Catholic Childhood Abuse

Regarding childhood abuse, I think the prevailing attitude toward it is that at some point you should just get over it.

And I agree, mostly. Full-grown adults who talk about their childhood traumas, and never seem to get over them and just move on, well, you get tired of listening, don’t you?

But then again, I can’t help but think of bonsai trees.

Miranda Celeste opens a window into a type of childhood abuse which, because it is so socially acceptable, is often overlooked.

… year after year, children continue to experience the indoctrination that, in one way or another, will haunt them for the rest of their lives. Until we as a society admit that childhood religious indoctrination has serious consequences and begin to give those consequences the consideration that they deserve, those of us who struggle with such issues will never be able to heal, even in some small way. And, more importantly, until society stops treating serious issues like Catholic guilt as a cliched joke, childhood religious indoctrination will never be seen for what it is: emotional and psychological abuse. We cannot even begin to fight back against childhood religious indoctrination until we admit that it does real damage and has real consequences, consequences that millions of people struggle with on a daily basis.

You might be born to be a soaring redwood, but if a bonsai specialist cuts at your roots and branches early in your life — even if you one day get free of his influences and go your own way — you’re never going to be as tall or as impressive as one of your fellows not subjected to that early influence.

Of course humans are not trees. Obviously the situation is considerably more complex with humans than with bonsai trees. It might even be that certain early difficulties make it MORE likely some particular human will reach great heights later in life.

But the metaphor — and Miranda Celeste’s experience — does make me wonder:

If childhood religious indoctrination IS abuse … can it ever be justified?

"Best to you, Mr. Fox, and for your efforts."

Goodbye Patheos—Hank Fox Bows Out
"All the best, Hank! Your thoughts and words have always given me something to ponder."

Goodbye Patheos—Hank Fox Bows Out

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