Child Abuse by Religions: Children Must Be Rescued from Religion and Restored to Humanity. (Woman in Religions)

By Innaiah, Narisetti | Free Inquiry, Summer 2003 | Go to article overview

Child Abuse by Religions: Children Must Be Rescued from Religion and Restored to Humanity. (Woman in Religions)


Innaiah, Narisetti, Free Inquiry


Our children are our own. They are ours to thrash or kill, if we choose; who are you to poke your nose in?" Yes, millions of parents still feel that way, in every part of the world. They justify harsh punishments with dictums like "You can train a plant but not a tree," or "Spare the rod and spoil the child." Too many traditional religions encourage parents to regard children as their property--or to believe that the more children they have, the better. "A child has not only a mouth but also two earning hands." Where do sayings like these come from? Which social institutions underlie much of the child abuse endemic to the world today, yet are scarcely ever accused by name? Religions, of course. It is religions that inspire and perpetuate much of the abuse that afflicts children around the globe.

Over the ages, religions have exploited the power of the bond between parents and children, fashioning priestly infrastructures that touch every aspect of life, enmeshing families ever deeper in allegiance. In most cultures this entrapment begins at or soon after birth with the naming of the baby. Parents feel it their duty to abide by religious customs, traditions and rituals. This, in turn, assures a livelihood to the priestly class.

Priests encourage parents to bring their children along when they visit places of worship. Parents obey, often hoping that experiences in the temple, church, mosque, or synagogue will help children develop faith in God and to practice ethical conduct. Children are thus controlled right from birth, in all countries and in all religions. Believing parents do not merely indoctrinate their children on the virtues of their own religion. They warn their young against embracing other religions, against following their customs and beliefs. Thus are the seeds of hatred sown, directly or indirectly, in impressionable minds.

Children are not born into religion; of necessity, they are born not even knowing what religion is. Yet, the religion of their parents is attributed to them. By the time they start talking, then writing, they can name their religion because it has been named for them. Thus steeped in religion from childhood, most people find they cannot climb free of religion later in life. Many find it impossible to shed this ingrained religious influence, even if they blossom into scientists or technologists. Education helps them carve out their careers, but they practice religion as they always have. Before you believe in anything, science demands that it be subjected to inquiry, analysis, and proof. If something cannot be proven, it should not be blindly believed. But around the world, the educated exempt religion from the scientific scrutiny they apply to everything else. When religion and science conflict, most people follow religion and give science a pass. Religion stands revealed as a barrier to human development. Th ey do not apply the scientific temperament acquired in the course of their education to matters of religion.

Beholden to their faiths or mired in tradition, parents have too often stood mute, helpless spectators to the religious abuse of children. Examples include denial of health care to children, practiced by several Christian denominations; widespread sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic and other clergy, female genital mutilation as practiced under Islam and some traditional African religions; cruel corporate punishment under Sharia law; ostracism of low-caste children, child marriage, and temple prostitution under Hinduism; and male infant circumcision, originated by Judaism. If the civilized world is sometimes outraged by such abuses; it has nonetheless kept quiet, afraid to confront religion head-on. Individuals have dared to criticize religious child abuse, only to be ignored or ostracized as "atheists."

Fortunately, some light shimmers along this dark horizon.

PROCLAIMING CHILDREN'S RIGHTS

On November 20, 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, proclaiming elementary rights for children worldwide. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Child Abuse by Religions: Children Must Be Rescued from Religion and Restored to Humanity. (Woman in Religions)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.