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September 22, 2002

Vaccinating for Lunacy

For months now, since Ngnat started walking, every Saturday the sainted wife has paused at some point in the day, looked at me and said, "We ought to go to church tomorrow."

And I have said "Of course, dear.", safe in the knowledge that this essentially shy woman will get cold feet come Sunday morning and not make me go.

Today she had her foot warmers on, so off we went. I don't mind, too much. We know several other married with tots couples that attend the same church, so it wasn't like we'd be complete strangers. We both grew up Methodist, so there's no friction in picking a denomination. That's good, because I consider Methodism the cowpox of religions. Once you've been exposed to it, you're more or less immune to the others.

In my youth, I made up a chart of religious thought, probably while I was supposed to be listening to the sermon.

At the top, under the label Mostly Harmless: Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Jews, Anglicans

Slightly Suspect: Some Baptists and Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists, Mennonites, The various Orthodox churches

Think For Me Please: Most Baptists and Catholics

Raving Lunatics: Everyone else

I still consider it pretty accurate, though more as a description of the various sects and denominations as a whole than of specific individuals, unless it's a specific individual that has knocked on my front door asking me to be saved or to read their pamphlets. I apologize if your particular belief system didn't make the list. Actually, it probably did make the list, just at the bottom. :) I wasn't trying to be comprehensive at the time.

The above is mostly a roundabout way of explaining that I knew we'd eventually have to go to church, if only to expose Ngnat to the Methodist meme. It's just my bad luck that it requires a weekly booster shot for about 18 years to be effective.

Not going to church runs the risk that Ngnat would eventually encounter one of the more virulent religious memes, like Scientology or Islam, and succumb to them, having no internal religious database to draw on in order to counter their arguments. Not every child of agnostics or atheists becomes a John Walker Lindh, but I think one good way to prevent your child from seeking out crazed value systems later in life is to provide them with one of your own choosing when they're young. That way, when they need to rebel against something later on in life, there's something to push against. JW Lindh couldn't find any traction in his parent's world, so he provided some of his own. We all know how well that turned out. If by going to church for a hour every week prevents that from happening to Ngnat, great. If it prevents her from becoming a fundie Southern Baptist, that's even better.

Posted by Bigwig at September 22, 2002 03:37 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
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