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...
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)