There Are Some Things That Shouldn’t Be Censored
Censorship means different things to different people. Censorship means to edit or to suppress something that is harmful or obscene. We can all agree that there are standards of propriety (what those standards should be is controversial), but we don’t all agree on what SHOULD be censored.
Censorship is a word that provokes anxiety. Even those who think that censorship can be harmful don’t believe that there should NEVER be censorship. There aren’t many progressive activists that want to show snuff films to children, for example. On the other hand, there are millions of Evangelicals who would like to see pornography banned and a less overt presentation of sexuality in film and television. They don’t, however, believe that bloodied photos of aborted fetuses should be censored when shown to little children. Indoctrination of children is a key part of the Evangelical recruitment model. And it is very effective in perpetuating the disease.
Jesus Loves All The Little Children of the World…
Parents practice censorship with their children everyday. They control what their kids watch, who they can be friends with, what school they go to, etc. Many Evangelical parents choose to send their kids to Christian private schools instead of public schools. Reasons may include a belief that the student body and environment are more wholesome or that the quality of education is better. Quite often, the aim is to shield children from the ‘harmful’ outside influences of secular America.
Raised in the Bubble
The Evangelical parents cry out for prayer to be put back into schools and for evolution to be taken out of textbooks. This is the ultimate form of censorship. Of all the things to censor, an education should not be one of them. A good analogy to illustrate Christian education is a grown panther, raised from birth in a zoo, then set free in the jungle. The cat has only been around other panthers in a controlled environment. It doesn’t know how to hunt. It doesn’t know the calls or signals of possible friends or foes. It hasn’t endured monsoons or droughts. It doesn’t know to defend itself, much less thrive in the jungle. This is the metaphorical path of the Evangelical parent who chooses to send their child to a Christian school.
Some Christian denominations are weary even of sending their children to a school operated by another denomination. Evangelicals have reservations about Catholic institutions. Some denominations, such as Seventh-day Adventism strongly discourage placing children in any “non-Adventist” educational setting. In situations like these, the censorship becomes extreme, to the point of parody. Anxiety over differences of theological minutia are blown out of proportion. The level of conformity and homogeneity that Evangelical parents of this ilk demand is ridiculous. The thought of their child being exposed to doctrines of other sister denominations is too traumatic for them. They interpret the “straight and narrow path” like they do the rest of the Bible: literally and without context. People like this are more than just xenophobic. They’re virtually misanthropic. They’re woefully skeptical of anyone that’s not part of the cult, not part of the remnant. They hold the truth, after all…
In Christian schools, evolution is taught as an “alternative perspective,” much like how White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway likes to provide alternative facts in debates. Creation “Science” is taught as the primary view and children learn that carbon-dating is pseudoscience and that the Earth is six thousand years old. Global warming is not viewed as an issue because God wouldn’t let man destroy his creation.
We live in a post-truth world, where people get to decide what they believe about the world around them based on their own identity, not empirical evidence. This approach is dangerous. It teaches children to demonize science whenever the facts threaten their way of life or their understanding of reality. It teaches children to ignore science and to ignore truth. Al Gore’s 2005 documentary An Inconvenient Truth has a name that is no longer applicable. There is no inconvenient truth anymore. Facts that are not convenient are simply ignored. Christian schools lay the framework for this type of willful ignorance and intellectual arrogance.
Christian schools are generally much smaller than their public counterparts and their diversity varies based on region. Growing up in the Christian bubble doesn’t shield children from counterproductive influences or set them up for success later in life. It cripples them. Children in this environment are rarely exposed to competing ideologies or viewpoints. They are less equipped to interact with a diverse, global community. Public education forces people of varying backgrounds and viewpoints together. This teaches children how to function in a heterogenous world where people have different viewpoints, different backgrounds and different religions. Christian education provides a homogenous environment and, not surprisingly, prepares them for a homogenous world. It doesn’t teach them to be curious about other viewpoints, it causes them to shy back into their bubble, away from other different, scary viewpoints. It teaches children to view the world through a black and white lens of “us versus them.” Children, who are raised in these concentration camps of the soul, aren’t interested in anyone else’s viewpoint because they’re not taught to be open minded. They’re taught that they have the truth, and everyone else is going to burn in hell.
Education in the United States is under attack. The billionaire Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos is on a mission to privatize every aspect of public education. She aligns with the borrowers and enacts policies that prey on vulnerable students with loans. She strives to funnel federal funds via voucher programs to charter schools where standards of accountability are reduced or non-existent. When children go to school with people exactly like them and no one else, they are not equipped to partner and unite with the rest of society and the world. Instead, they are bread to demonize anyone who is the least bit different than them. Christian education is not just a poor parenting choice. It’s child abuse. It’s the rape of a child’s mind and its offspring is ignorance, prejudice and hubris.