6/24/2008                                                                                       View Comments

Grow up, already!

By Astreja

One of the odder things about Christianity is its tendency to exalt the child at the expense of the adult. In fact, the "Ye must be born again" meme lies at the heart of the evangelical form of the religion.

But is this desirable? Well, it all depends on what the "keepers" of that faith are actually trying to accomplish.

Consider this: In most cultures, the transition to adulthood is a highly significant time. "Childish things" are put aside, and the mantle of responsibility is assumed. In return, the initiate gains the authority to participate in adult matters such as procreation, governance and support of the tribe.

Contrast this with the infantilization of Christians by Christianity. Cast in the role of eternal child to an Eternal Parent, the natural maturing process is short-circuited. Responsibility gives way to "I'm not perfect, just forgiven". Reasoning, skepticism and problem-solving skills are downplayed or denigrated, while credulity is elevated to a virtue.

And then there's all those late-night chats with one's Invisible Friend. Lovely, just lovely.

For the average person, this deliberate abrogation of full maturity is a tragedy of the highest order -- Both for the self and for the community at large.

For those who would lead such trusting young lambs, however...

8 comments:

Loki Neves said...

I love how the bible refers to its followers as lost sheep. Which always made me ask my self how intellegent is a sheep. Lets see some thing that is led around and hearded. I am sorry but I would hope that the majority of humans have more common since than sheep. (lambs to the slaughter) Also I agree there is nothing that is more vulnerable than a child. You can get a child to agree to any thing. Just further prof of what the bibles purpose is. Your not free to do ass you please. You are free to do what they tell you. And that just makes me sick to my stomach.

truthseeker said...

Since "deconverting", i have thought a lot about this and it is an excellent point. Part of my deconversion was realizing god wasn't going to show up and work his magic, i had to stand on my own. Once i did, i really started to see what i could accomplish. I have answered way more of my own "prayers" then god ever did!

i was thinking about so many verses telling how god will take care of our every need. that also is a very childish concept. I know my goal is to make my kids self-sufficient and to be able to stand on their own 2 feet. To think for themselves. It seems in the christian world the goal just the opposite: to keep you helpless and dependent on an invisible god your entire life. whenever your own reasoning gets in the way, it must be evil (see martin luther's thoughts on reason)! Now that is childish!

Sadly, it took me 20+ years of my adult life to "GROW UP", but thankfully, i finally did.

The AntiChristian said...

An excellent point - It seems as though Christianity wants people stupid, "Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe." (1 Cor. 20-21)(NIV)

Do religions in general teach that "foolishness" is good?

bbg said...

Yes. Religion does teach foolishness. At least to some degree. One of my favorite quotes about faith is by Martin Luther King. He said "Reason is the enemy of faith". Now, that sounds like an insult to me. That comment should bring your attention to the ridiculous idea of faith. But he was using it as an argument against Reason! To try to understand Christian (and other religions) thought processes is to deny reason and skew things in such a way that the more bizarre it is, the more you must believe it. That sounds crazy to me. . . but I believe it. . . wow, maybe I am christian!

exrelayman said...

Faith is childish. Reason is mature. Since religion (any belief system embodying the supernatural) will not withstand the scrutiny of critical examination (Spinoza first made this known), a ridicule of the "wisdom of this world" becomes necessary. Although Buddhism degenerated into ignorance and superstition also, the original Buddha is supposed to have admonished followers not to believe something because he said it, but encouraged them to investigate all things for themselves. A "reasonable faith" is an oxymoron.

Free Thinker said...

Hi truthseeker :) An excellent comment! I'm sorry about my recent misunderstanding of your intentions and look foreword to reading more input from you. Welcome to freedom from religion!

Metro said...

In Terry Pratchett's Small Gods, one of the sentral characters is the god Om.

Gods are fed and fueled, in this story, by belief. Om enters the mind of a sleeping shepherd and causes him to set up a prayer stone at that place in order to seed belief and gain followers.

Pratchett points out that the Church of Omnism could have been very different:

"The merest accident of microgeography meant that the first man to hear the voice of (the God) Om, and who gave Om his view of humans, was a shepherd and not a goatherd. They have quite different ways of looking at the world, and the whole of history might have been different. For sheep are stupid and have to be driven. But goats are intelligent and need to be led."

Metro said...

"sentral"?

Pleace forgive my apalling cpelling.