The other day, I was in a cafe in the morning. I was having breakfast before going to work. And as I had my computer with me, I went online and logged into Facebook. I saw my News Feed, and what I saw almost made me puke. I had a Facebook friend who posted the following status: Contrary to popular belief, education is not the best gift parents can give their children; the Gospel is. When I saw that, I almost vomited my breakfast. Needless to say, I decided to remove this person from my Friends list.
I just find it incredulous. The fact that there can be people like that. That there can be people who think that it is way better NOT to think and instead have faith instead. It reminds me of a quote from Martin Luther, who said that whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his reason. He further claims that reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has. It seems to be that religion and rational thinking are incompatible with each other. And what horrifies me is that there are people who think it is better to deprive their children of reason and instead feed them myths based on religion.
The person who posted this status update was a former acquaintance of mine. We went to high school together. I haven't seen her for ages. And given her online behavior, I don't think I can be friends with this person. Hence I removed her from my contacts.
It made me wonder, what would have happened if I didn't get an education. I probably would be included in the masses of those who believe. Hence, as ironic as this might sound, I am actually grateful for my parents for giving me the opportunity to hone my rational skills. I am grateful for the fact that they sent me to university. I find it sad that they don't agree with my decisions, as they are religious people themselves, but come to think of it, their choices also had a great bearing on my ethics and world view. They encouraged us kids to think for ourselves, and reason what is right and wrong. Hence, my abandoning religion is just a natural consequence of this whole process that they have started when us kids were younger.
Contrary to my ex-acquaintance, I still think that education is the best gift parents can give their children. Children should be taught to think for themselves, and choose for themselves whether they would want to be part of a religion or not. If you don't educate children and train them to be capable of rational thought, then you are not raising children. Instead, you are raising robots, or entities that would follow every word said in the pulpit, without even entertaining the question of whether they themselves agree with these statements or not.