Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Great Evacuation

No, this isn't about the Morning Ablutions, splendid as they may be. "The Great Evacuation" is the name the brain trust at Focus on the Family has hung on a recent trend they're flipping out about: young people abandoning "the faith" in the first year of college. That evacuation:

"Studies have shown at least 50 percent — and possibly as much as 85 percent — of kids involved in church groups will abandon their faith during their first year in college. In an attempt to reverse those numbers, Focus on the Family on Saturday hosted “The Big Dig,” a conference aimed at teens and youth leaders. The goal was not just to celebrate participants’ Christian faith but also to give them the tools to defend their beliefs against questions they will face."

It's a given that if Focus on the Family is gnashing their teeth about anything, I'm a happy camper, and I pretty much don't care what's causing their anxiety. But this "Great Evacuation" happens to be a very cool phenomenon: if 50-85% "leave the faith" in their first year of college, that means all it takes is a little education to detoxify most of the young brains stultified from birth by religious fundamentalist feeble-mindedness. There's hope for all those Quiverfull kids!

It's not surprising that the dogmatic fundamentalist control freaks are going apeshit at the thought of losing their grip on da yoot to the horrors of higher education, science and applied critical thought (not to mention all that FUN that college kids have on their down-time). A popular misconception among fundies is that their kids will naturally follow the same twisted religious path as they have -- uhuh. I have plenty of anecdotal evidence to the contrary: my favourite example is my long-time best friend back in T.O. Her family was devoutly conservative Catholic, she went to separate school and used to drag me to midnight mass once in awhile. But that was during our High School years. By the age of 25 she'd had two abortions (Catholic = no BC pill), and before she was 30 she came out as a lesbian. So yes, a little education and exposure to the real world often changes one's perspective.

What to do -- forbid them from higher education and condemn them to a life of burger-flipping? I hope Dr. Dobson doesn't get so stressed out about all this that he starts beating his dog again.

(via rants from the rookery)