Psychic Kids on A&E

In an effort to honor the Internet code of getting the word out, I’m going to repost this from Atheist Media, but many of my readers would have already seen this if they read Pharyngula.

Over the weekend, PZ Myers did a longer post about it, and it’s definitely worth a read.

This was the quote that AM pulled out:

The A&E Channel has a new show coming up: Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal. Sounds awful already, doesn’t it? But it’s worse than you think: they’re looking for disturbed kids who think they’ve got magic powers, and then they’re flying in “professional psychics” to coach them in dealing with their awesome powers, i.e., indulge their delusions, get off on feeling superior to unhappy kids, and collect a paycheck for psychic child abuse.

They’re putting kids in the hands of a creepy skeevo like Chip Coffey, all for your entertainment.

Here’s a video about the series:

PZ criticizes the show for kowtowing to children who have delusions that they are magical. I’ll take it a step further and say that, at least for me, religion encouraged me to think I had a connection with a magical being, therefore making me some kind of magician.

Sure, sure, Christians repeat that god is not magic. What god does is defined as powerful. His abilities somehow transcend the earthly definition of “magic.”

As children, adults fill kids’ heads with stories of disciples doing amazing healings, just as Jesus supposedly did. Faith gave powers, and when I was a kid, I wanted to achieve the level of Christianity that gave me those powers.

Take for example that we practiced something called “prayer requests” before almost every class in middle school and high school. Little Jane Thompson stands up every day for a month to pray for her father sick in the hospital. In turn, we pray as a class for Jane Thompson’s dad to be healed. When her dad is healed, there’s almost no way that the mind of an adolescent doesn’t equate that healing with a personal ability to change the future, to change sickness to health, to influence the unknown to do the known.

These “powers” weigh on some children and they take it into adulthood. They continue to think, “It’s not magic if God is involved.” But these same people also scream that three are one and informing someone of hell is a form of “love.”

Surely if god existed, he would make that which represents him the most amazing show of his power it could possibly be, right? Instead, people must convince themselves how powerful the bible is. With all its flaws, is the bible really something amazing?

People might point at art that was inspired by god. They point at music. While these things are amazing, do they point at special powers or do they point at talent? I say talent. Just like when we were praying for Jane’s father in the hospital, his recovery was scientific, not magic. If a person getting well in the hospital is a “miracle,” standards are set way too low for God’s magic power.

When adults bow to children and perpetuate their delusions, those adults should be held responsible for lying to children.

Don’t you think?