Breaking Their Will: The Sick Biblical Literalism That Leads to Child Abuse and Even Death

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posted on Sep, 30 2013 @ 02:59 PM
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Breaking Their Will: The Sick Biblical Literalism That Leads to Child Abuse and Even Death

Authoritarian parenting and abusive practices are all too common in some Evangelical households.
September 24, 2013


Readers, Please Note: IT SAYS "SOME". Not "all". Please keep that in mind while deciding how to respond to this article.


In 2008, Hana Williams was adopted from an orphanage in Ethiopia and brought to the United States where she died at the hands of her Bible-believing American parents. Their notion of Christian discipline required breaking her will, a remarkably common belief among conservative Evangelicals. To that end, they frequently beat her, shut her in a closet, and denied her meals. Ultimately, she was left outside where she died of hypothermia exacerbated by malnutrition. They were convicted of manslaughter this month.

In carrying out their obsession with child obedience, Hana’s adoptive parents drew tips from Tennessee preacher Michael Pearl(




posted on Sep, 30 2013 @ 03:34 PM
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That's some scary stuff there. I have had some firsthand experience dealing with those raised by fundamentalist parents. Some of those who came out of homes like this, have major mental and emotional problems, and others wish they were dead. I find it utterly incomprehensible that anyone who claims to "love Jesus" could do what these parents have done. Especially in the 21rst century.

Did we ever really come out of the dark ages?



posted on Sep, 30 2013 @ 03:39 PM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


Some of those who came out of homes like this, have major mental and emotional problems, and others wish they were dead. I find it utterly incomprehensible that anyone who claims to "love Jesus" could do what these parents have done. Especially in the 21rst century.

Did we ever really come out of the dark ages?

Hiya, Klass

Of COURSE they have mental and emotional problems - that's what this sort of parenting does to kids, who later become adults and repeat the process with their own kids (or, become pastors and TEACH this kind of thing to other 'trusting' parents).

It seems we are REVERTING to the dark ages. More and more I think it was in the era of the USA founding fathers that people 'had it right.'

I'm not denying there may be a 'Creator' or 'Divine Source', and I won't rule it out; but, the "God" of the Bible and Koran are anthropomorphized inventions of MEN who dwelt in fear and developed a "guilt complex" to put onto others.

I think one of the most damaging things taught in the Abrahamic religions is "original sin." What a load.



posted on Sep, 30 2013 @ 05:22 PM
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wildtimes

I think one of the most damaging things taught in the Abrahamic religions is "original sin." What a load.


From my point of view the eating of the apple of knowledge of good and evil represents the belief in duality. The egos belief in that you can judge another person fairly without having all the details of everything that is.

I kinda agree with that it is a stupid thing to do to not listen to others and try to understand all views and then base your judgment on the fruits of what occurs.

This behavior described in this book is clearly ego demonic since it is not loving caring and nurturing to get the child to connect with god spiritually to the greatest ability and awareness of the child. These people are doing the opposite destroying the connection that the children are born with. Some days I think there are more goats than sheep left in the so called "Christian church". How far humanity have fallen. "Christians" in name but true satanists in action.
edit on 30-9-2013 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 30 2013 @ 05:29 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


...yes WT.... horrible...

.. almost as if they wanted to copy the start of the Era of Reason:

" accept our New Era of Reason : or get your head chopped off "

the French Revolution, with its Mass Murdering by Gulliotine



posted on Sep, 30 2013 @ 08:00 PM
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reply to post by Lone12
 


.. almost as if they wanted to copy the start of the Era of Reason:

" accept our New Era of Reason : or get your head chopped off "

What?

I'm aware of the revolution in France. It influenced MANY of the founding fathers of the USA.

I wish that you were more able to express your beliefs, rather than judging everyone else and projecting onto them (as in, when you stated that my other thread about Unitarian Universalists was somehow a result of your posts in the forum).

edit on 9/30/13 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 30 2013 @ 09:41 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I never perceived God as vengeful or wrathful. I have always thought of Him as a loving father. I never blame God for the failures of people to live to what they profess.

Certainly God does at times have to correct us if we need it, but never to the point of complete and abjective torture. And God certainly does not want us to live in fear. That simply is not what God desires for us. In fact, only God was able to minister to me in my childhood that the adults inflicted on me, but it was not because of being Evangelistic, it was because they did not grasp the concept that children are special.

As a Christian I would not agree with any parent who would treat their children with abuse. In fact, there are people sitting in jail tonight because I spoke up against them to their face and would not allow them to continue. It has nothing to do with Christianity, it has everything to do with as the Bible says, the heart of man is desperately wicked, who can understand it.

But I have to ask, what is the motivation for you? Are you more against religion or are you for protecting children? When I was a child, it would not have mattered to me who helped me, but when I was a child, what helped me the most was when I called out to God in the innocence of my heart, I didn't know God, I had never experienced God, but when I was a child, I heard that God loves me and so I did the only thing I thought to do. I prayed. I know it might sound corny or strange to you, but would you want to remove hope from children?

I can't imagine my life without God. But I never blamed God for the faults of people.

I am glad you said some, but at the same time, these so-called Christians are not really Christian. They serve a god of their imagination. If I could just take you to that day, because I remember it very clearly, a 10 year-old girl who had no help, no defense and certainly no way out, except for a glimmer of hope in a God that I heard loves me. And He did.

Why don't you ask more Christian people who have had these experiences and how God helped them? If God were mere air or elements or even nothing, that does not minister to hurting people. The Christian message is about helping, not hurting. And it's as wrong to remove hope from people.

I know you and I disagree about religion and other things, but I will tell you this, it is not evil indoctrination to tell children about God. What is evil indoctrination is telling children to go out and hurt someone in the name of God. I don't know what Christian message you have been introduced to, but it's not the same one I know.

I am not going to tell people my life story on a forum such as this, but I will assure you that it was my life. If you meet a so-called Christian that is abusive, then do what I do and call the police. Put them in jail if you have to, but don't go out looking for religious people to blame them for something they might not even be guilty of.

Even atheists and agnostics indoctrinate and abuse their children, but I don't hear condemnation against them.



posted on Oct, 1 2013 @ 08:58 AM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 



Even atheists and agnostics indoctrinate and abuse their children, but I don't hear condemnation against them.

Indy,
thank you for your response.

Every child is unique. I am happy for you that you found strength in believing in a loving God despite your unhappy circumstances. That sort of 'faith and comfort' is wonderful.

I did not bring up agnostics and atheists in this thread, because the article is about SOME EVANGELICAL households. I think I've made it clear in my tenure here that I am against all forms of child abuse.

I have spoken at inservices and a national conference for the Prevention of Child Abuse America (back in 2006), as a specialist in Children & Families and Early Childhood Development. I have worked with kids from pre-birth to adolescents, and adults as well.

I have an in-depth awareness of current understandings of how the brain develops, and I must emphasize that EACH CHILD will respond to his/her environment in their own way. One kid can come from an abusive home and turn out great. Another may sink into depression, mental illness/personality disorders, etc. Resilience is not a guarantee, just as musicality or adeptness at math or athletics.

Every child beginning as a newborn - (scores of whom I've met and known) - has a specific temperament, sensitivity, general mood, and learning style. It is up to the PARENTS and CAREGIVERS to identify those traits, and then adapt care-giving/parenting TO THE CHILD'S STYLE - NOT force the child into the parent/care-giver's style.

Some kids, such as yourself, find hope and strength outside of their family - and it "tweaks" their trajectory. In your case it was not an actual human being, and that's great for you. But even ONE supportive, calm, caring adult - whether a neighbor, teacher, or whoever - can make a difference in the trajectory of a child. It doesn't even require "training" or "titles" - just being a compassionate, patient, approachable, thoughtful, and RESPECTFUL person can make a HUGE difference.

What I object to is the indoctrination of children that INCLUDES psychological and emotional abuse; fear, self-loathing, unworthiness, shame, guilt, and terror of being hurt by others, whether real (as with abusive parents), or imagined ("Satan, demons, and hell"). This can occur within religious or irreligious households. It's WRONG to teach children they deserve to be beaten and sent to hell forever; it's WRONG to beat them into submission and call it "God's will".

Fundamentalist, shame-inducing, hell-fire religious dogma has ruined COUNTLESS lives; there are programs and sites now that offer help and hope to those "recovering from religion".

In my case, by the time I was 8 or so, when I was old enough to pay attention to the words said by the congregation in unison according to "the Creed" and "the Prayers" - I was hearing myself and everyone else say, "Forgive us our trespasses" "We are not so worthy as to gather up the crumbs under thy table" (Prayer of Humble Access)
and then, of course, the Prayer of Confession and Pardon:

"Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone."

I was a little kid! A good girl, a thoughtful one; WHY did I have to say this EVERY SUNDAY? WHY would God starve me rather than give me crumbs? What did I do? What did I FAIL to do? What thoughts, words and deeds was a guilty of? It was like being forced to play a game while NOT KNOWING THE RULES.

"We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves." We haven't? Why was my mother saying this, and why was I supposed to say it, too!?? What did I do to my neighbors? How did I not love God enough? I said my prayers every night, I obeyed my parents; what else was I to do??

"We are truly sorry and we humbly repent, for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen."
We are sorry? We humbly repent? FOR WHAT?!!!

I just couldn't understand, Indy, why I was such a "bad girl" in the eyes of God that not even crumbs should be given to me.

THESE are the things that harmed MY OWN self-worth, MY OWN understanding of God. It was cruel, especially for a thoughtful, sensitive, little girl who was doing her best to be good! No one beat me, no one starved me, my parents took care of me - why was my mother saying these things? Was she "bad"? Was I "bad"?

I hope you can see how this rote repetition of "worthlessness" and "guilt" affected ME, PERSONALLY, as a child - it's not nearly the same as what happened to little Hana in the OP, or to you, but it affected me nevertheless.

THIS is why I think children are better left to explore God and religions on their own WHEN THEY WANT TO, and not to be indoctrinated at a tender age.



posted on Oct, 1 2013 @ 09:07 AM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 



Certainly God does at times have to correct us if we need it, but never to the point of complete and abjective torture. And God certainly does not want us to live in fear. That simply is not what God desires for us.

I'm glad to hear this. So, Indy, do you believe in "hell"? Do you operate out of fear of that punishment?

MOST Christian denominations teach this very thing. I was never threatened with "hell" by anyone, but I sure as 'hell' got the message that I was a worthless ne'er-do-well!! So, when I learned about "hell", it only made sense that I must be going there because I wasn't "good enough."



posted on Oct, 1 2013 @ 12:44 PM
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wildtimes
reply to post by WarminIndy
 



Certainly God does at times have to correct us if we need it, but never to the point of complete and abjective torture. And God certainly does not want us to live in fear. That simply is not what God desires for us.

I'm glad to hear this. So, Indy, do you believe in "hell"? Do you operate out of fear of that punishment?

MOST Christian denominations teach this very thing. I was never threatened with "hell" by anyone, but I sure as 'hell' got the message that I was a worthless ne'er-do-well!! So, when I learned about "hell", it only made sense that I must be going there because I wasn't "good enough."



Wildtimes,

I do not believe children go to hell. I do not operate out of fear of hell. I do believe that there is a heaven and a hell, but I cannot judge who would go to either. That is something I leave to people between them and God.

I do believe that there has to be some type of punishment for those who are so wicked in this life. A child stealing a cookie is not wicked...which reminds me, Hollywood has remade Carrie and that explored this issue also, a fundamentalist mother pushes innocent daughter that is bullied to the extreme that she has no other choice but to kill them all with telekensis, but I digress, this topic just reminded me of that.

We do have the concept of Age of Accountability. That means that people can't be held accountable for things they have no understanding of because of their youth and innocence. I have always believed God gives grace most to children. After all, Jesus did say allow the children to come unto to me and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus also said that if anyone hurts these little ones, it would be better if a millstone were hung around their neck and they were tossed into the sea. He was talking about the ones hurting children or those who were innocent or defenseless. So the Christian message is that God cares for children.

As far as heaven and hell, I believe that there is a place for each of us in an eternal plan. There are some people that I know that were very cruel people but they believed they were going to heaven. I just pray this "God, I don't know the heaven you took them to, but let them be in their paradise and let me be in my paradise with you".

I do believe there is going to be a judgement for our works. But I do not believe that God judges children because children just simply do not have the capacity to understand right from wrong. Even though they might do good and bad things, they just don't understand.

But let me ask you this...do you think the young boys who killed their classmates in Jonesboro, Ark. do you think they were good or bad children?

But if you ask whether or not I operate in fear of hell, well, there's people who think I am going to hell anyway for not going to their church.....and I'm a Christian.I won't judge who is going to heaven or hell, the end moment of someone's life is between them and God. But as there is an eternal reward, there must be an eternal punishment.

But what do you think should happen to parents who screw their childrens' lives up that badly? Do you think those parents should be punished or rewarded? The law can only do so much, it can't change a life, it can only attempt to address what is here and now.

The preaching of heaven and hell addresses what happens to people who do things in this life that are right and wrong. People do get by with cruelty in this life, so should we say there no accountability for what they do? In that case, then karma has no place either. And that's what it is about, accountability. If you left people without the concept of accountability, then they will continue to get worse.



posted on Oct, 1 2013 @ 12:52 PM
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wildtimes
reply to post by WarminIndy
 



Certainly God does at times have to correct us if we need it, but never to the point of complete and abjective torture. And God certainly does not want us to live in fear. That simply is not what God desires for us.

I'm glad to hear this. So, Indy, do you believe in "hell"? Do you operate out of fear of that punishment?

MOST Christian denominations teach this very thing. I was never threatened with "hell" by anyone, but I sure as 'hell' got the message that I was a worthless ne'er-do-well!! So, when I learned about "hell", it only made sense that I must be going there because I wasn't "good enough."



And I don't know why any one would make any child feel worthless. But as an adult now, what makes someone "good enough"? We all are good enough for love.

I witnessed a parent tell their 18 year-old daughter that she was not "good enough" because the girl was a little pudgy, not even overweight. The woman and I had words because her daughter could not do anything right enough for her, and that woman was not a Christian. So it's not just Christian, but when parents make their children feel they aren't good enough because they can't do all the great things parents think they should, then that's just as devastating. The woman had been a model and wanted the daughter to be one also. It's also indoctrination for telling girls that in order to be beautiful they have to dress a certain way or be skinny, or whatever.

It's also indoctrination to make boys think they have the right to "sow their wild oats" or that "boys will be boys". Give that message to boys long enough and what happens?

I am sorry you were made to think you were not good enough. But that wasn't God that said that, it was people.



posted on Oct, 1 2013 @ 01:12 PM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 



But as there is an eternal reward, there must be an eternal punishment.

MANY religions teach that paradise is earned by trials in physical life; and if one does not attain 'paradise' they come back and have a "do over" - until they DO!

Remedial lifetimes, if you like. THIS makes more sense to me than "hell." Having to return again and again to this life of suffering, hardship, sorrows, trouble, pain, and 'evildoings' of others....until one understands the "Christ Mind" or whatever you want to call it.

Not ETERNAL PUNISHMENT. Effectively it's like "repeating a grade", over and over, until you pass the exams.

If God is truly patient and merciful, why would he NOT provide chances until success is achieved? THAT would be a just, merciful "judge" and "God." NOT eternal punishment and separation from God.

No parent worth their salt "disowns" a child, no matter how wayward...no. A patient, wise parent gives the child EVERY opportunity, and their love for the child is UNCONDITIONAL -

"No matter what you do, I will ALWAYS love you, and ALWAYS be here for you. It hurts me when you make mistakes and are suffering; it breaks my heart...but I love you BEYOND my own pain. I will love you forever."

THAT IS A CARING PARENT. Any "God" who is incapable or unwilling to behave like a normal, loving parent does IS NOT WORTHY OF PRAISE.

I hope you get what I mean. And I hope we understand one another better now.
Cheers.
edit on 10/1/13 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2013 @ 01:34 PM
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wildtimes
reply to post by Lone12
 


.. almost as if they wanted to copy the start of the Era of Reason:

" accept our New Era of Reason : or get your head chopped off "

What?

I'm aware of the revolution in France. It influenced MANY of the founding fathers of the USA.

I wish that you were more able to express your beliefs, rather than judging everyone else and projecting onto them (as in, when you stated that my other thread about Unitarian Universalists was somehow a result of your posts in the forum).

edit on 9/30/13 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)


*grin*

says who ?
- one, who is bent on smearing a belief,
showing Abberations of it...?

you are a Plain COWARD, WT.

Pathetic.

I showed you,
how yóur so-dear-held-belief of "reason " does EXACTLY the same.

but nooooo
you try Hide that fact.

Your choice.

Yóu have a Forked Tongue, Sir.
Not me.



posted on Oct, 1 2013 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I get what you mean. You don't want to praise a God that does love His children, but one that still has to punish His children. I think good parenting includes correction, but then again, how would I know what a good parent does.

In my view, if a parent does not stop their children for playing in traffic, and then that child gets run over, then who is to blame? That child is eternally dead, we can't bring back that child to continue playing in traffic over and over and over again until it gets the point to not play in traffic. No matter how much that parent loves that child, once it plays in traffic and is killed, that parent no longer has that child.

And that's the point of hell, the separation of that parent and child. It doesn't matter how much you love that child, when it's gone, it's gone. And that is what hell is, the separation of God and His children.

Don't you think it is a little cruel to bring people back just to let them keep on doing what they want over and over and over again and to be killed over and over and over again? That is more torturous, and not about trials and tribulations.

Do you think men like Hitler should come back over and over and over again until they get the point that they should not kill others? Or should men like Hitler be stopped once and for all?

If you have the worldview that we come back over and over and over again until we get it right, then that gives Hitler the opportunity to come back and do what he does until he doesn't do it again. If you want your worldview to apply to all people, then it applies to Hitler as well. And it sounds like in your worldview "Hitler needs compassion, he was just in a transitional phase from his previous life to this life learning how to get it right, he will eventually get there, so back off Hitler because he's simply going from life to life."

Is it right to keep inflicting Hitler onto the world until he learns? Your worldview has to apply for all people, including the most evil and heinous.



posted on Oct, 1 2013 @ 03:54 PM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 




In my view, if a parent does not stop their children for playing in traffic, and then that child gets run over, then who is to blame? That child is eternally dead, we can't bring back that child to continue playing in traffic over and over and over again until it gets the point to not play in traffic. No matter how much that parent loves that child, once it plays in traffic and is killed, that parent no longer has that child.

And that's the point of hell, the separation of that parent and child. It doesn't matter how much you love that child, when it's gone, it's gone. And that is what hell is, the separation of God and His children.


Is that what God does, allow his children to play in traffic? When the child gets hit by a car, it is eternally separated from it's parent, God?



Do you think men like Hitler should come back over and over and over again until they get the point that they should not kill others? Or should men like Hitler be stopped once and for all?


Yep. Hitler, Caligula, Pilot and Judas too!

"You must be born again"!


There can't be an infinite punishment for finite sin.



posted on Oct, 1 2013 @ 04:49 PM
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windword
reply to post by WarminIndy
 




Do you think men like Hitler should come back over and over and over again until they get the point that they should not kill others? Or should men like Hitler be stopped once and for all?




Yep. Hitler, Caligula, Pilot and Judas too!

"You must be born again"!


There can't be an infinite punishment for finite sin.


Do you think Hitler committed only a finite sin? Do you think the effects of Hitler were only from 1930-1945? This is 2013 and we are still talking about him, aren't we? Murder is not a finite sin, it has affected the future, always. Sexual abuse is not a finite sin. Stealing a cookie, now that's a finite sin.

So you think the American government giving blankets with small pox to Native Americans was finite or not? Should Andrew Jackson be given a pass because it was something that happened in 1828? We still have reservations today because of that. So some sins are not finite. Caligula having sex with willing partners, that's finite. Caligula torturing and murdering, well it must not be finite, we are talking about Caligula as well.

In your view, what is sin anyway?
edit on 10/1/2013 by WarminIndy because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2013 @ 04:51 PM
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WarminIndy

windword
reply to post by WarminIndy
 




Do you think men like Hitler should come back over and over and over again until they get the point that they should not kill others? Or should men like Hitler be stopped once and for all?


Yep. Hitler, Caligula, Pilot and Judas too!


And is it Pilate, as in Pontius PILATE.

edit on 10/1/2013 by WarminIndy because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2013 @ 04:55 PM
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It is child abuse to force any child into a religion, It should be banned.
Let the children make up their own minds...Oh wait that would mean no more religion.



posted on Oct, 1 2013 @ 05:20 PM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 





Is that what God does, allow his children to play in traffic? When the child gets hit by a car, it is eternally separated from it's parent, God


You never answered this^ question.



Do you think Hitler committed only a finite sin?


Hitler's life and the scope of his influence IS finite.

It's God that allows sin. It's God that gave Hitler the power that he had. God is responsible for ALL the atrocities of the world.



In your view, what is sin anyway?


Sin is failing to abide by the moral compass of your own inner being. I don't know what Hitler's moral compass was, but I do know that he thought he was doing right by humanity.

Yeah, I believe in reincarnation, and, to me, it reflects ultimate grace and justice.


edit on 1-10-2013 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2013 @ 08:27 PM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 



I get what you mean. You don't want to praise a God that does love His children, but one that still has to punish His children. I think good parenting includes correction, but then again, how would I know what a good parent does.


PUNISHMENT is not what a merciful 'God' does. DISCIPLINE is quite a different thing.

And, I don't know.....how WOULD you know what a good parent does?





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