So I saw this meme on Facebook recently:
IOW: it's a cruel and abusive form of parenting to brand your child with a religious identity.
Just like no parent should tell a child, "No! You don't like latkes! Your favorite food is fish!"...no parent should tell a child, "You are a Christian!" That's a form of brainwashing, according to this meme. Let him decide what religion he favors.
Catholic response: if religion were merely another opinion, or preference, or taste, OF COURSE we should let our children form their own thoughts! It's absurd for a parent to dictate what her child's favorite color is, or if he wants ketchup with his fries, or whether she thinks modern dance is weird or beautiful (it's weird. Definitely. ).
However, would it be absurd for a parent to say:
-no, you cannot declare that 5 is more than 60
-you shouldn't believe that white people are smarter than everyone else
-yes, a girl can be a pilot
-no, you cannot run around this restaurant like you're in a park. Sit here at this table and eat your dinner quietly
-no, you cannot decide that you don't want your MMR vaccination
Certainly not! In fact, parents SHOULD be saying those things to their children.
It's a peculiar double standard that atheists typically demonstrate when it comes to religion. Most atheists accept and extol the truths of science. They don't see the truths professed in the scientific world as "dogmas", nor do they see it as a form of brainwashing to tell their children: "70% of the Earth's surface is covered in water".
No atheistic parent would tell her son: "Yes, Damien, you can form your own opinion about whether $1 is equal to 100 pennies or equal to 50 pennies. It's up to you!"
Yet, curiously, any truths of a religious nature are relegated to the arena of brainwashing and forcing one's opinion upon our children.
One has to wonder why this hypocrisy is permitted in their minds....
Finally, it should be noted that the meme itself seems to contradict its own message. For is it not a form of brainwashing to tell people, "Let your children form their own damn opinions"?