Opinion: Your Children Are Most Vulnerable to Grooming from Religion

Walter Rhein

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Many harmful ideas are proposed under the guise of “protecting our children.” For example, right-leaning politicians have argued that critical race theory shouldn’t be taught in school because it makes children “feel bad about themselves.”

Although that comment sounds like it’s coming from the right place, the truth is that critical race theory isn’t taught in K-12 schools. The concept of critical race theory has been weaponized to fire responsible teachers who do nothing more than teach accurate history.

One concept that does not get enough attention in the media is how abusers try to flip the narrative. An essential element of this tactic is to reverse who is perceived as the victim and who is perceived as the offender.

For example, many people dubiously claim that critical race theory makes children feel bad about themselves. However, why is it that nobody argues that religion is designed to make children feel bad about themselves?

Do you feel good when somebody calls you a sinner?

How do you feel when somebody explains original sin? How does it feel to know you’re perceived as guilty for something that you had nothing to do with?

The word “grooming” has also been weaponized in our society. However, like critical race theory, the term is often misapplied for political gain.

One of the traits that groomers look for in potential victims is low self-esteem. For some children, constantly being denounced as a “sinner” erodes self-esteem.

LGBTQ children have a higher risk of suicide because of stigmatization that often originates with the church. These are innocent, vulnerable human beings that are often kicked out of their homes and subjected to abuse.

Children from marginalized groups are always the targets of predators. On top of that, many individuals who claim to hold religious faith are trained to perpetuate the myth of the “gay agenda.”

The reality in the United States of America is that religious groups intentionally marginalize children as part of a strategy of grooming them for abuse. When you look at legitimate statistics of predator arrests, you’ll see that the faith community is over-represented.

To put it simply, the LGBTQ community is not a threat to your children.

The faith community is a threat to your children.

The truth is that there is a lot of social conditioning that is done under the justification of “traditional family values” that is designed to put your children in a vulnerable situation. At some point, our society has to put our beliefs aside and concentrate on the facts.

I think there are a lot of people who sincerely mean well, but who refuse to recognize that many of their longstanding beliefs are harmful to children. This is why you get people who think they have to use corporal punishment even though studies show such actions cause more harm than good.

Why is it so hard to recognize that we are better equipped today to provide our children with the guidance they need than at any point in human history? We should be boosting our children’s self-esteem, not lecturing them about how they’re “sinners.” We can’t allow ourselves to be tricked into grooming our kids to make them vulnerable to religious predators. We also have to recognize who the true predators are.

This is why any talk about bringing prayer into the classroom should be strongly opposed. It doesn’t hurt your children to teach them tolerance for same-sex unions. It doesn’t hurt your children to build their self-esteem. But it does make your children vulnerable when you threaten them with eternal torment.

Many people claim that they stand for love.

That’s not enough. You have to prove it. Our society must accept the truth about the groups most likely to harm our children.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI
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