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Discussion 1 to Meditation 10
Comments on "How young is old enough"

by Reverend Audrey Carstensen

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I know that I'm responding to a really old meditation (10), but I just felt the need to write something briefly on my own experience with age and agnosticism.

I was lucky - an agnostic friend (although I was actually the one to put that word to his non-belief system) helped get me through my conversion around 7th or 8th grade. Without support I would have found it much more difficult to sit my mother down once I was secure in my non-belief and explain why I no longer subscribed to her faith and why. Honestly, I don't even remember how I learned the word agnostic to describe myself!

Had someone told me then that I was not "old enough to make an intelligent decision about her [my] spiritual future" I would have wanted to laugh or cry... or maybe hit them. Being raised in religion may make me more appreciative of the vast differences between being agnostic and (in my case) Christian, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it. One can only listen to so many discussions about the Lord being a shepherd and you being a sheep without wanting to stand up and yell at everyone "Don't you get it? You're thinking human beings. Not sheep!" If I had not had the support (and example) of friends to go by, I certainly would have wanted the ability to ask people about their experiences with non-belief. I look forward to some day where non-faith and faith are treated equally as paths to take.

So those are my thoughts on how terrible it is for agnostics to be "preaching" to the young. Just so this is more than a letter you've seen hundreds of times before, I leave you with a link I found very scary (especially as an American where these Congressmen mentioned are making policy decision).

http://www.harpers.org/online/jesus_plus_nothing/

I am afraid, very afraid...

Thanks for your wonderful website.

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