Religious Child Maltreatment

Religion is no excuse for beating or killing your child, for physically or emotionally hurting a child. “God told me to” won’t stand up in court for good reason, and for any other scenario when the perpetrator told them an imaginary voice told them to do it they’d be carted off to a mental ward. Why does religion sometimes get an easier ride? The parents didn’t “mean well”, it wasn’t an accident, and even without religion these people would still find a way to exact their warped intentions on an innocent being. Why do some things get chalked up to ‘culture’ and ‘belief’? Regardless of where you’re from, who you are, or what you believe, it’s fairly obvious that hurting a child is not acceptable, not in this day and age. Perhaps that’s the problem, some people are still living in the Dark Ages of superstition and punishment. We are privileged to have education, and the ability to develop emotional intelligence sufficient enough to at least co-exist if not help one another.

Join the movement to end child abuse: www.1sta...

Join the movement to end child abuse: http://www.1stand.org (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not having a go at religion itself or saying this applies to all religious people, but there’s no doubt some people use religion as an excuse for violence and abuse, a way to disengage from their own responsibility, ‘God’ forbid they would ever have to feel guilt or culpability. I am disgusted to still be reading things like this article here.

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6 responses

  1. I couldn’t imagine having ANY type of excuse for harming my child in anyway, be it physical or mental..
    I can’t believe some of the things that actually happen around us.. these are some of the reasons why I make sure my children never go a day without knowing how much I love them………..some children just aren’t that lucky..

    • That’s great that you make sure your children always know, it’s true some children aren’t anywhere near that lucky. The worst thing is that the monsters doing this to children very rarely accept responsibility or feel remorse, they stick to the story that they meant well or they were doing God’s work. What a messed up world it can be.

  2. As the person who coined the term “religious child maltreatment,” I applaud you for calling attention to this problem. I do not know what particular case you were referring to, because the video only showed me an ad, but I have probably reviewed hundreds of RCM cases, cases in which children suffer at the hands of adults who believe, or claim to believe, they are fulfilling a religious mandate. A chief problem here, as Ruthbug points out, is that the perpetrators often do not recognize that their actions are abusive or neglectful.
    This is not an attack on all religion, but we do have to come to terms with the fact that certain religious environments are unhealthy for children. My book details just how to identify those environments, as does this blog: http://religiouschildmaltreatment.com/2011/04/what-is-religious-child-maltreatment/. We should also note that it does no good to point fingers at any particular faith or faith group. Rather, we need to look at the religious culture or community in which a child is raised. This applies whether we are talking about a culture that identifies itself as being Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or of another reilgion.
    Sincerely,
    Janet Heimlich, author of BREAKING THEIR WILL: SHEDDING LIGHT ON RELIGIOUS CHILD MALTREATMENT

    • Ms Heimlich, I am honoured to receive a response from you, it was actually your article ‘The Last Victims: A letter to Zariah’ which I had linked to in this post, but as you have now informed me the link may be broken, I shall fix this. Your writing sheds light on the fact that these horrific events are still happening, and must be stopped.

      I completely agree with your article and your aim to spread awareness on an issue which is still prominent and should not be. I hope that you shall continue your excellent work, and that it reaches those who are still under the delusion that hurting a child in the name of whatever God they may believe in is not acceptable.

      Many thanks again for taking the time to comment,
      Ruthbug

    • Thank you Janet, I appreciate that. Although the group does state it welcomes people of all faiths including “non-believers,” which I would probably be categorised by others as being, my personal views are not as clearly defined that way. I do not advocate or condemn religious upbringing for other people, unless there is abuse or indoctrination of any kind, but personally it is not something I support or would do, and therefore cannot claim to be an advocate of child friendly faith, instead just simply child friendly upbringing, for which all that is needed is love and provision, not any particular religion.

      Thanks again, kind regards,
      Ruth

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