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On Catechism

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From Jacinda's post today on Catechism (emphasis is mine):

Charity's not quite two, but she's already learning about God's plan of Redemption. She may not understand why we ask her these questions or what the answers mean yet, but one day we hope it will all make sense to her and that she'll have the confidence to share a reformed view of the Christian faith with others.

Did anyone else go through this kind of thing as a child? I remember being in an after-school bible study group that was facilitated by the room moms at my elementary school. The "cool kids" all went on Tuesdays so my brother and I wanted to attend with our friends, even though we were raised in a nonreligious home. Maybe my third or fourth session the group talked about being saved and the instructor told all the kids that if they weren't saved they were going to Hell. Literal Hell, fire and brimstone and all that jazz. So basically, they scared all of the kids there into being saved/accepting Christ, although I don't think many of us really knew what it meant (My brother and I sure didn't). I cried the whole walk home that day because my brother and I were surely going to Hell. And we weren't toddlers, we were in second and fourth grade and had a much higher understanding than a two year old would.

The whole thing reeks of brainwashing and makes me sad for her children and the confusion and fear they're going to feel as they grow up.

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Gee, I guess I got it all wrong in my devout-Catholic days. When my daughter was "not quite two," her religious formation consisted of a simple grace before meals, a bedtime "Thank you, Jesus" prayer, and an introduction to the baby Jesus statue in the church Nativity scene.

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Oh yes. We were trained like little monkeys. I think the idea was that if they stuff our heads full of the 'right answers', we'd swallow them and not ask questions later.

I can still regurgitate great chunks of the Heidelberg Catechism on demand.

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