Sometimes work is a constant search of things to listen to while you’re working. Simon has taken to the whole podcast craze. A while back he stumbled across TheChurchIsNOTTrue.com. It’s by two former members of The Brethren that have dedicated themselves to “exposing” The Church. In a testament to Simon’s intellectual honesty, he also listened to the pro-LDS Mormon Stories podcast. I actually listened to some of both as well and found it all interesting, though I’m obviously more ignorant of some of the backstory than is Simon, who was raised in The Church.
But one thing that caught my attention in the anti-LDS podcast was an episode with his daughter. He took issue with something his daughter was being taught in school about Deseret and LDS history and sent his daughter back to correct the error. I’m not going to get into what the disagreement was about, but it was a pretty minor affair. Even to the extent that he was right and the teacher wrong, it rubbed me the wrong way for him to drag his daughter in to it. He can say that the school is the one that dragged his daughter into it, and though he may be correct, it is unlikely that the lesson plan will change and if that’s his goal he should take it up with the school directly. Considering local culture, I would probably not even do that as it would likely change nothing except make my child’s life just a little more difficult as an outsider. Of course, it’s fears like that which would prevent me from raising a child in Deseret to begin with, so being that he is binded to the area I can appreciate his dilemma a little.
It reminded me a little bit of Michael Newdow, the atheist father who sued on behalf of his daughter (without the legal standing to do so) to get the pledge stripped from public schools. Honestly, I think the words “under god” ought not be in the pledge and to the extent they are, Newdow was probably technically correct. But point-of-fact he used his daughter to make a political point. It would be one thing if the daughter went home in tears and was already distraught, but that was not the case.
I feel the same way (except much more strongly) about involving kids in political events. I grouse at parents that have a little three year-old girl holding a placard supporting a position that they could not possibly understand or an eight year old who may understand it somewhat but is not aware that there is another point of view that may be equally supportable. There’s a reason that they’re not allowed to vote, because they’re not old enough to understand the issues. The children of most Republican parents will become Republicans. The same goes for Democrats. Fearly on you eye current events with the perspective you are raised to. This is true even when parents don’t talk politics. It’s not even a bad thing as it is important for parents to pass on their values to children. But the leap from “You should help your fellow man” or “You should earn what you get through work” and representing your own opinion as your child’s is not a small one - even (and especially) when they’re perfectly willing and happy to do so because they love their mommy and daddy.