We’ve just come across some very interesting news stories across the globe on child abuse and the boundaries of such abuse and thought they would make for great Friday contemplation….

The first news items suggests that teaching Christian morals to children is child abuse. The thinking behind this is that some of the teachings and popular customs and rituals may be sending out damaging messages. Of course, we could apply this perspective to all organised religion and of course political movements, too. So, what do you think? Are movements in general dangerous for young minds, should we draw the line somewhere and seek to address persistent flaws in modern-day thinking and ritual or should we prevent the state from interfering and allow parents to raise their children as they wish?

The second piece considers the view that childhood obesity is also a form of abuse. This item comes off the back of court rulings in Australia, where child protection workers can use childhood obesity as a way to remove a child from the home and be placed under state or clinical supervision. This raises questions about social engineering and where we draw the line when it comes to child abuse. It also asks us to consider the meaning of abuse – whether it is an active intent on the part of parents, or a byproduct of ignorance or even a cry for help in situations where parents need support, too. If allowing a child to become obese is a form of abuse, then perhaps we can also include lack of exercise and even the choice of foods parents select when feeding their children. Where do you think we should draw the line?