Many of you have probably heard of Richard Dawkins’ argument that it’s tantamount to child abuse to teach children that their friends with the “wrong” religious beliefs will burn in hell. Many of you probably agree, at least with the nature of the charge if not the degree. A postcard sent to Post Secret and published in their Father’s Day collection yesterday underscores the emotional trauma that religious teaching can cause:
Certainly this is not the experience of every child raised in a religious family. But, equally certainly, these children are out there. It’s easy to understand how the concept of an afterlife that includes hell — taught literally — would be petrifying. I’m so glad I never had to go through that myself.