Does Christianity Harm Children?


The above question is the title of a Psychology Today article written by Dr. Phil Zuckerman. One can find this article here and my below response will make more sense if you read it first.

Phil Zuckerman Ph.D., is a professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College. He is also a regular adjunct professor at Claremont Graduate University. He is the author of several books, including Living the Secular Life (Penguin, 2014), Faith No More (Oxford, 2011), and Society Without God (NYU, 2008). [1] So, his maligning anti-Christian bias is no surprise and is obviously the impetus for the main assertion of his article. That assertion, in my way of thinking, is that the images associated with Christendom’s portrayal of Calvary harms children by horrifying them. I realize that the author didn’t word his concerns that way, but it is implied by his initial focus. Notice how his most acrid criticisms are aimed the very event that reconciled humanity to Father God.

Was Dr. Zuckerman at all surprised that this Mission contained depictions of the Crucifixion? Had he taken his children to Disney World, would he have also been shocked by a certain 6 foot tall talking rodent? Did he not have the forethought that a responsible parent of a little girl ought to have? From his own testimony he was not ignorant of the basis tenets of Christianity. And he said himself, “ . . . the California missions are a vital part of California history.” He had prior knowledge of what would be there. Therefore, why was his daughter exposed to this most intense part of Christian history with no emotional preparation? The good Doctor alleges that his account is true and then wishes to blame Christianity for the emotional shock his daughter received.

Let’s assume this little trip went exactly as he claims it did; let’s assume he didn’t fabricate this entire story. He said of her reaction, “My daughter had no context to understand it; she had no idea what Christianity was all about and had never been exposed to this most famous killing in history. She just saw what it objectively was: a large torture chamber. And she burst into tears and ran out.” Let’s think on that statement a moment. He is an unbeliever who is raising a child without teaching her about Christian doctrine(s). This being the case, why did he choose to take her to a mission of all places? He claims it was to show them a building that is a part of the Californian historical landscape, but was this truly his intention? I would wager that his motives were not nearly so innocuous.

The next statement that stood out to me really does sum up his whole reason for his writing this anti-Christian attack piece. He said, “The whole thing is so totally, horrible, absurdly sadistic and counter-intuitive and wicked. Not to mention baldly untrue.” Here, in a nutshell, is the proverbial bee in Dr. Zuckerman’s bonnet. It’s all so very bloody and he doesn’t believe it. Therefore, his “professional”, sociological opinion is severely biased against Christianity. Had he been a Christian, or at least one not so wretchedly opposed to Christianity, he would have been concerned about his daughter’s emotional trauma, but would not have chosen to blame Christianity for something that is simply a part of real life on planet earth.

I would like to ask Dr. Zuckerman this question. When does he plan to take his children on an educational romp through the crematoria and gas chambers at Auschwitz and Birkenau? Oh, and does he plan to tell the horrified kiddies that this was the fault of Christianity too?


[1] “Psychology Today.” Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. Accessed December 14, 2015.

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