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Sunday, October 08, 2006

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Vera

Very interesting.

I went to Christian camps from middle school through college, and even though I don't have the same views now as I did then, I still remember the happy times I had then as well as the considerable kindess I was shown.

While I'm all about freedom of expression, I would be very careful about bashing groups of people simply for bashing's sake.

Janet Edens

It would be interesting to see how many of those kids went on to adulthood with such beliefs intact. In this country, you can scarely help being exposed to other viewpoints. Our national culture is messy, diverse and hard to escape.

There are costs to anyone who rejects the prevailing values and beliefs of their particular world, but in America (so far anyway) the political, economic and social punishments are not quite as harsh as in other places.

And, as John points out, we all indoctrinate our kids with our own beliefs, to some extent. It's what we do as parents. I don't want anyone interfering in the beliefs I give my kids, even if that means I squirm a little when I see what others are teaching theirs.

That's the cost of a free society: Living with viewpoints you find personally distasteful. To me, extremes teach the value of the middle. No matter which side of the see-saw you're on, you can't demand the other guy get off without some consequences.

ben

A nice, thoughtful review.

I grew up evangelical and remained that way well into adulthood. In fact, I probably self-identified as evangelical (though very moderate-to-liberal) as recently as four years ago. Ironically, it was a seminary degree that really broke me of it.

At least in my experience, fundamentalist parents must hope their kids never go to college, or at least never study the Bible academically. Such study doesn't "disprove" Christianity, but it does make literalist understandings of the Bible seem implausible, if not ridiculous.

But, in agreement with everyone else, I find the smarmy, liberal "aren't-these-rednecks-dumb" approach narrow, unhelpful and annoying.

I have been to these camps, I have prayed in evangelical ways, and I have even raised my hands while singing (though I felt reallly self-conscious). And yet I didn't grow up to hate gay people or close my mind off from modern thought.

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