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Andrew, I think you've pinpointed a genuine dilemma here. On the one hand, people do have the right to their own beliefs, and (I guess . . . here's where the dilemma comes in) pass those beliefs to their children. At the same time, to poison young people's minds with such utterly vicious, superstitious, life-negative bullshit seems in some objective sense to be a repugnant violation of any sane values. A dilemma with goring horns and sharp teeth.
Bertold, you bring up a good point about religion and child abuse. While society presently doesn't equate religion in its entirety as abuse, at least we are seeing legislation banning gay conversion therapy, in addition to laws already in place banning FGM. And we're also seeing pushback against religious exemptions when it comes to vaccinations and withholding medical care. At least some of these worst practices are being eschewed. .
That's a very hard question to answer, Plinius. Parents who induct children into religion really do believe they are doing a right and moral deed. Fundamentalists aside, even the vast majority of religious people who make up watered-down, mainstream religions think what they are doing is innocuous.
Since terminating religion cannot be legislated away, we can only rely on changing minds. Fortunately being non-religious is the current trend, despite how excruciatingly slow it is happening.
Who was it who said:
"Religion is like a penis.
It's fine to have one. It's fine to be proud of it.
But please don't wave it around in public.
And do not try to shove it down my children's throats."
Hopefully one day indoctrinating children into religious beliefs will be recognized as child abuse.
What do you think of the freedom of parents to shove religion down their childrens' throats? Where does that freedom end and the freedom of the child start?
I went to Catholic school through 8th grade, and by then I'd had more than a lifetime supply. Religious freedom is a good thing, and an important thing. But let's not forget that it means everyone's free to believe whatever bullshit they want. It doesn't mean they get to shove it down other people's throats.
Those arguments are akin to "I don't care if you're gay. Just don't kiss or hold hands in public or tell me you're gay. Why do you feel the need to shove it down my throat?"
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