, religious belief is often a matter of ‘programming’ at an early age.

    Children are taught that masturbation is evil, and with the giant pervert in the sky always watching, who can blame them for feeling guilty. Catholic schools do not give proper sex education – when I was younger, catholic schools could abstain from teaching about contraception. I don’t think you’d try to justify this?

    Discussions of sex and sexuality should aim to imbue a healthy and responsible attitude towards the body ; religion controls behaviour by reinforcing feelings shame and guilt.

    I would go one step further than the quote and say that religious workers should not be able to teach their own belief about any aspect of their faith to children.

  3. Dan Says:

    Well said reetBob.

  4. JOHN Says:

    Yep… very well said.

  5. Xhim Says:

    Thanks. I don’t share the RC problem with contraception, so that’s no problem. And actually, even though it’s generally frowned upon by the faithful, I haven’t been able to find anything in the Bible about masturbation one way or another. Most Christians I know aren’t as uptight sexually as they are portrayed, but your explanation is very helpful for me to understand where the angst comes from.
    Again, thanks very much.

  6. Jeff Says:

    Xhim,

    In answer to the question you asked, there are those of us around here (myself among them) who would argue that allowing a child to be exposed to ANY religious education prior to the age of reason should be legally considered a form of child abuse. A mind is a terrible thing to rape, and religious education before a child has the ability and training to reason for himself is just that, the rape of a mind.

    Please bear in mind that my child finished his secondary education in a Jesuit school by my choice, but since he has a listed IQ of 215+ (no test capable of determining the score closer than that), sending him there at the age of 14 was the intellectual equivalent of putting an almost 30 year old man into those classrooms. In the years since he left the school, I’ve had contact with those who taught him. I’m always proud of both their honesty and integrity, as so many of them have thanked me for giving them their shot at him, even though all are aware that they failed. (Yep, I’m proud to be his father.)

    He had adopted an intellectual position of atheism before his 10th birthday, with as little training in that area from me as possible. I answered his questions about churches and beliefs, and when asked what I believed, told him that it was a personal matter and that he would have to find what worked for him. His mother followed the same practices, at least until he was in high school, and we divorced. Since he was given an adult library card from the Cleveland Public Library at the age of seven, I have neither monitored his reading, nor banned any books from him.

    So, why is it child abuse? Because teaching someone to believe something when they cannot defend themselves by asking appropriate questions, and are under your authority is just FLAT WRONG, no questions, no second chances! It’s like having sex with a child who has no idea what’s happening, which is why I call it mind rape.

  7. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    I’d echo Jeff’s point if it was necessary. Myself I have never thought god existed, I have always thought it strange: like witchcraft, voodoo, and the other ghost story nonsense that third world people believed in.

    Even before I understood what third world meant, that was the association: starving kids in Africa. When kids would talk about god (not very often I might add) I’d just tell kids that god was nothing. I’d often laugh/turn it into a joke. I took great amusement in challenging god to strike me down dead in front of believing kids to prove there was no god.

    It has always represented stupidity to me and still does. I get a chuckle when I see surveys and polls that associate faith in god with lower intelligence and lower socio-economic status. Then that Ken Hamm idiot: that nut bag is funnier than Richard Pryor on his best night.

    I can think of no place in society where clergy should be welcomed. Ostracized yes, welcome? Good god never! Ha ha

  8. reytBob Says:

    Xhim, I genuinely do not understand how you can accept the bible as a credible source for anything: historical information or moral guidance.

    With regards to sex and sexuality, the vast majority of religious folk vary in their attitude between ‘generally frowning upon’ and overt physical and mental oppression.

    I don’t see any religious belief about sex as a healthy belief.

  9. Zone Says:

    Ever notice how most religious guys bash man-on-man but LOOOOVE girl-on-girl? I’ve heard people actually use the bible as an excuse for it.

    “It’s a sin to lie with another man. It doesn’t say anything for a woman to lie with another woman.”

    I hate these people.

    When i went to catholic school (thanks parents -__-) they wouldn’t allow anyone to talk about birth control unless it was being used for acne control or menstrual balancing.
    They had 3 pregnant girls by the end of the year.

  10. Zone Says:

    I’ll teach my children about all religions, and make sure they understand them. But I’ve made it clear even to friends and family that if any child of mine ever becomes religious…especially catholic, i would be greatly disappointed in them. (if not pissed off)
    Probably even call them an idiot.

  11. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Zone the only objection I have is in the hostility you express: pissed off? Call them idiots?

    We atheists/agnostics/skeptics/et cetera have inherent in our forward movement through history an unwritten, an unspoken maybe too, responsibility to be better than the ancient tribal minded, even flatly ignorant people of faith. We have to prove we are better.

    If after my child is an adult, on her own, if she decides a life of faith is for her I’ll be disappointed but in the same way I’d be disappointed in her not going to college or not having a career of her own and the independence to stand on her own two feet. I’d be disappointed but not pissed off and I’d never call her an idiot. I love her more than I love my own life.

    Catholicism is pure evil in my mind, a false front for institutionalized pedophilia as far as I can tell, but it isn’t going to win the day to lead off with hatred.

    A natural life, without supernatural mumbo-jumbo, is about beauty, love, and celebrating a brief moment in time.

    To the degree that spiritualism can exist in this temporal world it is confined to emotion and feelings. Best to realize this. It is the foundation for the only heaven that can exist and that is in the here and now, this life we share on Earth. We simply must love each other or we waste our lives. There is no eternal reward, don’t waste a day.

  12. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Xhim I’d answer your question by saying that “religious workers” are representing a group and groups don’t have rights above individuals.

    Ask yourself would you want members of the local Elks lodge to have access to public school to speak about sex and sexuality with your children? How about the KKK? Maybe you’d be up for members of NAMBLA chatting with the kids about the birds and bees? What group would not bother some individual parent?

    You may think Father McGillicuddy is a sweet old man and having him speak to the boys about penises and vaginas, sex and abstinence, condoms and masterbating is a good idea, but I think your good Father is a filthy stinking pervert who is a moment away from criminal complaint involving sex acts with a kid and “oh by the way he is a NAMBLA member too”.

    So keep your groups out of the public school.

    Note: an employee of Microsoft may very well be a member of a group as an employee of the corporation but the public school system is a training environment for just such a group. The public school is not a training environment for the clergy anymore than it is for the KKK.