ConcernedMum wrote:Mine wasn't a straw man argument - it was a genuine question. Do hindus teach "the perfect etc" verse to their children. Do hindus teach their children to sit still for long periods of time.
Firstly, Hindus are not a homogeneous group - I don't think this is the place to discuss the varying degrees to which different forms of Hinduism are practised. However, I am sure many Hindus are taught that verse from a young age and explained its meaning, perhaps in a weekend school. Or taught other verses not fully explained, but given for them to recite in order to give them peace or instill values - much like saying grace before eating. Sitting still is probably high on the list of things many Hindu children just do
through practice rather than instruction.
My underlying point is that there should be a separation when discussing theory and its dissemination. As a practising Hindu who rejects the SES, I do not believe the two are inextricably linked. I have seen countless occasions* here when criticisms of the underlying theory and the way it is disseminated - by which I mean methods used, intended audience, scope for debate - are unreasonably conflated.
I'm not saying the theory is beyond criticism. I do believe in discussion it should be separated from the way in which it is introduced. For given another context, another culture and another way of living, the same ideas can have very different effects.
It seems quite an anomaly how, even though the SES supposedly have Hindu-orientated views, the vast majority of the Hindus I know who have been educated at St James have no intention of having anything to do with the SES. In my experience, they take away from the St James experience those values that coincide with their upbringing, laugh at everything else, make lifelong friends irrespective of SES affiliation, behave well enough to avoid particularly undesirable punishments, obtain an education that enables them to make a suitable living, and get on with life.
The above does NOT in any way justify the SES or St James, nor is it intended to defend those organisations. It does, however, point to the view that one needs to be careful when criticising their beliefs or practices per se, the trap into which the angry parent fell. It could merely have been a slip of tongue rather than an error in judgement on his/her part, but this cannot be considered an excuse.
* Two come to mind in particular. First, the view that semi-arranged marriages are by default susceptible to failure. A lot of cultural ignorance on that old thread, where people kept on making absolute remarks which would be fine if qualified. Second, the view here that a religious verse recited is nonsensical per se, and that sitting for 10-15 minutes is unreasonable for young children in general. On both occasions, criticism of how
and to whom
the view is put forward has been muddled with criticism of the view itself.