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[links] Link salad Saturday serving - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2008-04-19 09:57
Subject: [links] Link salad Saturday serving
Security: Public
Location:Nuevo Rancho Lake
Mood:busy
Music:the_child muttering as she makes up a board game
Tags:cars, cool, links, personal, photos, politics, religion
DC-3 conversion van — Ok, I want this. Real bad. Real, real bad.

The Kentucky Space Program

APOD with another lovely and thought-proving image

Texas polygamist sect is accused of indoctrinating girls — "Girls in the west Texas polygamous sect enter into underage marriages without resistance because they are ruthlessly indoctrinated from birth to believe disobedience will lead to their damnation" How is this different from any other religion? That's a serious question, not snark. The followers of virtually all religions raise their children within their religious framework, and impose the moral and behavioral rules of their faith on their children. Why is this different? If you're going to give social approval to religious upbringing, where does the line fall in picking-and-choosing? From my atheistic point of view, it's all indoctrination, after all.

Pentagon institute calls Iraq war 'a major debacle' with outcome 'in doubt' — Damned liberal traitors have infested the Pentagon now. Where's Joe McCarthy when we really need him?

John McCain's tax returns — Note his wife's were withheld. I wonder how Your Liberal Media and conservative America would feel about Hillary withholding Bill's tax info.




4/19/08
Time in saddle: 20 minutes
Last night's weigh-out: n/a
This morning's weigh-in: 271.8
Currently reading: The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry Powell's | Amazon ]


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Josh English
User: joshenglish
Date: 2008-04-19 17:15 (UTC)
Subject: On Indoctrination
Well, most religions do indoctrinate the kids. Our old rector used to tell new or prospective members "I'll send you some propaganda."
I know in my Church, children are not told "disobedience is damnation." That is the difference. Our indoctrination impresses vastly different values on our children.
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The Green Knight: Camel
User: green_knight
Date: 2008-04-19 17:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Camel
The followers of virtually all religions raise their children within their religious framework, and impose the moral and behavioral rules of their faith on their children.

I've mostly met the other kind, the parents who tell their children 'this is what we believe, this is what other people believe, decide for yourself.'

I think what you mean is that fundamentalists (of all flavours) try to force their children to adopt the same rules. That is not healthy, but it's a subset of people who follow a religion.
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daveraines
User: daveraines
Date: 2008-04-19 17:42 (UTC)
Subject: Indoctrination
Once again the Master Fisher of Lakeshore throws out the bait, and once again I'll bite.

>> How is this different from any other religion?

The first thing I'd say is, every child is raised within a framework of some kind - is "indoctrinated." If the child is taught "there is no God," that is doctrine for that household. If the child is taught "here is what all the different religions teach, and you can choose," then the doctrine is "choice is good" or "you can choose your own truth." If the child is taught "Love God, love neighbor," then that is doctrine. "Doctrine" simply means a set of beliefs or principles taught by a group.

The question then becomes, what differentiates legitimate doctrinal teaching from illegitimate (or even wicked) teaching? I would first argue that some teaching has been tested by time and collected over time, and leads to amazing contributions to society ("Love God, love neighbor"). This would be a sociological reason to test one's teaching against canonical texts, for instance. They are the collected wisdom, over thousands of years, of what it means to be human.

I would go further and talk about revelation. CHristians locate our touchstone in the person of Jesus Christ and say that in his life, death, and resurrection, God has revealed definitively what God is up to. If somebody claims to have new truth, the Christian response is to test it against the figure and teaching of Jesus; and to do this within a community of believers. We have checks, balances, and accountability. So when a sect goes off by itself and says "we're accountable to no one!" our red flags go up.

People are going to say "but what about THIS situation or THAT situation?" Where were the red flags in the case of pedophile Catholic priests, for instance? I celebrate the fact that a day of reckoning has come for these folks. The lures of power and control capture Christians sometimes just as they do atheists, agnostics, Democrats, Republicans, and everybody else. We need help sometimes in identifying those times and places; and ought to welcome it. But it doesn't mean we should throw our entire body of teaching out the window.

This is very long and I apologize.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-04-19 21:17 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Indoctrination
Never apologize for saying what you think. Especially to me.
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Twilight: Daria
User: twilight2000
Date: 2008-04-19 17:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Daria
ok -- first, fwiw, this new layout is REALLY hard to read (yea, that may just be me, but it's no less true because of that ;>).

Second, and more to the point, "yes" and "it doesn't matter," let me explain ;>.

Yes, that is to a greater or lesser extent, what most religions do. But it's also what most cultures do, again to a greater or lesser extent. Indoctrination isn't the most extreme label one can put on it, that'd be brainwashing.

It Doesn't Matter. That is, while all religions and cultures practice some level of indoctrination, for good or for ill, when a subset practices indoctrination that is sufficiently out of step with the encompassing culture in which it exists, the encompassing culture reacts.

Whether the reaction is "appropriate" or "within reasonable guidelines" or "fair" often depends on one's perspective.

However, when the subset practices (and indoctrinates said practices) that are illegal by the laws of the encompassing culture, the encompassing culture is all but required to respond by saying "that is illegal" or there's not much point in having the laws in the first place.

Now, in this culture, we can (still) argue whether a law is just or fair or should be, but until the law is changed, if one violates that law, one is liable for it's consequences, which may mean jail time or property seizure the dissolution of one's group.

Forcing (indoctrinating, brainwashing, pick your word as at this point semantics matters little) girls/women/females to marry under the legal marrying age of the State in question is illegal. Beating one's children, as defined by our laws, is illegal. Marrying multiple women is, in this country, is illegal.

There are penalties for all of these, regardless of one's religious dictates. If these things can be proven (and in this case, clearly my points 1 and 3 can be, the courts are currently trying to prove that #2 can be as well), then those who perpetrate this violations of law must be punished for the culture to be able to function by Rule of Law (which, historically, most cultures function under/within)*.

Whether religious exemptions to laws are a good thing is another argument and one I'm deeply conflicted over. But at the point where "harm to others" (as defined by the encompassing culture in which you choose to reside) is the result of your religious dictates, it becomes the concern of the encompassing culture.

So by the laws of the encompassing culture (as currently rendered), worshipping at midnight isn't illegal. Neither is wearing a turban, a lace mantilla or a head scarf. Neither is wearing a pentacle, a cross or a star of david. Forcing your underage children to be raped (as defined by the encompassing culture's laws) by their own fathers as a "teaching tool" and marry under the age the State dictates and beating your children are all illegal.

That the encompassing culture is also horrified by these choices makes it an easier story to sensationalize and is, in some part, what drives the laws in the first place. That doesn't (in an odd reverse from most arguments) make it immoral or wrong to stop the behaviour of the subset if it violates the laws of the encompassing culture. It may be distasteful to some -- but that, I suspect is an argument of a different sort.

------------------------
*Not incidentally, the State is also trying to prove, in this particular case, that this particular subset of culture creates a "pervasive environment" where this type of breaking of the encompassing culture's laws *must* be violated to continue as part of this cultural subset, thereby rendering this a "dangerous environment" for all the women and children in this subset.

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gvdub: Thinking
User: gvdub
Date: 2008-04-19 18:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Thinking
My grandfather (mother's father) and one uncle were ordained Quaker ministers, though I was raised in the tradition of un-programmed Friends meetings. My father researched and wrote Quaker history and was a auto-didact theologian, so I guess you could say I was raised in a religious family. My indoctrination was to read widely, make my own decisions, and that doubt and questioning were an inherent part of any valid religious experience.

I offer up a quote from Islamic scholar Abdal-Hakim Murad: "True religion invites us to become better people. False religion tells us that this has already occurred."

Edited at 2008-04-19 06:14 pm (UTC)
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User: ellameena
Date: 2008-04-19 18:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Girls in the west Texas polygamous sect enter into underage marriages without resistance because they are ruthlessly indoctrinated from birth to believe disobedience will lead to their damnation" How is this different from any other religion? That's a serious question, not snark. The followers of virtually all religions raise their children within their religious framework, and impose the moral and behavioral rules of their faith on their children. Why is this different? If you're going to give social approval to religious upbringing, where does the line fall in picking-and-choosing? From my atheistic point of view, it's all indoctrination, after all.

By 'ruthlessly indoctrinated,' I assume that the children, especially the girls, were taught that they must obey parents and other authority figures absolutely, or go to hell, in addition to other supplemental punishments.

The teaching of judeo-christian religions on obedience is based on the commandment to 'honor thy father and mother.' However, in mainstream religion it is understood that this does not extend to tolerating abuse or harm that they might inflict on you. So where this cult differs from mainstream religion is that it condones child abuse, and forbids the child to resist or object.

In our society, we practice religious tolerance, which means we allow people to 'indoctrinate' their children as they wish. The criticism in this case is that religious indoctrination amounted to brainwashing and stockholm syndrome. Where we draw the line is, obviously, when the law is broken. Where else?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-04-19 21:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
were taught that they must obey parents and other authority figures absolutely, or go to hell,

Pretty much my 5-6 year old experience of Sunday school, by the way. I was routinely threatened with hellfire.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-04-19 21:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Wow is that irritatingly stupid...
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Patrick Nielsen Hayden
User: pnh
Date: 2008-04-19 20:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"'Girls in the west Texas polygamous sect enter into underage marriages without resistance because they are ruthlessly indoctrinated from birth to believe disobedience will lead to their damnation' How is this different from any other religion?"

Sure, the FLDS is exactly like the Quakers, the Unitarians, Reform Judaism, or the Bahai. There's no difference whatsoever. Everyone who practices anything called a "religion" is equally ruthless about indoctrinating their children in it.

If you believe that, you're an idiot. If you don't believe that, then you're asking a really dumb question.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-04-19 21:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Of course I don't believe that. But look at the response here, including what I take to be the implication of your own, which assert that faiths which pursue socially and legally acceptable practices are not equivalent to faiths which do not.

I have trouble with that argument.

In some parts of the world (for example) it's socially and legally acceptable to urge Islamic youth to suicidal action against the West, because Western decadence and oppression are seen by the religious authorities as a root cause of evil in the world. By the same token, the FLDS rules wouldn't have seemed unreasonable 100 years ago right here in the United States.

So we have a situation where two sets of rules with exactly the same foundation — spiritual revelation coupled with religious transmission — vary in acceptability depending on social context. The only difference I see is the social context, not the religious one.
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User: ex_chrisbil
Date: 2008-04-19 21:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It is indeed much like any other religion, but also like most families, religion or not. The consequences in most religions are just worse... or maybe more apparent. Someone above commented that some are told to make their own decision, but I find that's rarely the case in reality. Very rarely. Done through guilt, manipulation, or whatever, the end result is the same no matter how much freedom is claimed.
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fjm
User: fjm
Date: 2008-04-19 21:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Judaism indoctrinates children to read obsessively and constantly question. As more than one family has found out, this can have unwanted consequences.

Both Judaism and Islam have very specific injunctions against forced marriage. Forced marraige is almost always a practice common to a culture rather than a religion, so that in countries where forced marriage is acceptable it is acceptable across religious groupings.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-04-19 21:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Forced marraige is almost always a practice common to a culture rather than a religion, so that in countries where forced marriage is acceptable it is acceptable across religious groupings.

As I understand this true of a number of practices. Purdah, for example, seems to be a cultural element that acquired a religious basis.
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mmegaera
User: mmegaera
Date: 2008-04-19 22:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm not even sure the FLDS (an LDS friend said to me the other night, "wow, the media's differentiating them from the rest of us -- Mitt Romney actually accomplished something with his candidacy," which made me blink) problem is a legal one, although that's the context it's got to be pursued in to do anything about it.

[digression] I've always thought we need to separate out the religious element of marriage from the legal one, anyway. Anyone in any combination goes to the courthouse and gets a civil union with all the rights that marriage confers now, then, if they feel the need, they go to their church/whatever and have a religious marriage, under the regulations of that religion. If that religion doesn't allow same-sex or plural marriage or whatever, fine, they don't get the religious marriage, but it doesn't affect anyone's legal rights.[/digression]

The issue with the FLDS group is not that they're polygamous, because we as a society have pretty much gotten over that hobby horse in the last few decades, it's that they're physically abusing children. Now there's abuse and abuse, and I have been a victim of emotional abuse in the past and I agree that it's just as real as the physical variety, but. There's a world of difference between, say, fire and brimstone in Sunday school, and being forced to have sex with a man three times your age at the risk of going to what to you is a very real Hell if you don't. Not to mention the complete deprivation of other points of view for comparison. That's the difference that matters between the different kinds of indoctrinations.

That's where I bet most people are drawing the line. In this day and age, while a great many people still probably disapprove of plural marriage (it's the next plausible step after the acceptance of gay marriage, after all), most are willing to accept that it happens, and not just among fundamentalist sects anymore. But we are hardwired as a society against the physical abuse of children, or at least we pretend to be, and that's why the indoctrination aspect of this is the hot button this time around.

I for one am glad the distinction is being made.

Sorry. Didn't realize I had so much to say on the subject, most of it probably not to your point. Oh, well.
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J.K.Richárd: digital alchemist
User: neutronjockey
Date: 2008-04-20 01:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:digital alchemist
"Girls in the west Texas ... their damnation" How is this different from any other religion?
-The key word you're not seeing is RUTHLESS. The other word is ABUSIVE. While the "fire and brimstone" method may seem harsh it is a form of control through guilt and by threat of consequences.
-You paid your taxes by the 15th? (Or filed an extension?) Why? Because "it's the law." Or does not responding to "the law" have consequences. If we went around establishing law left and right with no consequence and no evidence of consequence then we are establishing nothing.
-The words missing again are abusive and ruthless. There is a very fine line that separates religious groups and organizations and cults. Religions teach and guide through scripture and doctrine; retelling of their "tribe and culture's" history. Are there consequences for not obeying their established omniscient father figure? Yes. It's called behavioral modification. You may have used it from time to time as a parent without thinking of it as such.
-Did you pay your taxes on time?
-Cult behavior serves to remove independent and free thinking completely. To create subservience. To manipulate. To control. Do some churches and religion have cult-like behaviors and tendencies. Inherently most monotheistic religions do, yes. Does that make them a cult. No.
-That's a serious question, not snark. The followers of virtually all religions raise their children within their religious framework, and impose the moral and behavioral rules of their faith on their children.
-A religion does not raise a child. Parents raise children. You cannot fault the world's religions for the moral and spiritual outcome of every man, woman and child on the planet.
-My neighbor in TN was a Baptist Minister, his oldest daughter was a gold-digger, his oldest son turned out to be a meth junkie, his youngest son a minister (hopefully not like his father), and his youngest daughter ran away as soon as she hit 18 never to be heard from again. I suppose with a 25% conversion rate (the one child who joined the cloth) you would consider him a ruthless indoctrinator. Because, that's what all religions do...they ruthlessly and abusively indocrinate. Why is this different? If you're going to give social approval to religious upbringing, where does the line fall in picking-and-choosing? From my atheistic point of view, it's all indoctrination, after all.
-Those moral and behavioral rules amplify and add to this country's laws. They do not subtract or take away from them, or hide from them, or do things that are outright illegal by the country's or state's definition of the law.
-Bottom line is Jay, of the numerous numbers of churches in my city... none of them are forcing young women to marry at the age of 13 or 14. None of them are raping pre-teens with witnesses standing around and claiming it "in the name of God."
-Ever seen a toddler reach for a hot stove? What do you do? You politely ask the toddler to refrain from touching the hot stove and then explain to the toddler that their skin's rate of heat transfer to internal an ambient would be exceeded by the heat flux of the stove's hot surface, that the average random molecular kinectic energy of the stove surface vastly exceed that of the child's own hand and the end result of such an extreme delta-T would cause the nerve---- YOU SMACK THE CHILD'S HAND AND YOU SAY NO! OUCH! Touching the stove has dire consequence of pain.
-Religion on a basic level follows this same model. As man has evolved, so has religion. Religions that haven't managed to evolve, or revert are seen as fundamental or extreme. Many of the fundy and extreme groups fall right into the category of cult-like behavior.
-The problem with athiests is that they still view religious practitioners as toddlers---athiests as the minority are intellectually superior and have evolved emotionally and mentally because they don't need the eternal father figure(s).
-I wonder what kind of a world athiests indoctrinate their children into?
-Did you pay your taxes on time?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-04-20 04:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
See this one:

http://jaylake.livejournal.com/1454631.html?thread=9879079#t9879079

I touched a nerve I didn't mean to touch in you, pnh and others. I was not being deliberate disingenous or obtuse either one, and I apologize for my poor phrasing.)

(I do sort of wish my regular readers knew me a little better than this...)
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Alex
User: avt_tor
Date: 2008-04-21 16:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't care about "indoctrination". I am opposed to the rape of teenage girls, the act of abetting or participating in a conspiracy to rape teenage girls, and the active repression of first amendment rights by preventing people from getting access to public media. I suppose I would add welfare fraud (claiming to be a single mother while receiving financial assistance from a family-like social unit) and inequality in sexual rights to the list of things the fundamentalists do that are wrong.

I have nothing against polygamy; it is natural in frontier or other marginal societies to maximize population without worrying about a lot of social rules. What is wrong is using coercion to force people to have sex with unwanted partners. Freedom of religion is not an excuse for rape.
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User: hkneale
Date: 2008-04-23 15:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Clue Fairy
How is this different from any other religion?

The question you should have asked was, "How is this different from any other culture?

Because there are quite a few cultures (including many North American sub-cultures) who teach their kids a whole lot worse beliefs than the Fundies are.

Narrowmindedness and power-playing is not necessarily limited to us religious types.
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