Friday, June 4, 2010

Reinhold Neibuhr

In his book Leaves From the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic, Reinhold Neibuhr wrote in 1928: "We are told by a delightful 'expert' that we ought not really teach our children about God lest we rob them of the opportunity of making their own discovery of God, and lest we corrupt their young minds by our own superstitions. If we continue along these lines the day will come when some expert will advise us not to teach our children the English language, since we rob them thereby of the possibility of choosing the German, French or Japanese languages as possible alternatives. Don't these good people realize that they are reducing the principle of freedom to an absurdity?" Sounds very similar to today.

1 comment:

Alan Felton said...

There is an article on today about a new study which shows the importance of parents in shaping the faith and beliefs of their children. The author makes a point of saying how parents today attend to virtually every aspect of the life of their children down to the smallest detail. Parents ensure children are sent to school, participate in athletics, and other typical childhood activities. The one area in which many parents are reluctant to intervene in their children's lives is in matters of faith. This is tragic because it is in matters of faith that all the difference is made. Neibuhr was right. In the name of supposed "freedom" people do absurd things. Given that most modern parenting styles tend to over-indulge in the lives of children, it seems that we could, focus more attention on the faith development of our children. Having said that, I am aware of many parents who do an excellent job in introducing their children to faith. We need more people to follow some of these excellent examples.