Think Religion Isn’t Dangerous? Think Again.

Why can’t you atheists leave religion alone?

This is a question I am asked often and honestly, it’s my most favorite question to answer. While some atheists don’t oppose religion and opt for peace between themselves and the religious, others see the evil in religion and can’t sit quietly. We scream about the injustice, the hypocrisy and the damage it causes upon the world. Why can’t I leave religion alone? Because it storms its way into my children’s schools, it weasels its way into my government and its followers demand I can’t do what I want with my body. Right now people are being tortured, beaten, raped and murdered in the name of religion. Is that reason enough?

There is another aspect that doesn’t get discussed as much as I’d like and that is child abuse in the religious community. People don’t like to attack this topic because there are indeed, many theists who don’t abuse their children in the physical sense. To me, this is simply not good enough. To bring up a child in a religion, you are abusing them. Teaching a child that they are sinful simply for being born, is abusing them. Forcing them to believe in a book that validates misogynistic views, slavery, worthlessness and fear, is abusing them.

Why is this abuse? Because as William Thackeray once said, “Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.” This means that a child will trust its parent without question. When a mother hands her sick child a pill and says, “Here sweetie, take this and you will feel better,” a child does not think about what it is being given. It trusts its mother with no sense of doubt. So when a parent says, “There is a man in the sky who will take you from me and burn you in a lake of fire for all of eternity if you don’t follow his (and my) rules,” a child will trust them and believe that without doubt.

Murder and torture in the name of religion

When stories come up about parents who kill their children in the name of their god, the first thing that the religious community says is, “They were mentally ill, that had nothing to do with MY religion.” That is the pot calling the kettle black. As outsiders looking in on the religious, we agree that a person who hears voices in their head from “god” is crazy. “Feeling god in their heart” is insane. Thinking that a ghost who has never been seen or heard is controlling your life, keeping you safe and punishing your enemies is absolutely psychotic. So yes, people killing their children in the name of god can be mentally ill, but don’t dare say that it has nothing to do with religion. Some can argue that mental illness stems from the stress and fear of religion. Keep that in mind.

5 cases where children were murdered because of religion

Shayma Ali was a Muslim mother living in London. She was diagnosed with psychosis one year after becoming obsessed with Islam. She started to focus on her four-year-old daughter, thinking that she was possessed by a Jinn. (The girl’s name was not released) She choked her until she blacked out, drug her into the kitchen and stabbed her between 30-40 times. Before doing this, she heard a voice in her head telling her, “If you really love Allah, you would sacrifice your daughter.” Some reports say that when the police showed up to the home, Ali was sitting in her burqa screaming, “I seek refuge in God from the curse of Satan.” Her daughter’s liver sat on the floor.

Rajkumar Chaurasia was a Hindu father living in India. He had an eight-month-old son and claims he was ordered to kill his son by the goddess Kali. Kali is known as the goddess of destruction and rebirth and Chaurasia believed the sacrifice would make childless couples who visited the goddess, happy. He went to the chapel to visit the goddess with his son and when he got home, he killed his son by chopping his neck with an axe several times.

In Ireland, it was discovered that close to 800 children died in a catholic ran home for children of unwed mothers. In 1975, children playing nearby discovered a crack in a concrete slab that contained tiny bones. The concrete was resealed and no one questioned why those bodies were there, or how many skeletons were resting below. Due to religious stigmas in society, unwed mothers were forced to leave their families and live in “Magdalene Asylums.” Here, they were forced to give up their children and atone for their sins. It is said that women were abused at the hands of the clergy. Children in these homes were abused even worse because they had no voice; no one was watching them. Their bodies were fragile and skin hung off their bones. They died at the hands of uncaring nuns and were tossed in a sewage tank. This story is still being investigated, though it is hard because of the church’s ability to cover up abuse. If it weren’t for religion enforcing its ideas on society, there would never be a need for such homes. If it weren’t for religion, these children wouldn’t have died like this.

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Catherine and Herbert Schaible belong to a fundamentalist Christian church that believes god will heal the sick and that doctors are pointless. In 2009, they killed their 2-year-old son, Kent, by praying for him to get better as he coughed and starved to death. They were given 10 years probation for his murder and they were told that they couldn’t enforce their religious beliefs if their children were sick. It was a part of their probation to take their children to a doctor. When their 8-month-old son, Brandon, became sick, the Schaible couple decided their god would heal him. The baby suffered with diarrhea and breathing problems before he finally succumbed to his symptoms. This couple was not found to be mentally ill. They were teachers of a faith that believed only god could heal the sick. They took religion too far and when god didn’t heal their first child, they assumed it was “god’s plan” for him to die.

Michael Pearl, who is an American Christian Fundamentalist, missionary, and evangelist, wrote a book called “To Train up a Child” with his wife, Debi. This book has been sold to parents in desperate need to make their children obedient, Christian drones. Several deaths have been associated to this publication, although they deny their book had any impact on the children’s abuse and murder. The book teaches that spanking a child as little as 6 months is essential. They say that giving children cold baths, throwing them outside in cold weather, using switches for beatings and withholding food are perfectly acceptable ways of making a child obey. Hana Williams, one of the victims murdered due to teachings in this book, was found dead, naked and starved after her parents forced her outside in the freezing rain. Her parents believed she was too rebellious and over the course of three years, she lost 30 pounds, slept in a locked closet, bathed outside with a hose and used an outhouse to go to the restroom. Another child lost due to crazy beliefs of fundamental Christians.

Don’t sit quietly any longer

Religion is abusive and all involved have warped views on life. The religious are so eager for their afterlife that they don’t stop to use logic and reasoning as they should. Religion is dangerous and hurts adults and children alike. Theists without psychosis, claim to hear voices, see angels and follow the word of a god who does not exist. It's not easy to tell a fundamental Christian and a psychotic apart.

Children are sexually abused in the church and they are tortured and/or killed by exorcisms.

Little girls are victims of “honor killings” when they are raped.

Abuse and religion have held hands from the moment each religion was created.

Don’t sit quietly any longer.

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