It depends on the methods chosen.
My online dictionary gives several definitions of abuse: use to a bad effect or for a bad purpose, treat with cruelty or violence, assault sexually, use or treat in a way to cause damage, speak in an insulting way to or about someone. I would say forcing a child into a religion can/might do none or all of these things, depending on the religion and the parents. Some parents feel obligated to expose their children to religion, but don't take it very seriously. Others punish their children severely if they can't memorize religious passages or follow religious doctrine with the same vehemence as the parents do. I was forced to follow Christianity by highly-religious parents. But I saw through the B.S. and started to doubt by the time I was 12. I don't know if there were any long-lasting psychological effects. I, of course, didn't express my views and simply stopped attending church once I left home to attend college. Yet, I always felt like an outsider because, here in the U.S. in my youth, being an atheist was like being a communist or a traitor. I discussed my beliefs with very few people until recently when I came out of my atheist closet ---after age 60. I thank Dawkins, Hitchens, and others for making it easier to be a non-believer in America.
Would not know about the abuse part, I won't think so, esp as C Woods say, as long as no one gets hurt?BUT ... I was also brought up in a strict Christian family of YOU SHOULD, YOU HAVE TO, etc and would have been nice to say YOU MAY CHOOSE TO! I felt lied to afterwards, threatened and scared eg. how dare I sin, how dare I be rude etc.I think you get my point.
Not sure that it is abuse, since parents force children to all sorts of things which are suposed to be for their good! I was not forced to go, my parents not being the "religious type".
I believe it is. It is mental manipulation. The way in which a childs brain soaks up information, at different stages in their growth, to have ONE thing put on them, and fed it as the 'truth' - will have a long lasting affect. Children do not begin questioning things in the same manner as an adult till their early teens, - It is this way for a reason ! If they questioned when Mummy says 'Don't touch the boiling hot water' - ouchies !!There's no need to DENY them the awareness of the idea of God, but don't teach it as fact - you teach it just as you teach ANYTHING else. You say 'it is an idea, some people believe it is real, and some don't.' When they are old enough, they will ask further questions, and come to their own conclusions. If you DO want your child to be of a certain faith ( saving them i guess?) atleast have them believe it because they WANT to, because they REALLY believe it, through reason, through personal research and feeling - if it is NOT through this - then it really is just brain washing. Wow.. i went on alot.Yes, I think it is child abuse to force something on a mind that is unable to question. Much the same as a parent telling their child they were a 'mistake', 'unwanted' etc. Not all the different from the 'sinful' nature Christians teach their children they are a part of ;)
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