"Get 'em while they're young" is the most effective conversion tactic ever used by Christoid cultists. I experienced this tactic firsthand by my own grandparents who began my indoctrination into Christianity since before I can remember. If authority figures tell your young 6 year old self that Jesus is real and that Big Brother is watching your every move (alongside Santa Claus maybe?), what reason do you have not to believe them? Children rely on authority figures for almost everything, and the younger they are, the more they rely on authority figures.
In fact, a main cause of friction between children and parents as they age is the child's growing independence. That is why it's so important to get kids into Jesus at a young age. The younger the child being brainwashed, the more they will rely on their faith as a foundation for their worldview.
Here is a snip of David Byrne's review:
Right wing political agendas and slogans are mixed with born again rituals that end with most of the kids in tears. Tears of release and joy, they would claim — the children are not physically abused. The kids are around 9 or 10 years old, recruited from various churches, and are pliant willing receptacles. They are instructed that evolution is being forced upon us by evil Godless secular humanists, that abortion must be stopped at all costs, that we must form an "army" to defeat the Godless influences, that we must band together to insure that the right judges and politicians get into the courts and office and that global warming is a lie.
Naturally, the kids being so young, there is no questioning of any kind — they simply accept what grownups Fischer and the others say — they get pumped up, agitated, they memorize right wing and Jesus slogans and shout them back obediently. They become part of a support group — a warm, safe, comfortable feeling for anyone, for any social animal, for you and me.
Scary shit. I am glad though that these kinds of activities are attracting the attention of rational adults like David Byrne, and that these kinds of activities are more controversial than they would have been 50 years ago.
PZ Myers has a rather interesting take on how to treat religion:
Maybe we should start treating religion the way we do sex: it isn't discussed in front of the kids, we have committees and institutions that police the media to block access to it, the government works hard to dun fear and contempt of it into young kids' school curricula so that they don't monkey with it until they're at least in their late teens. It seems to me that if we're able to slap sex with the label of shame for so long, without actually destroying the ability of most kids to eventually enthusiastically participate in it, it ought to be possible and fair to do the same with religion, right? We could also treat people who expose kids to Catholicism or Islam or Scientology as disgusting perverts who deserve to be sent to jail, and put them on police lists that are distributed to neighborhoods.
I'm all for it. Let's make religion something in which mature adults can consensually revel, but that we keep away from the kiddies…until they're old enough to manage the responsibility. Sounds fair? I'm sure, though, that that is the last thing the pious would want to do: remove the kids from their oily, sanctimonious grasp, and religion would die back in a few generations to a low level eccentricity held by a small fraction of the population—and those few believers would all be idiosyncratic, and not at all in thrall to the big money institutions of modern religion.
Good idea. While I am an anarchist and totally against the state in all ways shapes and forms, if the state exists today, we might as well get it to work for us, right? Or at least make it consistent in its application of force. I think the Bible has more descriptions of sex than your average issue of Playboy Magazine, and more violence in it than Saving Private Ryan. So why not get the state to regulate the Bible the same way that it regulates porn? In fact, I bet that Pornography is less damaging to children's minds than the Bible is! No Penthouse video with double penetration scenes will tell you that you will go to Hell if you don’t believe Jenna Jameson to be the messiah. No Penthouse video with a sloppy, slurpy oral sex sequence will tell you that you were born a sinning worthless wretch! No Penthouse video ever simulates a pair of daughters having sex with their father! Even hardcore porn has decency standards that the Bible walks all over!
Religious people would obviously never let that happen, because PZ Myers is right. If we kept religion away from kids like we keep sex away from them, then the percentage of faith in the general population would plummet faster than Satan falling into Hell. Within a few generations, Christianity and indeed all theism would be placed in the loony bin file right next to those Kool-Aid drinking comet chasers. Which is where it belongs, by the way.
Oh those poor kids. I can only pray (hahaha) that they will be able to open their eyes as they get older, think for themselves, and remove the yoke of religion from their minds. Unfortunately, going from Jesus lover to freedom lover is a rather emotionally painful process.
It's tough to accept that everything you were taught to believe by the adults that you loved and trusted is a lie. It's tough to accept self-responsibility after spending your whole life with the emotional comfort of having a cosmic Big Brother who gave you a free pass to eternal bliss for all your faults just for submitting to Him. Its difficult to accept that you are indeed a good person - not born a guilty evil wretch - especially after your parents, friends, and family members convinced you that you were. It is difficult to get through the pain of realizing that you were deceived and hurt by the ones you loved, and the ones who raised you. And it's also very difficult to come to terms with the fact that while you managed to open your eyes and break the spell, the friends and family that you love are still trapped by it.
While I like David's review of the film, there is one small problem with his closing remarks:
When one sees religion perverted — in the U.S. or in Israel, Pakistan, Afghanistan or India, one wonders if the spiritual seeds, planted by visionaries and enlightened prophets like Jesus, Mohammed, Marx and others, are just too volatile for large societies to deal with.
No David, my friend. All religion is perverted. That line should read "When one sees perverted religion..." but then it would merely be redundant, wouldn't it?