Friday, February 29, 2008
Brain washing is the main aim and for that purpose they inculcate hate culture against Wesernization, human values, and secular principles. The primary aim is remaking the nation to establish Hindu hegemony in all spheres. Hindu political symbols are used extensively in schools. Militancy and sacredness is clubbed into children to rouse the emotions of the students. Sanskrit slokas are chanted and sanskrit is treated as a sacred language of Hindus. Rituals and extra-curricular activities are a regular practice where students are preached hate culture. Physical education with Yoga is given top importance and a strong body is a must to fight against the evil forces of anti Hindu culture. Only devotional music is encouraged in the schools. RSS wish to spread their indoctrination culture through these schools throughout the country.
1.Ed Ed.Christophe Jaffrelot
SANGH PARIVAR A Reader
Oxford University press 2005
Available from Indiaclub.com http://www.indiaclub.com/Shop/SearchResults.asp?ProdStock=23533
Thanks to Innaiah Narisetti for this information about religious abuse of children in India.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
This is Professor James Dwyer's point, the dignity of children is not respected by parents that indoctrinate them (or have others do it for them) into a religion. Using your child to further the growth of or sustain a sect or church (such as the Catholics are famous for doing) is reducing them to instruments the institution can manipulate.
Parents also consign their children to a religion for egotistical reasons to demonstrate they are pious or they simply bow to pressure from ecclesiastical authority to achieve their approval and good standing.
Children have a right to choose their own beliefs when they grow to maturity.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Yes, some people who were indoctrinated during early childhood maybe able to break away when they leave their family home and go out into the world. Many apostates look back in anger and disgust when they contemplate the loss of their childhood to religion or think about how they were duped. Some children who belong to sects like Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventist are marginalized by their peers because they cannot participate in the youth culture all around them. They have no idea how to be "cool" or what to talk about, how to dress or what is happening in popular culture. To be marginalized as a teen is the worst fate that can befall them.
If they were captured by a fundamentalist sect we can assume they absorbed a lot of sexism and mis-information about American history, government, science, their sexuality, and human reproduction. Once free, they don't suddenly subscribe to Mother Jones, and start reading On the Origin of Species or the philosophy of John Locke, David Hume, and Emmanual Kant. If a child is led into a church at the age of 3 and does not escape until they are 18 they have experienced 15 years of mind rape, the effects of which are not suddenly going to dissipate overnight. Leaving a religion is a long process for most people. It can take years and apostates can suffer debilitating anguish in the process. Many require professional psychological assistance and help from support groups. And yes, I use the terms "captured", "mind rape" and "escape" advisedly.
Atheists waste precious time studying and debating the faithful over esoteric theological or historical points and rarely make believers see the light anyway. So why waste time debating theology? Let's plow the more fertile ground of apostasy. Because, there is absolutely no defense for the way that apostates are treated, or should I say mistreated. You don't need to be an expert to understand the harm that follows an apostate's decision to leave. Or for that matter, the mental anguish they go through coming to the decision.
Why do believers feel they have a right to treat apostates badly? It doesn't help that all their holy texts tell them to do this in plain language. Let's debate religionists on this point. This is where they will have a hard time justifying themselves. I seriously doubt ecclesiastic authorities give the slightest thought whatsoever to the harm their religions might do to their members. Except maybe a few Catholic Bishops are beginning to understand that pederasty among their priests probably harms their bottom line. No pun intended.
Besides encouragement by religious texts, there are more mundane reasons that apostates get treated badly. In some respects the apostate is like a bad omen -- they are treated like they have a communicable disease. If they are disgruntled they may just pull more members from the tribe. Secondly, there is the financial loss of the apostate's tithes. If a lot of the clan depart, repairing the steeple, replacing the roof and repaving the parking lot might be impossible. Members that stay ask, "now how are we to pay the electric bill and repay the loan we have from the bank?" Some "stayers" are heavy stakeholders. They have put money, time and effort in their institutions. If a lot of members follow the apostate out the door, those left behind are like people holding devalued stock certificates. Psychologically, many cannot swallow the loss and move on so they continue to stay even though they may have chewed all the flavor out of their religious gum a long time ago.
We sometimes protest religions that proselytize, even though social liberals say criticizing religions for this practice is wrong. After all we secularists make concerted efforts to gain adherents to our point of view. Thoroughly understanding and then attacking the harm that religions do to their members minds and wallets should not elicit the same kinds of objections. And it cannot be turned against us because we put no pressure on people to come or go. We offer no blandishments of immortality or threats of hell.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
The Relationship Rights of Children
James G. Dwyer
Hardback (ISBN-13: 9780521862240, ISBN-10: 0521862248)
The book presents the first sustained theoretical analysis of what rights children should possess in connection with state decision making about their personal relationships which the state does in numerous aspects of family law, including paternity, adoption, custody and visitation, termination of parental rights, and grandparent visitation. It examines the nature and normative foundation of adults’ rights in connection with relationships among themselves and then assesses the extent to which the moral principles underlying adults’ rights apply also to children. It concludes that the law should ascribe to children rights equivalent (though not identical) to those which adults enjoy, and this would require substantial changes in the way the legal system treats children, including a reformation of the rules for establishing legal parent-child relationships at birth and of the rules for deciding whether to end a parent-child relationship.
· Combines extensive description of existing law with in-depth but easily comprehensible philosophical analysis
· Proposes specific and controversial legal reforms using model statutes • It has an international focus describing and critiquing the laws not just in the
The Case of Homeschooling
This essay is included in:
Political and Moral Education, NOMOS XLIII, Stephen Macedo and Yael Tamir, eds., New York: New York University Press, 2002.
An extended version of the essay is included as chapter six in:
Rob Reich, Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Education
University of Chicago Press, 2002.
Religious Schools vs. Childrens Rights
James G. Dwyer
Despair over the reported inadequacies of public education leads many people to consider religious schools as an alternative. James G. Dwyer demonstrates, however, that religious schooling is almost completely unregulated and that common pedagogical practices in fundamentalist Christian and Catholic schools may be damaging to children. He presents evidence of excessive restriction of children's basic liberties, stifling of intellectual development, the instilling of dogmatic and intolerant attitudes, as well as the infliction of psychological and emotional harms, including excessive guilt and repression and, especially among girls, diminished self-esteem.Courts, legal and political theorists, and the public typically argue that families and religious communities are entitled to raise their children as they see fit and that the state must remain neutral on religious matters. Dwyer proposes an alternative framework for state policy regarding religious schooling and other child-rearing practices, urging that the focus always be on what is best, from a secular perspective, for the affected children. He argues that the children who attend religious schools have a right to adequate state regulation and oversight of their education. States are obligated to ensure that such schools do not engage in harmful practices and that they provide their students with the training necessary for pursuit of a broad range of careers and for full citizenship in a pluralistic, democratic society.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Technorati Tags: children's rights CRC
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
More than 6,000 articles and chapters. Topics include Old and New Testament, Theology, Ethics, History and Sociology of Religion, Communication and Cultural Studies, Pastoral Care, Counseling, Homiletics, Worship, Missions and Religious Education.
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The Atheist Alliance can be reached by mail at the following address:
Atheist Alliance International, P.O. Box 234, Pocopson, PA 19366
Go here for all the news about Richard Dawkins project to end the God delusion. Books, DVDs, personal appearances and debates, the Out campaign, and a very intelligent forum.
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The Reason Project is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. The Reason Project will draw on the talents of prominent and creative thinkers in a wide range of disciplines — science, law, literature, entertainment, information technology, etc. — to encourage critical thinking and wise public policy. It will convene conferences, produce films, sponsor scientific research and opinion polls, award grants to other non-profit organizations, and offer material support to religious dissidents and public intellectuals — all with the purpose of eroding the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world. The Reason Project was founded by Sam Harris and Annaka Harris.
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Go to the web site to view the amazing list of thinkers Sam Harris has recruited for this project. Read his two best selling books for clear insightful writing on the dangers posed by ancient ignorant thinking and morals that guide billions of people on the planet.
Letter to A Christian Nation
I dare you to read this book…it will not leave you unchanged. Read it if it is the last thing you do.
—Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion
From his Foreward to the UK Edition
It’s a shame that not everyone in this country will read Sam Harris’ marvelous little book. They won’t, but they should.
— Leonard Susskind, Felix Bloch Professor in theoretical physics at Stanford University, author of The Cosmic Landscape
Sam Harris’s elegant little book is most refreshing and a wonderful source of ammunition for those who, like me, hold to no religious doctrine. Yet I have some sympathy also with those who might be worried by his uncompromising stance. Read it and form your own view, but do not ignore its message.
— Sir Roger Penrose, emeritus professor of mathematics at Oxford, author of The Road to Reality.
Reviews of The End of Faith:
The End of Faith by Sam Harris is a genuinely frightening book about terrorism, and the central role played by religion in justifying and rewarding it. Others blame “extremists” who “distort” the “true” message of religion. Harris goes to the root of the problem: religion itself. Even moderate religion is a menace, because it leads us to respect and “cherish the idea that certain fantastic propositions can be believed without evidence”. Why do men like Bin Laden commit their hideous cruelties? The answer is that they “actually believe what they say they believe”. Read Sam Harris and wake up.
— Richard Dawkins, The Guardian
”The End of Faith articulates the dangers and absurdities of organized religion so fiercely and so fearlessly that I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated, almost personally understood… Harris writes what a sizable number of us think, but few are willing to say in contemporary America… This is an important book, on a topic that, for all its inherent difficulty and divisiveness, should not be shielded from the crucible of human reason.”
“Do we need another book on the conflict between reason and faith?
Yes, if it is as well-written as Sam Harris’s The End of Faith.”
— New Scientist
In this lecture given to Amnesty International, Professor Nicholas Humphrey advocates censorship in the realm of moral and religious education. Specifically, censorship of parents guiding their own children. Shocked? You need to read his lecture transcript.
I shall probably shock you when I say it is the purpose of my lecture today to argue in one particular area just the opposite. To argue, in short, in favour of censorship, against freedom of expression, and to do so moreover in an area of life that has traditionally been regarded as sacrosanct.
I am talking about moral and religious education. And especially the education a child receives at home, where parents are allowed—even expected—to determine for their children what counts as truth and falsehood, right and wrong.
NICHOLAS HUMPHREY. School Professor at the London School of Economics and Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research is a theoretical psychologist, internationally known for his work on the evolution of human intelligence and consciousness. His interests are wide ranging: He studied mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey in Rwanda; was the first to demonstrate the existence of "blindsight" after brain damage in monkeys; proposed the now celebrated theory of the "social function of intellect"; and is the only scientist ever to edit the literary journal Granta.
His books include Consciousness Regained, The Inner Eye, A History of the Mind, Leaps of Faith, The Mind Made Flesh, and Seeing Red: A Study in Consciousness. He has been the recipient of several honours, including the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, and the British Psychological Society‚s book award.
Department of Political Science, Stanford University
Testing the Boundaries of Parental Authority Over Education: The Case of Homeschooling
Friday, February 15, 2008
Too much trust in survey data has produced a distorted image of religion in America by masking declines in church participation. Church attendance is less strong and stable than poll data show. Still, many Americans continue to hold the church in great esteem and define themselves in traditional religious terms. The increasing gap between doing and saying reflects these counter trends. But we do not think that this pattern can continue indefinitely. Enduring church-related identities are a legacy of involvement in the church. When experience is diminished over many years, church identity is likely to erode, and with it the need to say you went to church when you did not. The challenge for American churches is to help reconnect the doing and the saying, before all is said and done. -- Kirk Hadaway and Penny Long Marler
Kirk Hadaway is minister for research and evaluation at the United Church of Christ’s Board for Homeland Ministries. Penny Long Marler is associate professor of religion and philosophy at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. This article appeared in The Christian Century, May 6, 1998, pp. 472-475.
Megachurches that are all the rage right now have absorbed many people that left mainline protestant churches. However, they are starting to show signs of weakness. They have megabudgets to sustain and have highly leveraged real estate investments. Likewise, the Catholic Church has billions invested in aging property that requires staggering maintenance costs. Many nuns and priests are pensioners whose support overhangs the budget of the Catholic church. There is a well known and serious problem recruiting young people to enter seminaries. Once new converts stop coming in the door these maintenance costs and pensions will work against Catholics.
The church has had to pay billions of dollars in legal costs and settlements to sexual abuse victims. Accordingly, church authorities will have to divest property and many holdings are in older cities in undesirable neighborhoods. A nunnery in Los Angles was closed last last year and the nuns reportedly had no place to go.
This article in Religion and Ethics describes the financial problems in a typical big city diocese as critical:
We must examine ways to reverse the financial fortunes of the religious institutions by providing a more accurate picture of organized religion, especially the fictions surrounding the good they do and the denial of the harm they do. Once memberships decline, current income cannot cover operating costs and they will have to divest property and consolidate operations. Fewer people will be served and that will mean even fewer people attending services. The spiral will have begun. When they reach bottom there will be strong motivation to reform.
Religion and Child Abuse
by Innaiah Narisetti, Council for Secular Humanism
Innaiah Narisetti is the chair of the Center for Inquiry/India. This article is excerpted from a paper that he presented at the Center for Inquiry's congress in China October 2007.
Over the years, the abuse of children has received substantial attention worldwide. The United Nations, through its member organizations such as UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), has focused on this issue, recognizing the worst forms of such abuse. These include child labor, in which an estimated 250 million children are engaged in some form due to the practice of slavery, bondage linked to family debts, or serfdom; as well as the forced recruitment and involvement of children in armed conflicts, child pornography and prostitution, and the production and trafficking of illicit drugs.
The International Labor Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund, and UNESCO hold regular discussions at various levels and organize international conventions. The UN has adopted a world declaration for the protection of children, the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
The human rights of children and the standards to which all governments must aspire in realizing these rights for all children are most concisely and fully articulated in one international human-rights treaty: the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention is the most universally accepted human-rights instrument in history. It has been ratified by every country in the world except two: the United States and Somalia. It places children at center stage in the quest for the universal application of human rights. By ratifying this instrument, national governments have committed themselves to protecting and ensuring children's rights and have agreed to hold themselves accountable for this commitment before the international community.
While it is unfortunate that a powerful country such as the United States has yet to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN's efforts are salutary and place much-needed emphasis on improving the lives of children globally.
THE INFLUENCE OF RELIGION
However, despite all the effort and rhetoric about protecting children and their rights, there is a severe shortcoming in the global campaign to protect children: the influence of religion and its continuing contribution to many forms of child abuse all around the world.
Such abuse begins with the involuntary involvement of children in religious practices from the time they are born. All religions, through ritual, preaching, and religious texts, seek to bring children into day-to-day religious practice. This gives holy books and scriptures, as well as those who teach them, an early grip on the developing minds of young people, leaving an indelible impression on them. In many cases, most notably in the Catholic Church, this forced and prolonged exposure of children to religious institutions has also been a key factor in the physical, mental, and sexual abuse of children by religious leaders.
This early grip is so strong that very few people, once grown, ever get an opportunity to change their minds, despite being exposed to science and rational thinking, or even other religious systems. Religious beliefs thrive by imposing themselves upon impressionable minds and gaining their blind adherence to certain dogmatic practices. In some ways, this lays the groundwork for sustained psychological abuse of young children by allowing adults the use of religion as a pretext for various other forms of abuse such as forcing them to fight in wars in the name of religion and ethnicity. During 2004, about 300,000 children served as soldiers in national armies, worldwide.
When it comes to the forced inculcation of religion and the resulting abuses of children in the name of religion, the UN, all of its affiliated organizations, and almost all national governments remain steadfastly silent.
THE UN'S RELUCTANCE
In one form or another, all religions violate the rights of children. Yet a body like the UN, which allows the Vatican to be represented among its member countries, is unaware of—or more likely—unable and unwilling to stand up to the Vatican regarding the religious abuse of children. There is significant pressure from the Vatican to pull back on or dilute any resolutions that point to religion as a cause of abuse or strife. Add to this the unwillingness of the UN to confront its member countries, especially those in the Muslim world, which can also exert a lot of pressure when it comes to issues related to the abuse of children by their religious schools (madrassas) where, for example, very young children are forced to memorize six thousand verses of the Qur'an, a process that involves both mental and physical abuse.
As a result, the UN and its affiliated agencies tend to focus on addressing just the symptoms rather than the root causes of some of the most insidious forms of child abuse. For example, while everyone speaks out against genital mutilation, UNICEF is unwilling to acknowledge and condemn it as a religious practice. Instead, it talks about educating communities and spends millions of dollars on medical kits to treat those children who have already been mutilated. By not forcefully pointing the finger at the real culprits—religious practices—the UN is not only missing a good opportunity to fix the problem at its source but also putting too small a bandage on a very deep wound.
Another area in which religions contribute to child abuse is through explicit and implicit gender discrimination that leads to unequal rights and opportunities between boys and girls and contributes to further abuses. While economic factors are also to blame, the roots of this inequity lie in religious and social mores. How can the UN hope to tackle the problem of child labor or a lack of educational opportunity among the children in 130 developing countries who are not in primary school, the majority of them being girls? In the Islamic world, some female students are allowed to attend certain madrassas. However, they are forced to learn in classrooms, or even buildings, separate from their male peers.
There is a global unwillingness to acknowledge that all religions use their educational institutions and programs, be they Sunday schools, madrassas, or Jewish or Hindu temples to indoctrinate children. Sometimes, this is in the guise of conveying good moral values, but, while it may be much more rigid and overt in, say, a madrassa, it is no less influential on young minds in a Christian Sunday school.
Ultimately, all such programs try to instill a belief in the superiority of one religion and inculcate an unquestioning faith in that system.
THE DEBATE MUST BEGIN!
Just as we all stand up against child marriage, because marriage is an institution meant for adults, and just as we do not let children participate in certain civic duties, such as voting, until they reach a certain age, the time has come to debate the participation of children in religious institutions. While some might see it as a matter better left to parents, the negative influence of religion and its subsequent contribution to child abuse from religious beliefs and practices requires us to ask whether organized religion is an institution that needs limits set on how early it should have access to children.
There is no doubt that this will be a controversial position. However, there is nothing to prevent the UN from organizing a world convention on the issue of the religious abuse of children, a forum where the pros and cons of childhood exposure to religion and its influence on children can be openly debated. The world body cannot remain silent on this vital issue just because it is a sensitive and difficult subject, even given its member nations and their religious interests. A convention like this would also be an opportunity for those who might want to argue for the benefits of the influence of religion on children, so the UN should not shy away from debate of the issue.
If such a convention clearly shows that religion contributes to child abuse globally, the UN must then take a clear stand on the issue of the forced involvement of children in religious practices; it must speak up for the rights of children and not the automatic right of parents and societies to pass on religious beliefs, and it must reexamine whether an organization like the Vatican should belong to the UN.
Until this happens, millions of children worldwide will continue to be abused in the name of religion, and the efforts made by the UN will continue to address the symptoms but not the disease.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
(Should Children be Taught Religion?)
(Is Homeschooling in for a Big Shakeup?)
http://www.helium.com/tm/712274/meeting-heaven-grandmothercan-imagine (Should There be No Religion)
http://www.helium.com/tm/814931/should-atheists-bible-investigate (Whats Wrong With Religion)
http://www.helium.com/tm/792449/childhood-religious-indoctrination-during (Teaching and Preaching)
http://www.helium.com/tm/806759/phone-bible-projectsome-religious (Will people eventually write their own version of the Bible, in the manner of, say, Wikipedia?)
In this satirical article I defend updating the Bible (and the Koran for good measure) to align with our modern view of constitutional government rather than following Mike Huckabee´s advice to amend what he wants us to believe is the malleable US constitution. Of course the Islamists don't have a clue about government or constitutions, but I felt they might feel left out if I did not show I was thinking of them and my heart is in the right place. They tend to be a peevish lot. Along the way I take a poke at revelation, people who see nuns in cinnamon buns, and other admittedly soft targets. If you have the time and the inclination perhaps you can read this short article and give me some feedback. Any comments are appreciated and I hope you get a chuckle.
http://www.helium.com/tm/781994/ichildren-saved-religious-mongering (Saving the Children From Religion)
http://www.helium.com/tm/656438/abrahamic-religion-refers-three (Atheism vs. Religion)
http://www.helium.com/tm/750097/protecting-children-controversial-books (Protecting Children From Controversial Books and Movies)
http://www.helium.com/tm/641196/atheists-generally-serious-minded (Teaching Children About Atheism)