To be fair and clear, my parents were abusers. My father did use religion in a way that was abusive, but I don't believe the vast majority of other parents use it in the same way he did. I still view it all as abuse, but to different degrees. My basis for calling child indoctrination is actually not based solely on my own upbringing.
Yeah, I should have made the question more specific. I was thinking more of indoctrination before the child is old enough to decide on their own. I was raised as a Baptist and was reminded on a daily to weekly basis about the torments of hell and what might be in store for me if I don't do this or that or accept Jesus by going up to the front of the church or whatever. I think it's a lot for a child to process and is psychologically unhealthy. Whether it constitutes child abuse, I don't know. As I've gotten older and reflect back on it, I'm more inclined to say that it is a form of abuse but it's a more complicated call than the usual kind of abuse because I don't think most religious parents would ever want to harm their children and are doing what they think is right. I think that they simply don't give it a second thought.
By the way, your situation sounds awful and I wouldn't compare that to the sort of thing I'm talking about. As I just went back and read again what you wrote, I find myself getting emotional. I just don't understand people sometimes.
I also think of indoctrination before the child is old enough to decide on their own is indeed abuse.
Both of my parents were abusive,but in different ways...The brainwashing didn't work on me, however.
"As I've gotten older and reflect back on it, I'm more inclined to say that it is a form of abuse but it's a more complicated call than the usual kind of abuse because I don't think most religious parents would ever want to harm their children and are doing what they think is right. I think that they simply don't give it a second thought."
This makes me think of my ex-wife, who was abusive. It took me a long time (about two years) to figure this out. She fits the profile of not thinking she was doing anything fundamentally wrong, and yet she had me friendless and separated from my family for six years, and destroyed my financial affairs as well as several jobs of mine.
So I don't let people off the hook because they don't mean any harm. Harm is harm. Torturing a child with visions of hell, fictitious or not, is psychological abuse. It's unfortunate that there are no laws addressing this.
I don't think parents have any obligation to prepare their children to be "productive members of society". Most of the time this means being good little Christian sheep who believe Iraqis are bad people, with other racist views thrown in.
Parents have an obligation to care for their children and get them to think on their own and make their own way in the world, whatever path they choose for themselves.
I would think so for several reasons. Children who are forced to attend church sometimes 3 times a day, attending constant prayer meetings and being constantly made aware of their mortality. Not only will they go to hell if the deviate from the righteous path, but their every though is being heard. This is bad enough torture for adults, it is absolutely mind altering for children. Some children never recover from this sort of mind control and up as very mentally disturbed adults. Look closly at the methods of torture that are applied during wars. There does not seem to be much of a difference other than the content and method of delivery. A child who was given a blood transfusion was abandoned by his Jehovah witness parents.( I read this on a link, sorry I do not have it ) Teenagers screamed at because they declare they are atheists.
If the parents beat the child, harm them psychologically, or isolate them from the outside world then it is abuse. Raising kids in a particular religion, I don't think is automatically abuse. Parents are most likely going to express what they believe to their kids. The degree of it varies--some parents will say "this is the truth!" and others will say "this is what I believe, some people believe other things"--but they're not going to raise their kids in a completely neutral environment. As for being unintentionally abusive, what traumatizes one person sometimes has little effect on another.
Describe. I'd think that'd be impossible, that there has to be some bias somewhere, whether it's what food you serve, how much time to spend on homework, how much TV you let them watch (if any), rules about friends. I don't see how raising someone and living with them for a long period of time, a parent can go without instilling any of their own values. I probably am thinking of it in a much more broad sense, though.
Indoctrinating children into religion is a form of abuse no matter how benign the religion appears.
Every religion I am aware of uses a system of reward and punishment to keep it's believers under control.
Even if there is no direct physical threat there is always the threat that you will not go to heaven or will suffer eternal punishment if you don't believe.
The holy texts of religions also serve to enshrine ancient practices and beliefs such as racism, slavery, holy war, theocracy, the suppression of free inquiry, inequality of women, and cruel, violent punishments for the most trifling crimes, or acts that are not crimes at all. The Christian bible sees eating shrimp, wearing clothes made of multiple fibers, and homosexuality as abominations punishable by death.
Even if a religion ignores the more extreme practices set out in their holy texts all it does is teach a fundamental form of dishonesty. I see no benefit to teaching children to believe lies and tell lies no matter how comforting they are.
Teaching critical thinking, skepticism, and using the scientific method will give a child better tools to deal with life than any religion does.
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