I just saw a meme on Facebook of a comic representation of God stating an eleventh commandment:

Teach your children how to think.

Not what to think.

This is the most myopic statement I have ever seen in a meme. Parents must do both. God forbid we envelop our child with parameters and stipulations, morals and ethics, a belief system that would allow them critical thought with out having to make the same mistakes of those that went before them. There is a wisdom  of the ages born through repetitive trial and error that has already established truths that would be cruel for a child to experience alone. These parameters are critical in a child’s development and allow them the luxury of “pushing the envelope” in a safe and nurturing environment. I understand the implied message of this meme that parents shouldn’t raise their child in Faith. Well, the bigotry and intolerance in this meme is not lost on me. Hey, look, I’m a person of deep and abiding faith and I just thought critically! How did that happen in my parentally indoctrinated brain? Give me a break.

Those who are threatened by those with faith imply that religion is some kind of vortex that sucks all critical though from a person who is “Indoctrinated” by faith. I guess that I should remind them that the some of the most renowned philosophers and scientists also had a deep and abiding belief system that they were raised in.. Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Aristotle, Galileo, Da Vinci et al were all raised in a belief system. They were alble to expand upon these belief systems with critical thought and question dogma, but they still NEEDED the system to define the parameters of their thought.

So, no, don’t just teach your child “how” to think, share the wisdom of the ages with them as you have disseminated them. Share the traditions and practices that engrain morals and values and faith. Allow your children to think critically, be inquisitive and induce things for themselves, but do so with the best tool humanity has…the wisdom knowledge eternal truths and ethics that have already been discovered by trial and error long ago.Image