Bullying Children Because of Religious Faith

Sean Faircloth asks a simple question: “Can religion justify bullying children?”

His answer is yes, and he explains why in this talk.

It’s infuriating what religious people get away with because of their faith, isn’t it?

Sean’s book is called Attack of the Theocrats! How the Religious Right Harms Us All — and What We Can Do About It.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://twitter.com/BrookLaa Andy Laa

    Very slightly misleading blurb – he *is* against it, but he talks about how in practice it does happen…at least that’s my interpretation from about 5 mins of watching.

    • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

       He actually says “Yes it can” around 17:00. I don’t get it, or it wasn’t very well-worded.

      • http://twitter.com/BrookLaa Andy Laa

        He’s answering the question “Can it…?”  as opposed to “should it…?”

        But yeah, I agree with you, he was unclear.

  • Satia Renee

    Came upon your blog by way of NPR.  Provocative video and very interesting. I started it and, when I realized how long it was, went to get myself a glass of water. I’m glad I took the time to listen to it in its entirety.

  • Sami Hawkins

    I can’t hear this video since my work computer doesn’t have speakers, but this is a topic I have personal experience with.

    It infuriates me how many times I’ve told people about how the taxpayer funded public school I went to forced us to pray to Jesus at every single pep rally and holiday, the teachers read chain E-mails to the class about how stupid non-Christians are and I had to get harassed every day about how I was going to hell without any teacher ever trying to stop it, and they claim they had it just as bad because they had to learn about evolution or their teacher told them to stop vocally praying in the middle of class.

  • http://lizheywoodwriter.blogspot.com/ Liz Heywood

    Sean nails it: whatever your religious or secular outlook, we should be able to agree that our tax money should NOT support the write-offs and legal dodging of religious corporations with such power to harm and influence kids.

    I’m honored that he mentioned my case (at 25 min). Sean works hard to reveal the abuse and neglect inherent in many religions. 

    • http://twitter.com/butterflyfish_ Heidi McClure

      And thank YOU, Liz, for sharing your story with the rest of us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/King.Dominic Dominic Hinkins

    Hemant, did you actually watch this? I don’t think he’s justifying it, he’s saying religion is used to justify it, not that it’s objectively justified by religion…

    • pauleky

      Which then makes it OK according to a bunch of people. Not sure parsing words changes the meaning.

      • http://twitter.com/BrookLaa Andy Laa

        It’s just a little unclear as to what he’s trying to say in his talk. To a lazy observer, it looks like he’s put his seal of approval on it.

        • Pinion88492

          To a lazy observer…That says it all

  • Observer

    The problem with religion is that it’s too trusting, at least with other people. We EXPECT religious people to be caring and trusting and such, but because we never thought of anyone who claims to believe in Jesus to be malicious. But unfortunately,  the unthinkable has happened (practically literally). Can’t say whether the privileges went to their heads, or they’re very convincing conmen, but either way, calling yourself a Christian should not allow you to be given any trust or respect on a silver platter. You want to be trusted and respected? you have to get it the hard way: by earning it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

       I’m less trusting of religious people, because if they wrong *me* they’ll be happy with their god’s forgiveness rather than seeking mine.

  • Lurker111

    Slightly off-topic, but–based on the clip’s covering shot, did Regis Philbin suddenly step through a time machine???

  • Anonymous-Sam

    What bugs me is how so many states are adopting anti-bullying laws for schools, but writing exceptions which preclude preventing hate speech if it’s motivated by religion. Given that much of the driving force behind these laws is the outcry of parents witnessing strings of suicides by gay students who can’t deal with the constant harassment anymore, why make a legal precedent allowing it to continue? FFS, the bills were a bad idea in the first place, but now they’re just pointless.


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