Beginning when I was 8 years old (when my mother returned to the Catholic church she’d been raised in) my siblings and I were forced to kneel and pray every day, usually the rosary, sometimes other prayers as well, and sometimes we’d recite the rosary twice. It was not optional. Prayers would take forty minutes to an hour, and we were not allowed to lean against furniture to relieve the pain in our knees and backs. Complaints were met with harsh words (“It doesn’t hurt that bad!”). In those eight years before I finally ran away from home at 16, I experienced 2,000 (conservative estimate) painful, excruciatingly boring hours on my knees, daydreaming that I was somewhere else, in the last few year or two often planning my escape.
Please correct me if I’m mistaken, but isn’t prayer a voluntary activity? What’s the point if you have to be forced? Someone please explain how this wasn’t child abuse.