Is Religion Child Abuse?

My first blog post over on Elucidations on Atheism…

Enquiries on Atheism

To begin, the title is a truncated description of the question we received, which was: “Why do atheists like Richard Dawkins consider religion to be child abuse? Do you agree or disagree with this assessment?” Isn’t that the loaded question? To start off, I’ll clarify Dawkins position.

He did not come up with this particular position himself. He was recounting what a former theist had told him of her experience. Namely, that when she was a young catholic child she was: one, sexually abused; two, taught that her Protestant friend who recently died would burn in hellfire for eternity. In her own opinion, the thought that her friend would burn in hell for eternity was worse than the abuse she suffered. Dawkins recounted her story, and said to his interviewer that he understands the position. However, he did not go on to qualify that all religious teaching is equivalent to…

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1 thought on “Is Religion Child Abuse?”

  1. Swedish court jails exorcist parents Published: 14 May 2013
    “Two parents in Borås, southern Sweden, who tried to exorcise demons from their young daughter by beating her and making her drink urine, have been found guilty and jailed for aggravated assault by a Swedish court. /…/”
    “/…/ The court also felled a pastor who was drafted in to help expel demons from the young girl’s body. He was convicted of unlawful detention, abuse, and for acting as an accomplice to harassment. /…/”
    http://www.thelocal.se/47882/20130514/#.UZn02IqYiSc.wordpress
    ‘Exorcism punishes kids for family’s woes’ (14 May 2013) http://www.thelocal.se/47886/20130514/
    Parents beat 9-year-old girl for ‘being a witch’ (18 Jan 2013) http://www.thelocal.se/45690/20130118/
    Court frees ‘exorcized’ teen girl’s parents (17 Apr 2012) http://www.thelocal.se/40310/20120417/
    Swedish town rocked by second child exorcism (13 Apr 2012) “Another teenage girl in Borås, western Sweden, has been subjected to physical abuse such as kicks, beatings and electric shocks, as her parents tried to exorcise her from evil spirits. /…/” http://www.thelocal.se/40250/20120413/
    Parents charged for ‘exorcizing’ teen girl (24 Feb 2012) http://www.thelocal.se/39320/20120224/
    Parents held for ‘forcing demons’ from daughter (28 Jan 2012) http://www.thelocal.se/38780/20120128/

    For the sake of clarity:”However, when the parents approached the Swedish social services with an application for a grant in order to take their daughter back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to have her properly exorcized, she was taken into protective custody by the state.”

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