Home > General Bitches and Gripes > Religion as Child Abuse

Religion as Child Abuse

by Noah Lugeons

Yeah, a lot has been said about this already so I’m not going to devote too much time to it here.  The four horsemen have long since established what I feel to be a compelling and nigh undeniable argument that religion is often a guise for child abuse.  And we’re not talking about the sexual abuse that has become so synonymous with religious leaders, we’re talking about the actual practice of teaching religion to children.

The apologists like to sweep this under the rug.  When they address a crowd of hostile atheists, they downplay the literalism of the bible.  They pretend that religious people all look at it like a divinely inspired-Aesop’s Fables.  They like to pretend that Christians don’t treat the bible as being 100% accurate.  But when we’re not looking, that’s exactly what they’re teaching their kids.

I recall a field trip I took in 3rd grade where my class was presented with a human skeleton and asked if we could determine whether it was the skeleton of a man or a woman.  Without exception, every kid in my class immediately took to counting the ribs.  Until then, there was no difference between the authority of a religious figure and a secular teacher.  They were both grown-ups who told us things with authority.  They were both people who our parents told us we should listen to and respect.  How were we to know that one source was sound and the other bullshit?

But when all the little Christian Twitter trolls pop up to give us atheists the smack-down we so richly deserve, they have to answer for shit like this.  When a kid gets really, really interested in science she or he might learn something that will aid them for the rest of their lives.  But when a kid gets really, really interested in religion, she or he might do this:

  1. sl606
    April 3, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    I could not agree with you more. :o)

  2. EDT
    April 3, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Just heartbreaking for this kid, who is so incredibly confused (I mean visibly so).

  3. April 4, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Thank you for this post. Well said. The video and the BibleBrian website are both disturbing but not uncommon, unfortunately. Religious child abuse (indoctrination) can and apparently has wired this little guy’s brain to see everyone as an enemy except for his tribe. This kind of programming can cause the right amygdala (negative emotions, fear, aggression) to be hyperactive. In later years, significantly greater hippocampal atrophy has been observed (via fMRI) in people claiming to be ‘born again’. The child is displaying hyperreligious and antisocial behavior. While I doubt he has a neurological disorder and/or mental illness (yet), it’s possible that one or both of his parents/caregivers do.

    “Hyperreligiosity is a major feature of mania, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, temporal-lobe epilepsy and related disorders, in which the ventromedial dopaminergic systems are highly activated…].” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16439158

    • April 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      Thanks for the link. There’s plenty about religion that pisses me off, but I’d say the treatment of children is even more egregious than the treatment of women.

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