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I can express firsthand disdain at religious parenting, especially Christian based parenting. Not because of just the emotional abuse inflicted with a child’s first initial programming of fearing all things to do with Satan, his demons, and the fiery pit, but because of the lack of necessary care for a child’s mental health in general. A large majority of Christian parents see issues like constant lying, theft, irrational fear, and even mental handicaps as something that requires more prayer and immersion in the cess pool of what is twisted righteousness. Those who have diagnosed disabilities are fortunate enough to have the public school systems on their side, though what happens to those stuck in a home school makes me even more nervous. For me though, the idea of introducing divine grace to sufferers of neurological disabilities like autism really make me wonder how these so called faithful parents for Christ can be sure, at the end of their day, just how good of god fearing parents they really are.

Honestly, there is no way that faith can save them all, even by these religious family standards.

For example, take this discussion that was started earlier on a board I observe. A mother hops on there, we will call her Jane and her son John. She is a devoutly practicing conservative Christian (by her own description), has a four year old autistic son. Recently she posted a thread asking for help in how to teach her son about God biblically. She states that “she knows it is her duty to teach him about God and the Bible”. Now, before we get to the whole nonsense of the notion of getting a disabled child to knowingly accept grace with full understanding of the implications, one of the responses actually made me ponder a few moments at the irrational logic.

A member, who has a higher functioning autistic child than Jane, stated that she has “a 3.5 year old with autism. Every child is different but mine does understand bible stories. In fact, the story of Joseph is his favorite. I do sunday school lessons with him, where we color pictures or make crafts so he will remember the story and i repeat the same stories many times. We also read stories every night before bed. He doesn’t get everything of course but he knows alot. I guess it depends on the level of functioning of the child.”

The biggest understanding to be gained from this member’s advice? Have your child memorize the stories and make crafts?

Am I missing something here?

If all she could impart upon her toddler as far as faith goes was how awesome Joseph’s robe was and that by crossing two popsicle sticks and using some glue you can make a cross, then he is screwed! If that kid died tomorrow, by this particular group’s beliefs, he would roast. I realize that he will likely grow up to be wonderful young man, but if he never genuinely accepts salvation, or at least accepts salvation for love of God and not for the rewards of Heaven or fear of Hell, it makes me ask: Who failed here? God? Or the faithful parents?

Now back to mother Jane and her son John. I know her son is not a high functioning autistic. I’m sure he will understand the concepts of right and wrong eventually, but to just obey without understanding isn’t enough. I know some have said that there is an age of accountability for children, and anytime before then, they are Heaven bound. This is based on David’s stating he would see his dead baby again someday. How do we know David was not speaking out of denial? There isn’t any implicitly stated rule or regulation. For fuck’s sake, kids were torn up by bears for calling a man bald! You are telling me they went to Heaven? Or are they in Hell and eternal torment forever because of a minute incident of mild bullying?

Others have told me that so long as the mentally handicapped are too incapacitated to decide then they are considered like innocent children and are Heaven bound as well. Yet, there isn’t a single solid proof of this in the Bible. Fact is, the Bible treats mental illness like a demon possession. Of course, you also have some who have said that when someone who is disabled or too young to understand dies, that they come before God whole and able to understand, and it is then that they decide. Again, not a shred of proof in the written book of the Bible to support this. Just a bunch of cherry picked scriptures and a bunch of injected conjecture and meaning that isn’t really there.

There is this uncomfortable truth out there and like the big elephant in the room, no one is talking about, and that is a pesky little statement made by this deity, that knocks all these claims of salvation for babies, puppies and handicapped people. This scripture is consistently thrown in the face of atheists, fellow Christians who aren’t following the rules the way their church thinks they should, and at other relgions in general. Which scripture? C’mon now, you know this one! I’ll give you a hint. It’s in Romans chapter one.

Remember it yet? Well here’s a reminder.

20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

So, I’m sorry, Jane. If you can’t get your son to genuinely accept God, he’s going to burn, and you have to ask yourself did you fail him as a mother? Were you a shitty example of faith that doomed your son’s soul? Or did God’s presence not live up to what He claims?

Perhaps you should step away from all the Bible speak and think long and hard about what you are truly trying to impart on your son. If you do that, you are going to have to think really long and hard about what you think you signed your own personal life up for. Personally, I think you’re being a total cunt. However you go about it, you will have to discuss the consequences of lack of faith. You have to explain to your handicapped child that he isn’t perfect, that he is a sinner, and that he is NEVER good enough without God in his heart. You are going to counter program him with fear and continuous dissatisfaction with himself while at the same time trying to convince him he is important like everyone else. Forget the fact that his being autistic and all the personality differences that will make him stick out isn’t bad enough.

I struggle daily with a child who is ADHD, very emotional and genius smart. He has the pressure of teachers trying to help him not get ahead of himself, lose control of his feelings, or lose his school work. He has the pressure of other kids who know he is emotionally vulnerable and are intimidated by his advanced learning skills and mature thought. Everyday he looks in the mirror and knows he sticks out, and everyday I remind him that isn’t a bad thing in the long run. In the long run, he is going to face challenges everyday, but he will also be in control of his life and thoroughly enjoy pursuit of what he wants to accomplish. And he’ll find plenty of others who stick out, and realize that sticking out is what makes good company. He’ll be compassionate not out of fear of eternal torment, but because he will want to leave a legacy worthy of remembrance in his wake.

How will Jane’s son ever contribute, or any child with such dogma and disabilities combined, when they are being handicapped even further with issues that are above their understanding or control? If ever there were a path to lead to further issues and lack of progress, I would say John has been set on it, and he can’t even count on his own mother to protect him.

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