reply to post by WarminIndy
Even atheists and agnostics indoctrinate and abuse their children, but I don't hear condemnation against them.
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
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
"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
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.