corporal punishment of children in religion
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25-02-2013, 05:07 PM
corporal punishment of children in religion
So much of the reading I have been doing lately (Sam Harris, Darryl Ray, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, etc.) makes me go back to think about what Alice Miller and Philip Greven had written: the horrible lies and destructive nature involved in the religious teachings of corporal punishment for children--authoritarianism, strict and blind obedience, honoring your parents no matter how they treat you--based in the doctrine of original sin. That is one thing I haven't found much discussion on in most of the resources I have been exploring in the skeptical views of religion. A small percent of the authors mention it here and there, but not to the extent that it really is a serious, ongoing consequence of religious teaching! I am grateful to Miller and Greven for their work in identifying and exposing this horrid system of abuse for what it is. It appears to me, from my experience and for so many others I have known and worked with, that it is the biggest solidifying agent or tool in the indoctrination of children...on top of all the threats of hell and all of that...the final "blow" to silence critical thinking, reason, truth, etc, and that it brainwashes you into the pretend world of religion--filled with shame and fear. Realizing this for me was the beginning of my journey out of all that. Can anyone relate? Does anyone have any further resources I could look into in this area, as I am hoping to help others understand this? Thanks!
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25-02-2013, 06:19 PM
RE: corporal punishment of children in religion
We're atheists, of course we understand that this is what religion is all about.

Look at the history of religion and that's been a key factor.
Religion was original, IMO (and I'm sure someone with more historical knowledge on the subject will be able to comfirm or deny) a way to explain the unexplainable. ie: Where does the sun go at night. "OH, it's a god and it goes into a cave to sleep"
You then cement these as cold hard facts into people's brain over time.
This then extends to the bad things that happen too, BUT because it's all "this is what I believe happens" and not actual scientific proof then you get things like this, ie: "Lightening happens because those two guys love eachother". which quickly morphs into "gay's are bad because they cause lightening"
Then as civilization becomes bigger those with power became wind of this and can adapt these beliefs to make the population do what they want it to do. ie: "Don't be an atheist or you will burn in eternal hell fire".
And thus religion as a form of population control.
I think the real killer is that because it's all absed on age old belief systems everyone has been brought up to believe that the sun is a god and goes into a cave under the world at night and so even those in power believe it. The normal people then see even the people in power practicing what they preach which cements what they are saying as cold hard truths.
ie: A king going to Church shows that he believes in God. Kings are only in power because they were believed to be divine persons sent from god (though today it's just tradition). So a King going to church shows he believes what he is preaching and so people are more likely to buy into it.

Religion has nothing to do with the truth or god or baby jesus, those are just the stories to get to do what whoever wants you to do.
Religion is pure politics.

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25-02-2013, 07:46 PM
RE: corporal punishment of children in religion
How then do we get people to stop all this abuse and insanity that perpetuates more abuse and insanity? I work in the mental health field and am confronted by the effects of religion and childhood abuse daily....but yet, I am strongly encouraged to guide people to churches and other religious institutions for community/social support and other "spiritual" needs. Also, co-workers assume Christianity among everyone and even bring these topics up in groups and such (as matter of course). They do not seem aware that many of the foundational issues so many of the people struggle with were obviously sparked in their childhood indoctrination of religious beliefs (especially being physically punished, sin, hell, satan, blasphemy, etc, etc.....). How do I begin to change things around me where I see a huge blindness and lack of awareness? Any thoughts would be helpful.
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25-02-2013, 08:05 PM
corporal punishment of children in religion
Circumcision?

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25-02-2013, 09:41 PM
RE: corporal punishment of children in religion
It isn't just religion that's the problem. "~corporal punishment for children--authoritarianism, strict and blind
obedience, honoring your parents no matter how they treat you~" ← I understand that religion is the primary driver for that sort of abuse but it's by no means the only. And let's face it, a kid is better off with a religious family that treats him/her peacefully than with an atheist family that's violent and/or authoritarian. In simple terms, it isn't religion that causes adult mental disorders, addiction, etc., it's that manner of child rearing that does.

Nathaniel Branden has some really good information on this subject as well. Project NoSpank is a good resource for peaceful parenting. The Adverse Childhood Experiences study is an ongoing research effort by Kaiser Permanente and the CDC and I would think it would be a great resource for any mental health professional. The data has been collected (if I remember correctly) for over twenty years. Here's a good paper on the physical damage the brain sustains as a result of abuse, including non violent abuse such as verbal and neglect. The Institute for Psychohistory has been studying the historical motivations of society from a psychological standpoint and their research has revealed some very interesting, if not down right disturbing, correlations between society and abusive child rearing. I would read "Foundations of Psychohistory" before anything else, as it explains the approach this relatively new science takes and how it blends history, anthropology and psychology. The Bomb in the Brain is a five part series covering the affects of child abuse. It's a fairly short series because it's not entirely in depth but it is very informative.

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26-02-2013, 01:09 PM
RE: corporal punishment of children in religion
(25-02-2013 09:41 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  The Adverse Childhood Experiences study is an ongoing research effort by Kaiser Permanente and the CDC and I would think it would be a great resource for any mental health professional.
Wow thanks for the link, I read some things from Alice Miller but didn't look much further at the time. Very interesting
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07-06-2013, 04:25 PM
RE: corporal punishment of children in religion
What was the original sin, that Adam and Eve ate the apple? And people are expected to pay for that forever? Why punish someone for eating. Did god explain what would happen if they did? No mention of that in the bible. Here is the first clue that God is cruel and controlling. Why can't these radical fundamentalist realize this instead of worrying about abusing children. It must make them feel powerful in their nerdy little worlds.
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07-06-2013, 04:36 PM
RE: corporal punishment of children in religion
(25-02-2013 07:46 PM)bethiebugs Wrote:  How then do we get people to stop all this abuse and insanity that perpetuates more abuse and insanity? I work in the mental health field and am confronted by the effects of religion and childhood abuse daily....but yet, I am strongly encouraged to guide people to churches and other religious institutions for community/social support and other "spiritual" needs. Also, co-workers assume Christianity among everyone and even bring these topics up in groups and such (as matter of course). They do not seem aware that many of the foundational issues so many of the people struggle with were obviously sparked in their childhood indoctrination of religious beliefs (especially being physically punished, sin, hell, satan, blasphemy, etc, etc.....). How do I begin to change things around me where I see a huge blindness and lack of awareness? Any thoughts would be helpful.

I have a friend that is pretty religious but against corporal punishment. I will check with her...I know she has some resources that hopefully you could use with your bible believing clients. Hopefully it will get them to stop beating their children at the very least.

“Happiness is not the absence of problems; it's the ability to deal with them.”
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07-06-2013, 05:13 PM
RE: corporal punishment of children in religion
Lets not forget it's not just physical beatings, though, Bows. For the life of me I can't find, or remember where exactly I saw, it, but there was a test done where a woman just berated the hell out of her son in public. Calling him stupid, and all sorts of nasty stuff. The boy sitting with his shoulder's slumped, looking defeated. It took place on a picnic table in a park, but was just an act. The idea was to see if anybody who happened to pass by, or were sitting around nearby, would actually confront the mother to stop her from verbally abusing the boy! One mother was embarrassed she got caught on camera, but she got HOT! Asked her friend to look after the child while she escorted the mother behind the nearest tree for a "talk", and let her have it. You can't get involved privately, ofcourse, but I had to give that mother props for getting involved with the public display. You just wanted to go up & sit next to the little guy; "you O.K. buddy? it'll be allright. here, have a kit-kat Smile" Only way for a society to change is through the actions of it's members. I'm not saying you should go around yelling at moms, or whoopin a dad's ass, but get involved. You know the poor kid 2 doors down gets beaten every night, call the cops, something! Don't just walk on by. There's got to be some sort of disturbing the peace or assault in public you could get 'em on.

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07-06-2013, 05:20 PM
RE: corporal punishment of children in religion
(07-06-2013 05:13 PM)TheGulegon Wrote:  Lets not forget it's not just physical beatings, though, Bows. For the life of me I can't find, or remember where exactly I saw, it, but there was a test done where a woman just berated the hell out of her son in public. Calling him stupid, and all sorts of nasty stuff. The boy sitting with his shoulder's slumped, looking defeated. It took place on a picnic table in a park, but was just an act. The idea was to see if anybody who happened to pass by, or were sitting around nearby, would actually confront the mother to stop her from verbally abusing the boy! One mother was embarrassed she got caught on camera, but she got HOT! Asked her friend to look after the child while she escorted the mother behind the nearest tree for a "talk", and let her have it. You can't get involved privately, ofcourse, but I had to give that mother props for getting involved with the public display. You just wanted to go up & sit next to the little guy; "you O.K. buddy? it'll be allright. here, have a kit-kat Smile" Only way for a society to change is through the actions of it's members. I'm not saying you should go around yelling at moms, or whoopin a dad's ass, but get involved. You know the poor kid 2 doors down gets beaten every night, call the cops, something! Don't just walk on by. There's got to be some sort of disturbing the peace or assault in public you could get 'em on.

Very good point. I certainly don't advise anyone being violent with a parent, unless it's required as third party self defense for a child who is being beaten but to be sure, we should speak up when we see people verbally abusing their kids.

The likelihood is that the parent won't change but, if the child can see just once that there are people who care about him or her... it can make a difference in that kid's life.

Kid's don't forget important events like that. And they damn well deserve to be defended.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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