Whenever someone apostatizes and leaves the old paths, fundamentalists will inevitably assign someone the blame. There will be an informal postmortem, inquest, and a whispered placing of the blame on someone’s shoulders for having led this soul astray. More often than not the culpability is rested on the shoulders of the fundamentalist parents.
It is a strange contradiction that fundamentalists can at the same time believe that every man has free will but also that no child raised “properly” will ever stray from the fundy faith. It can’t have been that the fundamentalist movement was flawed or illogical or provoked this young person to wrath. No indeed, it’s much more likely that this rebellion was inspired by the way their parents spared the rod or allowed them to have Disney characters on their third grade lunch box.
For this reason, parents in the fundamentalist realm will often preach to their children not only the doctrines of separation and standards but also heap upon them the warning that if the child’s foot should stray that he will bring a reproach on his family’s honor that will never be removed. His father may lose his deaconship. His mother may lose her place on the women’s missionary committee. The family dog may even lose the right to frolic with more upright and holier dogs.
Train upÂ a child in the way that he should go and when he is old if he has departed from it we’ll definitely be blaming your parenting. (Unless, of course, you’re a pastor who is among the congregation of the blessed. Then we’ll be far too polite to mention it.)