Jacology: Tween Theology

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(KPLR) – What happens when 'tweens listen to intolerance from their parents? You get Thurasday's segment of Jacology.

Twelve year olds are still children. But they're also adults-in-training. That means, on one hand they're still full of joy and wonder about the world. You know, like children. But they can also be mean and intolerant and racist and bullying. You know, just like adults.

I mention this because my sixth grader has grown a pretty big conscience and spends a good deal of time worrying about the behavior of her peers. You know how it goes. The school says kids should be kind and respectful and decent. And a lot of the kids make fun of the other kids because they're a different color or their hair's a different texture or they act differently.

Take religion. It seems that some of these kids have become convinced that a particular brand of Christianity is the only path to salvation. They're also convinced that kids who are Hindu or Muslim or Jew or Buddhist or heaven help us, Atheist; well, those kids are going to be basted in the fires of hell liked a rotisserie chicken.

This, of course is nonsense that the kids pick up from their parents. And while I’m aware that a lot of adults in the St. Louis region have a brand of piety more attuned to the 15th century than the 21st, I wish they could avoid infecting their children. And yes I feel the same way about parents who pump kids full of fundamentalist Islam or conservative Orthodox Judaism. It's just that I don't encounter them that often.

We've taught our kid to respect everybody else's faith or lack of faith. She knows a lot of people believe in no god or one god or several gods. And the more she travels the world, the more she'll get to know all of them. And my advice to those other parents? Try travelling to other cultures. It’d do you and your kids a world of good.

I'm Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.