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Happy chrildren in Dawkins’ atheist ad campaign are from Christian family

The Times is reporting that the happy, smiling children on an atheist ad campaign are in fact from a Christian, evangelical family. An interesting irony perhaps.

Children who front Richard Dawkins’ atheist ads are evangelicals

The ad calls for children to be brought up without having religious labels placed upon them by their parents. Of course while the humanists don’t want parents to instill their values within their own children, they really want children to turn into humanists without any religious belief – why else would they fund these adverts?

It is an interesting question what right parents have to instill their beliefs upon their children (I would suggest it is in fact a duty to bring children up to love and respect others, and the best basis for that is within a Christian ethos) But I would ask, what right does Dawkins and friends think they have to force their beliefs upon other people’s children? Absolutely none!

While they have a pretence to respect children’s freedom to believe, the humanists are engaged in a campaign to remove traces of religion from public life in Britain and America. Secular education for instance has an undercurrent of humanist beliefs. Charles F. Potter wrote in 1930 (in Humanism: A New Religion), ‘Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school of humanism. What can a theistic Sunday school’s meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?’

The ‘program’ of Dawkins and friends is not about freedom and respect at all, but about control – their control.

But perhaps the message of the smiling children in the ads, is that if you want your children to grow up happy, then bring them up in a loving Christian environment where they learn about values. About their own values and the value of others.

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11 Responses to Happy chrildren in Dawkins’ atheist ad campaign are from Christian family

  1. There is irony in the headline of the Times article: “Children who front Richard Dawkins’ atheist ads ARE evangelicals” (my emphasis). It repeats the labeling that this campaign is protesting.

    The children in those photos appear to have been about three or four when the photos were taken. Children that age are not “evangelicals,” although their parents may be. Other things children cannot “be” at that age include “agnostic,” “libertarian,” “atheist,” “post-modernist,” “humanist,” and “anarchist,” as indicated on the poster. Small children do not remotely possess the ability to comprehend or make choices and commitments regarding these issues.

    The campaign has a point, and the labeling in this headline demonstrates the legitimacy of that point.

  2. I’ll tell you a secret. Most people appearing in ads, including public service or other factual ads are performers. An ad is not a current affairs story. It is something made up by a creative in an agency to communicate a message.

    And two words to consider – “Jesus Camp”. Inculcating religion into children (including with scary stories about heaven and hell) is the real abuse.

  3. zeroseven, “Inculcating religion into children (including with scary stories about heaven and hell) is the real abuse.”

    You make the point of this thread. As you do, Dawkins considers religous indoctrination to be, “child abuse”. Yet when the ad was made the children chosen were chosen because they showed joy in their faces, rather than showing the scars of abuse. This of course does not prove that they are not abused, but it does prove that the children of evangelical christian homes (like mine) can be happy, healthy looking kids who don’t show the scars of abuse.

    I would suggest that denying the obvious to children, the existance of a loving and just God, is the abuse. It doesn’t necessarily show right away, but if heaven and hell are reality the final result is nothing less than desparate.

  4. But perhaps the message of the smiling children in the ads, is that if you want your children to grow up happy, then bring them up in a loving Christian environment where they learn about values.

    Why Christian? Why not a loving Jewish, Bhuddist, Muslim, atheist or Hindu environment? Why mention religion at all? As others have commented here recently, perhaps it’s time for ID proponents to admit that their approach to science is religiously motivated.

  5. zeroseven @ 2 -
    Of course, you are intelligent enough to realize that not all people who classify themselves as ‘religious’ are fundamentalists, right?

    PaulT – The reason religion is mentioned at all is the fact that it’s the atheists who don’t want any religion to exist anywhere. That’s why it’s being brought up. It’s not a matter of, “Okay, you are [insert religious denomination here] but I’m atheist/agnostic/humanist, and I don’t believe in God.” It’s a matter of actively disrespecting other people’s belief systems and stating that they should all be abolished.

    I wonder if any of these atheists truly understand that faith isn’t tangible. You can close down churches and take away Bibles, but people will still believe in God. It reminds me of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.” He took all the toys, food, and decorations from the people in Whoville, and yet the celebrated day came just as planned, toys and decorations notwithstanding.

    Do atheists truly not get this?

    In the case of the biblical prophet Daniel, an actual law was passed that forbade his religious practices. That didn’t stop him from praying.

  6. Why mention religion at all? As others have commented here recently, perhaps it’s time for ID proponents to admit that their approach to science is religiously motivated.

    I admit no such thing. However, by your logic, even a cursory look at, say, a blog like Pharyngula would compel the conclusion that proponents of Darwinism are motivated primarily by a militant, vociferous atheism.

  7. So it’s abuse to teach my children that there is a Person named Jesus and he is the Creator. That Jesus loves them and cares about them.

    It’s not abuse to tell them that the world is random and that the strong eat the weak. If you can’t be strong on your own then you will get what’s coming to you.

    Makes sense to me.

  8. The reason religion is mentioned at all is the fact that it’s the atheists who don’t want any religion to exist anywhere. … It’s a matter of actively disrespecting other people’s belief systems and stating that they should all be abolished.

    The atheists (all atheists?) have really stated they want other people’s belief systems abolished? Even PZ Meyers in ‘Expelled’ said that he was quite happy for people to have their religious beliefs “like they could have their knitting” – a private thing which people are welcome to but he doesn’t think they should try and make public policy based on those beliefs. Meanwhile differing religious believers look like just as much of a threat to the free holding and expression of religious beliefs as atheists at the moment.

  9. ellijacket 7

    So it’s abuse to teach my children that there is a Person named Jesus and he is the Creator. That Jesus loves them and cares about them.

    No, it is not abuse in the usual meaning of the word. Dawkins was guilty of hyperbole.

    On the lesser charge of wrongful labeling of children, he has a case. It is absurd to claim a child holds a religious or political belief which they are quite incapable of understanding and is effectively trying to deny them the opportunity of choosing for themselves when they are of an age to do so.

  10. The atheists (all atheists?) have really stated they want other people’s belief systems abolished?

    The Rational Response Squad on YouTube certainly do. Take a look at some of the responses here:
    http://feu.answers.fy8.b.yahoo.....443AArNWyO

    Even PZ Meyers in ‘Expelled’ said that he was quite happy for people to have their religious beliefs “like they could have their knitting” – a private thing which people are welcome to but he doesn’t think they should try and make public policy based on those beliefs.

    Whose beliefs should public policy be based on? Right now, many laws in the U.S. are parallel to the laws given to the nation of Israel.

    Meanwhile differing religious believers look like just as much of a threat to the free holding and expression of religious beliefs as atheists at the moment.

    Religious people are a threat to atheists? Did they attempt to ‘gang-save’ someone? Dennett actually suggested that religious people be put into zoo-like enclosures for the amusement of others. What if a religious person said, “Hey, what about putting atheists into zoos?”

  11. On the lesser charge of wrongful labeling of children, he has a case. It is absurd to claim a child holds a religious or political belief which they are quite incapable of understanding and is effectively trying to deny them the opportunity of choosing for themselves when they are of an age to do so.

    How many people are raised in church and remain after they leave home? I think it’s around 20%. Obviously no one is taking away anyone’s opportunity to choose.

    I effectively walked away from my faith for a long time. I didn’t come back because of my upbringing. I came back to it because I started a serious study of prophecy that left me with no place to go but to believe.

    This ‘labeling’ argument is one of the silliest things I’ve heard in years.

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