Thank you for the invitation to respond to your website.
I’ve been reading your website story and it has generated considerable thought about the multitude of issues involved.
Your approach has been very systematic and it is easy to see your critical thinking approach. Clearly you have invested a lot of time and effort to produce such an extensive and professional looking website.
To clarify my own position firstly, my life is devoted to being a disciple of Jesus Christ. I realise this is a big claim to which to aspire but, in fact, it is actually understated. However, I do not want this to be a distraction to my response. There are so many issues to respond to but I will aim to focus on a few fundamental reasons why it is in your interests to keep Bibles in Schools by CEC.
The tone of my response is intended to be sincere without being provocative so, if any of my writing seems to be offensive that is not my intention and I apologize in advance.
Let me begin with your beginning-
“This is what angers me the most, is adults imposing their beliefs on other peoples’ kids …..”
“I would equally expect them to be upset if an atheist group was entering the school ”
I believe your statements to be out of touch with the present situation in state schools. The removal of the christian worldview from state schools and the education system is all but complete. You seem to be unaware that our education system (University and Teacher Training Institutions in particular) have been the bastion of atheist philosophies for some time now and those philosophies have become the automatic default position on issues relating to our origin and ethics.
You write as though you believe atheism is neutral and therefore a safe learning environment for children. I would accept that reasoning from agnostics, who do not know if God is real or not, tending to have a “bet each way”. But atheist are not so.
Peoples world views grow out of what they believe to be the reason for our origin. Secularism does not take a middle of the road approach but, instead, asserts that a gigantic cosmic accident defines our present reality. From this point on, all reasoning is based on a view that excludes the existence of our human soul and spirit (and everything else supernatural). Thus reducing all of life to mere chemical reactions.
Dawkins describes the atheist world view when he writes:
“The universe has no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares.”
Another atheist author Susan Blackmore sums it up when she says:
“In the end nothing matters. We are here for absolutely no reason at all.”
How could any parent consider that to be a safe or neutral foundation from which to teach kids? Taking God or CEC out of school does not leave a neutral environment. It simply leaves a vacuum that is filled by atheism.
I read your comment that atheism is not a belief system and has no beliefs to teach. There are many atheists I could quote who would disagree and some even go so far as to call it a “religion”.
However, let me explain what I mean by an “atheist belief system” i.e. the fundamental ideas that define the atheist’s point of view and the corresponding implications that must logically follow..
Namely, that atheists believe that the Universe created itself out of nothing; meaning that there is no God to tell us what to do and that we owe our existence to nothing more than random chance. This, in turn, means that there is no ultimate foundation for real meaning or purpose in life, or values beyond which we make for ourselves.
The logical conclusion of this reasoning is that we are free to pursue any lifestyle we choose without objection, because moral absolutes don’t actually exist. Right and wrong are simply personal preferences about what people think might be appropriate behaviour.
Furthermore, it is reasonable to describe atheist philosophy as a system of beliefs because even they discuss their atheistic world view as a coherent collection of shared ideas, concepts, claims and beliefs.
And finally it is right to use the word “belief” because atheists believe in many things that they can never prove. When Richard Dawkins was asked what he believed in to be true but could not prove he admitted, “I believe, but cannot prove, that all life, all intelligence, all creativity and all design anywhere in the Universe is the direct or indirect product of Darwinian natural selection”.
Even atheist live by faith to some degree.
From reading your website it seems that you do have an appearance of significant meaning and purpose in life and enough moral virtue to make you a good neighbour. And yet, given your atheist views, from where do these virtues come and how are you to hold them sincerely?
Another atheist author, William Provine, writes, “There is no ultimate foundation for ethics and no meaning for life”. I mention this because, in your website, you say that certain things about CEC are morally wrong. And again I have to ask, where does your standard of wrong come from if there isn’t any? And why would bother to complain about CEC if it all means nothing ultimately?
Surely atheists would be the last people to complain about anything in in life, if it is all so futile. Why bother? Why not relax, have a beer and ignore it all?
I agree with your statement that, if CEC Teams had to teach values only with no religion, then they probably wouldn’t do it. And, in that situation, neither would I. Values in a purely secular context are fakes and counterfeits, compared to God-based values.
True morals that are held with sincerity and conviction can only exist with a higher external authority to give them value.. It is illogical to believe sincerely in any true moral value if, at the same time, you sincerely believe in “nothing but blind pitiless indifference”.
In spite of this I have noticed that, atheists are often keen on using morals when it suits, even if it means they are faking it.
It’s like the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes (Hans Christian Anderson). Some people (old enough to know better) played along and said how wonderful the clothes were, even though they secretly knew there were none there. Others (usually younger ones with nothing to lose) saw through the pretence and immediately declared, ” He’s naked! ” Some atheists like Dawkins can immediately see their world view is morally naked and readily admit it. Others prefer to play along and pretend, because it is too painful to admit that their life has no real meaning or purpose..
Atheists (like the vain Emperor) are free to make up their own personal vision and missions statement for their life, however they want to. But they can never get away from the fact that they just made it up themselves and can unmake it whenever it suits.
For the person believing in God the issue of ethics is not easy, though there are many believers who choose to live on a superficial level, inconsistent with the morals they claim to believe.( Jesus sometime referred to it as religious hypocrisy).. As for myself, so long as I sincerely believe in God, it is also possible for me to sincerely believe that some things are definitely wrong. Also, I can let those morals affect every area of my actions, thinking, talking and feelings; knowing that I am accountable to God (this doesn’t terrify me as I am on good terms with the Judge, but it has that effect of making me my own policeman and so internally moderating my behaviour and attitudes).
Atheists are also free to enjoy the benefits of morals but they can never do it with conviction, whilst still holding to their nihilist foundation that excludes genuine morals.
Furthermore, even if you could somehow define something as morally wrong, what would it achieve if there is still no higher authority to be held accountable to for those wrongs?
It would be as pointless as making a law against speeding but then having no police, no judge, no fines nor any jails to deter anyone from breaking the law. Such a moral law would be reduced to just being a nice suggestion for whoever was inclined to take notice (or not). It is therefore just an individual preference and not to be confused with genuine morality.
The effect of this moral “nakedness” in atheism, is to undermine any internal restraint (or conscience) that would encourage self-control. This is especially vital for this generation that is exposed to a vast multitude of moral challenges not experienced by any previous generation in history. What is needed is greater moral guidance, not an atheistic agenda where morals are just a pretence.
And I am not suggesting your daughter will grow up to be a murderous tyrant because of avoiding CEC lessons. My point is , if she did become like that, what compelling reason could you give to her to change her behaviour? I think you would find it very difficult to provide convincing reasons for any objections, given your atheist beliefs and reasoning, which have no higher authority other than people’s opinions.
On the contrary, your daughter could use your atheistic beliefs to endorse any destructive behaviour. She could easily argue that killing or oppressing weaker members of a population is logically consistent with evolving to a a higher lifeform. And killing of a million or so people is intrinsically no different to squashing ants. After all, we are just highly evolved pond-scum existing by mere random chance in a universe where nothing really matters anyway.
The above reasons are not at all extreme nor improbable and have existed during my lifetime in countries such as communist Russia or China. Their leaders like Stalin and Mao strongly embraced the atheistic world view and were responsible for the deaths of over 100 million people, primarily their own citizens. Their actions may not be typical of most atheists, but they are nonetheless consistant with atheist beliefs. Hitler also used such principles to try and produce a superior Aryan race by eliminating people thought to be inferior. All this bloodshed in less than a century, resulting from atheistic reasoning, shows it to be the most destructive philosophy in history.
It amazes me that a normal person, such as yourself, would want to have any association with a philosophy that has shown itself to produce such evil in the extreme. However, I accept that you would never behave in such an oppressive manner yourself, but yet you hold to a world view that has no objective means to condemn such leaders or their actions. Nevertheless, you so confidently complain that what CEC is doing is wrong.
This is clearly a key issue for you to explain how you are able to show any indignation regarding morality, whilst atheist leadership have already acknowledged that there isn’t any. It is a bit like Richard Dawkins expressing so much hate and ridicule about a God he believes is not there.
If I bring up my kids to be followers of Jesus, I can’t guarantee they will not become monsters later in life. However, I am convinced that providing them with genuine morals in a God-context is infinitely superior to the idea that morals have no real foundation. If, in the event that my kids turn out to be religious monsters, I can at least sincerely and passionately challenge them with the example of Jesus and a list of compelling moral reasons why their actions are wrong and that they will ultimately be held accountable by God. Atheists have no grounds to passionately appeal about anything given that , “we’re here for absolutely no reason at all.”
People inevitably live out of whatever they believe, for better or worse. If CEC lessons teach children to copy Jesus then you, as an individual, have nothing to lose and everything to gain from living among people who sincerely believe in honesty, integrity, love, mercy, peace and forgiveness as taught by Jesus.
On the other hand, if just a small number of children take atheist beliefs to heart, and push them to their logical conclusion, then there is no limit to the grief and destruction they could case on a global scale.
My fear is not that there will be just a few of them, but a whole generation who have been given the freedom to indulge in any physical gratification or destructive behaviour without limits or consideration for others.
Are you prepared to take responsibility for you part in this outcome?
And what if this becomes personal and that sort of behaviour is aimed at you and your family? Will you just smile at evolution in action, or will you look for moral objections to their behaviour? I assume that, by trying to end CEC lessons, you believe you are doing a favour for your daughter and society in general. You are greatly mistaken.
What you are doing is removing a genuine source of moral values and replacing them with secular counterfeits. You are swapping the greatest role model of all time and replacing Him with the philosophy that has produced some of the greatest mega-death despots who ever lived.
Can you see why many parents are hostile to what you are doing.
To sum up, using your own words of criticism;
I am upset that an atheist group has entered state schools claiming to be neutral when they are clearly not. They have removed the influence of a moral Christian world view and are imposing atheistic beliefs on other people’s children. This belief system is morally bankrupt and can only pretend to offer moral guidance and it is bereft of any personal restraints. In fact this philosophy encourages anarchy and depravity by saying that there is nothing wrong with anything because wrong does not exist.
Promoting atheism via secularism is extremely dangerous. Promoting Jesus will benefit society in every way. I urge you to reconsider your position and the potential consequences of your actions and remove your website against CEC.
You can read my reply here. What do you think? Please comment below.