The first Annual Bronx Youth Poetry Slam, a competition at which poets read or recite original work, took place in May 2013 at the Kingsbridge Library in the Bronx, NY.
It was curated by Community Board 8 Youth Committee Chairman Lamont Parker and ‘Advocate of Wordz’.
“Ethan Metzger did not advance to the second round, but this poem was my favorite one from the evening,” said ‘Advocate Of Wordz’.
That was so beautiful. Every youth should hear that . There would be more respect for authority.
May this be spread everywhere. So thankful that my parents taught me to Love G-d and strive to live like Him. God is good all them time. All the time God is Good and if we strive to be the same; we will never hurt anyone.
Interestingly enough, we, for the most part all seem to agree that good moral standards are good. And they should abound here in society. So whether you are Jewish, Mormon, Atheist, Catholic, or a “brainwashed” believer to do good; The time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension, it is a time to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation… It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a season to reach… Read more »
He may have just been saying we’ve been here longer than other folks…
I love this kid!
#44- Dietary laws for health reasons
What an inspiration you are to other people! Thank you for expressing yourself so eloquently.
This reminds me of when my daughter came home from her all girl college prep-school to say that all her classmates thought she should be allowed to make her own decision about her spiritual beliefs. I thought for a moment and said, ” Well your girlfriends parents are all spending $12,000 a year for their education so that tells me that they highly value a good education. I highly value my spiritual beliefs and want you to have a good foundation and knowledge of the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Their parents don’t value spirituality therefore they are letting… Read more »
from a little Christian boy who was brainwashed too.
I have to agree with #53’s valid points and thought she stated her view respectfully. But I also can really appreciate this young man’s beautiful tribute to his parents and think he did an articulate job expressing how they have taught him well. The world would certainly be a better place if everyone so thoughtfully raised their kids with values. I was raised LDS and have since happily left the faith of my childhood and am not surprised that other LDS people have identified so well with this young man. That aside, I sincerely think my children would agree with… Read more »
BLESS ALL PARENTS WHO HAVE THE WISDOM TO ‘BRAINWASH’ THEIR CHILDREN …….TO TEACH THEIR CHILDREN TO RESPECT, HONOR, LOVE AND DO GOOD ONTO OTHERS !!!!!! AND BLESS THE CHILDREN WHO LEARN FROM THEIR ‘BRAINWASHING’ AND GROW UP TO BE HONORABLE, RESPECTABLE DESCENT CITIZENS !!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND THEN PASS ON THE ‘BRAINWASHING’ TO THEIR OFF-SPRINGS ! AMEN !!!!
During creation, the sun and moon were day four…. So day 1, 2, and 3 could have been as long as millions of years…. Hence the Jewish 5774 and the scientific “millions of years ago” can coexist with no problem.
love this train of thought the savages have, where free will means to do filthy things, use drugs, and collect government money
Ethan may not have advanced to the next round, or won that poetry slam competition, but he certainly won me and the rest of us here who listened to him over. I feel so happy and inspired! Thank you so much and continue writing such inspirational pieces. 🙂
#’s 135,196, 255, 345, 340 I don’t understand why atheism at its core doesn’t take the stance of live and let live? It seems to me that intolerance started with the young man who accused Ethan of being brainwashed! Isn’t it hypocritical for an athiest to be intolerant? And so with the notes written by most but not all of the self professing athiests. Why the anger? Although we don’t have all the behind the scenes information, it appears that Ethan’s faith lived life offended this person. Why??? Ethan is not spouting his parents beliefs any longer. He clearly is… Read more »
God is love and this young man gets that in such a deep and personal way….so much that he displays it.
How many of us do the same?
find the ones in the list that disagree with what the gentleman said and you’ll find the ones that are defensive because they didn’t have the love in their families that this young man did.
The other kid didn’t bring up any of those other things. He only mentioned the religious aspect of his upbringing, and only at the end did he briefly mention his religion. The other kid has a point. If he was otherwise non-religious and able to make a cogent, thoughtful choice then would he choose Judaism? Would he believe in G-d at all if he hadn’t been indoctrinated into the belief since he was a child? Alas, that is a question that is unanswerable. But if that “rude” kid did anything then he did him a favor: he made him examine… Read more »
Seems like he went from judiasm to basic human rights. Be good to people, have integrity, etc. That’s what nearly every parent tries to teach their kid, regardless of religion. He kind of danced around the whole judiasm thing.
love, love, love this – way to stand up for your values!!!!
Amazing young man!
I’m sure glad I was brainwashed
In this day where t v and society teaches children to disrespect just about everything and especially their parents I thank God there are still people trying to teach their children some good values. And for #57 the reason Jews did not eat pork in Biblical days was because it caused trichinosis if not fully cooked and still can today.
I would love to hear the poems that made it so this guy didn’t go to the second round..they must be incredible works.
I like the fact that your parents brainwashed you to be the best you can be, for some reasons that kind of brainwashing is a lost art. Shalom!
so well done and then I read some of the comments … so sad that folks cannot just take something that is beautiful and say it is beautiful – but that’s ok, I grew up with the contrarians who would disagree with any wisdom and take the opposing view – and to them I say “PEACE”
Kol Hakavod to you Eithan…I hope and pray my kids feel the same adn can express it even half as eloquently!!!Your parents are awesome brainwashers…
Beautiful! Thank you Ethan for standing up for your values and your parents.
that was so nice! very nice to see
refreshing to see this from our youth!!!
Way to go mom & dad.. You are leaving a legacy!
This was really inspiring…thanks for the perspective and humor! And for sharing the values and morals that my parents taught as well!
Why are those whose beliefs are inferior always trying to crush the beliefs of those who truly understand the framework of life? May the truth always prevail!
you can call it brainwashing
i just call it teaching!
Just came from a class of study with younger and older people, and I told everyone there, they NEED to listen to this! It will give them the fuel they need to stay on the path of what it means to do what G-d wants…and that is to do Good. And Ethan, you did good by example.
listen to the whole poem hear the end. basically implying that he had the sarcastic thought in his mind but wgat he actually responded was that was not brain washing but teaching.
I liked the poem, I think if he wants to advance to the next round, he has to improve his delivery. Tone of voice, pausing, into nations, nasal ness are all things that if tweeted a little would make him better
To 340, who claims that we are born atheist, and subsequently taught religion. Athiesm, by definition, is a belief that God does not exist. Nobody is born believing that God does or does not exist, thus nobody is born either religious or atheist. Theism and Atheism are both learned, and thus both taught. If you’re an atheist, you were not born atheist. You were taught to be so. Just as Ethan was taught to be Jewish. Just as I am religious, and was taught to be so; I then questioned what I was taught, and concluded that it was right… Read more »
Somehow the dominant secularists have made us think that a blank sheet is better than a principled holding environment or that tolerance means committing the mental gymnastics denying the validity of your own beliefs before you espouse them. The collapsing West is testimony to this spurious domination. But the race will go to the principled such as we have here. And strong redeeming principles come from an enduring proven historical narrative such as the one this fortunate man possesses.
Ethan! Well done!. You are a fine young man and I am sure your parents are extremely proud of you. Never tire of seeking God as He reaches out to all of us. Sadly, blindness is not ONLY a physical affliction….
i am jewish and that really shows what i feel!
really well said!
I really liked what he had to say, it was more of a statement then a poem though. I am sure his parents are so very proud!
Some of the comments on here point out how this young man failed to address the other boy’s argument, that he only believes what he does because of his parents’ influence, and instead discusses something else (a logical fallacy). Other comments state that religion isn’t even mentioned until the very end, that the values he mentioned are more humanist than religious. They both have a point. And we need to recognize them both. We need to know WHY we believe to a greater extent than “because I do.” God wants us to follow his teachings with our own free will.… Read more »
so proud of him! I hope my kids feel the same way!
this is the good kind of brainwashing, most of our culture needs but hasnt received unfortunately!
U can call it brainwashing
After much research I’ve found it to be reasonable and sensible to “teach” or brainwash children into belief in a god who created watches and holds us accountable for each decision
Very impressive. I am going to go back and listen to this one many times.
Teaching our kids what is important in life is one of the most important things we can give our time and energy to! Bravo to this young man for seeing the value in what his parents gave him and for saying so!
Amazing. I am most impressed by this boys poem, it’s content, his delivery of it, and how he has me thinking in new ways. Thank you.
So beautiful. Your parents are amazing! As a Christian, homeschool mother this is exactly what I hope I am teaching my kids. To have integrity and authentic identity. I applaud you and your parents!!! Well done Ethan.
Well done! He elequently avoided the real argument, “You don’t have a good reason for your faith and you have your particular religious belief because you were just brought up to believe that way by your parents.” Then he slickly replaced it with things that had nothing to do with the actual argument so that he could deflect it and have something easy to attack, “All of the social skills, morals, intelligence (all of the useful things you learned from your parents & society) are because your evil parents brainwashed you.” Just ignore the false equivocation he suggests (his parents… Read more »
With happy tears in my eyes I want to say that I could not be prouder of you EVEN if you were my grandson. Your Mom & Dad did a fabulous “joy to the world” by bringing you up to be able to believe in G-d and yourself. What SMART parents you have and now they will have wonderful grandchildren also!! Wishing you all wonderful things. Shalom
Wow, this was awesome, very powerful young man. Thank you. now a days more parents should do this, as I was also brought up this way. respect, honor each other, don’t judge. Bless you for your powerful words.
Mazel Tov. Articulate young man.
Right on! – he is a blessed young man because of that “brainwashing”!
Brings tears to my eyes, and warms my heart. Thank God there are kids in the world like this today….the future is bright, this young man is brilliant, and his parents should be commended. AMEN!
#266 and any other post that has questioned their faith, remember – “by their fruits, ye shall know them.” Perspective is everything. I have seen countless acts of good come from the LDS faith as well as the Jewish faith and other religious organizations. Humanity has an innate quality to question. Even when we are young we are meant to fall before we can walk so we can test the laws of physics and build upon the lessons of trust. Along that path, we will fall and we will get hurt. Does that mean that we should never walk again?… Read more »
call it Karma, Call it Undeffined oneness, call it the source! whatever you call the higher power and force / power source to all of creation
its very important that our youth be brainwashed to believe that all actions have accountability, sooner or later, this belief is far better brainwashing than the perpetual brainwashing done by Hollywood and mainstream secularism
I want to speak on behalf of the kid who called Ethan “brainwashed.” Perhaps he used a rather rash youthful approach but consider his position. Less than 2% describe themselves as atheists. A poll from U of Minnesota showed that atheists as a minority are more despised than “Muslims and recent immigrants.” In bigoted America, that is a heavy load for a kid. So let’s give the kid a break. Furthermore, everywhere that I see tribal behavior in full swing. I don’t doubt for a minute that the parents are applying a vice-like pressure. They demand tribal loyalty. They keep… Read more »
כל הכבוד, חזק ןאמץ
Well done, your parents did a great job!!
We (children of GOD) learn to worship and obey GOD through our earthly parents’ examples and teaching…I applaud this bot for standing up to the ignorance and ungodliness rampant in our society today..well stated!
Another well spoken young adult due to his parents love, hard work by example, and yes….religion. Go mom and dad Metzger!
Ethan Metzger for president!!!!!
Nice straw man argument. Just because his friend used the wrong term, brainwashing, to describe what he meant, does not mean that he implied his parents didn’t try to teach him right from wrong like most parents should. My point is that every human is born by definition an atheist and is taught to believe in God and the subsequently the religion associated with one or both of the parents. Before one gets a chance understand the universe around us the way that science has revealed to us, they are influenced to believe in something that doesn’t exist, God. Just… Read more »
Both the “thought process” rebuttal and the sctual spoken one were spot on – kudos!
tell me how that helps people…
This should be on the news…..not all the negative things about the youth today….There are more kids like this – they should be recognized
That was GREAT!
May you be blessed for standing up for your beliefs. Great job. We need more young people with such convictions, values and role models.
Ethan, I am so glad my parents brain washed me too, and because of that, I have respect for myself and respect for other people and a great love and respect for God.
The religion is the brainwashing. To bow to anything and have unquestionable belief in it is brainwashing. To be a good person is what any and everyone should be taught. If an invisible man in the sky who will be upset at you is the only reason for you to be a good person then you my friend are not a good person. Religion Is Brainwashing.
whats he doing in the bronx
come to boro park
Most awesome thing is, no one will remember anyone else who spoke! Well done!
A parent could not recieve a beter compliment.
To the person who brought up the social manners versus religion, I dated a Jewish man and watching him be a human being was because his religion and his parents are one and thesame. God is love and kkindness and vice versa. there is no separation and the young man was brought up to be in the image of God and to do Gods work… so it is appropriate that he signified them as teachings of his parents and God taught them.
wonderful boy wonderful parents we all need to follow his example
Yes – its good that parents train their children – call it brainwashing. When it comes to certain belief systems – brainwashing may be an accurate label and one should not be chided or belittled for challenging another persons beliefs. Just as the one being challenged should be given respect for his beliefs and an opportunity to intelligently respond. Truth is, if he had Christian patents or Muslin parents with a similar dedication to teaching their child – he would likely be equally fervent upholding those faith values. As many religions conflict with each other, they are not all 100%… Read more »
Hooray for his parents…He is proof of an awesome job!!!
…without lies and silly hats.
In fact, it’s the lies that so often corrupt the values.
Please run for president some day. THAT WAS AWESOME!
Well Spoken!! Thank you for “Standing for Something” as IMPORTANT as your BELIEFS!!
THANK YOU FOR THE TRANSCRIPT!
But may I make a couple of transcription corrections. What Ethan said after, “God must run millions of marathons a day.” He then said, “And quite frankly, I don’t have THE STAMINA for that.”
And the last word of his speech is TEACHING.
So, #266, you have motivated me to also stand up and be counted for what I believe. As Ethan experienced, it takes no talent, knowledge, wisdom, or character to be critical, demeaning, condescending, or offensive regarding someone else’s beliefs and values…and almost anything can be described in a way to make it sound ridiculous to believe, especially to those who are unfamiliar with it. I am grateful for Ethan’s strong example of not just being Jewish by birth or on paper, but Jewish in his beliefs and in his heart…there is a very significant and observable difference. Thank you Ethan!!!… Read more »
I thought t it was noteworthy that this young man;s poem cites specific values that his parents have taught or imbued in him, without specifically addressing the religious issue that his classmate raised. It’s possible to raise our children with all of the positive human and spiritual values that he mentions without requiring specific religious belief or practice of them.
Oh that EVERY child in this world would be brainwashed in this way….to honor, respect, uphold the right, support the wounded and bullied, to even respect those who ‘accuse’ you of being brainwashed…what is brainwashing? It is WASHING the BRAIN…..and this young man with GOOD washings! Keep it up, mom and dad….and offspring-brainwash your children with GOOD! I’d rather see the youth of today have their brains filled with GOOD than to see all that I see of these ‘killing games and videos filling their poor innocent minds with hatred and rage….and the sick music and drugs that are tearing… Read more »
I’m glad you have so much support and confidence. Keep on keep in’ on. “) cjc
As a parent…I pray I’ve “brainwashed” my girls as well as your Parents brainwashed you Ethan. Thank you and God Bless you and your family!
For a modern age. Proud of you.
I think many people here are confused. There is a huge difference between brainwashing and influencing. If we are good parents we will all be guilty of influencing our children thro our actions and our teachings, it is inevitable. The argument is whether or not we can bring up our children to be good, productive citizens of our community only through religion . If you believe, as many religious people do, that goodness and moral values can only be obtained through religion then one can understand why religious people find the need to inculcate their religious beliefs on their offspring.… Read more »
I just hope you are not insinuating that because we do not believe in any fairy tale religion that we are not capable of teaching our children moral values and work ethic? That would be insulting, condescending, preposterous and immoral. Another thing your parents should have taught you is that all things are possible without a god, thank you.
Brainwashing….is seen mostly as negative. Positive brainwashing is seen as teaching good values….
Thank God for being in our heart as a moral compass and may he continue to bless you and your family. Wonderful work may God inspire you even more
Great poem! Great presence! Great delivery!
Just remember good parents are constantly washing stuff for their kids in the first few years its a lot of …clothes, faces, cuts, scrapes and yes even tushies… sometimes a little brain just gets near the soap.
Great Work Ethan
All that is good or moral came from God in the begining. To say you can separate moral from God shows a lack of knowledge of human history. God made man and taught him moral behavior.
To 266- As a member of the LDS church, how can you claim to be Mormon and make such comments about what we believe? BUT I loved this, I love it when anyone from any faith show moral strength and integrity. Life isn’t easy and if faith in God helps people with their lives and their ability to get through hard times, why do we need to bring people down? I have always been taught and try to live in a way that I learn about people and reserve judgment until I know more about them and their motivations. My… Read more »
I never knew that col is a fourm for the Mormon evangelicals
Thank God for this amazing young man who stood up for truth and his convictions. Well said!
Good job, love the “musical” lyrics! The moral majority hears conviction in beliefs, love of God and mankind, and passion and adrenaline in standing for something. Bitter and angry are the hearts and words of those who lack parental love and teaching of which he speaks, choosing instead to call an articulate stance, an “angry tirade”. Ironic the bullies shouting for “equal rights and open minds” are the most intolerant of others’ choices and beliefs. (Example: opponents of Prop.8 in CA “blamed” one religion for it’s defeat, while the losers blocked and defaced sacred edifices while shouting hate slogans). Hmmm.
He is a man, one of the best! Bless him and bless his parents parenting skills and the love with which they raised him to be a credit to them and to God.
Superb! Now there is a young man who thinks for himself. I know a couple of men who are like that, too. Mom
I only hope, as a parent, that I am brain washing my kiddo in the same way. Love this spoken word.
Google the statistics of the average American child’s daily ;yes daily) consumption of and exposure to TV, psp, Hollywood produced movies, Facebook etc
Kol hakovd to Ethan and to his parents! So great to see poetry in my old branch. Ethan, you clearly won and I am proud of you.
poem??? sounds like a ranting angry speech
From the pervasive secular ideas from secular Hollywood
I’ve read some of these comments… and I can see that many of you don’t know yet that you don’t know….I don’t care the religion of this young man, his parents, and he have done a Godly job of forming their objectivity and loving conviction of right and wrong no matter where you practice your belief… bravo to those parents and their son, well done, thou god and faithful servants.!!!!
Some of the greatest gifts ever given are from generation to generation. This teenager gave the gift of tears to a 68 year old.
Ethan you make the scriptures come alive by honoring your parents. They have brought you up and taught you we’ll and, as promised as you age you will not turn away from it. May God bless you and yours.
so by that definition hindu, moslem, christian, buddhist, mormon, scientology, etc. kids aren’t brainwashed either. but which one is right?
there’s no need to resort to tall tales and mutilations to teach children to be morally upright. just teach them to be morally upright. it works.
And you know this how?
Hang on to that poem. Let it sink deep into your soul because you’re going to need it when you face the liberal professors in college.
And he DIDN’T advance in this contest because…..
Wonderful parents “brainwashed him” with The values we all need to strive for.
If more parents would take the time to “teach” instead of letting the current “media” brainwash their kids we would live in a more civilized world.
Why didn’t he win???
Public school brainwashes kids to believe secular humanism. We are all brainwashed by someone or something. The question is: who has the truth?
“For this reason I was born, for this reason I came into the world, to testify to the truth”
Wow! Lucky parents!!!
I feel sorry for those of you that think instilling ‘faith and belief’ in our children is a bad thing. What they do with that information is a testament to their own free will. No brainwashing here…
When Eathen spoke of his parents brainwashing I saw a lot of love coming from him. A lot of respect came along with the love. His love for his parents, GOD and mankind was just so refreshing.
TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO AND WHEN HE IS OLD HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT.
Glad my orthodox parents did not stick me in front of a TV and allow Hollywood to do my brainwashing…
95% of secular kids are saturated aka brainwashed by TV/Movies/Hollywood/Disney
The Baal shemtov
And many many other sages all summed up the entire Torah by the Golden rule,
For all the mitzvah are calibrated to draw down the greatest good and blessings for ones self and for those around him and her.
My parents taught me all that too, but didn’t require belief in the extra terrestrial to make it sink in. You can learn the stories without actually believing them to be true. Let alone the ‘word of God’. Do we have to believe that Cinderella is REAL in order to get the point of the story? You’re brainwashed kid, your friend was right. Sorry folks, someone has to say it.
You said it right……from a pentecostal grandmother.
Raised as a Catholic by a Catholic mom & an agreeable Episcopalian dad, I got the same lessons; I can only pray that I’ve passed along the SAME messages to my kids.
Thank you for articulating these truths so eloquently!
Ethan Metzger is blessed to have parents who followed through on their Biblical responsibility to teach him. Proverbs 22:6 (NASB) says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” He proves that point. I loved his poetry. What a blessing!
What a wonderful young man. His parents brainwashed him well. This is the kind of young man that our society is soooo lacking these days.
I am not Jewish however to the critical free thinker …you may wwant to do a personal study on unclean meats in Leviticus 11 and Duet. 14. Enhance that study with scientific and medical research on the health risks of eating scavenger and waste cleaning animals to learn that the parasites never completely leave cooked pork and nasty bottom feeding aqautic life. Its like eating a cooked toilet brush and saying the heat killed the germs. Jewish food laws are healthy. Even your atheist dr wil take you off pork for high blood pressure etc. Jews cant backup their food… Read more »
Being Jewish is a gift! It means that you are God’s elect! Now who wouldn’t wanna be that?!
Enjoyed this. I like to to see people who find ways to express their God given talent and creativity. Poetry is such a venue, as is music or art or sports, or whatever excites our inner Spirit. I like also that he gave credit to his parents for setting the example–as ALL parents SHOULD–but so FEW do!!! Nice job. I, too, would like to see him later in life.
another MORMON here. 🙂
We all get brainwashed as children. Luckily your parents indoctrinated you with good morals. Mine did the same.
But… mine also told me since I was able to talk that there are magic rocks that translate gold books. It took me many years to figure out how brainwashed we Mormons are into believing such nonsense.
Good thing this young man has a good head on his shoulders. Would love to see him after he gets older and more education.
Please let me know where I can buy a copy to frame and hang for all who enter my house to see. Phenomenal.
It all starts from day one! I was taught that “when GOD is
With you who can be against you”. Religion is always always
In my house. My family always asks for a blessing when leaving the house or at the end of the day. I pray they will
Carry on …. God bless Ethan and God bless your family – I
Say keep on w/the brainwashing! Amen
YOU DID AN AWESOMEEEE JOB!!!!!!!!!! SHOULD BE SOO PROUD OF YOURSELF!! INCREDIBLE… AND YOUR PARENTS SHOULD BE SO PROUD TOO- THEY DID A GREAT JOB “BRAINWASHING” YOU
To hear you speak your mind with such clarity was a joy by itself. I’d love to be around see and hear your children. You are a treasure.
Thank you for learning from their teachings. Thank you for living with integrity and faith. My family also teaches, learns, lives by love and faith. God bless!
…from an amazingly gifted young man with a solid foundation of truth tempered with compassionate purpose. Speak on, young man. Speak on.
You obviously are well-read. Have you heard of Timothy Keller and/or read his bestselling book, “The Reason for God”? I think you would enjoy it, whether you agree with it or not, for it adresses some of the theories you posted about. You may already have heard many of his arguments and positions, but I thought I’d mention it.
It is not brainwashing per se, but it IS indoctrination, and we are ALL indoctrinated. But that is not good or bad…what matters is exactly what we are indoctrinated with. Some maxims are good, others are not. I would count religion in the not, for the most part.
Than by secular hedonism Millie… Bchinas Saaros
Wonderfully spoken Ethan… it is men like you who, through the power of G-d, will do His will, move His people toward Him, mold future generations and perhaps bring some to the fold who want to have a peace that passes all understanding. Shalom!
I can agree that for someone his age it’s not a bad response. But, to distort cultural education with religious, both of which don’t need to be different ethnically but for the purposes first outlined are indeed separate and only conflated in appealing to culture. Our cultural values are widespread and don’t belong to your religion. Indeed it is our culture that changes your religion, or cultures that have. In the U.S. today, it is happens everyday. We are going from religions that are anti gay to “all loving” as they have been preaching all along. The student was right.… Read more »
Ethan, you are simply remarkable! What a joy to behold a young man who honors those parents who imbued him with the values and honor that make you so unique and kind.
Thanks be to God ….for that example. We would wish that for every child.
How proud his parents must be of him!
Ethan, God bless you for your courage! You are an inspiration!
Thank you, Ethan, for reminding me that there are not only good people in this world, but great people. You and your parents are to be congratulated. You will go far!
High Five to him and his parents
I love this! Wonderful boy. Hope my kids grow up to understand everything I do for them I do out of love and to grow their mind. 🙂
Well Done! Spoken truthfully and with integrity.
Mazel Tov. You have achieved success! May all our children be as wise as your son.
I wonder why Ethan did not advance to the winners circle since his values could not be more prized.
Obama could have used a set of parents like this young man had. Then we could really be wowed by our president.
Except that everything he mentions has NOTHING to do with religious worship and everything to do with secular humanism. Congrats to him realizing he is a Secular Humanist. Treating people with kindness and hard work and ethics is not the exclusive domain of religion. Far from it.
If I had the power of words that Ethan has, I would have said the same thing. In the absence of such power – I will simply say, “Thank you, Ethan.”
You have stood up for values and goodness! Thank you for having the courage to be a good example!
Beautifully stated. Your parents must be glowing with pride.
Congrats to Ethan and his parents for imparting values that all our children should emulate! I would give him 1st place 🙂
No words can express how I felt when I heard this young man. APPLAUD, APPLAUD, APPLAUD.
Ethan, you’re the man! Great courage, great wit, great insight. Way to go, Mom & Dad! What a son you’ve raised.
Do you know if this is apart of God’s plan? The world is not worst than it was back in those days. And I really don’t get your feel good ranting, because I never said anything about free thinkers. This is my last comment.
Most people have graduated from college and started families before they figure out what you have. The older I get the smarter my parents get.
Awesome, Very well done!
Wow! wonderful! That’s what is wrong with our society as it stands today – not enough children are “brainwashed” by their parents. I love what he said about his father- showing him by example and his mother telling him to do the best he could.
everyone should be “brainwashed” in this way…what an impressive young man with amazing parents!!!!
I would be bursting with pride right now! What a terrific young man they “brainwashed!”
Blessings to you and your parents – they taught and you listened. You give me hope for the younger generation.
Awesome! eloquent and truth to the masses!!
very well done!!
though I do not live by your religion, I do agree that it and some other religions do bring on strong morals. The most important thing here is that these parents brought up and wonderful and good young man who is appreciative for what they have done. I am sure it goes further than his religion but either way, if one can bring up such a good person in this age, they congrats to to them and the youth. Well done young man, well done. I wish there were more of you with such high morals in this world at… Read more »
Oh yeah, I can relate!
This is particularly for those such as the writers of comments #196 and #54. Look around you. How do you see the world? The world, in every region, is definitely growing further and further away from the religious roots most countries and families were founded on and what are the results? Our governments and classes have never been more divided. Hate is more prevalent. Anger, animosity, murder, adultery and selfishness are all more common than ever before in the history of world. The world is worse than it has ever been in many of these aspects. And these are the… Read more »
Hope my son will be able to say the same
In short: I want a copy of this. Anyway of having him send it out? It says a lot.
When we teach our babies to stay out of the street, no one calls that brain washing, but when we teach them to pray, that’s brainwashing. When we teach them not to steal, no one calls that brain washing, but when we teach them the other commandments of the Torah that’s nrainwashing?
Why the double standard?
Ethan did a wonderful job explainging this concept. I’m so proud of him and his “brainwashing” parents.
You’ve made your parents proud I only hope I’ve done as well as a Mother
And this is what I call being well grown up to understand what love for your parents mean.
His poem needs to be published, I could have this with me all the time. Thank you.
HOW did he not make it too the second round?
Thank goodness for parents and their monents of
brainwashing”, aka “LOVE”,
Did anybody read the transcript (THANKS #185!) The bottom line message is that he would NOT JUDGE his accuser. Instead he acknowledged his accuser’s view and without accusation stated his view. We are left to think what we will. No brainwashing here. The majority of the content was about the young man grappling with his thoughts, but his actions (his actual response) is what makes this a valuable lesson for all to emulate! Go back and read the transcript…we make judgments before hearing (reading) the whole story.
All “brainwashing” has paid off…what a wonderful testimony of all the teaching poured into this young man!! I’d be a very proud parent. We are to train up a child in the way he should go!
I applaud your optimism, but give it a few years, kid.
His response had nothing to do with the brain washing he got about his religion. If he had been born a Muslim, he would be spouting on about Islam.
“God is not outdated and the more people ‘slip’ away from religion the worse society has become as the standard of good has fallen.”
So are you telling me things were much better back then? Where there is light, there must be shadow, where there is shadow there must be light. There is no shadow without light and no light without shadow…. This is, in a sense, something that surpasses our understanding and our definitions. We have lived with them since long, long ago– from a time before good and evil even existed, when people’s minds were still benighted.
is this really a poem? Methinks not…
Appreciate your courage, your delivery, and your well-founded arguments. We are all products of our upbringing, and influenced by that as well in our religious, or lack of obviously religious beliefs (i.e. belief in atheism). Those value we hold dear in North American society – including the freedom to choose or change one’s religion (which Ethan will have ample opportunity to do over his lifetime) – are founded in the Judeo-Christian heritage we’ve enjoyed for centuries.
Great poem. Some parts are spoken so fast I can’t understand every word. WORST closed captioning I have ever seen!
This gives me confidence~ Thanks for this wonderful poem.
No one is good, what one person calls good another does not. By your thinking, If our person thinks its good to kill people who are we to stop them? The only way we can ever say what is good or not is by holding it up to the only true standard of good – God. He also wrote down how to live up to His standard of good, this has shaped our society from the beginning and the laws of this country are based on that same standard. God is not outdated and the more people ‘slip’ away from… Read more »
The accusatory student was poorly attempting to show the student poet that the ‘idea’ of god is merely an idea that the poet student would not have if not for the parents. The accusatory student was doing this improperly and with disrespect. Instilling morals, values and respect for others can be done without ‘god’ and without religion. Morals that we know of today did not originate from religion, many texts and philosophers created moral basis and in most cases these morals/values were far more progressive and respectful than religious values/morals. The principle being addressed is just that, recognizing that ‘god’… Read more »
As yet another LDS member, I think it’s interesting that so many of us relate to this eloquent rebuttal from a Jewish viewpoint – we are similar in many ways. As secular theology teaches that values are separate from faith (see comment #196) I believe that religion, done correctly, actually provides the reasoning and motivation to follow proper values. These values are an intrinsic part of religion because our faith provides us a vision of who we can and ought to become, which influences our values and actions. Cases of hypocrisy aside, the good that is done by those who… Read more »
Thank you for such an inspiring and tell it like it is writing! Can’t wait to share on my page and my 23 year old! Bless you! Now let me wipe off all the tears!
It would be a much better world for everyone if all parents were like that– to “brainwash” — to really teach their children right and wrong.
I agree with every word, but people don’t want to hear or read that here.
The Beetles said it best: Whatever gets you to the light is all right.
Right on, very we’ll put!
I hope and pray my kids feel the same way some day…
So a peer enlightens this fellow that his religion is a farce and this kid latches on to one tangential statement that involved his parents and everyone applauds? His upbringing by his parents as a whole was not the discussion, just their inclusion of religion. It’s like saying “Hey your hat look’s really goofy. Did your parents make you wear that?” and responding “Hey, they paid for this great pair of shoes, and this underwear.. so back off the sparkly feather hat okay!” Everyone who watched this and feels vindication…. you are what’s wrong with mankind as a whole today.… Read more »
Great job Ethan Metzger, and stellar example of raising a child Mr & Mrs Metzger.
People arguing that he could be all these ‘good’ things without being Jewish… that is not the point he was answering! He was simply saying that his parents, following the guidelines of Torah and Jewish tradition, taught him well in all areas of behavior. You can label that brainwashing, but he calls it teaching. In that family, in that case, it happened to be the values of Yiddishkeit. The prayer, the rituals, are all part of the same teaching process that made him such a ‘mentch’ in every other man-to-man area, because a Torah life is overwhelmingly good and positive.
Truly a Kiddush Hashem. Thanks Ethan.
What awesome parents, they must be bursting with pride, as they should be.
But he didn’t say anything about why he has to be Jew to be all of those good things.
How proud your parents must be. Lets brainwash the rest of society.
This kid can stand on his own two feet regardless of what everyone says or does. He’s go far!
I got brainwashed to…..and hopefully, I’ve brainwashed my children and their children the same way.
Listening to your poem tells me that there is still hope in the family and the children. Thank you for sharing young man. You are an incredible brainwashed person. Your parents did extremely well. You are a product of what families need to do everyday to help our world be a better place.
I am a mormon and I am very proud of this young man to have the courage to dare to be alone and to explain himself in this manner…..Just beautiful……if all of us were taught by our parents to be like that wht a better place this world would be.
This is one of the reason why we do missionary work. I can tell you that there are also about 70,0000 young missionaries of our faith out in the world who feel just like this young man and are sharing our belief with others.
There is someone I know who is slow to commend, but quick to condescend, who is reluctant to lend a hand, but ready to point and laugh at those who need one. One day I was in school, in class, explaining my Judaism when this person has the audacity to ask me to explain, “You know, you’re only Jewish because your parents forced you to be. I mean, it’s all fake. You don’t pray to God because you want to. You only pray to God because your parents made you think you have to. You don’t keep any of the… Read more »
this is amazing. love it. proud jew
It is so good to see people stand up for what they believe in! What a creative way to share his experience & beliefs. Great Job! I’m not Jewish. I’m a member of The Church of of Latter-day Saints (aka LDS, Mormons, …Brainwashed). We believe that we are another branch of the house of Israel & share many of the same beliefs with the Jewish religion. (I’ve always wondered what Jews think about that.) In my religion, we are strongly encouraged to question our beliefs & find out for ourselves whether it is true. From what I know about Jews,… Read more »
Well said son, =). May “THE ETERNAL FATHER OF THE UNIVERSE” Continue HIS Blessings of Wisdom upon You Today and Always!!!! I will remind you what THE THE ETERNAL FATHER said to Joshua. Joshua 1: 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be dismayed, for THE LORD your G-D is with you wherever you go. =). Always remember the teachings of you Parents and put them in to practice and be proud to do so. Shalom!!!!! =).
I have always noticed that anyone who claims to have an open mind, when they want to conversate about religion, always act accepting of other people’s beliefs and religion in general, but when they are truly responded to with good logic and sound understanding their true colors come out. Second, why do people who believe that we came from something other than God think that we can relate to their viewpoint. Yes, we can understand where you come from and even learn about it in our schooling, but here is news to those people: ‘WE BELIEVE GOD CREATED US!” I… Read more »
Absolutely beautiful. Blessings to you and your family.
Terrific.. Great parents.. and a great Kid
You are blessed to have the parents you have and they are blessed to have you as their son. They, by their teaching and by their example have instilled in you integrity, honesty and understanding. Keep learning and using your gifts wisely. Excellent job of expression!
You know, my parents brainwashed me, too. My brain is so clean, my soul is transparent. I wish more parents brainwashed their children to teach them to lead clean, productive, kind, supportive lives that will benefit all those with whom they come in contact. I am pleased to see that this young man’s parents are making a positive impact through him on the future.
More youth need parents like his, more parents need to hear this and understand what their youth need!
absolutely amazing!!! many can learn from you!! may you continue to make you parents proud!!
OUTSTANDING!!! A great tribute to his parents.
That was really amazing to read. It didn’t hurt to read what you wrote. -_-
Great job! I hope my kids remember every day the brainwashing I gave them while they were growing up.
I loved it, thanks for sharing.
Excellent! Love it – it is prose or an essay.
(it is NOT a Poem.)
i want to be jewish, sign me up. great job mom and dad. i had my 11 year old watch, but i think its more of a teaching point for parents,your parent rock!
Beautifully written. Now if only the Parents would read and get the clue. How will our children grow up and be able to speak with freedom that is on their minds. So many parents do not permit this. they think their voice is the truth, but instead they raise their children with blinders on and know nothing of the outside world. They need to find themselves on there own only help when asked parents.
Mr. Metzger an all class performance and the truth.
Number 53, The example of Ethan’s parents are what taught him and gave him his values. One can speak until silent but ones child will follow the example. I feel certain that Ethan’s parents discussed and explained all that they believed, so what reason would he have not to follow. This same sort of life is practiced in all religions. Ethan was correct to say that he was taught.
He is a true blessing to his parents who as well are a blessing to him. What I don’t understand is why he didn’t win?
I believe this young man will go far in both his personal and professional life because he will GIVE HIS ALL in whatever he does.
V sad to c that even though ur original comment (the only critical one btw in this whole group which is such a shame s.one had to break the beautiful positive peace for once:/!) Was answered so well by two replies soon after yet u still had to find further arguments. And seem to subsequently have been ignored! Take note the lesson u shld learn if one questions genuinely for the truth and answers ppl will try answer n help but if it simply to question for sake of rebuffing and finding counter arguments to prove ones n feel ‘ha… Read more »
Every child should be so lucky!
Obviously “impact”, “insightfulness”, and “expressing truth in a way that speaks to the soul” weren’t a criteria. I would be stunned if this video doesn’t long outlive the competition it was entered in.
If the accuser considers Eitan to be “brainwashed”, then he should consider his own brain to be “unwashed”, namely in a state of confusion, tangled, perhaps even “dirty”. Eitan very wisely and maturely answered the accuser with valuable, essential attributes we should strive to live by. The fact that these attributes are contained in the Bible should not be might light of. The accuser would do well to live by them as well. Eitan gave back more than he got from the Acccuser, all in an intelligent and refined manner. The “brainwashing” accusation might have been instigated by Eitan’s wearing… Read more »
Awesome! Good for you to refuse to be intimidated by the so-called “tolerant,” “informed,” and “educated” who are truly not so tolerant, informed or educated as they think they are.
Strong and powerful words from someone so young. Keep writing, Ethan! Never be afraid to speak your mind. As a Jewish mother of a teenager I am very proud of you. Only by educating the ignorant will we ultimately be able to celebrate the beauty and diversity of all humanity.
Well said! This is what I called standing for something. Brilliant, well put!
He didn’t address the issue at all. About religion being brainwashing. Just mentioned a bunch of other things that have nothing to do with religion. You can raise your kids to be respectful, kind, good people without brainwashing them into believing superstition. So as feel-good as you religious folks want this to be, it’s a complete dodge of the question.
It’s so wonderful that you make the connection between moral and ethical values and the Jewish religion. Jewish tradition is a gift that is a blueprint for a life that is value-filled and disciplined in a way that helps people reach their potential and contribute to their society. It sounds like you are well on your way to doing both! Good luck! From Libby in Israel
It frustrates me that there are those that like to hear themselves talk and try to rip apart religion due to negative personal issues, completely ignoring the incredible young man, Ethan, that has the courage to stand up and defend his parents’ role in a most unusual way. Those of you that have “religion” trauma for whatever reason, give praise where praise is due and look for someone/something bigger than yourself to change your life and viewpoint.
I am LDS as well, and we get this question all the time. It’s possible to be taught by your parents, follow their advice, and then learn it for yourself. My main question is- How did this not advance? It brought tears to my eyes.
Wonderful to hear and see quality parenthood and children who GET IT Love it Thank you for the FRESH AIR You give me hope that our world is not a foolish and it seems to be. Bless You
That poem was beautiful, gracious, grateful, humble… Thank you.
Installing great moral values and empathy for your fellow many Does Not Require religion.
Teaching your children to believe (as true) the myths/baggage that come with religion actually does more harm than good.
I am a parent of 3 sons…..your parents are to be commended on raising such a fine son as this boy……I sure hope they keep ‘”brainwashing” their children…it definitely worked on this son….and guess what – it worked on my 3 sons as well….we are of a different faith but with the same values.
The father, a doctor, the mother, a nurse. The son announces he is going to med school and that “We had no influence on his decision!” How’s that for being subtle?
A child is “brainwashed.” Is it better to be “conditionied” than not? As person matures he ideally
continually tries to understand himself and utterly complex world. His brainwashers have done some outstanding parentage. The kid that provoked the eloquent explanation is
not “wrong” for the challenge, because that sounds enough like the impertinent adolescent if not cynical old man me..
I’m LDS and as such have often been told that I’m only blindly following the traditions of my parents in my religious decisions. My confusion with that accusation is that I have always been taught to think and feel for myself and take action based on my own observations, feelings, and conclusions. Those values are even a PART of my religion, which I feel gives me extra tools and resources for discerning how I actually feel, what I actually want, and how to actually implement it. Instead of relying on popular opinion or the movements of the masses, I pay… Read more »