WorldNetDaily regularly rails against what it claims is "indoctrination" of various kinds -- just search its archive. So it was a bit of a surprise to see a WND article complaining that children aren't being indoctrinated enough.
A March 26 article by Drew Zahn features religious pollster George Barna's complain that "Christian parents have been hoodwinked by political correctness into adopting an attitude so destructive to their children's faith and future that he calls it 'laissez-faire lunacy'":
Barna told WND the politically correct idea that "parents should let children choose their own faith" might sound good to a postmodern mindset, but it fails both parents and their children.
"An activity that has traditionally been influenced by parents, attempting to get their children to embrace the parents' Christian faith – we find more and more parents are saying, 'Culturally now that's unacceptable, that's deemed inappropriate,'" Barna said, "so they're not as aggressive in bringing their children along in the Christian faith."
The net effect, Barna said, is that children today are increasingly left exposed to the appeals of many other religions, delaying their decision to follow a particular faith until later ages and turning more and more to atheism and agnosticism.
"I'm not saying that parents should protect their children from knowing about the hundred other faith groups from which they could choose, not to let them know that and then let them know why Christianity is our faith of choice," he continued. "But to leave it completely in the hands of our children and say, 'It's their choice, their journey, I'm not involved,' I think that's lunacy."
"Parenting isn't a democracy," Barna said. "One of your jobs as a parent is to prepare your child for life. There's probably no area of life that's more significant than what you believe about God. Everything that you do in life, every decision you make, every relationship you build is going to flow forth from your perspective on key questions: Does God exist? Which god exists? What's the nature of that god? Am I supposed to be like that god? What's expected of me by that god? Those critical decisions form the foundation on which to base all your other decisions in life.
"As a parent, if I look at my children and say, 'The only fair and proper thing is for me to allow the child to make up his or her own mind based on what they feel or believe, based on what they experience,' that's an appropriate postmodern point of view," he continued. "I'm not sure, though, how well that prepares a child for life.
"If you as a parent believe it's critically important that you understand there is a God and who that God is and what His role is in your life, if that's important enough for you to buy into, then why wouldn't you say that's important enough for your children?" he asked. "If you believe that's what's going to prepare you for life successfully, then why wouldn't you want to instill those same values and perspectives in your child's life?"
"I don't see that postmodern, laissez-faire approach to children as a virtue," he concluded, "I see it as crippling a child."
Of course, another word for getting one's children to embrace their faith is indoctrination -- a word that, unsurprisingly,appears nowhere in Zahn's article.
By contrast, just this month alone at WND:
- An anti-gay activist denounced a California plan teach about the role and contributions of gay Americans as "the worst school sexual indoctrination ever."
- Another anti-gay activist called teaching the existence of same-sex couples to children "indoctrination."
- News editor Bob Unruh asserted that "Muslims" were "using television to indoctrinate even toddlers and school-age children into a culture of death."
- Unruh claimed that German authorities "sent two fathers to jail for refusing to allow the public school system to indoctrinate their children with a sex philosophy that 'if it feels good, do it.'"
- Ellis Washington claimed that "most of us were educated in progressive education indoctrination centers called public schools."
- Chuck Norris declared that schools were "progressive indoctrination camps."
By this same standard, what Barna wants is indoctrination of children into Christianity. Why are he and WND afraid to call it what it is?