Pageviews last month

Monday, 21 August 2006

Critique of a Religious Pamphlet

Counter I have before me a religious pamphlet dated 01/04 and published by Dollar General, a discount store in the U.S. It's entitled, "Stay in school and get better grades for life."

Religion is a way of looking at life--a way of assigning value to intangibles. Science can quantify, but only religion can qualify. Religion answers the questions that Science didn't ask. Everyone is religious; everyone values some things more than others--values some things others don't.

One's religion comes out in his or her value statements, and this tract is full of them.

What follow are some blatant value statements in the pamphlet. As you read them, consider which of them might have represented the values that were behind the upbringing of the four men whose images are memorialized on the face of Mount Rushmore:

-Be a good role model.
-hug your child often--it's good for both of you.
-make sure you child visits the doctor regularly,
-and has all the right shots and vaccinations.
-Turn off the TV
-Be active in your child's school. Make sure your child goes every day.
-Make sure your child has plenty of playtime with other children and learns to share.
-Always make time to listen--it's one of the most important things you can do.
-Visit the school often.
-Make sure that school comes first
-Show the connection between school and reaching your child's goals.
-Teenagers need space--but make sure they know that you're always there for them.
-A child who loves learning will learn to love school.
-make sure that your child does not become one of the 1,000,000 who drop out each year
-a good education is a sure way to a better life.

If the image were to be effaced from Mount Rushmore of every man whose parents' didn't comply with all that this tract implies parents must do in order for their children to succeed in life, a direct hit by a hydrogen bomb might suffice.

There's a lot of subliminal valuation in this tract as well: for instance, the assumption that your child will go to school in the first place.

It can be safely said that the religious views expressed in this tract, though published by a retail merchandiser (the back-to-school business of which is only a small segment of their total annual sales), fairly represent those of the US Federal and State governments, and the Teacher's Union that constantly seeks to influence and inform their opinions.

They don't fairly represent those of the White Man, nor of his children. Their views are better expressed by the words of Mark Twain, who is quoted as saying:
"I have never let school get in the way of a good education."

No comments:

Post a Comment

One comment per viewer, please--unless participating in a dialogue.