AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

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AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby pseudoidiot » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:56 pm UTC

http://www.edgeonthenet.com/?98884

Of all the places I expected a story like this to come from, it wasn't from West Fork, Arkansas, near where I used to live. Sure, it's in the northwest part of the state, which tends to be more liberal, but West Fork is a pretty tiny town and it caught me by surprise.

Either way, good for this kid. The statement he's making is pretty awesome.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby CueBall » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:00 pm UTC

That's awesome.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Owijad » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:07 pm UTC

"In the lunchroom and in the hallway, they’ve been making comments and doing pranks, and calling me gay," Will said. "It’s always the same people, walking up and calling me a gaywad."


What are they, ten? Oh, oh right.

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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby psyck0 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:15 pm UTC

Smart little dude. Skipped a grade, too. Good for him.

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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Aikanaro » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:19 pm UTC

Anyone else want to send him cookies now? :D
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Cynical Idealist » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:43 pm UTC

Owijad wrote:Rock on, little man.

This.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby JBJ » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:57 pm UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:
Owijad wrote:Rock on, little man.

This.

Agreed.

Good for the parents too. One of my favorite bits:
The principal "said we have to talk about Will, because he told a sub to jump off a bridge," recounted Will’s mother. "My first response was: Why? He’s not just going to say this because he doesn’t want to do his math work." Upon learning the specifics of the exchange, Laura Phillips requested an apology for her son.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Josephine » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:36 pm UTC

I seriously like this kid. Wow. I can tell he'll do great things.

It's also slightly comforting that the comments on that article are mostly positive.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Aetius » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:21 pm UTC

The principal "said we have to talk about Will, because he told a sub to jump off a bridge," recounted Will’s mother. "My first response was: Why? He’s not just going to say this because he doesn’t want to do his math work." Upon learning the specifics of the exchange, Laura Phillips requested an apology for her son.


He's telling authority figures to go fuck themselves at an eighth grade level!

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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:37 pm UTC

I am happy for the little guy, but stories like this tend to make me uncomfortable, because I think it's more likely he is doing what his parents told him/suggested/"If i were you, I would" to do.

I am not a huge fan of indoctinating children to act out adults political ideologies. Its possible he came up with this plan on his own, but 10 year olds cognative ability to think of others needs above their own is quite low.

It reminds me of the footage of little kids stomping on Dixie Chick CDs because they were anti-american.

In this case the result is positive and GOOD, but I think its still a response to their parents desires.


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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Decker » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:40 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:I am happy for the little guy, but stories like this tend to make me uncomfortable, because I think it's more likely he is doing what his parents told him/suggested/"If i were you, I would" to do.

I am not a huge fan of indoctinating children to act out adults political ideologies. Its possible he came up with this plan on his own, but 10 year olds cognative ability to think of others needs above their own is quite low.

It reminds me of the footage of little kids stomping on Dixie Chick CDs because they were anti-american.

In this case the result is positive and GOOD, but I think its still a response to their parents desires.


Ixtellor

Underlining the part I'm replying to. In most cases I would agree with you, but by the sounds of this article this kid is already well above average intelligence. I think this has some effect on how seflish he is (or isn't in this case).

Edit: Fixed affect/effect mistake.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Azrael » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:43 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:I am not a huge fan of indoctinating children to act out adults political ideologies.
And where do you think the 10 year old homophobic jackass schoolmates learned their behavior from?

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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Aikanaro » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:48 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:I am not a huge fan of indoctinating children to act out adults political ideologies.
And where do you think the 10 year old homophobic jackass schoolmates learned their behavior from?

Ix's point still stands. Regardless of whether you're brainwashing them with something evil, or something good, you're still brainwashing them. It's also regardless of whether your next door neighbor is brainwashing their children with something you oppose.

That said, I think Decker is right.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:50 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:I am not a huge fan of indoctinating children to act out adults political ideologies.
And where do you think the 10 year old homophobic jackass schoolmates learned their behavior from?


1) I don't think the kid in this story is doing anything wrong.
2) To answer your question: I don't like this either:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/08/ ... ?tag=stack

A lawyer for a north Florida school district says a handful of students have been sent home from Alachua County schools this week for wearing shirts that read "Islam is of the Devil."


This is what happens when parents instruct their children to act out the parents political agenda at school. I am all for positive expression, but I don't think its anything more than a student fulfilling his parents agenda.

While I agree with one sentiment and not the other, they are both most likely forms of parental indoctrination and reflections of anothers beliefs.


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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby psyck0 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:50 pm UTC

You can't avoid 'brainwashing' people FFS. This kid made the decision on his own, he was not told to do so by his parents. That's as close to his own choice as we can possibly get.

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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Aikanaro » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:54 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote:You can't avoid 'brainwashing' people FFS. This kid made the decision on his own, he was not told to do so by his parents. That's as close to his own choice as we can possibly get.

I agree. I'm saying in this kind of situation it's a potential concern, but it sounds like it's one that's already covered, and that it was wholly up to him. But it doesn't make us bad people for wanting to check initially that it was his idea, and not his parents.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Decker » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:55 pm UTC

That's an interesting point. At what point does it stop becoming simply parenting and become brainwashing?
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:57 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote:You can't avoid 'brainwashing' people FFS. This kid made the decision on his own, he was not told to do so by his parents. That's as close to his own choice as we can possibly get.


I read the whole story, and there is no way to know if he made the decision on his own. Its conceivable he is the most evolved 10 year old of all time, but I kind of doubt it.

I realize you want a hero, but the odds its a 10 year old acting of his own free will, is going to be really low.
I think best case scenario is that he overheard his parents and their gay friends discussing what they would do, or something directly related to not saying the pledge. Maybe you can use his parents as your hero since they are teaching their kid something good.


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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Decker » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:59 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
psyck0 wrote:You can't avoid 'brainwashing' people FFS. This kid made the decision on his own, he was not told to do so by his parents. That's as close to his own choice as we can possibly get.


I read the whole story, and there is no way to know if he made the decision on his own. Its conceivable he is the most evolved 10 year old of all time, but I kind of doubt it.

I realize you want a hero, but the odds its a 10 year old acting of his own free will, is going to be really low.
I think best case scenario is that he overheard his parents and their gay friends discussing what they would do, or something directly related to not saying the pledge. Maybe you can use his parents as your hero since they are teaching their kid something good.


Ixtellor

Well, if that scenerio was the case, he might have gotten the IDEA from his parents, but the decision to go through with it was his.
I belive that's what's really important here.

Edit for additional note. Ix, I agree with you that a 10 year old doing this kind of thing is going to be very rare and unusual, but I belive that's kind of why it made the news. I stand by my statement that the child IS very "evolved" from the evidence given in the article of him skipping a grade, etc.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:06 pm UTC

Decker wrote:That's an interesting point. At what point does it stop becoming simply parenting and become brainwashing?


Hmm I can't think of a single answer other than there is no difference. For every example in my head, I picture racist parents doing the same thing and since I equate racism with brainwashing...

Which is why I think kids can believe whatever... sigh.... damn racists -- but don't instruct them to be your political mouthpiece at school please.

Ixtellor

P.S. Call me a cynic but I doubt he came up with the idea on his own. Its still great and all, but..
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Decker » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:16 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:P.S. Call me a cynic but I doubt he came up with the idea on his own. Its still great and all, but..

Well I would be a bit of a hypocrite for getting angry at anyone for being cynical.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Arancaytar » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:37 pm UTC

’With all due respect, ma’am, you can go jump off a bridge.’"


This guy is indeed awesome.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Malice » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:43 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
Decker wrote:That's an interesting point. At what point does it stop becoming simply parenting and become brainwashing?


Hmm I can't think of a single answer other than there is no difference. For every example in my head, I picture racist parents doing the same thing and since I equate racism with brainwashing...

Which is why I think kids can believe whatever... sigh.... damn racists -- but don't instruct them to be your political mouthpiece at school please.

Ixtellor

P.S. Call me a cynic but I doubt he came up with the idea on his own. Its still great and all, but..


The difference between brainwashing and parenting is that brainwashing is about one viewpoint, while good parenting includes allowing your kids to question and think critically about what you teach them, as well as the inclusion of different viewpoints (such as introducing them to different religious beliefs instead of just one system).
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Dauric » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:52 pm UTC

Children learn things from their elders. Doesn't matter what species they are, it's a survival trait for offspring to observe and mimic their parents. in that regard "Brainwashing" as it could potentially be applied in this situation is scientifically called "Socialization" and it's generally considered a Healthy Thing (tm).

Now sure, children can be socialized with unacceptable behaviors, but that's where the ability to learn and reason comes in to play.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:55 pm UTC

Malice wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:
Decker wrote:That's an interesting point. At what point does it stop becoming simply parenting and become brainwashing?


Hmm I can't think of a single answer other than there is no difference. For every example in my head, I picture racist parents doing the same thing and since I equate racism with brainwashing...

Which is why I think kids can believe whatever... sigh.... damn racists -- but don't instruct them to be your political mouthpiece at school please.

Ixtellor

P.S. Call me a cynic but I doubt he came up with the idea on his own. Its still great and all, but..


The difference between brainwashing and parenting is that brainwashing is about one viewpoint, while good parenting includes allowing your kids to question and think critically about what you teach them, as well as the inclusion of different viewpoints (such as introducing them to different religious beliefs instead of just one system).


That sounds like a good answer.

However, should you teach your children all the viewpoints about homosexuality or just that it is a normal/healthy thing.
Same for racism. Should you teach all viewpoints and allow them to make up their own mind of if its ok or not to be racist, or should you teach your children that racism is bad bad bad.

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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby MikeBabaguh » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:04 pm UTC

Decker wrote:At what point does it stop becoming simply parenting and become brainwashing?

Jesus Camp.

All children learn their world views from their parents. Most people keep these opinions upon maturation. It's the minority who encounter sufficient evidence contrary to their opinion and develop the critical thinking necessary to change it.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:53 am UTC

At what point does it stop becoming simply parenting and become brainwashing?


When the kid is obviously forming at least part of the argument/action seperate of quoting/reenacting his parents it is no longer brainwashing.(imo)

In this case, I do feel the kid is well intentioned but still believe it falls a little bit into the I was told to category. While its clear he is smart enough to somewhat understand what he is doing, I think he would just as easily be saying he wouldn't stand for the pledge while marriage wasn't being protected if his parents were active in that campaign. I especially commend the kid for intelligence, but I do hesitate to commend him for showing good character on the basis I don't think he is mature enough philosophically to be doing this out of a higher sense of right and wrong.

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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Malice » Sat Nov 14, 2009 2:33 am UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
Malice wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:
Decker wrote:That's an interesting point. At what point does it stop becoming simply parenting and become brainwashing?


Hmm I can't think of a single answer other than there is no difference. For every example in my head, I picture racist parents doing the same thing and since I equate racism with brainwashing...

Which is why I think kids can believe whatever... sigh.... damn racists -- but don't instruct them to be your political mouthpiece at school please.

Ixtellor

P.S. Call me a cynic but I doubt he came up with the idea on his own. Its still great and all, but..


The difference between brainwashing and parenting is that brainwashing is about one viewpoint, while good parenting includes allowing your kids to question and think critically about what you teach them, as well as the inclusion of different viewpoints (such as introducing them to different religious beliefs instead of just one system).


That sounds like a good answer.

However, should you teach your children all the viewpoints about homosexuality or just that it is a normal/healthy thing.
Same for racism. Should you teach all viewpoints and allow them to make up their own mind of if its ok or not to be racist, or should you teach your children that racism is bad bad bad.

IXtellor


At a certain point you hit basic assumptions like, "People should try to help other people, and not hurt them." I'm comfortable teaching those basic assumptions by rote, and I'm confident that most children, given those assumptions and the ability to think critically about what they're told, will find the "right" viewpoint, regardless of which one the parent holds.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby netcrusher88 » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:11 am UTC

MikeBabaguh wrote:Most people keep these opinions upon maturation. It's the minority who encounter sufficient evidence contrary to their opinion and develop the critical thinking necessary to change it.
Disagree. I'd look up those charts that show moral and economic values graphed against age (younger people are in general economically and morally more liberal) but I'm lazy.

I like this kid. And his parents. Also, as far as the discussion over whether he could have come up with this on his own - never underestimate kids.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Gelsamel » Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:52 am UTC

Assuming this kids opinions are genuine and he's not being fed lines etc...

The interviewer from The Arkansas Times asked Will what it means to be an American. The answer: "Freedom of speech. The freedom to disagree. That’s what I think pretty much being an American represents."


Then... this kid is brilliant.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:52 pm UTC

Everyone in the US should take an ideological stand against the "Pledge of Allegiance" by the time they are ten years old.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:49 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:I like this kid. And his parents. Also, as far as the discussion over whether he could have come up with this on his own - never underestimate kids.

Yeah, I feel like the people who think he couldn't have either don't remember what it was like to be 10, or they were rather stupid 10-year-olds. I believed and did all kinds of things at that age without my parents' input. They supported me and helped me when I did bring those ideas up, but that's different from teaching me to have those ideas in the first place. It's not like this is a particularly complex issue, either. I could see criticizing it if he were voicing complex opinions about health care reform, as that's probably not something he's done a whole lot of reading or thinking about on his own.

When I was in fifth grade, I don't remember having to still say the pledge every day. But if I did, and if gay marriage had been a current political topic and my family had had openly gay friends who wanted to get married but couldn't, I could see this sort of thing happening. Kid comes home and says something like, "How come we have to say America has Liberty and Justice for all, when people like uncle Adam and his boyfriend Steve aren't even allowed to get married?" In many families, that would have been the sort of difficult question kids *always* ask, because they haven't yet learned not to question things like that. In his family (and I suspect in my own when I was that age), the response could simply have been, "Well, son, actually you don't have to stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance. A lot of people don't know that, but it's not required." Then perhaps there was some discussion about the reactions other people would have, and asking the kid if he was sure he wanted to face the negative reactions of kids (and teachers) around him. (Ixtellor would probably assume they just told him to go for it at this point, since apparently kids are incapable of deciding whether the consequences of something are worth facing...) And then the kid said yes, and his parents supported his decision.
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As for the "brainwashing" issue: if you're going to so expand the definition of that term so that it includes *all* parenting, then it becomes pretty much completely useless. It's like watering down notions of theft and rape so that you can say all property is theft or all sex is rape: Sure, you might have a point buried under there somewhere, but meanwhile you've also completely trivialized the experiences of people who've dealt with actual brainwashing or rape or theft.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:59 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:As for the "brainwashing" issue: if you're going to so expand the definition of that term so that it includes *all* parenting, then it becomes pretty much completely useless.
Oh, that's easy--the way you can tell that he hasn't been brainwashed is by the fact that he's expressing an opinion we agree with.

Kidding! But, seriously, I remember taking issue with the pledge of allegiance when I was around his age. "You want me to pledge my allegiance to something I don't even completely understand? Uh, how about no?" - I don't find the notion that he came up with this on his own hard to swallow, either. I had a pretty antagonistic perspective of the US as a child, and I was raised in a pretty pro-US home.

That being said, I think it's important we don't suddenly scream "BRAINWASHING!" when the opposite happens--when you have a kid expressing anti-homosexual sentiments, or otherwise pushing notions we'd describe as 'douchey'. There's a very fine line between allowing children to express their opinions and using them as tools to express yours--and when the opinion is one we disagree with, it's very easy to assume that the latter is going on. Even when it isn't.

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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:06 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I think it's important we don't suddenly scream "BRAINWASHING!" when the opposite happens--when you have a kid expressing anti-homosexual sentiments, or otherwise pushing notions we'd describe as 'douchey'.

Oh definitely, though there are certain sentiments that I would probably still attribute to having been pretty sheltered, if not to actual "brainwashing"-like actions on the parts of the parents. (As in, things you probably wouldn't still say if you actually knew any gay/black/Muslim people, or whatever.)

And also, I think it is a lot more fair to bring up the same criticism when it's a much younger child. Your 4-year old, cute as she is holding up that adorable little sign you helped her make, is definitely not pro-choice. She is the daughter of pro-choice parents, and that's it. (Dawkins makes the same point about "religious" children in The God Delusion, and I think it's a valid point there as well, at least before a certain age.) And even in the case of this 10-year-old, I think it would be silly to ascribe overarching political views to him (i.e. that he's a Democrat or a Republican or whatever), just like if he voiced complex opinions on a much more complex issue than who can get married, such as health care reform.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby DucksOnATruck » Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:27 pm UTC

My parents never suggested to me that the pledge of allegiance was wrong, yet when I was 14 I decided that I disagreed with the premise and decided to stop standing and saying it. I'm not anything special, so I could imagine a pretty smart 10 year old reaching the same conclusion without outside prompting.

I was however raised by two liberals, but I would have considered it bad parenting if they hadn't tried to make me understand why they we're liberals. Note that this involved informing me about the concept of social justice and explaining why it was important because not everyone gets the same privileges in life. It wasn't accomplished by telling me that being liberal is right because liberals are right and conservatives are dumb. I think that is the difference between brainwashing and parenting.

Bonus heartwarming story!: When I decided to stop saying the pledge, my large, angry, homeroom teacher decided to try and browbeat me into saying the pledge. It's really intimidating for a 14 year old to be yelled at by an authority figure in front of all your peers! But when I told my older brother about it, he dropped whatever it was he was doing and immediately went down to the principals office to loudly let her know that it is my right to express my political beliefs and that I better not be reprimanded for it again.

The next day my homeroom teacher apologized to me. :3

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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby aleflamedyud » Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:57 pm UTC

Aikanaro wrote:
Azrael wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:I am not a huge fan of indoctinating children to act out adults political ideologies.
And where do you think the 10 year old homophobic jackass schoolmates learned their behavior from?

Ix's point still stands. Regardless of whether you're brainwashing them with something evil, or something good, you're still brainwashing them. It's also regardless of whether your next door neighbor is brainwashing their children with something you oppose.

That said, I think Decker is right.

And in what manner do you distinguish between teaching and brainwashing?
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Aikanaro » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:34 am UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:
Aikanaro wrote:
Azrael wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:I am not a huge fan of indoctinating children to act out adults political ideologies.
And where do you think the 10 year old homophobic jackass schoolmates learned their behavior from?

Ix's point still stands. Regardless of whether you're brainwashing them with something evil, or something good, you're still brainwashing them. It's also regardless of whether your next door neighbor is brainwashing their children with something you oppose.

That said, I think Decker is right.

And in what manner do you distinguish between teaching and brainwashing?

Hard to define precisely where I draw the line, but there are definite examples of brainwashing via parenting that can be provided, showing that while we can't always clearly point out the difference, we CAN show that it IS there. Best example already given in this thread was Jesus Camp.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:37 pm UTC

Aikanaro, to demonstrate that there is a difference, you also need an example of something that's clearly teaching and not brainwashing.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby netcrusher88 » Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:54 pm UTC

I don't think brainwashing is, be definition, the right word. Brainwashing literally is Orwellian re-education.

More accurately, I think, the line where it crosses over from parenting to, well... (pejorative) indoctrination is one of the primary identifiers of cults (and one exhibited by, off the top of my head, WBC and Scientology) that anyone who says something incompatible with their beliefs is bad, cannot be trusted, should be avoided, should be ignored, deserves to die, or anything of that nature.

Passing down morals or other ideas is one thing, and in my opinion it's okay - I may not like what's passed down, but if I have kids I may well pass down ideas that a majority of other people may not like. Coupling said ideas to a cultist's devotion to them is not okay. And yet with popular ideas it is a pervasive practice.
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Re: AR Youth Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Postby dedalus » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:50 pm UTC

The difference between brainwashing and educating is the ability to de-construct any moral statement to its core tenets. The statement 'homosexuals are evil/sinners/going to hell' invariably can only be given the reason 'because the bible/god/priest/everyone else says so', whereas the statement 'everyone is equal' is based upon the idea that 'we are all of the same species, people of the same species tend to think and act morally etc.. to a similar standard, and equality should be based on these similarities'. As a child gets older they begin to understand the reason behind the initial statement, and can consider their agreement with the individual parts and thus adjust the whole. But in the case of the first statement, you can only either overturn it or leave it standing, which is a lot harder.

Of course, not every brainwashing is of the form 'X is so because I say', sometimes they can be really nifty forms of brainwashing, like saying that being gay is a personal choice *cough*. So I would say that the definition behind brainwashing is that the reasons behind the moral statement are either false or based upon the 'because I said so' idea; at least at a much higher level then the very fundamental that occurs from the fact that the universe doesn't HAVE a definite set of morals.
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