Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

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Abuse and Religion

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This week, join Becky, Jerry, and Rich as we talk about abusive situations in religion. We have a discussion with Janet Heimlich, author of “Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Maltreatment

About the Author: Sam Mulvey

Sam Mulvey is a producer and the technical brain behind Ask an Atheist. He is a collector of vinegar varieties, vintage computers, antique radios, and propaganda.

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Ajax Blackburn

As one who has been tied to the bed, locked in the pantry and have watched sisters beaten to the point where the wooden spoon has broken, luckily, against the window sill but not against our backs, it does seem to me, as just one of very many, that the real trouble is in the witnessing. Even the religious let witnessing carry so much weight. Yet when you witness a sibling being attached unfairly, well, then you are egomaniacial and are just seeking attention. YES! Yes i am, Pastor of nothing! What suits them fits loosely.

Paul J Hannah

That was one of the most chilling stories I have ever heard. The sadism of that father left mine for dead and was not afraid to inflict pain. That he has managed to survive, and grow into a decent person is testement to the quality of his character and the strength of his personality. I am reminded of the men who returned from the death marches and railway gangs ran by the sadistic Japanese and Koreans, They returned with no thought of revenge. No hatred of the Japanese of any kind. I have read a great deal of these stories… Read more »


I’m actually surprised there aren’t more comments here. As someone who has grown up in an abusive home, this was an incredibly difficult episode to listen to. My mother was angry and violent, and she used the bible and James Dobson’s books to justify her behavior. While I may have some emotional problems stemming from the abuse, I’m glad that she didn’t do any permanent damage to my body. I’ve had someone tell me that he thought that people became atheists primarily because of religious abuse. While I acknowledge that my experiences probably have influenced my decision to reject religion,… Read more »

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