Can Religious Exposure Lead to Child Abuse? Essay

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In spite of the way that religious upbringing is widely believed to benefit children, extensive exposure to particular aspects of religion early in life has been known to inflict pain, fear, and humiliation on the weakest, most vulnerable members of society. Many experts on child abuse, particularly those with evolutionist views, would argue that religious teachings of the doctrine of hell can emotionally scar children if they are exposed to them at an early age. However, as such views are largely unsupported by scientific evidence and remain somewhat unjustified child abuse cases involving religion are largely unexplored. On the one hand, religious exposure is greatly supported as a benefit for children. Through religious upbringing, children are raised with a sense of distinctive morals and culture. For example, the Catholic Church pressures children to learn ‘rights and wrongs.’ Despite having previously been accused of dividing communities, a recent survey – which was notably funded and carried out by the Church of England – has revealed this to be false. The survey proved that many of the faith schools promote “community cohesion,” the idea of unity existing within a community. This proves that, psychologically, children can in fact be helped by early exposure to religious ideas and morals. In addition to this, religion allows children the “proper spiritual direction” needed to withstand temptation and “carnal desires.” This indicated that exposure to religion can be viewed as necessary to allow a child to grow out of having a possible “primal” side. As one fifth of the schools in England and 14% of Scottish schools are faith schools, it can be argued that the mixture of religion and education can be effective. However, on the other hand, while it is true that exposure to cultural belief can benefit children there are a number of problems that are caused

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