[Originally posted on Creation Science 4 Kids in 2015, still the most common accusation I get for working with families.]
STOP childhood INDOCTRINATION!
It’s CHILD ABUSE!
~Ned in an email to my website
Indoctrinate: to teach (someone) to fully accept the ideas, opinions, and beliefs of a particular group and to not consider other ideas, opinions, and beliefs
Child Abuse has been defined as an act, or failure to act, on the part of a parent or caretaker that results in the death, serious physical or emotional harm, s*xual abuse, or exploitation of a child, or which places the child in an imminent risk of serious harm.
Every parent teaches their children by example, word, and default environment their ideas, opinions, and beliefs. This is universal; even those who try to let their children choose freely can’t avoid exposing their children to them.
It only becomes indoctrination when the second half of the equation is added. Refusal to expose them to differing opinions and beliefs is what takes the ordinary education of the next generation into the realm of indoctrination.
The facts would contest this is far more true of atheistic humanists and their constant fight to prevent children from hearing any other viewpoint than their own. How many humanists take their children to the Creation Museum or even borrow an intelligent design book from the library?
Sure, in years past there was a school of thought recommending Christian parents to only expose their kids to the Bible and believers’ materials. But this no longer the case. Very few parents I’ve interacted with hold this position. Certainly not me!
As a conscientious parent I educate my children in the area of religion fully. They know the basic tenets of Animism, Buddhism, Islam, Atheism, and Hinduism as well as Christianity. It is important for Jesus’ little ones to know the ideas held by others so they can be wise and harmless.
We read, watch, and visit many examples of alternate view points. By the time my kids are grown, they will understand the foundational principles of evolutionary thought better than the vast majority of evolutionists.
The truth has nothing to fear from the lie. The lie has much to fear from exposure to truth.
As for the charge of abuse (which I receive regularly), I find this particular accusation so out of proportion to reality as to be revolting. Some of my family members have endured many forms of child abuse from which they suffer to this day. I’ve worked with many more childhood abuse survivors as they seek to establish a healthy life for themselves decades later.
To put this in the same class as what I teach my children is irresponsibly demeaning to true victims of abuse.
Parents, this kind of accusation is becoming more common. At this point the accusers have no power to do more than insult us, but that doesn’t mean it will remain that way.
You can also expect your children to hear they were abused by you as they enter the secular world. It will be wise to give them answers.
Much prayer is needed
For more information you can check these articles:
Answers in Genesis: Is It Child Abuse to Teach Christianity to Your Children? Dawkins Thinks So
Creation Today: Is Teaching Children Creation “Child Abuse”? Eric Hovind
A whole series of videos from Creation Ministries International
I found these by using Search Creation. Answers in Genesis has been particularly vocal on this issue. Kudos!