1. George said:

    Wow… what an insightful post.

    Without my parents passing on the faith, I know I’d be lost.
    There was no coercion in the process from my end.
    Just virtues, values and valuable family time!

    Sydney, Australia

    October 14, 2016
  2. Adrienne Castellon said:

    Thanks for this article Matt. My daughter who attends St. John Brebeuf Secondary in B.C. Canada brought it home. They had a very engaging discussion about your article in their grade 12 religion class. I am grateful for the insightfulness of the article and also for the choice of her teacher to bring it in. This is something that young people, all of us need to be able to discuss intelligently. I plan to bring it to my Foundation of Education class at Trinity Western University for discussion with future teachers. Just wanted to let you know the impact you have had with this article. Thanks!
    Adrienne Castellon

    October 27, 2016
    • Matt Nelson said:

      Thank you for the feedback, Adrienne! I’m thrilled to hear that the article is being used as a discussion piece in your daughter’s high school class, and that you hope to use it as well. Thanks again, and stay in touch!

      October 27, 2016
  3. David Whitehead said:

    Hi Matt, I’m an educator and a parent. I teach in a Christian school. I was interested in how you mixed up ‘real’ and ‘truth’ in your article. I would have preferred you used ‘faith’ or ‘belief’ in place of ‘truth’, as the things which you described as truth don’t meet accepted standards of truth. And if ‘truth’ is relative to each family, then why did you describe it as truth, as though there was an objectivity about it? My objection of course is that by your argument, any family is allowed to raise their children according to whatever bizarre ‘truth’ they hold. Unless those ‘truths’ are evidently ‘true’, then those children must – and can only- accept them through brainwashing, coercion or social pressures. This is because once the child employed true critical faculties, they would likely distance themselves from many of the doctrines. I would also challenge the notion that skeptics indoctrinate. Surely saying to children, ‘assess, test, validate, then believe’ is the opposite of indoctrination, which is the process used to arrive at the example you gave (H20). Surely this is a more appropriate path to truth? It is, because it doesn’t give the answer. Religion, however, gives the answer. And that is the key difference. Working backwards from the answer is the method of religion; working forwards from the question is the method of real education, critical thinking and science. Why can you call this method indoctrination?
    Finally, your conclusion left me confused. You championed each family’s obligation to teach ‘their truth’ to their kids, then criticised the choosing of ‘own truths’. I agree with the second aspect. We should avoid ‘own truths’, but we need to spend that time teaching children HOW to think, not what to think. Your article defending the right for parents to indoctrinate their children has left me worried about the value you place on true education.

    October 9, 2017
    • Matt Nelson said:

      Hi David, thanks for your feedback. It would be more clear and helpful if you provide specific passages that you disagree with from the article. I would be happy to provide some further clarification if you can do so. Thanks.

      October 13, 2017
  4. Brad said:

    “And don’t skeptical parents do the same? I hope so. Good parents teach their children what they believe to be true and, furthermore, why those explanations are the best explanations. Teaching the “whats” and “whys” is not indoctrination; it’s called education.”

    No. Good parents teach their children how to find “truth” for themselves. They teach children to look for reasons and evidence to base their own beliefs on. Teaching a child what is true _is_ indoctrination. That’s pretty much literally what it means.

    Education is teaching them how to determine for themselves what is true.

    January 3, 2018

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