In the July 16, 2007 issue of Newsweek, Lisa Miller informed readers about a new and different parenting book, titled Parenting Beyond Belief. Edited by Dale McGowan, this volume “aims to help folks who are raising their kids without religion deal with the sticky questions that come up about Santa Claus and heaven, and it raises more serious concerns about how to bring up ethical, confident, non-believing kids in a culture saturated with talk about God” (Miller, 2007, p. 10). According to McGowan’s Web site, Parenting Beyond Belief “is the first comprehensive parenting book by a major publisher on raising children without religion” (2007). McGowan added: “We hope it isn’t the last” (2007).
Included in Parenting Beyond Belief is discussion about a new summer camp for children of atheists. Camp Quest: The Secular Summer Camp, which operates in six different locations in North America, claims to be “the first residential summer camp in the history of the United States for the children of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Brights, or whatever other terms might be applied to those who hold to a naturalistic, not supernatural world view” (Camp Quest, n.d., emp. added).
It seems as if atheists are more determined than ever to indoctrinate children with godless materials and ideologies. In the end, Dale McGowan’s hope of seeing more atheistic materials for families ultimately fails to provide reasonable, not to mention comforting, answers to life’s biggest questions. Imagine the child who ponders his origin for the first time: “Mom, why are we here?” “Ricky,” mom replies, “we’re here because, by chance, billions of years ago a tiny ball of matter exploded. Eventually Earth was formed, life emerged from lifeless matter, and millions of years later humans evolved from lower animals.” “So we’re here by accident?” Ricky asks. “That’s one way of looking at it,” says his mother. Parenting Beyond Belief and Camp Quest no doubt help atheistic parents explain origins and ultimate destinations to their children in a more creative way. However, the bottom line is, children will learn that life ultimately is meaningless because their existence is accidental and there is no life beyond death.
The key to an abundant life, both in the present and in the afterlife, is found only through Christ Jesus (John 10:10). May God help us to teach our children this truth, as well as reach out to those reared by atheists, who may never have heard the answers that Jesus and His Word can provide.
Camp Quest: The Secular Summer Camp (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.camp-quest.org/.
McGowan, Dale (2007), “Parenting Beyond Belief,” [On-line], URL: http://www.parentingbeyondbelief.com/.
Miller, Lisa (2007), “BELIEF WATCH: How To,” Newsweek, July 16.
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