Indoctrinating: It’s Not Just Them … It’s You Too!

  • the process of inculcating a person with ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or professional methodologies
  • to imbue with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle.
  • the process of repeating an idea or belief to someone until they accept it without criticism or question.
  • “inculcating” (i.e., to instill by persistent instruction)
  • “partisan or sectarian”
  • “repeating”

Your Assumption Is Your Indoctrination

I assume you’ll backtrack to “small, Christian college” and make the leap that this is all coming from a “small-minded” (your indoctrinating word, not mine) conservative thinker. No sir, no ma’am … I’m not a “conservative thinker.” Yes, I have conservative leanings (pro-life, gun rights, national defense), but I have liberal leanings too (affirmative action, justice reform, affordable health care).

The Mythical Classroom Indoctrinated

In the context of the “Christian college,” I see many snap judgements. In social media and from much of the public, there’s the snap judgement (i.e., a hurried or impetuous decision or finding) that the Christian college is a place of indoctrination … a caricature of rigid training, conservative trappings, and academic zombieism. From experience, I can tell you that this is both a fantasy and (to some degree) propaganda … the same broad-stroked propaganda and shallow cacophony that paints Berkeley and Stanford as cults of liberalism.

An Ideological Boogeyman Takes Many Forms

For those railing against the cult of indoctrination, circumspection prevents a true assessment of one’s own self. If indoctrination befalls “them” — the conservatives or the religious — it equally befalls other establishments, other voices, other hypnotic things … liberal, political, and indoctrinating, things that hold sway over the uncritical mind (i.e., inculcating, partisan, and repeating).

The Entertaining of Indoctrinating

If conservatism and religion must suffer the accusation of indoctrination, then so too must our laugh factory. Dogma hides well as humor (whereas religion is patently dogmatic). For example, in the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, several jokes dogmatically celebrated President Trump’s Covid diagnosis:

President Trump is in the hospital with Covid… and my heart goes out to Covid.Chris Rock

To some … funny. To others … in poor taste. Either way … indoctrinating. A liberal joke is still a liberal sermon or a liberal credo. Place Rock in a pulpit and change “Trump” to “Biden” … now you have your conservative boogeyman. But when you place Rock on stage, clothe him in humor, and add laughter, you insulate indoctrination as “entertainment.”

Defeating Trump is the first and most urgent step of fixing our economy and restoring our democracy. … We have the power to repudiate Trump in November.

The truth of this statement is irrelevant because regardless of truth, it’s indoctrinating. Truth has no bearing on the “process of inculcating a person with ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or professional methodologies” And because it comes from a celebrity (no different than John Oliver or Trevor Noah), this “process of inculcating” rings authoritative and sanctioned, holy in its evangelism. It is, without argument, a one-sided voice from the Volkshalle, an indoctrination garbed as commentary.

Indoctrination: A Two-Way Word

Do you still think this is a political argument?



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