President Thomas Jefferson, a Deist, said,
"This doctrine ['that the condition of man cannot be ameliorated, that what has been must ever be, and that to secure ourselves where we are we must tread with awful reverence in the footsteps of our fathers'] is the genuine fruit of the alliance between Church and State, the tenants of which finding themselves but too well in their present condition, oppose all advances which might unmask their usurpations and monopolies of honors, wealth and power, and fear every change as endangering the comforts they now hold." --Thomas Jefferson: Report for University of Virginia, 1818.The End of Hereditary Religion provides news, research resources, and discussions about how to end hereditary religions. The scope is international and a main focus is working to eliminate the early and intensive indoctrination of minor children. Parents are the controlling vector for perpetuating hereditary religions. The debilitating effects of present day organized religions more appropriate for ancient tribes than for modern people, can be and must be ended. Educating parents and motivating them to change is the goal.
No three year old toddler looks up at their parents and says, "yes, please mommy and daddy sentence me to your ancient primitive religious delusions for life". If a small child was aware of what was coming they probably would say, "let me develop the maturity of mind and ability to wisely choose whether I want a religion in my life and if so, which one."
Children deserve to be listened to and to be treated with dignity as individuals. The days when they were treated as chattel are past. Accordingly, parents should only have a revocable privilege to supervise the medical treatment, education, and religious involvement or freedom from religion of their children -- not an inherent right. Such a parental privilege carries with it the obligation to make decisions for children from the perspective of the child, not the parent. Parental decisions must not harm them physically or mentally and must never, never foreclose a child's future options.
Attending to children's rights is a timely undertaking as the year 2008 has been declared the year that child rights will be mainlined. It is about time. The United Nations International Convention on the rights of the Child (CRC) was developed in 1989. The UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights will celebrate a 60 year anniversary this year.