We're Staying, We're Praying; Get Used to It

There are three kinds of faith: faith in God, faith in oneself, and faith in life. Think of these as building blocks. When the United States was founded, the big block on the bottom of the pile was faith in God. However, something happened through the course of American history: The blocks got restacked, and faith in self, or egocentrism, settled into the first position. Faith in self is very important, but it makes a poor foundation because it is not a perception of perfection. And the ego is shifty, so the other blocks tend to become unstable or fall off. As egocentrism became foundational, the spiritual and moral belief systems of our society turned upside-down. Day became night, dark became light, and the unthinkable became commonplace.

Every society commits some form of religious persecution because there are always weak-minded people who see their neighbor's pile and become jealous or fearful. Historically, such persecution has been carried out through discrimination, torture, and killing. The sallow, dark-robed inquisitors still gather in strange places like California and the ACLU to consolidate power and harass nonbelievers, but their methods have changed. They include actual and threatened legal prosecution, compulsory reeducation in state-approved spiritual and moral systems, ignoring or distorting science, and rejecting the Constitution. Two recent cases illustrate these tactics in action.

In December 2009, parents in Alameda, California were denied the right to opt their children out of a pro-gay curriculum, regardless of their beliefs and faith. Alameda Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch made the ruling despite the fact that California voters have repeatedly rejected same-sex marriage. The curriculum, "LGBT Lesson #9," spans kindergarten through fifth grade and teaches progressively detailed lessons in topics such as how to view same-sex marriage and child acquisition in a positive light. This mandatory curriculum may be exposing children to psychological injuries. There is no research into the long-term effects of pro-gay indoctrination in the schools because until now it has been unthinkable. However, a comprehensive knowledge base about the suggestibility and cognitive features of children who may have been abused [i] can help us understand the possible harm to children indoctrinated into belief systems that contradict those of their parents.

A form of mental conditioning called stereotype inducement occurs when a child is led to believe that someone or something is good or bad without any understanding of why. Young children are especially vulnerable to stereotype inducement: They will repress, deny, misremember their own experiences, or make things up to reinforce the induced stereotype and ensure the approval of the adults inducing it. What will be the effects as these induced stereotypes enter the imagination and play of children, especially when other trusted adults contradict them? How does this curriculum affect a child's capacity to recognize abuse? The Alameda schools did not consider, or even acknowledge, these questions. Stereotype inducement can be a misuse of faith in God; in this case, it is a tactic of egocentrist spirituality.

Religious wars are persistent because recruitment starts at birth. The Alameda schools are conscripting children into a spiritual and moral conflict that, like the pro-life/pro-choice question, can only intensify through the years because it is a clash between basic understandings of human possibility. The Alameda schools are implying to children of traditional faith that Mommy and Daddy, Nana and Grampie, pastor, priest, and imam are mean and wrong. Research regarding the long-term effects of divorce on children is also relevant here. The LGBT curriculum fosters irresolvable conflicts between children and traditional religious communities on one side and public schools on the other. Children in the middle of these inescapable conflicts develop "the child's divorce." They reject themselves and each other. Mainstream psychology has shown no inclination to address these kinds of issues because their research is committed to normalizing homosexuality, at least for OPCs (other people's children).

In another recent case, the ACLU brought several criminal and civil prosecutions for Christian expression against employees of the Santa Rosa School District in Florida's panhandle. One of the cases was a civil contempt prosecution of administrative assistant Michelle Winkler. The ACLU alleged that Mrs. Winkler violated an agreement banning employees from promoting religion or praying at school functions. Mrs. Winkler had asked her husband (not a school district employee) to say a blessing during an Employee of the Year ceremony held at a nearby naval base. After a seven-and-a-half hour trial, she was found not guilty. Before the awards ceremony, Mrs. Winkler wrote:

I'm still on, and be unfearful of the current events, with your 'off the record' permission, I would like to use the prayer that I had prayed about and received from God and will suffer whatever consequences for. I cannot be silent as God is my very life and Christ is who I am. [ii]

It may be that the group that has benefited most from the First Amendment is not pornographers, but Christians. Before America was founded, European Christianity was often warlike and political. Without the First Amendment, and as the dominant religion, Christians could have waged war on or persecuted religious minorities. The First Amendment, by removing the promise of statist gain or the fear of public punishment from individual faith, prevented those abuses from becoming a major theme in American history. The First Amendment has freed religious people to find whatever they are looking for in their religions. For example, Christianity was used as a pretext for slavery, but it also provided the most radical abolitionists -- who were instrumental in ending slavery. For those looking for political power or justification for the new moral entitlements, Christianity is available, as seen in the recent reorientation of many churches. It enabled Bishop Gene Robinson at the Obama Inauguration to address "the God of our understanding," which is the perfect summation of egocentrist theism.

Perhaps most importantly, the First Amendment purified Christianity, opening the way for ordinary people to experience the attainment of the saints of the past: "Christ is who I am." That self-identification cannot be coerced. It is, however, subversive to the new power elites, and it kindles persecution. As the new subversives, "God-Firsters" should use social science to protect their children and themselves, demand First Amendment rights, and tell the world, "We're staying, we're praying; get used to it!"

_____________________________________________

References

[i] Bruck, M., Ceci, M. J., & Hembrooke, H. (1998). Reliability and credibility of young children's reports: from research to policy and practice.  American Psychologist, 53(2), 136-151.

[ii] http://www.northescambia.com/?p=10342
There are three kinds of faith: faith in God, faith in oneself, and faith in life. Think of these as building blocks. When the United States was founded, the big block on the bottom of the pile was faith in God. However, something happened through the course of American history: The blocks got restacked, and faith in self, or egocentrism, settled into the first position. Faith in self is very important, but it makes a poor foundation because it is not a perception of perfection. And the ego is shifty, so the other blocks tend to become unstable or fall off. As egocentrism became foundational, the spiritual and moral belief systems of our society turned upside-down. Day became night, dark became light, and the unthinkable became commonplace.

Every society commits some form of religious persecution because there are always weak-minded people who see their neighbor's pile and become jealous or fearful. Historically, such persecution has been carried out through discrimination, torture, and killing. The sallow, dark-robed inquisitors still gather in strange places like California and the ACLU to consolidate power and harass nonbelievers, but their methods have changed. They include actual and threatened legal prosecution, compulsory reeducation in state-approved spiritual and moral systems, ignoring or distorting science, and rejecting the Constitution. Two recent cases illustrate these tactics in action.

In December 2009, parents in Alameda, California were denied the right to opt their children out of a pro-gay curriculum, regardless of their beliefs and faith. Alameda Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch made the ruling despite the fact that California voters have repeatedly rejected same-sex marriage. The curriculum, "LGBT Lesson #9," spans kindergarten through fifth grade and teaches progressively detailed lessons in topics such as how to view same-sex marriage and child acquisition in a positive light. This mandatory curriculum may be exposing children to psychological injuries. There is no research into the long-term effects of pro-gay indoctrination in the schools because until now it has been unthinkable. However, a comprehensive knowledge base about the suggestibility and cognitive features of children who may have been abused [i] can help us understand the possible harm to children indoctrinated into belief systems that contradict those of their parents.

A form of mental conditioning called stereotype inducement occurs when a child is led to believe that someone or something is good or bad without any understanding of why. Young children are especially vulnerable to stereotype inducement: They will repress, deny, misremember their own experiences, or make things up to reinforce the induced stereotype and ensure the approval of the adults inducing it. What will be the effects as these induced stereotypes enter the imagination and play of children, especially when other trusted adults contradict them? How does this curriculum affect a child's capacity to recognize abuse? The Alameda schools did not consider, or even acknowledge, these questions. Stereotype inducement can be a misuse of faith in God; in this case, it is a tactic of egocentrist spirituality.

Religious wars are persistent because recruitment starts at birth. The Alameda schools are conscripting children into a spiritual and moral conflict that, like the pro-life/pro-choice question, can only intensify through the years because it is a clash between basic understandings of human possibility. The Alameda schools are implying to children of traditional faith that Mommy and Daddy, Nana and Grampie, pastor, priest, and imam are mean and wrong. Research regarding the long-term effects of divorce on children is also relevant here. The LGBT curriculum fosters irresolvable conflicts between children and traditional religious communities on one side and public schools on the other. Children in the middle of these inescapable conflicts develop "the child's divorce." They reject themselves and each other. Mainstream psychology has shown no inclination to address these kinds of issues because their research is committed to normalizing homosexuality, at least for OPCs (other people's children).

In another recent case, the ACLU brought several criminal and civil prosecutions for Christian expression against employees of the Santa Rosa School District in Florida's panhandle. One of the cases was a civil contempt prosecution of administrative assistant Michelle Winkler. The ACLU alleged that Mrs. Winkler violated an agreement banning employees from promoting religion or praying at school functions. Mrs. Winkler had asked her husband (not a school district employee) to say a blessing during an Employee of the Year ceremony held at a nearby naval base. After a seven-and-a-half hour trial, she was found not guilty. Before the awards ceremony, Mrs. Winkler wrote:

I'm still on, and be unfearful of the current events, with your 'off the record' permission, I would like to use the prayer that I had prayed about and received from God and will suffer whatever consequences for. I cannot be silent as God is my very life and Christ is who I am. [ii]

It may be that the group that has benefited most from the First Amendment is not pornographers, but Christians. Before America was founded, European Christianity was often warlike and political. Without the First Amendment, and as the dominant religion, Christians could have waged war on or persecuted religious minorities. The First Amendment, by removing the promise of statist gain or the fear of public punishment from individual faith, prevented those abuses from becoming a major theme in American history. The First Amendment has freed religious people to find whatever they are looking for in their religions. For example, Christianity was used as a pretext for slavery, but it also provided the most radical abolitionists -- who were instrumental in ending slavery. For those looking for political power or justification for the new moral entitlements, Christianity is available, as seen in the recent reorientation of many churches. It enabled Bishop Gene Robinson at the Obama Inauguration to address "the God of our understanding," which is the perfect summation of egocentrist theism.

Perhaps most importantly, the First Amendment purified Christianity, opening the way for ordinary people to experience the attainment of the saints of the past: "Christ is who I am." That self-identification cannot be coerced. It is, however, subversive to the new power elites, and it kindles persecution. As the new subversives, "God-Firsters" should use social science to protect their children and themselves, demand First Amendment rights, and tell the world, "We're staying, we're praying; get used to it!"

_____________________________________________

References

[i] Bruck, M., Ceci, M. J., & Hembrooke, H. (1998). Reliability and credibility of young children's reports: from research to policy and practice.  American Psychologist, 53(2), 136-151.

[ii] http://www.northescambia.com/?p=10342