“It has been written that those who have the youth have the future. So come now, children of the beast, be strong and shout at the devil.”
- In the Beginning, Motley Crue
Glad to be godless
Reflections on a summer camp for the children of atheists
Campers are told that invisible unicorns inhabit the forest, and offered a prize if they can prove that the unicorns do not exist. The older kids learn something about the difficulty of proving a negative. The younger ones grow giggly at the prospect of stepping in invisible unicorn poop.
The kind of people who send their kids to Bible camp are appalled. Answers in Genesis, a Christian fundamentalist group, berates Camp Quest for drumming a “hopeless” world view into young minds.
Atheists are broadly disliked in America. Only 5% of Americans admit that they would not vote for an otherwise qualified black presidential candidate, but 53% say they would shun an atheist. That makes the godless less popular than Muslims, Mormons or gays.
When Barack Obama was inaugurated as president, he described America inclusively, as “a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers.” But since then he has publicly invoked Jesus more frequently than George Bush junior did, according to Politico, a political newspaper.
An amusing article, albeit slightly reassuring. Or maybe the other way round, depending on your point of view. One of the volunteers they interviewed is an ex-fundamentalist turned “militant atheist:”
At the time, Mr Sutterfield was “immeasurably proud” of his work [speaking in tongues, driving out evil spirits, etc.]. But with hindsight, he thinks it was a load of mumbo-jumbo. He is now a militant atheist. He organises secular groups at universities and, this summer, volunteered at Camp Quest, a network of summer camps for secular kids.