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Although the serious consequences of childhood religious indoctrination (specifically of the Catholic variety) is a topic that I’ve written a great deal about and have discussed in various interviews, etc., I wasn’t aware of the existence of The End Hereditary Religion Project (homepage, Facebook page, Google+ page) until a few days ago, when I was invited to be one of the presenters at The 3rd Annual International Day of Protest Against Hereditary Religion online event. A list of presenters and their time slots can be found here (I’ll be presenting from 3PM to 4PM UTC).
This 24 hour event will be streaming live on YouTube beginning at 00:00 UTC (midnight) on January 20th (use this UTC converter to find out when to watch in your time zone). Tune in if you can (the videos will also be archived here for later viewing). You can also take part via social media. Feel free to comment/ask questions/etc. on YouTube, Twitter (the event’s Twitter account is @IDPAHR), Facebook, Google+, etc. In your tweets/Facebook posts/Google+ posts, please use the hashtag #IDPAHR so that the event organizers will be able to find/respond to/share your comments and questions. Additionally, if you’re planning to watch at any point during the broadcast, please RSVP at the Facebook event page.
Below, I’ve pasted the event’s official press release (also available on the Facebook event page) and have embedded a relevant Facebook post. Please contact the organizers (their contact info is listed below) if you have any questions about the event. I’m also more than happy to answer questions and/or discuss this issue in general. Feel free to leave comments on this blog post or to contact me via Twitter (I’m at @mirandachale). Thanks!
For Immediate Release
Vulnerable naive children all over the world are routinely consigned by their parents to faith organizations to be groomed as members of the parent’s faith. Toddlers are led into religious houses of worship and surrounded by hundreds and perhaps even thousands of emotional adherents. The experience often overwhelms and frightens children who have no way of processing what is happening. Most adults commonly encounter difficulty understanding supernatural bizarre religious ideas and rituals. Accordingly, children can suffer emotional trauma and anxiety as a result of practices fostered by the cultural acceptance of endorsing hereditary religion.
Universally, civil authorities are oblivious to the way the practice violates a child’s human rights and the emotional damage it can inflict. Although civil libertarians have long objected to childhood indoctrination, perpetrators unfailingly offer the defense of free will. They argue a child is always free to choose a different faith, or no faith, when they reach their majority, (usually 18 years), and leave the family home. This is an incoherent argument because determined and repeated efforts are made during the child’s formative years to insure they will never leave the faith. Furthermore, recent brain science research reveals conclusively that constant repetition of the same inputs to the brain results in permanent neuronal configurations that are nearly impervious to change without great difficulty. Moreover, leading researchers increasingly question the age old assumption that free will is a fact. Instead, they assert that free will is a convenient illusion.
Rigorous and prolonged religious grooming that happens to children before their brains are completely developed can shape their thought processes for life. Such abuse ignores children’s human right to an open future free of wanton manipulation and interference and can set them on a path of rigid dogmatism.
On January 20, 2014 the third international protest against hereditary religion will take place involving thousands of participants around the world. The event is being staged in cyberspace and will feature a virtual rally stage with nationally recognized presenters exploring the protest themes and leading real time discussions using internet communication resources.
Let nothing thwart a child from achieving personal autonomy.
For more information:
Spokesperson: Richard Collins
End Hereditary Religion
Web site: http://www.endhereditaryreligion.com/
Update: January 25th
The event went really well & I’m happy that I was asked to be one of the presenters. During my time slot, I talked about Catholicism, specifically Catholic childhood religious indoctrination. If you’d like to watch my part of the livestream, I’ve embedded the video below (it should start at 2 hours and 6 minutes in, but sometimes YouTube embeds get the start time wrong). The video is also available here. Additionally, the entire 24 hour recorded livestream (divided into four separate videos), is archived on the International Day of Protest Against Hereditary Religion’s YouTube Channel. Thanks!