Religion

The Libertarian Case for Public Schools

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The British contrarian Brendan O'Neill, having recently made the anti-imperialist case against Israel-bashing and the anti-Thatcherite case against free milk for schoolchildren, now makes the skeptics' case for religious schools:

"It saddens and hurts me that the two young men whom I raised to believe in the Ten Commandments have returned to me as two thieves with filthy mouths and bad attitudes."

As someone who attended faith schools from the ages of four to 18—and also a faith nursery, faith youth clubs, faith swimming lessons, faith teenybopper discos, faith football matches and faith outings to the seaside—I find the commentariat's fear of these institutions fascinating. Nothing freaks out today's privately educated ragers against religion quite as much as a school where the teachers talk to the children about God. They need to calm down, because the real secret about faith schools, the hidden truth, is that they more often produce intellectual sceptics than mental slaves….

[W]ere we Pope-fearin' Stepford kids? Far from it. Me and a friend beheaded a statue of St Vincent de Paul. The school Bibles were awash with cartoon penises sticking out of Jesus of Nazareth's smock and speech bubbles above the apostles' heads saying 'I am gay'. In flagrant defiance of priestly teachings, a legend scrawled on the walls of the boys' toilet said: 'Wanking is evil / Evil is a sin / Sins are forgiven / So get stuck in.' In their own little way, those four lines pose a serious theological challenge to the many contradictions of the Catholic faith.

What the faith-school fearers forget is that, yes, 12-, 13-, 14- and 15-year-olds are wet behind the ears and sometimes dumb, but they also don't believe everything they are told. They are developing a sceptical streak, which in 13-year-old boys might express itself crudely in the agonising cry 'What do you mean I can't masturbate?!', but which nonetheless speaks to an inner questioning of supposed big truths. When a teen is told that everything from bodily pleasure to playground arguments to wanting to be super-wealthy is sinful, he will instinctively recognise a contradiction between his desires and what is expected of him. This often leads, not to brainwashing, but to an instinct to 'kick against the pricks' (to quote Acts, chapter 9, verse 5).

There's more to the article, including a libertarian defense of parental rights and a reassurance to liberal readers that parochial schools these days "teach far less of that anti-sex, pro-God stuff and much more of 'mankind's a rotter for wrecking the environment, multiculturalism rules, the key lesson of the Holocaust is "don't bully Johnny", you shouldn't eat chips', and so on and so on." ("I just hope," he adds, that "the kids one day do to their recycling bins what I did to St Vincent de Paul.") But O'Neill's main argument is that religious schools are the best recruiters that skepticism has ever had. "Everyone I know who attended a Catholic school," he writes, "is now an atheist, an agnostic, a lapsed Catholic or a pretend Catholic (someone who attends Mass only so that his or her child will get into a Catholic school, hilariously giving rise to fake-faith schools). Meanwhile, it is often the trendily and liberally educated who later in life most feverishly embrace New Ageism, Buddhism Lite or end-of-the-world environmentalism. Suckers. Some of us had done that whole finding God and losing Him again by the time we were halfway through puberty."

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  1. He forgot to add that without Catholic Schools, we wouldn’t have Catholic Schoolgirl uniforms. Wha a sad, empty world that would be.

    1. I think that you missed a step there, Abdul. Without Catholic Schools, we wouldn’t have had Catholic School girls.

      1. Zappa, of course – (with Dale Bozzio singing background).

        1. Man, we need Frank back.

          1. And for more than just his music. I read the Playboy interview he did before he died, and he talked about how government should get out of people’s way, the need for a smaller defense, etc. Definite small “l”.

            1. He called himself a “practical conservative.” When he made some noises about running for president in the early ’90s, some people from the LP had a meeting with him. Nothing came of it — apparently his eyes glazed over when they started talking about the Federal Reserve.

              1. …apparently his eyes glazed over when they started talking about the Federal Reserve.

                Libertarian circular firing squad. Seriously, they must have known which topics would interest him and which ones wouldn’t.

              2. He was a very smart guy. Too bad he died young. There were a few 60s early 70s counter culture people who really were in it because they wanted freedom. He was one of them.

            2. Yeah, that’s what I meant. Imagine him going on one of the media talking head shows today and doing what he did on Crossfire? Awesome.

              1. His bitch slap of the PMRC was pretty memorable, too.

              2. I do not know how Zappa kept his cool without drugs. The meddling twerp in the glasses needs violence done to him, badly.

                1. He revealed his own fascist impulses.

              3. Imagine him going on one of the media talking head shows today and doing what he did on Crossfire? Awesome.

                He said a Reagan lead Nazi theocracy was the biggest threat to America….

                I think i hated everyone in that video…including Zappa…and arguably Novak looked like the most reasonable. Terrible.

            3. I read the Playboy interview he did before he died,

              As opposed to the one he did after he died…. :-p

              1. They teach the interview he gave after he died in religious schools.

      2. …or Catholic High School Girls in Trouble.

        “Susan, this is Nancy. Nancy, this is Susan.”

      3. Ken Mehlman called me first and said he liked it when adult men wore the uniforms.

        No homo.

      4. I’m thinking some of the boys were wearing those short plaid skirts

      5. No Episiarch, there is a big difference between liking Catholic School uniforms and liking Catholic School girls. I think it is about 20 to 50 years without the chance of parole.

    2. I’m on that train

    3. Though in the UK, school uniforms are the norm, not the exception.

      But I totally agree. I would even pass a bill without reading it if it said that there would be more Catholic schoolgirl uniforms.

  2. I take offense to this guy even making this argument. Who cares what religious schools do and do not do. It is the parents and the parents business alone what schools they send their kids to. The argument seems to be that we should like religious schools because the kids turn out to be atheists anyway. That may or may not be true. But I refuse to even start the argument. If the schools turned every kid into Mel Gibson Catholics, it will still none of this guy’s or anyone else business where parents sent their kids to school.

    1. John, the entire (linked)article is a defense of parochial education against the rabid atheism of someone like Dawkins, and the rights of parents to send their kids where they wish.

      He’s just refuting the claims, of some, that religious schools are nothing more than brainwashing factories for malleable youths.

      Also, I think that the article was meant to be lighthearted and anecdotal, not argumentative.

      1. I know. And Dawkins is one of the world’s first class assholes and true enemy of personal freedom. I hate to give that turd enough credit to even engage him on his own terms.

        1. Please provide a link to any occasion where Dawkins has recommended any state action against any believer anywhere.

          Thanks.

          1. I can’t recall him recommending state action, but I’ve heard him promote violence toward religious persons…hypocritically, to prevent religious violence.

            I don’t wanna go cruising youtube for a link, but it was on MSNBC about five years ago…I think when The God Delusion came out.

            1. OK, so that’s one “no link” post. Check.

              1. Fluffy,

                I wasn’t making the claim for which you demanded a link. And why would I waste my time tracking down a link for something so trivial?

          2. Dawkins has signed several petitions and said on numerous occasions that he thinks that it should be a crime for parents to raise their children in a particular religion.

            He advocates using the force of the state to determine what parents should be able to teach their children. That makes him a first class asshole and a enemy of freedom.

            If you won’t renounce Dawkins, you pretty much think anyone who happens to be an atheist is a worthy person.

              1. “The biologist Richard Dawkins was interviewed recently by the Irish journal, The Dubliner. In the article Professor Dawkins outlined his hatred for the Catholic Church. According to Dawkins the Catholic Church is ‘one of the forces for evil in the world.’ He finds the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church deplorable, but claims that such practices are ‘not so harmful as the grievous mental harm in bringing up a child Catholic in the first place.’ In other words, any parent who brings their child up as a faithful Catholic is worse than a paedophile.”

                http://www.dwightlongenecker.c…..awkins.asp

                The foundation will also conduct research into what makes some people more susceptible to religious ideas than others and whether young people are particularly vulnerable. And it will aim to “raise public consciousness” to make it unacceptable to refer to a “Catholic child” or a “Muslim child”; Professor Dawkins believes that “it is immoral to brand young children with the religion of their parents”.

                http://www.independent.co.uk/n…..26057.html

                Dawkins considers it “abuse” to bring a child up and teach them one religion. Now, he has never been honest enough to say that he thinks it should be a crime. But he considers it worse than being a pedophile. And last I looked he hasn’t called for decriminalizing child abuse. It is pretty obvious where he is going. He also wants to make compulsory education structured in such a way to debase children of religious beliefs as much as possible. He would pretty clearly ban religious schools if he could.

                He is just scum and a enemy of personal freedom and autonomy. I know he is on your team. And team means a lot to you fluffy. But you really would be better off not defending his totalitarian instincts.

              2. I am. My internet is slow and the god damed span filter just Killed off a post I spent ten minutes making.

            1. If you can document your claim, I would he happy to declare Dawkins an Enemy of Human Freedom.

              But “John says so” is just, you know, not a link.

              1. fuck the link, let’s go over his house and cut his dog’s throat and then burn it down with him in it.

            2. This is from the Independent. The fucking spam filter won’t take the link

              The foundation will also conduct research into what makes some people more susceptible to religious ideas than others and whether young people are particularly vulnerable. And it will aim to “raise public consciousness” to make it unacceptable to refer to a “Catholic child” or a “Muslim child”; Professor Dawkins believes that “it is immoral to brand young children with the religion of their parents”.

              The biologist Richard Dawkins was interviewed recently by the Irish journal, The Dubliner. In the article Professor Dawkins outlined his hatred for the Catholic Church. According to Dawkins the Catholic Church is ‘one of the forces for evil in the world.’ He finds the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church deplorable, but claims that such practices are ‘not so harmful as the grievous mental harm in bringing up a child Catholic in the first place.’ In other words, any parent who brings their child up as a faithful Catholic is worse than a paedophile.

              http://www.dwightlongenecker.c…..awkins.asp

              He has never been honest enough to come out and say it should be a crime. But he says it is worse than being a pedophile. And last I looked he had no plans to de-criminalize abuse. Further, Dawkins wants to close down all the religious schools and use compulsory public education as a tool to debase children of religious views taught by their parents. That is a pretty fucking scary use of government power.

              The guy is a authoritarian scum. I know he is on your team Fluffy. And for you team is all important. But you would do yourself a favor if you wouldn’t defend him. He is anything but a libertarian or any friend of liberty. Liberty means defending people’s right to be mistaken.

              1. Bravo, when they’re the only ones affected by the mistake. I’ll take your pablum seriously when I see the pics on your FB page of you sacrificing your kid for a principle.

              2. If you could document that he wants it to be a crime to raise your child in the Catholic faith, I would agree with you. But by your own admission he’s never done that. You’re trying to deduce that position from a hyperbolic statement exploiting the Church molestation scandal to denounce the church in general. That’s not really the same thing.

                If you could document that he wants to use state power to forcibly close all privately-funded religious schools, I would also agree with you. But you haven’t done that, either.

              3. He advocates using the force of the state to determine what parents should be able to teach their children.

                You still have not shown this to be the case. You just said he’s not “honest enough” to admit it. You’re such a fucking joke.

                1. He just thinks doing so is worse than molesting them. And he wants to close down religious schools and use the public schools to debase children of whatever un pc views their parents have taught them.

                  Flip that around. What if some religious guy came out and said teaching your children to be atheist is worse than molesting them and that every child should be required to go to a public school where the proper religious views would be taught even if it was over the objection of their parents.

                  I am sure Fluffy and Zoltan would think that guy was a real friend for freedom. But you will defend Dawkins for doing the same thing. But I am a joke.

                  No, you two are a joke and a pathetic one at that. You will defend anyone who is an atheist. You are so pathetic and full of hatred that you will not stand up for your own principles of freedom if that means going against one of your own. That is just sad. You are both pathetic on this issue. Especially you Zoltan. Fluffy at least tries to think about it. You are not even capable of that.

                  1. Dude, I just asked for a motherfucking link.

                    Please don’t get your period on the board here just because you can’t or won’t find me one.

                    I haven’t read The God Delusion. I don’t actually know that much about Dawkins other than the fact that in an alternate timeline he married Mr. Garrison.

                    All atheists are not tied into some gigantic atheist borg collective consciousness that allows us to instantly know the thoughts and statements of all other atheists. So I’m just not aware of any statements by Dawkins backing up your claim.

                    You don’t think I like to denounce people or something? I fucking get up in the morning looking for people to denounce. All I’m asking for is a link.

                    1. Not all atheists are anti-freedom assholes. But Dawkins really is. He is really a statist jerk. It doesn’t mean all atheists or even many of them are. But it does mean he is what he is.

                    2. Look, I’ll provide you with a conditional denunciation so we can let it go:

                      “If a link exists anywhere documenting either of John’s main claims here, I denounce Dawkins as an Enemy of Human Freedom and as a Total Dick!!!!”

                      There you go.

                  2. I get the sense that as a child, fluffy was molested by a religious person. It does make sense.

                    1. I was sent to Catholic schools, so they certainly had their shot at me.

                      I think the problem was that I was an aggressive and arrogant little bastard with a big mouth and a 140 IQ who loudly declared his atheism and refusal to participate in school religious activities starting at the age of 8, and who had affluent and politically connected parents who doted on his every utterance and always took his side in any dispute with any authority figure anywhere. I was the last kid on Earth a pedophile would single out as a target.

                    2. only becasue you were an ugly son of a bitch most likely

                    3. Yeah, that too.

                      Ugly, loud, arrogant, and hateful.

                      When confronted by a molester, it would have been hard for me to decide between immediate knife attack, seizure of the school public address system, roadrunner sprinting to local police station, or epic lawsuit.

                      Who wants to deal with my ugly ass when I’m telegraphing all of that shit with every other aspect of my personality? It wouldn’t be worth it.

                      It’s nice when one’s personal flaws have an upside.

              4. you have a fucking spam filter? where can I get one? mine just filters regular spam?

              5. Why does Dawkins hate Catholics so much?

                They are the Christians who actually believe in evolution.

                I suspect he is not an atheist but simply British.

                I also suspect Fluffy is not an atheist as well.

          3. Fluffy, I remember Dawrkins suggesting that the state indoctrinate children to protect them from religion. He is no friend of freedom. I can hunt for links if you want. What news sources do you consider authoritative?

        2. true enemy of personal freedom.

          Oh bullshit. Get over yourself John.

          But yeah Dawkins is an asshole.

      2. That is only because society outside the schools is also very secular. A Muslim school in a very Islamic country might not, in-school, be more religious than a Catholic school in the UK (or USA) but society outside complements the picture. Otoh, a secular public school in the more religious parts of America will not return Atheists because the society is very Christian – whether or not the school teaches evolution or creation.

        His argument, thus, only holds true when societies are already relatively secular, not when they aren’t.

        Though I agree with John: social engineering should never be the measure by which we decide what schooling or curricula are permissible.

    2. *facepalm*

  3. The libertarian case should always be “it is none of our God damned business” not “if we give people freedom things will turn out the way we like anyway”.

    1. “We” should care because religion is dumb. lol. I’m guessing that’s why Walker bothered posting this.

      1. No. “We” really shouldn’t. Maybe at a micro level you should care about your own kids or the ones you know. But at a macro level it is none of yours or my business what parents teach their kids or where they send them to school. If people chose to send their kids to terrible schools, they still should be free to do so. So what is the point of worrying?

        1. If you haven’t noticed already, that is exactly what O’Neill is arguing.

      2. Drugs (and I gladly include tobacco and alcohol here) are dumb too. It’s still not something “we” should care about.

    2. The libertarian case should always be “it is none of our God damned business”

      Exept when it comes to preserving historic neighborhoods or bombing stuff according to John.

      1. That’s just the beginning, affenkopf. John will be arguing for pater potestas soon enough.

    3. There are arguments ones makes to convince oneself, and there are arguments one makes to convince others. To convince others, you must address their concerns, not yours.

      1. As Nietzsche said: “there is no easier way to hurt a cause than to defend it with faulty arguments”

    4. The libertarian case should always be “it is none of our God damned business”

      Bullshit.

  4. I have long maintained that 12 years of Cathlic school is an effective way to create an Atheist.

    1. And very happy teenage boys.

      At least that’s how it was with me. I didn’t start with Jewish girls until college.

  5. the key lesson of the Holocaust is “don’t bully Johnny”

    And when the Reichstag is burning, you’ll know why.

  6. “Meanwhile, it is often the trendily and liberally educated who later in life most feverishly embrace New Ageism, Buddhism Lite or end-of-the-world environmentalism.”

    If people stop believing in God the danger is not that they will believe in nothing it is that they will believe in anything.

    1. Give me a fucking break.

      1. Truth hurts man. For every crazy street preacher who thinks Jesus is coming back next week, there are like 10 enviros convinced their car is destroying the world.

        1. And for every one of those there’s a family of 18 taking their kids on a trip to the Creation Museum. Sorry, you don’t get a pass on believing retarded shit just because you happen to believe some other retarded shit.

          1. I know so many families with 18 kids. And being an atheist doesn’t make you immune from believing retarded shit. In fact, if you look at things like new ageism and communism and things like that, it seems to make you pre-deposed to believing retarded shit.

            If Christians own the people with 18 kids, atheists own the Scientologists and other assorted kooks.

            1. You’re missing the point, John. A whole lot of people believe retarded shit. Being a Christian doesn’t make you any less likely to believe said retarded shit.

              Being religious is a direct causal link to a whole pile of retarded shit that one believes. You can’t say the same for atheism, because it doesn’t point to any specific subset of beliefs.

              I’m an atheist libertarian. There are atheist environmentalists, and atheist communists. But atheism is not the causal link to those beliefs that Christianity is to young earth creationism & so on.

              1. The only communists I know are atheists.

                1. Yes, but are all atheists communists? It does not follow.

                2. Again with the retarded “commmunists == atheists” shit. Do you realize how desperate and reaching you look with this analogy, John?

                  The fact of the matter is that someone like a communist, who believes in the overarching power and wonder of the state, or in the proletariat, etc., is much closer to a religious person in that they think there is some sort of greater power than the individual. Oh great, now you have me making retarded analogies too. No homo.

                  1. Great post, Episiarch. That’s my view too.

                3. Communism=religion
                  Fascism=religion

                  Have you read 1984? There’s no doubt that, despite the Party’s claims of being atheist and persecuting all religions, the cult of Big Brother is the unifying religious belief.

              2. Amen man. Atheism simply means an absence of belief in God. Nothing else. There have been plenty of religious totalitarians; clearly, the totalitarian impulse is not affected by religion.

            2. Whoa, easy there John, we don’t want the scientologists.

              Can’t we just bundle them with the mormons, and call it a day?

              1. You have a deal Capitol L.

            3. new ageism != atheism
              new ageism = pantheism

            4. John,

              The people who populate those movements generally don’t start out as militant atheists.

              They start out as religious believers who just get sold on a new brand of nonsense.

              The Wiccans are all spiritualists, for example. In fact, I would say that it’s a damnable and obstinate refusal to abandon the “spiritual” realm that manufactures these cretins. They can’t believe in the Judeo-Christian tradition, but also can’t bring themselves to reject the supernatural entirely, so they latch on to something even more idiotic.

              The Scientologists believe in supernatural beings, so that puts them on your team. Sorry. Alongside the Aztecs and the headhunters and every other variant on the deity theme.

              1. Weird confession time: Im a born-again Christian (no confession there, you already knew that) who hates the word “spirituality”.

                I dont consider myself “spiritual”, the connotation, to me anyway, is some new-agey bullshit. The denotation of the word is fine, but I cant get past all the crap tied into it.

              2. It is religions fault that athiests are fucked up. You are such a troll on this issue Fluffy. Everyone has their blind spot and this is yours. And it is the size of a mack truck. You really are incapable of having a rational conversation about religion. I really feel sorry for you most days. My God what happened to you to make you so crazy and irrational about this?

                1. Um…so I resist the claim that people who base their religious movement on the idea that all of us are possessed by thousands of spirit thetans can be called “atheists”, and this makes me crazy and irrational?

                  I just don’t consider people who trade in one religion for a dumber one to be examples of the perils of atheism, John. I consider them examples of the perils of credulity, which is what atheists argue against.

                  Basically you’re arguing that the reason really, really stupid religions exist is because atheists undermined the traditionally-stupid religion. Had we just left well enough alone, Shirley MacLaine would be a nun somewhere, fingering herself while engaged in ecstatic prayer and calling herself the Bride of Christ. Damn us atheists for creating an opening for her to embrace something even more stupid than that! What were we thinking?

                  1. Let us all bask in the white-hot ironic glow of John talking about someone having a blind spot.

                  2. Shirley MacLaine would be a nun somewhere, fingering herself while engaged in ecstatic prayer and calling herself the Bride of Christ.

                    Praise be White Jesus!

            5. Interesting fact about Marx:

              As a youth he was a passionate religious believer. He wrote extensive poetry about the apocalypse. Paul Johnson makes a convincing case that Marx’s theory of history was a post-hoc rationalization of his desire to see a class apocalypse. He started with the millenarian vision, and the brutality of the Last Judgment, and worked backwards from there to try to will it into existence on this Earth.

              1. Paul Johnson makes a convincing case

                The football coach?

                (7 more days!!!)

          2. the Creation Museum

            In defense of the Creation museum the murals of cave men riding dinosaurs are way cooler then what ever the fuck the Smithsonian has.

            In Salt Lake City the crazy Scifi Mormon Murals are pretty awesome as well.

        2. And it seems like that the ennvirotards are closer to the truth.

    2. I guess you became a “libertarian” after reading Jonah Goldberg or watched Glenn Beck?

      You are aware that most of the libertarian movement’s leading lights-Rand, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard-have been secular folks.

      I’m an atheist, and I don’t believe in new agey stuff or environmentalism. Fuck off.

      1. Hell, Milton Friedman was “nonreligious” by his own admission.

      2. I became a libertarian after reading C. S. Lewis.

        1. While I can’t say he’s the reason I’m libertarian, Luther’s doctrine of the Two Kingdoms (the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man) pretty much laid out the groundwork for the separation of church and state.

          1. The CS Lewis->libertarian thing wasnt immediate. His work changed (or created) my thought process about certain things that led to me, a few years later, clearly being libertarian.

            I still disagree with him on Vivisection.

    3. Believe my chosen retarded idea, otherwise you will believe some other retarded idea!

      No one can be a true skeptic!

    4. In John’s view, people are inherently stupid. So they need monotheism to keep their stupid in check.

      So much for libertarian optimism.

      1. Who said John was a libertarian?

      2. If John’s a Christian, MP, a better way to put it would ‘inherently depraved.’ He’s proof of just how the Abrahamics have to answer for.

      3. In John’s view, people are inherently stupid. So they need monotheism to keep their stupid in check.

        So much for libertarian optimism.

        The Founders had a pretty abysmal opinion of poeple as well. Ever notice all those checks and balances?

        If they had high opinion about poeple why would they put that in there at all?

        Just make everyone vote and everything should work out.

    5. Where the fuck is barman when you need him?

    6. I just want to point out that Rand, Rothbard, and Hayek were all atheists/agnostics. That is all.

  7. The Libertarian Case for Public Schools

    Here’s my libertarian case AGAINST public schools:

    Humans are not owned by the State. QED.

    1. You might want to consider that the terms “public” and “private” mean the opposite of what they do in the US.

        1. Thanks for reminding me.

          [deletes irate comment]

      1. Re: Slap the Enlightened,

        You might want to consider that the terms “public” and “private” mean the opposite of what they do in the US.

        I pretty much don’t give a rat’s ass what they call schools in Great Britain – education is JUST as compulsory there as it is in the US and other countries with similar tyrannical regimes.

      2. You might want to consider that the terms “public” and “private” mean the opposite of what they do in the US.

        This is true, but it is also not what I meant by the title.

        1. It seems to me as if the headline should be “The Libertarian Case for Parochial Schools.” If there’s a joke or sly turn of phrase in the original headline, I guess I am too slow this morning to catch it. Ah well. Tomorrow is another day.

        2. Then what did you mean, cuz I don’t get it.

        3. Yeah, Jesse use public in the title, but private is mentioned in the article, so I think Jesse translated.

          At least that is, I guess, what you are trying to say.

          Fucking Brits, someone needs to teach them english.

          1. Oops, misread the title myself, now Im confused.

            1. At the risk of killing a joke by explaining it: The idea is that if religious schools manufacture atheists, government schools should manufacture libertarians.

              1. I think it needed to be explained, because Im pretty sure most of us whiffed on it.

                Being the Nolan Ryan of title jokes isnt a good thing.

              2. Don’t worry, Jesse; I got the joke.

                1. Brown noser.

              3. Personal experience says yes.

              4. I did not get that.

  8. I have no issue with parents spending their own money to send kids to religious schools.

    Public schools shouldn’t even exist.

    1. I do think public schools should exist, but you’re being honorable by being succint.

  9. Dude, when did John show up? He’s almost as annoying as Tony.

    1. AFAIK (2007) John has been here forever.

      1. A lot longer than that.

        The default incif file I orginally downloaded had John already added. I removed him. Sometimes I question that choice. 🙂

    2. John is usually pretty solid. Just a few issues make him go off the rails. Not too unusual in that way.

      1. On these same issues Fluffy is much worse.

        “Atheist = Christian” hate is just so droll.

        I seriously get vomit coming up from reading his bullshit on the subject.

        Akria Mckenzi was the same way.

  10. I take offense to this guy even making this argument.

    Lighten up, Francis.

  11. I went to Jewsih elementary and high schools. The intelligent kids will always reject religious bullshit, especially when it’s spoon-fed to them. If religion isn’t pushed into people’s faces at an early age, they might never fully realize how stupid it is.

    1. I rejected it without the slightest nibble.

    2. Sorry, Heller but it’s often the case that compulsory religion produces people who believe in compulsory religion. I live in Minneapolis; I don’t fancy the chance of the kids at Tarik ibn Ziyad Acandemy, whom the ACLU is suing for promoting Islam (on the public dime, too).

      I enjoy O’Neill’s work at Spiked, but he’s being glib here. Here’s another anecdote: a co-worker of mine, Catholic-educated (like me) and studying theology at a local college. Her goal: family counseling with an eye towards ‘working’ (her word) with families who have gay members. Any ex-
      Catholic schooler knows what this will entail. She’ll tell tearful parents Johnny likes other boys because Ma’s too bitchy and Pa’s too busy and then lead them in a prayer. I shudder thinking about this execrable product of what O’Neill tells us to lighten up about. He should also ask himself just what kind of schooling most priests had. Lot of atheists there, eh Brendan?

      1. People sometimes grow up to believe things you don’t like. It is called freedom. Get used to it.

        1. I’ll match my record of symbiosis with that I disdain against yours any day, John. Co-existence is not that hard, but in your case, it would involve leaving the comfort of Mom’s basements, so…

          As for belief, yeah, belief is fine, if it’s just that and it’s self-inflicted. My co-worker is free to read nonsense and charge willing adults good money for quackery based on the aforementioned nonsense. When the quackery is used to buttress the induction of shame in a youth for nebulous “therapeutic” ends, it’s abuse by any standard held by people who don’t think parenthood amounts to a deed to a child.

          1. When the quackery is used to buttress the induction of shame in a youth for nebulous “therapeutic” ends, it’s abuse by any standard held by people who don’t think parenthood amounts to a deed to a child.
            You should have looked out for the deep end, because I think you just went over it.

            1. Hardly. Dragging a kid to therapy for a non-existent disorder is going off the deep end.

        2. People are free to criticize things they don’t like. It’s called freedom. Get used to it, John.

    3. I didn’t learn much Torah until I was a teenager. Learning it later in life allowed me to better recognize and appreciate the wisdom in Jewish scriptures. I got my conversion to Orthodox Judaism and my Master of Science in Ecology and Evolution at the same time. Go figure.

      I don’t understand the fued between the Evolutionists and Bible Believers. Darwin’s theory of evolutin says that the whole purpose of life it to maximize the number of grandkids you have. If you think this conflicts with Jewish values in anyway, try explaining that to my mother. No, seriously, please call her up and convince her to stop bugging me about grandkids already.

  12. If we would attach public school dollars to the students and not to schools we would get plenty of new non-religious schools competing for those funds.

    1. Maybe. Maybe not.

  13. I see others are complaining about the title, so I’ll keep it short. There were some very good sentences in that post, but none of them, be it the title phrase, the body of the lede, the ones in the quoted paragraphs, nor in the concluding paragraph seem to have anything to do with one another.

  14. Wait, so does the title imply that if religious schools turn out atheists, “public” schools will turn out libertarians? 🙂

    1. Actually, most libertarians I know became that way via very, very bad experiences in public schools as kids, so, yes, as unlikely as it seems, there’s something to it.

      1. That’s because most of us wore fannypacks with an Issac Asimov book in it on our way to the Audio visual squad room to re-wire the slide projector while reciting Monty Python skits verbatim.

  15. Horseshit. It’s like claiming the best way to expand libertarian ideas is to expose them to more Bush/Obamas.

  16. Meanwhile, it is often the trendily and liberally educated who later in life most feverishly embrace New Ageism, Buddhism Lite or end-of-the-world environmentalism. Suckers. Some of us had done that whole finding God and losing Him again by the time we were halfway through puberty.”

    There is a parallel theory as to why the US is so religious while other western nations are not. Mainly that the US because there is a defined separation of church and state religion remains popular but in places like France state ownership of the church has made it unpopular.

    1. You mean that private property religion is of better quality than state property religion? What are you, a libertarian?

    2. France has been officially secular since the early 1790s, although rancor towards the First Estate was a huge factor in the Revolution.

      American religiosity has more to do with certain memes created by the Ulster Scots who played a key role in the settling of what is now the South. It’s no coincidence religion is bigger there than elsewhere in the U.S.

  17. If I read the comments on another thread correctly, Brendan O’Neill must be a closeted gay.

  18. Nothing freaks out today’s privately educated ragers against religion quite as much as a school where the teachers talk to the children about God.

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