Ought one not, in order to support Freud’s Theory of Sexuality, devote a study to asking pre-school and school children questions like: “What are testicles? Where are they? What would it mean to you if one day they disappeared? Are you frightened of losing them or your penis in one way or another? If so: How frightened are you? What do you think could cause a loss of these organs? In contrast to the usual psychiatric silence (the known and educated (!) “Yes, yes, hm, hm”), questions can quickly open the door to the subconscious. Children must also have questions put to them concerning their natural father. Is one afraid of him? Is one worried he may harm one in any way? Does one really wish to have the parent of the opposite sex all to oneself in every way? Can the father-son relationship (or daughter respectively) cause some kind of stronger fear with the child? A fear strong enough to cause addiction, depression or even psychosis?
Similar questions must be put to small children about hell: Do you know what that is, hell? Do, in your opinion, fires burn there? Why do fires burn there? Do you believe everything it says in the bible? Can you imagine that those are God’s words? Is the bible holy? Do you believe that the paintings on the ceilings of Churches represent the truth? Is it allowed to doubt what is said in the bible? Is it allowed to contradict “God” or the cleric? Are you afraid of them? Can the story of the Flood be true? Did you feel sorry for the animals when you first heard the story of the Flood? Did this God frighten you to death? Have psychoanalysts ever addressed such or similar questions to children, clients or themselves? The psychiatrist who examined me had to think for a while before she was able to answer my question whether she believed in hell. Whoever needs to reflect this question however, is bound to believe a little in this alleged eternal concentration camp, and since Auschwitz, we certainly do not believe that God or Jesus could possibly want to start operating such a place.
In “Das Christentum und die Angst” („Christianity and Fear“), p. 272, O. Pfister tells us: „….by establishing strict moral and religious commands and bans, by imprinting horrifying thoughts in the minds of children from an early age on, by translating lifeforce into paths of obsessional neurosis, the Church created living conditions that inevitably resulted in extreme anxiety.” The entire power of the Church is based on anxiety and authority. A neuroticizing system finally lives off the neurosis as does a virus of the disease, says Eugen Drewermann, who draws up the Pfister quote. On June 8, 2011, there was the following news on TV: What led innocent human beings into destruction was “not religious belief”. Correct! On a park bench in Hamburg/Blankenese someone had written: “Religious beliefs that threaten children with eternal damnation are filthy organized sadists”. This is a rather drastic way of putting it, but the park bench knew what it was telling us about.
Even if the toddler does not yet know all the verses of the bible, the person responsible for its upbringing has memorized the bible together with a childhood belief. The location in the brain is called super-ego or conscience. During verbal and non-verbal contact between parent or parental guide, “God” or ideas of God are translated as super-ego directly onto the child. Impossible to claim that toddlers know nothing about belief, do not understand anything or do not know how (cruel) God is. They are weaned on this, whether it is the mother’s intention or not. Furthermore, religious feelings of guilt are translated “to the seventh level” – a lifelong punishment. This is how long it takes for God-Ego thoughts to cease to be handed down through the generations. Also, not until then is an atheist family truly atheist. This is also the reason why the blasphemer Dostojewski never met a non-believer. Really, every atheist should know of leftovers of religious beliefs in him. If not, I consider him at a certain risk.