Well, Amnesty International was formed from the idea of one man in 1961 and was not around when I needed it as a child. I needed Amnesty International because I was being abused.
Amnesty International or something like it could have protected me from my parents and family. It was formed by English barrister Peter Benenson after reading in his newspaper about two Portuguese students who were sentenced to seven years in jail after raising their glasses in a toast to freedom.
Benenson was outraged and after some long thoughts wrote a front page article for The Observer newspaper about human rights abuses. The long term result was Amnesty International and to date an additional thousand local and regional organizations that are in involved in civil and human rights.
Had Amnesty International been around when I was a boy I am not even sure that they could have helped and possibly I was not aware that I needed such help.
My abuse from my parents and family was not physical or sexual, but mental and psychological. It involved strict obedience to the Protestant faith of my parents, going to church, and youth Sunday School.
It was then and there that I first learned the fables of the Old and New Testaments, the faulty history of the Israelites including Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Jacob, etc. The problem is that this was taught to me as fact, rather than the fictional aspects of this.
The lessons taught me to believe (accept) the impossibility of flying people, Jesus walking on water, floating axe heads, talking donkeys (Balaam’s) and snakes (Adam and Eve), demonized pigs, raising people from the dead, restoring withered hands, world-wide flood (Noah), plagues in Egypt and wandering the desert for 40 years, etc.
The facts and a careful analysis counter all of the above and more, and I was as a child being brainwashed into the tales of Christianity.
Then and now it made and makes no sense to me and studies by true Biblical scholars and trained archeologists have proven that the above religious stories and tales of people and events could not have happened.
Miracles by definition are impossible, people evolved over millions of years to become the primates of early man about 200,000 years ago. It is impossible for donkeys and snakes to talk – their larynx location and structure does not allow it.
It was impossible to have crossed the Red (Reed) Sea and there is no archeological record of any nomadic tribe wandering the desert for 40 years. The Biblical record indicates that this would be a group of two to three million people, from which there would certainly been shards of pottery and other artifacts left as evidence of their passing.
Depending upon the Biblical scholar and historian you believe, Jesus was the son of God, or just a very wise Rabbinical Jew, or a manufactured conflation of several wise Jews and seers of the period, or was a made up figure like Sherlock Holmes or Jack Ryan of the Thomas Clancy novels.
While not subject when young to the truths learned later in life about the facts and logic of the fictional Bible, I did have enough sense to doubt, disbelieve, and question everything about this preposterous tale of religion.
Critical thinking, an awareness of the Christian habit of buying into cognitive dissonance and extensive reading of books has helped in recent years.
But maybe Amnesty International could or should check into parents, churches, families, society, culture and others stealing the minds and critical thinking facilities from our youth of today.