An unhealthy culture

marco battaglini

Artwork by Marco Battaglini

I came across an interesting comment on the Facebook page Traditionalist Western Art (I don’t agree with their overall philosophy, I follow it for the artworks), which was made in response to a shared article entitled “The Individualism of the Herd”. The title of the article reads like an oxymoron, and the article itself aims to convince you that the past has been abandoned, and that previously condemned transgressions of social norms are the new orthodoxy. It’s one of those articles that preaches to an audience that may already agree with the author. The comment I found on Facebook asked what exactly the author stood for, but it’s this quote that had me thinking:

“Culture and the individual should by no means be at odds: A healthy culture generates a healthy individual, who supports a healthy culture. You cannot have a healthy culture without healthy individuals. An individual, however, may thrive despite an unhealthy culture; though the unhealthy culture does all it can to thwart this.”

This had me thinking. What constitutes a healthy culture? What constitutes an unhealthy culture? Then I considered the kind of society we inhabit today, and I consider it to be the most obvious example of a very unhealthy culture. Why? Well I think it’s obvious to all that the culture we inhabit has gone to the doghouse. Everybody knows it deep down, but they’re afraid to say it because when they speak out about the state of our current culture, they’re quickly dismissed as reactionary old fogeys. But to explain how, let’s look at the signs.

The first sign I can see is the enshrinement of narcissism. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have already facilitated an environment in which we broadcast ourselves to the world, but on those sites many of us cultivate a fabrication of ourselves. We broadcast the views, thoughts, and aspects of our lives that we believe everyone will approve. It’s a quest for recognition and validation that arguably stems from the daycare craze, when the mainstream media pushed the narrative that kids are fine if you deposit them in daycare, where they are deprived of the parental attention they so desperately need in order to develop into functioning adults.

I also believe that many of the mass shooters of modern history were deeply depressed narcissists. For example, the recent Weis Market Massacre, the perpetrator of which, one Randy Stair, left behind a disturbing series of videos hinting that he was going to go on a killing spree. The way I see it, Stair was basically a disturbed individual convinced of his lack of self-worth, who desperately wanted to make his mark on the world. His explanation also convinces me of his narcissistic tendencies. After all, how self-centered must you be for you to see yourself as the “last soul alive”? And he’s not alone. What people like Randy Stair, Elliot Rodger, Seung-hui Cho and the Columbine killers had in common was not just their profound hatred of the world around them, but that their rage was fuelled by their rampant narcissism, which leads them to blame society for their own failings. Of course, every time this happens the left uses this to push for tighter gun control regulations, but guns aren’t the problem. For the gun control argument to make sense, there would have to be record of the kind of mass shooting problem we have today existing prior to the 1950’s, or even as far back as the revolutionary era. The problem is that these killers were raised in a culture that coddles them into thinking that they are the centre of the universe, all because some thirty or forty-odd years ago, parents decided that the effective method of parenting was “too harsh”, and flocked to television’s pop parenting experts for guidance. These are the generation of parents who helped to create this phenomenon. Gun control advocacy is merely a convenient way for progressives and liberals alike to avoid the difficult questions of the culture they helped to create.

The next sign I can think of is a general antipathy towards the value of hard work (which I will likely touch upon in a later post). We used to teach our kids that if we work hard we can achieve anything. Whether or not that was entirely true, we taught them that because we wanted them to work hard and earn a good living. But apparently that’s a lie now. Why even bother working when the government can look after you? That appears to be the prevailing attitude now, at least in the West. Thanks to generous welfare handouts, we’re in a situation where you practically make more money on welfare than you would make if you actually got a job. It’s the same in Britain. Indeed, in my country, the Conservatives are usually condemned by the mainstream chattering class because they have the temerity to make welfare cuts. I agree that austerity cuts are the wrong way to reduce spending, but it seems like in my country there is a zeitgeist in mainstream culture that is in favour of increased spending, and preserving and/or expanding the welfare state. This is one of the biggest reasons that a Marxist could likely become Prime Minister in the next election. Young people in particular grew attached to Jeremy Corbyn (and Bernie Sanders in America) because he is offering them free stuff. This antipathy for hard work and sensible economics, and the exaltation of mindless indulgence, can best be summed up as “most people just want the easy way out”.

Speaking of indulgence, I feel that personal responsibility is something that is looked down upon these days. Instead of allowing people to make their own choices and take responsibility for them, we try to make a society wherein you can’t choose at all. I saw this all the time when it comes to so-called junk food, alcohol and smoking. Instead of encouraging the state to ban or restrict our ability to consume things that are bad for them, why don’t we simply let people make unhealthy choices and face the consequences themselves. If people want to screw up their own bodies it’s not the state’s business, or at least it wouldn’t be were it not for the existence of state-run healthcare. More to the point, marriage, the ultimate contract of responsible adults, is now frowned upon. Marriage is regularly vilified in Hollywood films and TV shows, and has been for a long time. We’re told that marriage is a prison where we “lose our personal freedom” (translation: we have to be responsible adults, therefore marriage sucks), when in reality, there is proof that married couples are actually happier than people who are single. If marriage is such a bad deal, what’s supposed to be the alternative? The reigning culture instead not only recommends promiscuous casual sex, a message expounded by today’s pop musicians (e.g. Katy Perry and Ariana Grande), but also somehow manages to make sex itself meaningless. Small wonder that when young people follow the message of pop starlets, they end up being more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. As imperfect and difficult as marriage can be for a lot of people, I believe that the alternative that popular culture is suggesting is far worse in the long run, and the embrace of the alternative can only lead to ruin.

The final sign that comes to my mind is the demand for conformity. It would make sense that in a healthy culture, people would embrace said culture voluntarily, and would defend it if the time came. An unhealthy culture has no real value, and so people won’t really care for it, and can’t think of an argument in its defence. Hence, an unhealthy culture requires conformity in order to survive. Consider the rise of the social justice warriors which began a few years ago, and the people who try to get conservatives fired from their jobs. Consider the recent push for increased censorship by Western governments, with Germany wanting to censor social media, Britain’s Prime Minister wanting to regulate the Internet, and American pundits attempting and failing to use the “fake news” narrative to try and get alternative media outlets shut down. This would probably be what the poster meant when he suggested that the unhealthy culture does all it can to thwart the development of the individual.

So with that in mind, it is no wonder why I consider today’s culture to be extremely unhealthy. It has abandoned the very principles upon which it was founded, and we are already witnessing the deterioration of society as a whole. It may yet be possible that we will enter a point where the culture itself is a hinderance to the individual. The culture and the individual would be at odds with one another because the culture would be hostile to the individual. When the culture is hostile to individual expression, there can be no liberty, and if we get to that point, the path towards self-destruction is sealed.

The greatest lie ever told

all you need is love

“All you need is love”. It’s a nice sentiment is it not? Never has there been a more palliative lie for a generation that craves it. Ever since The Beatles popularised the phrase fifty years ago, most of the population is convinced of this lie (which, if anything, is a testament to how John Lennon intended the song to be written as propaganda), and now we live in a time where virtually any debate can be whittled down to “love vs. hate”, and a mushy generation of know-nothings chanting “love trumps hate” at any given opportunity.

It’s really the last refuge that those who know nothing can turn to when they don’t have any arguments, or any solutions to solve any kind of problem. Why else would Hillary Clinton have made “love trumps hate” one of her campaign slogans? Worst of all is whenever a terrorist attack happens in 2017, and the inevitable responses from the Twitterati include “turn to love”, or “we won’t let hate win”, and other nonsensical slogans, and I’m absolutely sick of it. It feels like every time a terrorist attack happens, the response is exactly the same, driven by a combination of liberal guilt, and the “all you need is love” mentality that has been festering in our culture since the hippie era, culimnating in the One Love concert, in which a bunch of mainstream performers gather to deliver palliative and ultimately meaningless platitudes with no solutions, with the irrelevant Katy Perry harping on about how she wants you “choose love, no matter how difficult it is”, whatever the hell that means.

This is a problem that seems to be unique to the 2010’s. We have become so scared of offending people that we turn to the age-old “all you need is love” nonsense to comfort ourselves in the short term, and now this peacenik mentality has infected the way we deal with major problems. The problem is that when you boil any given discussion to a matter of love versus hate, you make both terms painfully subjective, in that you can define “love” or “hate” as whatever you want, and in today’s culture, “love” is conveniently defined as virtue signalling about how “tolerant” you are, and “hate” has come to mean actively tackling the problem in a way progressives don’t like.

It’s complete nonsense. Surely if we were a more loving and caring society, we would seek to stop more terrorist attacks from happening because we care about our loved ones. If you ask me, the current culture is a manifestation of self-centredness. We’re unwilling to make supreme sacrifices for the preservation of our society and its values because we don’t want to be called bigots, and if we care more about looking tolerant in front of the chattering class than about saving lives, isn’t that the most insidious form of selfishness, putting your vain sense of image and self-righteousness above protecting the lives and rights of others?

For too long, we’ve been convinced of the idea that “all you need is love”, and now we have a generation that won’t take action in times that demand it because they don’t want to “let hate win”. Of course it is but one aspect of a truly decadent and unhealthy culture, but it is an egregious excuse for inaction all the same, and we are already paying the price for this indulgence of utopian fantasy. I’m amazed that nobody’s tried to invade the Western countries yet, but if they did I bet we’d try and stuff a flower in their rifles, end up getting ourselves shot and then surrendering shortly afterward.

What we need is to abandon the lie of “all we need is love”. Taken as a worldview, it doesn’t pan out in the real world, and is mainly good for getting yourself killed. It sounds like a nice platitude, but is it really the hill we wish to collectively die on? I know we aren’t that stupid. In fact, I think most people don’t even take it seriously but they’re pressured to go along with it out of fear of social alienation, and any who go against this sacred dictate are the new heretics, blaspheming against the cult of “love” and “tolerance”.

If we continue down the path we’re on, then we will inevitably march down the path of self-destruction, if not immediately, then slowly. We will destroy ourselves by turning our countries into police states, as Britain looks like its headed towards, therefore overthrowing our own liberal values. The terrorists won’t even need to do anything more. We’ll have destroyed our own culture for them, and the country will be so demoralised that barely anyone will fight for it. Great civilisations have fallen because of the apathy we have created for ourselves, but all we need is love, am I right?

Believing the lecturer (a rant)

listen and believe

So I had an interesting conversation with some of my classmates, wherein I talked about the contents of a previous lecture, in which the lecturer, attempting to explain the 50’s mystique, read from an article entitled “Only a Mad Woman would call the 50s a golden age”, which sort of implied that the nostalgic, rose-tinted view of the 50’s is a recent phenomenon attributable to the TV show Mad Men. That didn’t sound right at all. I know that’s bullshit, because I used to watch the 70’s sitcom Happy Days, a show that uncritically exonerates the 50’s is this golden decade in which nothing went wrong.

When I actually researched the article, I found out that this was lifted from The Daily Mail (I checked word for word, and it was the correct one), a tabloid newspaper with about as much credibility as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The article itself was written by Liz Hodgkinson, a noted feminist who writes for the Femail column (the UK equivalent of Jezebel that’s somehow part of a fervently right-wing paper).

In the same lecture, we were treated to the first episode of a 2002 BBC documentary entitled “Century of the Self”, which was made by Adam Curtis, a glorified conspiracy theorist who apparently has a reputation for manipulative film-making tactics designed to hand-hold you towards his conclusion. The central assertion is that modern consumer culture is essentially the product of Edward Bernays and the ideas of the Freud family. Even if it was largely factual, it was exquisite propaganda, and had the tendency to imply rather bold claims that could easily be debunked. For instance, one part of the film implied that Edward Bernays was responsible for getting women to smoke, which Curtis would be successful in having you believe if you’re a moron. A quick google search will yield several photos and/or illustrations that show women smoking (I found an image dating back to 1906).

Anyways, after I explained this (in greater detail, I just condensed it in this post so I could get to the point), one of my classmates apparently told me that I should just listen to whatever the lecturer has to say, with weak arguments such as “how many degrees do I have” or “how long have I been in art”. None of those questions were even fucking relevant. My argument is that you should take what a lecturer says with at least some scepticism. You should be critically analysing what you’ve been taught, but apparently he disagrees. He thought I should basically sponge up what the lecturer says without thinking about it. Effectively, he argued that I should accept academic dogma uncritically. Gee, where have I heard this before?

anita sarkeesian

There is a very good reason I don’t just sit there and accept what the lecturer has to say unless I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s factual. As I’ve written about several times on this site, you have crazy left-wing ideologues who constantly lie about sexism, racism, so-called Islamophobia, and they run rampant on the mainstream media. Such ideologues are also found in academia, in the form of far-left academics who preach Marxism and social justice as if it were gospel. As we have seen over the past few years, we know that Marxist lecturers have been using their position to indoctrinate young people into the cult of social justice, and if that’s true, how can I not be sceptical of what they’re saying?

Besides, people forget that this “listen and believe” attitude isn’t just limited to leftists. The conservative Christians also pulled this crap too when Bush Jr. was President, or did everyone forget? In fact, you get this mentality from any brand of authoritarian ideology. Given that you get at least some Marxism in every university, I have to be sceptical of what I’m taught. Failing to be sceptical would be a dereliction of every value I hold dear.

The other reason I can’t accept such a proposition is because if you apply that logic, it can become dangerous. If you just sponge up everything a lecturer says uncritically, then you can get tricked into believing outright falsehoods such as white privilege, the patriarchy, and so on. Besides, if you’re willing to just listen and believe in the case of lecturers, then why not apply this logic to priests, imams, newsmen and politicians? If you won’t, then you’re not being consistent in your values. If you do, then your naivety will be a con artist’s best friend. After all, a good old confidence trick can only work if you trust the con artist.

I’m not trying to say that all university lecturers are con artists. I’m sure most of them have standards, and I’m certainly not suspecting art teachers, but I’m saying that students should be sceptical of their lecturers, just as they should be sceptical of the media, the politicians, and organised religion. In that sense I’m applying my sceptical principles universally, and believe that everyone else should. Is that really such a bad thing?

Don’t just look for the usual suspects

us and them

It’s really starting to get old.

Back in the 20th century, society was essentially dominated by conservative ideology. Up until at least the 1990’s, the narrative of Western culture seemed to be based on a right-wing understanding of the world, which had become dogma. In that narrative, the conservatives were the good guys, and the liberals were painted as a threat to society. Flash forward to the 2010’s, and things are now quite different. Now, left-wing ideology forms the dominant narrative of society, so now liberals are the good guys, and anyone who shows even a slight leaning towards conservative ideology is painted as either evil or just stupid. That’s the narrative that my generation grew up on, and it’s getting old.

Political discourse now seems to be based on one side shaming the other, especially in America, where a number of violent incidents have been attributed to right-wing racists. It also doesn’t help that America’s conservative politicians have garnered a certain reputation for their bad temper, childish behaviour, contempt for the working class, and a slew of nonsensical laws. To the average man, these are reasons why conservatives are the bad guys, but a lot of the mainstream attitude towards politics in general has been based in hyperbole. Even though I’ve gone on record in my scorn for America’s conservatives, I worry that in the political arena, they’ve become the easy target, probably because it’s very hard to defend them (to be fair, even I won’t). In fact, it’s gotten so easy that political satirists have made it part of their normal routine, and even John Oliver does this when he talks about American politics. In a sense, conservatives have become easy scapegoats.

What about liberals? On top of being as idealistic as an after school special, left-wing politicians expect the state to handle everything. Recently the left-wingers have been focusing heavily on equality, bashing the rich, and protecting women (and themselves) from hateful speech online, but they have not given much thought about freedom. In fact, one thing I’ve noticed is that left-wing politicians only seem to care about freedom when it’s being threatened by their right-wing adversaries. When liberal politicians aren’t defending freedom to make the other side look bad, they threaten to undermine the liberties of the wealthy and of businesses, and sometimes, they threaten our online liberties in order to appeal to victim mentality (this is increasingly and depressingly truer in Britain), and yet when liberals threaten civil liberties, only the intelligent raise a finger and nobody cares, but when conservatives threaten civil liberties, everyone gangs up on them like their the evil monster who’s been killing all their livestock.

To be fair, some conservative politicians, such as Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz, have proven themselves to be genuinely despicable figures, but not all conservatives are like them. In fact, it’s this kind of blanket judgement that a lot of left-wing news outlets practice constantly. Okay, right-wingers do it a lot as well, but that’s the thing – there’s no difference in how liberals and conservatives conduct themselves. It doesn’t matter when both sides wants to tell you how to live, just that they’ll turn people against each other for a bit of entertainment, and how apt that would be, considering it’s all just a game. The only reason we elevate it above other games is that this particular game has very real consequences.

The ultimate problem, as I see it, is precisely the fact that we get too caught up in the game, and we take it for more than what it is. It’s simply a game where the prize is dominance. We forget that left and right are simply teams that demand the loyalty of players. Very few of those team members truly believe their own hype whatever side they’re playing, and even if they do, you shouldn’t trust them too much. In other words, don’t waste time picking on the easy targets when you can’t even trust the other side either. Yes, I still despise the right, but I can’t say I totally trust the left.

The red flowers of war

poppies

To most, this means remembrance of the war dead, but for people like me, it represents something much darker at hand.

One of the most depressing things about being a British citizen is that I’m constantly reminded of how little our culture values the individual, and for me, one of the worst examples of this is Remembrance Day. Every time I do anything on November 11th (which always seems to fall on a day when I’m in college nowadays), it’s always interrupted by the obligatory two minutes of silence, in which we all stop like drones on command, and that’s not even the worst part. In the days leading up to then, we have the poppy appeal, where public figures don poppies on their lapels in order to win public approval, and anyone not wearing the poppy is shamed by the common folk as soon as they find out.

This is a trend that Channel 4’s news anchor Jon Snow described as “poppy fascism”, the practice of compelling people to wear poppies because they supposedly ought to and shaming those who don’t, and this trend has been getting much worse this year than ever before. Newsreaders, politicians, celebrities, and even football managers could be seen wearing poppies as early as possible out of fear of being branded as disrespectful traitors by a zealous British public infected with sentimentalism. Whenever public figures fall foul of the poppy tradition, we act as though they’re supposed to be role models, and by not wearing a poppy they have supposedly failed. Why? Why is it impossible for public figures to make their own choices without swathes of morons kicking up a fuss about it on Twitter? Better yet, why do people care about what celebrities wear in tacky chat shows?

However poppy fascism manifests itself, we justify it by proclaiming that wearing the poppy is a sign of respect for the war dead. That’s fine, except for the fact that when we focus on the soldiers who died fighting for their country, we end up glossing over the reality of war. At the risk of sounding cold, I should point out that those who choose to fight in a war, past or present, have pretty much signed up for job in which they could get killed. Of course, one could argue that this is the sacrifice of the soldier, but one must one oneself what the soldiers are even fighting for. All modern wars are fought for startlingly ignoble reasons. For example, the current situation in the Middle East was mainly caused by America’s constant interloping in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, and our soldiers are only involved because our government wants to be involved in anything America does. It’s not as though past wars fare much better.

Nowadays, war is only ever fought because it profits some higher powers, be they politicians or big corporations. Now that I think about, it’s no wonder the government loves Poppy Day, because it gives them the opportunity to make war sound romantic and glamorous. Of course, we aren’t as stupid as the government thinks we are. We should all know by now that there’s nothing glamorous about people killing each other, whatever the reason may be. Personally, I have a very big problem with the whole “poppy mania” because outside Remembrance Day, the general consensus of the public is that war is bad, but when it’s November, suddenly we’re all mindlessly chanting support for those who fight in wars. As someone who is firmly opposed to war, I find it disgusting that we in British society push what is ostensibly a symbol of the romantic view of war down our throats every year, and shame those who don’t.

selling poppies

It’s surprisingly easy for them to pluck people’s heartstrings.

All the more jarring is that the poppy-pushing trend is going on as the government is rallying for a new war in Syria, as though the previous war in Afghanistan never happened. We all know how the war in Afghanistan happened, and that it was ultimately pointless for Britain to get involved, but the fact that we hide behind the poppies and the sentimental waltz they inspire guarantees that the government can feel free to pursue future wars knowing that the British public will always support it. After all, to ensure unquestioning support of the military and warfare is the only goal of the poppy drive.

It’s perhaps because of this that the idea of Rememberance Day is losing all meaning. When we observed Remembrance Day a century ago, in the bleak, war-ravaged landscapes of the day, we wanted never again to experience the horrors of war. Those people witnessed the tragedy of a hideously futile war in full bloom. The very idea of glamorizing the Great War might have sounded abominable to those who actually survived the war (though sadly they are no longer with us), and yet that’s what we’re doing every November. I highly doubt that the soldiers of the Great War died so that we could continue to indulge in mindless bloodlust in the name of nationalism and industry, and that is what I feel the red poppy has come to represent, and I am not alone. There are many activists, war veterans, and even a few celebrities who oppose war, and detest the glamorization of war. In the dominant atmosphere of conformity, guilt and propaganda, they appear to be the only voices of reason that actually get heard when the poppy salesmen come around.

The Stepford age

Today, we live in a world where the lingering shadow of censorship is just around the corner. Today’s society doesn’t seem to want freedom, favouring comfort and conformity. Enforcing this new wave of conformist hostility towards freedom are the social justice warriors who lurk in the internet, and the Stepford students in universities who work to silence debate. And then there are politicians who want to censor anything that offends the norm (fetish porn, politically incorrect thoughts, swear words, etc.), and whatever they can’t censor, they’ll decide that they may as well just ban. All the while, the media continues to fog our minds with an ever-increasing volley of distractions, and social media websites like Facebook and Twitter allow for a vicious atmosphere of conformity to thrive.

stepford

Think of Stepford as a metaphor for what’s going on here.

Personally, I think we’re living in what I call a “Stepford age”, where society now has more power to make us conform than ever. However, the key difference between this and a real life version of Stepford is the values. In days gone by, we were all being made to accept conservative Christian dogma, along with the patriarchal concept of the nuclear family. Today’s fashion, however, seems to be a venomous combination of left-wing social justice, materialistic secularism, and guilt-based political correctness, with some remnants of conventional morality.

Another key thing to remember is that sex is still a major bogeyman for most people, but it’s gotten to a point that for boys to even have lustful thoughts is a social sin. Advertisers can rarely show the female body without provoking a wave of feminist tongue lashings. It’s as though the body has now become a source of shame being pincered in a two-pronged issue. On the one hand, the media is trying to force an ideal body onto the minds of impressionable young girls, but on other hand, silencing them means curtailing freedom of speech, and so the social justice warriors are wrong as well. Speaking of advertisements, censorship has gotten so paranoid that advertisements can be pulled if only thirteen people complain about them. Advertising is so heavily policed that every ad we get to see is extremely bland and boring.

It’s not just advertising that has taken on a fear-based self-censorship. In this country, you can get arrested just because something you said on Facebook or Twitter got taken out of context. Thus, people tend to censor themselves more online even with online anonymity. The long arm of the law isn’t the only fear facing today’s online Brits. There’s also the army of vindictive social justice warriors keen on striking lady liberty with their censorious daggers as they spend their energies punishing people just for speaking their minds. In universities, various student unions have silenced opinions that don’t match theirs, and banned anything that the majority of students find offensive.

For me, the greatest damage to liberty is a climate where we are engaged in relentless self-censorship. I should know this because, for a while, it happened with me. During my mid-late teens, I found myself having to watch my mouth until I arrived in college (thankfully I’m safe, because much of the self-censorship happens in English universities). I find it rather horrifying that much of the Tumblr generation’s students have turned their backs on the free-spirited open-mindedness that defines youth.

As we in Britain are becoming ever more inclined towards fear-based political correctness and self-censorship, what is to become of liberty? If we cannot say, do, or even think as we feel, then we can only pretend to be a modern, liberal society. In actuality, if things don’t change, we’ll be living in a Stepford nightmare – a nanny state run by a shadowy men’s association hell bent on making us into subservient drones for their convenience. We can either have that, or we can choose in favour of liberty, and overthrow the culture of fear that currently pollutes the air of a once-open forum. I think it’s time the people really thought about what they would rather have. Do we want liberty, and an environment where we can say what we really want, or do we want to continue living in a poisonous cage as we wallow in fear-based political correctness?

For the good of their souls?

For some reason, a lot of people seem to be having their babies christened, in spite of the fact that that the babies have no conception of religion, and are thus unable to decide what they believe in. For me, the mere concept of Christening an infant child is is totally unethical, mainly because you’re submitting your infant child to a religion that they know nothing about yet, while they lack even the senses to think for themselves. To me, it’s just the same as taking advantage of an infant’s vulnerability in the name of religion, and that’s simply unacceptable in my eyes.

christening

You’d think that there’s nothing wrong with this, but there is.

As an individualist, I believe that freedom of choice is the most important principle in human society. To deny this, therefore, is a grave crime against nature. I’ve heard that infant baptism is supposedly “for the good of their souls”, so that if anything bad happens to them “they won’t go to Hell”. For me, this has absolutely nothing to do with protecting an infant’s soul, and everything to do with conforming to archaic dogma that serves to do nothing other than impede social progress, and stifle free thought. I also find it silly that parents let their kids choose their religion when their older, but don’t let them decide for themselves when they’re younger. For me, freedom of religion should apply to everyone. After all, isn’t the soul a private matter?

The worst part is that a lot of people seem to have a “go with the flow” attitude. It’s the same “go with the flow” that allowed the church to rule Europe like a king during the Dark Ages, and people aren’t questioning that? I’m wondering if a lot of people who get their babies christened really believe in God at all, or if they’re just trying to keep up with the Joneses.

I have no problem with parents introducing religion to their children, but submitting your child to a religion before he or she can outwardly express their faith is crossing the line. If this is what it takes to preserve the outdated values of the church, then it’s clear to me that there’s simply no room in today’s world for a religion that hasn’t grasped the concept of free choice, and won’t for years to come.