27th February 2010

“Shielding my child from the extremes of religious doctrine has been the main gift I have given to her.”

Sharon Owens

42 Responses to “27th February 2010”

  1. Holysmokes Says:

    I’d rather she taught her child about all sides of the issue instead of shielding her from it. Let the child make her own decisions when she comes of age. Blocking part of the real world regarding religion is as bad as people teaching their children that only their religion is the correct path.

  2. steve Says:

    HS: Agreed, as long as we specify at what age and how extreme. And that is another decision that is best left to the parents.

    Children should definitely be screened from many superstitions at early ages; unfortunately these are often the very ages where religion is presented.

    And let’s face it, some religions are really waaaay out there.

    It is good to let the child learn about fiction versus nonfiction on their own time, as long as you are there should they need to fall back on an adult.

    They know. As a former santa claus I was quite aware that very young kids would look at their parents and sorta shrug, and say to themselves, ‘well, that is what I need to do to get presents’.

    So, as long as it is a dialog with a parent when appropriate, I agree with you.

  3. PEB Says:

    What does “extremes of religious doctrine” mean?
    I’m with you HS. What a terrible quote.

  4. CaptainZero1969 Says:

    I took the quote at face value and so I think it’s a pretty good one. It didn’t say she didn’t teach her kid religion or about religion, just that she kept her away from extremism. Extremism whether religious or political is a very unhealthy habit of mind which unfortunately children are particularly vulnerable to, evolved as we all are to swallow unquestioning what our parents tell us. So yes, please do keep kids from it until their personalities are forceful enough to deflect it.

  5. Holysmokes Says:

    The temptation to shield a child from religious extremes is a powerful one. I suppose the trick is to introduce the real world slowly, but most of all, objectively. Choosing just what to introduce at specific ages comes down to a matter of opinion. We should leave that to the parents.

  6. solomon Says:

    What would you all think.A child should be shielded from the Atheist religion too?That would be fair ain’t it?

  7. solomon Says:

    Don’t you all too realized that you all are obsessed with the Atheist religion that have not been shielded among you.

  8. John Says:

    Why is it just a given that knowing a religion is ok? I agree with her quote.

  9. CaptainZero1969 Says:

    When my daughter was old enough she started asking lots of questions about the various brands of religion of her friends. We did our level best to explain without judging. My daughter will come to her own more reasoned conclusions later but her provisional conclusion is “but that’s just silly!” She also said “they believe that just because of a book?” Indeed they do.

  10. solomon Says:

    You all just pretend to ignor the crucial questions brought up to you don’t you?

  11. solomon Says:

    The Atheists have been silence of my comments. That shows that they have lost the argument & have given up.

  12. PEB Says:

    What is an extreme religious doctrine? Telling kids about noah and adam & eve? Teaching them that homosexuality is bad? Creationism?

  13. solomon Says:

    Are the questions above directed to me.If not its about time I preach other sites having succesfully shattering the Atheist beliefs on this site.

  14. PEB Says:

    HS, Steve, John & Capt. My point is when you compare any religious teachings to the ‘real’ world we live in then it’s all extreme. I wonder where Sharon Owens drew the line at what to shield her child from.

    My kids obviously don’t go to church but I don’t shield them from anything. I don’t want to sound like a raving liberal but they are free to explore any religion they like. I just hope I’ve raised them well enough to not bother!

  15. Hypatia Says:


    The Atheists have been silence of my comments. That shows that they have lost the argument & have given up.

    It works both way my friend.

    When you start answering my questions I’ll answer yours. Meanwhile I’ll just ignore you like everyone else.

  16. Atheist MC Says:

    Oops somebody slipped off the program

    My children have both been exposed to my atheism and have been introduced to sceptical thinking. My youngest 10, declares herself to be an atheist. My eldest at 19 is more ambivalent, but as her partners familly is catholic it probably suits her to not question too much.

    It is impossible to shield children from religious parenting, but I would like to see children protected from god at school.

  17. steve Says:

    Well, this is one of those quotes that is easily torn apart by critical thought.

    I still see good intent in a parent that shields their child from superstitious thoughts, and just assume on the reader’s part that she is talking about the vulnerable years. Once that age is over, uh, ‘we got some ‘splainin’ to do, Lucy’.

    And as far as which part of religious thought, you have all properly corrected me. I will no longer attempt to make a distinction as afar as which particular sect is more vile… …at least for this quote.


  18. Holysmokes Says:

    Atheist MC

    I don’t think Hypatia ever took up the challenge.

  19. It is what it is Says:

    All Religion is bullshit and poisonous to the mind to begin with, so children should certainly be shielded from religion just as they should be protected from child molesters.

    We should teach kids that religion is simply a vestige of early human ignorance of science and physics and it will eventually die off over time.

  20. Tech Says:

    Good morning everyone.

  21. Tech Says:

    Interesting quote.

  22. The Heretic Says:

    In many ways I agree with Hitchens on his commentary that childhood religious indoctrination is child abuse…in more ways than priest pedophiles and genital mutilation. It takes away one’s capacity for reason and logic. It is a form of slavery that should not be allowed. Perhaps slavery is a bit strong, but the thought, I think, is apt.

  23. Tech Says:

    Well its Grand children for me now, but if one were to ask me about an atheist I would have to tell them that all and I mean all Atheists are Ignorant. That their views are shallow and that when it comes to the things of God,they know nothing.They go to science for answers that can only be answered by God.Who knows how many of them use the word “atheist” to describe their belief as an excuse for an immoral life or some other reason.You guys are the ones who are scary.

  24. CaptainZero1969 Says:

    Here’s a pair of quotes from Thomas Jefferson who Hitchens has called “an atheist, in my view.”

    “Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.”

    “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every from of tyranny over the mind of man.”

    What Christians choose to ignore, in the 2nd quote, is that Jefferson was including them in his description tyranny. For good reason. If not slavery, certainly slavish devotion to an idea. Here is where religious and scientific mindsets part ways: To the scientist, ideas are precious and wonderful – pursued with the ardent passion of a person in love. And then disposable when found to be incorrect. You can’t correct an unalterable book.

  25. steve Says:

    Well Heretic, I see where you are going, but there are plenty of us who have escaped the bonds of childhood religious indoctrination with little more than a sour attitude left behind.

    I am not so sure that I would have escaped the long term effects of genital mutilation or some buggering old priest as easily.

    So, I don’t think them as comparable.

    But that distinction does nothing to diminish your point. I have seen some people pretty screwed up by religious abuse as well. So, rather than argue the distinctions, let’s agree to keep our kids away from them all, please.

    And on a side note, I feel compelled to tell anyone who might read this what a gorgeous day it is today in the Midwestern US – bright sunshine, blue skies, all those huge snow piles nicely melting! We need to remember to enjoy this life. Talk to you all later – I am off to go ice fishing!

  26. steve Says:

    …but I am glad I hung around long enough to see that set of quotes.

    Thanks Captain.

    Say, what does your name stand for, anyway? If it is personal, no problem, just curious.

  27. Atheist MC Says:

    Tangential to the quote. Have you noticed that when a Jehovah’s Witness knocks on your door how frequently they have a young child with them. Sometimes I get the urge to indulge them in conversation just to expose the child to some critical thinking. In fact I wonder what they would do if you addressed the child directly.

  28. PEB Says:

    I’ve done that. I turned them away and told the boy to question everything they tell him.
    It was pouring with rain and freezing cold. The older guy told me he wanted to chat about family values!

  29. Atheist MC Says:

    Again marginally off topic but would like to share this newly coined by PZ Myers at Pharyngula

    Religion is the antithesis of science, an anesthetic for the mind that disables critical thought and encourages the acceptance of inanity as fact, and wishful thinking as evidence.

  30. CaptainZero1969 Says:

    MC – funny. We used to get Jehovah’s witnesses pretty frequently. After several “no thank yous”, I finally asked them to sit on the porch with me. After listening politely I gave them my best examples of biblical atrocity and asked the poor woman and her teenage daughter how they can justify the worship of a genocidal monster. They did their best to deflect the questions but left rather in a hurry. My questions were largely directed to the teenager, which visibly worried her mother (I assume). After this, I have not had a JW at my door in over 3 years. I haven’t even seen them on my street where they were formerly frequent visitors. I rather enjoyed the conversation so it’s a pity that they only want to play in front of agreeable audiences.

    CaptainZero was a comic book character that I never read but kind of like the name. In my head it reads CaptainZero(gods).

  31. steve Says:

    CA: Thanks for the name info.

    Just went out and watched “Sherlock Holmes”. Wonderfully entertaining movie. Surprise, in the end rational thought prevails.

    I had a similar experience with JW’s. After a half hour of referring to his deity as a ‘sky fairy’, the lead guy slipped and called his god a sky fairy. I quickly stopped him and said, “Hey, I can do that. But you just broke your commandment, taking your god’s name in vain.” I looked at the second one and said, “Walk kinda far ahead of him, this one might get hit by lightning.”

    As they left, I noticed they were separated by a good ten feet…

    …you can’t make stuff like this up.

  32. Atheist MC Says:

    Just went out and watched “Sherlock Holmes”. Wonderfully entertaining movie. Surprise, in the end rational thought prevails.

    I’ve been a Sherlock Holmes afficianado for many years. I too thought the film was really good.
    I understand your surprise (unless it was ironic) for two reasons. 1) Hollywood loves twoo to the extent that they would twist a story to at least leave the possibility open that supernatural powers were at work. 2) Arthur Conan Doyle was disappointingly gullible himself, following the death of his wife he became heavily supportive of spiritulism

  33. Atheist MC Says:

    twoo?? doh! read WOOOOOOO

  34. steve Says:

    AMC: Either way, it works. Message received. Go in peace, my friend.

    Have you seen Watchmen? Awesome.

  35. Atheist MC Says:

    CaptainZero was a comic book character that I never read but kind of like the name. In my head it reads CaptainZero(gods).

    this guy?

  36. solomon Says:

    The Atheists only voiced out whats in their skeptical mind & out of lusts without any real substance just to refute the truth that is brought out by god.They are doomed.They will see Hell & they will be chased to it.

  37. solomon Says:

    Atheist=will produceor finally produce thieves,hypocrates,prostitutes,hoars,conman,dictators,murderers & are also the product of the following.

  38. Holysmokes Says:

    I must confess that I’m finding this whole challenge thing more comical then I’d anticipated, but then that’s a story for another time.

    I have to admit that I find several of today’s comments thought provoking enough to rethink my initial take on the quote. I keep asking myself, what possible good can come from telling children to about religions? I’ll let you know if I come up with a rational answer.

  39. Atheist MC Says:

    Have I seen Watchmen, have I seen Watchmen??? You bet yoiur sweet ass I have. Got the Rorschach Mask version of the DVD for my last birthday. Awesome film.

    While we’re chewing the artistic fat.. let me introduce you to D Faust who… just stopped blogging as She who chatters. She has just has a novel published called The Quantum Mechanic Trust me if you like superhero fiction and want the killer arguments against religion all in one place, read this.

  40. Atheist MC Says:

    I keep asking myself, what possible good can come from telling children to about religions? I’ll let you know if I come up with a rational answer.

    Let me offer you an obvious one courtesy of George Santayana:

    Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

  41. Holysmokes Says:


    As a retired military NCO, I am convinced that the human race has a very hard time learning from history on several fronts, including religion. We can often times be a rather dense species, but hopefully science and common sense will someday correct that deficiency.

  42. John Says:

    Times, they are a changing… Slowly though…