Mr Rogers may be most intentionally-Christian cultural influence that wasn't widely noticed as "Christian", in the lives of millions of people -- for both many people who don't think Christianity is a part of their lives as well as for many people who do.
I write this not to proselytize or to suggest that you should become Christian if you respect Mr Rogers, but as a reminder that the image you have in your mind of an X (for whatever X that is a large weakly-connected community) should not generalize to all X, and some very X-ey people might not look X-ey at all.
The article also shows that there is often a lot of hard work and educated insight behind things that look very simple and basic.
Further reading and watching:
Walking The Beat In Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
Mr. Rogers On Arsenio Hall
You say that like these are two different things.
You may not know me, but trust me.
On the other hand, there is a tremendous amount of evil done in the name of religion that wouldn't be done at all if it weren't for religion. An incredible amount of hate and bigotry and oppression and violence all rooted in dogma.
People don't need to be taught how to love. But they do need to be taught how to hate.
There are plenty of Christians giving Christianity a bad name. That doesn't mean it is Christianity's fault that they are like that. Over the years, it has splintered into endless sects because you give the same book to different people and they come away with different interpretations of what it means, in part because it is filtered through the lens of whatever mental models life experience has given them.
My favorite biblical passage:
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’
23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
So, the Bible itself suggests that Christ himself foresaw that many evil things would be done in his name and he would disavow such people and deny them entry into heaven.
My personal opinion based on stories like the one below is that, yes, the Catholic Church has lost its way and is giving Christianity a bad name.
I'm not Christian. I did attend church for a time in my twenties. I have plenty of criticisms of Christianity myself. It isn't really my cup of tea. I imagine it would have been 2000 years ago when it was being studied in secret in small groups. Now that it is a major religion, it strikes me as more a means to publicly identify as A Good Person.
There are inherent problems with publicly identifying as A Good Person. One of them is that there comes a point past which looking good and doing good part ways. If public identification as one of the good guys matters to you enough, you may well choke when it comes time to stand your ground against the tide of public opinion.
But my personal criticisms of religion do not in any way make me think it is reasonable to claim that religion is purely a source of evil and no good comes of it.
So what, the vast majority of Christian sects are giving Christianity a bad name? But you personally somehow know what real Christianity is? I feel like that really stretches credulity at some point.
Christianity began as belief in one guy, Jesus Christ, as the only begotten son of god. He himself predicted that much would be done in his name that he would disavow.
That's not my judgement. That's in the Bible. (It's also a blatantly obvious social observation that intent gets bastardized by others with some incompatible agenda on a routine basis.)
Gay rights continue to be fought for across the globe. There are many countries where it is illegal to be gay. Would you say this makes the existence of countries inherently evil?
I hope we will someday see a world where neither countries nor religions persecute homosexuals. But I am not saying that only the good parts count here. I am merely rebutting the assertion that has been made that religion is all downside with no upside.
The operative phrase there is "knew you", not "evildoers". In Christian theology, Christians themselves aren't anything to write home about. They're just favored due to their relationship with God.
People can go out, find "good people", and emulate them. Though that's missing the point according to Christian theology. In fact, part of the sacrament of baptism involves admitting you're not a "good person". These aren't secret rituals or something. On the contrary, they're supposed to be public statements.
Public identification as Christian is a means to open certain doors socially. There are plenty of people who follow that script for the social benefit it entails. As just an obvious example that comes to mind, my understanding is most mobsters are Catholic.
It seems like your criticism is something along the lines of "I don't like the choices they make" which when it comes to morality isn't a very strong argument. Below is an explanation of why they make those choices. Perhaps you can make a deeper criticism.
You have to understand that Christians in general and Catholic's in specific reason about morality differently. Something is moral if God has declared it so. Something is immoral if God has declared it so. The Bible isn't detailed enough to answer every question in life so theologians have thought up answers to questions like "Should gays marry" or "Should people in Africa use condoms." The general process is, do we have something specific God has said that applies? Do we have a principal that we have derived from God's words that we can apply?
For the gay marriage question, the Catholic Church has said that passages that talk about homosexuality interpret those that God says gay sex is immoral. Thus since gay marriage increase gay sex, it is also immoral. Thus it should not happen.
For the condom's in Africa question. Does God talk about using condom's? No. But, the Catholic Church has long held that the procreative aspect of sex is so central that you should not intentionally keep procreation from happening. Condoms keep you from procreating thus using them is immoral. Yes, the spread of AIDS is bad but the Catholic Church holds that you should never do something immoral. So even though using condoms would help the AIDS epidemic, that help isn't worth doing something immoral.
Secondly, it doesn't take a spiritual belief to be dogmatic. Look at politics, or baseball fans, or some vegans. People generally are dogmatic over their belief systems, whatever they're composed of, religion or not. I imagine that evil stems from the intensity and nature of the belief systems, but also the person and the circumstances.
Finally, people are taught to both love and hate at a VERY early age, regardless of the influence of religion. Society does a fine job of this, my 1 1/2 year old is just as capable of being a kind and loving son as he is being selfish and mean. Now perhaps you mean more developmentally, but every human is just as capable of love as they are of hate, I would say regardless of religion. Some religions may encourage one or the other more than others, just as some teachers do in the classrooms or in certain subject areas. I imagine what you're referring to are the studies that showed that racism is taught (and it is), but racism is not a necessary component of evil. Selfishness or greed can be just as effective as a root cause of evil as racism. How much evil has been done in the name of money, separated from beliefs?
Religion is just the scapegoat in your argument, when the things you're stating are more general to human nature.
I doubt Fred Rogers would agree with you.
I also think "religion" is a loaded word. Depending on what you mean by it, Jesus was anti-religion.
And finally, I think people people don't need theism to create a dogma of hate, bigotry, and oppression. History is full of stories of evil men who commit atrocities in the name of dogmas with absent or incidental theism.
Further, I find the long running system of a tithe to be rather evil, and can't see an equivalent without religion. A tax for the general well being of your afterlife is rather unique.
There is an incredible amount of hatred and discrimination in this world that can be traced back to the text in some book said that some particular group of people were bad and other people accepted that as the word of God. The only reason these people have to hate that group is because an authority figure (the authority figure) told them to.
You need to hang out with more toddlers.
If nothing else, I don't know how you could even begin to prove that. It sounds like something people believe without evidence because they find it comforting, which is pretty ironic given the context.
Yes, they do; there is plenty of evidence of this from what happens when people aren't taught that, by example, in very early childhood.
--Charles Stuart, _Eikon Basilike_
Secular folk disagree that religion is an optimal, or even necessary, way to do that good.
Specifically, religion as it relates to and requires a belief in the supernatural, and in the precedence of the supernatural over the natural. You can walk the straight and narrow path without the carrot of eternal salvation or the stick of eternal damnation.
You cannot speak for all of us. I believe that religiosity is likely an optimal state for most humans, in which the masses function best. Some strains of it are more successful than others, and a few people on the edges don't need it to get through life, but most people don't have the time and/or intellectual capacity to find secular coping methods and are therefore best served by keeping their religion. My personal experience with people has led me to believe that nihilism and hedonism are common outcomes for most people when they lose their religion and I believe both are generally harmful to people and/or society in the long run. I know that's controversial, and I don't ask you or anybody else to agree with me.
I believe the above, and yet I am an atheist. Why am I an atheist? Because believing that religion tends to be a net good for people doesn't make me believe in any god, anymore than believing that children enjoy the fantasy of Santa Claus makes me believe in the guy myself. (Patronizing? Yes. I don't care.) My lack of religion was not and is not a political decision for me; and therefore you cannot speak for me in any matters concerning politics. I am not an anti-theist atheist. I am a pro-theist atheist.
My personal experience is that the loss of religion can cause one to value life and humanity more deeply, because one realizes that life is truly finite and fragile, and that there is no framework of justice or ethics other than what we, humans, choose to create. Religion, meanwhile, seems to lead many people to disregard the value of the temporal for the sake of the perceived eternal.
I know quite a few atheists and I wouldn't describe them as necessarily nihilistic or hedonistic - that seems to be more of a stereotype born from the common religious belief that morality itself derives explicitly from belief in the divine, and often the result of turning to atheism as a form of rebellion, which (at the risk of running into a "no true atheist" fallacy) is no more genuine than the person who turns to extreme ascetic religion for similar reasons.
>My lack of religion was not and is not a political decision for me; and therefore you cannot speak for me in any matters concerning politics.
Fair enough but... I don't think I mentioned politics?
Whether or not religion is optimal is a political position.
If you are an addict and you stop you will suffer for some time but then you will get better. Not as good as if you never touched the stuff but still better.
I fail to see the parallels.
This is tricky.
As an atheist, sometimes quite a militant one, I think that religion is not necessary in principle. But, oh boy, there is a very long road from "not necessary in principle" to "we have a fully functional replacement, without bad side effects". And if you think you can simply throw away something that has evolved for millennia, replace it with a product of armchair reasoning, and get anything other than a complete disaster... well, seems like evidence is on the opposing side.
Fully replacing religion is a task that needs to be taken seriously. Otherwise you are not a real atheist, but a mere believer in a No-God Fairy that will somehow make things magically right after religion is removed.
To appreciate the complexity of the problem, just think about all the existing social classes: religion applies to most of them. Does your solution? Or are you proposing a morality which will e.g. work pretty okay for middle-class educated people with IQ over 130, but will result in a social disaster when average or below-average people will try to copy it? (Because, trust me, they will. People love to copy the manners of those above them on the social ladder; especially the bad ones.)
> You can walk the straight and narrow path without the carrot of eternal salvation or the stick of eternal damnation.
Oh, you definitely can, but will you? And what about the others? How much of current non-religious morality is built on inertia from previous religion? How long will the inertia stay after the original religion is gone. In general, do atheists in traditionally Christian countries invent the same morality as atheists in traditionally Muslim countries? (Heck, do even atheists from the same culture agree with each other?)
And if there is the "secular Way", who will be the one to teach it to the next generations? Who will pay the expenses of the teaching, solve the logistics, etc. With religion, we do have an answer: it is in the selfish interest of the religion (its institutions of power) to replicate its values. What is the answer for atheism? How many atheists will sacrifice their careers to make sure the next generation remains culturally compatible? Why would they? Will the whole atheist society just fall apart after a generation or two, when their kids decide that superstitions or cults are more cool.
Don't get me wrong...
I believe that this problem can be solved.
I believe that this problem is difficult.
Not believing in a god doesn't mean you have to think religion is bad. I'm an atheist but I don't think everybody else needs to be, largely for the reasons you mentioned. I agree with your points but in the context of if somebody wanted a largely atheist society.
There is no-one more religious than the militant atheist. It's funny how they never look in the mirror.
Consider that broadly-similar religions tend to emerge spontaneously among cultures that have no contact with each other. Any historian can tell you that. So we can say with a reasonable degree of confidence that a belief system is an inherent psychological need in humans. Take it away and a human will latch onto something else. Could be a political leader (who knows this and does it deliberately), or a philosopher, at diet or exercise programme, or a pound-shop demagogue like Richard Dawkins.
Of course, "optimal consequences for society" is a debate attractor. e.g. I for one will do my damnedest to remain agnostic, if for no other reason than the principle that convincing me to act against-my-own-purposes should have a higher pricetag than "the feelies".
Could you be more specific? Of course a serious atheist and a serious believer are going to have something in common; for example the ability to be serious about stuff. What else?
> Consider that broadly-similar religions tend to emerge spontaneously among cultures that have no contact with each other.
Yes, "broadly". Some things seem to be common among humans, for example propensity for magical thinking. Some things seem to be necessary for a functioning society, for example a rule that an average person is not allowed to kill random people on a random day. Taken together, many cultures will have rules like "if you kill random people, you will be magically punished".
But still a lot of freedom remains. There are religions that forbid you from killing anyone ever, even in self-defense. There are religions that say killing is okay only when your boss says so (e.g. war, death penalty). And there are religions that require regular human sacrifice. There are also other differences, such as whether you have to cut away body parts of your children, etc. Or more subtle theological topics, such as whether it is okay to explore the laws of nature, because the laws of nature were created by god(s), and understanding the work of god(s) better is desirable; or whether the idea of a "law of nature" is itself a blasphemy, because it limits the sovereignty of god(s).
> a belief system is an inherent psychological need in humans.
People have a need for certainty; some of them greater, some of them smaller. I agree that those with the strong need can easily switch from traditional religions to... almost anything.
I don't know. Maybe this need can be overcome by upbringing and education; maybe some fraction of population (maybe even majority) will necessarily always be "believers" in some sense. But in a sufficiently civilized society, perhaps there could be some kind of "secular organized stuff" that would fulfill this desire. This just suggests that religion cannot be removed blindly, without leaving a proper substitute for people who psychologically need one.
I mean, what exactly is the content of that psychological need? A certainty of opinion; a message of hope; a goal that transcends an individual life? For certainty of opinion, provide a simplified explanation of all known science (high-quality popular science with good rhetoric available freely for everyone); for message of hope, provide existing good news (reduction of poverty during the last century, technological progress) and detailed information of people and groups who try doing good things (kinda like TED Talks); for a transcending goal, eradication of poverty or diseases etc. The idea is that you can fulfill this need without having to resort to lies or supernatural explanations. Someone just has to actually do it; otherwise it will not exist.
At worst, such disaster will end with police - in accordance with doing their damn jobs - forcefully putting down some dangerously violent below-average rioters ... no?
By the way, "the straight and narrow path" is the one to salvation. An atheist doesn't need to be saved, so there's no path to worry about. And Christian theology doesn't claim that Christians are especially good people. Or that non-Christians are especially bad. "Belief" (translated, trust) in the Christian sense isn't about using psychological tricks to become a better person. On the contrary, it's really pointless to try hard to be a good person if getting to heaven is the concern.
I don't know who teaches this stuff people have in their heads, but they're way off.
There are many straight and narrow paths which exclude the supernatural as motivation.
Spirituality and deep-seated moral compasses are not the exclusive domain of theists. Some of the most spiritual people I know are atheists. All of the least spiritual people I know are rabid Christians. Both facts are certainly a result of my particular circumstances and aren't meant to generalize to either group.
> On the contrary, it's really pointless to try hard to be a good person if getting to heaven is the concern.
Many seminary lectures have been filled by the intellectual quagmires that grow out of "let grace abound".
> I don't know who teaches this stuff people have in their heads
IME growing up in the church, mostly American Protestants. And I don't only mean that in a coy way. Many American Protestant churches do not require their clergy attend seminary. The result is predictable -- some excellent diamonds in the rough giving competent sermons, surrounded by a whole bunch of crazy rants vaguely grounded in some words that do indeed come from the bible.
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."
If there are many ways and they don't necessarily lead to salvation but self-determined good things, then we're not talking about the way anymore. We're basically disagreeing with Jesus (the speaker).
That's anyone's prerogative, for sure, but a different metaphor is warranted at that point.
EDIT: Reading your other comments, it looks like the "blind men and the elephant" metaphor is your preference, which is fair, but it's contradictory to the "straight and narrow path" metaphor.
> Many seminary lectures have been filled by the intellectual quagmires that grow out of "let grace abound".
How a Christian should behave and how people get to heaven are two separate questions. Ephesians 2:8 and Galatians 2:16 are pretty straightforward. And there are plenty of other supporting verses besides.
But my point here is that people look at Christians and get caught up in the question of who are good people, which is really a secondary concern in Christian theology. It makes sense to assume it's a big deal to salvation theology since most world religions (and casual personal theologies besides) make achievement a central concern. But there's nothing in the Bible that says the worst Christian is better than the best atheist or anything. Or that Christians deserve any special consideration that agnostic people don't.
I think "secondary concern" is a stretch. The entire religion is centered around the notion of sin; without sin, justification (and therefore Christ) is unnecessary.
Regardless, the important point is that:
> how a Christian should behave and how people get to heaven are two separate questions
I.e., regardless of whether goodness is a secondary concern in Christian theology, it is not a secondary concern in Christian culture.
Which is significant because you are explicitly asking for:
>> appreciation and celebration of a culture and people.
and in response to a thread rooted with claims about the goodness of Christians.
> I have consistently found intensely, cerebrally religious people to be some of my favorite people to talk to. And I see so much good come from people who seat religion at the head of their table
But have equally seen other things at the heads of those good tables. And some truly bad fruit in each case!
My own understanding today is that there are many good people in the world, all feeling different parts of the elephant, and we all need each other to figure out the whole:
It's quite separable from doing good, as there are endless historical examples of people subordinating their existence to a higher power and doing virtually unmitigated evil as a direct consequence.
OTOH, it may be the case that recognizing a very specific kind of higher purpose than one self is deeply linked to doing good, but to the extent that is true I don't think is all that strongly correlated with religion; I do think the right framing of religion is beneficial (and wrong framings harmful) to channeling that pre-existing inclination into good results, but that's a different issue.
My problem is that it applies to theists in a positive way and atheists in a negative way. You complain that hardcore atheists are too critical of the worst of religion, then you say something absurdly critical about atheists.
There are lots of ways to devote oneself to some larger cause or purpose.
So do many of the most evil people. Often, superficially at least, the same higher purpose as good people.
God, certainly, ranks high on that list.
Yet, religion in general tends to inspire a certain selflessness, as a cost of this mental-stability.
I have to consider: would improving solely my mental health, be worth the time, effort and resources that I would only find reason to expend (in service of some "good that is done in the name of [my] religion") if I were to become religious?
And while I might have thought differently last month, when I was a futureless undergraduate student ... I'm now fairly certain that the answer is "no". Analogously: why should I purchase a diamond-covered crutch, when I already have four good limbs?
So while I don't necessarily criticize the religious - there indubitably exist people who are better off by being that way - I do criticize religion itself.
You'd probably be a good person without your religion, so I'm not convinced that I should give any credit to your religion. Probably more credit goes to who raised you.
There are many ways to slice that, but in any case, it's NOT symmetric. To the extent that religious people "donate" more, it's only because one of their primary outlets for self-expression happens to be considered a charity!
My previous church expected full members to tithe (not required, but strong social pressure). And that counted as "charity" even though the vast majority of that money only benefited us (worship space and a pastor eats up a huge percentage of funds). I'm sober-minded about the fact that this space was really for ourselves, no matter how charitable the intent.
However, membership dues in my local hackerspace (where we also do some charity, but where again the vast majority of funds go towards infrastructure for ourselves) aren't considered donations. Those are dues, not tithes (aka donations).
In any case, as someone who tithed for years, IMO maybe 10% of tithing goes to truly charitable causes. Maybe.
So when I hear "Christians donate more to charity!" and then read "but effect disappears with tithing is excluded", what I really hear is "we spend lots of money maintaining our clubhouses". Not because I'm judgemental or anything,
but because I've seen both church and other non-profit entities finances. It's just the reality of most community-organized non-profits that don't have explicit charitable goals as their primary intent.
So, to be clear, there's nothing wrong with funding a space and your pastor's salary (or, for that matter, paying to lodge for out-of-town hackers/lecturers). But the asymmetry in how those are accounted comes with hopefully clear entailments about any purported higher moral ground for one over the other.
As if donations were a measurement of personal quality anyway...
A lot of religious institutions tell followers that charity is required by God, and doing charity would make them more liked by God (and hence you will get a better treatment in after-life). This makes it very difficult to compare the data across the two groups.
It's part of the culture of religion. It isn't per se a measure of goodness.
As an athiest, I'm happy to see any ethical children's TV, no matter what faith, or lack thereof, the presenter may have.
I agree that there is a cultural battle going on (not just in the US) regarding religion and faith, and I agree that most media representation of both sides leans towards the extremes. That's how the media works.
I'm glad to say that Mr Rogers was a great example of moderate Christianity, and he represented what I'd like to say was the majority view of Christians around the world (in regards to how we treat people, especially in regards to tolerance). I'd also like to posit that most people, regardless of particular faith, lack of faith, difference of culture etc., would agree with Fred Rogers' general approach to teaching children, and indeed adults.
Basically, I'm agreeing with you: People's preconceptions shouldn't be generalised based on faith or culture, but I'm pointing out that Mr Rogers' ministry goal wasn't just a Christian ideal, but is wide-spread across most people on the planet.
It helps that, as far as I recall, he never actually mentioned Christ or tacked Christian doctrine onto any of his moral or ethical lessons.
EDIT: I guess the point wasn't clear. Most Christian doctrine is very non-controversial to the point of banality. Just about everything Fred Rogers covered in his show counts as Christian doctrine. Sure, Rogers didn't do altar calls on his show, but that doesn't mean he was behaving agnostically or something.
If you believe in the former then Christianity is not necessarily a part of your life. If you also believe in the latter then it is.
That's a theological claim. "Love your neighbor as yourself" is in Leviticus 19:18. In context, those are words spoken by God to His people. Presumably, at least in Judeo-Christian philosophy, God is the originator of that line of thinking.
But, sure, the golden rule is a good idea. Who says it's unique to Christians? I don't see why Fred Rogers being a Christian and a teacher at the same time is the same as condemning non-Christians as amoral.
Just a random aside: If you think about it, this is kind of weird rule. Not everybody's into the same things. AFAICT it should be more like "Treat others as they want to be treated".
"Treat others as you want to be treated" fails when the other person prefers other things than you do. Like when your cat keeps bringing you the delicious dead mice.
"Treat others as they want to be treated" fails when you believe that other people want something they actually don't (and which would be obvious if you would try imagining yourself in their shoes). For example if you believe that women or blacks actually want to be treated as inferior -- and they may even agree with you if they are brainwashed by the society to believe so.
That is, you can go wrong both by ignoring existing differences, and by imagining nonexistent ones.
However, it does seem the latter at least leaves room for "oh, crap, I was wrong" and generally less certainty simply because most reasonable people realize that they cannot know another's mind. Hopefully.
I'd put Dr. King in the same category.
> ...not the image of a Christian minister that we usually see in the mainstream media and popular culture.
The trope of a Christian preacher in popular culture resembles Bakker or Osteen more than Rogers or King.
Killing for what you believe in? Nah, that's pretty much the realm of fanatical extremists, of which religion has its greater than fair share.
I don't think all that many non-religious people actually care/object when religious people practice their religion as long as it doesn't infringe on anyone else's rights.
These examples share a huge number of common traits with (fundamentalist) religion.
And to your second edits meaning: I also like to stick to facts, but I was replying to Christians claiming that non-godly people are more evil than godly people by pointing out how nasty they believe God to be.
Estimates of how many citizens were killed in the Soviet Union vary and depend on how you count and what you count
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_deaths_in_the_Sovi... 2-6m seems a bad enough number for Internet arguments.
Ww2 killed 60-80m and that was caused by Hitler who was Catholic (although he didn't kill in the name of religion).
Of course other things God supposedly created have killed far more, such as Spanish Flu which killed 500m and The Black Death which killed 30-60% of everyone in Europe.
Guilty as charged!
The conversation was generally about what people do in the name of religion. What god has supposedly done is not really relevant to that...
For Mr. Rogers the point wasn't conversion. He didn't set out to make people Christian. He set out to foster kindness, caring, understanding, and happiness. And for him, Christianity was a pretty darn good playbook to gain inspiration from.
I've often said that being a good person looks strikingly like the fundamentals of most religions.
Also, Christianity is not just the positive parts. Selectively emphasizing only those parts means leaving out much of what makes up Christianity, now and throughout history.
Until now I didn't see a single episode, but hearing him speak about it made me at least a little bit curious to what this program is all about. The article of course did the prework for it.
It's a bit sad (at least for me) to admit, but I think some programs helped shaped me into the person I'm today, for better or worse.
Today the TV hopefully hasn't got the impact on me that it used to have and I only watch selected programs and not the mainstream TV (I mean the broadcasted channels), but I guess series and movies are still a big part of my life that have a bigger impact on me than I would like to admit.
Anyway what I really wanted yo say is that I'm happy for content that tries to deliver good values and information without trying to manipulate.
Why is that sad? This the large purpose of culture, of art and literature.
Oh and Mr. Wizard's World coming out of Calgary.
At least we still have Sesame Street.
That's why, at the beginning, Fred is asking him to read the written statement: The senator had banned people from just reading pre-written statements.
It also adds so much more weight to the Senetor's response at the end, knowing that Fred wasn't being rushed in for a quick decision, but the last in many many hours of testimony that was not going well for PBS.
> because he knew that children—the preschool-age boys and girls who made up the core of his audience—tend to hear things literally.
It's not about hearing things 'literally', but it's that children are less adept than (some) adults in dealing with the polysemy inherent in natural language, and especially in navigating polysemy based on context. The example they provide is a good case in point:
> For instance, Greenwald mentioned a scene in a hospital in which a nurse inflating a blood-pressure cuff originally said “I’m going to blow this up.” Greenwald recalls: “Fred made us redub the line, saying, ‘I’m going to puff this up with some air,’ because ‘blow it up’ might sound like there’s an explosion, and he didn’t want the kids to cover their ears and miss what would happen next.”
So blow up meaning "explode" isn't any more 'literal' an interpretation than blow up meaning "to inflate". In fact, if anything, the latter is the more literal interpretation. But the point is that blow up is polysemous, and the "explode" sense is common enough that children might take that to be the primary sense and (especially) younger ones might not be able to use the immediate context (nurse with a blood pressure cuff) to discard that sense as unlikely.
For example, think about how much good could be achieved if the knowledge of people that the advertising industry holds were used exclusively to present only messages truly in the listeners' best interest and with real compassion.
To reword my abstraction: be mindful and compassionate in everything you communicate and always seek the best expert sources in improving your communication skills.
But decades later as a parent I am incredibly grateful for the body of work Fred Rogers and his collaborators and guests created.
As an adult I see the value he created and the value millions of kids captured.
Fred Rogers was a great human being that helped make the world a better place, one kid at a time, for decades.
I suspect that people who felt lonely and scared in their life may have gravitated to Mr Rogers.
Also are you sure you remember far enough back? Mr Rogers target market is preschool, younger than most of your childhood memories.
When I grew up it was "in THE neighborhood", not "this". Who else remembers this?
What the hell?
But it totally jibes with the article. It may not be a beautiful day in the neighborhood where the child is watching, but it's a beautiful day in this neighborhood.
"THE" sounds much better to most people, so unless you are actively watching Mr Rogers singing it, the singer usually sings "THE".
Pop Culture is full of "THE" version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MXerenZzJI
(but Mr Rogers said "THIS" in his 1997 Emmy Award speech)
Daniel Tiger changed "THIS" to "THE" in the version that has been playing on PBS for the past 6 years:
In today's world, producers would probably do the opposite to up-sell merchandise and stuff.
"Happy Jack says it's time for Romper Room, and time for us to say good morning to Do Bee. And welcome to Romper Room. Do Bee would like you to put on your wings. Put on big Do Bee Wings and then start flying with us all over Romper Room! Come on, flap those wings!"
At a time when a lot of pedagogy, and professionalism regarding same, seems to be under assault.
It's still kind of a big deal. It's aimed at pre-schoolers, so you won't find too many teens and adults talking about it online much.
Old stuff always gets stale, and does so more quickly these days where fashion and technology change so quickly.
It's a great read. I'm not as taken with the nine steps at the end for how to speak Freddish. I do agree with some of the steps, but not all.
Some of those steps are a good communication practice with any demographic, such as framing it positively. The mind has some trouble with statements framed as "Don't do X." Modeling what does work is generally vastly more effective, efficient and comprehensible.
People around here don't like Christianity. See the TV show Silicon Valley S5E4.
You wouldn't see a thread about the merits of being Japanese, female, or vegetarian in a tangentially related HN post. People put religious identity in another category for some reason.
Additionally, as a woman, I see threads derail on the detail of gender identity a lot. I have spent nearly nine years working at making it possible to post as openly female without irrelevant questions about my gender routinely derailing discussions that I choose to participate in.
The top comment in this thread is basically celebrating Fred Rogers as a Christian and there are many threads and responses arguing that the Christian part is irrelevant or even despicable. I would expect analogous comments about women to be moderated out of the picture here. And I have seen that happen.
I can't say why Christian members of the HN community aren't more outspoken about this shortcoming in tech diversity culture. I suspect the answer to that question is fairly personal and complex.
As to "wearing on their sleeves", I don't see that happening much at all. On the contrary, I see people behaving much more in a closeted manner if anything. I don't think that's healthy for anyone.
Mister Rogers: Welcome to my neighborhood, boys and girls!
Did you enjoy meeting Senator Kravitz today? I did. He told us about something called "inflation," didn't he? Can YOU say "inflation?"
Mister Rogers: Good! Can you say "Mister Rogers should be paid more dough?"
Opus: Mister Rogers should -
Mister Rogers: Can you put it on a postcard?
I believe that was a Soupy Sales reference:
Here is Mister Rogers talking to the children in Congress, successfully asking them to send him millions of little green pieces of paper: