1 Most adults born in Britain have had a Christian schooling. Before we are 24 years old, 99% of us reject religion,8 but the billions of neural connections made in our infant brains are not set free.9 Guilt can leave its sting on sensitive children, while moral confusion and bad casuistry will mark others. The author shows how Augustine’s dark ideas are yoked to British culture, normalising unhealthy thinking patterns.
2 Thanks to St Augustine’s hair-shirt ideas on penance, the Church of England service admits sin and begs forgiveness or mercy twenty-four times. Grace and love are said twice. Any suffering that has been caused by wrongdoing is disregarded.1 Faith schools often recite a shorter prayer, but pupils are still taught to cravenly say sorry and expect forgiveness, ignoring their victim.
3 89% of Britons identify as non-religious or notionally Christian,2 yet by law schools must join in Collective Worship.3 About half of all primary schools do so.4 In faith schools today, infants are ritually taught to feel guilt and shame, often by a cleric.5,6 Schools do not set out to sexualise pupils, but an authority figure causing a child to feel guilt and shame is a well-known method of child sexual grooming.7
4 Eastern Orthodox Christians believe Adam and Eve alone are guilty of lust (concupiscence).10 In the Western Church, Christians learn St Augustine’s doctrine. He wrote about the ‘filth’ and ‘lust’ he saw in infants.11 He claimed every child shares guilt from Adam and Eve’s original sin of sexual lust, which persists even after christening.12 Today, faith schools disgrace young minds with the mentally and spiritually harmful stain of original sin.13