The Infection of Children
There can be no doubt that the Christianity Meme finds children very desirable hosts. They are easily infected and, with proper support, the Christianity Meme can maintain its infection for a lifetime.  Through its infection of a child, the Christianity Meme also gains a human lifetime of potential to jump to other hosts.  The only thing better, as far as the Christianity Meme is concerned, would be if each child infected were to become an evangelical minister.  Somebody has to do useful work, however, so this sort of infection is self limiting.

There are a myriad of ploys used by the Christianity Meme to infect children.  We will mention a few of the major ones here, as well as some of the ploys seen recently in the news.

  • By far, the most obvious way to infect children is through a proper Christian upbringing.  This is part and parcel of the Religious Right's idea of "family values".  Most people don't realize, however, that the Catholic Church didn't recognize the marriages of commoners, much less the families of commoners until the 1200's.  If it was God's plan all along, why did the Church take over half of its existence to figure this divine principle out?   The answer, of course, is that there is no such plan, but just the Christianity Meme evolving to take advantage of fertile territory.
  • Indoctrination by the parents (see "Terror in Dreamland" and "The Andrea Yates Case") is the best way to get the child to agree with the indoctrination, but parents are not often properly trained to perform the indoctrination.
  • More often, the Church takes on the responsibility of indoctrination through Sunday school classes, catechism, or religious competitions.  Ceremonies, such as Baptism and confirmation, help to strengthen the Christianity Meme's infection.  When a child rejects brainwashing in the form of memorization of a genocide manual (a.k.a. the Bible), the consequences can be dire, as one Austin child found out when he was beaten for 90 minutes. [Unfortunately, the link to this news story has expired.] Many such beatings are not reported as the parents condone this treatment of children "for their own good".   Children are taught to trust the clergy, sometimes with dire consequences.
  • Sometimes, out of the goodness of their hearts, Christians will deliberately deceive children in an attempt to indoctrinate them. While most people consider deceiving a child as immoral, Christians, evidently, do not.
  • Since children spend more time in school than in church, True Christians (infectees of the Christianity Meme) have worked hard to bring religion into the classroom.  In the USA, religion is not to be promoted in state-funded schools as it violates the First Amendment of the Constitution.  This division is commonly known as the separation between church and state.  There are various cracks in this wall, however, which benefit the Christianity Meme.
    • Christians have claimed that Creationism is "science" and should get equal treatment in educational curricula.  Despite its being discredited as a viable explanation of life on this planet, Creationism is still being pushed in education.  Its recent repackaging is called "Intelligent Design".
    • The "Pledge of Allegiance" has been recited by American children for decades.  In 1954, during the Communist scare, the phrase "under God" was added to the pledge, making it inherently religious.  (Dissent, as with other religious brainwashing, has been discouraged.)  In July 2002, the Fifth Circuit court of appeals ruled that the phrase's purpose is religious in nature and should be removed from the pledge.  (Sadly, the decision will likely be challenged and overturned by Supreme Court.)  When this decision was announced, a kind of hysteria gripped the nation. All of Congress mindlessly recited the pledge so as to grandstand. The plaintiff (acting as his own attorney) received numerous death threats. Apparently, these loving Christians do not understand that the ruling does not prevent them from slavishly worshiping the god of mass murder as they always have. It just gets the government out of the indoctrination business. Perhaps these Christians do understand what the ruling means and they're so possessed by the Christianity Meme as to aid it at any cost.  Scary thought, isn't it?
    • Prayer at school assemblies has long been a source of controversy.
    • The school voucher issue is largely fueled by religions and religious parents who do not want their children to have a secular education. The July 2002 decision as to whether vouchers were constitutional (if a majority of the benefiting schools are religious) is just a milestone in this long debate. We should all be concerned about this reckless experiment with our children's education.
    • Some churches have even successfully recruited on school grounds.
    • Textbook selection has become a virtual battleground for religious ideas.  Any wording that is the least bit hostile to Christianity is stricken, regardless of its veracity.
The Christianity Meme does not care about the welfare of children, as long as they live a lifetime of as successful hosts.  Sexual abuse, assault, deception, and terror are perfectly acceptable means of infecting children.  This unethical treatment of children will no doubt continue under the direction of the Christianity Meme.