Russell A. Mebane - African American Science Fiction Writer
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In Defense of Teaching Children Religion

As my daughter gets older, I will have to explain to her why it's wrong to kill people.  When she asks, I will tell her that it's wrong because the Judeo-Christian God says it's wrong and He will punish you if you do it without just cause.  When she asks what God considers "just cause" I will point her to the book of Leviticus and be on my merry parental way. 

Now some people may find this simplistic and other cynics, like myself, could call it deceit.  However, I'm not going to let my child use pure logic and reason to underpin her morality.  If I were, I would have to tell her that it's actually okay to kill anyone you like as long as you're discreet, clean, and only kill people below your social standing. 

Then I would have to explain to her about classism and racism.  This would lead into a long explanation about how it's okay to kill Blacks and Latinos, as long as the Blacks are American (which means they come from broken homes) and the Latinos do not have fair skin (thus giving them a higher social status than the rest of us). 

This would segue into a conversation about how family is only important if that family has money and no criminal histories.  This is because the police will shoot people that so much as point a cell phone at them.  In order for justice to be served, a family has to be able to pay an expensive lawyer and be credible witnesses in court.  I would also have to explain to her that money makes you better than other people.

Of course, this would lead to my child's realization that there are people in the world with money and guns that can kill her whenever they get emotional.  At which point, she will ask me what stops people with money and guns from killing her whenever the mood strikes them.  I, her father, will have to answer "Nothing".  My daughter's Black and her family is not wealthy and we don't own any guns. 

This will lead my daughter to the epiphany that she should spend the rest of her life trying to make as much money as she can  to buy as many guns as she can.  That way she can minimize the number of people who can kill her without consequence.  At which point she'll be free to relieve what little stress she has left by killing homeless people and street hookers, cleanly and discreetly, with no consequence to herself.  Of course, she will only kill the dark-skinned ones. 

However, as a respectful member of society, that does not want his daughter to kill people for fun, I'm going to tell my daughter that a Great Spirit will come down and send her to Hell if she kills anyone.  I will tell her that killing is wrong unless you're a soldier or a cop because they only kill bad people.  Logic and reason be damned. 


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