We asked Texas-based author — and crack reporter — Janet Heimlich to prepare a guest-post for TFN Insider about her just-released book exploring the tragic connection that sometimes exists between religion and child maltreatment. Heimlich raises an important question — do certain religious cultures in America pose a particularly big risk to the health and safety of children? And this meticulously researched book argues that, in fact, children who are raised in religious authoritarian cultures are at a high risk for religiously motivated maltreatment.
Sadly, Texas is no stranger to this unfortunate connection. The cautionary tale of fundamentalist preacher Lester Roloff and his homes for troubled teens is a case in point. TFN lobbied for years for the Texas Legislature to suspend the alternative (and lenient) licensing program the state maintained for faith-based child care providers like Roloff. That program was finally allowed to expire in 2001, and the Roloff Homes moved out of the state.
As the book reveals, this is a topic that deserves far more attention. We thank Janet — who blogs at Religious Child Maltreatment — for sharing this with our readers.