7/06/2010 | Share this article: View CommentsBy freddieb42 --
Being fearless is a right
For a long time I've read many posts on this site (here and in the forums) from ex-Christians who cannot escape the indoctrination they received from their religion during their childhood years regarding "hell". It seems to be a recurring theme that appears to affect so many lives, for so many years, in a crippling, sometimes disastrous manner, long after someone has escaped the shackles of Christianity. There have been several postings even in the past week regarding hell and the inability to throw off the fear.
I've toyed with the idea of raising the matter with the UN, who have set standards and rules for the care of children Worldwide regarding many issues related to the education and upbringing of children, including those of sexual, physical and mental abuse. In my view, instilling the fear of hell into children is gross mental abuse, as great an abuse as any other. It's a form of bullying, seeking control and power over young lives in an insidious way, leading to crippled emotions, lack of normal expression of thought, deed and ambition, with the vision of eternal life in a seething, boiling lake of fire after death as punishment for disobeying, or not believing in their god, or not complying with the demands of their religion as set down by their church leaders.
No child should be expected to live and grow up with any fear and no adult should be allowed to instil fear in a child for any reason. even (least of all) religion. It's not even as if it's a standard teaching across all religious sects; so which religion is teaching the "truth"? The various sects can't seem to agree on what "hell" is, whether it's fire or everlasting death or if it's for all non-believers or just sinners, or just those who don't repent their sins, etc. The various sects all appear to differ in their interpretations of the bible and what hell means. Then, of course, we have the various stages after death; limbo, purgatory, judgement, creating even more fear. If a person chooses to believe in a god, then that's their choice, but they shouldn't have to be forced to take all the trappings along with that belief.
My view is that if religions cannot prove/substantiate that what they are teaching the children of this World is the truth and not just the writings of religious zealots of 2000 years ago, then they should forced to discontinue their teachings, especially when its fear that they are teaching.