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:
Director of Strategy and Policy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason
Sean Faircloth served five terms in the Maine Legislature. Faircloth served on the Judiciary and Appropriations Committees. In his last term Faircloth was elected Majority Whip by his colleagues.
An accomplished legislator, Faircloth successfully spearheaded over thirty laws, including the so-called Deadbeat Dad child support law which saved Maine taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and was later incorporated into federal law. Faircloth had numerous legislative successes in children’s issues and justice system reform.
In two years as Executive Director of Secular Coalition for America, Faircloth conceived and led the Secular Decade plan, a specific strategic vision for resecularizing American government. Faircloth writes about his ten point vision of a Secular American government in his book Attack of the Theocrats: How the Religious Right Harms Us All and What to Do About It.
Faircloth earned a reputation for strategic thinking, innovative ideas, and speaking to groups in a way that energized them to support the secular cause.
As Director of Strategy and Policy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason, Faircloth will expand his strategic efforts on behalf of the entire secular movement, speak regarding policy issues, discuss the ideas in his book, and seek innovative ways to improve the secular movement. Faircloth has spoken around the United States about separation of church and state, the Constitution, children’s policy, obesity policy, and sex crime law. Faircloth chaired a Commission on sex crime law reform which led to substantive improvement in that area of law. Faircloth chaired an early childhood commission, as well as a Commission regarding the citizen initiative process.
In Maine Faircloth also had the idea for the Maine Discovery Museum and led the four-year project from concept to completion in 2001. Maine Discovery Museum was then the second largest children’s museum outside Boston of the twenty-five children’s museums in New England. Faircloth graduated from the University of Notre Dame and has a law degree from University of California Hastings College of the Law. Faircloth served as a state Assistant Attorney General, and as a lobbyist for the state bar association.
- A New Way of Thinking — Faircloth Interview – - – Point of Inquiry (richarddawkins.net)
- Q&A, Sean Faircloth on Secular Strategy, Romney & the Religious Right – Sean Faircloth – RichardDawkins.net (richarddawkins.net)
- [UPDATE 10-Feb - video Chapter 7] Sean Faircloth discusses his new book Attack of the Theocrats – Sean Faircloth – Pitchstone Publishing (richarddawkins.net)
- Attack of the Theocrats!: A Review and an Interview with Author Sean Faircloth (patheos.com)
- Universal Tolerance (atheistethicist.blogspot.com)
- Religious Bias in Public Schools (atheistethicist.blogspot.com)
Forcing children into faith is ethically objectionable
The indoctrination of children is done without their informed consent. How could a three year old child be informed? Forcing children into faith is ethically objectionable for that reason alone, but on top of this, the process deliberately:
- fosters an attitude of superiority, only one faith can be true (they are better than others)
- encourages solipsism (god loves me and created a universe just for me)
- creates enmity towards outsiders be they non-believers or members of a different faith
- plants an unrealistic, patently false view of reality (evolution is often targeted)
- stifles the mind and punishes curiosity which hampers full intellectual development
- creates fear of holy retribution, which can lead to mental stress or even breakdown
- creates guilt for infracting rules against unrealistic prohibitions (for example, masturbation)
- sets up impossible standards (critics would say this is to drive children to confession)
- infantilizes children and implants feelings of inferiority (god is great, I am unworthy)
- creates feelings of hopelessness (there is no escape from god)
- nourishes fear of human sexuality and creates neuroses about normal sexual feelings and sexual pleasure
- Faith-Healing Parents = Emotional and Physical Child Abuse (scotteriology.wordpress.com)
- The Process of Indoctrination (theperplexedobserver.blogspot.com)
- Religious education is not mindless indoctrination (thepunch.com.au)
- International Day of Protest Against Child Religious Grooming (atheistethicist.blogspot.com)
Get them while they are young
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‘Christianity stole my childhood’ – Katy Perry
KATY Perry says she left her strict religious upbringing behind after her evangelical minister parents left her without a childhood.
The pop singer is on the cover of the June issue of Vanity Fair magazine, where she revealed the differences between hers and her parents’ way of thinking in an interview.
“I didn’t have a childhood,” she told the magazine. She said she was not allowed to use terms like “deviled eggs” or “Dirt Devil,” to listen to secular music or to read any books but the Bible.
In March, Perry’s mother revealed that she was shopping a book about the impact of her daughter’s career on her ministry. She said she was proud of Katy but disagreed with “a lot of choices she makes.”
“I think sometimes when children grow up, their parents grow up,” Katy Perry told Vanity Fair.
“Mine grew up with me. We co-exist. I don’t try to change them anymore, and I don’t think they try to change me. We agree to disagree. They’re excited about [my success]. They’re happy that things are going well for their three children and that they’re not on drugs. Or in prison.”
Perry credited her husband, actor Russell Brand, with opening her mind even more.
“I come from a very non-accepting family, but I’m very accepting,” Perry said of her current religious beliefs.
“Russell is into Hinduism, and I’m not [really] involved in it. He meditates in the morning and the evening; I’m starting to do it more because it really centres me. [But] I just let him be him, and he lets me be me.”
- Katy Perry: “My Career Is Like An Artichoke” (wlte.radio.com)
- Katy Perry On Strict Christian Upbringing: ‘I Didn’t Have A Childhood’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Katy Perry Covers Vanity Fair June 2011 (bittenandbound.com)
- Katy Perry: Yes, I really kissed a girl (via The Marquee Blog) (thespiritportal.wordpress.com)
Religionists often remark that they do not see a way to live without religion. Apparently they are unaware that approximately 2 billion people around the world live lives free of religious control. It is not difficult and now a new book by Eric Maisel tells you how it is done. Here are the reviews from leading freethinkers and authors:
“Eric Maisel is clearly the atheist’s Wizard of Oz to have created a book with such brains, so much heart, and a lion’s share of real courage.”
— Dale McGowan, PhD, editor of Parenting Beyond Belief and 2008 Harvard Humanist of the Year
“Millions of people lead happy, moral, loving, meaningful lives without believing in a god, and Eric Maisel explains in exquisite rational and compassionate detail how we do it.”
— Dan Barker, author of Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist and copresident of the Freedom from Religion Foundation
“I find Maisel’s writings more witty than Hitchens, more polished and articulate than Harris, and more informative and entertaining than Dawkins. A 5-star read from cover to cover!”
— David Mills, author of Atheist Universe
“The Atheist’s Way offers a meaningful approach to life that is sublime, eloquent, and inspiring. This book is a true breath of fresh air.”
— Phil Zuckerman, PhD, author of Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment
“Maisel provides a foundation for making meaning and living purposefully without supernatural intervention. A book to be relished by atheists, skeptics, humanists, freethinkers, and unbelievers everywhere.”
— Donna Druchunas, writer on Skepchick.org
“How do you bravely face the world as it is and create meaning for yourself without the crutch of a divine benefactor? Eric Maisel’s wise suggestions, musings, and insights are a wonderful resource for your quest.”
— John Allen Paulos, author of Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up
“Eric Maisel has given us a lovely, thoughtful book about belief outside of the narrow confines of organized religion. The Atheist’s Way offers an uplifting positive answer for anyone interested in how to live life without gods, superstitions or fairytales.”
— Nica Lalli, author of Nothing: Something to Believe In
“With this book, Eric Maisel does what none of the New Atheists have succeeded at doing: elaborating what atheists do believe.”
— Hemant Mehta, author of I Sold My Soul on eBay
Product DescriptionIn The Atheist’s Way, Eric Maisel teaches you how to make rich personal meaning despite the absence of beneficent gods and the indifference of the universe to human concerns. Exploding the myth that there is any meaning to find or to seek, Dr. Maisel explains why the paradigm shift from seeking meaning to making meaning is this century’s most pressing intellectual goal.
- Martin Pribble’s Interview With Dan Barker (camelswithhammers.com)
- Dan Barker Interview – Prominent People Project (martinspribble.com)
- The Purpose-Driven Atheist (friendlyatheist.com)
- Book Review: Godless (spaninquis.wordpress.com)
- Robert Ingersoll: Prince of Atheists (new.exchristian.net)
- Hemant Mehta on Identifying Oneself as an Atheist (theperplexedobserver.blogspot.com)
- “Atheist v. Theist” – A Humanist’s Response (thehumanistchallenge.wordpress.com)
- The deity by any other name: Army resilience program gets a thumbs down from atheistsa (scientificamerican.com)
You cannot end the religious indoctrination of vulnerable children
People argue that parents and religious entities will not cease the practice of preying on vulnerable children to maintain their tribes. Religious indoctrination of children has been going on for centuries and is a universal phenomenon. Like child battering, it is a syndrome protected by an extensive protective meme complex. Parents were most likely indoctrinated, making them excellent practitioners of childhood religious grooming. They know all the techniques and evasions to use on their own kids. Likewise, adults who were physically punished will strenuously defend this cruel treatment and turn around and physically punish their own children.
- Salvation is not a legitimate argument for indoctrinating children (endhereditaryreligion.com)
- Who Cares About Atheists? (camelswithhammers.com)
- Quiverfull Atheists (dangeroustalk.net)
- Questions for Those Raising Their Kids Without Religion (atheistrev.com)
- Indoctrinating Children In a Religious Faith is Abusive (atheistrev.com)
- “Aha!” Moments (new.exchristian.net)
The principle of freedom of religion only goes so far
A forum participant writes:
It is rather a relationship with a loving God who desires to know them and show them truths of the Bible in their everyday lives. It is about understanding that acceptance is not based on performance but on the very existance of that relationship. If I did not teach what I believe to be true and so very important, eternally important, I would be remiss as a parent.
Hold up there! First of all you cannot provide a single shred of evidence to show there is a god. Let alone a Hebrew god of the bible (assuming you are Christian). We cannot accept such imaginings as justification for parent’s actions. Prove there is a god — then maybe we will listen to you.
Children should only be taught the truth of the natural world, not the wild postulations of the supernatural. You do not know there is a god. You simply have decided to believe there is a god. If this gives you comfort and satisfaction, well and good you are entitled to follow your conscience. It does not mean you are entitled to infect your children with your delusional beliefs.
Do you understand the difference? Making crucial life decisions based on unproven beliefs is highly irresponsible. The principle of freedom of religion only goes so far — the minute harm is caused by a belief in religion your rights are abrogated — null and void. Teaching vulnerable children supernatural myths and unfounded religious dogma is harmful. You can couch your misbegotten program with all the sentiments of love you so choose, that only makes your actions more reprehensible. Parents that truly love their children respect them as persons and allow them to make there own choices to suit themselves.
If we are going to suffer harm, wouldn’t we all rather be wounded by someone that hates us than by someone who loves us? You are trampling on your children’s religious freedom.
- Do atheist activists poison everything? (barefootbum.blogspot.com)
- A Holiday Letter from the Family of an Air Force Academy Graduate [Dispatches from the Culture Wars] (scienceblogs.com)