Monday, June 29, 2009

Tara's Comments On Forcing Religion On Children

A reader of this blog, Tara, sent me the following email (presented here with her permission). She tried posting it as a comment on my post Is Forcing Religion On Children Child Abuse?, but it wouldn't allow her to publish it (I think Blogger limits the numbers of characters you can have in a comment) and so I present it here:

I can certainly understand your skepticism, especially in light of your childhood memories of "Christians."

For the record, Evangelical young people do NOT stay in the faith. In fact, around 90% leave the faith in college, never to return. The reason is most cannot contend for the faith. They know the songs, the camps, the games, etc., but they have no clue of the doctrines of the Christian faith. They are caught up in the "feel good" mentality and believe everyone is basically good and Jesus loves them all.

While I use the term "religion" lightly here, Mormons stay Mormons because there is a LOT at stake if they convert to Christianity. So much of their lexicon mimics Christianity, so why would they convert? Besides, it's a works-based 'faith'. They ignore (or obviously not taught) the Doctrines of Grace that the bible spells out, thereby not even coming close to real Christianity. This is heartbreaking as these are some of the sweetest, kindest people I've ever met.

Islam is a forced religion as well. This is proven true near daily...just look at Iran. They want to be free of a theocracy. (Also, it is observed in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia.) If you're not conformed, you're dead. This too, is a works-based "faith", again having nothing to do with real Christianity.

Tongue-speaking and "gifts" like that make me skeptical of any church that practices it. (They don't like it if other Christians speak out against it.) I can see where it was needed when Christ walked the earth. Healings, banishment of demons, feedings of many and such were a necessity. The incident of tongue-speaking was not at all what it is today. When the disciples spoke in "tongues" it literally meant language. The people surrounding them all spoke different dialects and languages, and it was by the Supernatural that when the disciples spoke in their OWN language that day, the hearers were hearing the gospel in THEIR own language. There's not a need for that now either, since the bible is obviously translated into every known language out there. (But I have a feeling you know this already.)

Back to your original question: yes, it is wrong to force religion on children. Since I am not a fan of "asking Jesus" into my heart (which is not is not biblical and it is not even remotely what Jesus, John the Baptist and the disciples/apostles taught) nor do I believe in the Sinner's Prayer (once again, not biblical) I don't teach my children that.

I do however, try to live my life as a role model, remembering who I was before and who I am now. Yes, I do share bible studies and devotions with my sons (they are teenagers now) and they do attend church with us. I've shared with them about how I'd asked Jesus into my heart and said the Sinner's prayer and how that absolutely did not work. (One whiff of trouble and most turn from the faith.) My kids see it with their own eyes.

I cannot say that religion perpetuated from my upbringing...I was raised Methodist and then my parents became upset with something said in a bible study and now, they only go once a year, if that. By the time I had reached high school, they didn't go at all for a long, long time. My father used to tell me that being "born again" was hogwash (he didn't understand it then and he's really mean about it now) and how I wasn't to believe anything in the Book of Revelation because it wasn't true. Hmmm.

My husband was raised Methodist as well and even he walked away from the Methodist church as I did. At this point, my parents think we're in a cult and they have forbidden any conversation regarding God. And although I do not speak about God to them, my mother still finds my blog offensive. The kicker: my parents consider themselves Christians.

I've lost a job because of my faith, friends because we didn't want to go get drunk all the time, family members because we've had to audacity to admit to them and others that we were quite depraved and unable to help ourselves.

I'm sure it would be nice if I gave you the whole rundown about how we were drug abusers, out-of-control drunks and thieves, but we weren't. We were just two parents trying to make ends meet in a crazy world and how one day we were confronted by our sins and realized that everything we had believed was wrong. That's it.

No bells and whistles, snake-handling, writhing on the floor, tongue-speaking nuttery going on here.

Children who have religion thrust upon them in a manner such as Mormonism, Jehovah's Witness, Islam, Hindu, etc. find themselves nearly incapable of questioning what it is they believe. Do they really believe it or do they believe because their parents told them to? Believe me when I tell you that we ask our sons quite often if they believe something because we told them or because they honestly believe it to be true. They ask a lot of questions, just as we do. We are learning daily what it means to have this faith.

I hope you are not offended because I unloaded here. I know that sometimes when I speak openly about these things I get a lot of crap handed back. But I just wanted you to know there are those of us out there who are not what society believes as "normal Christians." The Ted Haggards, Rick Warrens, Rob Bells and Brian MacLarens do not speak for us. Neither does Pat Robertson, Jesse Jackson, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen and TD Jakes.

However, we do ascribe to Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, John Piper, John MacArthur and Paul Washer. We are considered Reformed (or Calvinist, if you will) Christians.

And I happen to find your blog enlightening and your questions genuine.



  1. Tara,

    I have a question: Does a true Scotsman take his porridge with sugar?

  2. The following website summarizes 900 court cases and lawsuits involving children of Jehovah's Witness Parents. The summaries demonstrate how JW Families rear their children and live life day-to-day. Also included are nearly 400 CRIMINAL cases -- most involving MURDERS:


  3. I can seee why you get a lot of "crap" handed back to you. You just make stuff up and blog it like it is truth. For instance, you wrote: "In fact, around 90% leave the faith in college, never to return." Quite the contrary, it is not a fact. Since you are just making stuff up, why not just say 100% never return.

    Near the end of your post you provide us a list of the ministers who do not speak for "us" [Christians]and then provide a list of those who do. Which means that YOU speak for us? Are you the new Christian Ayatollah who certifies the legitimate ministers that we are allowed to hear? Yes, I can see why youo get so much "crap" back... It's the old saying "Junk in -- Junk out."... or in your case crap out - crap back in.

  4. Hi Don in Texas. You got me. I didn't specify sources for my comments above.

    Here are just a few regarding "Christian" students leaving the faith.

    I actually heard about it on the radio before I read what others had picked up on. I think Brannon Howse is the one who cites the 90%.

    Thanks for pointing it out.

    Regarding 'us' I am not meaning Christians as a whole. I am speaking personally. It would be unwise for me to claim to be a spokesman for all Christians.

    I would not mind discussing this with you, but it appears by your comment that insulting me seems to be your purpose. So we'll have to call it a day.

    Either way, thank you for pointing out my lack of source specifications. I should have known better.

    Have a good day. :)


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