O_O That was quite a read lol.Dorato: I've been following the case... :/
My 12 year old cousin just told me that men rule, women obey.
It's an interesting situation. He comes from a very orthodox jewish family - one that doesn't believe in evolution, limits what the children are exposed to, including the internet (we're not allowed to mention how easy information is to access through it, for example), television, which books they read, all that jazz. He's a smart kid for his age - he can hold his own in a conversation amongst adults, he reads a lot, he's just utterly taken in with what he's been taught. And it's interesting to hear a statement like that coming out of a child's mouth (accompanied with declarations that Carbon Dating is just His way of testing us). My sister, a biology student in University, managed to get away with one family dinner discussing evolution and the like with him, gently challenging some of his presuppositions, but for the most part he remains within a close nit community, attending a similarly orthodox school. And we, in turn, follow his mother's guidelines on what to wear, what not to do, what not to leave around (there was originally guidelines on what topics to avoid, but my sister kind of stormed through it with her glass of wine fuelled discussion of survival of the fittest and carbon dating xD I don't believe his parents realised, though). We acknowledge their beliefs as different, don't necessarily agree with them, but in the end it's their beliefs, their choices, and we love them in any case.
The restrictions placed on what the children can access to, however, does bother me. Fair enough it's difficult having a relative, particularly your own child, who doesn't share your beliefs, particularly if your belief dictates that nonbelievers are doomed to eternal damnation - nevertheless cutting off your child's access to contrary beliefs and opinions is not only a doomed endeavour, a short term success, but one that breeds ignorance. Only having access to one side of the story robs the child of the ability to make his own decisions. But when it comes to the difficulty of this communal isolation being part of the belief (which I assume is at the heart of my aunts decisions, but I unfortunately don't know enough to be sure, so feel free to contradict me here - but certainly some strands of the anabaptists retreat from the 'taint' of the modern world as part of their belief systems), it falls into murkier waters - particularly in regards to the rights of the parents and the children themselves. How far does tolerance go? I don't believe anyone's beliefs should be forced upon others, and strongly support the secularisation of the state alongside the toleration and acceptance of a variety of different beliefs within a country - people should be able to live their lives as they wish without impinging upon the rights of others to do the same. In my cousin's case, I don't like how his parents have decided to lock-down on what he's exposed to, but as parents, they are within their rights (they're not harming him, and it's a doomed endeavour) to raise their children how they see fit - and the fact that my cousin /is/ smart, and that his older brother, despite growing up in the same environment, has been breaking from his parents hold a little to find things out for himself, offers hope for at least him having a more informed belief in the future. My sister and I will probably still try and engage him in the occasional conversation when we see him, because in the end it can't hurt for him to hear from a different point of view and we rarely see him as it is (we've met only three times during his life- and one of those times he was just 3 years old), but the experience has just given me something to think about.
My sweet sweet grandmother is also a devout nondenominational christian who also believes I'm going to go to hell if I don't believe. We haven't told her that my sister and I are atheists, because it would literally break her heart.
Wow, that was ramble-y, despite how long it took me to write - fail! Self-debating ftw.