Atheists target UK schools (from 24th April 2009)

This is from 25 Apr 2009. Militant atheism is really worrying to me. The idea of targeting children in this way is horrendous. What can we do about this?

[quote]The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS) plans to launch a recruitment drive this summer.

Backed by professors Richard Dawkins and AC Grayling, the initiative aims to establish a network of atheist societies in schools to counter the role of Christianity.

It will coincide with the first atheist summer camp for children that will teach that religious belief and doctrines can prevent ethical and moral behaviour.

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.

Chloë Clifford-Frith, AHS co-founder, said that the societies would act as a direct challenge to the Christian message being taught in schools.

She expressed concern that Christian Unions could influence vulnerable teenagers looking for a club to belong to with fundamentalist doctrine.

In particular, she claimed that some students were being told that homosexuality is a sin and to believe the Biblical account of creation.

“We want to point out how silly some of these beliefs are and hope that these groups will help to do that,” she said.

The federation’s bid to improve co-ordination among atheists in schools follows a successful campaign at universities.

The number of groups reported by the AHS to be active on campuses has risen from seven in 2007/2008 academic year to 25 in 2008/2009, including societies at the universities of Oxford and Durham.

Leeds Atheist Society claims to have experienced discrimination, vandalism, theft and death threats from religious groups on campus, who oppose the open expression of an atheist viewpoint and blasphemy.

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.

“The AHS shows that increasing numbers of young people are unwilling to put up with it.”
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.”

In a further development to strengthen the role of atheism among the younger generation, the first summer camp for irreligious children or the children of nontheistic parents is being held this summer.

Organisers say that Camp Quest, which originated in America, offers “a godless alternative to traditional religious summer camps, such as vacation Bible schools”.


We need to do something in order to counter this.

James Preece has some interesting things to say on this:

Would be a good article for Sunday’s Church bulletin in your parish. I’m sure parents would want to know about this.

The old power struggle against belief and unbelief. This recruitment drive is an effort to get more troops to the atheist cause, so they can claim privilege for their belief system. They will then try to convince the young and vulnerable that sin is OK.

Parents need to be aware of this. Young people need to understand that this will lead them away from God. Away from salvation.


Does anyone else get tired of hearing atheists claim they are a persecuted minority? The woman quoted in the article claimed that religious groups threatened her with death threats, and maybe this happened, but this persecution complex among atheists doesn’t correspond with anything I’ve ever experienced. I used to be an atheist, and I never remember getting a hard time about it at all, except maybe from my mother. Now, when I tell people I’m Catholic, I often get funny comments like “You’re Catholic, you seem so normal,” or “You don’t really believe all that hocus pocus, do you?”. I’ve had people call me a fundamentalist and a wacko for arguing against abortion, endured endless jokes about the Pope being a nazi, pedophile priest comments, and I even had someone try to edit a Dorothy Day quote out of a piece I wrote for my school newspaper because “some people are very sensitive about the Catholic Church.” If there are any atheists here who have experienced discrimination, you have my sympathy, but as a former atheist, I find it hard to believe this is a widespread phenomenon.

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