My parents were both Presbyterians and very devoted church people of that faith. When I was old enough to understand a moderate amount of the English language my mother gave me a history of my very early youth. She informed me that when a few weeks old I was baptized by their pastor at the Presbyterian church and dedicated to God and his service.
Later on, when several months old [my emphasis], they broke my will after the ritual of the Scottish Covenanters to prepare me for service with the divine will of God. This was done by whipping me with switches, until even under the application of the whips, I stopped crying and moaned in submission, or that I had not vocal power to cry. That was called breaking my will, which paid the interest on part of the original sin.
When I was a little older, I was instructed how to say my prayers and taught a few New Testament verses, which I was obliged to repeat Sunday morning and say the prayer soon after retiring for the night. At the age of between four and five, I was taken to Sunday school and was taught oral lessons from the Testament, as I could not read yet. ...
About this age [between four and five], my father would whip me for the least departure from what he called the right way of doing to satisfy God's demands upon parents for the right way of bringing up children. To show me that he had high authority for the punishments, he would read occasionally from the Bible that Solomon said, "Spare the rod, spoil the child." Then he would comment upon the passage saying that he did not desire to whip me, but it was his solemn duty, as Solomon was inspired to write the passage, and, if he did not comply, God would bring him to an account for not doing his duty, which was to save me from an awful hereafter. At one time, father whipped me every Monday morning, after Solomon's and God's plan, to keep me good during the week. In my heart, I cursed God and Solomon. At about five, I contemplated burning the Bible; it was kept on a shelf over the fireplace; nearly every time I passed it I made faces at it. I tried to think of some way that I could destroy the awful book that was the means of keeping my back scarred and sore.
But my resolution was not put in practice because I imagined that father would nearly kill me,... - Bushnell A. Wright, M.D., Los Angeles, California
Note: This is an excerpt from the last letter in Letters from an Atheist Nation by Thomas Lawson, which I reviewed here.