The groups that brought you the “classlc” atheist bus ads are back with a billboard message that is sure to spark some great discussions:
Please don’t label me. Let me grow up and choose for myself.
How awesome is that?
It takes a page from Richard Dawkins‘ The God Delusion where he makes a similar point:
At Christmas-time one year my daily newspaper, the Independent, was looking for a seasonal image and found a heart-warmingly ecumenical one at a school nativity play. The Three Wise Men were played by, as the caption glowingly said, Shadbreet (a Sikh), Musharraf (a Muslim) and Adele (a Christian), all aged four. Charming? Heart-warming? No, it is not, it is neither; it is grotesque…
Imagine an identical photograph, with the caption changed as follows: “Shadbreet (a Keynesian), Musharaff (a Monetarist) and Adele (a Marxist), all aged four.” Wouldn’t this be a candidate for irate letters of protest? It certainly should be.
Dawkins felt that prematurely labeling children like that was a form of child abuse. Call it extreme, but he had a point. Yet, parents do this all the time without thinking about it. This billboard campaign is all about consciousness-raising, and it accomplishes just that.
Notice the words featured prominently on the billboard, by the way.
Not only do they call out parents who use the term “Protestant Child” or “Catholic Child,” they also point the finger at anyone who would use the terms “Agnostic Child” or “Humanist Child.”
The point is that, by all means, you should educate your child with your morals and values. But there’s a difference between doing that and forcing an entire belief system on a child who doesn’t even have the capability to understand what that entails.
The purpose of this campaign — which, at its core, is not specifically atheistic — is to challenge state-funded faith schools, which by nature label children with a religious label and get taxpayer money to do it.
Help the British Humanist Association (BHA) in its effort to phase out state funded ‘faith’ schools and reform our education system by ensuring we can employ our dedicated campaigns officer against faith schools for another year.
The BHA campaigns for inclusive schools with no religious admissions policies, balanced teaching about different beliefs and values, and no compulsory ‘collective worship’. The BHA also campaigns to combat the growing threat to education from creationism and pseudoscience, as well as for wider improvements to values and moral education across the school curriculum and supports improved Sex and Relationships Education, Citizenship Education and inclusion of Philosophy.
Good for them. As I write this, they’ve raised nearly £9,000 toward their £30,000 fundraising goal.
(via Atheist Bus Campaign)