I was going to write an article on religion before talking about brainwashing, but I did a search here in my blog and realized I have already said most of what I intended to say about religion. You can click that link to read my blog entry from a couple years back on "Religion vs. the Gospel." Religion is a word that carries a lot of baggage, and the "religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." [Source: James 1:27] I think any moral person would agree that it is a good thing to help the helpless such as widows and orphans, and loving other people as you love yourself is the core message Jesus taught in the Bible after loving God totally. Once you start adding to that or straying from it, you're on a path to trouble.
So, why do secularists think Christians are "brainwashed" by religion? I had an atheist friend tell me I was "brainwashed" by my upbringing because I grew up in a family that went to church, and he didn't. He said he was allowed to "think for himself" and come to his own conclusions about truth and reality. I had a bit of a chuckle over that comment. Apparently, my atheist friend is unaware of his indoctrination into the secular humanist viewpoint.
The church I grew up in did a terrible job at any sort of intellectual rigor in their indoctrination efforts, and both me and my friend are products of the American public school system where we were thoroughly indoctrinated with the progressive liberal values of secular humanism, perhaps even more than the three "R"s of reading, writing, and arithmetic. There is no such thing as a values neutral education, and the march to secular humanism is only becoming more strident as culture moves away from the traditional Judeo-Christian ethic on which the United States of America was founded. This values shift is often couched in "scientific" sounding language in order to denigrate or at least marginalize religious people while ignoring that secular humanism is a faith based value system too.
I get weekly email messages from the principal of the high school where my son is graduating this coming spring. It seems all he can write are moralizing messages around how they are teaching my son to care about the community, and feel good about doing good things. As a parent, I appreciate positive moral messages from the school, but where is the intellectual rigor? Most of the kids graduating from his high school can't diagram a sentence and don't even know what the parts of speech are in the English language. It seems they don't teach that anymore. Instead, our kids are indoctrinated with "values based education."
But, my friend thinks *I* was brainwashed because I attended church which provided a different perspective on values than the values he was apparently unwittingly indoctrinated with in the government schools he attended. I guess someone who is brainwashed is someone who thinks different from you or holds to a worldview not approved by the secularists who have their own pet worldview and agenda to grind and shove down the throats of those of us who still hold to the traditional Judeo-Christian values on which this country was founded and by which it became great.