Fugitives from Fundamentalism

The Musings of Adult Missionary Kids (MKs) & Former Born-Again Believers

Put the fear of God in them

Posted by Paulo on September 5, 2010

A while ago Clamence added a page on here showing Facebook status updates from his Christian friends. I’ve included some of my own. Some of these are so disturbing that they deserve their own posts.

Making your kids believe that there is an invisible man up in the sky and in your brain who will punish you if you're bad is even more effective than telling them they won't get a present from Santa.


10 Responses to “Put the fear of God in them”

  1. Robert said

    Thanks for putting this up, Paulo. It deserves its own post, and does a great job of illustrating what I am always saying about religious belief and kids: it’s damaging to children to teach them sin ideology and to shame them into submission. Absolutely disgusting post to read. My heart bleeds profusely for this poor little kid. May he one day escape the mental clutches of his childhood brainwashing without becoming too neurotic.

    • Ann said

      It has been my experience with children that, given an environment of love and acceptance, shaming and physical punishment to garner obedience is unnecessary. To use my brick wall analogy–it’s like people are looking at a brick wall when it comes to parenting. When they look closer at their parenting philosophy, they can see the bricks and mortar that make up the wall, but they can’t see what’s on the other side of the wall. The vast majority of parents still use harsh punishments, spanking, and the threat of God’s anger, claiming these are necessary for raising moral children. Children who are secure in their parents’ love seek their parents’ approval and guidance and follow instructions willingly (at least most of the time) knowing their parents are making requests for a good reason, and typically a reason that supports their interests. If these children are unsure or disagree, they feel free to question and they know their opinion is heard. So even when things don’t go their way, they at the very least know why and feel validated. Of course, sometimes, when I’m in a real hurry and for the sake of expediency, I slip up and say, “Cause I said so!”, lol.

      • Ann said

        On the topic of parenting and sexuality, if I ever walk in on my kids masturbating, I’ll put the fear of God in them for sure. I’ll tell them to make sure they masturbate in private next time. “Like, lock your door, or go into the bathroom please and go at it there. There’s nothing wrong with it, but frankly, I’m not particularly wanting to walk in again on your sexual self-pleasing.” Any parent that does otherwise, meaning indicates the child is doing something “dirty” have sickness in the head. There is nothing wrong (sinful) about a developing child’s sexuality. One of my pet peeves with religious fundamentalists. Don’t get me started on the whole topic of sex ed–especially for girls!

        • Robert said

          Actually, Ann. That sounds like a great topic for a new post.

          • Ann said

            I think the main problem I have with sex ed for girls is that it’s not done. And if it is, most parents push them toward retaining their virginity, which is unrealistic. And sadly, females are biologically more prone to contracting sexual viruses and, because they are the sex with the womb, have unplanned pregnancies. As if women are less sexual than men. What a bunch of bull crap. Women are equally sexual, they are just told they aren’t supposed to be. Where’s the proof that women get less enjoyment from sex than men? So why are they whores and sluts when they have sex before marriage but men are just sowing wild oats or fulfilling some biological imperative? That doesn’t make any sense–does that mean it’s right for men and wrong for women? I’ve heard the argument that women can get any man they want (not true) so that’s why they are whores and sluts. If women are equally sexual beings, and experience just as much sexual pleasure as men, why does that make them a whore or slut if they have sex, or a bitch if they are choosy. Maybe it would make choices more thoughtful if men and women had equal access to each other versus women being put up on some kind of weird sexual pedestal where men worship them as pure beings for whom they men are unworthy, or women are sluts and whores if they get off the pedestal. Sounds a bit sexist and religioust to me, and, honestly, the whole male female thing is just complete bogus craziness. Have a little respect for women men.

            • Ann said

              This whole mess leads to the over emphasis on female appearance, one of the few ways women in this age have power over men. Men don’t even know what it means to be on equal footing with a woman. Think about it. A woman you respect not because she is dominant or submissive but because she is your equal. She is both and neither.

      • Ann said

        In my state, parents think children need a little something extra to help put the fear of God in them besides just their word that God will be unhappy if they are bad children and break his moral rules:


        And what’s up with the APA. Come on! Stand up for what you already know is true. Wimps.

        • Robert said

          That article was a horrible thing to read, Ann. The part that made me feel really sad:

          Even though there is a “weight of evidence that shows spanking does more harm than good,” Zolotor said, parents generally against spanking can lose their cool and react to a child’s misdeed with a spanking. The often dangerous misdeeds of 3- to 5-year-old children, along with their limited reasoning ability, may explain why they’re spanked more, he said.

          Essentially, small children, who can’t help the fact that they have limited reasoning and impulse control are being struck by their parents during a vitally formative time in life. It’s just disgusting. I need to explain the statistics to my son, so he can appreciate his dad’s discipline methods more: “Son, in your class of 20 students, 16 of them are being hit by their parents when they do something wrong. Only you and three others are not.”

          • Ann said

            Yes, it’s sad and disgusting that people hit children and disguise it with the word spanking.

            • Ann said

              When the society you live within condones systematic hitting of children, along with the organizations that advocate for the rights of children since they haven’t taken a stand even when they have volumes of studies and mountains of evidence it is unnecessary and potentially harmful, how much blame can we place on the parents who think they are following best parenting practices? Doesn’t take away the sad and disgusting part, but does provide a framework for understanding why people defend this barbaric practice in 2010.

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