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)
Kidnapped for Christ trailer
Kidnapped for Christ follows the stories of several American teenagers who were sent to Escuela Caribe, an American-run Evangelical Christian reform school in The Dominican Republic.
Category:Film & Animation
* Escuela Caribe
* Troubled Teen Industry
* New Horizons Youth Ministry
Childhood religious grooming is unethical and can be emotionally abusive.
The Hitting Stops Here! A campaign for teaching kindness and respect in schools everywhere.
The Hitting Stops Here! A campaign for teaching kindness and respect in schools firstname.lastname@example.org, 408.509.6835September 29, 2011New York Representative Carolyn McCarthy’s federal bill for banning USA school corporal punishment, HR 3027, news reports and PSA:REP CAROLYN McCARTHY’S PETITIONFor Banning USA School Corporal Punishment: http://DontHitStudents.com/American Civil Liberties Union PetitionTell Congress to Support The Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act:https://secure.aclu.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3669&s_sbsrc=110925_CorpPunishSchools_bor
What American Schoolchildren Can Do For Gaining Their14th Amendment “protective” and “due process” rights :By clicking on the following link and completing the simple form, an automated letter will besent to your Representatives in Congress urging them to Support H.R. 3027, “The EndingCorporal Punishment in Schools Act,” which can be sent daily:
Additionally, it is important to know:Where Does Governmental Power Exist For Ending USA “School Corporal Punishment”“The Umbrella of U.S. Power,” p. 52, by Dr. Norm Chomsky, reveals that the US SenateHolds the Power to End All USA School Beatings and Other Forms of School Corporal Punishment:“The U.S.A. accepted the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other forms of Cruel andInhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, BUT THE SENATE IMPOSED RESTRICTIONS, USING ITS POWER TO AMEND AND RATIFY TREATIES UNDER THE U.S. CONSTITUTION, to protect in part, the Supreme Court’s ruling ALLOWING CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN SCHOOLS.”Dr. Chomsky is an esteemed lecturer and professor of Government and International Politics at Harvard University.Therefore, US Senator Education Committee Chairman Tom Harkin has the MOST influential power for ending USA school corporal punishment. While American schoolchildren of color, disadvantaged and special needs, primarily, face allkinds of abusive punishment in USA schools, Tom Harkin has focused his attention on the following:“…Tom is working to insure that the Middle Class has a bright future…” He has fought toimprove education in Iowa and across the country. He has worked to reduce class size, givestudents better computer and Internet access, expand school counseling and safety programs andimprove teacher training. He has also led the effort to modernize America’s school infrastructure.Each year he secures funding to help school districts in Iowa update and repair their facilities.Please note: Iowa Senator Harkins resides in the top-performing state for education in America.Do schoolchildren in US “paddling” states fit anywhere in his agenda?Tom Harkin is the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that funds the USA Education schoolsystem. These funds are those referred to in NY Rep Carolyn McCarthy’s bill. See news report, Bill forBanning US School Corporal Punishment Introduced To Congress:Senator Tom Harkin’s biography:Senator Harkin has a, “Tell Tom how you Feel About a Bill” link at: http://harkin.senate.gov/contact.cfmALL U.S. SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEMBER names and contact information, tobe posted here soon.The following link is to their main website containing their contacts:__________US House of Representative Education and Work force Committee Chairman John Kline was reelected to represent suburbs and rural Minnesota counties in the House of Representatives a fourth term in 2008. He has established himself as one of Congress’s foremost experts on defenseand veterans issues, a conservative voice on tax and budget policy, an advocate for education,and a champion for helping America become more energy independent. But ending US school beatings of disadvantaged American schoolchildren under his jurisdiction,being targeted at them by American Educators who are under his command, appears to be for him, a daunting task. Fall 2011, the House of Representatives is expected to consider proposals to roll back FEDERAL INTRUSION in classrooms, eliminate wasteful education spending, improve accountability, support more effective teachers, and provide more flexibility to state and local education leaders.Rep. John Kline’s contact information: MN Ofc: 952.808.1213, Wash. DC Ofc: 201.225.2271, email address for MN residents: http://kline.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=233ALL U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEMBER names and contact information, to be posted here soon. The federal bill for banning USA school corporal punishment was introduced to the House by Representative Carolyn McCarthy on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011.
See news report, Paddling is Bullying, Outlaw It, Says U.S. Congresswoman:
PLEASE POST!REP CAROLYN McCARTHY’S PETITION FOR BANNING USA SCHOOLCORPORAL PUNISHMENT:PSA ON BANNING USA SCHOOL CORPORAL PUNISHMENT:Other links worthy of attention:Statistics on Children in America: www.brookings.edu/opinions/2011/0408_census_youth_frey.aspx
“Forced medication” in American schools: http://psychrights.org/kids/pizzuroforceddrugging.pdf
- Harkin’s Education Bill Draft Shows A Federal Rollback (huffingtonpost.com)
- Rare Bipartisan Accord on No Child Left Behind Revamp (usnews.com)
- Bipartisan Rewrite Of Contentious Bush-Era Law Sparks Debate (huffingtonpost.com)
- Corporal punishment cannot be practiced in the name of disciplining child: Shantha Sinha (equalityindia.wordpress.com)
- SEN. TOM HARKIN: It was my understanding that there would be no math. Plus, from the comments: … (pjmedia.com)
Robert Kunzman: The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child vs. the Parental Rights Movement
Today’s post is from Robert Kunzman, author of Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling. Kunzman spent ten years as a high school teacher, coach, and administrator and is currently an associate professor in the Indiana University School of Education. He is also the author of Grappling with the Good: Talking about Religion and Morality in Public Schools.
Quick—who are the only two nations who haven’t ratified the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?
Somalia is one of them—no bonus points for that guess. Who else stands against the 193 nations who’ve ratified the treaty? None other than the United States of America. This may change under the Obama administration; U.N. ambassador Susan Rice recently proclaimed the situation a disgrace and indicated that U.S. ratification of the treaty was under active discussion.
But not if the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has their way. Calling the UNCRC “anti-family” and “anti-American,” they have urged their 80,000 members—as well as those who’ve joined ParentalRights.org, a “grassroots” organization founded by HSLDA—to voice their opposition. To further their cause, they have been a driving force in promoting a Parental Rights Amendment, which now has more than 110 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.
Why does the most powerful and prominent homeschool advocacy organization in the world see the UNCRC as such a threat? Ultimately, it’s an argument about who should have a say in the raising and educating of children.
I’ve spent the past five years exploring the world of homeschooling from a variety of angles, traveling the country and visiting with families in their homes, observing their homeschooling practices and talking with them about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. I quickly discovered that the range of philosophies, methods, and outcomes is vast indeed. But one fundamental conviction among homeschool parents emerges again and again: the state has no business telling them how to raise or educate their children.
This conviction is especially strong among conservative Christian homeschoolers, who most observers agree constitute the largest subset of the likely two million homeschoolers in the United States (HSLDA describes itself as a Christian organization). Not infrequently, parents pointed to the biblical passage of Deuteronomy 6:6-9 when explaining to me their motivation to homeschool. The Message, a popular Bible paraphrase, puts it this way: “Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.”
This orientation toward parenting and education helps explain why homeschool parents are particularly resistant toward any government role or authority in the education of their children. Good parents (whether homeschoolers or not) see education, broadly construed, as part of their job description: raising a child involves constant teaching, and the most important lessons in life generally occur outside of school walls. But most homeschoolers take this a step further. They don’t see any real distinction between this broader notion of education and formal schooling itself—which makes sense, if homeschooling is just woven into the fabric of everyday family life. And if homeschooling is seen as simply part of parenting, then it becomes easier to understand why many homeschool parents view government oversight of education as an unjustifiable intrusion into their sacred domain.
For conservative Christian homeschoolers, educating their children is a God-given right and responsibility, and one they can delegate only at great moral and spiritual peril. Like many in the broader homeschool population, conservative Christians see homeschooling as a twenty-four-hour-a-day, all-encompassing endeavor. For them, perhaps more explicitly than other homeschoolers, homeschooling is a shaping not only of intellect but—even more crucially—character. This means more than just moral choices of right and wrong; character is developed through the inculcation of an overarching Christian worldview that guides those moral choices. These parents share a fierce determination to instill Christian character in their children, a process that entails protecting them from the corrupting influences of broader society. To accomplish this, the family becomes the defensive bulwark and sanctuary wherein children are prepared for eventual engagement with the world.Parental interests aren’t the only ones at stake in the educational process, of course. A democracy depends upon the cultivation of informed citizens who can deliberate respectfully about the best ways to live together. And while most parents naturally believe that their efforts are dedicated to what’s best for their children, in reality this isn’t always the case; as the UNCRC asserts, children have their own educational interests at stake as well. But in the context of homeschooling—the ultimate in educational privatization—how to define and protect these various interests remains a complicated and contested question indeed.
Logically, morally, humanely and scientifically, the debate on spanking is dead
10 Saturday Sep 2011
IN PUBLIC FORUMS on the internet, we have lively debates over whether Hitler was a hero or whether or not the holocaust ever occurred. We could also probably find a debate over whether slavery ever existed in the United States. We might even get an argument that the Earth is flat and always has been. And, given what has also yet to become common knowledge, we can still find arguments in favor of hitting young children as a form of punishment.
For example, those who developed through their formative years having adopted as a part of their belief system that adults hit children as an acceptable practice will take on this treatment of children as a belief not dissimilar to the religious beliefs they’ve adopted during this same stage of development. And, these are beliefs that tend to become deeply ingrained.
Those who happen to overcome and evolve beyond such irrational belief systems seem to be the exception to the rule. Sadly, it would seem that few children are able to avoid early childhood brainwashing to a particular religion or orientation. Typically, our little ones will buy into what we feed them lock, stock and barrel.
Herein lies the problem of change in the face of overwhelming evidence. Let’s liken this change to telling a grown man that his name is actually Archibald instead of Joe. Lot’s of luck. It’s going to take awhile, no doubt, and repeated efforts are in order.
So, once again, let’s try driving home the facts that carry with them the hope of breaking through just a few more of those bigoted obstacles still standing in the way of social progress.
To begin with, I feel it’s most important to make it very clearly known to any and all concerned that the debate on spanking within the scientific and academic communities is dead and has been for a number of years. The most substantial indicator of this development is evidenced by the fact that virtually every professional organization in the U.S. and Canada concerned with the care and treatment of children has taken a public stance against the practice of spanking.
Based on the overwhelming accumulation of research conducted over the past 50 plus years linking spanking to a number of risk factors, the professional consensus against this practice has grown to world-wide proportions … even to the extent that Sweden, Finland, Austria, Norway, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Israel, Cyprus, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Germany, Latvia, Iceland, Romania, Greece, New Zealand, Venezuela, Spain, Portugal, Chile, Uruguay, and Ukraine have all legislated total bans on spanking … with Italy, South Africa, Scotland, Canada, and Ireland apparently in the process of following suit. It should also be noted that every industrialized country in the world has banned spanking in schools. The evidence is in, and the evidence has found against the practice of spanking in a compellingly conclusive manner.
Just as one might find supportive views toward spanking being promoted (typically) on web sites sponsored by fundamentalist Christian sects, so can one find supportive views promoting Homophobia, Racism, Misogyny, and other “hate group” propaganda. Because the actual agendas of these sites are often deceptively disguised by organizational titles such as “Family Council”, “People’s Choice”, “Rights and Freedoms”, etc., people are forced to exercise a highly judicious discernment of the information being made available on the Internet. Some web surfers have had to learn the hard way that the Internet abounds with persuasive presentations of “facts and figures” that can prove to represent nothing more than religious, political, or philosophical attempts to spread self-serving misinformation.
Having spent over 30 years examining and evaluating the research on spanking children, I am able to state with a high degree of confidence that there has never been a peer-reviewed study that has been able to establish the efficacy of spanking as a means of long-term behavior modification; as an effective teaching modality; as an effective punishment or as a means of instilling self-discipline. Nor has there been published research findings in peer-reviewed professional journals that served to refute previous research. This previous research found spanking to be associated with a risk for undesirable emotional consequences; a risk for physical injury; a risk of counter-productive behavioral outcomes; a risk for the onset of dependence on external controls and a proclivity toward authority-directed behavior. Moreover, there has never been research data finding that spanking carries no risk to the quality of the parent-child relationship (and I should add that conservative editorial reviews of previous research findings do not constitute actual research, as is sometimes claimed to be the case).
Nevertheless, there are some spankers who will find reasons to dismiss, ignore, or discount the research findings of field conducted experimental studies related to the Social Sciences. It is especially these folks that I’d like to address concerning alarming new research findings which represent the most severe consequences of physical punishment yet discovered … while doing so in the form of documented scientific proof.*
These revelations have come through studies in brain research having provided Cat Scan images showing an abnormal lack of brain development (within the portion of the brain responsible for emotional functioning) in children who had been subject to spankings as a punitive measure. For the sake of sample homogeneity, the researchers chose subjects for their study that had been categorized as “abused” children. Common sense tells us that this does not eliminate the possibility of a lesser degree of brain damage occurring to spanked children who are subjected to a lesser degree of non-injurious violence. In other words, it would be ludicrous to assume that a child must first suffer bruises, cuts, or welts (or other injuries), before brain damage can take place as a result of the physical punishments. Rather, it is much more logical to deduce that acts of physical aggression toward young children can disrupt or prevent the optimal conditions necessary to facilitate a normal process of healthy brain development.
As far as I’m concerned, this new area of research (apparently not yet freely available on the Internet) represents the most compelling, undeniable reason that has yet been discovered to persuade parents to stop (or never start) striking their children as a punitive measure. And I hope any pro-spankers reading this feel the same way. It’s difficult to imagine any parent who would be willing to treat their child in a way that might carry even a remote risk of causing a measure of brain damage to their child.
In spite of having said all of that, we should not need research to end the practice of striking children any more than we needed research to end the practice of striking wives. As a society, there was no need for research findings to convince us of the harmful effects associated with the practice of wives being physically punished.
Instead, when society reached the point of being no longer willing to grant social tolerance to the tradition of husbands physically disciplining their wives, our decision to do so was based on our having progressed socially into the higher morality of a greater humanity. Perhaps, the next step in forward progress should come by way of reaching a decision to begin recognizing children as also being deserving of those same protections against being struck.
No longer do we see any adult members of our society remaining outside the jurisdiction of the protective laws once enjoyed by only the more privileged and “deserving” (namely white males who made the laws), regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnic group or sexual orientation. None of our adult citizens remain legally unprotected from being violated through harassment, threats, defamation, discrimination or being victimized by violence to any degree or form. So, given our heritage of bestowing a greater humanity upon those of a lower social status by welcoming them as our equals in the eyes of the law (in terms of violent treatment), would it be so out of character for us to also shelter the younger, weaker members of our society by allowing them to join those of us already sharing in the security and comfort of safety that is provided under the umbrella of legal protections from violence?
Bringing our little ones into the fold really doesn’t seem all that magnanimous if we keep in mind that we’ve already been willing to share the shelter of our umbrella of assault laws with even the most vicious of hardened adult criminals. After all, children are the very last segment of our shared human collective who still remain as fair game for being subjected to acts of physical aggression. We display a strange sense of priorities when we don’t allow the prison guard to break-out a paddle and start whacking away on the disobedient buttocks of a sociopathic death-row inmate who kills for the rush it gives him, yet we find helpless, defenseless young children deserving of such treatment.
We characterize corporal punishments of prison inmates as Cruel and Unusual Punishment, Guard Brutality and Aggravated Assault. And, should the physical punishments be repeated as a routine punitive measure, such treatment of prisoners would fall under the definition of torture.
Why would a murderous inmate be less subject to physical discipline than a helpless 3-year-old child?
Logically, morally, humanely and scientifically, the debate on spanking is dead … save for those who would object to further social progress.
As we evolve as a society, we have to keep in mind that historically there was a time when it was acceptable to legally own other people; a time when the mentally ill were generally considered to be possessed by evil spirits; a time when men legally shot each other in officiated duels; a time when public hangings were attended as a family outing complete with picnic basket; a time when public floggings were considered acceptable punishment; a time when it was a gentleman’s agreement that husbands should not beat their wives with a switch that was ‘bigger-round than your thumb’ (which later became known as ‘the rule of thumb’); and there was a time when there were no laws against parents severely beating their children (killing children was unacceptable, of course, but an occasional accidental maiming as a result of disciplinary measures was tolerated).
Obviously, we no longer permit these punishments. The time has come for us to further our level of social sophistication by coming to a general agreement that any degree of physical punishment used against children is as socially unacceptable and repugnant as those past violent behaviors we have chosen to put behind us.
by James C. Talbot
Author of The Road To Positive Discipline: A Parent’s Guide
2 thoughts on “The Debate on Spanking is Dead”
A powerful and compelling essay. I forwarded to all my social nets. They know by now how I feel about this issue and I have tried many times to express your ideas, but my prose comes nowhere near yours, James.
Child hatred is so common we never notice it
It is not that some parents do not know how to love, there is actually an undercurrent of child hate and prejudice in our culture. Looking back at the history of children it is not hard to pick up the threads. Children have been battered, sexually molested and abused horribly in the past. The prejudice and hatred is so widespread I find it curious that we have no word for child hater. We have one for woman hater.
Here is an interesting critique of one of the leading parenting magazines:
It warmed my heart yesterday to see all the wonderful feedback I got on Ten Ways To Confuse a Child. I am often upset by the hypocrisy and the double standards inflicted by adults on kids. But yesterday was a good day. A lot of people agreed with me. That made me feel good about the world.
And then my sister-in-law sent me this article, republished from this month’s issue of Parents magazine, called 25 Manners Every Kid Should Know By Age 9. Brace yourselves. I have picked out some of the “manners” that were confusing or otherwise bothered me. And here they are, with my responses:
Manner #3 Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking.
What makes an emergency? How does a child know when grown-ups are “finished” talking? Will it be like listening for microwave popcorn to be done, 1-2 seconds between responses? And why don’t children deserve this same courtesy? Adults have no problem interrupting children.
Manner #5 When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.
I guess this might be good advice for the child whose parents gives him “hours of grief” about things he has done without permission. I wouldn’t really call this one a manner though. Also, remember, it is usually easier to ask forgiveness than permission. Hours of grief may be a price worth paying if it means the child has already gotten to do what he wants.
Manner #6 The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults.
This is a joke, right? Never complain to adults? How about this one: don’t talk to anyone who isn’t interested enough in you to care about your dislikes. If anything, adults should take their own advice here, and stop complaining about kids so much.
Manner #7 Do not comment on other people’s physical characteristics unless, of course, it’s to compliment them, which is always welcome.
Wow, great rule. So as long as it’s a compliment, it’s ok? Is it always welcome to tell a woman she has nice breasts? And I can’t even count the number of times I have heard adults openly insult a child’s physical appearance, laughing at the way the his hair looks, or how his ears or his belly stick out, or anything else. Adults, please check yourselves on this one first.
Manner #13 Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.
Another joke, I’m assuming. If grown-ups find these words so boring and unpleasant, then why do they say them so much? Hey grown-ups, maybe don’t use foul language in front of kids if you don’t like it??
Continue reading here: http://demandeuphoria.blogspot.com/2011/05/when-child-hater-writes-parenting.html
There is definitely a double standard when it comes to people interacting with children. Not only are some people free with their hands, but they are also entirely too free with their mouths. At some level, maybe adults fear children because they cannot relate to them and we see from reading comments to this thread that many parents fear losing their authority unless they act aggressively towards their children at all times. Some parents think they must never let the facade drop.
Parents must learn at a deep level the importance of respecting their children even though children are lacking in all the refinements and knowledge of adults. Hey, they just arrived on the planet, cut them some slack! I suppose we have progressed somewhat. At least we no longer bury children alive in the foundations of our buildings for good luck.
Use them as soldiers? OK. Use them for sexual gratification? OK. Use them as slave labor? OK.
I think humans have a very long way to go before we can say we do more than pay lip service to the rights of our children.
Imagine a new idea as vital as democracy.
Imagine a new idea as vital as democracy. Now imagine helping it spread quickly throughout the world! Child Honouring is one such idea, an idea whose time has come.
We invite you to be a part of the global movement that views honouring children as the best way to create sustainable, peacemaking societies.
The Centre for Child Honouring – on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada – is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing Child Honouring as a universal ethic, an organizing principle for societal transformation.
Child Honouring is a unique social change revolution, one with the child at its heart. It is a positive vision that stresses “the primacy of early years” as key to activating the powerful potential of our species.
Supporting the Earth Charter and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, A Covenant for Honouring Children is a poetic declaration of our duty to respect children, “to honour their caring ideals as the heart of being human”.
The Child Honouring principles offer a guide for living as conscious beings. They constitute the basis for a multi-faith consensus on societal renewal.
At this critical point in human history, we invite you to join the Centre’s work to co-create a vast change in the human paradigm.
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)
This beautiful young man was needlessly taken from us
Reposted from the website Milkboys.
Last Sunday we lost another friend. Caio Lhennysson da Silva, 18, was found dead on a farm. He was half-naked; his mouth was full of sand and his body was showing signs of strangulation. He didn’t do anything to deserve that. He wasn’t involved with any criminal activity. He was a happy, beautiful teenager. What made him different from many people is that he was openly gay and androgynous.
He was loved by many people, but died without mercy. Every year, here in Brazil, more than 250 people die on gay-hate related crimes. I must say… I am afraid. I am afraid someone I know will be the next – Caio was a good friend of a friend of mine. I am afraid next time it could be a friend of mine, my best friend, maybe the boy I like, or even me. Today I am mourning over a stranger’s death. I mourn 250 times a year. It is ironic that the word “gay” also means happy…
On the other hand, there is some happy news. Finally homosexual civil unions are recognized here in Brazil. Now we have a lot of rights that make us a bit more equal to straight couples. There is still a lot to fight to, but it was a small victory among all our problems.
All the empty lip service we hear about protecting children is for naught. Nothing protected Caio from the barbarians that killed him.
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