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Sun Dec 23, 2012, 03:54 PM

Famed atheist professor says 'being raised Catholic is worse than child abuse’

Richard Dawkins says ‘mental torment’ inflicted by Catholic teachings terrible

By DARA KELLY, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer
Published Sunday, December 23, 2012, 8:11 AM
Updated Sunday, December 23, 2012, 8:11 AM

A former Oxford professor, Richard Dawkins, has said that raising a child Catholic is worse than child abuse and that the "mental torment" inflicted by Catholic teachings is worse than any sexual abuse from priests, reports the Daily Mail.

Dawkins is an atheist biologist whose 1976 book "The Selfish Gene" revolutionized the theory of evolution.

His remarks were to be broadcast this weekend by Qatar-based TV network Al Jazzeera.

When asked by interviewer Mehdi Hasan about previous comments he made, Dawkins said: "Horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place."

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Famed-atheist-professor-says-being-raised-Catholic-is-worse-than-child-abuse-184604441.html

That sound you hear is credibility fleeing from the vicinity of Richard Dawkins.

26 replies, 2520 views

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply Famed atheist professor says 'being raised Catholic is worse than child abuse’ (Original post)
rug Dec 2012 OP
intaglio Dec 2012 #1
rug Dec 2012 #2
intaglio Dec 2012 #3
rug Dec 2012 #4
intaglio Dec 2012 #5
intaglio Dec 2012 #6
rug Dec 2012 #7
intaglio Dec 2012 #8
rug Dec 2012 #9
Fortinbras Armstrong Dec 2012 #10
rug Dec 2012 #11
olegramps Dec 2012 #12
rug Dec 2012 #13
Brigid Dec 2012 #14
rug Dec 2012 #15
Brigid Dec 2012 #16
47of74 Dec 2012 #17
LeftTurnOnly Dec 2012 #18
rug Dec 2012 #19
JNelson6563 Dec 2012 #20
rug Dec 2012 #21
okasha Dec 2012 #22
Brigid Jan 2013 #24
musical_soul Jan 2013 #23
shiningseas1971 Jan 2013 #25
rug Jan 2013 #26

Response to rug (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 05:41 PM

1. This is actually a defensible position

The restrictions, the dogma that all humans including children are evil, the oppressive refusal to inform about sexuality, the submission to authority ...

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Response to intaglio (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 05:56 PM

2. Are you saying raising children as Catholics is child abuse?

I remind you where you are.

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:11 PM

3. I do not know children raised that way

The only Catholic couples I know are childless. I have met ex-Catholics who considered their upbringing abusive but they may be biased. Equally there are reports in groups such as "Ex Christian.Net" that recount the mental tortures they experienced from such upbringing.

All I am saying is Dawkins' position is defensible. On the other hand you choosing to rant about how Dawkins has lost credibility whilst you are within the confines a "safe haven" merely shows arrant cowardice.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:22 PM

4. Then you are speaking from ignorance.

In addition to your lack of knowledge about Catholic children, you repeat blithely three false statements:

1) "the dogma that all humans including children are evil";

2) "the oppressive refusal to inform about sexuality";

3) "the submission to authority".

Do yourself a favor and check the pap peddled at exchristian.net at a reputble unbiased site.

Now, about "arrant cowardice". There is no one yet bocked from this Group, unlike your other safe haven group which is the model for what you describe.

Rather than soil that record in here, repost it in Religion and you'll learn what arrant cowardice is and is not.

You won't continue it in here.

Oh, BTW, likening child abuse to a Catholic upbringing is indefensible. It shows as little understanding of child abuse as it does of Catholicism.

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Response to rug (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:34 PM

5. OK, I'll wait n/t

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Response to rug (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:38 PM

6. Sorry, I misunderstood, you want me to post for you

Sorry, it's your OP get the courage to post for yourself.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:41 PM

7. It's your indefensible argument not mine.

Go on, don't be afraid. I'm there all the time.

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Response to rug (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:45 PM

8. It's your cowardice, not mine

My response was just that, a response

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Response to intaglio (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:52 PM

9. Lol.

You're done.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 07:44 AM

10. Dawkins is a bigot

The major thing I dislike about DU is the tolerence for atheistic bigotry. I have complained about this bigotry when it occurs -- admittedly, often in intemperate terms, but this is because I am strongly opposed to bigotry in all forms. If I were to say nasty things about blacks or Muslims or Jews or atheists, I would be slapped down (I have been slapped down for saying nasty things about atheists -- specifically, when an atheist was whining about "Oh, we atheists aren't accepted in this country", I replied in intemperate terms that he was whining). But say nasty things about Catholics? Why, that's perfectly acceptable on DU.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 09:05 AM

11. The worst part of this form of bigotry is that it clothes itself in the language of rationalism.

Putting on silk underwear doesn't change the smell of an ass.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:36 PM

12. Make the decision if it's abuse or not:

When I went to catholic school at first communion I was given at little prayer book along with scapulars and a rosary. I still have the prayer book which contained an "Examination of Conscience that you were suppose to use prior to confession. Let me digress for moment. Following Vatican II many psychologists who were joined by numerous theologians successfully petition for dropping the requirement that First Communion must be preceded by confession This was latter reinstalled be John Paul II. It was contended by mental experts to possibly be harmful to children. Returning to my little prayer book it's first five in the list all dealt with sexuality. "Did you look at dirty pictures, say nasty things, do nasty things by yourself or others.". I simply ask was this appropriate for six and seven year olds? How about the harmful affects of teaching children that masturbation could land them in he'll for eternity. I am strongly inclined to agree with mental health care experts that this has definitely caused sever problems of guilt in children and adolescents. The fact is that because of expert concern the church toned down it's war on adolescent masturbation saying that immaturity could lessen it's seriousness. Okay, were children harmed? Seems to me that the church has admitted to this fact. As serious as child abuse by pedophiles, that seems a bit overblown.

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Response to olegramps (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:56 PM

13. All five of my kids had Reconcilation before Communion.

I saw none of that.

It's hard to make a decision by swapping anecdotes. I'll rely on the expert quoted in the article:

Peter Saunders, the chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said: "At NAPAC we know that recovery from sexual abuse can take a lifetime. People never get over it. It is entirely unhelpful to make such comparisons."


But to your last sentence, comparing this to child abuse is indeed, to understate it, a bit overblown.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:42 PM

14. Dawkins is just another arrogant, abrasive academic.

There are far too many of his ilk in the world these days. I have known plenty of people who were brought up Catholic who don't view their upbringing as abusive, whether or not they still practice the faith.

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Response to Brigid (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:49 PM

15. And I never met a person who was abused who would agree with him.

Merry Christmas, Brigid!

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Response to rug (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 09:01 PM

16. Merry Christmas, rug!

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Response to rug (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:34 AM

17. Dawkins sounds like a southbound end of a northbound horse.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 04:54 PM

18. How unfortunate. Tired of atheistic bigotry.. Just wish they'd leave us alone sometimes.

Thanks for all of your Catholic posts, rug! Merry Christmas!

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Response to LeftTurnOnly (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:12 PM

19. Merry Christmas to you, too, Lefty!

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Response to rug (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 02:19 PM

20. *Waving white flag*

(Disclaimer: I am an atheist, was Catholic much of my life and the church was only ever a source of comfort to me & didn't prompt the change in my belief system.)

Interesting thread on a broad brush statement from Dawkins. I grew up Catholic, including some Catholic school - until 9th grade. I guess we had rather liberal nuns teaching us. No talk of misery in hell, just the absence of God. Catholic school, church and teachings were rather comforting to me, a safe haven from my stormy life at home. My personal experience is so opposite of what Dawkins is asserting here that it saddens me to see him make this statement.

Additionally it is my observation that, while many atheists can be obnoxious on matters of faith, many non-Catholic Christians attack Catholicism just as viciously, perhaps more so.

In the end I'd say there is much back and forth between the various camps but I would say Catholics get the worst of it since it is a common ground between the two groups.

Just adding my .0125 worth while stopping in for a visit.

Julie

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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:52 PM

21. Welcome to the Catholic Group, Julie.

I had a similar background to yours. While there was plenty of nonsense gong on (which is very easy to ridicule) overall there was a positive, deeply caring message.

Don't be a stranger.

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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:30 PM

22. Odd, isn't it,

how many of us never experienced the alleged trauma of a Catholic education. My Baptist mother and Episcopalian father sent me to an Ursuline school because of its high educational standards. No talk of burning in hell there, either--just, as you say, being left out of the presence of God and regretting what might have been. And they were fiercely protective of the girls. When I was in sixth grade, several members of a gang came strolling onto the campus, only to be run off, single-handedly, by Mother Paul, who stood maybe 4'10" and must have weighed all of 90 pounds in her winter habit, dripping wet. I have nothing but fond memories of those ladies.

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Response to okasha (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:26 PM

24. I would have loved to have met Mother Paul!

I have only been a Catholic for a few years, and thus had very few encounters with nuns. But I know that the old-time nuns were not to be trifled with. Rachel Maddow says so.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:15 AM

23. I'll take it Dawkins was never abused as a child....

because that's just an ignorant thing to say. It's offensive to those who underwent abuse.

This isn't to say that people in the Catholic church can't be abusive. My sister went through some mental abuse being a Catholic daycare once.

For the most part, it's really not that bad for most Catholics. I've been around those kids in Catholic church. They're healthy, happy, full of life. They don't seem like people who have been through mental anguish.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:42 PM

25. I went to Catholic school also

 

and I do not remember ever being told to be ashamed of any feelings we had. I know that we went to confessional and were only told to confess something if it was really bad. This was ohhh about 36 years ago also and our nun didn't wear habits LOL. Our religious studies were only like 30 min a day. I know that once reaching high school, which I didn't attend, there wasn't really any religious studies. I really am sick and tired of people who badger me about believing in God. Oh and how about the, I don't wanna have to look at religious Christmas decorations! What a bunch of whiners! There is a city north of me that is having a court battle about a large cross that is near the city of Frankenmuth, MI. The cross has been there for generations and the atheists are offended by it. Well I don't go around saying that they are wrong and Have to believe in God, so why don't they leave that stuff alone. Sheesh! Comparing Catholic teaching to child abuse! Both of my grandmothers were strict Catholics and didn't even bat an eyelash when I had my daughter out of wedlock.....

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Response to shiningseas1971 (Reply #25)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:39 PM

26. A belated welcome to DU.

I was in school too when they transitioned during Vatican II. Interesting times.

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