AIG: How To Raise a Creationist Child

Do you remember the final paragraph, and the chilling final sentence, of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four? In case you’ve forgotten what happened to Winston Smith after betrayal, imprisonment, and brainwashing, here it is. We put the last sentence in bold:

He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark mustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

Keep that in mind as we talk about the latest post at Answers in Genesis (ol’ Hambo’s online ministry). The title is How Do I Know the Bible Is True? The author is Anita Mellott, of whom we never heard before. At the end of her article we’re told: “Her newest book — a devotional for homeschooling parents — releases this August. When she’s not homeschooling, Anita blogs at From the Mango Tree.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

A tear fell onto my Bible as I thought of my pre-teen daughter’s words and prayed for wisdom. At eight, she was voicing questions about faith. “How can a book written so long ago have anything to do with me today?” “How can I believe in a God I can’t see?”

Such behavior can’t be tolerated! That kid should be whipped, and reminded that if she doesn’t get her mind right, things will be infinitely worse in the Lake of Fire. That’s how a creationist parent should handle it. Let’s read on, to see what Anita did about her rebellious child:

The first time those words rolled off her lips, I thought my heart would shatter. How could my child be asking such questions? Aren’t we raising her to trust the Bible as her compass? Didn’t she accept Jesus as her Savior? Fear and anxiety preyed on my mind for months.

What agony Anita must have suffered! She continues:

Yet questions are natural and proper. As her questions have continued through the years, four important principles have helped my husband, Jim, and me.

We won’t drag you through the whole four-point program. Instead, we’ll just list those four principles, leaving it to you to click over there so you can absorb the details:

1. Prayer: … I began to pray for her like never before that she would know the Lord and grow strong in her own faith.

2. Open Communication: … We may not always know the answers, but we can provide Biblebased resources. Apologetics books or a visit to the Creation Museum, for example, can help children discover that Scripture is the trustworthy foundation for understanding all of life.

3. Modeling: Along with sharing God’s Word, we can focus on being good role models.

4. Trust: As parents, Jim and I tend the soil of our daughter’s heart by continuing to have family devotions, being open and honest, teaching her how to think biblically, and encouraging her in godly living.

Well, what were the results? In the final paragraph, Anita tells us what she achieved:

It’s been four years since our daughter first asked, “How do I know what I believe is true?” This year, as she has been reading more Bible-based apologetics books, God is answering our prayers and blessing our commitment to teach and show her the truth. Now she asks a different question: “How can people not know it’s true?”

Truly an inspirational tale. Perhaps it’s our Curmudgeonly nature, but we suspect there was more to it than that — much more. A healthy, rational mind can’t be broken that easily. But we’ll probably never know.

We conclude by paraphrasing Anita’s opening words: A tear fell onto the Curmudgeon’s copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four … .

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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15 responses to “AIG: How To Raise a Creationist Child

  1. Wow, that poor girl. Actually I was like that as a kid myself. I was 31 when it happened but I eventually beat the mental programming. Maybe she can to.

  2. Alas for Anita success is not guaranteed:

    Helpful as always as I am I’ll add point 5.
    Don’t send your kids to university. That’s the evil place where they learn to think for themselves.

  3. The kid was right the first time! I wish it were possible to do an interesting experiment: raise some children without any parental brainwashing about the sky fairy of the parents’ choice and see whether they thought there was one when they reached 20 years of age.

  4. This may be a little off topic, but I don’t how an adult who actually reads the Bible, would have such an adoring (I can’t this of any other word) approach to the Bible. There are some interesting stories, and some words of wisdom, but hugh parts of it are simply boring. There are some things which are simply bad. Other parts which are (sorry, this is the word) superficial. Enough things which even the Bible-enthusiasts have to make up excuses for. Some poetry which to me to be fine, some OK, and some forgettable. Anyone who wants to understand Western civilization will have to acquire some familiarity with it.

  5. Go to the Facebook pages of places like AIG, ICR and Living Waters and read the post after post filled with ignorance, paranoia, hatred and insanity and then realize that these screeds were almost all written by adults with children. Imagine the indoctrination those children are going through living with and being raised by these demented people. Imagine the fear they experience being told if they stray even the slightest from Christian fundamentalism they will be tortured for all eternity.

    When these children grow up some will come to the realization they were raised by psychopaths and try to overcome it and lead a normal life even if it means becoming estranged from their parents. However, many will simply perpetuate the cycle with their own unfortunate children.

    Even though these AIG type of people may not be politically engaged like the Discoveroids, who threaten everyone’s way of life, they still cause immense human suffering and need to be opposed.

  6. waldteufel

    Well said, Dr. Kennedy.

  7. What a great analogy, SC. Kudos.

  8. waldteufel

    I always zoom in to read a creationist claim that the bible is inerrant. This puff piece written by the most unctuous Anita Mellott was a huge disappointment, in that she offered not a scintilla of evidence or purported evidence of biblical veracity. She offered only the usual AiG-friendly sop and swill that seems to flow so naturally from god-soaked fools. Her piece, from that standpoint, was what I call a “chuckler”.

    I was raised by such a mother, but managed to break intellectually free at a relatively young age. I hope Anita’s daughter manages to do that as well.
    Over and over again, Christians make it obvious that for them, independent thought may well be among the worst sins of all.

  9. @TomS: I’m pretty sure that most of the adults with “an adoring” approach to the bible haven’t read most of it. I grew up in a Protestant family, and, as far as I know, I’m the only one that ever read the thing straight through, end to end. I think that most people get “selected” readings at church services, or from some bible study mailings. That’s one of the reasons why most xians don’t know that there are two distinctly different tales of the birth of Jesus, not to mention two (at least) of the creation and two or three versions of the 10 commandments. It was reading the whole thing that convinced me that it was largely a collection of myths borrowed from other groups and, with few exceptions, pretty poor literature compared to, say War and Peace. I suspect that if more xians actually read the bible, there would be many more atheists!

  10. I’m going to pray that this young girl lives a long, productive, happy life surrounded by those she loves, but innoculated against the fear, ignorance, sanctimony, and arrogance that is inherent in religious fundamentalism.

    That’s how prayer works, right?

  11. Open Communication and Trust are supposed to be two-way streets. Most fundies have serious problems with these. When their kids start to doubt they will shout them down and mistrust them.

  12. Anita Mellott’s four-point recipe for indoctrinating a defenceless minor includes—

    4. Trust: … teaching her how to think biblically …”

    Ignoring the obvious oxymoron that is “think biblically”, the above-cited directive is really the, er, crux of the whole matter. Anita and John would no doubt be deeply offended by any suggestion that they are actively and quite deliberately hobbling their daughter’s critical faculties, and are therefore engaged in a form of child abuse. As Loyola pointed out, the belief patterns and thinking habits cemented in a mind before the age of seven are by far the hardest to change. Anita and John will insist that it is their right to raise their child as they see fit, which suggests that there may be something missing in what’s permissible re child rearing, notwithstanding the anathema of state interference in religious matters. Anita and John will similarly reject any proposal that they should defer marinating their child’s brain in god sauce until the child is old enough, say 12 or 16 — a sort of prohibition on exposure as is the case with porn, alcohol and nicotine.

  13. Ted Herrlich

    @abeastwood: I did that and I ended up with two daughters who not only doesn’t go to church and, shockingly to most believers, have no criminal records. They also do not do drugs, doesn’t party all the time, and are not promiscuous — at least not what I would consider promiscuous. They works hard, has a working brain, a bit of a sarcastic sense of humor, and can tear down to the heart of an argument in very few words. In other words I am proud of them. The younger one is also raising a daughter in much the same way, including the sarcastic sense of humor 🙂

    One gave the religious route a try when a couple of her friends went down that road — but it raised more unanswered questions than it answered. In the end she dropped it when they started pressuring her to not only formally join but have her parents and her sister start coming to their weekly meetings. Item one on their ‘discussion’ about joining was when were her parents going to start joining her and how much she would be able to tithe. They were also interested in what I did for a living and how much money I made. Yea, religion is all about spiritual matters! LOL.

  14. Ted Herrlich

    In my opinion, children should be sheltered from any religious indoctrination until they are legally adults. There are a great many laws protecting kids from any number of things . . . yet we permit brainwashing?

  15. Quoth Jesus: “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me.”

    Hook ’em while they’re young.