@mojoey at Deep Thoughts has been accepting guest posts from believers that want to show the good that religion has to offer. I think it’s a great idea. In the atheist blogosphere we can go all negative pants, over and over about the harm that religion causes (and that is totally valid) and even go as far as to say that “religion poisons everything.” Me, I believe that religion does both, and when it’s time to give credit, then give credit.
One splinter cell of Christianity has created a 12 step program called Father School. Sure it’s all Christian-y but, perhaps, in this instance it might be a tiny bit OK. If peeps need god to quit alcohol or drugs, then I can’t really complain about that (but I’d rather they went to Rational Recovery a non God recovery program). If the very abusive, macho and irrational Asian male, in this case Koreans, need to go to a God based program to learn how to not kick the sh*t out of their kids, then that is OK by me.
In Asian cultures the male is a dominate (and I guess that goes for all cultures) figurehead. He is unemotional, works all the time and promotes the false belief that common thingies like hugging, crying or showing feelings is a sign of weakness. Growing up the only time that my father touched me was when he was hitting me. The only time he spoke to me was when he was yelling at me. There was no praise, no hugs and deff no positive reinforcement. He was raised that way, his father was raised that way, and dagnabit, his American born kids were going to be raised that way. My beautiful Philippines was not beautiful when I was growing up, it was a threat. If we did wrong* (we never did, we were always the best kids in class) we would be hit and the threat would be “I’ll send you to the Philippines, they will teach you respect.”** I’m absolutely certain that the Korean father is not any different.
Part of what Father School teaches the men is to interact with their kids and wives. Things that are considered weak in the Asian culture are taught. Something simple like hugging your child and wife are taught. These cro-mags are so, well, cro-mag they have to be taught to do something that is common in Americanized society. I thought it was quit funny that at the end of the session that the husbands had to wash their wives feet. In Asian culture that would be considered a subservient role; the wife should do that to the husband.
Myself, my brother and especially my sister, were always the best in all our classes. I loved going to school because I got praise. I worked hard and my teachers and coaches told me things like “Hey Kriss, you did a good job.” If I got a a good report card, my peers congratulated me. I was always the captain of whatever team I played on and I was always in student government. School did me right for my hard work. When I got home, I was punished (one time I got four “A’s” and two “B+’s” and guess what, I got in trouble).
Part of me wishes that there was Father School where I grew up, but then part of me says that my dad would have went there, yelled at everyone, scared other adults (because no one tells Ben what to do) and then…well…
I’m glad for the kids and parents that participate in Father School, even though it is all Christian-y. C’mon atheist, give credit where credit is due. Religion can evolve like anything else, and if religion did more positive things like this, then perhaps we would not have the Catholic abuse scandal, the raping in Africa, the Crusades both past and present, fair treatment of women etc…Perhaps.
* The only time my parents touched me was when they were hitting me. There was no hugging in my family until my teenage years. That was because my aunt married a man and in his family they hugged eachother. We didn’t have to mess up to get hit. Getting hit was a way “B” and “M” could control us. Seriously, we could just be standing there and we would get hit. Totally f*cked up sh*t. BTW, I hate them.
** I heart the Philippines, now, but growing up I was scared of the Philippines. I never once, not once, heard anything positive about the islands. There was so much they could have said about the beautiful islands: the wonderful people, the rainforest, our rich culture. but no, none of that. Growing up the Philippines was a threat, it was punishment, a place to be sent to be punished.”They will teach you respect” my father always used to say. “You are the most respectful and obedient kid in class” my teaches and coaches used to say. If the islands were tougher than my parents here in the states, then there was no way I was going there. I really feared being sent to the Philippines. I sincerely thought that if I was sent to the islands, that I would die. Mom, dad, fuck you!