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Religious Predators - Comments

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 1 by Alan4discussion

I think part of the problem, is that in the back-woods parts of of Australia and the USA, the science revolution of knowledge in Europe, has not yet superceded the Christian, elitist, Victorian (and earlier), colonial attitudes of the missionary, know-it-all, religinut establishment. This form of Christianity was not chosen over other religions by the Roman emperors for nothing. It suited their ambitions of maintaining a population of servile mind-slaves, in awe of authority, who could easily be ruled and exploited. To an outsider, this is very obvious in the black mission churches of the Southern USA, where the heritage of slavery and segregation still lingers.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 07:48:38 UTC | #539739

T-Porter's Avatar Comment 2 by T-Porter

...or by creating loaded permission forms that require consenting to the chaplains if the kids are to participate in certain school activities.

Is it possible to elaborate and maybe provide a example please, thank you.

I am worried and deaply uncomfortable with the idea that religous figures encourage children to go to outside school activities. You shouldn't be able to take children out of the safety of the school like that.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 07:59:54 UTC | #539742

Chica1's Avatar Comment 3 by Chica1

I think 'religious predator' is a very appropriate title, they prey on the young, the sick and the weak. However I think you will have problems getting anyone to stand up and say they think it's wrong. Most people I've met have a strange respect for religion even if they are not religious themselves, and are reluctant to criticise it.

What you could do is collect as much evidence of the abuses of power or cases where parents have had to 'opt in' so that their child can participate in other activities too.

People should be made aware that a life of following religion is not harmless, it can cause people to become bigoted, self-righteous and dogmatic. And that's without mentioning the child abuse, wars, violence and unhappiness caused by religion. Ok, so they've got a few charities but they'd still be around if there was no religion.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 08:16:33 UTC | #539746

DanDare's Avatar Comment 4 by DanDare

@T-Porter The government program includes a template consent form with the following section:

Voluntary Student Activities without Religious, Spiritual and/or Ethical Content These activities are available to students on a voluntary basis if a parent or guardian has given consent in writing.

  1. List activities without religious, spiritual and/or ethical content provided at the school through the chaplaincy program. e.g. breakfast clubs, coaching sporting teams, mentoring programs, outdoor education programs
  2. Include a short descriptor of each activity for parental information.

Please tick one of the boxes below: I give my consent for my child/ren to participate in these activities I do not give my consent for my child/ren to participate in these activities.

Voluntary Student Activities with Religious, Spiritual and/or Ethical Content These activities are available to students on a voluntary basis if a parent or guardian has given consent in writing.

  1. List activities with religious, spiritual and/or ethical content provided at the school through the chaplaincy program. e.g. SUPA Club, one-to-one meeting with chaplain for religious and spiritual support, Prayer Meetings, Groups Visiting School for Performances e.g. Christian Band
  2. Include a short descriptor of each activity for parental information.

Please tick one of the boxes below: I give my consent for my child/ren to participate in these activities. I do not give my consent for my child/ren to participate in these activities.

Notice that the form carefully states that you are consenting to your child participating in the activities, not to the child's exposure to the chaplain. If you say no to section one your child misses out on sports run by the chaplain and outdoor education activities, never mind breakfast clubs and mentoring (which is one on one with a person introduced to school from outside on the say so of the chaplain and the employing body, Scripture Union).

As this is a template schools are free to create their own. My daughters school included the visiting christian band in the activities of section one, and from memory also the prayer clubs and school assemblies. So, how can I allow my daughter to attend standard school activities without consenting to giving the religious predators access?

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 09:24:38 UTC | #539762

T-Porter's Avatar Comment 5 by T-Porter

@DanDare

Thank for you for providing the extra information.

How strange! I understand what is happening. The religous instituation is controlling other activities in order to forward their agenda.

Is it simply an activity run by the chaplain using the school facilities or is the school using the chaplain to look over these activities?

I have never heard of this type of influence. I grew up singing songs in assemblies and occasionally visiting church (I have went three times in my entire life), but this is something on a whole other level.

How possibly can it be legal? Isn't the secular movement as strong over there?

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 09:38:17 UTC | #539767

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 6 by AtheistEgbert

"Religious Predator" is an excellent phrase and I will be using it! Thanks Dandare.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 10:16:18 UTC | #539783

Dave H's Avatar Comment 7 by Dave H

"Religious predator" is perfect. I also thought "religious grooming" might be suitable, but I like "predator" better. It is more scathing, and probably more accurate.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 11:38:00 UTC | #539805

Sensible's Avatar Comment 8 by Sensible

A Predator is defined as "One that victimizes, plunders, or destroys, especially for one's own gain." If this is aimed at children then it's still 'Child Abuse'

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 12:05:48 UTC | #539815

0penM1nded's Avatar Comment 9 by 0penM1nded

Do you know how self righteous some of these terms sound?

I don't want to be deliberately antagonistic, but I think atheists already cross the line when calling religious education 'child abuse'! I do agree that teaching 'Fear of Hell' is psychologically damaging and borders on child abuse. However, these words often get picked up by atheists with 'axes to grind' and misused, and then picked up by the mainstream media as a means to ridiculing atheists / agnostics! I guess free-thinkers have their fundamentalist sects aswel!

I think back to labels such as 'brights' and cringe, and I hope the media doesn't pick up that atheists are now calling anyone that teaches religion 'religious predators' - the majority of parents!

I am not denying that teaching one religion in publicly funded schools is wrong (of course that depends on constitutions, public mandates, etc), but there has to be a better approach to correcting this than inventing insulting labels that will only further ostracize!

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 12:06:02 UTC | #539816

DanDare's Avatar Comment 10 by DanDare

@0penM1nded Sorry to say that reasoned argument is less effective than something that produces a perception change by startling people.

"I hope the media doesn't pick up that atheists are now calling anyone that teaches religion 'religious predators' - the majority of parents!"

You obviously did not read the article or you would know that is not what religious predator is about. Its about people intervening between child and parent without their consent.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 12:39:23 UTC | #539831

Nick Healey's Avatar Comment 11 by Nick Healey

Although these people are clearly religious predators and I like the term and will probably use it (and I also like the phrase, religious grooming, Dave H), you postulate that it is somehow less evocative than "child abuse". It isn't. The phrase still carries sexual connotations. It is even derivative of the term "sexual predator".

I also disagree with you on two counts regarding your assertions of the term child abuse:

1) "child abuse" does not necessarily just conjure thoughts of sexual abuse, but also psychological abuse and physical abuse, so it is a wholly appropriate term to use in this context.

2) Is the "mind rape" of innocents any less offensive than sexual rape? You seem to be inferring that it is. I think because it is more common and there are varying degrees(we've all suffered some sort of psychological trauma to an extent), it is somehow deemed to be a lesser crime and I think Dawkins' use of the term, "child abuse" is appropriate to convey the seriousness of religious indoctrination and elevate it to the crime that it is.

I was forced to contemplate an eternity of damnation as a child and told that the devil was very real and lurking behind every corner. It takes some getting over. I have no basis for comaprison with regards to sexual abuse, for which I am very grateful, so I would be prepared to be corrected by someone with knowledge of both.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 12:50:39 UTC | #539833

DanDare's Avatar Comment 12 by DanDare

@nickhealey what you say is logically true. Child abuse is the correct term. Unfortunately it just doesn't stick with many people in this context. I'm not talking about people like us who haunt websites like this, I'm talking about the many other parents I meet and associate with who really need to be up in arms about the problem. They have a preset concept of how good and safe chaplains are and how harmless SRE teachers are. The child abuse label doesn't hold. On the other hand sexual predator grabs hold easily even when it is untrue! So, I have tested religious predator out and guess what? It grabs hold. Suddenly parents who felt ok about those harmless chaplains who help their kids are seeing that they are interfering with their kids.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 13:44:40 UTC | #539860

Nick Healey's Avatar Comment 13 by Nick Healey

If you've tested it and it's more effective, that's great and should continue to be used. I like the phrase and the concept as previously stated, but I'm just not sure why parents would grasp the predator concept, but be unable to grasp the child abuse concept? The former seems as complex, if not more so, than the latter. Why do you think one works better than the other?

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 14:27:19 UTC | #539883

biame's Avatar Comment 14 by biame

Comment 1 by Alan4discussion :

I think part of the problem, is that in the back-woods parts of of Australia and the USA, the science revolution of knowledge in Europe, has not yet superceded the Christian, elitist, Victorian (and earlier), colonial attitudes of the missionary, know-it-all, religinut establishment. This form of Christianity was not chosen over other religions by the Roman emperors for nothing. It suited their ambitions of maintaining a population of servile mind-slaves, in awe of authority, who could easily be ruled and exploited. To an outsider, this is very obvious in the black mission churches of the Southern USA, where the heritage of slavery and segregation still lingers.

Hi Alan4discussion, I am going to ignore the blatant garbage in the discussion topic, but this I couldn't ignore.

You really have no idea what country Australia is like, do you?

In Australia, just as in the United States, we have country regions, these are more like bigger cities built in country areas where the culture is semi-country and semi-city. As in the major cities of Australia you will find some believers, some non-believers, but the majority of people couldn't give a damn about religion one way or the other. Mention it, and you are more than likely to get a vegemite sandwich (punch in the mouth) than a beer bought for you.

After the country we have the outback. Now mind you, people of the outback, are very spiritual. It is not uncommon for people of the outback to crack open a couple of beers and discuss the spirits who will join them later. No vegemite sandwiches here for being a true blue, believer, they eat their vegemite straight from the jar. The spirit of Johnnie Walker is a popular spirit, this fella is a pleasant spirit in nature but after a while makes you go walk-about a lot, backwards and forwards to the toilet. Then of course, the spirits of Jim Beam and Jack Daniels are quite often on the popularist table. No use telling the spirits of Jim Beam or Jack Daniels to get off the bloody table, they won't listen to you, they just sit there smiling because they know they are going to get you in the end. Then last but not least, is the spirit of the Bear, Bundy by name and bundy by nature, this is a pleasant spirit if entertained in small doses, but abuse the Bundy Bear, and by golly, this spirit will abuse you the next morning, you will feel as though you have been kicked in the head by a thousand emus and a wombat.

This notwithstanding, there are religious missionaries in the outback. These are more medical and educational outposts than places of religious teachings for people of Australian aboriginal heritage. You see, religions did their damage on people of Australian aboriginal heritage over a long period of time, they haven't forgotten, nor have they forgotten the damage the anglo-saxon committed against them which didn't subside until the late 60's, which religions also played their part in. It is very sad and shameful part of Australia's history.

You really should experience country and outback Australia, it just may surprise you, and break the perception you currently hold of it, particularly where your belief of European knowledge and the scientific revolution comes in. Most children in country and outback Australia are educated just as well as any child in any European or American City you could name. Even for children living in the most remote regions, Australia has had the school of the air for many, many, generations.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 14:43:40 UTC | #539888

Nick Healey's Avatar Comment 15 by Nick Healey

I do love how some people think that they have the authority to speak for an entire country. It's similar to the ridiculous, "You've just offended a billion Muslims with that harmless cartoon." Really? You speak for all of them do you?

Biame, do you not realise that you're generalising every bit as much as Alan? Unless you've visited every corner of Oz and spoken to every person, you're guilty of generalising too. You might be marginally more informed, being a resident, but you don't speak for all and don't have knowledge of all parts of your country. It's ok to generalise to an extent. Alan was just making a point, not attacking you or your country personally.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 14:57:37 UTC | #539896

0penM1nded's Avatar Comment 16 by 0penM1nded

Comment 10 by DanDare :

@0penM1nded Sorry to say that reasoned argument is less effective than something that produces a perception change by startling people. "I hope the media doesn't pick up that atheists are now calling anyone that teaches religion 'religious predators' - the majority of parents!"

You obviously did not read the article or you would know that is not what religious predator is about. Its about people intervening between child and parent without their consent.

A religious predator is a person who attempts to instil in children a religious belief, who cuts them off from other ways of thinking, and attempts to suppress or mislead their critical faculties, or a person who grooms them for others who will try to perform these tasks, or a person who intentionally enables religious predation.

I think many religious parents also fall into this category, so don't let this definition get into the media!

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 15:16:08 UTC | #539903

johnb24's Avatar Comment 17 by johnb24

Comment 14 Biame :

"Mention it, and you are more than likely to get a vegemite sandwich...."

With fellow UK citizens in mind, may I advise that (I think) vegemite is what we would call Marmite.

During The Queen's visit to France about 3 or 4 years ago, French TV tried hard (on all channels) to make a mockery of it - such are the French (except for the straight-laced news; and even then ......!)

Part of this French state-sponsored mockery (of our Head of State) comprised an interview (with a Queen look-alike)and some French "philosophers" ( "coffee-sipping windbags" as Sarkozy [rightly] calls them) and a few jars of Marmite - which they opened, giggled at, then sniffed and giggled again. Finally poking in the finger, looking at the sticky result and dissolving into fits of (yes, you've got it) giggling again.

("Marmite" has a well-understood meaning in French as a sort of general cooking apparatus/pan)

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 20:11:00 UTC | #539998

Roedy's Avatar Comment 18 by Roedy

Parents teach their kids to be terrified of strangers, but to be utterly obedient to teachers, priests, doctors, police officers, and unfortunately fathers. So of course any intelligent child molester enters one of those protected professions.

The main focus should be on teaching children they have a right to say no to any of these authorities, and that when they had to resort to saying no, they should inform a parent, or a different authority such as a teacher, or 911. It is not the child's job to evaluate if what happened was indeed improper, just that they did not like it. They should have no fear of reporting an incident that was "nothing".

Seems to me a chaplain is just a counsellor without formal training who has an agenda of selling a delusion. At the very least you should have the right to keep deluded con men like him away from your kids, if not everybody's.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 21:19:43 UTC | #540009

Roedy's Avatar Comment 19 by Roedy

The other sort of predator is the Funeral MC. Funeral MCs have no shame about giving an infomercial for their church even when they are addressing an audience largely atheist.

One funeral that really bothered me was when my atheist aunt died. The service was larded thick as a pig with Christian hellfire.

I knew my aunt Edith would prefer I not make a fuss, but I think she would have felt betrayed.

My uncle Tom was a pillar of the church. So I suppose the funeral being completely about his church and why you should support it was more excusable, but still bad taste -- like inviting people to dinner then selling them Tupperware.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 21:30:40 UTC | #540014

mmurray's Avatar Comment 20 by mmurray

Comment 18 by JOHNB24 :

Comment 14 Biame :

"Mention it, and you are more than likely to get a vegemite sandwich...."

With fellow UK citizens in mind, may I advise that (I think) vegemite is what we would call Marmite.

No, no there is no comparison. Marmite is runny, foul tasting muck. Vegemite is an elixir of the Gods.

Michael

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 00:19:20 UTC | #540039

mmurray's Avatar Comment 21 by mmurray

Comment 15 by nickhealey :

Biame, do you not realise that you're generalising every bit as much as Alan? Unless you've visited every corner of Oz and spoken to every person, you're guilty of generalising too. You might be marginally more informed, being a resident, but you don't speak for all and don't have knowledge of all parts of your country. It's ok to generalise to an extent. Alan was just making a point, not attacking you or your country personally.

On the evidence Biame is a lot better informed. Australia and the US are poles apart when it comes to religion. As is any developed nation and the US as far as I can see. We are more akin to the scandinavian countries except the climate is, thankfully, warmer and the social system is, sadly, inferior. Work colleagues and people you meet casually don't raise religion with you. " but the majority of people couldn't give a damn about religion one way or the other. " is a pretty accurate summary and those who do give a damn are very unlikely to tell you about it. To do so would be thought strange. Evangelical churches are making inroads, as they are everywhere, but they are coming from the US predominately.

Michael

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 00:33:25 UTC | #540046

biame's Avatar Comment 22 by biame

Comment 15 by nickhealey :

I do love how some people think that they have the authority to speak for an entire country. It's similar to the ridiculous, "You've just offended a billion Muslims with that harmless cartoon." Really? You speak for all of them do you? Biame, do you not realise that you're generalising every bit as much as Alan? Unless you've visited every corner of Oz and spoken to every person, you're guilty of generalising too. You might be marginally more informed, being a resident, but you don't speak for all and don't have knowledge of all parts of your country. It's ok to generalise to an extent. Alan was just making a point, not attacking you or your country personally.

Hi nickhealey, you do of course know how ridiculous your post is, don't you? True and Accurate, but ridiculous, nevertheless. Given the size, terrain and population of Australia it would be a physical impossibility to go to every inch of ground and meet everybody to a personal and intimate level, where they would reveal detailed knowledge to you on a sincere and honest level, during the course of a single lifetime. As a country we cannot even get our national census to be 100% true and accurate, albeit we do the best we can. Given these facts, all that is left is human perception or generalisation as you choose to call it. If a person or group of people is forced to generalise, pointing the generalisation in the correct direction is always a good place to start.

On a personal level, I had been to more places on the east coast of Australia than the majority of adults in our society by the time I was 14. 32 schools in total, my father was an engineer, we moved a lot. During this time I gained a lot of knowledge and can tell your more pertaining to country and city dwellers, integration of migrants into society, benefits and negatives of each, than most people who have studied these things for years. As an adult, my life has been many and varied, I have been around Australia on three occasions, each time, learning something new and interesting which I hadn't learned before. I work a lot, not as much as I would like, with indigenous communities in some of the most remote regions of Australia. I have seen things which few other people on the planet have seen, the way the Simpson Desert miraculously burst with life after a shower of rain, flora and fauna appear right before your eyes, it is truly a sight to behold. I have watched as the "Morning Glory," (a rolling cloud formation) rolls across the sky, and the ever changing colours which light the walls of the Kimberley's.

During the course of my life I have been ridiculed for being a "city slicker," to move to the next school to be ridiculed for being a "country bumpkin." I have been loved and liked for being a city slicker and for being a country bumpkin. I have dined with academics, with politicians and powerful business people, where only the finest of the finest would do, I have eaten at the tables of many average people as we shared a laugh or two, and I have pulled lizards from a camp fire, sitting in the dirt, as I listened intently to the myths and legends of indigenous Australians. How many people have I met and known on an intimate level, I couldn't begin to count, how many stars are in the night sky? Through it all I have loved each and every one of them, each has something special to offer, this beautiful country, called Australia.

You seem to be under the impression that I am being defensive of Australia. I can understand how you would reach that perception, but let me assure you, it couldn't be further from the truth. Australia doesn't need defending, Australia speaks for itself. Why I couldn't ignore Alan4discussion's post, wasn't because he/she was blatantly wrong, or because he/she was denigrating Australia with fallacies and fantasies, it was because, here was an opportunity, to sing the praises of a beautiful and wonderful land, known as Australia. An opportunity missed, is one you might not ever get again.

Australia has many things the rest of the world doesn't, vegemite is one and why I specifically chose it to use. Many will not get the connection to the Bundy Bear, it is an Australian rum made from sugar cane. Only a person with a fairly intimate knowledge of Australia or Australians would understand the connections. In Australia we have what is known as the "School of Air," school classes are broadcast over the airways, this has been somewhat computerised these days but we still have a long way to go. The school of the air, ensures no child living in any remote area, will miss out on a decent education. If the child cannot come to a school, by golly, Australia will bring the school, to the child. Indigenous children living in remote areas pose a different problem, or should I say a different set of problems, for these are many and varied, where education is concerned. In this respect, we are only human, and we are doing the best we can, given all the knowledge of science at our disposal. Previous generations, Anglo-Saxons (English) as well as religions, did a lot of damage to this culture, it is a slow and often a fruitless process.

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 03:34:05 UTC | #540080

biame's Avatar Comment 23 by biame

Comment 18 by JOHNB24 :

Comment 14 Biame : "Mention it, and you are more than likely to get a vegemite sandwich...."

With fellow UK citizens in mind, may I advise that (I think) vegemite is what we would call Marmite. During The Queen's visit to France about 3 or 4 years ago, French TV tried hard (on all channels) to make a mockery of it - such are the French (except for the straight-laced news; and even then ......!)

Part of this French state-sponsored mockery (of our Head of State) comprised an interview (with a Queen look-alike)and some French "philosophers" ( "coffee-sipping windbags" as Sarkozy [rightly] calls them) and a few jars of Marmite - which they opened, giggled at, then sniffed and giggled again. Finally poking in the finger, looking at the sticky result and dissolving into fits of (yes, you've got it) giggling again. ("Marmite" has a well-understood meaning in French as a sort of general cooking apparatus/pan)

Hi JohnB24, not a bad guess, but the two are very dissimilar. They come in the same sort of jar, well at least here in Austrlia they do, and they are about the same colour, but that is where the likeness ends. Vegemite is a concentrated yeast and malt extract based on barley, which gives it a very distinctive and unique taste. It is an acquired taste, but as many young Australian are raised on it, due to its nutritional value, they acquire the taste at a very young age.

Vegemite is a spread, similar to peanut butter or jam. One generally applies it to sandwiches or toasted bread. Many other uses of course, it is really a versatile product, but like I say, it is an acquired taste.

I specifically chose vegemite, for only people who know something pertaining to Australia, would know of it. These people would also know, how miniscule the premise in the opening discussion was, and the paranoia it was trying to project. Having been to many countries around the world, including Scandinavian countries, I cannot name many countries as free from religion as Australia is.

It also makes me a little sad, that an apparent, fellow Australian could have their head so filled with myths, paranoia, and warped analogies as the opening discussion is. Where is Australian education going wrong, that a student can slip through the system like that. It really does make me wonder, why the hell we have science for in the first place, when myths and false analogies, get more credit than science does. Though science does explain the in's and out's of it all, humans have intelligence, and by golly, they will use it. That it totally contradicts scientific evidence, is totally irrelevant to them, they just march on their way and do it anyhow, for them it seems an intelligent thing to do.

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 04:21:16 UTC | #540084

mmurray's Avatar Comment 24 by mmurray

I wish the Labor Government that took over from Howard had closed the chaplaincy program down but with a church going PM that was unlikely. It is clear from the code of conduct that Chaplains are not supposed to push a particular religious belief

While recognising that an individual chaplain will in good faith express views and articulate values consistent with his or her denomination or religious beliefs, a chaplain should not take advantage of his or her privileged position to proselytise for that denomination or religious belief.

According to the FAQ in certain situations a chaplain can be a `Secular Pastoral Care Worker'.

Around 2700 schools were granted funding under the program in 2007. These schools were able to submit applications for funding without having yet identified a chaplain. They would then have an appropriate period to locate and employ a chaplain who met their school’s needs. Due to shortages of suitable candidates available, many of these schools have reported difficulties in employing a chaplain. For this reason, the Government made the decision to allow the funding already approved for these schools to be used for alternative support workers, if they could not find a chaplain by July 2008. These alternative providers may include counsellors, youth workers or other secular support staff.

The offer only applied to those schools that had exhausted all reasonable avenues to find a suitable chaplain. It does not affect any other school that has successfully identified a chaplain that meets the school community’s needs.

Just a pity that they hadn't started with qualified counsellors, youth workers instead of chaplains.

Michael

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 05:13:19 UTC | #540089

Kiwi's Avatar Comment 25 by Kiwi

A religious predator is a person who attempts to instil in children a religious belief, who cuts them off from other ways of thinking, and attempts to suppress or mislead their critical faculties, or a person who grooms them for others who will try to perform these tasks, or a person who intentionally enables religious predation.

I think many religious parents also fall into this category, so don't let this definition get into the media!

Why not ? I thought that was the idea, to point out that there is a huge difference between religious education and religious indoctrination. Parents are often the cause of introducing delusional beliefs to their children. They do have a right, or so I understand, under the declaration of human rights, to do this, but why not make the point that there are very good arguments against it on the basis of both the child's "right" to truth and the child's "right" to make up its own mind. Just because a parent thinks they are doing a good thing by telling their children they will not actually die one day, because someone was tortured 2000 years ago in their name, does not make it so.

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 05:46:05 UTC | #540093

johnb24's Avatar Comment 26 by johnb24

Comment 24 by biame :

Thank you for the info.

Marmite is also a yeast & veg. extract "stuff" (best word I can think of). However I have tasted neither - and don't intend to.

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 14:00:14 UTC | #540182

0penM1nded's Avatar Comment 27 by 0penM1nded

Comment 26 by Kiwi :

A religious predator is a person who attempts to instil in children a religious belief, who cuts them off from other ways of thinking, and attempts to suppress or mislead their critical faculties, or a person who grooms them for others who will try to perform these tasks, or a person who intentionally enables religious predation.

I think many religious parents also fall into this category, so don't let this definition get into the media!

Why not ? I thought that was the idea, to point out that there is a huge difference between religious education and religious indoctrination. Parents are often the cause of introducing delusional beliefs to their children. They do have a right, or so I understand, under the declaration of human rights, to do this, but why not make the point that there are very good arguments against it on the basis of both the child's "right" to truth and the child's "right" to make up its own mind. Just because a parent thinks they are doing a good thing by telling their children they will not actually die one day, because someone was tortured 2000 years ago in their name, does not make it so.

Because I don't want to bring any more negative attention to a positive movement. The media loves its soundbites, and 'religious Predator' has New Atheiest trouble maker written all over it!

I understand (and I have my personal angst) the desire to stand firm and call it as you see it - don't let the religious mindset further infliltrate and 'brow beat' the general public (my words not yours)! But all I see around me are religious people digging in their heals and labelling any attacks as personal affronts by those 'god hating' liberals! The more they are attacked, they seem to grow stronger and garner more support!

I just want religion out of the public life (schools, government, law, etc), I don't want to get rid of it entirely! I don't want to name call or alienate!

I know it is out of context of the OP, but I agree with you that parents have the right to teach their children their own religion, fullstop! No, they don't have the right to teach them hatred of another religion of group of society, and I also think ideas such as sin and Hell CAN do damage to a child's emotional well being. I wouldn't teach my kids that Hell / Sin are real, but I think giving the government the right to dictate what can be taught in the home is not only unenforcable (thought police?), but just plain draconian.

So why apply the 'religious Predator' to parents?

On the positive side, I think schools can do a good (better?) job of teaching comparative religion, tolerance, skeptical thinking, analytical skills etc. However, given that some really smart people (with all these skills) still believe in a god, I don't think much which change!

BTW: I think the label is catchy, but as defined it is much too easily applied to parents - I SHOULD ADD, NOT BY THE OP.

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 18:51:48 UTC | #540278

DanDare's Avatar Comment 28 by DanDare

Comment 26 by Kiwi :

A religious predator is a person who attempts to instil in children a religious belief, who cuts them off from other ways of thinking, and attempts to suppress or mislead their critical faculties, or a person who grooms them for others who will try to perform these tasks, or a person who intentionally enables religious predation.

I think many religious parents also fall into this category, so don't let this definition get into the media!

Why not ? I thought that was the idea, to point out that there is a huge difference between religious education and religious indoctrination. Parents are often the cause of introducing delusional beliefs to their children. They do have a right, or so I understand, under the declaration of human rights, to do this, but why not make the point that there are very good arguments against it on the basis of both the child's "right" to truth and the child's "right" to make up its own mind. Just because a parent thinks they are doing a good thing by telling their children they will not actually die one day, because someone was tortured 2000 years ago in their name, does not make it so.

We call parents that sexually abuse their children sexual predators.

It used to be unmentionable, and a crime that often went unpublished. It changed significantly when it became possible to call the abusers out for what they are.

And if I have to get labelled as a gnu atheist then so be it.

The chaplaincy program in Oz, pushed by the International Scripture Union is a vehicle for religious predators. There is no mitigation there. Their stated goal is to get to "the unchurched". These guys are winning and being polite is not going to hold them back. We are dealing with school administrations happy to be religious predators. We are dealing with governments happy to fund religious predators for votes. We have the predators running around saying Oz is a christian nation and so we should stop complaining. We are being slowly baked into a theocracy and the average Australian doesn't know its happening because "its not the kind of thing we talk about".

Nope, if speaking out about this is loud, shrill and rude then I'm going to be loud, shrill and rude on this one.

Mon, 01 Nov 2010 13:00:22 UTC | #540864