(Thanks to Hemant Mehta for the ranting material!)
A few days ago Ken Ham asked his groupies to join him on the way to his fainting couch because of a new website for children, teens, and adults alike called “Kids Without God“. There, they impose God hating beliefs onto children like thinking about the consequences of your actions, taking care of yourself, and inquiring about the world around you with a character named Darwin the Dog, through his “Seven Promises”:
- “I promise to be nice to other people, just because it’s the right thing to do.”
- “I promise to help take care of the Earth, because this is our home and we need it to stay healthy and safe.”
- “I promise that I will think about the questions I have, and learn as much as I can about how things work.”
- “I promise that before I say something or do something to another person, I will stop to think about how I would feel if somebody else said that or did that to me.”
- “I promise that I will always tell the truth and take responsibility for my own actions.”
- “I promise that I will help those who are sad or angry by being a good friend to them.”
- “I promise to eat healthy, get plenty of sleep and exercise, and practice good personal hygiene.”
As if that weren’t bad enough, the site gives advice to teens on how to “come out” to their parents in the event they themselves are religious … and that they’re not alone in their lack of faith. It strongly advises them not to resort to name calling in the face of those who believe differently from them, explaining how very scientific-minded people may still harbor irrational belies in other areas. Most importantly, it describes some of the good things that have come out of the institution of religion … like community, charity, shared history, and much of art and literature … while showing that humanism has a great deal to offer as well.
Finally, the “Parents” section provides a quick rundown of the purpose of the site:
The goal of this website is to encourage curiosity, critical thinking, and tolerance among young people, as well as to provide accurate information regarding a wide range of issues related to humanism, science, culture and history.
We hope that you and your kids will enjoy reading about Darwin the Dog, who is committed to an uplifting, altruistic morality without the influence of religion; and who is able to enjoy mythology while still differentiating between the real and the imaginary.
There are also lots of fun and informative videos to watch and science experiments that you and your kids can do together to explore scientific principles and learn about the scientific method.
Teenagers and adults can also visit our teen site, where they can learn about dealing with intolerance, standing up for their rights, browse our recommended reading list, and much more. Parental Advisory Notice: The Kids Without God Teen website contains discussions of themes, issues and language that would not be appropriate for younger children.
This isn’t about hating God but showing that being good and a productive member of society is not contingent upon a belief in a supernatural being or a 3,200 year old story about a burning bush. Simple enough, right?
Not so much. Here’s Ken’s “summary” of the website (on the bottom of the link to his FB account above) … from which I conclude he applied the same degree of critical thought in his response as his thorough, detailed analysis of modern evolutionary theory before rejecting it in favor of the Bible:
Let me summarize it for you:
“Hey kids, become an atheist–this life is all there is–there is no purpose and meaning in life–when you die you rot and that’s the end of it–you won’t know you ever existed–we have a wonderful message of purposeless and meaninglessness and total despair for you–knowing you are really nothing but an evolved animal and eventually you won’t ever know you ever existed is such a great message of hope you need to help us spread. Yes, become an atheist in this meaningless existence. Decide what’s ‘good’ for you and do it–whatever it is.’
… and it’s probably an effective strategy on Ken’s part because he assumes – with a moderate degree of success – that the people who listen to him will simply take his word that this is the kind of philosophy that the website is promoting and not bother reading it themselves. I hope I’m wrong, but given how much joy he derives in getting auditoriums full of children repeat his astonishingly anti-intellectual garbage about how evolution is false and that God created everything in its current state, I’m left with the distinct impression that I’m not far off from the truth.
It’s also sad that the only conclusion to which he can arrive in the absence of an afterlife is that there’s no purpose or value to existence at all. Anyone with common sense – or, at least, more than him – would conclude that with no evidence of existence past what we know for sure, this life is so unbelievable precious, and valuable, and worth extracting every last bit of enjoyment and experience and sensation out of it because this may very well be it. Atheism and secular humanism don’t imply that there is no point of life; quite the contrary, they say you need to value it as much as you can, for as long as you can.
The last sentence is where I conclude that Ken is either truly this ignorant or just plays ignorant because he’s paid to do it. Kids Without God goes to great lengths to show that the values we have are what allows our society to exist in its current form without descending into chaos. It’s a damn sight better than what was deemed “good” in God’s eyes, like the genocide and murder at the hands of Joshua, or the rules set forth that forced women to marry their rapists, or the stoning of homosexuals … if the homosexuality mentioned in the bible even meant the same as it does today. No, I think I’ll take the morality that results from secular philosophy and rational discussion instead of the misogynistic Bronze Age barbarism some people think provides the cornerstone of our legal system.
Oh how we need to get this message to them:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
Oh, how I need to get a message to you: stop lying to children about science, and stop filling their heads with the only fable that isn’t revoked in later years as something their parents just “made up”.
There’s a follow up to this little gem, from a few days later:
Four posts ago, I posted about a new atheist website to reach kids. The American Humanist Association has sent out a letter promoting this website, and trying to fund raise for the anti-God campaign to try to capture the hearts and minds of children for the evil one.
The evil one? Who, Bill Nye? Neill deGrasse Tyson? He’s established himself as such an anti-science anti-intellectual fanatic that it could really be anyone with a high school degree or better. I’m not going to re-post the whole thing, but here’s a brief sample (the rest is in his post, linked above):
[…] Fundamentalist groups spend tens of millions of dollars on websites, television shows, and movies— all aimed to proselytize to kids. As a parent with two young daughters, I recognized the need for an alternative—not aimed to convert, but rather to provide information for kids who want to learn more about humanism.
And with so many materials geared toward teaching kids about Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, it’s great to know that humanism is now a part of the discussion. I hope you agree: kids should know there’s another way to learn about morals and values—and it doesn’t need to come from traditional religion. […]
As before, Ken dishes the perfect response. Godwin and projection wrapped up in one concise, paranoid little package:
They claim they are not proselytizing—but that is exactly what they are doing. They are aggressively preaching their anti-gospel message in the hopes to capturing the coming generations of kids.
As Adolf Hitler said: ““He alone, who owns the youth, gains the Future!”
(–Adolf Hitler, as quoted in Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, vol. 1 (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1946), p. 320)
Many Christians seem to be blind to the spiritual battle going on around us. The atheists are moving to aggressively do what they can to secularize the culture and try to get rid of Christianity. These people are some of the most intolerant around.
First of all, it takes a tremendous amount of chutzpah for a guy who has little seminars that end with children repeating his uneducated mantras about evolution and cosmology when they’re far too young to either think for themselves or understand what they’re even saying. To look at an organization that encourages education, rational inquiry, and independent thought and deliberately confuse it with his own unconscionable tactics just shows how desperately afraid he is that his personal brand of fundamentalism would be quickly dismissed as utter nonsense with even rudimentary instruction in critical analysis.
And then there’s the Godwin. Because apparently Ken doesn’t hit the Internets often enough to know that doing this means that – barring historical relevance – you’ve pretty much automatically lost the argument.
Lastly, I think that most Christians, along with the remainder of the population, are “blind” to the spiritual war because there’s no evidence to show that there is one. That’s how it all works. If you make a claim about the existence of an omnipotent, omnipresent, personal God who is interested in and directly involved with everything going on in my life, you had better provide some pretty compelling evidence that you’re not pulling it out of your ass; otherwise I’m not going to believe you. For the last several thousand years, religion has failed to do this.
And that’s why we secularists don’t want our society to be based on or significantly influenced by it. To hold a personal belief is one thing; to claim it as fact and demand it be taught as science and as a code of ethics with absolutely no justification is another entirely. No one should have to “tolerate” that kind of ignorance in this day and age.