Preaching to the Choir

We knew this anyway:

In two studies, 5- and 6-year-old children were questioned about the status of the protagonist embedded in three different types of stories. In realistic stories that only included ordinary events, all children, irrespective of family background and schooling, claimed that the protagonist was a real person. In religious stories that included ordinarily impossible events brought about by divine intervention, claims about the status of the protagonist varied sharply with exposure to religion. Children who went to church or were enrolled in a parochial school, or both, judged the protagonist in religious stories to be a real person, whereas secular children with no such exposure to religion judged the protagonist in religious stories to be fictional. Children's upbringing was also related to their judgment about the protagonist in fantastical stories that included ordinarily impossible events whether brought about by magic (Study 1) or without reference to magic (Study 2). Secular children were more likely than religious children to judge the protagonist in such fantastical stories to be fictional. The results suggest that exposure to religious ideas has a powerful impact on children's differentiation between reality and fiction, not just for religious stories but also for fantastical stories.

So, I had this weird incident with my mom once.

“The Golden Compass” was about to air on TV and I was little interested, ready to get up and go do something less boring… I was already way beyond the age where that film should be entertaining to me. But on realising this was about to ensue, my mother desperately demanded we change the channel immediately.

I was confused, and probed a bit… Turns out she’d been “warned” about this movie and it’s “anti-christian” propaganda. This did not really help my confusion all that much. So I suddenly insisted: “fine, leave the room and I’ll watch it by myself, I’m curious now.”

What ensued was a horrible abortion of a fantasy movie. Before it could get halfway I’d given up on understanding the fuss and re-approached mom. Turns out the thrust of the “christian” opposition to the movie was that it contained magic and more-or-less had it’s own creation story, which differed to that of the bible. Clearly this was done with sole purpouse of driving satan into children.

“But, but…” I protested, “it’s FICTION!”

It took a couple more such pronouncements and arguments until she began to see my point…

Yeah mom, even adults who have been indoctrinated a bit too far have trouble telling the truth from the fiction.

Well the movie was based on a trilogy of books that is very anti religious, I think everybody expected the movie to be so also, it touched on it.

I actually think I’ll read the trilogy now

"Mary is a character in a book. Mary's not me. It's a story, not a treatise, not a sermon or a work of philosophy"

Kinda my point, but I do see now why xtians would be all up in arms about it. If the book is really to them like “atheism for kids”, I endorse it! :stuck_out_tongue: