Atlanta Christian Apologetics Examiner Terrence Albritton has penned an exhortation to good Christians to consider religious education “an order,” not “a luxury.” This is not an uncommon belief, especially among evangelicals and the far right. It is also a major point of contention for many non-believers, who claim that (1) religious “education” is really a euphemism for indoctrination and scare tactics, and (2) Christian education doesn’t achieve measurably better societal or individual goals.
It seems that the children we are trying to reach today are moving to (sic!) quickly through their childhood. They are rapidly developing in all areas of their lives.
This may seem self-evident and compelling, but it is a scare tactic targetting parents. While it’s true — and scary — that there are a lot of things happening in our schools that were unthinkable a generation ago, it’s not necessarily indicative of “growing up too fast.” What does that phrase even mean? The median age of first marriage in the U.S. in 2010 was over 26 years for women and 28 for men. In 1950 it was 20 and 22, respectively. So it’s not talking about “adult responsibilities.” Until 1938, children were assuming jobs as pre-adolescents, sometimes working sixteen hours a day or more. So it’s not about working for a living, either.
It’s more likely that “growing up too fast” is referring to more “Christian” issues. Specifically, children are becoming “sexual beings” at very young ages, and are exploring dangerous ideas like premarital sex and homosexuality. If that is what Mr. Albritton is referring to, then there is a very strong argumentagainst Christian education. It doesn’t work.