This is a flier that has been going around Facebook. I Googled it, and it is, indeed, a flier for this organization: http://objectiveministries.org/kidz/. But, as silly as it is, it’s only part of years of Christian propaganda. But this flier, in particular, and the kid-focused site on which I located it (Including a “Professor” that is telling kids WRONG–Dinosaurs still roam the Earth, and the Earth is less than 10,000 years old!”), at this point, just caused me to roll my eyes. I can’t even begin to start to think about what these irresponsible parents are doing to their kids, and the problems that will plague us for generations as a result.
But, back to the matter at hand. The flier. Poor Mr. Goat. It’s 7 a.m. on a Saturday, and that poor bastard just wanted to sleep in, and lo and behold, there is a knock on the door. Or, perhaps Mr. Goat was just going out to get his morning paper, when he was accosted by the Faithful. Whatever transpired, I think many of us can agree that Mr. Goat has a good reason to be grumpy! If Mr. Goat is anything like most of us atheists, he made up his mind years ago, but, lacking a church or large organization with which to form a united front, Mr. Goat probably keeps his beliefs to himself. Frankly, this is not a bad take on things. And Mr. Goat has had it up to his snowy white horns with people insinuating their beliefs into his personal bubble. Over and over and over. At public meetings, at public schools, on public lands during the holidays, during political campaigns, on TV, on monuments on public lands. In spite of a War on Religion, Mr. Goat cannot catch a break. But it’s harder to avoid them when they approach you in front of a supermarket, or on your own doorstep. The cutesy clothes and the demure, hyper-friendly nature, he realizes, is really a passive-agressive tactic. It’s a shield against Mr. Goat’s grumpiness.
And please note, little children are not to attempt to convert Mr. Goat! He’s far too cagey for that! No, he can be convinced, surely he can, if only we get the right people to him! Because even the hardest, grumpiest heart can be soften for the Faith, if only we pray hard enough and visit even more. Yep. That ought to work.
It’s not surprising that the flier is rudimentary. It’s for kids. Not only that, it’s for kids who are being taught not to think for themselves, not to embrace science, not to question. But what about Mr. Goat? He clearly thinks for himself. Science isn’t something to run from, it’s not the tool of the Devil. Some things we still can’t explain, but hopefully the environment will sustain us long enough to discover those answers. Which makes him worthy of the best in the Come to Jesus Crew. Only experts need apply to bring Mr. Goat around to the Truth, and no amount of effort must be spared to do so, because they are truly only looking to save everyone’s soul. And each soul that they cannot reach, is a terrible tragedy and a victory for Satan.
What the authors (and I use that term loosely) of this flier know, although they will not be truthful with the children reading it, that once a person’s made up their mind, if it s a strong mind, it won’t be changed. They know, from years of experience that the uneducated, the mentally ill, the poor, the desperate, the broken-hearted, those are the ones who are most fertile ground for conversion. The addicts. They can’t stay clean without God. The murderers in prison–they may never see the light of day again–they can still be free again (and embracing religion in prison gets you lots of Brownie points with the parole board, or it used to). But people like myself and Mr. Goat? Like the Native Americans, may haps we can be converted at the business end of a gun, but of our own free will? We’ve done that work. We’ve thought that out. We look at the world around us, and we see there is nobody up there. They trot out the arguments of free will, or they argue that there are reasons we can’t understand for that infant who was raped so badly by a stepfather she was killed. They tell us we have to have faith that there’s a reason for greater good that God allows eight-year-old girls to be employed as sex slaves in Thailand. They tell us it is not for us to question why a dog is dragged behind a pickup truck until her paws were degloved. It’s all God’s plan.