Tract #26: Are Atheist Children Dangerous?

Tract #26, Are Atheist Children Dangerous?, is ready for you to download and review. Download it, see page #3 for printing instructions, and let me know your comments! Thanks!

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Are Atheist Children Dangerous?

If you’re a Christian and discover that your child has a friend who is an atheist, what do you do? Do you instruct your child never to see the atheist child again, even if the relationship had been going swimmingly up to that point. Why? There are several possible reasons.

Fear of Misbehavior

You may worry that atheist children are immoral because they do not believe in God. But atheists have morals just like anyone else, and there are immoral atheists just as there are immoral Christians — you need to examine individuals, not groups, for morality.

If you’re still worried, there’s nothing wrong with closely supervised play dates until you are sure that there are no problems (probably a good idea with any new little friend, regardless of their religious belief).

Fear of Temptation

Might an atheist child tempt your child to sin? It’s possible. Might a Christian child tempt your child to sin? It’s possible. Particularly when very young, children are still learning what is right and what is wrong. Both Christian and atheist children likely have a lot to learn about the subject, and there’s no reason they can’t learn together.

For older children who already have a good grasp on telling right from wrong, you might do better to help your child not give in to peer pressure than to isolate your child from people with different beliefs. You can also speak to the atheist child’s parents and make sure that the child knows what rules his Christian friend operates under.

Fear of Doubt

What if the atheist child instills doubt about Christianity in your child? This is only a danger if you believe that your child is unable to handle questions about religion or won’t come to you with questions that don’t have an obvious answer. (Of course, it’s also a problem if there are questions the atheist can ask that your religion doesn’t have an answer to, but that’s a different kind of problem.)

If you really think that your child’s faith in God is so delicate that asking questions about it could be damaging, then how about asking the atheist child not to discuss religion with your child?

But if neither you nor the atheist child’s parents have a problem with the children discussing religion, remember that it might be your child who makes the atheist doubt. Isn’t that possibility worth allowing the discussion? Particularly since you know your position is stronger, right?

Fear of Others

Of course, it’s also possible that you don’t want your child to associate with an atheist because atheists are so much unlike Christians and you just don’t feel comfortable about exposing your child to someone so different. The word for that is “bigotry.” Is that what you want to teach your children?

Posted on July 12, 2009 at 5:26 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: About atheism, Tract

4 Responses

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  1. Written by A Hosein
    on July 15, 2009 at 7:43 am
    Reply · Permalink

    Children are very impressionable. Although it may be beneficial in some ways to allow your child to be aware of other beliefs, it may very well be “dangerous”. Personally, I think it would be a good idea to allow both children to understand the other’s beliefs, for educational purposes, I suppose, without letting the talk grow too deep.

    I also believe that it is natural for a lot of people, atheist or not, to go through a period of doubt. I believe this is extremely important because you really would not want your children just believing in something because someone told them to. In this period, you can show them the evidence, etc. that made you accept your religion. But in the end, it will be up to them to decide whether it makes sense to them or not. This is an issue almost all religious parents might have. So whether your child knows an atheist or not, doubt may inevitably enter their minds. A relationship with an atheist might just act as a catalyst. Again, a problem here is stereotyping atheists. It’s very much like allowing your child to befriend a Muslim or a Hindu, etc. But I believe that this decision-making should best be done when the child is more mature.
    With that said, even if your child ‘deviates’, still encourage him to keep an open mind. With experience, his views on life and religion can change. So do not shun him if he doubts strongly. He’s still your child, only his beliefs have changed. But your hope should not go.

    This discussion is really thorough, concise and helpful. Kudos to you!

  2. Written by RaptorX
    on September 15, 2009 at 1:11 am
    Reply · Permalink

    “I believe this is extremely important because you really would not want your children just believing in something because someone told them to.”

    I am sorry but isnt christianity based on the fact that an invisible man *told* the israelis to write down his commandments and then now people just do as that book *tells* even if sometimes it is against reason?

    Not saying that you are a christian though (I cannot know that from your post only) but rather asking clarification on that point.

  3. Written by CMcK
    on September 14, 2010 at 6:38 am
    Reply · Permalink

    I don’t think a child can really be labelled as ‘Christian’, ‘Atheist’, or any such group. I don’t think these are positions one can hold without reasoning oneself into that position.

  4. Written by Tan
    on October 29, 2010 at 5:17 am
    Reply · Permalink

    Im an Athiest, I come from a strict Christian family. Church on Sndays, fasting, praying before-food, bed, waking up, etc…Living with believers is extremely hard especially when they dont tolirate you. I go to apublic co-educational school but most of my class mates have a religion or at least believe in something. I dont, i believe in, well frankly- science.

    You may now be wondering how old I am. well.. Im 15. I am denied by my family and get pushed and koncked about for being an Atheist.

    I dont see why we are a dangour to anyone, after all, we are just kids. I dont know anyone who as a child, sat down and thought about a friends of theirs religious believes. You become friends with someone because of who they are as a person, not what they believe in. If one of you friends converted to Atheism now, would you quit their friendship? No, i didnt think so either.

    I know i might be wrong saying this, but its my view and oppinion as a young Athiest woman. I truely appoligise if i have offended anyone.

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