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Should the indoctrination of children into religion be considered child abuse?

Asked by: Quatermass
  • It's equal to forcing your religion on others.

    Children aren't developed enough to decide in what/if any religion to believe in. Everyone is born without believing in a religion until it's either forced on them or they develop enough to decide one of the religions ''works'' for them. Sure, expose them to religion - but don't shove it down their throats just because you think it'll help them in life.

  • Emotional Black mail and Mental damage

    People seem to only consider physical abuse as abuse when emotional abuse counts just as bad, if not worse. Christian Religion can scare the crap out of a kid, I mean you're telling them that if they end up in hell, they'll burn for all eternity and that they'll deserve it because some imaginary God said so. As I was growing up, more than 1 person, including my cousins told me I was going to hell because I had issues following rules and had too much of imagination (got me into a lot of trouble). Not all religion is damaging, like the Jews are doing pretty well; they don't teach hate and scare people with hell fire. Buddhists teach people to mind their own business and don't seem to push their sh*t onto people so.. I'm saying only certain religion damages kids.

  • In some cases, yes.

    When you tell a child that there is a loving bearded guy in the sky who is kind and you should worship him, that is not child abuse. When you tell a child that they must confess all of their sins, and that anyone who doesn't will burn eternally in a fiery inferno, that is child abuse. When you tell a child that any doubt they have is the devil, they should suppress who they are, especially if their gay,, and warn all of their friends and family about the same fate, then yes, that is abuse.

    I have no problem when parents tell their kids that there is an all loving deity. That is untrue, unprovable, but ultimately harmless. However, there is a darker side to more orthodox and conservative faith that can constitute as mental abuse of children.

  • It's unfair to children

    A child should be allowed to wait until its old enough to make decisions about things like religion. Because children who have religion forced upon them are indoctrinated to believe god is the only answer to life and everything around you. It causes them to believe only religious people have morals, they start believing gays are hellspawn and all that nonsense, and that a being who will cast you down to hell for eternity just for not believing in him....... Loves you! Its unfair to the children and the parents who do this. They are are damaging they're kids.

  • Yes. It is very cruel child abuse!

    How can so many retards answered "no" to this question. Do you know how wrong you people are? Forcing religion is one of the greatest forms of child abuse. Threating the entire worlds population with eternal torture can not be defended or excused in any way what so ever, it is indescribably horrible. You can't say how evil that is. It causes the child to become fearful of the religion.

  • Would you teach them to lie?

    Religion is something which has no factual scientific basis, so in essence you are teaching your child something that is incorrect. While you are teaching your children these falsehoods what else are you prepared to teach them? I think a good start would be lying to themselves as this is a trait they will need later in life when they have to defend their irrational thought against rational scientific evidence.

  • I believe it should.

    What is child abuse? It's not just sexual exploitation. Nor is it just violent abuse. Child abuse is the violation of any factor of a child's innocence involuntarily. That, to me, includes the a child's inability to be able to tell the difference between points of view, to be able to select what is genuine and what is not. If adults tell children, from a very young age, that god is real, and that jesus christ is the savious, and all that jazz, the child has NO WAY of knowing whether this is not true. The adult is abusing the trust a child places (particularly in parents) in them to project THEIR beliefs onto said child without considering the child's sovereignty as a fellow human being. A child can't know about atheism unless it is introduced to the concept, so by playing on that inability, it is no different from any other form of child abuse.

  • I believe it is.

    As Quatermass said, child abuse is any violation to a child's innocence.
    I personally find it is okay to TEACH a child about our own religion. For example, if I am Wiccan, it's okay for me to teach my child about Wicca. HOWEVER, I should expose my child to other beliefs (or lack of) to show him or her that Wicca isn't the only thing out there, that there are other beliefs, other "truths" other than my own.
    To come back to my point, it is fine to TEACH a child about a religion, but we shouldn't force the child to believe and we should give him or her other point of views to rely on. It's also important to teach them that a religion isn't something that is right for everyone, that many point of views are possible AND okay. We should even ask the child what they think.
    Basically, we need to open the world to these kids. We need to feed them as much information as possible so when the time comes, they can make their final decision to believe in a certain religion or to not believe at all.
    I am aware it's complicated for a child to understand these things. Kids are sponges. That's why I'm saying we need to show them the other side of the coin and we need to tell them that neither sides of that coin is right or wrong. It just is.
    To conclude, indoctrinating isn't the same as teaching. Teaching is showing the facts as they are, objectively, which indoctrinating is showing SOME of the facts, hiding other facts and being very subjective. So as a final saying, indoctrinating, thus, forcing information as subjective and as irrational as religion down a child's throat IS child abuse, because the kid is unable to know whether it's true or not. We abuse of their innocence. It's as if I would tell a person who knows nothing about chemistry that mercury is solid at standard conditions for temperature and pressure. I'm abusing of their ignorance in the subject to make them believe something that is false.

  • Telling a child that if they don't believe something they will roast in hell is child abuse. Specifically Mental Abuse

    If you look at the Old Testament you can find verses that support slavery, Murder, and even rape. I think it would be child abuse to teach the Old Testament as truth as to a child who does not know how to think for itself. I do not know a good age to start at, but I would avoid teaching anyone the Old Testament as complete fact altogether as it validates some of the worst things including stoning for adultery.

    When I was in elementary school there were many kids that would reference the Bible when asked why they wanted to kill someone. I remember that there was a gay kid that received death threats, and each of them that were released referenced a religion. These were kids as old as eight threatening people with murder.

    Religion is in many cases dangerous when told as truth to those who can not think for themselves.

  • Telling your child that they will go to hell if they don't believe something is child abuse.

    If you look at the Old Testament you can find verses that support slavery, Murder, and even rape. I think it would be child abuse to teach the Old Testament as truth as to a child who does not know how to think for itself. I do not know a good age to start at, but I would avoid teaching anyone the Old Testament as complete fact altogether as it validates some of the worst things including stoning for adultery.

    When I was in elementary school there were many kids that would reference the Bible when asked why they wanted to kill someone. I remember that there was a gay kid that received death threats, and each of them that were released referenced a religion. These were kids as old as eight threatening people with murder.

    Religion is in many cases dangerous when told as truth to those who can not think for themselves.

  • Not if the kid accepts it.

    Really, the indoctrination of any ideology, religious or otherwise, in a child cannot be seen as abuse unless the kid is somehow being harmed by it or refuses to accept it. If it is forced indoctrination, then that can be seen as abuse, but if the kid accepts it, then all you atheists need to leave the kid and the parents alone for having their own beliefs.

  • That would actually be unhealthy

    Can you imagine having a child and not being able to share your beliefs with them as fact? You believe something and you have reasons and if you try to convince your own offspring whom no one else should have control over that your view is right then you get charged with child abuse? That's a poor way to treat a family. That makes the parents looks wishy washy on their beliefs and since the parents look weak the child (who most likely does not have the mental capacity to see past the surface of these things) would take that as opportunity to do whatever he wants. If that's the lesson he grows up with, we'd be raising one of the most rebellious generations in America. This sounds like an overstatement, but can you imagine every single household being forced to stand down on what they stand for? Maybe someone near early adulthood could take that in the right way, but a young child would exploit that.

    Not to mention, I can imagine how many people would try to use this as a way to stop people from mentioning religion at all to their kids. So then it defies its own premise, because then we are forced to teach them a certain way which is exactly what it wants to avoid.

    Third of all the state shouldn't have that much control over what you say to your kids. If you want to raise them to believe the same things you believe who are you hurting? Are you hurting the children? No, because they should be trying to stick with their families anyway, and if he grows up and decides to disagree (which a ton of people do) then it's justifiable to say their rights have not been infringed upon because they were still individuals who made a choice. If they decide to stick with it, then at a point that becomes their personal choice too. There's no adequate justification for this.

  • Are your freaking kidding me?

    Obviously you have no idea what "child abuse" is. Many people consider their religion to be the basis of their moral values, so while trying to teach their own children to be good people, they inadvertently end up teaching their religion along with it. Why does it bother you if a kid is raised to believe in a certain religion. When the kid reaches adolescence, he/she will naturally start questioning their beliefs and if they really feel so inclined, they will become atheist by themselves, even if they were "indoctrinated". Now, I do have a problem with parents doing REAL child abuse BECAUSE of their child's religious beliefs, but indoctrination by itself is NOT child abuse; it's just the passing down of cultural and moral values within a family.

  • How in the world is it child abuse?

    I personally believe telling/teaching children about atheism should be considered child abuse. Besides, teaching religion to children is not child abuse nor indoctrination, it is educating a young soul on his origins and of our Lord, God Almighty. Children must learn of faith, or our entire civilization will face collapse and the wrath of God. If these children learn atheism instead of faith, they will burn in Hell, and no one wants that. The teaching of religion to children must be supported and expanded upon, for the sake of the world

  • Depends on what religion and what sort of "indoctrination".

    I grew up in a Christian home. I was taught Bible songs, I learned Bible verses, and I was taught about the Bible but not once did I feel 'forced' to accept Christianity. When I was older and understood my religion, I accepted it.

    Depending on what religion it is. Westboro church for example, those children should be taken away from them because they are indoctrinating a vision of hatred. Legally, they are the parents and it is their choice to "indoctrinate" what belief they want.
    But if the religion executes violence, then yes, it is child abuse. But there is nothing wrong with taking a child to church and sharing your religion with them. That is not "indoctrinating" that is proper child rearing.

  • Not Even About Religion...

    Every parent has the right to be the primary influence on their own children unless their influence is cruel, dangerous, aggressive or hateful. A good parent loves their child as no other person can, as we often see in mixed families where a father or mother might be the blood-parent of one child and the step-parent of another. This love instills a bond stronger than anything that any law could cause. It applies across the board - not just to religion. How can a family be close if the parents can't share their deepest convictions with the children they give life to?

  • What would it look like to not indoctrinate them?

    If you sincerely believe something is important, you teach it as fact. If you avoid teaching them than you are teaching them that what you believe is not really very important.

    You should "indoctrinate" children with many important truths: that it is wrong to lie, steal, cheat, kill, rape, or commit any sort of abuse. Teaching your child what you believe to be correct is never considered abuse in any other arena, how is religion any different?

    Not teaching them about something is actually teaching them that it is not important to know. No one would consider it child abuse if you indoctrinate your child into thinking that an education is important, you would never let them just "decide on their own". You would never call it abuse to indoctrinate your child into believing that it is in his/her best interest to brush their teeth, or not break the law.

    You always indoctrinate your child with what you believe are important life lessons, they can always choose their own path when they are older.
    In order to teach them that having any religion (or none) is fine, you would have to actually believe that. If you really believe that religion is an important eternal matter, than not teaching them would be like prohibiting parents from feeding or clothing their kids.

  • I don't think it should

    I don't think it should be considered child abuse. I don't think religion should be forced on someone, but it shouldn't be consider child abuse. It is no different than what we teach our kids in school. What they learn in school in indoctrinated. They are taught that what they learn in school is correct. Like grammar, and math, ect. Education isn't child abuse.

  • If you think someone's beliefs rubbing off on their child is abuse than you have never been in a home where there was actual abuse.

    Parents instill their beliefs in their kids as a matter of course. It happens without thought or effort. Whatever your ideological beliefs are they rub off on your kids. Your religion doing so is no more child abuse than your beliefs on politics or any other ideological concept. Kids absorb concepts introduced to them by their parents. Then if the parents do a good job they encourage their kids to question things, and those kids can and will then question those beliefs when they get older.

  • Should education be considered child abuse?

    Your question goes on the grounds that teaching a child something they might not want to learn is child abuse, in that case atheism is child abuse, education is child abuse, religion is child abuse, talking to children is child abuse, you're argument is invalid as you object to religion being taught but not anything else. Besides if you go up to a child and said "Hey do you want to be taught what is right and wrong?" most would say yes anyways so since it is voluntary it isn't child abuse.


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