The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Monday, July 28, 2014

Religious Children Can't Tell Fact From Fiction, REALLY?!? NONSENSE!!!

According to a study published in the journal Cognitive Science, as related by the Huffington Post and New York Daily News ... among others, poor little 5 and 6 year old religious kids will be susceptible to buying the Golden Gate Bridge, will believe Star Wars is real, and--especially children of fundamentalists--will always believe what they hear from opinion makers like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. Why are these poor children unable to tell the difference between fact and fiction? Because they are being raised with a religious faith, any religious faith it seems. This is especially true of the Bible literalists, apparently. You see, believing in God, believing in miracles, believing one should love others, including enemies, place service to others above the almighty dollar and self interest, well those things just make you a little bit stupid, sorry to say, according to an extensive study of some 66 kids (phew, now there's going all out to try to prove a point, huh). You just can't tell what's real and what not if you have faith. Poor, poor children, being led astray by families and churches who will believe Winnie the Pooh is actually playing Pooh sticks on that bridge in the Hundred Acre Woods, Dorothy really went to Oz to squash a witch with her house and would want to return to rural Kansas with those magic ruby slippers (who is going to believe that--London, Paris, Rome ... maybe), all those kids cartoons on the Cartoon Network are real folks living real lives, and that reality TV has any bearing of reality. All because they have faith. What a shame.

What nonsense! What happened to all the studies stating that young children live in a world of magic, a world where the fantastic is part of life, where imagination is nurtured? What happened to the psychologist who told listeners on NPR some years ago that you can't tell children there are no ghosts or monsters when they are young because they will not believe you. They aren't ready yet. But you can tell them that their parents or guardians won't let those spooks into the house and they will believe in their guardian's or parent's authority to keep harm out. Passe now? Just another passing phase?

As someone who grew up in a religious family, whose ancestors heading back many generations have been faithful Protestants, I can assure you we never had trouble telling what was real from what was not. My kids have been raised in the church and they know well the difference between reality and fantasy. I too know the difference. And I can sure smell fabrication all over this study. You'll have to do better than that guys. Much better than that. So ends the rant ... and that's a fact.

For another rant on the warped idea that religion is the root of all warfare, see:

For a much calmer, more cooperative post on faith and positive interactions [personal caveat: in the current post I'm defending children, not God ... you'll see], see:

For the kind of organizations most of these studies really seemed to be aimed at, try:

For where we really should be aiming our efforts and energies instead of silly studies like this, see:

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