Last week, there was a front page article in the Chicago Tribune on Camp Quest, the summer camp for non-religious families.
Christianity Today’s blog features a post by Stan Guthrie regarding that article.
The Tribune interviewed several young campers in Ohio about their beliefs, or lack thereof. I don’t think Christians have a lot to worry about. Here is a sampling:
“[Sophia] Riehemann notes that a secular perspective takes away childhood joys other kids have, such as Christmas. But that doesn’t bother her. ‘They have Santa Claus,’ she said, ‘and we have Isaac Newton.'”
Actually, Sophia, I hate to break this to you, but you have Santa Claus, and we have Isaac Newton.
Then there is Allison Page, who is described as a 9-year-old only child. Reflecting on the biblical story of Cain and Abel, Allison opines, “It just doesn’t make sense. A brother wouldn’t kill his brother.”
Ah, the innocence of children. Just wait until you have siblings, Allison.
Ouch. He’s picking on the children. That’s good journalism.
No doubt Newton believed in God (though it’s wasn’t exactly Protestant Christianity), but I wonder how Guthrie would have responded had she used the examples of, say, James Watson and Francis Crick. Both great scientists. Both atheists.
Not to mention there are plenty of Christian children who believe in Santa. It’s not an “atheist thing.”
As for the other girl, Guthrie turns her perfectly valid comment into a joke.
And I’m not sure Christians had much to “worry about” in the first place, as there are hundreds (thousands?) of Christian summer camps/Bible camps, and there is just a small handful of Camp Quests.
Notice also that the subtitle to the blog posting.
Does Guthrie actually imply Camp Quest is worse than Jesus Camp? Has he seen the movie?!
Helen made a post about how this article is poking fun at people (children) in a poor attempt at humor. Guthrie even commented on the posting:
Any atheist who is offended by my little post poking a bit of fun at a summer atheist camp that supposedly teaches children how to think for themselves needs to lighten up and enjoy the irony. The really funny parts were what the campers said, not what I said.
It’s not a “bit of fun.” It’s this exact type of message that makes it difficult for atheists to be accepted and treated as equals in society.
Unfortunate, many Christians will read this article and take it seriously, not as a joke. And Guthrie, of all people, should know that.
[tags]atheist, atheism, Camp Quest, Christianity Today, Stan Guthrie, Chicago Tribune, Christian, Sophia Riehemann, Christmas, Santa Claus, Isaac Newton, Allison Page, Cain and Abel, God, James Watson, Francis Crick, Jesus Camp[/tags]