This post is an example of classic religious “fart logic”. If you don’t know my expression “fart logic”, you might want to read the definition here.
This weekend, I again heard a religious excuse which I have heard many times before. Two friends, from different families, gave similar excuses for why they send their kids to church. Neither of the families have significantly religious parents. In fact, in both families, one parent is an atheist and the other a minimal Christian at best. Yet both families send their kids to religious education classes and church services. And both friends, at different times this weekend, gave the following reasons:
“I just want my kids to be exposed to a religion so they can then later choose for themselves if they believe in religion or not.”
I didn’t say this, but I wondered to myself:
“Well, why didn’t you send your kids to the Jewish Synagogue or the Buddhist Temple or the African-American Methodist church in town rather than the exact same denomination you just happened to have been raised in?”
To me, the friends’ explanations are obvious fart-logic. The reason they gave probably did not significantly influence their decision but instead the major reasons for their choice are probably to be found among any or all of the following:
- I want my kid to have my experiences
- I want my kid to have morals and morals come from church and God
- I want my kid to fit in with all her/his friends and society
- I want to be looked at by my community as doing the right thing
- I want to play my bets right, because what if God wants this. I don’t want my kid to go to hell because I didn’t think this out right.
- I like to stick to the familiar
- I don’t want my kids or family picked on unnecessarily, so we will just blend in
- I don’t want to be hassled by my extended family about the whole issue
Besides these, I am sure there are more possible reasons. Feel free to suggest them in the comments.
Am I being over cynical, harsh, self-righteous and judgmental, or does anyone else suspect the fart-logic? I am not saying that sending your kids to church is necessarily bad, I am just pickin’ on the fart logic excuses used here. Of course I have no clue if the parents are actually aware of their fart logic or if they are consciously offering socially acceptable excuses which they themselves don’t believe. I wonder if they would confess to any of the other reasons which may be influencing their minds. All that said, may I say that I am sure I justify much in my life with similar fart logic — but I depend on readers to point that out.
A) I am not saying that going to church is the “fart logic”, but that the reason they put forward is not their real reason.
B) Commentors at /r/Atheist (reddit.com) tell me that they have not heard such excuses in European countries where the percent of sincere believers is much lower.