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Christian Fundamentalism

Religion and child abuse, fundamentalism and politics, Justice Sunday III and Pastor Latham
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jan 17, 2006, 00:41

Richard Dawkins is Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University and an internationally renowned biologist. His recent BBC series -- "The God Delusion," "The Root of All Evil," and "The Virus of Faith" -- made the point about organized religion and child abuse.

Dr. Dawkins has repeatedly warned that U.S. evangelicals represent "Christian fascism" and "an American Taliban" that seeks to emulate and enforce "The God of the Old Testament [who] has got to be the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous, and proud of it, petty, vindictive, unjust, unforgiving, racist." Fear of this curmudgeonly "God" is embedded into children's psyche: beware the bogeyman who watches everything you do and just looks for ways to punish you in the most horrific ways.

In the New Testament, Dawkins accurately noted that "St Paul's nasty, sado-masochistic doctrine of atonement for original sin" is, essentially, psychological and emotional child abuse: "Innocent children are being saddled with demonstrable falsehoods... It's time to question the abuse of childhood innocence with superstitious ideas of hellfire and damnation." Fear is again instilled into children. Many also pay a physical price as the Right Reverend John Shelby Spong noted in relation to circumcision:

Circumcision. A necessary ritual ordained by the Old Testament "God"? A modern day health practice? Neither. The dogma, rites, and rituals of organized religion have but one goal: social control and political power. In their book Created Equal: Why Gay Rights Matter to America, Michael Nava and Robert Dawidoff exposed the warped "thinking" and politically motivated strategies of America's evangelical Christian Right.

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