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Forcing Children to Believe in Religion is 'Child Abuse'

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Richard Dawkins Says Forcing Children to Believe in Religion is 'Child Abuse'


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By Michael Allen, Mon, April 22, 2013

While speaking about his new book 'The Magic of Reality' at the Chipping Norton Literary Festival in the UK, outspoken atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins said that parents who force children to believe in religion are guilty of "child abuse."

"What a child should never be taught is that you are a Catholic or Muslim child, therefore that is what you believe. That's child abuse," said Dawkins on Sunday, reports the Daily Mail.

"There is a value in teaching children about religion. You cannot really appreciate a lot of literature without knowing about religion. But we must not indoctrinate our children," Dawkins added.

Last year, Dawkins said that being raised Catholic was similar to sexual abuse.

Dawkins told Al Jazeera of a woman who had been sexually abused by a priest and was told by a Protestant friend that she was going to Hell.

"She told me of those two abuses, she got over the physical abuse. It was yucky but she got over it," Dawkins said. "But the mental abuse of being told about Hell, she took years to get over."

Sources: Daily Mail

by on Apr. 23, 2013 at 9:12 AM
Replies (261-268):
by Teflon Don on Apr. 29, 2013 at 1:01 AM

Quoting randi1978:

Part of me agrees with him.

I don't believe a parent has the right to force their beliefs onto their children.  Teach them about it, yes.  Maybe take some of the base morals and utilize them in their upbringing, but not "we're this, so you're that too and you have to worship as we worship". 

But what do I know?  I'm just an atheist heathen liberal who has a christian for a daughter, LOL.

Me too!

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by Platinum Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 5:48 AM

He isn't too bright.

by Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 5:59 AM

I was raised in the church. I was not forced to go, as a matter of fact, as a teen, my grandparents let me explore other religions, and I made the decision to be Christian on my own. It will be the same with my boys.

by Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 7:18 AM

So anything that we force our kids to do based on his bs opinion would be child abuse. Give me a break. We as parents force our kids to do stuff that they do not want to do on a daily basis. Because we feel it is best for our kids. It does not matter if it is religion or not. Forcing is forcing period. I will also say as long as my kids are under 18 they will get up and go to church with us as a family because that is what I believe. When they are adults then they can make their own decision and I will respect it.  I force my kids to set together as a family and eat meals is that child abuse? I think not. 

by Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 7:44 AM

Well, for starters, you cannot "force" a child to believe anything... you can force them to go to church, and you can force them to look at the Bible and recite prayers or scripture, but you cannot force them to believe.

As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children what we believe- to pass along to them our values and culture and beliefs.  the child will believe or not...

I see nothing wrong with exposing a child to my religious beliefs.  Once they reach an age of understanding, I would no longer force them to go if they did not want to, and if they did not want to pray, they could sit quietly while others do.

by Roma on Apr. 29, 2013 at 7:54 AM

Quoting buttersworth:

straight from the mind of a Fascist

the aim is to destroy all nationalism, religious identity, individualism....its the only way for the big banks to bring in a new world order before crashing all the economies

Bush Sr said, "It is a big idea. It is a New World Order".

Hitler called it a Neu Ordung. New Order.

religion gets in the way when heads of state prefer that you worship them.

I know this idea will be shocking to you, but did you know there are people who can live their whole lives without having to worship anyone or anything?  Not God, not political leaders, not heads of state, not even cultural icons?
by on Jun. 9, 2013 at 2:33 PM

i will not teach my kids to accept darwinism

by Ruby Member on Jun. 9, 2013 at 9:27 PM
1 mom liked this

Taking a child to church is no more abuse than is making them clean their room, go to school and follow the household rules. If insisting that a 16 yr old attend church with his/her family is abuse, then so is insisting said 16 yr old clean his/her room which is something else said teen may not like doing. It's getting to where pretty much anything a parent does is considered abuse by someone, someplace.

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