Jerry Coyne posts the following picture
Dawkins has taken flak for characterizing religious indoctrination of children as “child abuse.” Well, look at this picture and deny it.
Easy. I deny it. I can deny it because I value evidence and reason. The evidence shows us that true child abuse – physical, sexual, and/or emotional – has detectable effects on the child as he/she becomes an adult. Put simply, someone who survives child abuse will likely go through life suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Abuse changes the brain and the body. Those who have been abused are likely to have psychological problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and more. They are also more likely to suffer from immune system and digestive disorders (not surprising given how these are tied into the nervous system). There is no evidence that holding that sign, or even being taught the message of that sign, will result in such disorders.
Whether or not a child is abused is dependent on how the child is treated, not what the child is taught.
The mistake that Coyne and Dawkins make is in wanting to substitute a moral claim with a clinical/medical claim. They would be on very solid ground in saying it is wrong to teach your children to murder others for their beliefs. But because they are atheists who believe there is no objective essence to such morality claims, they need something stronger than morality – a claim of child abuse. Thus, they hope the emotions stirred up by such a picture will cause people to abandon their critical thinking and become more sympathetic to this position:
Somehow—and this will never happen, of course—it should be illegal to indoctrinate children with religious belief.
So the solution to some Muslim parents teaching their child to “behead all those who insult the prophet” is to borrow from Soviet ideology and make all religious upbringing illegal.
Jerry Coyne has just shown us his inner, authoritarian nature. He is a man who claims to have some great commitment to evidence and liberal, democratic ideals, yet he shows no respect for the need for evidence and adopts an authoritarian stand. In other words, standard Gnu hypocrisy. Of course this makes sense, as it further illustrates the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of Gnu atheism. Given the Gnus have no objective basis for morality, they must resort to raw power to enforce their views. And that’s what we have here. That’s what we had in the old Soviet Union.
If he wants to promote such authoritarianism, why doesn’t he at least make an effort to think more rationally about it? That if, if you really feel the need to make this illegal, then simply make it illegal to teach your children it is okay to murder other people.