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Tuesday, February 14, 2006 

Great Nathaniel Branden quote

If, in any culture, children are taught, ‘We are all equally unworthy in the sight of God’ -

If, in any culture, children are taught, ‘You are born in sin and are sinful by nature’ -

If children are given a message that amounts to ‘Don’t think, don’t question, believe’ -

If children are given a message that amounts to ‘Who are you to place your mind above that of the priest, the minister, the rabbi?’ -

If children are told, ‘If you have value it is not because of anything you have done or could ever do, it is only because God loves you’ -

If children are told, ‘Submission to what you cannot understand is the beginning of morality’ -

If children are instructed, ‘Do not be “willful”, self-assertiveness is the sin of pride’ -

If children are instructed, ‘Never think that you belong to yourself’ -

If children are informed, ‘In any clash between your judgement and that of your religious authorities, it is your authorities you must believe’, -

If children are informed, ‘Self-sacrifice is the foremost virtue and the noblest duty’ -

- then consider what will be the likely consequences for the practice of living consciously, or the practice of self-assertiveness, or any of the other pillars of healthy self-esteem.

[Nathaniel Branden, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, Bantam (May 1, 1995) p 291-292]
Source: gonesavage by way of Goosing the Antithesis.

gonesavage has a great blog, read about her great escape and here's an excerpt from another essay:
And if A & E [Adam & Eve] had no idea what Good and Evil were, how could they know that to eat from the Tree was Evil? How could they know that disobeying was Evil? If disobeying presupposes knowledge of Good and Evil, how could they know what disobeying was? Basically, what I’m seeing here is god planting a tree on purpose, telling two kids who don’t know what disobeying was to not disobey, then sentencing them to a life of pain (Genesis 3:16 and 3:17) when they disobeyed. This makes no sense. This makes god an asshole. If I had kids and treated them this way, I would be charged with abuse.
Thanks, Francois and gonesavage!

That is a really awesome quote.

Good excerpt on the bottom too about Adam and Eve. Looking at it from the outside now, I can see how this god who is said to be all powerful and could make things anyway he wanted just decides to make creatures for the sheer purpose of dicking with them from day one. Almost as bad as the Greek god Cronus who eats his children!

Some will say that Adam and Eve is some sort of allegory, but even so, it is saying that this god is going to dick with you to test you to see how much sh*t you will take and still want to tell him how great he is even though he is hurting you. It's the same as a child with abusive parents. The parent keeps hurting, then forgiving, then the child praises the parent so he won't be hurt again, but the parent hurts again...a vicious circle. It's all quite bizarre.

In our house, the kids are always good (never bad). They do however, misbehave from time to time.

There is a strong distinction between doing and being and our kids know the difference between the two.

I found a contradiction I was looking for...Adam and Eve were told in the beginning NOT to eat of the tree of knowledge...then in this passage in Hosea it says

"HOS 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.."

stardust, that is hilarious!

How many other interpretations of the story of Adam and Eve are there?

There's a wonderfully different version of the story in Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn. Have you seen it? -Virginia M.

virginia, haven't seen it in years, please tell more!

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  • I'm the freethoughtmom from New England. Welcome!
  • The word rational means having the ability to reason. Reasoning takes time. Giving yourself the space to think is practically a luxury in our society.

    My father is a logical engineer, my mother a caring nurturer. My handwriting with my dominate hand resembles that of my father, the other, my mother. I feel lucky to have both sides to draw from.
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