The official blog of University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, & Agnostics

The True Love’s Kiss series: That’s not love

From The Oatmeal's "How to suck at your religion"

From The Oatmeal’s “How to suck at your religion

So far in this series I’ve mostly discussed romantic love and sex and other lovely things that 20 year old godless ladies like to talk about. This week will be a little different because I’m going to change my focus to a different kind of love: the love one shares with a child, the love you express by hanging up their baffling artwork or playing catch at the park. Children are helpless and impressionable and I find it absolutely deplorable that it is culturally acceptable and even encouraged to indoctrinate them with harmful bullshit. It makes for a very confused and psychologically unhealthy development, and it is definitely not a reasonable act of love.

We tell children some pretty bizarre things. Santa watches you and slides down the chimney with gifts. The Tooth Fairy buys your teeth like a creeper. An anthropomorphized rabbit steals your painted eggs and hides them along with chocolate replicas of itself.

Children are often crushed when the truth inevitably comes out. Many resist adapting to the new reality at first because fuck you, this is Santa and you can’t take him.

And these are pretty much white lies in comparison to telling them that there’s a magical man who will save them if they apologize for being horrible, or else they’ll be tortured for eternity. Or when we give them the idea they’ll see Grandma and Fido again after they die, so long as they don’t break some ambiguous rules. So of course ingraining these beliefs early will turn out kids desperate to cling to this worldview, especially because they are trained to be dependent on it to avoid damnation.

These kids are told that perfectly natural things like sexual curiosity will send you straight to Satan’s pit, that being human by default makes you drenched in sin unless you repent hard enough. Unfortunately, this frame of mind is very easy to manipulate, which is what we see the church doing time and again. The most obvious example is tithing, but we even see the Pope bribing the herd to follow him on Twitter in exchange for a reduced purgatory sentence (which isn’t even in the Bible… what?).

This is Father James Martin Donaghy, certified sick fuck. He is serving a decade in prison for child abuse.

Far worse than scamming parishioners of their time and money is taking advantage of the trust a child gives to the person they think can connect them with their savior. One of the most recent cases to come to light is that of Father Donaghy, who was already serving a ten year sentence for child abuse when additional counts were brought against him. A seven year old boy came forward with his story: he submitted to sex with Father Donaghy who told him “that this was to get his grandfather into heaven and that if he told anyone it would not work.”

What the actual fuck?

Parents are priming their children to fear all the wrong things and trust the clergy without question. Instead of developing critical thinking and post-conventional morality, these individuals are stuck in the moral mindset of a child, making decisions based on obedience and punishment. Of course, the subset of our population raised this way are not all drooling drones, parroting the Church’s word. But plenty of them do bad things in the name of their God, manipulate people with the threat of their God, or even simply refuse to accept facts that their God does not like.

This all boils down to two simple points:

  1. Questioning, doubting, and logically analyzing are discouraged and blind compliance is favored.
  2. The unsubstantiated threatened punishment of infinite torture and promised reward of afterlife with angels are used to keep children in line.

If this were being done in the name of Zeus, the parents may be charged with neglect or emotional abuse. This behavior is damaging to a child’s psyche, setting them up for failure, and practically delivering victims to people like Father Donaghy.

That’s not love. That’s sick.


About khuddlestonsmith

I'm a Mizzou student majoring in Biology and Psychology, minoring in Anthropology, and earning an Honors College degree.

7 comments on “The True Love’s Kiss series: That’s not love

  1. rocketkirchner
    July 17, 2013

    kATE , I once heard an Atheist speaker state that ”we have to get to these collge kids before the preachers scare them half to death ”. to which i half agreed.
    the reason why i half agreed is becuase i dont what is worse ; having preachers on campus scaring college kids half to death , or Atheists condescending to them by telling them how gullible they are for believing or not believing certain things.
    It seems to me that both the preachers and the Atheists are seeking to convince themselves by convincing others and suppressing real critical thinking instead of opening up a dialogue on things that the Ancient Greeks and Ancient Hebrews , and all the Philosphers thru history have racked their brains over. So , we are living in the fall out of the graveyard of ideas , and the moralizing on both sides drones on …..

    • khuddlestonsmith
      July 19, 2013

      You completely missed the point, rocket. As an atheist, I wholeheartedly support teaching critical thinking. I would prefer we teach children how to think instead of what to think. I firmly believe religious teachings should play no role in a child’s life until they’re at least ten years old, preferably more like fifteen, so they have a chance to actually think about the ridiculous things they’re being told instead of just swallowing it whole.
      Preachers suppress critical thinking because that’s what makes religious people atheists. Atheists support critical thinking for the same reason. Sure, some of us may ridicule beliefs that we find absolutely stupid (as do religious folks), but that is not at all representative of the movement in its entirety.

      • rocketkirchner
        July 21, 2013

        Kate , thanks for your reply . having a son that i raised who is now 23 years old , his mother and i agreed not to expose him to anything relgiuos at all . you state that relgiuos teachings should play no role in a child’s life until they are 10. i dont think they should play a role at all. . When is the last time you heard that one coming from a christian practioner ?
        i think that the new atheism lacks the

  2. rocketkirchner
    July 21, 2013

    I got cut off ….. i think that the new atheism lacks the critical thinking of the older atheists such as Diderot , Camus , Cioran , etc..

    • khuddlestonsmith
      July 24, 2013

      I’d actually really like to hear what that entailed, refraining from teaching your child about religion. I’m very interested!

      • rocketkirchner
        July 24, 2013

        Kate , well as you know we live in stepford christian america . so it took alot of effort to keep Quenton ( that is my son ) from being innoculated with enough to turn him off to the good news. in specifics you gotta watch out for freinds and relatives that mean well from seeking to get him to go to church , literature that they send , the people ( other kids ) he hangs around with , etc. it is not easy , but a must if one wants their kid to think for themself , and make their own decision about the faith . eventually my son did have anexperience with christ at age 15 all on his own , and it stuck till this day .

  3. rocketkirchner
    July 24, 2013

    i might add this : my reply to the stepford christians that i ran into who could not understand that me being such a fanatic for the gospel would raise my son this way . that would alwyas qoute proverbs about raising a child in the Lord …
    but proverbs was written by King Solomon. my reponse was what Jesus said to the Pharisees about Himself ”a greater than Solomon stands among you ” . so Christ’s words trump anything said in proverbs.. which includes spanking children . no spanking , no religiuos indoctrination . i hope this helps in taking in my view on that matter.

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