It's funny-- when I use the phrase "brainwashing" when it comes to creationism, I never hear a peep from the comments, even though I generally get the usual tired (and incorrect) complaint that I am attacking all religion. Why is that? I'm not sure, but maybe, just maybe, it's because people understand that teaching creationism to young kids is brainwashing.
Case in point: Answers in Genesis, a group that promotes creationism and has been shown to lie when they want to, sponsored an essay contest for kids. The winner got a scholarship to Liberty University (sort of the Bob Jones University of Virginia).
That should be considered torture. But I digress.
Anyway, the essays are online. They're frightening. I mean, kids wrote this stuff, regurgitating the horrific nonsense dumped into their innocent brains by creationists. It's sad.
If you want to read more, then Bay of Fundie is a good place to go. He dissects the winning essay in a polite but firm manner, destroying the premise and showing that this young girl is mostly parroting the garbage she's ingested over the years.
I am filled with sadness when I see things like this. I've been around a lot of kids. I helped at a local Boys and Girls Club when I was in NorCal, teaching them about the solar system, astronomy, and science. I've used my own telescope to show Saturn to countless kids. I've traveled to schools around the country to talk about the joy, the wonder, the awe of astronomy. When you see that spark, that glow, that moment when a child understands what they are seeing, or even just the potential in their faces as they chew over the nature of reality, of the Universe... the joy that fills your heart is impossible to describe. It's wondrous.
Creationism and fundamentalist dogma destroy that potential. It's wrong, and it's evil.