Altmuslimah. She and other writers of various faiths were asked to debate when does a religious upbringing cross the line from nurturing to oppressive.
Religion is too restrictive when it limits basic human rights, opportunities, education, curiosity - the growth of the human spirit. Religions lose influence and sustainability when their leaders must rely on manipulation, commercialism or threats to win over hearts and minds.
As noted in Fear of Beauty, "There’s no reason to fear comparisons and inquiries that come with good intentions.... Believers cannot fear the nonbelievers. Those who resist questions or comparisons lack true faith."
Children and families do make comparisons in a diverse society.
Responsibility for spirituality rests with parents, maintains Uddin, and people do change their minds. Yet too many parents lack the confidence to examine teachings and make a choice, and for others, religion is but another passing fashion.
Photo of Afghan child in Garmsir, courtesy of US Marine Corps and Wikimedia Commons