The first time I heard Richard Dawkins describe as "child abuse" the imposition of one's religious views on one's children, I thought it was a bit excessive, some sort of provocation. He's my hero (and I had the pleasure of telling him so in person) but I couldn't shake the uneasy feeling he'd gone a bit too far there.
Then I came across this - people who believe the world will end this coming May and are going around the US telling everyone. And I read this small passage here:
Arianna Ramrajie, of Ocala, Florida, has one she'd like to share.
On May 21, the sun will "turn red like blood," the Earth will open up, bodies will be strewn about and "some people will die for eternity," she says.
"It scares me a little bit because some people are going to die, and I think I'm one of them," she adds. "I'm trying to do good things, but I'm afraid I'm doing something bad."
Arianna is 7, after all, and being good all the time cannot be easy. Her father stands next to her, nodding his approval.
This child is 7, and is being forced to live in fear, "knowing" that she will die and probably go to hell because she has been conditioned to think of herself as not good enough.
This is the freaking definition of child abuse.