One of my most fundamental objections to religion is the psychological effect of bullying children "into damnation". It is natural for all children to, at some point, recognise their own mortality. It is certainly a scary realisation, even when repeated in adult life. Nonetheless, theist groups often tell children, specifically, that:-
1. There is an afterlife
2. It can be good (heaven) or bad (hell)
3. You will go to one of these depending on your behaviour
4. You will go to hell if you dont behave as (the theists) say
(the "afterlife proposition")
Firstly, we have no evidence for heaven or hell apart from the teachings of a wild man/preacher around 2000 years ago. Secondly, we have no evidence for an afterlife full stop. There is no transition from our biological state to any other state which can be identified. Accordingly, it is very likely that the "afterlife" proposition put by theist groups is fraudulent (and solely for the purpose of acheiving control per point 4).
We know that images of hell combined with a realisation of our own demise can be psychologically shattering for a child. Particularily for children without the ability to critique religion.
So why do we let theists terrorise young children with this hogwash given the harm that it causes to mental health? Well, the answer is because it is religion, hands off, dont touch - its holy and therefore out of bounds.
Fortunately, we are no longer constrained in this way, on the front lines of this battle, we can critique to our hearts content. That probably why this petition is going up - to stop the nightmares. I note the petition is for British Citizens, but you should check out the campaign anyway.
Personally, I think we should have a new campaign "Confront the inevitable - its coming anyway".