"Girls in the west Texas polygamous sect enter into underage marriages without resistance because they are ruthlessly indoctrinated from birth to believe disobedience will lead to their damnation[.]" How is this different from any other religion? That's a serious question, not snark. The followers of virtually all religions raise their children within their religious framework, and impose the moral and behavioral rules of their faith on their children. Why is this different? If you're going to give social approval to religious upbringing, where does the line fall in picking-and-choosing? From my atheistic point of view, it's all indoctrination, after all.Various people immediately jumped on Lake for being nasty and anti-religion and mean to cuddly little bunnies and unappreciative of their personal soulful connection to Invisible Pink Unicorns and Lake, being a polite man, backed off and apologized.
I, however, am not polite. This was also the weekend in which an old man, selected by a bunch of other old men (of which he was then one) to be head of a huge organization, came to my area to insist that everybody just shut up, stop thinking for themselves, and do what he says. (Or else they'll be tortured for all eternity by an all-loving supernatural being who created everyone and knows everything.)
In other words, he taught that "disobedience will lead to damnation."
All other Christian denominations that I know of also teach that "disobedience will lead to damnation."
The Muslim sects that I'm familiar with teach that "disobedience will lead to damnation."
Judaism is built on a vast interlocking set of detailed rules, and "disobedience will lead to damnation."
So is the problem merely that Lake is pointing at the most egregious example, and nobody likes to see their own ox being gored? Because it certainly looks to me as if every major religious tradition comes down to "these are the rules you have to follow, and if you don't you'll be tormented for all eternity." And that's exactly what the crazy Texas polygamists are saying, only with their own specific set of rules...but every group has a slightly different set of rules.
The responses all seem to be "well, all the people I know would never play the eternal damnation card...oh, sure, it's there, hidden in the religion somewhere, but only Republicans would actually mention it to the darling little children." Which is hogwash. All Catholics get a solid diet of hell, and so do Muslims. It varies by Protestant denomination, but, unless you get way out to Unitarian Universalists, there's some hell in the mix. Hell is part of the religious equation.
Look, I won the Bible Olympics two years running at my Church in my mis-spent youth; I know what a happy, positive, non-Hell-centric religion looks like. But Hell is still there; damnation is one of the underlying themes. If you don't like that, perhaps you need to reconsider your allegiance to a Supreme Being that insists on it.