Pharyngula

Baby Bible Bashers

Ready to be disturbed? Watch this graphic movie of socially sanctioned child abuse of the worst kind — children who are indoctrinated into idiocy.

That’s just the first part. Watch the rest, if you can.

Comments

  1. #1 mjfgates
    February 29, 2008

    I don’t wanna– they frown on throwing up at work, here.

    Pretty clouds in the first ten seconds, though. I was just explaining how rising air generates cumulus clouds to my oldest daughter last night… I guess Christians must think God is blupping them together with his big ol’ invisible hands or something.

  2. #2 Olaf Davis
    February 29, 2008

    I used to believe in progress in the world…

  3. #3 firemancarl
    February 29, 2008

    One of two things is gonna happen
    #1 He’ll wind up like Ted Haggard
    #2 He’ll become and atheist in his 20’s and realize his parents were off their collective rockers.

  4. #4 Tulse
    February 29, 2008

    “That nasty Mr. Dawkins, suggesting that religion is child abuse! How dare he!”

  5. #5 thetruescotsman
    February 29, 2008

    I saw this on UK TV and thought it was one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen. Why is there not a HUGE outcry about this??

    If this was in the UK, I am near certain there would be outrage in the press (at least some of it). Certainly any pedestrian seeing this wee lad on the streets mouthing his ignorant hate would rapidly take matters in their own hands.

    I must admit to being outraged at the fathers of these kids. Bad parents are bad parents but add in the certainties of religion and it gets really freaky.

  6. #6 rimpal
    February 29, 2008

    scary!!

  7. #7 H. Humbert
    February 29, 2008

    Religion is a mental illness.

  8. #8 tceisele
    February 29, 2008

    Most of them will probably end up like Marjoe, in the long run.

  9. #9 Benji
    February 29, 2008

    Well, I hope that such an incredible amount of bullshit will be abruptly vomited about the age of 16, 17, as it did for me.

    RAmen…

  10. #10 Sarcastro
    February 29, 2008

    Where’s Queen Silver when you need her?

    “The young Queen challenged Bryan to public debate [on evolution]. He declined to reply, but her well-publicized taunts resulted in national notoriety.”

  11. #11 Ian
    February 29, 2008

    Well, at least we’ve got three new potential sources for the next ‘Marjoe’.

    As if we needed further evidence that faith-based homeschooling is child abuse. The depths of the Mississippi parents’ exploitation of their son is despicable.

  12. #12 Michelle
    February 29, 2008

    Sigh.
    I’m sorry, I can’t say anything. This is just sad.

  13. #13 mothra
    February 29, 2008

    . . .and I had thought I had hit my nadir for the year when I was given the Jan-March ’08 issue of Answers in Genesis.

  14. #14 Amazona farinosa farinosa
    February 29, 2008

    A lesson in English dialects, that surely is. With the voice-over in a Scottish brough, the Mississippi twang and the southern black ebonics, you get to hear some extreme distortions of the language in just under 10 minutes.

    I wonder what would happen if you put the little nippers in the same room together.

    “Two little Hitlers will fight it out until
    One little Hitler does the other one’s will”

    – Elvis

  15. #15 Susan
    February 29, 2008

    I’m a Christian (in the UK) but a big fan of the science content of this blog.

    And I havent spoken to a single other Christian in the UK who wasn’t appalled by this progamme. Its child abuse, pure and simple.

  16. #16 Amy
    February 29, 2008

    “Why god gave him the desire to preach in front of the abortion clinic door? I don’t know.”

    Because he wasn’t influenced at all by his parents?

    I found the end of the documentary quite upsetting, the poor child just can’t understand why anyone would disagree with the ideas he has been indoctrinated with.

  17. #17 Sheldon
    February 29, 2008

    Ah come on people! They are kind of cute!

    Cute like Chuckie! Remember Chuckie?

    (horror flick with the murderous doll)

  18. #18 Davis
    February 29, 2008

    This is especially despicable to an atheist, but I have to believe that 90% of believing Christians are also appalled. A seven-year old preaching about fornicators and homosexuals (i.e., sodomizers)? Insane. Grotesque. Depraved. Odious. I could go on…

  19. #19 J
    February 29, 2008

    #8 tceisele wrote:

    Most of them will probably end up like Marjoe, in the long run.

    Even Starcrash was’t worth this!

  20. #20 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    And I havent spoken to a single other Christian in the UK who wasn’t appalled by this progamme. Its child abuse, pure and simple.

    which brings up an interesting point:

    if ALL agree this IS child abuse (mental abuse), then why hasn’t it been included as such from a legal standpoint?

    It’s just a matter of numbers, isn’t it?
    who can scream the loudest?

    AFAICT, it’s people just like this that can still scream the loudest, and thereby keep the idea that this really is child abuse off the legislative docket.

    In the US, we see John McCain not only changing his political stance wrt to fundagelicals based on his rejection for chastising them in the 2000 primary, he even changes his actual stated religion to fit.

    obviously, as such an important voting block, if one actually considered introducing a bill in the US challenging this type of cult indoctrination as being little more than mental abuse, it wouldn’t get too far.

    so what is the status in the UK?

    why hasn’t there already been legislation introduced to examine this type of behavior from the aspect of it being mental abuse? Or has there?

    Is it that there are NO examples of this kind of thing in the UK? that would be hard to believe, even with the way religion is structured in the UK.

    In fact, with the “religion protection act” (sorry, can’t recall the exact name; or was it attached to another bill called the “Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill”?), Hasn’t the issue kind of gone exactly the opposite direction?

    what laws are on the books in the UK dealing with cults and cult indoctrination?

  21. #21 mmghosh
    February 29, 2008

    Teaching this to children is equally pernicious IMO.

  22. #22 HP
    February 29, 2008

    Sam Kinison was a child preacher, too, as I recall.

    And he turned out okay, right?

  23. #23 Alex
    February 29, 2008

    Fuck that ignorant little shit.

  24. #24 Misfit
    February 29, 2008

    Evangelism! So easy and devoid of rational thought that even a child can do it!

  25. #25 Geral
    February 29, 2008

    You must be joking. This is absurd.

  26. #26 Brownian, OM
    February 29, 2008

    Watch part 5. The poor kid’s bewilderment and struggle not to cry is absolutely heartbreaking.

    If he does find the strength to step into the light, he’ll need some serious psychotherapy to undo the evil his father inflicted on him.

  27. #27 Kaerion
    February 29, 2008

    Wow…I couldn’t even watch more than a couple of minutes of that, I just don’t have the stomach for it. I consider myself a fairly empathic person, but I just can not identify, even the tiniest bit, with the mindset that says something like that is okay. I’m literally sickened by what those poor kids’ parents have done to them, and I can only hope that they’ll come to their senses later in life, since I’m sure nobody with the power to actually do something about it will admit to the blatant abuse that results in small children acting like that.

    As people have already pointed out here, the more I see, the more I become convinced that Richard Dawkins is right: Religious indoctrination of children = child abuse.

    -Kaerion

  28. #28 mona
    February 29, 2008

    It’s absolutely disgusting. There’s child abuse, mental illness, and it’s being supported by crowds of thousands. Maybe social services aren’t as strong in the south as here in the northeast, but there needs to be some kind of psichiatric intervention…
    Somewhat related– a few days ago, the cover of one of the supermarket tabloids showed Tom Cruise’s daughter, mentioned briefly the scientology-based isolation, the lack of medicine.
    How about some similar mainstream US attention for Christianity-based abuses? Those cdesign proponentsists like to talk about equal time for their ideas, do they not?

  29. #29 thadd
    February 29, 2008

    It’s so obvious that the parents are doing it for themselves and to control their children. The Brazilian one that sleeps next to her father is probably the creepiest of all.

  30. #30 MrTimbo
    February 29, 2008

    That’s actually pretty fascinating — the fact that talented kids can pick up the rhetoric and reproduce it in a way that’s indistinguishable from the religious discourse that adults produce. It makes religion seem no different from music, a rhythm and tone you pick up, which is actually, to my mind, a sort of significant similarity.

  31. #31 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 29, 2008

    Teaching this to children is equally pernicious IMO.

    Yes, except that blogs4brownback was a parody.

    (It was, unsurprisingly, good enough that plenty of real cre_ti_nists fell for it.)

  32. #32 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 29, 2008

    Teaching this to children is equally pernicious IMO.

    Yes, except that blogs4brownback was a parody.

    (It was, unsurprisingly, good enough that plenty of real cre_ti_nists fell for it.)

  33. #33 Dahan
    February 29, 2008

    Scared and sad. Don’t know which I feel more.

  34. #34 Dahan
    February 29, 2008

    Let me toss in pissed off with those other two, also.

  35. #35 Alec T
    February 29, 2008

    Is it a UK thing to call these kids “bible bashers?” In the US wouldn’t they be called “bible thumpers,” with bible bashing reserved for the anti-religious, or is that just me?

  36. #36 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    Is it a UK thing to call these kids “bible bashers?” In the US wouldn’t they be called “bible thumpers,” with bible bashing reserved for the anti-religious, or is that just me?

    in the original thread that was from, that very issue was discussed, and the word “bashers” evidently is correct usage in the UK and OZ However, I agree that in the US we would typically use “beater” or “thumper” instead.

    if the original author of the thread wanted wider audience empathy, I would think that changing it to “beaters” would be better (still maintain the 3 b thing).

  37. #37 RamblinDude
    February 29, 2008

    I’m not surprised at this. Charismatic Christians love this kind of thing. They don’t really care if the children understand what they are preaching or not, because, after all, religion isn’t built on reason and understanding, it’s built on emotional manipulation and theatrics. All the children have to do to be prized by their elders is show a talent for simulating unshakeable conviction with a bit of showmanship. It’s the foundation of the church.

    I saw this kind of thing met with nods of approval many times.

  38. #38 Tom Morris
    February 29, 2008

    Alec T: I think ‘Bible bashers’ more comes from the image of an evangelist hitting people around the head with a rather sturdy holy text, while ‘thumpers’ is obviously a person thumping the Bible with their hand. Two different phrases, same idiocy as the subject.

    I saw Baby Bible Bashers a week or so ago. It’s utterly insane. I think that – along with Jesus Camp – almost everyone should have to watch it in order to understand how messed up religion can make society.

  39. #39 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 29, 2008

    Ugh. Disgusting. I watched the whole series and watching that kid be put through that by his demented ignorant fuckwit of a father about broke my heart.

  40. #40 IanR
    February 29, 2008

    I saw an article about this before, but it’s even more disturbing when you see it. The saddest thing is if you sat down with one of them and showed them just from a biblical perspective whats wrong with their message (e.g., that God calls on people to kill babies a lot more often than save them, and the law in Leviticus punishes the killing of a foetus in a very different way to the killing of an adult), you’d end up convincing them that their parents are liars. And that is also going to scar them, probably worse than if they figured it out for themselves later on.

  41. #41 Hairhead
    February 29, 2008

    I have a young son the same age as the little blond “evangelist”; watching the little Mississippean try to control his emotions while he and his father are subjected to derision and anger on the streets of New York upset me deeply. What was worse than that was listening to this empathic little boy express his sorrow that so many of the people he preaches to are going burn (literally: burn, with all of the pain and terror that implies) forever. There is no mistaking that the sensitive little boy feels a helpless sympathy for all of these people who are going to live with infinite and unending torture. How can even an adult experience this level of emotion without burning out, becoming insensitive, or breaking down?

    When Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door dragging their children with them, the better to terrorize the little tykes into believing that that evil, abusive cult is their only emotional home, their best choice in life . . . . I don’t answer the door because I’m afraid I will physically assault their abusive parents.

    There simply are not any curse words strong enough to express my dismay and my anger and my revulsion at this ruthless, selfish twisting of the emotional psyches of vulnerable children. I speak from experience; my father was a minister and as I had an excellent memory and a deep willingness to please, I performed in front of the congregation from any early age. We belonged to the United Church of Canada, one of the most liberal of Christian denominations, and even their mild message of Christian loving was mixed with so much hypocrisy, malign emotional abuse, irrationality, and absurd appeals to arbitrary authority that, even though I am fifty and have been an atheist for thirty-eight years, I still fight against the pernicious brainwashing which still sighs in my ears.

    And when I measure the damage to these children that the abuse and threats of violence which constitute the greatest part of evangelism, I am further horrified. Familiarity with this evil does not inure me to its damage.

    This is a horror film worse than “Saw” or “Hostel” or any of those other torture-porn pieces of garbage; they are only fiction — what we are witnessing here is the deluded, sincere, self-righteous torture of children.

    I have to stop. I’m going to burst a fucking blood vessel.

  42. #42 WDC
    February 29, 2008

    I would bet real money, and a lot of it, that the little blond kid suffers from really bad nightmares. And I would further bet that his nightmares involve worms.

    It took me 20 years to shake the awful trappings of that nonsense. I hope he can do it faster than me – and that he can do it at all.

  43. #43 amk
    February 29, 2008

    if ALL agree this IS child abuse (mental abuse), then why hasn’t it been included as such from a legal standpoint?

    Defining “this” precisely is the first problem. Perhaps a minimum age for preaching? Is “preaching” defined?

  44. #44 Louise Van Court
    February 29, 2008

    I do not condone pushing or prodding children into preaching. Honestly though, I’m sure everyone can think of other examples where parents or family members unfortunately and maybe somewhat unknowingly because they think their motives are pure do exert strong influence on their children’s activities. I am thinking of little girls in beauty pageants, and sons pushed into becoming star athletes. Some parents push academics or music lessons to the point of the child having no playtime at all. Then there are the showbiz moms and dads who are determined to make their child into the next star and drag them around to audition after audition. Children will do what they think their parents want them to do in order to receive rewards of love and attention and avoid punishment. I do not think new legislation would help when parents lack common sense.

  45. #45 CrypticLife
    February 29, 2008

    Horrible, horrible.

    Terry’s a good singer, though. Least it’s worth something.

  46. #46 CrypticLife
    February 29, 2008

    Ugh. Got to part 2. It’s nightmarish already.

  47. #47 Leni
    February 29, 2008

    Brownian #26 wrote:

    Watch part 5. The poor kid’s bewilderment and struggle not to cry is absolutely heartbreaking.

    No kidding. Although at that point, I was kinda pissed at the ranting old hippie who was yelling at his dad. As much as I sympathize with the desire to kick the crap out of the dad, that was not cool. (Well, unless he was yelling at him about child abuse maybe, which I don’t think he was.)

    Amy, #16 wrote:

    “Why god gave him the desire to preach in front of the abortion clinic door? I don’t know.”

    Because he wasn’t influenced at all by his parents?

    I had the exact same reaction, except mine was punctuated with more cussing. And I just wanted to slap that stupid, sanctimonious bitch in the face, just a little.

  48. #48 brightmoon
    February 29, 2008

    i agree with firemancarl #3

    i keep thinking ….marjoe gortner

  49. #49 October Mermaid
    February 29, 2008

    I showed this to a Christian I know and the loudest groan of horror she made was when the Harrah’s security guard says “I don’t care what Jesus says!”

    I am not kidding, by the way.

  50. #50 Ashutosh
    February 29, 2008

    That looks pretty similar to “Jesus Camp”

  51. #51 some guy
    February 29, 2008

    It’s doubly sad because you can’t spank other people’s kids.

  52. #52 jeff
    February 29, 2008

    This stuff is no joke. Invasion of the body snatchers is real. They got my family too. Religion will eat your brain and create a powerful reality distortion field in any cerbral cortex it can find.

  53. #53 Daniel
    February 29, 2008

    At first, I thought “How can this kid even be aware of the biology and the ethics involved in the abortion argument?”

    Then I realised that he understood it all just as well as yer typical fundigelical.

  54. #54 billybob
    February 29, 2008

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxfThlCcfHI

    nothing new under the sun

  55. #55 Eric
    February 29, 2008

    some guy: “It’s doubly sad because you can’t spank other people’s kids.”

    It’s not the poor kids who deserve the spanking here, it’s their parents.

  56. #56 dale
    February 29, 2008

    Jesus tap dancing christ.
    And those parents are proud of this.

  57. #57 Damian
    February 29, 2008

    This kind of thing can not and should not be legislated against, obviously. I agree with Louise Van Court that many parents treat their children in ways that could be defined as a form of child abuse. All that we can do is attempt to explain why this is not a good thing.

    The difference between the UK and US on an issue such as this is that it would be deemed as socially unacceptable in the UK, even by the religious, themselves. You only have to look at the way in which Tony Blair was treated when he began mentioning that he was religious. Bar the usual apologists, there was almost universal suspicion. His status was certainly not helped by mentioning that he had a hot-line to the skies.

    Richard Dawkins is absolutely correct when he says that the two countries are at polar opposites on this issue, overall. The religious are looked upon as being suspicious and peculiar in the UK. That is why is it important for atheists in the US to be loud and proud about what they believe.

  58. #58 Great White Wonder
    February 29, 2008

    It’s not the poor kids who deserve the spanking here, it’s their parents.

    Pistol whipping is more like it.

    Ah, for the good old days when a few of the appeasers over at Panda’s Thumb would throw a self-righteous shitfit every time this subject came up.

  59. #59 Holydust
    February 29, 2008

    I watched this just a few days ago — I think someone posted a link to it in the comments here, or I followed a link from a link from here. Either way, it upset me. I shared it with everyone I knew. There was some ignorant preacher’s daughter arguing with people on the YouTube clip comments as well, saying it’s okay to hit “as long as you don’t hit hard”, and that the kid was disrespecting his mother “so its [sic] ok”.

    Poor, poor kids.

  60. #60 October Mermaid
    February 29, 2008

    OT but since we’re talking about offensive videos, anyway..

    That whale evolution guy from youtube you linked before has another vid up about whale evolution, this time in response to the actual scientific video you also posted alongside his. Here’s his, ah, rebuttal.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXbA338n_LM

  61. #61 Holydust
    February 29, 2008

    oh my Darwin, not that RaptureAlert nutball again.

    self-delusional whackjob.

  62. #62 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    Ah, for the good old days when a few of the appeasers over at Panda’s Thumb would throw a self-righteous shitfit every time this subject came up.

    shitfit in which direction?

    I think Pim is running that blog these days, so appeasement is the rule of thumb now.

    He REALLY hates it when I rag on Collins, for example.

    At one time, I had a rather long thread specifically devoted to this issue over on ATBC.

    I haven’t a clue if anybody bothered to maintain it.

    It was titled something like “Is religious indoctrination cultism?”

  63. #63 gorobei
    February 29, 2008

    #46/Leni – Why shouldn’t that old hippie yell at the dad? NYC is a community, and a lot of us don’t take kindly to outsiders getting in our faces about how some of us are going to burn in hell.

    We’re NYC. We tolerate pretty much anything except people who 1) mess up the infrastructure by blocking intersections, etc, and 2) behave like jerks towards other people.

  64. #64 Molly, NYC
    February 29, 2008

    When Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door dragging their children with them, the better to terrorize the little tykes into believing that that evil, abusive cult is their only emotional home, their best choice in life. (Hairhead @ 40)

    According to the recent Pew survey on religion, Witnesses have the lowest retention rate of any religion listed as members get old enough to leave home, and I’m sure it’s a result of this abusing/embarrassing their kids in public (plus their apparent belief that fun, no matter how innocent = sin).

  65. #65 Luis
    February 29, 2008

    The part that caught my attention was when the black boy from Florida is in the swimming pool and says: “I know God exists because he talks to me. He sounds like myself, but I *know* it’s God”.

    The only thing I can say is: WTF? I almost feel like smacking him and saying: “that might have looked like my hand, but let me assure you, it *was* the hand of God”.

  66. #66 Holbach
    February 29, 2008

    It is not sadness or despair that overwhelms me, but just
    pure hatred and contempt for the adults who inflicted
    this insanity upon these kids. They should be tried as
    dangerous felons and executed, if only to dissuade other
    unsound minds that they will not get away with this form of
    child abuse and general mayhem. If this is not considered
    an extreme form of dangerous and harmful brainwashing,
    then we are in for a lot more insanity running rampant.

  67. #67 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    If this is not considered
    an extreme form of dangerous and harmful brainwashing,
    then we are in for a lot more insanity running rampant.

    it’s not, and we do.

    what you see in those vids is certainly nothing new, and is arguably the ONLY way the insanity that is fundagelism maintains itself.

    I’d say talk to your representative if you want them to introduce legislation to change that (using previous legislation regarding cults), but most likely any place this kind of thing is a problem, the very problem people constitute the largest voting block.

    hell, man, we can’t even legislate the damn pentecostal snake handlers.

    How many do you think would conclude that exposing your kids to venomous snakes is a good child rearing practice?

    and yet…

    http://www.rickross.com/groups/snake.html

  68. #68 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    “God didn’t say it wouldn’t hurt,” said Marie Hobbs, a 45-year-old Georgia woman who was bitten by a snake three years ago while in church. “I count it an honor to die for the Lord.”

    uh huh.

  69. #69 Sillysighbean@aol.com
    February 29, 2008

    I was waiting for “Little Terry” to break out into a rendition of “Fingertips” ala Little Stevie Wonder.

  70. #70 Holbach
    February 29, 2008

    When the big moron with his little moron was trying to
    harangue on private property in Chester, Pennsylvania,
    the guy who was telling them to move said god told him to
    tell you to move to the other side. Love it! The retard
    found it incredible that his god was also speaking to this
    sinner! And, did I hear the father of the little black
    retard pronounce “Statute” instead of “Stature”?

  71. #71 Longtime Lurker
    February 29, 2008

    Regarding the Brazilian girl… why do I get the feeling that she’s going to get pregnant real soon, and dad’s going to claim that it’s a “virgin birth”?

  72. #72 thadd
    February 29, 2008

    I posted at my site, and within minutes, a woman with some Christian website starts defending teaching children about homosexuals and abortion because they might be effected by it. How exactly is a seven year old threatened by abortion, did we loosen the definition recently?

  73. #73 thadd
    February 29, 2008

    [QUOTE]No kidding. Although at that point, I was kinda pissed at the ranting old hippie who was yelling at his dad. As much as I sympathize with the desire to kick the crap out of the dad, that was not cool. (Well, unless he was yelling at him about child abuse maybe, which I don’t think he was.)[/QUOTE]

    Well the old hippie guy was wearing a sign too, so he might be a little bit off too, but if something on the sign dirrectly hit home I could understand it.

  74. #74 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    teaching children about homosexuals and abortion because they might be effected by it

    an interesting misusage (affected being the correct term), but in this particular case, I could actually see fundagelicals claiming exposing their kids to homosexuality as an idea would, in fact, affect them in such a way as to effect their becoming homosexuals.

    just like they do with any other idea they consider “dangerous”.

    funny how they much they project the entire concept of censorship.

    well, funny “strange” not funny “HAHA”.

    .

  75. #75 Holydust
    February 29, 2008

    Perhaps this will sound racist, and I hope it doesn’t because I’m a little ol’ white girl raised in a Baptist church in Northeast Texas, but… even as a Christian child/teenager I was always envious of the congregations of predominantly black churches, as well as the experience of the people who attended them. The overall atmosphere and message just seemed (on the whole) to be so much more positive and uplifting.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I feel that kids raised in these crazy fundamentalist churches (Samuel, for example) are more likely to have nightmares, worry 24/7 about their immortal souls and the souls of others, and require therapy to get past it than a lot of the black Christians I’ve seen. I don’t know where that comes from. I just know that when I was a kid, I wanted so badly to skip my own church and see if I could squeeze in at a black church without anyone being upset at me. I know they wouldn’t have, but… you know?

    Haha. A guess I had a lot of issues to work out. I just find Terry’s story to be a lot less traumatic and upsetting than Samuel’s, though both kids seem to be heading for a lot of internal strife. Terry’s shyness, for example, raised a lot of questions for me. But it’s a lot more clear that Samuel has trouble with the concepts posed to him. And his parents clearly aren’t as interested in his happiness the way that Terry’s grandmother seems to be.

    It just reminds me that a lot of deeply religious parents have absolutely no idea how to parent without using the fear of God to do it. And I guess if that’s how you believe God wants you to raise your kids, fine, but I think they should consider that it’s likely their children will leave the faith BECAUSE of that. Logically (hah, logically) it would make me want to try harder to connect with my child. I was raised by a father who was also a Christian — not by a heavy-handed Christian father. There’s a big difference. :/

  76. #76 October Mermaid
    February 29, 2008

    Christians will never try to make a law calling this child abuse. Because they know too well that it’s not far removed from how they’d raise their children, and after all, since we “know” that jesus is real and good, it’s ok to do anything in his name.

    He’s the ultimate good, after all, so they’ll feel that even though these particular parents came on a little strong, it’s ok. At least they got Jesus. And after all, since we “know” Jesus is real, he’ll help the kids, out right?

    It’s ok to brainwash and abuse your kids if you “know” that you’re right. Why, that’s just common sense! It would be simply inexusable to brainwash a kid with a wrong idea like, well, anything other than the right idea!

  77. #77 Bouncing Bosons
    February 29, 2008

    Very disturbing. The parents revealed to what extend they are(n’t) in touch with reality in their respective “dunno why he/she does it, must have been chosen by god” speeches. Totally oblivious to how their expectations and the desire to please drive their children.

  78. #78 Holbach
    February 29, 2008

    PZ, this has to be the most incredulous and disturbing
    video you have put on this site! I watched the whole set
    twice and it leaves my brain in a state of utter and
    mind-bending catatonia. What is equally amazing is that
    these insane kids have an equally insane adult audience to
    imbibe on their every crazy word and just keep on fueling
    these retarded kids into adulthood. To reiterate as I
    have done several times, religion has to be the highest
    state of insanity. We, and reason in general, are in for some scary times ahead.

  79. #79 eewolf
    February 29, 2008

    Heartbreaking. Child abuse without doubt.

    The sadness the kid feels about non-believers might save him. Probably not, but possible. My experience with adult fundies is that most of them don’t care if others burn.

    In fact, they seem to look forward to it. They can’t wait to pull up that heavenly lazyboy to the high-def screen and watch those sinners poppin’ in the oil.

    So maybe that kid’s empathy will cause a disconnect and he will abandon the entire idea. Probably not, though.

    I’m burned out after watching that.

  80. #80 CalGeorge
    February 29, 2008

    That 3-yr-old fucker should have been aborted.

    The world would be a better place.

    “now I’m sitting in this waiting room
    playing with the toys
    and I am here to exercise
    my freedom of choice
    I passed their handheld signs
    went through their picket lines
    they gathered when they saw me coming
    they shouted when they saw me cross
    I said why don’t you go home
    just leave me alone
    I’m just another woman lost
    you are like fish in the water
    who don’t know that they are wet
    as far as I can tell
    the world isn’t perfect yet
    […]
    they keep pounding their fists on reality
    hoping it will break
    but I don’t think there’s a one of us
    leads a life free of mistakes”

    -ani difranco

  81. #81 wrpd
    February 29, 2008

    Whenever sex education in public schools is brought up, fundies claim that kindergarteners are too young to be exposed to homosexuality. So I also wonder what the blond kid thinks he is preaching about.
    Today I got an email from Jerry Falwell’s kid quoting Althea King as saying abortion is a racist, genocidal plot by Planned Parenthood. She says they are located in poor neighborhoods so they can kill more black babies. She threw in Margaret Sanger. They always do.
    I can’t wait until a Democrat is in the White House and all of Bush’s unqualified fundie appointees are gone.

  82. #82 raven
    February 29, 2008

    For an example of what can happen to these kids. At the U. of X., someone randomly attacked a few girls (coeds less than 20 FWIW), then one was stabbed to death.

    It was a fundie kid from some brain dead cult who had been homeschooled by religious fanatics. The parents might have been well meaning but the kid was way too warped. I can’t say there was a connection for sure, but where there is smoke there is fire. Probably.

    My guess is some of these kids will have nightmares day and night and figure out what caused it and get the hell out of the Death Cults. Stats say 50% of in-college fundies do so. The rest end up like the parents and flip burgers and mow lawns.

  83. #83 Susannah
    February 29, 2008

    Poor kids! I wonder if the nightmares have already started for them. Probably.

    A half-century ago, we kids were told of these preacher kids, and encouraged to emulate them. I was shy. So I was 11 before I dared stand up and “give my testimony”, 13, before I was a regular Sunday School teacher. Luckily, I wasn’t a boy, and girls couldn’t preach back then, so no more was expected of me. Beyond a life-time of “full-time service”, which I was happy to give.

    It took me 50 years to free myself.

    That shy kid really shook me. What forces make him take on the new personality when he is preaching? I shudder to think what his life will be.

  84. #84 Avekid
    February 29, 2008

    With some hesitation, I watched the whole set of videos. It really is incredibly disturbing. Most of what I have to say about the film has been said above and I agree with Holbach (@76) that “[w]e, and reason in general, are in for some scary times ahead”.

    However, I am also – although certainly not equally – disturbed by the fact that some of you find it at all appropriate to call these children idiots or morons or to claim that they ought to have been aborted. The problem is not with the children, but with their abusive parents. None of these children have chosen this path. None of these children truly understands just what it is that they are saying or what the implications are of their faith-inspired — or, more accurately, parent-dictated — rants. These children deserve our concern and pity, their parents, our anger. Blaming and ridiculing these mentally and emotionally brutalized children is unacceptable.

  85. #85 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    The rest end up like the parents and flip burgers and mow lawns.

    …and have lots of kids.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiocracy

    None of these children have chosen this path.

    their parents didn’t, either.

  86. #86 Dale Husband
    February 29, 2008

    Well, the prophet Isaiah did say, “And a child shall lead them,” thus proving how insane it is to try to make prophecies come true, no matter what.

  87. #87 deerjackal
    February 29, 2008

    The Floridian boy’s money-grubbing dad irritated me, the Brazilian girl’s father creeped me out with his molester air, and the Mississippian boy’s dad almost made me homicidal. The third is a real gem, using his kid to compensate for his drunkard years, tormenting him with the concept of hell for violating “honor thy mother and father,” and letting him lag behind him on the streets of a major city.

    Though mom wasn’t much better. One of the more disgusting scenes was when the boy was balking at reading whatever book she was trying to thrust at him and asked her to “please” take her hand off him. Cut to dad, and you can hear her hitting the kid multiple times in the background. I’m not anti-spanking, but there’s a time, a place, and a limit. It’s nauseating to watch people harry woman for “killing babies” when their own children are treated with less respect than I give my dogs.

  88. #88 thadd
    February 29, 2008

    “their parents didn’t, either.”

    #83, At least two of the parents did, the father of the blond boy had been a drinking wife beater before converting to Christianity and the Brazilian father had been in jail as a drug using corrupt cop.

  89. #89 October Mermaid
    February 29, 2008

    Someone on youtube made this clever comment about Terry’s healing abilities: “He can cure cancer and the crippled, but he can’t cure his grandmother of obesity?”

    Oh snap.

  90. #90 thadd
    February 29, 2008

    How about healing himself, he hears voices, that usually isn’t a sign of the highest mental health.

  91. #91 Chairman Meow
    February 29, 2008

    The videos brought back scary memories — my dad went Jebus-freak on us when we were quite young and dragged us around to prayer meetings, which at our age seemed like an excuse for adults to behave as madly as they liked. Took me years to get over the fear and the unreal mindset these people impose on themselves (and the impressionable). In the case of Terry it seems his devoted father doesn’t mind worshipping money, either. I’ll never understand how the biblical Jesus’s attitude towards poverty (and for that matter, not condemning one’s fellow man) translated into this venal, petty, mean-spirited modern fundamentalist Christianity.

  92. #92 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    the father of the blond boy had been a drinking wife beater before converting to Christianity

    somehow you concluded being a drunken wife beater and a fundagelical are mutually exclusive?

    I rather think if you looked into the father’s own history as a child, you might not think his choices so broad.

    there’s always exceptions, but this kind of thing DOES tend to travel in families.

  93. #93 CalGeorge
    February 29, 2008

    However, I am also – although certainly not equally – disturbed by the fact that some of you find it at all appropriate to call these children idiots or morons or to claim that they ought to have been aborted.

    The parent who is willing to destroy childhood like that is fucked up beyond belief – they should NOT be having children.

  94. #94 kemibe
    February 29, 2008

    PZ, the blond kid at the beginning of Part 1 (for all I know he’s featured throughout, but I can’t watch that shit) is the same one you wrote about last year when he came to Roanoke — the unfortunate lad whose parents cart him around he country so he can yammer and croon on street corners. Glad to see his talents have helped the whole fuckered-up family ascend to YouTube heaven.

  95. #95 thadd
    February 29, 2008

    “somehow you concluded being a drunken wife beater and a fundagelical are mutually exclusive?

    I rather think if you looked into the father’s own history as a child, you might not think his choices so broad.

    there’s always exceptions, but this kind of thing DOES tend to travel in families.”

    He certainly talks about it as a choice, and certainly his whole non-drinking religious thing came later.

  96. #96 Avekid
    February 29, 2008

    Ichthyic:

    You’re right: that claim doesn’t support the point I was trying to make. Certainly, anyone who is indoctrinated in that way, no matter what his age, will not have “chosen” that path.

    CalGeorge:

    I agree entirely that these people ought not to be having children and, for that reason, perhaps, we might want to say that things would be better had these children been aborted. There seemed to be something else entirely at work in the comment that I found a bit troublesome — that “that 3 year-old fucker should have been aborted”.

  97. #97 luis alexandre
    February 29, 2008

    Holly crap… I couldn’t even watch all of the first one

  98. #98 themadlolscientist
    February 29, 2008

    I’d love to see someone interview these kids away from their parents and whatever other “handlers” they may have, and ask them to tell in their own words what they think abortion and homosexuality actually are, how babies are made and born, how many books of the Bible they can name, who Satan is, where Israel and Iran are, etc.

    Not to mention who their best friends are, whether they have pets, what they think of kids of the opposite sex, what they want to be when they grow up, what their favorite toys and games are – all the stuff that usually matters to kids in that age range.

    I realize it’s highly unlikely to happen. But I can dream, can’t I?

  99. #99 Marc Buhler
    March 1, 2008

    The NY Times has a report on a White House Aide (specifically involved with the Christian Right) who was “given a warm send-off” after being found guilty of plagiarism.

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-White-House-Plagiarism.html

    It figures, doesn’t it.

    He would like these kids, too.

  100. #100 Dan
    March 1, 2008

    These parents are not qualified to deal with the monsters they are creating with these pseudo-spiritual meal-tickets. What’s going to happen when these kids start trying to think for themselves? Which one will be the first to be murdered in a botched “exorcism?”

  101. #101 joeyess
    March 1, 2008

    I watched that whole thing and I was struck by one moment in particular.

    When the little boy from the south, who had travelled up to NYC with his family started to cry.

    He was telling people the pure truth as he sees it. The only truth he has been taught. The only thing he knows in his young life.

    Frightened by the rejection that adults directed at his father (I believe we in this country have had about enough of this pious bullshit, by the way) and unsure about his surroundings and completely clueless about the reasons for the vitriolic feelings aroused by his presence and the hateful words on his father’s sandwich board, he did what most 7 yr. olds would do at that moment: He cried.

    I felt like reaching out to the young boy. I wished at that moment I could have had some words of comfort for him. Some words that would calm him and let him know that he was in no danger.

    His father placed his son in a dangerous situation. The boy knows of no other way to live. No one has taught the young boy how to simply – think. For himself.

    I doubt anyone ever will and that is a sad, sad reality.

    I felt nothing but contempt for the man and nothing but pity for his child.

    Disgusting and heart-wrenching in the same breath.

  102. #102 Venger
    March 1, 2008

    #89…

    You think the fundies are even aware they have their own book wrong, or would even care? Religion is the Dunning-Kruger Effect played out on a large scale, they are to ignorant to even know they are ignorant, and so they believe they know more than anyone else.

  103. #103 themadlolscientist
    March 1, 2008

    OK, I was kind of zoned out for the beginning of this video the first time through, so I missed Samuel’s dogs. Good to know that at least he’s got pets. They’re probably the only living things in his life that let him be a kid instead of dictating his life and thoughts 24/7.

    But “Break your best toy and throw it away, and say ‘I’m gonna honor the Lord'”? If ever I saw brainwashing in a kid, that’s it right there.

    But there’s far more going on here than just religious brainwashing. There’s another equally frightening dynamic at work here, something we’re all quick to recognize in the lives of messed-up former child actors but which may be getting lost behind the religion issue here, and it is widely regarded as a form of child abuse.

    If these kids do crash and burn, I suspect it’s likely to be due as much to the pressure of being child prodigies and stars whose oppressive, all-controlling stage parents leave them unprepared and even frankly unable to deal with life in the outside world once they get past the “cute puppy” stage as anything else. That’s a dangerous and sometimes deadly combination no matter whether the child is a preacher, an actor, or a concert pianist.

    BTW, does anyone else here think the narrator sounds an awful lot like “Shrek”?

  104. #104 Jim Battle
    March 1, 2008

    I watched it all, and, while disgusting, none of it was surprising. I’m sure there are many others out there.

    If these 7 and 8 year olds are like my kids, they still believe in Santa Claus (or, at least, aren’t letting on that they know better). If a child can’t yet distinguish such a fairy tale from reality, how can these adults that listen to them think they have a grasp on the metaphysics of religion?

    I too am disappointed at the jerks here who dump on the kids; the kids have had no choice in it. They deserve sympathy and help, not derision.

    Ichthyic, back in comment #83, says the parent’s had no choice either. That isn’t true — they are adults, and no matter what crap their parents threw at them, they now have to take responsibility for their choices as adults. The kids aren’t at that stage yet.

  105. #105 Pole Greaser
    March 1, 2008

    Sodomite evolutionists are deeply resentful over the fact that Christians have children to whom they can pass their faith on. Since sodomy produces no children, and evolutionists employ the other sacrament of their faith, abortion, when conception occurs by accident, they die out in a generation. That is why they are so obsessed with keeping intelligent design out of the public school system, the public schools are their mission field in which they attempt to seduce Christian children into Darwinian debauchery!

  106. #106 Kseniya
    March 1, 2008

    I love a good parody! Well done, Pole Greaser!

  107. #107 Eric Paulsen
    March 1, 2008

    If language is a virus then religion is the pandemic – since teaching it is the only way to catch it. A disease borne of ideas and transitted through sound waves and we make sure, as a society, to infect our young at birth.

    Makes perfect sense why the fudies want to dilute our only prophylaxis – education.

  108. #108 Erin Ross
    March 1, 2008

    The story that particularly gets me here is Terry’s. I work in gifted education, and Terry- he’s clearly gifted. He’s nine years old, and his incredibly eloquent. Clearly, he’s persuasive- he makes people think they’ve been healed. In addition to that, his voice is fantastic, his talent is innate. Clearly, Terry is a prodigy.

    And what do they do? They squander his talent and use him for their own betterment. Instead of helping him flourish, they use his fire for their own purposes, and, eventually smother it.

    Throughout that entire documentary, too, I found myself asking the simple question: What about Todd? His twin brother, and he’s living in his brother’s shadow.

    My money’s on Todd for the future atheist.

  109. #109 Ex Partiate
    March 1, 2008

    Mr Hitchens is 100% correct Religion Poisons everything it touches. These npeople are brain dead pathetic examples of the human race

  110. #110 Brownian, OM
    March 1, 2008

    Why is it that the Christards are always so active late at night? Don’t you all have little Christian kiddies to raise in the morning?

    Go to fucking bed, you fuckheads.

  111. #111 Michael X
    March 1, 2008

    I think there is something to be said for a difference between stress placed on children by family members (get good grades, be a great chess player, etc) and what we all agree here as abuse. I don’t advocate legislation, but I do see a difference in stress vs abuse. Though drawing where the line that divides them is a monumental task.

    As for the kids, the blonde kid talking about breaking toys continually looks to his father for support. And I hate it when I hear that he’s homeschooled. And as for our baptist minister, he has indeed learned the routine. It’s not that hard to learn, but being good at performing it is a different thing. He has the innate ability to do so. That kid would have made a good actor. Maybe someday…

  112. #112 Michael X
    March 1, 2008

    “Darwinian debauchery!”

    That is hilarious, glorious parody. And if it isn’t, I’m laughing at it anyway.

  113. #113 ngong
    March 1, 2008

    Though mom wasn’t much better. One of the more disgusting scenes was when the boy was balking at reading whatever book she was trying to thrust at him and asked her to “please” take her hand off him.

    That seemed a tad neurotic/odd, no? To the parents out there…is that something you’d normally hear an 8 year old saying?

    Perhaps, like virtually everything else the kid seems to be saying, he’s emulating his father.

  114. #114 David M
    March 1, 2008

    The end of this documentary is heart wrenching. The little blonde boy in floods of tears with no one to comfort him as his father continues to preach to a hostile New York crowd. How dare he treat a child in this way?

    I don’t hold out much hope for the human race but “light might conquer darkness still”.

  115. #115 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 1, 2008

    I think ‘Bible bashers’ more comes from the image of an evangelist hitting people around the head with a rather sturdy holy text

    It still sounds like they bashed the Bible. :-/

    They should be tried as
    dangerous felons and executed

    You again with your murderous fantasies. Go seek a psychiatrist. Alternatively, go cheney yourself.

    and yet…

    http://www.rickross.com/groups/snake.html

    “Snake Handling Pentecostal Sects” is the headline. In other words, pentecostal sects are handled by a snake. How biblically ironic.

    I love a good parody! Well done, Pole Greaser!

    Except he misspelled “evilutionists” both times. You need more practice, Pole Greaser.

  116. #116 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 1, 2008

    I think ‘Bible bashers’ more comes from the image of an evangelist hitting people around the head with a rather sturdy holy text

    It still sounds like they bashed the Bible. :-/

    They should be tried as
    dangerous felons and executed

    You again with your murderous fantasies. Go seek a psychiatrist. Alternatively, go cheney yourself.

    and yet…

    http://www.rickross.com/groups/snake.html

    “Snake Handling Pentecostal Sects” is the headline. In other words, pentecostal sects are handled by a snake. How biblically ironic.

    I love a good parody! Well done, Pole Greaser!

    Except he misspelled “evilutionists” both times. You need more practice, Pole Greaser.

  117. #117 CalGeorge
    March 1, 2008

    There seemed to be something else entirely at work in the comment that I found a bit troublesome — that “that 3 year-old fucker should have been aborted”.

    You’re right. Quoting PZ: “liberals are people who put first priority on abiding by their own standards” – it wasn’t a very liberal thing to say.

  118. #118 Nick
    March 1, 2008

    I watched with the whole think with my mouth wide open. Couldn’t believe it. This sort of thing just doesn’t happen in England. Its basically socially unacceptable to publically ‘show off’ your religion. I’m glad.

  119. #119 Peter Ashby
    March 1, 2008

    I watched this because my wife wanted to, I would have been quite happy watching any number of other things. It was as bad and as depressing and frustrating as I expected it would be.

    The question you chaps and chapeses over the pond should be asking yourselves is why this docu or one very like it was not made and screened by and in your own media? Sure, you can watch on YouTube, but that sort of thing is hard to stumble over for the average person. It was on terrestrial tv here, not even cable, anyone with an aerial could have watched it.

    Perhaps that is the real tragedy of this program, not that such awful, manipulative child abuse can and is happening, but that it took another country to show it to you. Be angry, be very irate.

  120. #120 FutureMD
    March 1, 2008

    Ever hear that quote “the best trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist?”

    Its not the best trick.

    The best trick Satan ever pulled was tricking everyone into thinking he was God.

    The actions of “god’s” followers always make me think of this.

  121. #121 BrazilRascal
    March 1, 2008

    The brazilian girl was actually a Youtube sensation here due to her Tourette-like shouts of “Prince of PEEEEEEEEEACE” in her little State of Loony-on address. No one here bothered to follow up on her story, though.

    Evangelism is growing very fast here in Brazil. 25 years ago, the country was 96% catholic. Now protestant evangelics are over 15% and still growing rather quickly.

  122. #122 cyan
    March 1, 2008

    high IQ kids:

    – going to readily incorporate pattern shown by those with which surrounded from birth to this one’s age

    – accepting pattern without analysing whether or not the pattern is a:
    – reflection of the real world
    or
    – filtered version of the real world by people surrounding him, filtered by their religious views

    Fundamentalists will not be rallying around this boy when he is an adolescent and adult, because by that time he will be questioning the “why” behind those ready-made patterns he was surrounded with as a child.

    There is no adult who could be influenced by this child’s behavior. Any who claim to be inspired by him are only citing him to reinforce their previously held beliefs. Those beliefs would be just as assiduously held even if they had never heard him.

    If we tape the bright kids who have grown up in rational homes, who are talking about the antithesis of what this boy is: its not going to make fundie adults think about the message: its going to make them think: child abuse.

    People who are not good at thinking and do not value it seize on any bites which reinforce early-ingrained information and ignore any bites which would cause them to use effort needed to restructure dendrite pathways, which would result in having a different view of things than what they were taught at a very early age.

    There is no current survival disadvantage to this mental laziness. That’s why creationists will be with us as long as there is human culture. Its also why it is useless to argue with creos.

  123. #123 Taxorgian
    March 1, 2008

    #102
    Having been raised in a hard-fundie household myself, I am almost certain you are wrong; their children are taught from birth that Santa Claus (and other similar stuff) is a fantasy. Why? Because it is very important for the parents to impress on the child that what they say is absolutely trustworthy. So pretending, even to the extent of ‘going along with the child’s own fantasy,’ is deeply dangerous, since it causes the child to notice that their parents might deceive their children about magical beings. That sort of thing leads to challenging authority and independent thought.

  124. #124 Kseniya
    March 1, 2008

    Re: #119: This reminds me of the Chick Tract in which the kid who, upon learning that there’s no Santa, loses his faith -in freakin everything – and goes completely, nihilistically bad. IIRC he winds up on death row. Sweet!

    Anyway, not to make light of the reality here – point is, I’m almost certain you are right!

  125. #125 antaresrichard
    March 1, 2008

    Speaking of posts 8 and 19, Mr. Gortner, and ‘Starcrash’, imagine these kids with the power to summon an ‘Earthquake’ in “Sensurround”!

  126. #126 raven
    March 1, 2008

    Peter Ashby:

    The question you chaps and chapeses over the pond should be asking yourselves is why this docu or one very like it was not made and screened by and in your own media?

    Actually the fundies do so many stupid, evil, crazy things so often that it is just part of the background clutter. It makes the news on page 21 mostly. Like dog bites man.

    Recently we have,

    1. Ted Haggard the dubious megachurch leader who was as hollow as they come.

    2. Matthew Murray who shot up his and Haggard’s church and killed 7 people.

    3. The Kentucky snake handler who got bit and died in the hospital.

    4. The fundie church burned by an asonist. Who turned out to be a teen age kid of the church who had issues with them.

    5. The Mormon polygamists who got caught once again for weird and destructive cult stuff. They used to shoot it out among themselves and the cops routinely.

    There is a never ending parade of weirdness and scandals and after a while, you just expect it and it is so what.

  127. #127 Pablo
    March 1, 2008

    I admit, I did not get past the introduction to the first segment, so I didn’t see all the parts about the parents. What struck me

    1) the black kid from Florida in the flashy suit (off to a good start) and…a collar? What a stinking show.

    2) This is the best one: the little 7 year old blonde kid says, “Now I’m going to preach about evolution.”

    Hmm, wonder what he had to say? I mean, who better to learn about evolution from than a looney 7 year old kid?

  128. #128 Leni
    March 1, 2008

    gorobei #61 wrote:

    #46/Leni – Why shouldn’t that old hippie yell at the dad?

    Two reasons. First, because he was clearly terrifying the man’s son, and scaring children is about the lowest form of bullying there is.

    Second, he all but made the dad’s case for him. He didn’t need to freak out. He could have said everything he did without nearly instigating a fight and scaring the crap out of a little kid. But he acted like an irresponsible, loudmouth jackass and voila! Handed a ready-made case for persecution to ass-dad on a platter.

    Did you watch it? If so, did you not know that the “thems are the ones that done killed Jaysus” speech was going to be the first thing out of that bastard’s mouth? If you didn’t see that coming, how surprised were you when it happened?

    And notice, I didn’t say he shouldn’t have said the things he said. Hell, I could hardly even understand him. I said he shouldn’t have flipped out.

    NYC is a community, and a lot of us don’t take kindly to outsiders getting in our faces about how some of us are going to burn in hell.

    *Sigh* Surely this trait is unique and special in all the world. Relax. The outsiders are not coming to take away your FREEEEEEEDOOOOOOOOOOM so there’s no need for you go all braveheart on us :)

  129. #129 BaldApe
    March 1, 2008

    I’m with Amy (#16). Why do these parents act like they don’t understand why the kids do what they do?

    Also, was I the only one who noticed that “hypocrisy” was one of the sins they were campaigning against?

    But most of all, it is remarkable how they illustrate that the cause of religious belief in adults is the failure to develop critical thinking skills greater than those of a 6-year-old.

    “Unless you shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven as a little child, you shall not enter in” or words to that effect. When you get to the point that you realize that Santa Clause is implausible, you ought to be able to figure out the God thing too.

  130. #130 Dylan Llyr
    March 1, 2008

    Not much to add other than further agreement that this is profoundly disconcerting.

    The link claims that this was a BBC programme. Just thought I’d point out, even though nobody in this thread ever said otherwise, that it was in fact broadcast on Channel 4, and had nothing to do with the Beeb. Same goes for the Dawkins doc, Root Of All Evil?, which is often referred to as a BBC product on US blogs despite in fact being shown on C4. Yeah. Anyway. Not that I work for C4 or anything; in fact I find it kind of charming that the BBC is assumed to be responsible for every TV thing originating from Britain.

  131. #131 Zbu
    March 1, 2008

    I couldn’t stop laughing after the dad started saying ‘a donkey talked and saved a man’s life.’ Good God, how retarded are some people? No wonder he thinks his son is something special; they’re pretty much as smart as each other.

    Someone really needs to clean out rural America. No wonder they call it flyover country. This is where the gullible are born and raised to live and die for their country without even know what it truly ever means.

  132. #132 ConcernedJoe
    March 1, 2008

    Rather the frozen North any day for this old fart than the sickening South. My experience (and I do have real intimate experiences) is that good people exist all over the World but the Usa South and the Usa South wannabes have more than their fair share of insane dangerous people institutionally woven into the fabric that defines the region. And thanks to the electoral system that persists they dictate life in the States. Ahime!

  133. #133 Mark Faine
    March 1, 2008

    You know I hate to be that guy that always says “There ought to be a law!” But really how long will we put up with this kind of obvious child abuse?

  134. #134 decrepitoldfool
    March 1, 2008

    And here’s the Muslim version: Hamas Rabbit.

  135. #135 gerald spezio
    March 1, 2008

    Peter Ashby #115, your post cuts to the control in the political chase for causation.

    Naturally, I noticed the Scots accent, but I was too hasty, or possibly too chagrined, to look for the production info that only you supplied.

    If not for you, I still wouldn’t know such a rudimentary fact involving selection pressure.

    The ratio of viewers between the two countries must be ten thousand to one.

    Was the much more public tv delivery in UK well-received?

    Those of us who are enamored with linear print are real dinosaurs in these ubiquitous media manipulations.

    The very same people who can easily “see” the manipulative abuse of wide-eyed accepting children often routinely fail to “see” their own identical manipulation by modern peeyar and the powerful forces aligned to distort a scientific understanding of the world & the human actors.

    The hypothesis that an overwhelming majority of all media is routinely circuitous & manipulative is mandatory.

  136. #136 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 1, 2008

    There is no current survival disadvantage to this mental laziness. That’s why creationists will be with us as long as there is human culture. Its also why it is useless to argue with creos.

    Then why are they, among rich countries, almost entirely limited to the USA?

    their own identical manipulation by modern peeyar

    You keep using the word “peeyar”. What does it mean? It’s not in my dictionary, and 19 of the first 20 ghits are personal or company names, while the 20th is as mysterious as your use. Please explain it.

  137. #137 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 1, 2008

    There is no current survival disadvantage to this mental laziness. That’s why creationists will be with us as long as there is human culture. Its also why it is useless to argue with creos.

    Then why are they, among rich countries, almost entirely limited to the USA?

    their own identical manipulation by modern peeyar

    You keep using the word “peeyar”. What does it mean? It’s not in my dictionary, and 19 of the first 20 ghits are personal or company names, while the 20th is as mysterious as your use. Please explain it.

  138. #138 Dylan Llyr
    March 1, 2008

    presumably PR, as in public relations.

  139. #139 gerald spezio
    March 1, 2008

    Long before they became commonplace yuppie toys or were referred to as beamers, a pal bought a magnificent new BMW auto.

    BMW was mostly known for motorcycles.

    His witty lady named it ‘the BM’er.”

    I sure hope that this helps because answering anything on Pharyngula is perilous.

  140. #140 Al
    March 1, 2008

    I think the most telling line is when the kid from florida is sitting in the pool

    “I can hear god talking to me, sometimes he sounds like me but I say ‘NO. Its god'”

    He’s already been convinced that his own word/advice is useless, good things ONLY come from God. That kind of mistrust of humanity is the worst aspect of religion.

  141. #141 Kalirren
    March 1, 2008

    I only got through watching the first ten minutes, but I just had to remark that these kids’ body language is amazingly telling. It seems most likely to me that “heeding the Voice of God” is equivalent to surrendering their self-control (however much they have, being kids) and descending into a quasi-fear response, adrenaline-driven, go-go-go psychophysical state; it’s a gut feeling that they’ve already stepped over some line separating normal behavior from a trance-like extreme flow, a well-channeled tantrum, and that the only thing left to do after crossing that line is to keep going as hard as they can. Entering this state is probably associated with the complete lack of fear for any negative repercussions of their actions, leading to a complete absolvement of social responsibility, a pattern that their parents’ encouraging will only exacerbate.

  142. #142 Rick Schauer
    March 1, 2008

    I want to know where the AMA or the APA or other medical or psych. or law enforcement groups are while this is happening? It’s simply not normal behavior for anyone let alone a kid. WTF?

  143. #143 Peter Ashby
    March 1, 2008

    Dylan you are right about the confusion between Aunty and C4, except that both are publicly owned broadcasters, it is just that C4 are run on a more commercial basis.

  144. #144 drew
    March 1, 2008

    “I can hear god talking to me. Sometimes it sounds like me but I say ‘NO. Its god'”

    Religion in a nutshell.

  145. #145 debbyo
    March 2, 2008

    Damien said: “The religious are looked upon as being suspicious and peculiar in the UK.”

    Same in OZ. We’ve had three atheist Prime Ministers since I’ve been voting (I think. Religion is usually a private thing). Our current PM came out as a Christian (Anglican) before he was elected – but it was quite weird for religion to be discussed by a politician.

    We have a couple of family values Christians in our parliament, but one of them (at least) is considered a bit of a harmless loony.

    Even Christians in my country cringe when Bush (or Hollywood actresses on winning nights) go on about God. It’s a bit of a cultural difference I think (not to generalize). Any fanaticism (except football) is considered very suspicious. Even patriotism is considered a bit nutty.

  146. #146 The Happy Cetacean
    March 2, 2008

    If I saw this little kid standing on the road side preaching this, I would walk over to the parents and act all Christian-like and just be all happy and proud of their little wunderkind. I’d then get their names, the church they attend, and any other relevant information (vehicle license plate numbers, hometown, etc.) and promptly call Child Protective Services and turn them in for child abuse.

  147. #147 Michelle
    March 2, 2008

    And those are the same people who think that Pagans are horrible parents and devil worshippers. The most psychologically balanced and intelligent kids I know are raised by pagans, but those extremist fundamentalist will swear that people of my spiritual persuasion aren’t fit to be parents because they’re indoctrinating their kids into evil and abuse.

    HAH.

    These little mini-preachers are victims of brainwashing and their parents’ money-making schemes. At least pagan kids are encouraged to learn and think for themselves and to eventually make up their own minds about religion. (Oh, and they’re allowed to learn about real science and evolution and physics and chemistry and biology without being told that it’s the work of some imaginary devil.) You’ll never see a pagan parent exploiting their kids in the name of religion like the kids in this video. Maybe it’s because we’re so comparatively sane that we end up being marginalized. In contrast, we’d be made to believe that these preacher-tots are the epitome of holiness. Those kids don’t even know what they’re saying yet. They’re too young to understand any of it. They’re just repeating what they’re told to say, and because they’re showered with attention, they keep doing it. Simple twisted psychology.

    What the hell is our world coming to?

  148. #148 themadlolscientist
    March 2, 2008

    When I was in high school in the late 60s, my church youth group friends and I used to ROFL hysterically at the whole Fundamentalist snake pit. That bunch was so completely off the map, it was simply impossible for us to take them or anything they said seriously. None of us ever imagined that $#!+ like that could possibly take off the way it has.

    Someone here mentioned Terry’s twin brother. Samuel also has a brother who looks to be about a year younger, just about the right age for some world-class sibling rivalry of the “my brother’s zigging, so I’m gonna zag” variety. (I’m speaking from experience here. The whole time we were growing up, my slightly younger brother seemed to go out of his way to be my exact opposite. Sometimes I think he’s still doing it.)

    I feel really sorry for the two left-out brothers. They’re in for some rough times ahead.

  149. #149 mmghosh
    March 2, 2008

    David Marjanovic (post #31)

    I thought it was a parody, too, at first (how could one not).

    However, on some searching, I find that its linked by common postings to several other related sites, and, in fact, now, to a fairly large wordpress community. which, presumably, buys into some of these ideas.

    So, if it is a parody, it is a very extensive one (and I’d really be relieved to see some confirmation that is is one – by anybody here). Please let me know, thanks.

  150. #150 Andrew Nguyen
    March 2, 2008

    Yes, I agree with most of the comments here. But I’d also like to point out something good as I am an optimist. The kids are super articulate. I sort of admire that considering I am a horrible public speaker and 21 years old. Imagine if these kid’s talents were applied elsewhere!

    Be optimistic!

    Also, look at some of the atheists in the video(I assume they were at least). They acted just as nasty. We all know preaching on the street like that is pretty silly. Its pretty futile to try to speak to radical evangilists anyway. People need to relax lol.

  151. #151 Strakh's Kid
    March 2, 2008

    I was sucked into watching the whole thing…One consistancy rang true throughout the show – those kids are LOST. One look into their eyes and you can tell they do not want to be where they are. Thank science I was raised by someone with a clear head and not a propaganda machine. Good Grief

  152. #152 Doug
    March 2, 2008

    The children are an expression of their parent’s failings. The girl has a father who says he was one of the worst people on the planet and did horrible deeds so he tries to redeem himself through his daughter. The Black kid’s dad abandoned him but welcomed him back when he became a money making enterprise. The White kid’s dad also admitted to moral failings and lives his life through his kid (but still has no problem with his child being beaten but just don’t put that on camera).

    Religious extremism finds it’s roots in those who have a negative outlook on their lives. Nobody starts the day thinking, “Hey, my life is great I think I’ll devote my life to Jesus and preach how much better I am on the streets of New York.” No, they view their lives as crap and think that because they accept a particular religious outlook that they have become superior and judge everyone else based on their past misdeeds simply assuming everyone is misguided as they once were.

    As this video shows they are not simply content to taking their lives down the sewers of religiosity. They’ll take their kids and the children of everyone else along with them. Only in a world where everyone thinks as they do will they think they’ll be content. However such a mindset must depend on scapegoats because they always need someone to look down upon as morally inferior.

  153. #153 dwarf zebu
    March 2, 2008

    Children may think (or be made to believe) that they are performing on behalf a god, but for a child, the wishes of that god are always filtered through the adults in their lives and are, as such, suspect.

    I really feel terrible for the brother of that “little man of god” Terry Durham. Talk about sibling rivalry blown out of all proportion! That poor child doesn’t dare express any jealousy since it would be considered evil, of the devil and ungrateful to god for giving him such a miraculous and wonderful brother. And as for being painfully shy when he’s not channeling gawd? Big deal! He’s not the only performer to have a personality shift when he takes the stage.

    Unfortunately, there’s too much to be gained for it to stop. The parents see fame and dollar signs. What the kids get was stated by Samuel in part 5; he likes to preach because people LISTEN. What unimaginable power for a child; to make adults sit up, take notice and listen to them!

  154. #154 Baals Bum
    March 16, 2008

    @pole greaser
    You got it wrong
    Fundie christians are proof you can get pregnant from anal sex.

  155. #155 Lithp
    March 16, 2008

    I’m terrified to know what the comments for this video were….

  156. #156 guitarathiest
    March 30, 2008

    Holy shit.

    Some people just shouldn’t have kids.

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