The international atheist conference in Melbourne hasn’t even started yet, but that has not prevented some noted God-haters from letting off a bit of pre-conference steam. A small piece in today’s press tells of one anti-God big wig who is spitting chips about religious parents.
Those religious types who seek to educate their children in the faith are guilty of “child abuse”. Yep, you got it. Lock up the whole bunch of ‘em and throw away the keys. How dare they suggest to their children that there might be a God and an afterlife? Let’s make that a criminal offence – maybe we can even bring back the death penalty for this horrendous activity.
Of course atheists have long been making such idiotic claims. Atheist high priest Richard Dawkins for example said much the same in his The God Delusion. He said there that parental religious instruction is nothing more than an attempt to “indoctrinate” children, and that it is a “preposterous idea” that society even allows such a terrible thing to occur.
And on his website he has an article entitled, “Religion’s Real Child Abuse”. In it he says, “The threat of eternal hell is an extreme example of mental abuse”. He also says this: “Priestly groping of child bodies is disgusting. But it may be less harmful in the long run than priestly subversion of child minds.”
Getting back to today’s press, we are told that Atheist Foundation of Australia’s David Nicholls is quite hot under the collar about the evils of religious instruction for children. As the Herald Sun article puts it, “President David Nicholls said it was time to rip religion out of schools and urged Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to stop allowing religious views to affect political discussions.”
But wait, there’s more: “‘Anybody who tells a child “you will go to hell or heaven” and says it’s the truth … that’s child abuse,’ he said.” Yep, straight out of the Dawkins’ songbook. These atheists seem so faithful in parroting the words of their revered masters.
Although in this case it is usually the doctrine of hell that gets the God-haters so agitated. But here our good president is suggesting that even to say a child is going to heaven (a rather bright prospect I would have thought) also renders a person guilty of child abuse! My, my, there is just no pleasing some of these guys.
And of course we are meant to believe that no atheist parent ever tells his or her children that atheism is true. Oh no, they would never do that. Indeed, they claim they will simply let their children make up their own minds on the issue.
Strange, but that is exactly how every religious parent I know of operates. Of course they share their faith in the home, and let their kids know where they stand, but I am not aware of any Christian parent at least who forces his or her grown up kids to embrace the faith, or else.
Mind you, I mentioned Christians here. Many Muslims of course do consider apostasy from Islam to be a serious matter indeed, one which is in fact punishable by death. But I am referring here to Christians, who do not share such a view about leaving one’s faith.
One would love to be a fly on the wall in the homes of some of these militant misotheists. I would love to see just how “neutral” and “hands off” they are when it comes to the religious instruction of their own children. And I use the word ‘religious’ purposefully here.
The truth is, atheists are just as religious as anyone else. They have their own worldview, their own way of looking at life and the big questions. Most of the earlier atheists freely admitted as much. But in America especially, where religion is now banished from schools, the atheists and secular humanists have had to change their tune, and try to convince the government that they are not in fact religious.
And the claim by Nicholls that religion should somehow be driven from any political discussion is ludicrous in the extreme. No one comes to any important political – or social or cultural – discussion without religious presuppositions, or a particular worldview.
It is simply impossible to discuss any vital political or moral question without an appeal to some sort of worldview, some sort of overarching religious point of view, even if that viewpoint happens to be atheism.
Everyone comes to the public square with his or her pre-existing beliefs and understanding of the world. What Nicholls is demanding is simply impossible to achieve. And if he really wants to be taken seriously here, then he should be the very first one to simply shut up. Why should his religious views on this matter be allowed to be heard, while everyone else’s – that is, those he does not agree with – must be silenced?
This is the usual hypocrisy and double standards from the God-haters. They only want their point of view heard, and expect everyone else to just meekly sit down and shut up. Sorry, Jack, but it just ain’t happening. As long as we live in a genuine democracy, Christians and other believers have as much right to speak into the social, political and ethical issues of the day as anyone else.
Nicholls, Dawkins and the other God-botherers can preach all they like about how religious instruction is somehow child abuse, and how religious discussion in the public arena is evil, but most people with even a modicum of sense will take this foolishness for what it is, and treat it accordingly.