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 neglect. I 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