Monday, November 8, 2010

Targeting Children Makes you a Predator!......You listening Ray?

Don't these kids look like lying cheating little buggers?

A few days ago I heard a knock at my door, when I answered it I was met by a friend of mine with a glean of anger in his eye, and a story to tell.

I had no idea what I was in for.

He handed me 3 small business card like items and asked me to read them.
They were, at first glance, an example of the clever IQ tests that we have all seen at one time or another.  (Read the number of "f"s in the sentence, followed by the scientific explanation as to why most people can't correctly count them.  IE- here)  They can be fun to read, but these were different.  Not only did they NOT contain the explanation as to why you got the answer wrong (removing the interesting part of these exercises completely), but what they DID contain was a message of preaching and hell.

They spoke of how we are all liars, cheats, and adulterers, and how if we got the justice that was coming to us that we would all be rightfully going to hell.

I rolled my eyes and said "Ugh, I have seen this sort of thing before"

He replied "Keep reading"

These ones were particularly insidious.  They really pushed the idea of how we are all bad people, undeserving of love or "salvation", and how what we REALLY deserved was hell and torture for eternity.

How we are all liars if we have ever told even ONE lie, or cheaters if we have EVER cheated at anything, or adulterers if we have even THOUGHT about another woman with lust in our eyes.
They really couldn't say it too much that all we really deserved was to burn in torturous pain for eternity, and that although we didn't deserve it, Jesus would save us if we loved him enough.

It was an attempt to devalue good and decent people so that their perceived need for a "savior" would be increased.

Completely immoral, but nothing new.

It was the next statement that hit me in my heart.

"Guess where I found these?"

I had no idea

"My daughters Halloween bag"

I was instantly angry.  For someone to target children with this terrible message was unthinkable to me.

He continued to tell me about how she brought these mini pamphlets to him with fear in her eyes and a question on her lips.

"Am I a bad person Daddy?  Am I going to hell?"

This is a question that no child should be faced with, because it is a question of fear and self loathing.  (and a question that puts a lump in the throat of any daddy that would hear their child ask)

This is a concept that no child should be faced with, because it is a concept meant to terrorize people into blindly being "good".

Halloween is supposed to be about fun, costumes and candy, so it was beyond me to even consider that anyone would use it as a sneaky opportunity to target OTHER PEOPLES CHILDREN for their self loathing message of terror.

If you target children in order to terrorize them for ANY purpose, then you are a predator.

That is right.  You are a child predator.  Someone who preys on children with a message of fear, and threats of torture if they refuse to believe as you do.

There are not many things that are lower than that.

It makes me sad to think of my friends daughter scared on Halloween night for all the wrong reasons.
I just don't understand how anyone can feel it is OK to tell a child how terrible a person he or she is and feel good about doing it.  It escapes me how anyone could think of a child who is too young to babysit and then think that it is OK to threaten them with hellfire and torture.

I will say it again, people who use other peoples children to perpetuate their beliefs are predators.  It is made even worse if their goal is to make them feel like bad people at tender childhood ages.  As adults we are supposed to enable their sense of self worth, and to assist them in formulating the tools to be able to think for themselves.  It goes completely against everything that makes US good people to target children with messages of hate.

SHAME on whomever put this in that little girls bag, and in every bag they had held up in trust for candy that night.  SHAME on those people for taking advantage of a fun night to twist it to your own purposes.
SHAME on everyone who feels that it is up to them to teach other peoples kids their own version of reality and a DOUBLE dose of shame for those who feel that it is their right to tell ANY children how bad they are to the core.

Understand that if you are one of these people, then you have some serious introspection to do about how you attempt to get your "message" out.
Understand that if you are one of these people who prey on trusting children to tell them how horrible they are then I have something to tell you again;

You are a predator.

But wait, there's lots of blame to go around....

There was a web address at the bottom of the card

AH!  Now it makes sense!

"The Banana man" Ray Comfort is the man behind it all.

I DO NOT want to deflect any blame from the people who actually pervert the Halloween night of fun (or any day for that matter) in order to preach this message of hell-terror and self loathing to children, but it is important to note that there are other people involved.

Ray Comfort and his ministry are the ones who recruit and condone these actions, and who actually provide these awful cards to pass out to people.  He also provides an example as to WHO should be targeted.

His is a ministry which sets up booths at county fairs where children are asked to take a test to see whether or not they are going to hell.  The answer is always "yes".
His is a ministry that targets the sick and elderly to tell them that their time is growing short to avoid going to hell.

How immoral is that?!?

He makes a practice of targeting the weak, the ignorant, and the vulnerable.

Ray, here is my message to you;

Until now I have seen you as a bit of a sideshow.

I have seen you as an ignorant preacher talking about science that you have no idea what you are talking about, as a ridiculous debater (I know that was Kirk Cameron.  He is Ray's sidekick, and Ray was complicit in the design of that graphic and in making that ridiculous point) but up until now I have never seen you as a harmful influence.
Really Ray???

Now I see you for who you are.

A predator.

Not only do you target children with your hurtful and disabling message, but you target the terminally ill and the elderly with your message of fear and terror. 

You are a machiavellian predator who feels that the ends justifies the means when it comes to spreading your version of reality.

You have every right to yell to the sky all the outrageous and ridiculous things that you want, but to be sneaky and to target other peoples children for the purpose of ideological subterfuge is immoral and when you consider the emotionally disabling nature of those messages it becomes hateful as well.

Come on now Ray.......

Making little girls cry?

Targeting the elderly and sometimes dying people to threaten them with hell so that they will "get their affairs in order"?

I am sorry to be the one to tell you.....

You are a predator, and should be watched very carefully.

If you disagree, then lets see your next blog be about NOT targeting children with messages that they can't possibly understand.  I challenge you to write about how we should teach our children to possess all the intellectual tools that they need to succeed, and leave the ideologies until they are old enough to understand them.

Lets hear you say publicly how you won't target the vulnerable, the elderly, the sick, and the young with your self deprecating messages any longer.

Ray, step up, lets see you promise to keep the discussion (and threats) where it belongs, and not target people who are too young to know better, or too infirmed to be ethically involved by you.

Because if you don't, or if you can't, then we will all be able to see you for what you are........

Do I need to say it again?

Lead pic taken from here (oh the irony)


  1. Wow. I mean For once there are just no words that I can coherently filter through the firewall of red-hot rage that this article set alight in me. If that had been my child I'm not sure I could've stopped myself from going back to every house on the street and asking, "WAS THIS YOU??!!" and then summarily poundomg some good sense into anyone who answered, "Yes."

    Thank you for voicing my opinion for me.

  2. Yikes! I'm so angry apparently I can't even type straight!
    poundomg=pounding. Although...there is a certain irony to the typo.

  3. I felt the same way. To target CHILDREN with such messages of hate and (to use the term again) self loathing is one of the worst things that I can think of at the moment.

    Predator was the only word I had to describe these people.

  4. just shows we have more to look for in our childrens' Halloween bags than razor blades these days.
    we get them every year. usually in a goody bag with a couple of tootsie rolls, tied off with a jesus loves you ribbon. this is also the reason we trick or treated at the mall this year.

  5. No kidding Diane. I am pretty used to that. It was the message of terror and devaluing sentiment that bothered me so much.

    Sad that we have to protect our kids from mean spirited messages of "love" now too.

  6. There seems to be at least one of these stories every year. last year there was a story about someone handing out chick tracts on Halloween. More specially a tract about a boy going trick-o-treating, knocking on the door of a real witch, and being killed.