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Atheist Parenting vs. Fundamentalist Christian Parenting

Why is it that so many Christians assume incorrectly that Christianity has the monopoly on family values? We live in a pluralistic society, and as such, people’s values will clash. Fundamental Christianity in particular has to learn that they cannot censor someone else’s values or culture because those values offend the rigid fundamentalist Christian value system and sensibilities.

I have observed two views with regard to parenting in America. The first view is the predominantly fundamentalist Christian view which over the last 30 years has trickled into the mainstream. That view is that a parent’s job is to protect a child from the evil and sinful world. In this view, all undesirable thoughts, images, sounds, and ideas must be censored or hidden from view because they may corrupt children and “warp their fragile little minds.”

This is now the dominant view of parenting in America and it preaches censorship. This view creates a worldview dominated by fear. It leads to mass censorship and paranoia. The common refrain of those who subscribe to this view is, “What if a child saw that?” My response is usually something like this: “He or she would probably be bored.” Or my more satirical response, “Their eyes would pop out of their sockets of course.”

The problem with any kind of censorship is always the same, who then becomes the arbiter of what is safe? Who determines if something is family-value friendly or what is culturally immoral? Right now it is fundamentalists Christians who are attempting to set those standards for all of us.

On the other hand, there is another view on parenting. It is the view held by many atheists and people of reason in which the job of parents is to guide their children through the world and teach them the critical thinking skills needed to decide for themselves what is appropriate and why. In this view, even undesirable cultural trends are viewed as learning experiences used to help shape a child’s view of right and wrong. Those things are conversation starters, and even children as young as three or four years of age are encouraged to think about the world they live in and to engage their minds.

These parents aren’t failing to make moral judgments on cultural values as fundamentalist Christians like to assert, they are teaching their children how to make moral judgments and cultural values privately. They aren’t presuming to have the monopoly on good taste or high-minded culture either.

Instead of telling children that they are not allowed to see a movie, these freethinking parents are instructing their children to make that determination for themselves. Many Christians can’t imagine a child telling their friends that they don’t wanted to see a particular movie because they think it might not be appropriate for them. This would be a different kind of pride than a parent might have if the child told their friends that they weren’t allowed to see a particular movie. In this case, the child would probably end up seeing the forbidden movie anyway because it was forbidden.

It really does say something about a child’s character when they are allowed to see an inappropriate movie but choose not to see that movie because of their own value judgments. This is the type of parenting that people of reason employ. It involves independent thinking and reasoning on the part of the child, not dogmatic commandments about what is permitted and what is sinful and forbidden.

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  • http://www.myspace.com/aidanmaslow Aidan Maslow

    Atheist tend to be more Authoritative, while fundamentalist parents tend to be more Authoritarian. Of course the Authoritative approach has been proven to be an overwhelmingly better parenting strategy. There is tons of research to support that!

  • http://poweressence.com/ Maxwell Jennings

    And if a child decides to view a particular movie or book or anything considered bad by religious folk, preparation by the child’s parents with descriptions of some of the content and the probable reasons why it is included and what it means will help prepare the child to make their own decisions about it all. Keeping a child’s mind in the dark about anything is dangerous.

    Seriously, life is so much more enjoyable as a free-thinker without all the guilt and damnation heaped upon us by the control-freaky religious nuts.

    I wrote a free-to-read piece “Raising Super Children” that is very relevant to your article.

    • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

      Is your work available in some way? I sounds like something of a good read.

  • ProgRockGirl

    Religious people aren’t the only ones who are overprotective of their kids. I used to work with the kids and the parents were very meddlesome, as if complaining a lot compensated for the lack of time they spent with their kids. It’s just religious people are more authoritarian and the others are mostly permissive-indulgent (except for the overprotective part).

    Of course there are some things I wouldn’t expose to kids, but if someone is completely cut off from the real world, they’ll be all the more traumatized once they actually get exposed to it.

    Most of the things people ask “what if my kid saw this?” are ridiculous. What if your kid saw a wardrobe malfunction, or someone streaking? We were born naked and babies come in contact with breasts at a very early age. And my favorite: what if your kid saw two people of the same sex kissing? I hate when people think that is any more shocking than seeing straight people make out.

    Children don’t realize that homosexuality or nudity are unusual until they absorb that message from society!

  • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

    We have been agreeing way to much lately…whats up with that? I am coming to the “dark side”….lolz.

    Being a child that was not aloud to see pg-13 till he was 13….and never aloud to see R without my dad, even when I was 17, and he had to see the movie first. I know first had this is not a good parenting technique…..its like you said…it speaks much higher of a childs character when they are the ones who choose not to see something because of their own personal values. That is what I hope to instill in my children, values that come from their own not by my own force.

    However you know as a parent you gotta put your foot down sometimes…..I’m not gonna leave everything up to my kids, at least not until they are to a certain age….if I have a 10 year old that wants to go see pineapple express I’m gonna tell them no, explain why.

    The bottom line is that kids who are raised like this to not own their own character, it is their parents because they are simply doing what they are told. The same can be said for the faith of my generation, no one knows why they believe what they grew up believing, so they get challenged, and last maybe a year and end up ditching their faith. In the last 3 months, I’ve had about 5 friends write noes on facebook saying they are atheists now, 1 and agnostic. The funny thing is every time I talk to them, they back away…..un-educated atheists are just as frustrating as un-educated Christians, trust me.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Alright Matt, I’m going to take the bait. Why wouldn’t you let your kids see Pineapple Express?

      Second, while I didn’t talk about the metaphor of God the Father here, I have talked about it before. Fundamentalist Christians parent the way they do, because their role model (i.e. God) parents that way. Thou shall not do this and thou shall not do that. God doesn’t explain his reasoning or believe in “teachable moments.” He lays down the divine law and if you disobey you get stoned to death and then you get tortured for all eternity in Hell. Parenting is authoritative just like God.

      People of reason on the other hand reject God and based on modern psychology which we learned through the scientific method, we guide our children through the world rather than hide the world away from them. Remember what Jesus said, If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.

      • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

        Wow don’t even bring that verse up….oh my goodness….don’t make me go to the greek and bust out a whole exegesis on this….strawman ftl. Fail.

        Pineapple express?? lol idk…I couldn’t think of anything at the moment….to much suggestive stuff for a 10 year old….things that they don’t need to get until their 12-13 and a bit more mature.

        Comparing human parenting to God’s commandments to his children is apples and oranges….God is God, we are humans……God is not subject to our judgment….ohhh thats not a popular thing to say but he’s not….he could kill me right now and not have to answer to anyone or anything (well…i guess that isn’t really entirely true, since God never acts outside of his perfect character)…..however we just do our best to understand his character and find its consistency in scripture that has revealed that God is a God of love, but sometimes love is tough….and justice is even tougher. God gives us the law for our own good, because following it is beneficial to us, and anyone can figure that out if they just listen and follow.

        Yes, back in the day under the mosaic covenant, the Israelite’s were commanded to listen and follow….but if I was one of them…and I kept seeing all the outrageous miracles and crazy stuff God did to protect them….I’d follow too.

        As for hell…well I haven’t studied the doctrine of hell at all really…read a bit here and there so I have an opinion, but how I define hell is simply separation from God for eternity…..as for the fire and brimstone…ehhhh, that may be the result of the culture at the time influencing peoples interpretation of that because of the pagan junk around. But I’m not authoritative in anyway on the matter…so….yeah…uhm, i guess I’m done.

        • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

          Matt, even that verse is a metaphor (which I am not convinced that it is), what exactly is it a metaphor for, if not to say that people should avert their eyes of risk sinning in their heart. ??In other words, censorship! That is exactly what this article is talking about.

          Second, “Comparing human parenting to God’s commandments to his children is apples and oranges.” Perhaps you are not familiar with the Bible, but this comparison is made quite a lot. 1 Corinthians 11:3 is just one example, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God.” FAIL!

          • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

            “…and the head of the woman [is] the man…”

            I HATE THAT FUCKING RELIGION!

            • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

              Get off your high horse, just because the Bible reinforces the ROLES God created men and woman to have it does in NO WAY put either above the other in personhood.

            • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

              You are so ignorant its unbelievable….almost every single culture has put woman below man, and wherever the gospel has gone they have freed those woman….study your history and get off your feminist high horse.

              • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

                Matt, how has the gospel freed oppressed women? If you want to how a quote war, I already have one to use against you:

                “almost every single culture has put woman below man, and wherever the gospel has gone they have freed those woman”

                I don’t know where you got this info but I strongly suspect it is bullshit at it’s finest. Get off your brown-nosing Jesus high horse. You know, you won’t give up your God because of the high horse it gets you that you would otherwise not obtain.

                • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

                  My hero :)

                • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

                  - Correction Matt, Almost every single RELIGION. This is important because it shows that RELIGION is the cultural tool used to keep women down. The Abrahamic religions for the record are among the worst offenders. The fact is that the Bible insults women at every turn. This is a blog in and of itself. So I will save my response for that. Oh, and Christianity hasn’t freed women in any culture, not even our own. Modernity has!

                • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

                  I cannot impose truth on you scott, I cannot teach you history. You learn what you want to learn. If you want to go and find out about CHristians that did bad things to people, you can find it. I am not going to sit here and do research that you’ll take 2 seconds looking over and give no time of day. If you want to know if what I said is true, research it for yourself.

                  “You know, you won’t give up your God because of the high horse it gets you that you would otherwise not obtain.”

                  At least I get a horse eh? woooooo!! lolz

                  No I won’t give up my God because I know life actually does have objective meaning and purpose. I have a foundation on which to base my morality and I can account for its absolute nature. The laws which we adhere to on a daily basis actually have meaning when I accept the fact that God did indeed place them there.

                  • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

                    Aren’t you going to call Staks and Scott ignorant for not being “right” in your eyes, “so ignorant its unbelievable”

                    Or speak down to them for obviously misinterpreting information and thus “insulting the Bible and blaspheming God’s name”

                    …you are not looking good here. It seems you favor men, in that you are a sexist…not gay…though if you were that would be cool.

                  • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

                    “I cannot impose truth on you scott, I cannot teach you history. You learn what you want to learn. If you want to go and find out about CHristians that did bad things to people, you can find it. I am not going to sit here and do research that you’ll take 2 seconds looking over and give no time of day. If you want to know if what I said is true, research it for yourself.”

                    So I asked you how the gospel has freed oppressed women and what I see here is that you don’t have an answer. I’m on dial up, it’s not going to take two seconds to look up anything online. You made the claim, back it up.

                    “No I won’t give up my God because I know life actually does have objective meaning and purpose. I have a foundation on which to base my morality and I can account for its absolute nature. The laws which we adhere to on a daily basis actually have meaning when I accept the fact that God did indeed place them there.”

                    You still live within the bubble of Christianity and cannot contemplate life without God. Of all the animals in the world, why does the world revolve around us? Why doesn’t not working on Sunday matter as moral grounding? Have you sold all your possessions? The bible says you need to do that.

              • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

                It’s not a high horse. I don’t own a horse…they are far too costly and I haven’t the land.

                Yes, historically, the whole world thinks women suck, almost every culture in fact, and I hate that part of them just as much as I hate that part of your bible.

                You can’t tell me I can’t dislike something that puts me down.
                If the Hebrews had written that their god had said that about men, you may well know how I feel. But you can not possibly know how it feels to have this said about you, historically or in any manner. You are not a women, so you don’t know how it feels to be reminded that the world as a whole will never see you, personally, as a true equal to any man.

                This came from your bible:

                “the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man”

                I said, I hate that fucking book

                Your response to me not liking this book because of this line is:

                “almost every single culture has put woman below man,”

                Great comeback… :p

                So educate me. How did Jesus and his men go about “freeing” women from their cultural shackles? Whatever this mythical man did, it didn’t seem to catch all that well.

                I may be ignorant but you are self righteous and a narcissist. So enough with the name call little boy, lets evolve shall we.

                If you are as pushy with your friends as you are with us here, then I can see why they came to believe that whatever you say must not be true, because if a jerk like you is an example of a true believer…what does that say about your god?

                Sadness for you :(

                • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

                  Yes I get narcissistic with people like yourself, when you digress to insulting the Bible and blaspheming God’s name, I will be a jerk. That is not self righteousness. I’m not being pushy, I called you ignorant, because its true. I am getting a bad tone and I don’t like to do that is these sorts of conversations…I’m pretty sure I remember a few blogs back me saying I wouldn’t converse with you anymore….because of something similar, so cheerio.

                  • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

                    You know, men who beat their wives often say it’s the woman’s fault in some way. I say things you don’t like, so you assault me. You have a violent nature and I fear for your future wife. If simply stating my mind in a blog makes you so upset…what would you do to a live woman who actively opposed your god in your presence…(shakes head sadly)

                    “when you digress to insulting the Bible and blaspheming God’s name”

                    What is it that you think we are all doing here? That is sort of what this whole blog is about. We don’t like your god or anything about your god, and through Staks generous nature we explore our thoughts…we’re freethinkers

                    If you don’t want to see people writing bad things about your god then avert your eyes.

                    And, FYI it seems everyone is backing this ignorant women you refuse to talk to. …Also, I have to warn you that saying you won’t talk to me and insulting me, kind of makes me want to make outrageous comments just to get your goose…so be forewarned.

                    Go in peace :)

                    • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

                      And you can’t “get” narcissistic. It’s a personality disorder and as such there is no cure beyond a life time of CBT and anti-depressants, because Narcissism is often co-morbid with depression and anxiety disorders. But, even then you would have difficulty functioning in society. I meant it as an insult, not truth. By it, I meant that you seem to think yourself very important and infallible, and that you have a fragile ego.
                      One can not become Narcissistic in a situation, perhaps display some diagnostic criteria, but one or two symptoms does not make you narcissistic….silly man

          • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

            Censorship? I am familiar with the Bible lol….hmmmm I try to explain better. The analogy is made about God being our “father” yes that is true, however I don’t want to broadly define this idea unless we bring in specific passages and talk about them individually, and you don’t do that. It is irrelevant to you anyways because you don’t believe in divine inspiration, so its pointless.

            I would not call it cencorship at all….I trusted my parents because I knew they loved me and wanted what was best. While I do agree with you that is speaks much higher volumes for a child to make the decision of their own accord not to do something that is genuinely bad for them it does not make it wrong for the parent to forbid that thing. The parent (if their a good one) only wants what is best for their child. God is like the ultimate parent, because he knows everything and see’s everything and wants what is best for us. I listen and follow, because it is always what is best for me and I see the ever clearer the more I do conform to his perfect will. That sounds like a broken record, but when put into practice….its legit. It is no censorship though…maybe that was more clear. <3 staks

            • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

              Study after study has shown that the parenting style of God sucks. I know, I know, these are all human studies, but still, it does seem odd that human studies show that God is a bad parent. While parents what only want what is best for their children, sometimes what is best for their children in the long run is to learn for themselves what is best for themselves. Hence the “guiding” children through life model vs. the authoritative “Thou shall not” model. Telling children that something is bad is different that teaching them why something is bad and then giving them the freedom to make their own decision.
              -Staks

              • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

                See I agree with you on that, because I know it is true. As far as human parenting goes it is generally better to teach children to learn for themselves in the long run. However, you cannot take human studies and apply them to the concept God, this is my point. Another thing you are missing is that often times in the Bible not only does it say not to do things (mostly in the NT) it gives examples of those who did and how it screwed up their lives. The adultery of David expounds on how lust and fornication can rip a man apart. It isn’t really “Thou shall not” when you take an exegetical approach.

        • Melissa

          (well…i guess that isn’t really entirely true, since God never acts outside of his perfect character)

          This is irrelevant to the blog, but god commanded so many murders in the OT. To begin with, in Joshua 8, God promised the land of milk & honey (Canaan) to his people, but first the had to slaughter the 12000 men & women who were the native inhabitants first. How does this fit into God’s perfect character?

          • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

            Easy, the small tribe that made up the religion were dicks.

    • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

      “In the last 3 months, I’ve had about 5 friends write noes on facebook saying they are atheists now, 1 and agnostic. The funny thing is every time I talk to them, they back away…..un-educated atheists are just as frustrating as un-educated Christians, trust me.”

      That’s because Christians like to give atheists alot of shit. And not all atheists are good at putting their reasoning into words so they avoid you entirely for that reason.

      “Yes, back in the day under the mosaic covenant, the Israelite’s were commanded to listen and follow….but if I was one of them…and I kept seeing all the outrageous miracles and crazy stuff God did to protect them….I’d follow too.”

      Where are these miracles today? Why did God only do them back then?

      • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

        Because, back then is when the OT was made up…they blamed their god for acts of nature and freak events they couldn’t explain, and some stories were no doubt simply made up to reason out their own cultural bias. If Katarina happened back then, it would have been written like Sodom and Gomorra. An “evil” place was cleansed…bla bla bla

      • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

        “That’s because Christians like to give atheists alot of shit. And not all atheists are good at putting their reasoning into words so they avoid you entirely for that reason.”

        ROFL, are you kidding me?!?! I am going to post this quote all over every blog I have ever visited with your atheist name attached. Anytime I have a Christian friend feel uncomfortable chatting with an atheist about things they are not well versed in, I will bring up this quote and let them know its ok because atheists have the same problem and its ok to just avoid them. Like Christians are perfect at putting spiritual things into words….mere words are insufficient at times. rofl man, I’ve been called “intellectually dishonest” for avoiding conversations with atheists about certain things…you have got to be kidding me with that one….oh my goodness. I am seriously saving this quote, I am not kidding at all.

        • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

          Save the quote then if you really think it means anything. I know alot of people who are atheist but aren’t really too much in dealing with religion. Those atheists won’t pick a fight with you anyways and will usually keep their views in the closet around you so you know not find these atheists. Then there is atheists like us on this blog that can run circles around Christians. I really don’t see how that quote is going to gain you any ground in your war against atheism. I’m not going to lie and say all atheists are perfect. Not all of them are well versed putting their atheism into words. Of course, if you decide to blow my statement out of proportion you’re just going to make an ass out of yourself like you always do.

          • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

            That’s me…I’m trying to becomes an Atheist that can run circles around jerks like Matt. I have a long ways to go and I’m still studying the bible as well as the Koran and other ancient lit.

            I don’t know everything, and it shows, I know…but I’m trying to get thick skin and Matt is actually helping me get over being called names by religious people and he’s helping me fill in the wholes in my logic.

            I guess I should thank him. For all the insults he’s thrown my way, he’s making me a stronger Atheist.

            So, thank you Matt. Thanks for being a jerk and for arguing with us. By doing so, you are helping all of us non-theists fine tune our position.

            • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

              If you take calling you ignorant or a feminist an insult, then yes I have insulted you. Thats as far as I’ve gone I’m pretty sure….or said to get off your high horse. I’m just calling it like I see it, so if thats insulting….sorry?

              You study what you want to study and you interpret it how you want to interpret it. Sure sure you can try and say the same of me….but I test my views and interpretations against the Bible as a whole and how the audience it was written to would have read it.

              I am calling you names on a intellectual level, because I find atheists are not honest when they study the Bible at all. I am not attacking you as a person. You read 1/3 of a quote from the Bible and said you “f’ing hate that book”….that right there indicates to me that you have absolutely no real knowledge of how the Bible portrays woman. Again, I cannot impose truth, it must be discovered. As I said before the Bible is very good about discussing men and women’s ROLES (roles!!) but it never ever ever ever insults woman or puts them below a man in personhood. The first people Jesus appeared to after his resurrection were women!! Women didn’t even have a say in court and he appeared to them first. The OT is full of stories of women rising to the occasion when the time came for them to do so.

              My main point throughout all of this (in regards to oppression of women) is that the oppression does NOT come from religion (though it may seem that way or people try to JUSTIFY it through their religion) it comes from the heart of MAN. Again, I cannot convince you of this!! I know this, it is a waste of my time. I’m not going to go look up an exegetical approach to the BIble on if women are really oppressed in scripture and weigh both sides…do it yourself. You don’t care though!! You are simply out to prove it DOES and that is all you will ever find because you are not truly honest, prove me wrong PLEASE. I don’t want to be right in this matter, and if I have helped you become a better atheist then…maybe I should stop getting on here if I cannot have a good conversation without offending…..

              • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

                We were all raised to be religious, same as you.

                But we called bull shit, when it came to talking snakes, and people living in fishes, and…it doesn’t matter what the bible says because it just an old book. Nothing important. I’ve read it three times, cover to cover, and if it’s meaning escaped me and not you than I don’t know what to tell you. When I read it the first two times, I was a Christian and It just seemed so cold and disconnected. Now that I’ve read as an Atheist, I must be honest, the violence and injustice stands out more than anything else.

                So maybe we are reading the same book and getting a different experience from it. When I read it, it’s like all the things I hate about it are in big red print or something, and I can’t see past it. Often times, I just have to put it down and walk away for a couple hours.
                So yes, I see a line like that, “the head of the woman [is] the man” and I am automatically offended in the worst way.

                Oh, and I never said the feminist part was the insult. I’m darn Proud of it. It’s the tone you write in when you address me…and yes, the ignorant part…Only I can call myself ignorant. lol

                • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

                  That tells me that you are letting your emotional response drive your interpretation.

                  “When I read it, it’s like all the things I hate about it are in big red print or something, and I can’t see past it.”

                  Have you seriously considered the work of ANY prominent theologians on the matter of Biblical interpretation? Or do you stick to your atheistic counterparts? I do both, and I think atheists are hypocrites when they don’t. Try it, you might be surprised at how wrong you really are.

                  Hey, I am ignorant too….we are all ignorant! Its a word I throw around when I see dishonest reading of scripture, it angers me.

                  I wasn’t raised to be “religious”….I was raised reformed Baptist were they encouraged individuals to make their faith their own. Meaning, don’t just believe because your parents believe. Thats the only way to go that actually works.

                  “it doesn’t matter what the bible says because it just an old book. Nothing important.”

                  How could you make this statement? The shear volume of manuscripts of the various books of the Bible speaks volumes for its historical significance. Over 25000 copies of the greek nt alone, that is 24200 more than any other historical book. If you want to call the Bible unimportant then I’ll give you free reign to wipe out the rest of history. Washington didn’t really cross the Delaware, the information is unreliable because it wasn’t mentioned in enough documents. I could go on and on….that, is an ignorant statement. I do not believe you have truly studied the real evidence behind scripture, because there is alot more than you think.

                  Even from a feminist point of view…the Bible clearly tells men to LOVE their wives. The word LOVE encompasses alot of things, your a woman you should know lol. Btw, I have been married a year and a half and been completely independent that whole time and we have no children. My wife is crazy in love with me and its awesome….I could consider myself a very good husband…I’m always ready to hear her out and listen to her needs though we misunderstand each other at times. The internet is a terrible forum for these sorts of debates because you cannot truly see someone’s real reaction…..in real life I am extremely laid back and i basically never get mad about anything…..so, i come accross differently on here apparently haha.

                  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

                    Just as a point of fact, the idea of marrying for love is a relatively new one. The it definitely not a Biblical idea. Women were not considered equal to men in those days and the idea of loving a woman the same way one does today would be laughed at back in Biblical times.

                    • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

                      To a degree yes, but there is no scriptural evidence to back up the claim that women are not equal to men. As I’ve said several times, each has various ROLES assigned based on alot of various factors…women are simply better at some things than men and vice versa. Equal in personhood but different assigned tasks.

                    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

                      I think I heard the same argument for the slavery of black people. They aren’t less equal as people, they just have a different role (i.e. as a slave). They are better at physical labor than white people, right? When the Bible claims that the head of every woman is a man, I think it is saying something more than just roles. Besides, as a point of fact, I don’t think men are better at certain assigned tasks than women nor do I think women are better with certain tasks. Pick your task Matt and I bet you I could find a woman who could kick your ass in that task. this “role assignment” bullshit is just a way of keeping women barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.

                  • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

                    Matt, have you ever read the bible? I don’t think you have. Read genesis. You have to accept genesis as fact. That means the dinosaurs never existed and the bones were planted their by God. Also, what happens with Adam and Eve is utter tyranny on the part of God.

                    • http://www.spiritualtramp.com/blog Scott Roche

                      As a Christian one doesn’t have to accept the Genesis creation as literal truth. Many Christians don’t accept either a literal six day creation or a young earth.

                    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

                      One doesn’t have to, but if one were to reject it, they would lose their grounding for the belief in God, Jesus, and the resurrection. How can a Christian arbitrarily reject one part of the Divine Word, without rejecting the divinity of it all?

                    • http://www.spiritualtramp.com Scot Roche

                      Not necessarily. Some things are clearly allegory and not literal history. Other things are not quite as clear, but it’s up to the individual Christian to decide. I don’t think that makes it arbitrary. Most Christians I know (including myself) don’t make these decisions on a whim. You’re setting up a false dichotomy.

                    • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

                      The only real evidence for God is the bible. Science has proved that Genesis as it is in the bible didn’t happen. If the first chapter of the bible is wrong, it’s likely that the rest of the book is wrong too.

                      What Genesis is really describing is how during the ice age, the Persian Gulf was dry land and there were longer versions of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that connected with two other now nonexistent rivers in that area. This area would have been the most fertile part of the fertile crescent and would be viewed as a paradise. As the glaciers on North America and Europe melted, the sea levels rose and submerged the Persian Gulf.

                      This would have taken place 10000-7000 years ago and the events would have to have been told by oral tradition until around 5500 years ago when writing began. In that time frame of oral tradition, people told that story their own way and eventually that flood was exaggerated to cover the entire world and stories about the loss of the fertile land that is now underwater became the beginnings of the story of Eden which later made it’s way into the bible.

                      Snakes were viewed as a symbol of wisdom until the the Hebrews made their religion where the snake is evil and God punishes people for eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Essentially the idea here was to teach people that thinking is bad and that believing everything you were told was the way to go.

                      Now you can say some things are metaphorical in the bible and whatnot but who’s to say certain what things are metaphorical. This can create thousands of interpretations of the bible and at that point, people are making their own rules and not following God’s rules.

                      Conceptually, you have to either accept the bible as it is or reject it all. The latter is the more rational choice. Otherwise we have flawed logic. Of course you can argue there might be a God but at this point it cannot be the Christian God because Genesis is debunked.

                  • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

                    But, you and I have very different lives, Matt. My life revolves around my writing, painting, psychology, friends and family …being a non-theist is an achievement I’m proud of but it’s not a dominating force in my life.

                    I can tell that being a Christian IS your life. It’s the most important thing to you, and you’ll do anything to spread the word, and defend the word. You are driven to do your deities work.

                    I’m passionate about atheism but I’m not obsessed with it. I’ve read books on many religions…even the gospels of witchcraft, but I’m just not that moved by any religion, so I can’t see myself spending hours of my time reading up on the latest interpretation or perspectives or what have you.

                    So, while I have read books about Christianity in the past, I am most l likely not going to read any at the present. My main concern is getting my novel back from the editors in time to be published in October, and plan my wedding…when I have nothing better to do maybe…but life is very short, and I’m fairly certain I’m not immortal…lol

            • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

              I’ve been arguing with Matt since some point in late 2008. You can’t win with him but due to the lack of other Christians around here, he’s always a good Christian to debate with and consistently appears here.

              For me, I read a children’s bible while in high school and only really read genesis in the main bible. My specialty isn’t my knowledge of the bible, but my knowledge of biology, astronomy, and history. As you’ve seen in my other posts, I am able to put the pieces together and what really happened and explain it in layman’s terms.

              I’ve learned to laugh at what others say online and often the best thing to do is to stay calm long enough until the person you are arguing with gets pissed and makes a fool out of him or herself.

              • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

                Thanks for the advice. I do need to keep a cool head.

                Even having read that bible, I can’t quote it. I’m not that obsessed with it. My area of expertise is psychology and sociology…which is why I’m so passionate about human rights and the effects these beliefs have on us as a civilization.

                Matt’s a fine boy, and he does do some good here. Through these debates we get a chance to refine our arguments. He’s just a little arrogant, then again, he would have to be to keep coming here.

          • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

            Ok ok scott so I did blow the quote out of proportion….but cmon man do you not see how I see that quote?

  • Jim

    I am now helping to raise my second set of children. Have two daughters who I raised and are now 36 and 33 and took on a new family of younger children 7 years ago. Certainly wouldn’t have thought I would be here now at 58 and having younger children again, but here I am.

    My older children, I certainly didn’t have any sort of parental guidelines and certainly always had Cable TV and we watched a lot of R rated movies together. Certainly had no Faith then. Now it is different with this new family—got rid of Cable TV 6 years ago and only bring movies into the house that are at the most PG 13.

    I know first hand how at least in Entertainment with movies and TV–we have all become very desensitized. My wife and I have gone to motels from time-to-time when out of town and have seen what we think we have missed on television in the room. I don’t think we are being pious or judgmental, but really what we used to think was funny or entertaining–is certainly not anymore. Our daughter who 15 now is free to make her own choices as to entertainment, but I guess the younger two at home—my wife and I do the deciding there. I have also noticed that without the bombardment of endless commercials on television directed at children–our kids don’t “need” all the newest video gaming systems or the latest toys on the market. In comparison, my older daughters knew the words “Happy Meal” before they knew how to say “Mommy” or “Daddy” because McDonald’s commercials were in full swing back then. Every new toy on the market they just had to have because they saw endless commercials with hours upon hours of boob tube viewing. So, there is many benefits of regulated television and movie viewing.

  • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

    I’ve spent this whole blog defending myself…tsk tsk,

    Though, it’s funny that you should bring up the Hebrew deities parenting style. It is rather authoritarian with all the rules and punishments “he” set in place…and then watches to see if we do as he says…Yup, that’s authoritarian alright.

    *Control children’s conduct by setting rules
    *Obedience is required, threat of punishment if the child fails to obey
    *Parents are demanding but not responsive

    The results of this sort of parenting kind of explains a lot of our history…

    Children of Authoritarian parents are more likely to:

    *Become discontented, withdrawn and distrustful
    *Generally less competent, less prosocial, more conforming, lack self-confidence

    Right out of one of my old text books from college, a class on the psychology of parenting.

    And you are very right Staks and Matt, Research has found that authoritative, not authoritarian, is the best way to raise a child.

    Authoritative parenting:

    *Encourage verbal questioning
    *Explain the reasons behind family policies
    *Set limits
    *Autonomy and discipline are valued
    *Both demanding and responsive

    Children of Authoritative parents are more likely:

    *Self-reliant, independent, self-controlled, explorative and contented
    *Higher levels of self-esteem, better impulse control, and better school achievement

    It’s a mixture of setting limits but also have a great deal of open communication.

    An example would be, if my son wanted to watch a movie with sexual activity in it…there are a lot of variables to consider but one constant is that we would have to talk about sex: the reason why people make love and the emotional and health costs of casual sex. Sex is human and it’s beautiful, but it has no active place in the world of a child. That doesn’t mean they should be ignorant of it. And the same goes for violence and drugs.
    The media has a hold on our children only when they have no where else to go for information.