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Is scaring young children with stories of hell child abuse?

  • Children should not be scared into believing in a dirty.

    For a parent to say to their child "If you don't follow the Bible you will be thrown into the fiery pits of eternal torture," is purely child abuse. I grew catholic household, and it was very common for me to have nightmares, or stay up for 2 hours crying about heaven and hell. It is physical child abuse to torture your child, why isn't it mental child abuse to SAY that they WILL be tortured. It is a corrupt religion, when the biggest recruiter is fear itself.
    Sorry for my personal story in their, I just thought it was pertinent to the topic.

  • Religion isn't a excuse for blatant hypocrisy

    If an atheist told his child that there's a room in the basement filled with various instruments of torture, and if he didn't follow certain rules he'd go there, would that not be considered child abuse? Hell is no different. Scaring kids with stories of hell is detrimental to their weak, developing minds.

  • Of course it is!

    As a believer (doesn't matter which religion in this case), I strongly agree that it is abuse because all you're doing is making them hate religion.
    If you tell your child that God will punish them for lying, they're going to hate God instead of loving Him because he is abusive

  • Of Course it is.......

    Firstly I believe it is a form of indoctrination; there is no proof 'Hell' exists, and therefore it should not be used to scare young children. Secondly, why would you even do this? Why would you tell a child 'you are going to spend the rest of forever in agony, burning, if you don't be good.' I don't know how this could ever be justifiable- no parent should try to terrify their child on purpose. I also see this as just as bad as threatening to physically abuse a child- perhaps even worse, as they think it will be an eternal punishment...

  • This question doesn't deserve a debate.

    Telling a child they will go to Hell for doing something is literal abuse.
    You can get them to do -literally anything- by twisting what constitutes damnation

    You could tell a child to let you beat them or they will go to hell.
    You could tell a child to vomit every Friday or they will go to hell.
    You could tell a child to live in your secret underground bunker or they will go to hell.

    It completely destroys their mind.

    Destruction = Abuse.

  • It is child abuse.

    Saying that a child will go to hell if it doesn't believe is to force a child to believe. This is probably the reason that religion has remained for so long. Children are taught that if they even start to question what they believe they will be tortured forever. It's like telling a child not to eat candy or you will punch the child.

  • Emotionally abusive and based on evidence- free opinion.

    I think all the other posts have made the case and the important point to add is that parents are doing this simply based on an opinion with no evidence at all. They are welcome to believe it but pushing it on a child is awful, particularly given it's lack of basis in fact. The other column lists how we need to teach children about the consequences of actions: true, but they list cases from reality.

  • Religion is no excuse to ignore child abuse laws.

    In America, the law is to be independent of religion. Child abuse is a law to protect children from being threatened, mentally, physically or emotionally abused. Just because Christianity is the majority religion in the U.S. it does not excuse abuse of the law towards a child. A crime is a crime, regardless of the main religion in society.

  • If it's eternal conscious torment Yes

    I lived for many years in fear of myself and others i knew would not believe ..Going to a place of eternal conscious torment..

    It still plagues me when christians try to shove it on me..

    I had to learn it is not eternal conscious torment .. It is the Second Death.. Before i could be okay..

    I pray the World gets out of the devils lies that our Lord would let anyon3 suff3r consciously for eternity..

  • It certainly is abuse.

    When I was 6 years old on my first day of Catholic Religion classes, the nun saw that I was not paying attention. She hollered at me that I was going to hell; I never returned to her class. Out of all the painful experiences throughout my life, nothing has come close to the terror I felt that day.

  • It's Definitely not

    Why should we shelter our kids from consequences? Just like if they don't clean their room, they won't get to play outside. If they don't worship God, they will go to hell. Simple as that. Why do we worry so much about scaring children? I grew up reading Revelation every night before I went to bed, and it has never scared me. This is real life stuff! I think kids do need to know the boundaries and the consequences. We teach them the boundaries of the house and the consequences of breaking them, why not teach them the boundaries and consequences of God.

  • No, not really.

    Like any other mythology, the purpose of Hell is to provide a place where bad people go (Just like the boogey man is there to make sure you behave). It's important for children to feel there are great consequences to their actions. As they grow, they can learn that things aren't so cut and dry and everything is a shade of grey, but in the early years? Scary stories have to suffice.

  • It entirely depends on what you compel them to do

    Cavemen ran away from bears because they had a strong notion or concept of how hellish getting eaten would be.

    Without our capacity to flee, the human race probably wouldn't have survived. Thus these concepts of hellish existence are perhaps the foundation of our entire civilisation.

    Fear can protect us and strongly motivate us.

    A person who exercises and has sudden chest pain may wrongly believe that exercise is putting him in danger and strongly motivated by fear of dying, he may stop exercising.

    Thus his fear + blind faith in the efficacy of non-exercise =reduced life expectancy.

    A person who exercises and has sudden chest pain may realise that if he gently perseveres his heart will become stronger and he will live longer.

    Thus his fear + being informed by science = increased life expectancy.

    Thus it is not fear itself that is harmful or protective. Like many types of power and control, it entirely depends on how you use it.

    Gaeteuth says scaring a child with stories of hell is abuse because:
    "You can get them to do -literally anything- by twisting what constitutes damnation
    You could tell a child to let you beat them or they will go to hell.
    You could tell a child to vomit every Friday or they will go to hell.
    You could tell a child to live in your secret underground bunker or they will go to hell.
    It completely destroys their mind."

    This same argument can be applied to other things that are obviously ok. For example:

    Telling a young child that you are his father and he must do as you say so is abuse because You can get them to do -literally anything
    You could tell a child to let you beat them because you are his father and he must do as you say so
    You could tell a child to vomit every Friday because you are his father and he must do as you say so
    You could tell a child to live in your secret underground bunker because you are his father and he must do as you say so
    Therefore telling a child you are his father completely destroys his mind."

    = obviously wrong. It entirely depends on what you compel them to do.

  • No, scaring children with stories about hell does not constitute child abuse.

    I don't believe in hell myself, but some people do, and if you do, I think you should be allowed to teach that concept to your children. It's a scary idea, and it may not be appropriate for children of all ages, but it's one of the key components of some people's system of beliefs.

  • No, not really.

    Like any other mythology, the purpose of Hell is to provide a place where bad people go (Just like the boogey man is there to make sure you behave). It's important for children to feel there are great consequences to their actions. As they grow, they can learn that things aren't so cut and dry and everything is a shade of grey, but in the early years? Scary stories have to suffice.

  • Heaven and hell are real, weather we scare kids or not

    Every parent passes to their kids what they know and believe. When we tell kids about hell and heaven, its to teach them about choice just like choosing to do homework or not and the consequences of that. On the flip side is God's immense love. In the presence of God is perfect peace, order, security and wellbeing. Making a kid aware of this is no different from telling them if you go on drugs you ruin your life forever unless you change your ways. Is it true that if hit drugs, alcohol and prostitution with passion you destroy your life forever unless you change your ways? Yes! Same thing. Hell is for bad choices. Heaven is the reward for good choices of accepting the free gift of God's love. Period. Case closed

  • Consequence is no coincidence

    For those who believe in God and eternal life, how is teaching our children the truth abuse. You commit a crime, you go to prison. That is not abuse. It is the truth. If telling kids about hell is abuse, then scary movies about kids being possesed and attacked should be abuse also. The commandments are the same laws many governments use. If you break them, you go to jail. Why not teach kids the spiritual aspect also? The only time when it's considered abuse is if you literally tell your child they are going to hell.

  • Beating, Sexual Favors are Abuse

    Scaring kids with fictional stories isn't abuse. Beating children or having them perform sexual acts is abuse. A story about hell is just that--a story. Eventually, the child will work through that brainwashing and discover hell is a fictional place made up to control the masses and repent to give their dollars to churches. The real abuse comes from parents who don't love their children enough to give them even their basic needs.

  • Not right but not child abuse

    Parents shouldn't deliberately scare their children with stories of hell, but they may teach all aspects of their religion which includes the notion of eternal punishment, hell. And if their children become scared over the subject of hell, I don't see the big deal. THEY WILL LIVE.

    This whole charging religious people with child abuse for teaching their religion to their children is really a jab at freedom in this country, and I'm surprised more people don't stand with the parents simply for the basis of freedom and the government not having an excuse to come into your homes and take your kids like some totalitarian communist country.

    Americans are throwing away their constitutional freedoms for political correct nonsense.


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