In an interesting article on The History of Spanking in Canada at CBC.ca, it states that “all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse” became illegal in Canada in 1991.
Is it just me, or does religion fall into the category of mental abuse? After all, there many, many things morally wrong with telling your child that there is an all-powerful being up in the sky who hears all of your thoughts and will send you to burn in hell should you do wrong.
To the doubtful, it appears that mental abuse is not the only concern that religion may raise, in fact, almost all of the issues raised in the article pertain to violent acts committed at religious institutions. But how were these kids NOT being mentally abused before the physical abuse set in!?:
“A pastor from the Church of God in Aylmer, Ont., defends members of his church who reportedly beat their children. Four boys and three girls were removed from the family home by Ontario’s Family and Children’s Services, which says the youngsters must be protected from being regularly hit with belts, sticks, chains or other objects.”
“The Children’s Aid Society in Windsor, Ont., seizes five children from a fundamentalist Christian school. The teenaged daughter of the school’s supervisor said students were being beaten with a rod.”
“In a second spanking case related to the Aylmer, Ont., Church of God, a family comes under investigation for its disciplinary practices. The family is called to the offices of the local Children’s Aid Society for questioning. In a previous interview with CBC TV, the mother said that a strap is used only as a last resort, and that her children know the discipline is given with love.”
“Five children taken into custody by the Children’s Aid Society of Windsor are returned to their parents. The children had been beaten at their fundamentalist Christian school. The CAS says it will stay involved with the children and the school and may offer counselling on alternative forms of discipline.”
“Lucille Poulin, a 78-year-old religious commune leader in Prince Edward Island who disciplined children by beating them with a wooden paddle, is found guilty of five counts of assault. Judge David Jenkins says the use of “the rod” went beyond spanking, to beating the children. He says he believed the testimony of five children, who said the beatings left them with bruises and led them to pass out. Poulin says she was just doing what God told her to do.“
“Lucille Poulin is sentenced to eight months in jail and three years’ probation for assaulting five children who lived at a religious commune in Hazel Grove, P.E.I. During the trial, Poulin said sections of the Bible suggest using beatings to discipline children and to dissuade them from evil.”
Christopher Hitchens said it best:
Here is my challenge… name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever. And here is my second challenge. Can any reader of this column think of a wicked statement made, or an evil action performed, precisely because of religious faith? The second question is easy to answer, is it not? The first — I have been asking it for some time — awaits a convincing reply. By what right, then, do the faithful assume this irritating mantle of righteousness? They have as much to apologize for as to explain.
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