My Christian education taught me not to befriend atheists

Not just atheists, actually. Friendship with all ‘unbelievers’ was off the table.

Once again I am a guest poster at The Friendly Atheist. The social division caused by this kind of education is a much more immediate harm than the threat of creationism, but it’s received less attention. I want to put that right.

Please check out my post and share it if you like it.

About jonnyscaramanga

I grew up as a Christian fundamentalist in the UK. Now I am writing a book and blog about what that's like, and what fundamentalists believe.

Posted on May 16, 2014, in Accelerated Christian Education, Atheism, Education, Fundamentalism, School of Tomorrow. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. No religious indoctrination to see here, folks… and don’t you dare criticize this ‘education’ as anything other than grammar instruction or you’ll be vilified as one of those militant immoral far right wing hater New Atheists out to stir up trouble.

    Welcome to the fold, Jonny…

  2. Wow. Just wow. I attended a fundamentalist Christian school until the 3rd grade. I don’t really remember anything about our assignments. Looking at this, I wonder if this is the kind of stuff I was doing.

  3. That goes beyond most of the stuff I had in ABB. That is some cult-level indoctrination. Holy shit.

  4. I was raised by parents who communicated the same ideas/beliefs to me and my siblings. My father, however, is a prodigious debater. He turned nearly every dinner discussion into a debate, challenging us to think things through. That must have backfired on me, because I, too, left fundamentalism behind. Sorry I’m late to the party. I’ve been offline for a couple of weeks.

  5. Two things come to my mind:

    1. Not to befriend non-believers is not biblical. Every Christian should have a non-Christian friend.
    Non Christians challenge and question one’s own faith. Keeps you down to earth and prevents you from living in a (not so holy) bubble.
    And if you need it bibilcal: Jesus himself ate with “sinners” (tax faudsters e.g.), did not judge sinners (Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well).
    A faith that won’t stand a challenge is not a faith one can live and die with.

    I do not understand why some “Christians” are so afraid of science and anything “worldly”. It means they are afraid to “lose their faith” over it- as if it was man-made (applies to all fundamentalists, not just Christians).
    Biblical understanding is that Christian faith is not man-made but given by God (if you ask for it).

    2. I also don’t understand this ongoing dispute between evolution and creation that is also a big topic in this blog.
    The Old Testament’s story of the creation of the world does not want to be scientific and *explain how* things were made nor does it try to be scientifically consitent. It is meant to tell that the world was wanted by God and it’s not an existance without meaning. And so it uses ways to explain this, the 7 days of creation.
    Evolution is a 19th century scientific theory that didn’t want to explain the meaning of the world. It explores the physics of this world and seeks to be consistent in itself.
    It does not explain where we were before and where we go after this life and what is beyond it.
    So evolution and creation actually don’t touch each other as they respond to completely different questions. I don’t see a conflict.

    Both points have created unnnecessary conflict and damage to people’s views. They have distracted from the actual important questions of life.

    So a personal question to the author:
    Lifes can be lost very accidentally or they can last very long. Some animals just live a few days, others get much older then humans but in the end they will also die.
    What do you think will happen to people after this life?

  6. This is so familiar..I attended a christian fundamentalist school in the US for grades 1-3, then was raised in a christian fundamentalist family through age 16, though for the last two years our church was not a fundamentalist church. This kind of indoctrination is sadly prevalent amount fundamentalists. While I wasn’t taught that I couldn’t befriend them, I was taught that I had to witness to them, and that even some denominations of Christianity, like Lutheranism (my bio mom was Lutheran, my Stepmom was fundie), weren’t really Christians. And people wonder why I’m agnostic now.

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