CFFP Conference 2013: A first of its kind event!

CFFP Conference 2013: A first of its kind event!

Our November 8th conference was an amazing opportunity. We were joined by an audience that consisted of people who work in various fields from religious education to social work to law enforcement. We came together to hear about religious and cultural child maltreatment and what can be done to better

Read More

The Real Michael Pearl

This blog post originally appeared on Religious Child Maltreatment.
Both TV and print media have pitted me against the pro-spanking fundamentalist Christian preacher Michael Pearl, as I have been vocal about my concerns that his teachings about childrearing are dangerous. I have written extensively about Pearl in Breaking Their Will, and this is

Read More
More than she could bear

More than she could bear

This blog post was originally published via Religious Child Maltreatment. 
By now you’ve probably heard about the case of Nina Koistinen. She’s the 36-year-old mother from Phoenix who has been charged with first-degree murder, after she confessed to suffocating her newborn baby, Maya. Koistinen reportedly told authorities that she killed Maya six

Read More
Reading between the lines of a bishop’s “apology”

Reading between the lines of a bishop’s “apology”

This blog post originally appeared on Religious Child Maltreatment.
Yesterday, one of the country’s most prominent Catholic bishops apologized for his role in clergy sexual abuse cases dating back to the 1980s.
Except that his statement is not really an apology at all. Here’s what Bishop Thomas J. Curry of the Archdiocese

Read More

The Impact of Our Beliefs

This blog post originally appeared on Religious Child Maltreatment.
As we approach the holidays, we are often reminded of just how much religion permeates our culture. Christmas trees, menorahs, Kwanzaa traditions, Santa at the mall (for children who believe), holiday music on every radio station. December also marks the beginning

Read More

A New Venture to Protect Children

In the fall of 2012, a small group of child advocates began a nonprofit organization called the Child-Friendly Faith Project. It is nonpartisan and has been designated by the IRS as a 501c(3), which allows interested parties to make tax-deductible contributions. What sets the CFFP apart from other child advocacy

Read More
Religious patriarchy does not harm only women

Religious patriarchy does not harm only women

It’s hard to believe that women in a family would not do all they could to come to the aid of a dying infant. But that is what happened in the case of David Hickman. The infant was born two months premature and died nearly nine hours after birth in 2009. The cause of death was respiratory distress, a condition common in preemies whose lungs are usually not fully developed. The baby’s parents, Shannon and Dale Hickman, are currently on trial in Oregon for failing to provide the baby medical care. The couple belongs to the Followers of Christ, a church that believes that only faith healing can cure the sick.

Read More
The Abuse of Forgiveness

The Abuse of Forgiveness

According to mental health experts, forgiving someone who has wronged us can improve our emotional well-being. Acts of forgiveness can have even more far-ranging societal benefits. For example, the Rwandan gacaca genocide trials have relied on a system of forgiveness, allowing defendants who confess to receive lighter sentences. Part of the reason for adopting this system

Read More
A Call to Faith Leaders

A Call to Faith Leaders

Recent news from the Vatican represents a common problem among faith leaders: Simply put, many religious authorities do what they can to appear concerned about protecting children from abuse, but their actions usually fall short of making a real difference.
Case in point: On May 16, the Holy See issued

Read More