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Atheists target UK schools - Comments

bungoton's Avatar Comment 1 by bungoton

This is a great idea. I especially like the part about teaching children that religious beliefs can prevent ethical and moral behaviour. We need this in Canada too.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 15:06:00 UTC | #353390

DoctorE's Avatar Comment 2 by DoctorE

Nice!

What worth is a human life when people think they have a spare life.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 15:09:00 UTC | #353392

black wolf's Avatar Comment 3 by black wolf

Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute said: "Atheists are becoming increasingly militant in their desperate attempts to stamp out faith. It is deeply worrying that they now want to use children to attack the Christian ethos of their schools.

"Many parents will also be anxious at the thought of militant atheists targeting their children."


Hi Simon, how do you like them apples? If you feel that way and still don't get why the AHS is doing this, you'll never get anything.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 15:13:00 UTC | #353393

Auraboy's Avatar Comment 4 by Auraboy

Ugh, after being forced to click a link to the Nazigraph newspaper I may need a shower.

Brilliant Atheists 'target' children in our devious scheme. Marvellous. How badly did that article want to use the word 'grooming'? Apparently the good clean Christian Ethos of Schools (note that schools are of Christian Ethos - apparently) is about to be faced with Anarchist Atheist Children's groups!! Richard Dawkins and AC Grayling should be ashamed at this child abuse etc etc

Nice comment from the opposition though in that article. Atheists are desperate now. Hang on...are we the militant minority who have no chance of de-establishing Religion or an abusive power hungry majority punishing the poor Christian minority? Make up your mind...Oh wait, you don't have one.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 15:16:00 UTC | #353395

NewEnglandBob's Avatar Comment 5 by NewEnglandBob

"Many parents will also be anxious at the thought of militant atheists targeting their children."


But it is OK that the religious have been doing that for thousands of years? What a tool!! They are using reason INSTEAD of targeting with fictional nonsense.

This is a terrific movement. We need a blasphemy in every pot! ...or in every garage! ...oh you get the idea.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 15:22:00 UTC | #353399

JackR's Avatar Comment 6 by JackR

Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute said: "Atheists are becoming increasingly militant in their desperate attempts to stamp out faith. It is deeply worrying that they now want to use children to attack the Christian ethos of their schools.


It makes me deeply happy to know that you are deeply worried, Simon. Thanks for making my day.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 15:24:00 UTC | #353400

Diogenes of Sinope's Avatar Comment 7 by Diogenes of Sinope

It is deeply worrying that they now want to use children to attack the Christian ethos of their schools.

So groups in the educational sphere teaching children to avoid dogmatism and to think for themselves is reprehensible, but (intended) irreversible childhood indoctrination into irrational sectarianism isn't, and deserves a privileged position, immune from debate?

In other news, am I the only one who despises the way that celebrity names (and in turn their photos) are sidled into newspaper articles on the flimsiest of pretexts? One notices it even more in the Daily Mail, but the Mail doesn't claim to be a broadsheet, like the Telegraph.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 15:32:00 UTC | #353403

ahmunnaeetchoo's Avatar Comment 8 by ahmunnaeetchoo

Well it's great to promote this but i can see how easy it is to take the campaign out of context.

I really hope the summer camps etc push the idea that the decision rests on the individual. I'd hate to think we'd stoop as low as faith camps, essentially forcing obedience of beliefs on children. By all means present the facts and rationale, but let's not demand atheism.

Of course i trust this has all been taken into account. I guess reading that aweful article sparked some doubt.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 15:32:00 UTC | #353404

YakobusRO's Avatar Comment 9 by YakobusRO

"Atheists are becoming increasingly militant in their desperate attempts to stamp out faith. It is deeply worrying that they now want to use children to attack the Christian ethos of their schools.


"Desperate" attempt? Desperate stems from Latin sperare (to hope). Then do we rationalists-naturalists-atheists have no "hope"? As for me, initiatives such as these bring me a true glimmer of hope for the demise of Christianity from public relevance, at least in educationally and culturally more developped nations.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 15:53:00 UTC | #353411

Metch's Avatar Comment 10 by Metch

I agree that we should have irreligious summer camps for kids, but should we really be teaching young kids anything at all about what they should or shouldn't believe in?

I did just fine during my pre-teen years without any knowledge of specific religious doctrines. I never really thought about it much until my late teens, until I learned that the bible had talking snakes, and magical fruits, etc. That's when I realized it was phony baloney.

I think it's good to teach children how to think critically, how to respect science, and how to develop a healthy skepticism. Although, sending them off to "atheist" camps seems to give the religibots "permission" to keep sending their kids to religious camps.

Kids should be taught the values that secular society has developed, without any mention of religion until they are of an age when they can fully comprehend the issues.

Technically, any camp that isn't religious is therefore secular, I think all we need to do is push to make child religious camps illegal, on the grounds that it's child abuse.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 16:21:00 UTC | #353417

Fausto's Avatar Comment 11 by Fausto

Lol
Schools are going to have a new nerd club...

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 16:24:00 UTC | #353418

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 12 by Border Collie

Good luck ... We can't even keep science in the classroom here in Texas. We'd be shot dead if we attempted to inject anything atheist into the public schools here.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 16:26:00 UTC | #353419

Fausto's Avatar Comment 13 by Fausto

10. Comment #370019 by Metch I agree that we should have irreligious summer camps for kids"



Any camp where the theme is not religion, is irreligious already. We don't really need an atheist camp. Talk about putting labels to kids...

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 16:27:00 UTC | #353420

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 14 by Mark Jones

Is this part of the 'gloves off' initiative?

No doubt we shall soon see the cries of 'atheist indoctrination' ringing round the more reactionary areas of the press and blogosphere.

Their complaints sound a little hypocritical; as if they realise that their power will wane without access to the impressionable young mind. If they are confident in the truth of their proposition, I suggest they act more insouciant; they *should* be confident that there is no time limit on their persuasive powers, and that any person's mind can be swayed to Christianity, even beyond the age of 18. There is no difference in the (good) moral teachings between Christianity and secular worldviews (they're both man-made!), so that cannot be a concern. So why the complaints?

EDIT: Off topic, I like the new article posting regime, but I can't keep up! :-) Nevertheless, keep up the good work, admins.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 16:31:00 UTC | #353421

Mayhemm's Avatar Comment 15 by Mayhemm

I am truly torn on this issue.

On one hand I think a counter-theist movement is essential to break the hold of religion on society.

But on the other I can't help but think this sort of drags us down to their level.

Curse my objective brain!

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 16:41:00 UTC | #353423

prolibertas's Avatar Comment 16 by prolibertas

Um, I hope they mean they'll teach the children critical thinking and how to think for themselves, rather than just teach them that religion is bad... that WOULD be indoctrination just as bad as the religious. I'm almost certain critical thinking is what would actually be taught, but it just rubs me the wrong way when they say it like this article did.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 16:41:00 UTC | #353424

Fausto's Avatar Comment 17 by Fausto

15. Comment #370025 by Mayhemm


I'm also worried that this might backfire on us...

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 16:45:00 UTC | #353425

Kiwi's Avatar Comment 18 by Kiwi

This is something I have wondered about recently. Here in New Zealand in state schools, it is quite the done thing to have specialist clubs for chess, guitar, etc and oh yes, Korean Youth for Christ, or similar Christian type clubs even with a racial component. I have yet to see, but that is not to say they don't exist, Rational Thinking clubs, or No Gods for me thank you clubs. I wonder what would happen if some students, or indeed a teacher tried to establish such a club ? Time to extend the battle for rational thinking out of the classroom and into the domain that religions have had to themselves for too long, the ancillary activities in school sphere. I haven't heard of any religious clubs other than christian ones. Maybe there are some such as the "Make Mine Mohammed" club or the "Shiva gives me shivers club". Or even the "Mmmm FSM" club.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 16:57:00 UTC | #353427

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 19 by Mark Jones


The federation aims to encourage students to lobby their schools and local authorities over what is taught in RE lessons and to call for daily acts of collective worship to be scrapped. It wants the societies to hold talks and educational events to persuade students not to believe in God.


AC Grayling, the philosopher and writer, said: "As well as making the case for reason and science, it is great to know that the AHS will be standing up against religious privilege and discrimination.

There seems to be nothing that *should* be controversial here. For example, any priest would persuade folk to believe in god, so is it so bad for non-believers to try to persuade folk *not* to believe? And yet we get this:

Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute said: "Atheists are becoming increasingly militant in their desperate attempts to stamp out faith. It is deeply worrying that they now want to use children to attack the Christian ethos of their schools.
Many parents will also be anxious at the thought of militant atheists targeting their children."

So Simon Calvert is also attacking the tactics used by his church and others. Curious. Has he complained about Muslim faith schools, I wonder?

Some might be concerned that the secular organisations are simply adopting the same tactics they condemn in the religious. Perhaps, but there is one substantive difference; what the religious want to teach is not backed by any good evidence. Pointing that out to our schoolchildren is surely not worthy of prohibition?

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 17:01:00 UTC | #353428

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 20 by Steve Zara

Sometimes, one does have to wonder what is going on at RD.net.

This is an article from the UK Daily Telegraph, a right-wing pro-religion paper that anyone in the UK (including Richard) would know would have this kind of bias.

Yet a summary of the article is posted at the top of this page, without quotation marks, and with no context, and no criticism.

So what is the point of this article here? To highlight the bias of right-wing newspapers in the UK? Who does not know that? All that has happened here is that a rather unpleasant UK newspaper has been given international publicity.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 17:26:00 UTC | #353432

Ed-words's Avatar Comment 21 by Ed-words

In the U.S, the Secular Student Alliance
now has affiliates on some 130 university and college campuses,including Toronto, and even Ghana. It also mentors secondary school groups.

Secularstudents.org (They accept donations)

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 17:40:00 UTC | #353434

Rodger T's Avatar Comment 22 by Rodger T

Cue DAR to give us all a telling off,3 ...2 ...

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 17:42:00 UTC | #353436

Bullet-Magnet's Avatar Comment 24 by Bullet-Magnet

The article makes us sound like a paedophile terrorist cell.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 17:43:00 UTC | #353438

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 23 by Mark Jones

Comment #370034 by Steve Zara

Steve, you may be being unfair; this article does not call Richard strident. I think that's a first in the Torygraph, and perhaps RD.net wanted this recorded :-).

Agreed, some context would be a good idea when re-posting from newspapers.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 17:43:00 UTC | #353437

Rodger T's Avatar Comment 25 by Rodger T

23. Comment #370039 by Mark Jones

Yes ,the telegraph has slipped up badly there ,missing an opportunity to put in, that most cutting of anti-theist insults, strident .
; )

Edit, but we got ,2 militants, a stamp-out and an attack, so not a bad result .

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 17:49:00 UTC | #353440

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 26 by Steve Zara

Comment #370039 by Mark Jones

It may be just a personal thing, but I am not sure why biased nonsense from a right-wing, anti-religion UK newspaper is being posted here. What is the purpose? To make us all realise that some newspapers are bigoted?

Sites like this have international readership. They can lead important campaigns and can educate. They can introduce people to new ideas, and stimulate debate.

If anyone can tell me how publishing unqualified and context-free articles like this from the Daily Telegraph helps with this, I would love to know.

Perhaps one of the editors of the site could comment.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 18:05:00 UTC | #353441

Logician's Avatar Comment 27 by Logician

I can answer that for you quite easily, Mr. Zara.
People flock together, even atheists.
In doing so, they tend, whether they admit it or not, to get a very clipped view of other people and other people's opinions.
I've noted that to many atheists (but not all) the idea that we are NOT 'moving forward' but actually backwards in the fight against the pure shit of religion is foreign.
All of us, gosh, big guy, even you, need to be reminded that the fight is not going as well as we would wish, and that believers are dangerous.
Like rabid dogs, you must never, ever turn your back on them nor never, ever think that they are anything less than truly, malevolently dangerous.
I enjoy the fact that RD.net highlights the shit of the world. It helps me to remember that as clear as reality is to me and my fellow atheists, there are billions of morons to whom it is not clear.
The fight isn't over. It's barely begun.
It would do us all well to remain cognizant of that fact.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 18:37:00 UTC | #353443

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 28 by Steve Zara

Comment #370045 by Logician

I can answer that for you quite easily, Mr. Zara.


I am glad you can.

Like rabid dogs, you must never, ever turn your back on them nor never, ever think that they are anything less than truly, malevolently dangerous.


Friday evening I went out with an old friend of mine. He is a Christian. Perhaps I should have remembered that he was dangerous when he bought the second round. Could that have explained the mild hangover the next day? Or was that the subsequent rounds I bought?

It would do us all well to remain cognizant of that fact.


Oh, I am very 'cognizant', especially when I can remember how to spell the word.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 18:50:00 UTC | #353445

squeegee's Avatar Comment 29 by squeegee

I personally look forward to any article that is informative as to what's happening in the push to educate people of not only the needlessness of religion in society but also the undeserved privilege it enjoys. The main reason I visit RD.net is to keep up to speed on both secular and religious goings on. I find this site one of the most intellectually honest around.
As for the article, whenever I read heartwarming stuff like this, being a child of the sixties, I always think of Lennon's casual remark "Christianity will go, it will vanish and shrink". Even as a young child, when I heard that, I remember thinking, I hope I'll still be around when the pebble turnes into a snowball and I feel I may have got my wish.
Those religious leaders with any intelligence [and there are some] must be wondering just how long their positions will be around for.

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 18:59:00 UTC | #353447

j.mills's Avatar Comment 30 by j.mills

Steve said:

Sites like this have international readership. They can lead important campaigns and can educate. They can introduce people to new ideas, and stimulate debate.

If anyone can tell me how publishing unqualified and context-free articles like this from the Daily Telegraph helps with this, I would love to know.
I think we're generally bright enough around here to assess what we're reading, Steve! It's good to know what's being said about the likes of us, it tells us about an 'important campaign', and as is clear from posts above, the article is clearly 'stimulating debate'. (Mind you, you could post the ingredients off a cornflakes packet here and we'd argue about it! :) )

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 19:02:00 UTC | #353448