This blog post was originally published via Religious Child Maltreatment

I am a fan of Richard Dawkins. I admire him as a biologist, as a straight-talking atheist, and as an advocate for victims of religious child maltreatment. On June 1 of this year, I had the honor to be introduced by him at the American Humanist Association conference in San Diego where I spoke on a panel that he moderated on the subject of religious fundamentalism and child abuse. Dr. Dawkins praised my book, Breaking Their Will, and stressed how important it is that we recognize that religious belief can be a risk factor in cases of abuse and neglectI applaud Dr. Dawkins for personally donating £10,000 toward a fund to build a legal case to prosecute Pope Benedict XVI for his part in the Catholic church covering up cases of child sexual abuse committed by priests.

But I have to call him on a comment he made about child abuse. Actually, it was a comment he made about how we should view the actions of abusers who perpetrated their actions a few generations ago. In making his comment, Dr. Dawkins was not simply incorrect, he was terribly wrong, as in irresponsible. That is, I feel his statement could have a deleterious affect on victims of religious child maltreatment now and for years to come. Read more

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Janet Heimlich is an award-winning journalist and the author of "Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment," the first book to fully examine the issue of child abuse and neglect enabled by religious belief. In 2012, Janet founded the Child-Friendly Faith Project whose mission is to share knowledge and build community around the issue of religious child maltreatment (RCM) and advocate for and empower those whose lives are impacted by RCM. She also sits on the board of directors of Foundation Beyond Belief and co-hosts the podcast, "Parenting Beyond Belief." Prior to becoming a child advocate, Janet was a freelance reporter for National Public Radio, work for which she won numerous journalism awards; she has also written nonfiction articles for such publications as Texas Monthly and the Texas Observer.

1 Comment

  1. victor martinez
    December 21, 2015

    hello richard….
    seeing yuor documentals since i was 10 years ol,d
    i was wondering at first
    how religion could influeted at the education of people
    and another quiestions like
    why human being had learened this custom… not in the sense of evolution ir’s maybe more in the sense of learning in another way…
    [expletive deleted] THANK YOU

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