Second annual day of protest against hereditary religion coming soon
January 20, 2013 will be the date for the second annual international day of protest against hereditary religion. The protest will again be held in cyberspace, but the aim is to eventually have annual protests in the real world. Complete with marches, rallies, and public speeches. Not to mention music.
The concept of children as the property of their parents comes from antiquity and is part of the legacy of patriarchy. Modern children are conceived as persons in their own right because the notion of one person owning another person amounts to slavery. Furthermore, children have internationally recognized rights, including the right to make their own decisions according to their ability to do so. The decision to join a religion is a decision best left until a child is a mature adult. But, institutionalized religion has been unwilling to acknowledge that children have religious freedom rights. The institutions depend upon a steady stream of new adherents to maintain their flocks as older members fall into sickness and death due to aging. Until recently no one has mounted any serious challenges to hereditary religion.
Religious authorities deny any harm comes to children and insist a child is always free to make a choice later on in life. This claim simply does not stand up to the facts as observed. Indeed, there is nothing tentative about the religious indoctrination process. It is designed to produce a lifelong adherent and it usually succeeds admirably.
The notion of ending hereditary religion is novel and can startle people upon first hearing the proposal. An immediate reaction is often instant rejection. Defenders of the status quo argue that children need religion in order to behave. Such arguments completely ignore the fact that children in the highly secular societies of Europe and elsewhere behave just fine without being subjected to religious superstition and dogma. Moreover, the evidence is mounting that early religious indoctrination is detrimental to a flourishing intellectual life and can even produce mental anxiety problems when there is a stress on obedience and fear.
Here is the link to the 2013 protest event page:
Where is the debate over spanking children?
Why Does Everyone Pretend There’s A ‘Spanking Debate’?
By Lisa Belkin, Huffington Post, July 9, 2012
By Stefan Molyneux, Freedomain Radio
Spanking was a subject of debate on every parenting website on the continent during the past week, and I don’t understand why.
Yes, I know why it was a topic of conversation — the prestigious journal Pediatrics released a study early in the week showing a possible link between childhood spanking and mental health struggles later in that child’s life, and that was news worth talking about.
What I don’t understand is why it was a debate. By definition, that would require two sides. I see only one.
At what point does something become simple fact? The Pediatrics article was just the latest in a decades-long march of studies showing spanking — defined as hitting with an open hand in order to correct or punish — to be ineffective at best and psychologically harmful at worst.
In April, an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal analyzed two decades of data and concluded that spanking has no upside, and its downsides include increased risk for depression, anxiety, substance abuse and aggressive behavior later in life.
A few years earlier, another Pediatrics study, this one by researchers at Tulane University, concluded that children who are spanked as often as twice a month at age 3 are twice as likely to become aggressive, destructive and mean when they are 5.
And it has been a decade since Columbia University psychologists went through more than 80 studies over 62 years and found that there was a “strong correlation” between parents who used “corporal punishment” and children who demonstrated 11 measurable childhood behaviors. Ten of the behaviors were negative, including such things as increased aggression and increased antisocial behavior. Only one could be considered positive — spanking did result in “immediate compliance.”
So would pointing a gun in their general direction. But that does not make it the right thing to do. And, as other research points out, if that temporary compliance comes at the price of long-term depression or defiance, then what has really been gained?
In spite of this mountain of data, though, polls and studies find that up to 90 percent of parents spank their children. And each time we parenting reporters write about the latest studies, our comment threads fill with practitioners, whose remarks range from outrage (“I was hit and I turned out okay god damn it”) to despair (“I don’t want to hit, but it is the only way I can get them to listen”). (You can get the idea here…)
I am continually amazed at what it takes to redirect parenting opinion. It is dizzying how quickly one study or article can — sometimes — change our ways. We started placing infants on their backs rather than their stomachs when there were hints of correlation, but not proof of causation, with crib death. Pregnant women stopped having sushi, soft cheese, caffeine and even a sip of alcohol on the remote but striking possibility that a small amount could have consequences. BPA bottles disappeared in certain circles overnight when there was an unofficial link to cancer.
But other times, we just don’t want to know. In that way the spanking conversation is like the vaccine “debate.” In spite of no credible evidence of a link with autism, and many studies that tried and failed to find such a link, there are some minds that just won’t change.
Your parents hit you, and you are okay? They probably smoked around you, too, and they didn’t make you wear a seatbelt, either, but we know better now. Also, might I respectfully ask how you know that you’re okay? Perhaps if your parents hadn’t hit their kids, you wouldn’t feel a need to hit your own?
It is the only thing that works when your children won’t listen? Swedish children are not running amok in the streets, and spanking has been illegal there since 1979. Sweden was the first of 32 countries — including Costa Rica, Israel, Kenya and most of Europe — to approve such a law.
Some questions really don’t have two sides. “Is it okay to do something to your child that would land you in jail if you did it to a stranger on the street?” is one of those. You can phrase it other ways too — like “Is it okay to hurt a child because it serves your immediate goal when science shows it can lead to long-term harm?” But there is still just one answer.
And yet, we keep seeing it presented as a disagreement.
“To Spank or Not to Spank” was the headline on both the CNN’s report yesterday and the “Good Morning America” segment on Thursday about the latest Pediatrics study. The “Today” piece added the tagline: “Mommy Wars: Raging Parenting Debate,” and a Babble blogger was found to represent each side.
But there aren’t two sides. There is a preponderance of fact, and there are people who find it inconvenient to accept those facts.
Where, exactly is the debate?
Children and the Burden of Shame
Children in fundamentalist families are often regarded as little adults, with the same sinful tendencies and the same need to be “saved.” Consequently, there may be little or no realization that a growing child needs to progress through various stages of cognitive and emotional development. Instead, childhood issues such as egocentrism, aggression, sexuality, and teenage rebellion are labeled as sins, instead of natural and predictable processes. The “sin” is attributed to an innate fault in their natures that needs to be corrected, the child is made to feel ashamed of him or herself, and is disciplined accordingly: “Shame on you,” “You’re so selfish. What’s the matter with you?” “You know Jesus sees you when you do that!” The focus is on guilt, control and force, instead of fostering self-confidence and new coping skills. The innocent child feels they are defective, bad, inadequate, or a failure. They become filled with shame.
Shame is more damaging than guilt, when we feel bad because of what we have done, not because of who we essentially are. Shame takes a heavy toll on a child’s self-esteem, and often becomes a part of their psyche that persists into adulthood.
On the other hand, good parents know that poor childhood behavior is linked to needs, not to a flawed nature, and is part of a child’s natural development.
Laurence D. Houlgate
I. THE CHILD: A PERSON OR A NON-PERSON IN CUSTODY?
Attempts to extend constitutional rights to children did not succeed in American law until the late 1960s, when the Supreme Court declared that “neither the Fourteenth Amendment nor the Bill of Rights is for adults alone.”‘ In the case of In re Gault,the Supreme Court pronounced that juveniles are entitled to a variety of procedural protections under the Constitution.2 For example, they must be given adequate, timely, written notice of any allegations against them.’ If they are in danger of losing their liberty they are to be afforded the right to counsel,4 the right against incrimination,5 and the right to confront and cross-examine opposing witnesses under oath.” Subsequent cases have emphasized juveniles’ rights to proof beyond a reasonable doubt’ and protection against double jeopardy.8
“Students in school as well as out of school are ‘persons’ under our Constitution. They are possessed of fundamental rights which the State must respect.”
When Justice Fortas wrote these memorable words, he was not abiding by either the “Framers’ Intent” or the”Original Understanding” theories of constitutional interpretation. That is, he was not making the claim that those who participated in formulating the amendments to the Constitution intended to include children under its provisions; I doubt that Justice Fortas thought that the amendments were generally understood at the time of their adoption to apply to children. Instead, I believe that if he were alive today, he would probably agree with legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin that the Constitution and its amendments should be interpreted in light of the strongest philosophy of government that could justify them.’ At least part of the strongest philosophy of government that could justify the classification of children as persons is the moral principle of individual autonomy, which I understand to be the right of a person to govern himself, to be free from any external control to which he has not consented. If this principle is part of the moral justification of our Constitution, then it becomes clear why we should include children under its provisions. Young children do not have the competence to make many of the choices that adults make on a regular basis in complex social systems, but they will in a few years develop many of these competencies. Hence, the right to be treated as a person is best understood as a right-intrust. Once we acknowledge this, it becomes legitimate for children to complain if they are not provided with opportunities and conditions assuring their full enjoyment of their constitutional rights when they acquire the characteristics of persons.’ Moreover, the classification of children as persons as a right-in-trust is not only consistent with their being regarded as individuals in custody during their minority, but it defines the limits of our custodial duties. We must provide them “the conditions for their becoming individuals who are able freely and in an informed way to choose and who are prepared themselves to assume responsibility for their choices. And we must refrain from denying children the enjoyment of their rights if we cannot show that this is necessary to protect their future autonomy. Only in this way can we legitimately discharge our custodial duties toward children as persons.
Read the entire paper here:
THE PROGRESS OF NATIONS
THE PROGRESS OF NATIONS
The day will come when the progress of nations will be judged not by their military or economic strength,
nor by the splendor of their capital cities and public buildings, but by the well-being of their peoples:
by their levels of health, nutrition, and education;
by their opportunities to earn a fair reward for their labours;
by their ability to participate in the decisions that affect their lives;
by the respect that is shown for their civil and political liberties;
by the provision that is made for those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged;
and by the protection that is afforded to the growing minds and bodies of their children.
-The United Nation’s Children’s Fund, 1993
The USA must ratify the UN CRC and reform our laws to comply
Measures and mechanisms required to eliminate corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment
Legal reform is essential in eliminating corporal punishment. All provisions which allow a “reasonable” degree of corporal punishment – whether in statute or in case/common law – should be repealed, as should all legislation which specifically regulates the administration of corporal punishment, for example in schools and other institutions. But the law must also explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings, as the Committee explains (paras 34 and 35):
“In the light of the traditional acceptance of violent and humiliating forms of punishment of children, a growing number of States have recognized that simply repealing authorization of corporal punishment and any existing defences is not enough. In addition, explicit prohibition of corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, in their civil or criminal legislation, is required in order to make it absolutely clear that it is as unlawful to hit or ‘smack’ or ‘spank’ a child as to do so to an adult, and that the criminal law on assault does apply equally to such violence, regardless whether it is termed discipline or ‘reasonable correction’.
“Once the criminal law applies fully to assaults on children, the child is protected from corporal punishment wherever they are and whoever is the perpetrator. But in the view of the Committee, given the traditional acceptance of corporal punishment, it is essential that the applicable sectoral legislation – e.g. family law, education law, law relating to all forms of alternative care and justice systems, employment law – clearly prohibits its use in the relevant settings. In addition, it is valuable if professional codes of ethics and guidance for teachers, carers and others and also the rules or charters of institutions emphasize the illegality of corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment.”
The Committee emphasizes that law reform should be accompanied by awareness-raising, guidance and training, because the primary purpose of such reform is prevention – “to prevent violence against children by changing attitudes and practice, underlining children’s right to equal protection and providing an unambiguous foundation for child protection and for the promotion of positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing” (para 38). Prohibition in law does not mean that all cases of corporal punishment of children by parents should lead to prosecution – “[w]hile all reports of violence against children should be appropriately investigated and their protection from significant harm assured, the aim should be to stop parents using violent or other cruel or degrading punishment through supportive and educational, not punitive, interventions” (para 40).
Effective prohibition requires “comprehensive awareness-raising of children’s right to protection and of the laws which reflect this right” (para 45) and the consistent promotion of positive, non-violent relationships and education “to parents, carers, teachers and all others who work with children and families” (para 46). While the Convention does not prescribe in detail how parenting should be carried out, it does “provide a framework of principles to guide relationships both within the family and between teachers, carers and others and children” (para 46). For example, children’s developmental needs must be respected, their best interests are fundamental, and their views should be given due weight.
Finally, States parties should monitor their progress towards eliminating corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, including through the use of interview research involving children and the establishing of independent monitoring bodies, and should report on all measures taken in their periodic State party reports to the Committee.
The General Comment is available at: www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/comments.htm
Why the Senate should ratify CEDAW, CRC, and CRDP
CEDAW has long been stymied in the US Congress by religious zealots who call themselves Christians. Why Christians would be against fairness for women eludes me. This convention, along with the convention on the rights of children (UN CRC) is back in the news because the President recently asked the Senate to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Disabled. Once again the zealots trot out their lame objections to these treaties on grounds they would cede sovereignty to an international body. That is a ploy they are stuck with using because they cannot admit the real reason they are against all these conventions. They all would seriously constrain the ancient institution of patriarchy that is a bed rock RW christian doctrine. Men would lose their ability to lord their illegitimate power over their wives and children. In as much as they have never used such power wisely over the centuries, it is past time for it to go and good riddance.
* The US is considered a global leader in human rights and women’s rights. Of all the countries in the world, the US should be among those leading the fight against gender discrimination and inequality. Instead, the US sits in the company of countries like Iran and North Korea where women’s rights violations are especially prevalent who have also refused to sign. A country that claims to set international standards for civil rights and equality should affirm that commitment by signing a treaty as significant as CEDAW.
* CEDAW is the only international human rights treaty that affirms women’s reproductive rights. The Convention contains several provisions that recognize women’s reproductive rights, including the right to “decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise those rights.”
* The US risks isolationism. The US is the only industrialized country that has failed to sign the treaty. Whereas all of America’s closest allies have ratified CEDAW, the US isolates itself from the international community through its unwillingness to commit to the global effort to combat gender equality.
* Ratification is consistent with US policies and ideals. Not only is CEDAW consistent with a myriad of human rights treaties to which the US is a signatory, but it is also in absolute harmony with the principles and ideals of equality laid out in the US constitution. In fact, US law is already largely compliant with the provisions of CEDAW.
* Ratification of CEDAW will not violate U.S sovereignty or supersede any US laws. CEDAW is not a “self-executing” treaty, and therefore would require legislation to be passed by the US government before any of its provisions are implemented. There is no enforcement authority behind the treaty, which requires only a periodic review of a country’s progress. The Convention allows countries to submit reservations, understandings and declarations addressing discrepancies, as the US has done with past human rights treaties.
Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child requires states to take “all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child…”
Other articles in the Convention are relevant to protection of children from all corporal punishment: article 3 requires that in all actions concerning children, “the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration”. Article 6 requires States to “ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child”. Article 28, the child’s right to education, requires States to “take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention”. Article 37 requires States to ensure that “No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment…” Under article 40, all children involved with juvenile justice systems “have the right to be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child’s sense of dignity and worth…”
The Committee on the Rights of the Child which monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child has consistently stated that legal and social acceptance of physical punishment of children, in the home and in institutions, is not compatible with the Convention. Since 1993, in its recommendations following examination of reports from various States Parties to the Convention, the Committee has recommended prohibition of physical punishment in the family and institutions, and education campaigns to encourage positive, non-violent child-rearing and education.
In examining States Parties’ reports, the Committee has singled out for particular criticism legislation, existing in many countries, that allows some level of violent punishment – “reasonable chastisement”, “moderate correction”, and so on.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child is the highest international authority for interpretation of the Convention. Elected by States Parties to the Convention, the 10-member body meets three times a year in Geneva. States Parties must submit an initial report on progress towards implementation of the Convention within two years of ratification; then periodic reports must be submitted every five years.
Comments in general reports of the Committee on corporal punishmentIn the report of its fourth session (1993) the Committee recognised the importance of the question of corporal punishment in improving the system of promotion and protection of the rights of the child and decided to continue to devote attention to it in the process of examining States parties reports.
(Report on the fourth session, CRC/C/20, 25 October 1993, para 176)
In the report of its seventh session in November 1994, the Committee stated:
“In the framework of its mandate, the Committee has paid particular attention to the child’s right to physical integrity. In the same spirit, it has stressed that corporal punishment of children is incompatible with the Convention and has often proposed the revision of existing legislation, as well as the development of awareness and educational campaigns, to prevent child abuse and the physical punishment of children.”
The report goes on to note that the Committee’s concerns have been shared by various other UN entities. The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice adopted a resolution in April 1994 specifically stressing the importance of article 19 of the Convention, and calling on states to take all possible steps to eliminate violence against children in accordance with the Convention.
(Report on the seventh session, CRC/C/34, 8 November 1994, page 63, and CRC/C/SR.166, 3 October 1994, para 13)
In a concluding statement to the General Discussion on Children’s Rights in the Family, organised as the Committee’s contribution to International Year of the Family in October 1994, the Vice-Chair stated:
“As for corporal punishment, few countries have clear laws on this question. Certain States have tried to distinguish between the correction of children and excessive violence. In reality the dividing line between the two is artificial. It is very easy to pass from one stage to the other. It is also a question of principle. If it is not permissible to beat an adult, why should it be permissible to do so to a child? One of the contributions of the Convention is to call attention to the contradictions in our attitudes and cultures.”
(CRC/C/SR 176, 10 October 1994, para 46)
- Resources for those supporting the worldwide ban on hitting children (endhereditaryreligion.com)
- An objection to corporal punishment (kaieteurnewsonline.com)
Hitting, belittling or humiliating a small child is never appropriate and can lead to serious consequences for that child, that family and their community.
There is now a world-wide consensus against the practice of hitting children no matter where they are.
Slapping and Spanking in Childhood and Its Association with Lifetime Prevalence of Psychiatric Disorders
Research on Corporal Punishment – Available Online
Slapping and Spanking in Childhood and Its Association With Lifetime Prevalence of Psychiatric Disorders in a General Population
States Should Ban Violence Against Children – United Nations Study
Correlation Between High Rates of Corporal Punishment in Public Schools and Social Pathologies
Experts – Spanking Harms Children, Especially Girls
Spanking and Mental Illness
The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
Spanking Can Be Sexual Abuse
Spanking, Pain and Pleasure
American Academy of Pediatrics‘ Position on Physical Punishment
ChildAdvocate.org – Corporal Punishment Society’s Acceptable Violence Towards Children
What Does Research Say About the Effects of Physical Punishment on Children?
The Neurobiology of Child Abuse
It’s Time to Change `The American Way of Discipline’ – Arthur Cherry, M.D.,FAAP,
Why Do We Need Full Legal Reform to End All Corporal Punishment?
Physical Punishment of Children
Lowest Achieving Ohio Schools Quickest With The Paddle-Rights
Dr. Spock on Parenting (1989)-Excerpts
The Center for Effective Discipline, Columbus, Ohio
End All Corporal Punishment of Children
Corporal Punishment and Trauma – Building Better Health
Corporal Punishment of Children (Spanking)
Giving Guidance on Child Discipline
The Belt, Adrenalin, and Delinquency
Abused Tots Take On Abusive Parents Ways
Impact of Parenting Styles – Alfred Adler Institute of San Francisco
Adult Consequences of Childhood Parenting Styles – Alfred Adler Institute
Ten Reasons Not to Hit Your Kids – The Natural Child Project
Guidance for Effective Discipline
Spanking Strikes Out
Force and Fear Have No Place in Education
Physical Punishment and The Development of Aggressive and Violent Behavior – A Review, by Elizabeth Kandel
Let’s Outlaw Any Hitting of Children
Hitting People Is Wrong – and Children Are People Too
The Institute for the Study of Anti-Social Behaviour in Youth – Highlights from the Latest Youth Update
Why Do We Hurt Our Children – The Natural Child Project
Alternatives to Spanking
Some Thoughts On Spanking – The Natural Child Project
Raising Kind Children
Why You Should Say `No’ to Corporal Punishment – It Doesn’t Work
Spanking – An Idea Whose Time Has Gone
Faut-il interdire la fessée? / Should Spanking Be Prohibited?
The Swedish Example
German Parliament Bans Use Of Corporal Punishment In
Denmark Bans Spanking
Israeli High Court on Spanking
Jerusalem Supreme Court: Corporal Punishment of Children
Greece Outlaws Corporal Punishment in the Home
South Africa’s Constitutional Court Says `NO’ to Spankers in
Spanking of Toddlers to Be a Crime in Scotland
Bangladesh Observes Child Rights Week
BBC News – UK – Smacking Children `Does Not Work’
Delhi School Kids To Be Spared The Rod
Punjab Bans Corporal Punishment
No Smacking Rule For Children Under Three
Greece outlaws corporal punishment in the home
End All Corporal Punishment of Children
Correlation Between Corporal Punishment and Social Pathologies
Paddling States v. Non-Paddling States: A National Academic Comparison
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Call For Government Rethink On Hitting Children Following United Nations Report
Corporal Punishment of Children (Spanking): Introduction and Legality
Kenyan Children Suffer Frequent Beatings by Teachers
Dept of Health Issues Guidelines to British Parents on How to Smack TheirChildren
Spanking Articles at findarticles.com
End All Corporal Punishment of Children – States With Full Abolition
The Center for Effective Discipline
Spanking – Ages 6 to 12 | ahealthyme.com
Family Resource Library Resources
A Good Whuppin’? Many Who Survived Childhood Spankings Now Endorse Them, Renewing Debate Over a Peculiar Institution.
Our Children Don’t Deserve to Be Beaten
Monadnock Area Psychotherapy and Spirituality Services
Family Issue Facts, Spanking, Bulletin 4357
United Nations Committee on Rights of Child
http://www.childadvocate.org/1a_research.htmHow Children Really React to Control
http://nospank.net/gordon.htmForce and Fear Have No Place in Education
http://nospank.net/einstein.htmSelected Print Medial Coverage
Let’s Outlaw Any Hitting of Children
Domestic Abuse Organizational and Employee Impact
Plain Talk About Spanking
By James C. Talbot, author of “The Road To Positive Discipline: A Parent’s Guide.”
- Corporal Punishment in Jamaica Part 2 – What Happens at Home (newsandviewsbydjmillerja.wordpress.com)
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