Tract #26: Are Atheist Children Dangerous?
Download tract #26: Are Atheist Children Dangerous? (PDF). See page #3 for printing instructions.
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?