Teach Your Children Well

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Go easy on them. They’re just kids. But man.

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71 Responses to “Teach Your Children Well”

  1. #1 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    surely this is satire…

  2. #2 |  sigh | 

    Well…. they seem to be using their time and effort to do something constructive. Not sure what they’re constructing or if I approve of it, but it’s probably better than spending their time shoplifting or abusing the local wildlife.

  3. #3 |  wunder | 

    wow, i made it to 1:29 before i had to just shut it off.
    i plan to send my son to private school, which will most likely be christian-based (non-religious-affiliated options are so limited and even more expensive). however, i want him to ask questions, push boundaries, and do all he can to fight authority-just-for-the-sake-of-authority.
    if he ever came home singing something like this, we’d have a nice, long discussion – at home and at school – and would probably entertain changing schools.

  4. #4 |  Jesse | 

    Funny thing is that I don’t have a problem with the message of the song in theory. The difference is that my definition of legal and moral “authority” is far more restricted than theirs.

    And, anyone who abuses that authority instantly and permanently loses it. They no longer have any authority to respect.

  5. #5 |  Eric Hanneken | 

    This video was produced by West Coast Believers Church, which I know nothing about. Browsing their YouTube channel, I see they have another video, “Jesus Gave Us Authority,” which sounds vaguely domineering, but perhaps someone more steeped in Biblical scholarship can clarify their interpretation of John 14:14.

  6. #6 |  Jesse | 

    13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

    I don’t believe this smacks of human domination of others, rather spiritual authority to invoke the name of Jesus in petitioning God.

  7. #7 |  KristenS | 

    These chicks will be knocked up before the age of 16 and the boys will have knocked someone up before the age of 16. Mark my words.

  8. #8 |  EH | 

    This video is evidence of child abuse.

  9. #9 |  mdb | 

    At first I thought it was just generalized respect for authority, but if you can make further into the video (hard to do), they do start going into who is respected (your father, Jesus, teachers (kids need to respect teachers or the class is pure anarchy), etc.). Not a bad message – though I am not religious – but there had to be better way to phrase it.

  10. #10 |  Triple Threat « Renaissance Roundtable | 

    […] Radley Balko) Categories: Uncategorized LikeBe the first to like this post. Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) […]

  11. #11 |  CRNewsom | 

    These kids need to read Lord of the Flies… maybe I don’t mean that. Maybe I mean Das Schloß (The Castle) by Kafka. Either way, they need to learn that authority is neither necessary nor productive.

  12. #12 |  bomias | 

    Yeah, they’re just kids…kids repeating the message taught to them by the domineering, religious adults around them. Ick. Question authority then respect the good answers. Or at least that what I teach my kiddos.

  13. #13 |  Mister DNA | 

    Nothing captures the essence of Rock & Roll like singing, “Obey Authority”.

  14. #14 |  Mannie | 

    They all need to be lined up and given an intensive enhanced patdown by T&A. That will teach them respect for authority.

  15. #15 |  Cam | 

    Something tells me “The Man” wrote the lyrics and music to that song.

  16. #16 |  TomG | 

    Mister DNA, I wish the thumbs up/down system was back – you’ve earned about 5 with that remark :)

  17. #17 |  TomG | 

    5 thumbs up, naturally.

  18. #18 |  delta | 

    Holy god in heaven.

  19. #19 |  delta | 

    Actually, on 2nd listen-through for my girlfriend’s sake, I actually got far enough to realize that it’s religion/Jesus-based. Not surprised.

  20. #20 |  Joe | 

    I remember the “respect authority” kids were all little fucking backstabbers. Now there were plenty of back stabbing little fuckers scattered around in the other cliques and groups at school, but all those respect authority kids were all bad news.

  21. #21 |  Maria | 

    There’s enough little people running around that neither respect nor obey their parents, teachers, elders, etc, that I can’t really disapprove of the general message. And it’s nifty to see kids “doing” something rather than just consuming something…. But there’s just something creepy about a little girl writing “Obey” on a blackboard… and seemingly meaning it.

    The sincerity and intensity that kids latch onto concepts can be used for really bad shit. Something many religious and political groups have used to their advantage.

  22. #22 |  mike | 

    How German was Won! Yeah, yeah, i hear y’all about the general message, I teach my kids essentially the same thing… to a degree.

    But, frankly, as an educated and “awake” adult — this message kinda makes me sick to my stomach. I feel like a swastika should be illuminated in the background with a hologram of Hitler smiling…..

    well, i guess it better than an “Obama is Great” song….

  23. #23 |  Sean L. | 

    “Something many religious and political groups have used to their advantage.”

    Nazi Youth Corps?

  24. #24 |  Bob | 

    That’s some scary shit.

    DEVO needs to make a version of this. They’d do it right, I tell you what!

  25. #25 |  J.S. | 

    Pretty scary and I could only make it to the 2min mark. There are better ways to teach respect for elders etc. (and when not to respect their authoritah!) than this tripe. Tripe with a Jesus angle instead of the “gonna change it and rearange it” and the “mmm mmm mmm Barak Hussein Obama” lefties who worship the state as their gods.

  26. #26 |  WOW | 

    I agree that the general message is good, but this video really scares me…

    1. It does not mention why you should obey authority or who to listen to, it says pretty much ‘blindly follow adults because you know nothing’

    2. The Jesus religious shit is really starting to get to me. Is there anything these people WON’T use Jesus for as an excuse for their actions? Respect authority. Why?. JESUS. But the religious fucks love this because there is absolutely no evidence or even common sense in believing in God, so if they teach the children to think critically, with reason and logic, they will lose their little ‘soldiers’

    3. These kid’s brains are still developing, they don’t really know what the world is like, and all they are being fed is lies and false hopes. They will all probably grow up to steal your shit lie to your face and bitch about everything, and hate their lives. It’s very sad.

    PEOPLE, kids aren’t stupid, they just haven’t learned about the world yet, but when you feed them lies and BS about the world, they learn that, and not the truth. This is why kids are so messed up these days, they have been taught that the world will give them everything, Jesus loves them, bad things only happen to bad people, and it’s all bullshit. Please be truthful with your kids and help them become well rounded adults who actually know what is going on in the world, or they will become these stupid politicians, abusive police, and religious nuts who are ruining everything for America right now.

    KIDS are our FUTURE, raise em right, don’t be stupid, your kids understand everything that they are able to understand, they aren’t dumb, and when you give them bad information or false hopes that becomes what they know and they will never be able to think about things correctly.

  27. #27 |  Athena | 

    Somehow I doubt these kids are being taught that respecting and questioning authority are not mutually exclusive behaviors.

    In 11th grade, I had an AP World History teacher named Mr. Czuban. A brilliant, older man with a lecturing style of teaching that surely would have been better suited for the university crowd, he would turn on the overhead projector at the start of the period and drone on in a painfully monotone voice that made it diffult to stay awake. One day, however, Mr. Czuban turned off the projector, stepped out from behind it and said, “If you haven’t heard anything I’ve said this semester, I want you to hear this: It is not just your right, but your DUTY as an American to relentlessly question authority.”

    Here’s hoping these kids run into a Mr. Czuban.

  28. #28 |  Dave | 

    Ok, as long as you always let that little voice in your head be the final authority.

  29. #29 |  Mojopin | 

    Ha. They’ll probably all be senior editors for reason magazine some day — especially given that I have seen the Radley Balko “Drugs are Bad” video.


  30. #30 |  Rich | 

    Well I get what these children had to say, I would not critique a child being creative and exercising there 1st amendment rights.

    I tell my children to respect authority.

    SON what do you say to a police officer who is probably a nice guy if he starts asking you questions?

    I respect you sir, this is probably very serious, so I must ask that I have a parent or a lawyer present before I can talk to you. I really do have respect for you but I don’t understand what is going on and I want my parents here to help me.


    I respect you sir, this is probably very serious, so I must ask that I have a parent or a lawyer present before I can talk to you. I really do have respect for you but I don’t understand what is going on and I want my parents here to help me.

    there are a lot of molesters in the world. People who will use a childs innocence to trick them into giving away there sexual and civil rights if there is a difference. SO we teach our children to respect adults but give them the tools to respect themselves at the same time they will be safe from people who try and trick and abuse them.

    OH and the family minivan has a question authority bumper sticker.

    I do get where these kids are coming from and I think it came from there heart I hope that people will remember that there just kids.

    Respect kids.

  31. #31 |  Bulucanagria | 

    Morally, musically and aesthetically atrocious!

  32. #32 |  delta | 

    #29 | Rich: “Well I get what these children had to say, I would not critique a child being creative and exercising there 1st amendment rights.”

    There is close to zero chance that these children actually created this in any meaningful way. They didn’t write it, they didn’t play it, they didn’t shoot it or edit it. What they did is — literally — obeyed the church adults who were telling them to get on camera and sing this foulness.

    I mean, respect people, fine. Listen reasonably when anyone speaks. Don’t be a jackass in the world. But “do what they say and everything will be okay” (or whatever the line is) is a recipe for disaster.

  33. #33 |  Mattocracy | 

    I only got 23 seconds through this before I had to stop.

  34. #34 |  Andrew S. | 

    I couldn’t get through more than a minute of this.

    I have a 20 month old daughter. My hope is, basically, that I will teach her to treat any future interactions with the police in the same way Rich @ #29 teaches his son.

    I’ll admit there’s a part of me that worries about teaching her (and any possible future child) to question authority in the way I do. But I know it’s necessary for her.

    (my family has joked that with the way I am, my daughter will either join a militia or the police force at age 18, depending on whether she rebels or not. Of course, my family has never understood (or approved of) my views on authority, especially the police)

  35. #35 |  Rich | 

    # 32 I understand who was behind it and they have a right to teach whatever goblygook they think isnt goblygook to there kids if they want.
    I feel that they probably would not like me or my Lesbian preacher at my church.
    They are kids and the fact that they are kids makes it off limit to any public attack BY ME anyway. What other people choose to say is of course there business.

    So what they do is none of My business really, that is why I Chose to talk about what I DO with my kids. Instead of being negative I simply share what I do. If people want what they have fine. If people want to do what I do fine too.
    I hope people see that there are a whole lot of examples out there to choose from some good or some bad. I can only share what I think is right for me and my family.
    Live and let live.
    People choose how they live and raise there children how they see fit.

  36. #36 |  Rune | 

    “Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.”
    – Mikhail Bakunin

  37. #37 |  yawn | 

    re: sigh

    “…but it’s probably better than spending their time shoplifting or abusing the local wildlife.”

    No, it is not.

  38. #38 |  Salt | 

    Future police officers, prosecutors, and judges.

    And politicians.

  39. #39 |  dsmallwood | 

    i prefer the classic,

    “there’s a man with a gun over THERE, telling me,I’VE got to beware (?) …
    i think its time we stop children, what’s that sound? everybody look what’s going down …”

  40. #40 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    I can’t believe I almost made it through. Poor kids. What asshole adults forced this shit down their throats. Like other commenters, I am also not at all suprised that there is a religious connection. Poor kids, that was kind of like School House Rock- North Korea.

  41. #41 |  Gideon Darrow | 

    Speaking of Jeebus:

    Pat Robertson comes out for pot legalization.


  42. #42 |  perlhaqr | 

    Wow, that sucked a lot.

  43. #43 |  zerodivisor | 

    Obedience is for dogs

  44. #44 |  Leah | 

    This is why, when I discovered I was having a 3rd kid, I decided to be happy I’m doing my part to out-breed these people (eh, Bronwyn?). The more of them are taught this crap, the more likely our kids will end up the authority figures. Just hopefully not politicians, I don’t know if I could deal with that.

  45. #45 |  Buddy Hinton | 

    Even at their age I would have known better. Those kids are stupid. Some kids are. These kids are.

  46. #46 |  GreginOz | 

    I remember getting into trouble in my last year in primary school (years 1-6) because I refused to stand for the national anthem. This was Australia in the late 60s & there wasn’t any way in hell I was going to sing “God Save the Queen”. Ha! My lip curls automatically, even now.

  47. #47 |  Some interesting links « Quotulatiousness | 

    […] Mister DNA: Nothing captures the essence of Rock & Roll like singing, “Obey Authority”. […]

  48. #48 |  Marty | 

    fuck Christian rock- none of it’s worth a piss. at least gospel led to some great soul music.

  49. #49 |  Mike | 

    The flip side of “Question Authority” is “Accept Responsibility”.

    Back on topic: My brain melted about 23 seconds in. /puke

  50. #50 |  Alex | 

    “Authorities are here to help you. Do what they say, and everything will be ok”
    Alright no libertarian should be talking about some “good general message”

  51. #51 |  Curt | 

    Apparently Avril Lavigne has changed her tune a little since her sk8er boi days.

  52. #52 |  delta | 

    #43: +1 thumbs-up for you.

  53. #53 |  BoogaFrito | 

    Someone should set this music to scenes of police abuse, SWAT raids, and bureaucratic TSA fondling…

  54. #54 |  Rich | 

    49 I always found it a little funny that human beings put themselves in boxes and allow other people to tell them, what they should be talking about.
    A little too authoritarian for me.
    When I step back and look at the whole box of libertarians I find them a bit Heartless. I find the Box of republicans to be pretty dam stupid. I find the box of Democrats to be pretty dam gullible.

    I am not going to sit in anyone’s box. Sorry, “General message” is how you respond when children are involved it requires Heart compassion and tact.
    When a kid brings you a finger painting of a Horse you don’t tell them its not proportional to the house behind it.

    HEY here I am judging you. I am a hypocrite I am always so judgmental of judgmental people. Something I need to work on.

  55. #55 |  mdb | 

    Man, you can tell this a younger crowd. All you people who are going raise rebels/dishwashers (if that) – remember, a teacher can and likely will fail your future kid – if he/she pisses them off. Your kid will be better off if you teach them to treat authority with respect and pick their battles very wisely.

  56. #56 |  Gideon Darrow | 

    @ #52 BoogaFrito:

    I second that request.

  57. #57 |  Alex | 

    What are you even talking about? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dichotomy

    This video has NOTHING to do with making sure you don’t piss off your teachers so much that they fail you.

  58. #58 |  Alex | 

    I don’t understand your criticism.
    I think the group liberarians exists, and that in any case that does not involve children the values common to libertarians would not allow them to agree AT ALL with the sentiment expressed in this video. But those values seem to break down for a lot of libertarians when children are involved (see spanking). I don’t like that double standard. Maybe it is fair, but I’d like to see a justification of it that is not “it’s better for them to game the system and pretend to have blind respect so that the people with power over them don’t screw them over.” It’s not that I’m creating rules that all libertarians have to follow or else they’re not “TRUE” libertarians, it’s that I think given the rules they already follow, they shouldn’t be approving of this video.

  59. #59 |  Terrorific | 

    Judging by the look on his face and his enthusiasm, the little boy in the video knows what’s up.

  60. #60 |  KristenS | 

    I totally, 100% DISAGREE with the “general message”. People should always, without fail, in every circumstance, question authority. If the answers to the questions make sense, then there you go. You respect the answer (again, if it is logical and sensible). Not the “authority” that gives it.

  61. #61 |  KristenS | 

    mdb – I am 38. But besides that, my dad taught me a healthy suspicion of authority. I almost always questioned my teachers, especially in high school and they all loved me. And I think I’m pretty fucking successful.

  62. #62 |  mdb | 

    KristenS – I am sure you were very respectful.

  63. #63 |  Bob | 

    # #59 | KristenS | December 23rd, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I totally, 100% DISAGREE with the “general message”. People should always, without fail, in every circumstance, question authority. If the answers to the questions make sense, then there you go. You respect the answer (again, if it is logical and sensible). Not the “authority” that gives it.

    That’s all well and good until it’s made clear that absolute respect for authority is not optional. When someone’s authority comes directly from god and that god is infallible, then that authority is deemed infallible as well. You ever hear the phrase “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”? Well, that’s what you get when you allow no deviation from authority.

    Here’s a podcast from these people on the subject of authority:

    I can barely listen to this shit.

  64. #64 |  bob42 | 

    If we don’t unquestioningly accept authority, how can we hope to be free.


  65. #65 |  Rich | 

    Jesus Christ questioned and spoke up to power at every single turn. He touched lepers, he healed on the sabbath he overturned tables, in fact the powers crucified him for it.
    Not questioning authority, is not Christian. Very early in the Christian church, Paul replaced Christ, Dogma set in, Idolatry took over, Buddhists call it Maya,
    “If you see the Buddha on the road kill him”
    These people are Idolaters, replace the statues, with the symbols of written words in a book .
    The book became God, because they are not able to transcend the authority of the books to see past the books. To kill the Buddha. “The kingdom of heaven is upon us men do not see it”

    These poor people are not allowed to see past the leaders that tell them what the book means.
    SO we have Fundamentalist Christians. Far more dangerous then The Muslims, there are a whole lot more of them here trying to make this a theocracy.

    What happens in these fringe, quasi christian groups, is that they must put the message that Christ actually preached on the back-burner. Christ, His example of questioning authority, never sits well with the authority, that is twisting a watered down message into there own political and financial agenda. A agenda that almost never includes the poor widows or orphans.
    DO not question the leader, everyone outside of our group is evil, we are the only chosen few who really knows what God wants.


  66. #66 |  Amazed | 

    So that whole “Don’t talk to strangers” and “Don’t get in the car with any adult you don’t know without the ‘safe’ word, even a police officer” thing is right out the window, eh?

  67. #67 |  MPH | 

    Ewww… but I think I know where this might be coming from.

    Exodus 20: 12 tells us to “honor” our parents.

    Exodus 21: 15 & 17 tells us that if we strike or curse our parents (fail to honor them via physical or verbal actions) we’re to be put to death.

    So of course obeying authority is what will be taught by those whose holy book includes Exodus. What better way to get your kids to “honor” you then to tell them: God commands I kill you if you don’t “honor” me.

    Kind of like Bill Cosby’s dad: I brought you into this world and I can take you back out. And I’ll make another one that looks just like you.

    If that doesn’t keep you in line, not much else will.

    With the amount of information that is easily and widely available today, how else are you going to perpetuate your myths except via brainwashing at an early age? This looks like a manifestation of such brainwashing, or possibly, a very subtle plea for help on the part of the kids.

  68. #68 |  firehat | 

    Rich in #65 is completely dead-on in line with my thoughts on the religious aspects of this, right down to bashing Paul’s illegitimate authority. If you want to piss off a right-wing conservative christian just point out that Jesus was a communitarian anarchist radical and black or at least dark brown.

  69. #69 |  Derek | 

    I think it is silly to get so worked up over this video. The video is clearly targetting kids, not adults, so the message is a pretty true one in our society where kids are not free (neither are we adults, but you already know all about that). (And before you wet , I’m not saying that kids don’t have rights).

    The difference is we don’t make any claims that children are free … and I think if you argue kids should be free you are either a child yourself (literally) or you’ve never been a parent.

    And while I don’t know anything about these kids’ church, parents, pastors, etc., the Bible teaches kids to obey their parents “in the Lord.”

    Finally, I’ve never met an adult before that complemented a child that was rude … I do want kids to *respect* authority, but not blindly trust it.

  70. #70 |  Rogue Medic | 

    I don’t have to worry about my daughter disobeying me.

    I taught her to question all authority. She keeps me honest.

    Any authority that cannot be questioned is not worthy of respect.

    Respect is earned by the way we handle questions/challenges, not by the way we give orders (or follow orders).

  71. #71 |  travis | 

    Just stopping by to say this is the exact opposite of Jesus’ teaching and life-example…