Amazon.com Widgets

« links for 2006-11-13 | Main | 72 Virgins »

Child Abuse

The following is from Richard Dawkins visit to Lynchburg Virginia to promote his book The God Delusion

There is no such thing as a Christian child, there is only a child of Christian parents. Whenever you hear the phrase Christian child or Muslim child or Protestant child or Catholic child, the phrase should grate like fingernails on a blackboard

One question was about the problems of leaving the faith of your parents and highlighted the hideous practice of labelling children with the religion of their parents. It also revealed the fear and anger felt by those deconverting. Richard in response told of Julia Sweeney's deconversion and her one woman show. Here is an excerpt of Julia's Letting Go of God



Quicktime Video 10.2 MB : 8'25
Quicktime 7 required
This file is available for download here.
Ctrl-Click and 'Download Linked File' (Mac)
or Rt-Click and 'Save Target As' (PC) the link above.

Additional clips from the program are here:
Christian Strangeness
Blind Faith
Not A Trivial Error


Download the entire program at the Richard Dawkins website


 

Comments

He really is an extraordinary communicator and excels at Q&A. Polite, attentive, thorough, friendly but at the same time quite stern. Which in turn gives strength to his fellow atheists. Remarkable. He really does have an impact.

user-pic

"hideous practice?" Oh, come on. Incorrect, maybe. Ill-advised? Okay. But "hideous" should be reserved for real physical or emotional abuse. I take Dawkins' point, but let's permit supelatives to retain some semblance of meaning, shall we? Or we'll be reduced to "She took her children to Mass every week when they were young." "No! The brute!"

I've enjoyed these clips of Dawkins and also the articles and clips on his website, and especially the Julia Sweeney monologue. However, there is one thing that bugs me a little. All this talk seems to focus on religious people experiencing doubt, or ex-religious people touting the virtues of reason over religion, and so forth. Rarely do I see anything from people, such as myself, who have never believed in god or an afterlife or any supernatural explanation for the universe. Am I the only one who has never been encumbered by superstition? It's like being at an AA meeting after never having been a drunk.

perhaps many here probably defend abortion as an okay practice. How can you defend the idea that life doesn't begin until the baby leaves the body of the mother? It just as stupid as believing that dinosaurs lived 3000 years ago. But there is one huge difference: the belief that dinosaurs lived 3000 years does not hurt anyone while the pro-choice silly, unscientific definition of when life begins kills way over a millions babies every year in the United States. We use the detection of the lack of brain waves to determine that a person is dead, yet we ignore science and don't use brain waves to determine that the baby inside the mother is alive. Why? because most (not rape victims and mothers in risk of death) who don't want the responsibility or burden of child rearing subject themselves to a belief system that will justify their actions. The crazy religious belief(yes religious belief even if you profess to be athiest) that life begins at birth justifies murder. Believing in the wrong belief system can have diastrous effects. For this it is important to follow the right religion or belief system. The pro-choice religious belief is one that makes ordinary good people do evil things.

John in Santa Fe,

You may think it is not 'hideous' to be brought up in a religion. You must remember that Dawkins is attacking all religion not just the nice version of the christian faith.

Do you find it hideous that some muslim children are indoctrinated into Jihadist Martyr Theology. The same conditioning caused Children to cheer on the torture and burning of people by Christians in the middle ages. Followers of the Kali Murder Cult in India effectively had to be born into the cult as non members had to be murdered. Even today some people use the christian religion to justify continued racist oppression of people and bring their children up in those beliefs. Religious based hideousness abounds in history books.

It all comes from the tribal us and them attitude that exists in people. Religion allows the us and them attitude to effect larger than tribal groups. Binding greater numbers of people together in such a way gives power to the group as a whole and in a subconcious way to those who are in the group.

Nobody's defending late term abortions Anon, which is what you're railing against.

It's not about life beginning at birth, as opposed to at conception, it's about being able to teminate dividing cells, which are as alive and conscious as your hair and skin.

Up to and not after a certain point of cell division is what prochoice people offer as an acceptable time for aborting a nonconscious fertilised egg, a mass of cells which is not yet a foetus.

What is it with guys named Anonymous always going off half-cocked?

It is hideous because children at a young age can be made to fear hell to an extremely horrible point. So much that when they deconvert they might have horrible nightmares, fright, anxiety, etc about still possibly going there.

The pro-choice religious belief is one that makes ordinary good people do evil things.

You create a strawman of pro-choice as a religious belief and then attack it. It's preposterous. What's next, you're going to condemn masturbation because it's considered killing potential life? I guess we're suppose to care about the suffering of sperm now am I right?

"hideous practice?" Oh, come on. Incorrect, maybe. Ill-advised? Okay. But "hideous" should be reserved for real physical or emotional abuse. I take Dawkins' point, but let's permit supelatives to retain some semblance of meaning, shall we? Or we'll be reduced to "She took her children to Mass every week when they were young." "No! The brute!"

Hideous is exactly the word fitting to descibe this practice. I would suggest to you to watch the documentary that Dawkins did -- The Root of All Evil -- where he interviews psychologist Jill Mytton. She suffered through abusive religious upbringing (christian upbringing as far as I recall) and how, for a child, images of hell fire are in no sense metaphorical, but instead inspire real terror. She portrays her own childhood as one "dominated by fear." When pressed by Dawkins to describe the realities of Hell, Mytton hesitates, explaining that the images of eternal damnation which she absorbed as a child still have the power to affect her now.

Take a look at the section (it's in the last 4 minutes or so):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T27Ef_xvYMs

That is not a hideous practice?

user-pic

Callandor and vonmeth and Paul K,

The text says the "hideous practice of labelling children with the religion of their parents." The practices that you cite are different than this. Not all religious upbringings are abusive. Some are, and may even rise to the level of hideousness. But citing a particular case of abuse, and applying the appropriate aversion to that case to all religious upbringings, is as fallacious as taking the generalization further and saying that raising children is a hideous thing to do.

Labelling "children with the religion of their parents" is sometimes inaccurate, like saying "Republican child" or "liberal child" or "atheist child". Under no circumstances, ever, would labelling someone anything rise to the level of hideousness. Period.

Note also that I made no claims about rearing anyone in any faith; you made that up on your own, Paul. You can refute that position if you like, but don't think you've refuted me, because I never made that argument.

John

Sorry if I miss construed the meaning of your statements. I didn't spend long enough Rereading what you typed. I responded to something that I had read into your statements that was not there. I was probably more than a little frustrated after watching the full 1 1/2 hour lecture and was lashing back at some of the questioners there, on a subconcious level.

As to '"hideous" should be reserved for real physical or emotional abuse' and 'Under no circumstances, ever, would labelling someone anything rise to the level of hideousness', I am inclined to agree except in extreme cases of labelling.

I have known people effected very badly by labelling at the emotional level. But most of the time this occurs repetitively and builds up an affect. A single situation of mislabeling rarely causes harm in and of itself. Of course deliberately forcing a 'bad' label on someone in an intollerant society will cause harm.

Examples include calling a white man a 'nigger lover' in the american south less than a lifetime ago, it could permanently damage a career and could leed to physical harm. As could labels of Gayness, Atheism, Communist and others in various situations in American History and today(Just try to survive socially a mislabelling as a Pedophile). Heaven forbid you were labelled a jewish child in Germany in 1942, or the child of a counter revolutionary in France, Russia and China at various times. The Child of a Bahai has serious problems in Iran.

But in all these examples it is not the label itself that causes the damage rather it is the reaction to it. Is it not though, a Hideous act in these extremes to apply the label, and if so then the label must surely be hideous in and of itself in the context or effect.

Okay, the post above was me. TypeKey has a wonderful way of keeping me logged in through previews and then dumping me when I finally hit "Post." Gr.

user-pic

Life begins 3 or 4 billions of years ago. In traditional cultures, infanticide is common (e.g. Spartan eugenics). Only the narrowest euro-bigot would defend this life/conception nonsense. Even the Persian Aryan fundamentalists of Iran permit stem-cell research, for them "life" begins at 120 days. Wake up, "Wachet Auf" ruft Uns die Stimme! Your "life" is not important to me. And I don't want you "saving" mine.

funny that lynchburg virginia is also the home of the famous televangelist Jerry Falwell. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Falwell

perhaps many here probably defend abortion as an okay practice. How can you defend the idea that life doesn't begin until the baby leaves the body of the mother?

Um, because it doesn't breathe until it's born? Last I checked breathing is a prerequisite for being alive. Please, prove me wrong by breathing like a fetus does.

"hideous practice?" Oh, come on. Incorrect, maybe. Ill-advised? Okay. But "hideous" should be reserved for real physical or emotional abuse. I take Dawkins' point, but let's permit supelatives to retain some semblance of meaning, shall we? Or we'll be reduced to "She took her children to Mass every week when they were young." "No! The brute!"

Hideous because it's divisive? Hideous because it implies a belief system that a child is too young to fully comprehend and so is put into an authoritarian system to condition the child to believe? Hideous because all major religions are steeped in intolerance and all to often violent intolerance which the child is indoctrinated into?

I don't see how raising a child in a normal Christian church isn't abusive. The things children are taught in every Christian church I've been to lead to all kinds of emotional issues about love and sex. The kids end up with guilt about having sex, or about getting a divorce, or about masturbating. That guilt can lead to all kinds of health problems. Please tell me how that isn't abusive.

Navigation

Support This Site






advertise_liberally.gif

Google Ads

Advertise Liberally Blogroll

All Spin Zone
AMERICAblog
AmericanStreet
ArchPundit
BAGNewsnotes
The Bilerico Project
BlogACTIVE
BluegrassReport
Bluegrass Roots
Blue Indiana
BlueJersey
Blue Mass.Group
BlueOregon
BlueNC
Brendan Calling
BRAD Blog
Buckeye State Blog
Chris Floyd
Clay Cane
Calitics
CliffSchecter
ConfinedSpace
culturekitchen
David Corn
Dem Bloggers
Democrats.com
Deride and Conquer
Democratic Underground
Digby
DovBear
Drudge Retort
Ed Cone
ePluribis Media
Eschaton
Ezra Klein
Feministe
Firedoglake
Fired Up
First Draft
Frameshop
GreenMountain Daily
Greg Palast
Hoffmania
Horse's Ass
Hughes for America
In Search of Utopia
Is That Legal?
Jesus' General
Jon Swift
Keystone Politics
Kick! Making PoliticsFun
KnoxViews
Lawyers, Guns and Money
Left Coaster
Left in the West
Liberal Avenger
Liberal Oasis
Loaded Orygun
MaxSpeak
Media Girl
Michigan Liberal
MinnesotaCampaign Report
Minnesota Monitor
My Left Nutmeg
My Two Sense
Nathan Newman
Needlenose
Nevada Today
News Dissector
News Hounds
Nitpicker
Oliver Willis
onegoodmove
PageOneQ
Pam's House Blend
Pandagon
PinkDome
Politics1
PoliticalAnimal
Political Wire
Poor Man Institute
Prairie State Blue
Progressive Historians
Raising Kaine
Raw Story
Reno Discontent
Republic of T
Rhode Island's Future
Rochester Turning
Rocky Mountain Report
Rod 2.0
Rude Pundit
Sadly, No!
Satirical Political Report
Shakesville
SirotaBlog
SistersTalk
Slacktivist
SmirkingChimp
SquareState
Suburban Guerrilla
Swing State Project
Talking Points Memo
Tapped
Tattered Coat
The Albany Project
The Blue State
The Carpetbagger Report
The Democratic Daily
The Hollywood Liberal
The Talent Show
This Modern World
Town Called Dobson
Wampum
WashBlog
Watching the Watchers
West Virginia Blue
Young Philly Politics
Young Turks

Contact


Commenting Policy

note: non-authenticated comments are moderated, you can avoid the delay by registering.

Random Quotation

Individual Archives

Monthly Archives

scarlet_A.png

Chess Tactics Training

Powered by Movable Type Pro

Copyright © 2002-2014 Norman Jenson