A problem may arise when civil courts come to intrude with the upbringing of children about what to believe or what not to believe. But in the case of the JW mother judged about the upbringing of her son it has more to do with bringing up the child with discriminative ideas. Discrimination does not suits our civil society. All children should have the right to have contact with both parents whatever faith they may have.
All children also should not only learn about learning about mainstream Christianity or Christendom, but also about all other sorts of believes (atheism, Buddhism, Hinduism , shamanism, etc.). All children should learn that in this world there are different opinions and that every one should have respect for the different beliefs of others.
Though our society should also allow parents to bring their children into those communities they like to bring their children in, as long as they are not damaging the child. Kingdom halls are not a damaging environment. They are even less damaging than what can often be seen on television.
As the writer of the article rightly says:
“Truly enlightened parents either tell kids to investigate different religions on their own, or help them do so without promoting one over the others. “
In several countries, like in Belgium ethical and religious education is part of the education program, giving all children the opportunity to learn about all sorts of religions, humanitarian and atheist visions. States should help the weaker ones, children, to receive an unbiased education, free from brainwashing and making the pupils strong enough to detect such forms which limit the right to think freely and to detect discriminating thoughts even by their own parents.
Perhaps the statement from a New Atheist that most angers believers (or faitheists) is Richard Dawkins’s characterization of religious indoctrination of children as “child abuse.” Yes, them’s strong words, but there’s something to be said for their truth. Of course it depends on the religion, but nearly all forms of parental teaching about religion abuse the intellectual curiosity of kids by taking advantage of their natural credulity. If you’re a Christian, you teach your kids stuff that is regarded by Muslims as not only false, but worthy of death. If you’re a Christian Scientist, you teach them to reject scientific medicine, a decision that can ultimately harm or even kill them. Further, religions can instill in children horrible feelings of guilt (ask an ex-Catholic), fear of hell, and a moral code that is bigoted, irrational, and hateful.
I don’t know how to remedy this problem, because clearly the state doesn’t want to…
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