Monday, May 6, 2013

Is there an indoctrinator in the house?

Welcome back to another exciting installment on bad advice with Bill! This week Mr. Graham airs a question about 'influencing your grand-children's spirituality'...
You can pass your faith on to grandchildren
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Can grandparents do anything to influence their grandchildren spiritually? We live away from our grandchildren and only see them a few times a year, but we want to encourage them to become followers of Jesus. — J.K.

DEAR J.K.: I’m grateful for your concern for your grandchildren — and yes, you can be a positive spiritual influence even if you aren’t with them on a regular basis.

What can you do? First, you can encourage their parents to be concerned for their spiritual welfare. (Do it gently, however; you don’t want them to think you’re criticizing them or trying to interfere.) Hopefully they’re active in a church, and if so you can encourage them to take advantage of its programs for children. If they aren’t involved in a church, you can encourage them to do so. The Bible says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Then you can let your grandchildren know you love them and are praying for them. (Many grandparents today have learned to use email just so they can stay in touch with their grandchildren.) In addition, when you are with them, ask God to help you be an example to them of Christ-like faith and love, both by your speech and your actions.

You don’t mention their ages , but consider giving them a Bible storybook written for children their age.

Most of all, pray for your grandchildren (and their parents). Distance may be a difficulty for you — but it isn’t to God. And be encouraged by Paul’s words to his co-worker Timothy: “Your sincere faith ... first lived in your grandmother Lois” (2 Timothy 1:5).
Okay, so 'granny' wants to know the best way to indoctrinate her grandchildren. How quaint... Personally, I think the question should be whether one should indoctrinate children to begin with. The answer to that question is an unequivocal NO! Her grandchildren are individuals and should be left free to make up their own minds with such a potentially important issue. Religion is very personal, and the path to one's choice of religion (or lack thereof) should also be a personal journey, not a forced one. A grandparent doesn't try to influence a child's favorite color, or tell them what their hobbies will be. So why try to force your religion on another? A good grandparent should not try to control their grand-child's life. Rather, they should love their grandchildren for who they are, and allow them to draw their own conclusions on the question of religious belief.

Of course, Graham suggests that JK go right ahead and ignore good judgement and instead ride the indoctrination train. He opined that the grandparents suggest that the parents should be active in the church with the children in order to indoctrinate them into the church. Yep, he unashamedly suggests that they force religion onto these (presumably) young children before they are old enough to realize they are being indoctrinated.

After you've done that Grams says, "Then, you can let your grandchildren know that you love them". Seriously?! AFTER you indoctrinate them, THEN you can tell them you love them! How about you love them belief in Christ or not? So what if they don't share your belief in your favorite fairytale. You should love them for who they are, not what they believe.

Graham then suggested that they get them a children's Bible. How about rather than getting them a storybook Bible, you get them a 'real' one. Instead of the handful of sugar-coated stories, let them read the totality of what you are trying to hoodwink them into. Unlike what the Bible storybooks show, the Bible is a book of horrors. It's not all 'God is love'. In it's totality, the violence, genocide, ridiculous rules, horrible inaccuracies far outweigh the pleasant stories.

So no, one should not indoctrinate any child. Allow them their own process to find where they personally stand on the question of faith. And if that means that they don't end up settling on the same beliefs as you, you should respect their decision and continue loving them for who they are. Indoctrination is an unfortunately common practice, and one that I'm proud to have escaped.

-Brain Hulk

Please share, subscribe, comment and follow us on your favorite social networking sites!
facebook | google+ | twitter


  1. I feel sorry for you. I am glad that my parents and grandparents showed me The truth, the way and the life. The world it's how it is because of people like you. You are a lie.

    1. If I'm a lie, I guess you're talking to yourself then...

      But seriously, you can feel sorry all you want. But that doesn't change anything. You feel happy that your parents showed you the 'truth' of heir religion. I'll presume that religion was Christianity because of the phrasing you used. But here's the thing... A Muslim is going to tell you he's happy his parents told him the 'truth' of Islam. A Jewish person will be happy their parents told them the 'truth' of Judaism. A Hindu woman will be happy their parents told her the 'truth' of Hinduism. As you can see, they all think they were told the truth. And you know what? They all feel as sorry for you as you feel for me.

      All I ask is that kids be allowed to make up their own minds, rather than prematurely labeled. And all I ask to believe in any religion is proof. What's so wrong with that?