Racist/religious child abuse

President McAleese had some interesting comments regarding the recent racist attacks in Northern Ireland.

“Part of the problem is how children are reared to hate and despise the otherness of others. Northern Ireland is not unfamiliar with that, the old Catholic-Protestant thing, that people are making really big efforts now to transcend and overcome, is replicated in racism, the refusal to see the human person in the other, the refusal to see a potential friend. It’s to see a threat, to see something you despise.”

“That’s taught, it’s learned behaviour, no child is born believing any of that, and so all of us, on the whole island of Ireland … have to bend our minds to how we stop our little children from being turned into wrecking balls as teenagers and as adults.”

The President is, of course, correct. No child is born a racist, their minds are warped by adults who themselves were victims of indoctrination.

But there is a close relationship between racist and religious indoctrination of children. Both constitute child abuse and are founded on instilling in the child a hatred or at least a deep suspicion of the ‘otherness’ of the opposing tribe.

It would be great to see President McAleese come out and condemn the wholesale religious indoctrination/abuse of children in Catholic and Protestant schools.