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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
2nd Sunday of Advent-06/12/09 - Humanists Get Children Profoundly Confused

From The Times 21.11.09: The two children chosen to front Richard Dawkins’s latest assault on God could not look more free of the misery he associates with religious baggage. With the slogan “Please don’t label me. Let me grow up and choose for myself”, the youngsters with broad grins seem to be the perfect adver-tisement for the new atheism being promoted by Professor Dawkins and the British Humanist Association.

Except that they are about as far from atheism as it is possible to be. The Times can reveal that Charlotte, 8, and Ollie, 7, are from one of the country’s most devout Christian families. Their father, Brad Mason, is [a popular evangelical drummer, who has been …] providing photographs to agencies who sell them on […]. He said: “It is quite funny, because obviously they were searching for images of children that looked happy and free. [….]” He said that the children’s Christianity had shone through. “Obviously there is something in their faces which is different. So they judged that they were happy and free […] I reckon it shows we have brought up our children in a good way and that they are happy.” […]

The British Humanist Association said that it did not matter whether the children were Christians. […] “The message is that the labelling of children by their parents’ religion fails to respect the rights of the child and their autonomy. We are saying that religions and philosophies — and ‘humanist’ is one of the labels we use on our poster — should not be foisted on or assumed of young children.”

Children, in a child-like way do tend to follow their parents in regard to belief. It is natural and good. If we acknowledge this and the fact that they are their same religion as their parents, is that “foisting” beliefs upon children, disrespecting their rights? Surely only those parents and guardians, and indeed opinion formers, who are less than at peace with their own values are not at peace with them being handed on to those who love them, respect them, need them, look to them for answers & to those they have given life.

This campaign is another example of humanists and their fellow-travellers very effectively pushing their belief that children have “rights” enabling them to be “autonomous” of parents and their Creator in learning about important truths and values. Presumably they approve of the obvious fact that children today are indeed picking up on this sense of autonomy, on the supposed lack of need to respect or obey elders, let alone to listen out for divine revelation. The children who will read their poster are just receiving one more reinforcement of the fashionable materialism being powerfully taught to them. They are being encouraged to disrespect the wisdom of ages and of the aged, and to despair of being made for the gift of true life.

Teaching that children should not receive information about life, the universe and everything is not just contradictory, it is inhuman. Children ask questions and naturally imbibe values, beliefs and priorities from their elders. In today’s increasingly post-Christian society an increasing amount of children imbibe the crazy conviction that they shouldn’t have to imbibe any conviction – especially about important things. We are becoming a society of confused and self-contradictory individualists intent on producing more.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 1:55 pm