Skipping Sunday School: The Trailer May 9, 2010

Skipping Sunday School: The Trailer

Jason and Ashley Henley are working on a documentary about parents who raise their children without religion. It’s called Skipping Sunday School and they just released a bit of what they’ve been working on — it looks fantastic.

Many of the faces may be familiar to readers of this site — Roy Speckhardt of the American Humanist Association, Dale McGowan of Foundation Beyond Belief, Ed Buckner of American Atheists, and Brother Richard from Atheist Nexus.

The filmmakers are looking for more help, though, and more atheist parents to talk to.

You can contact them on their website if you wouldn’t mind being interviewed.

More importantly, if you would like help fund this project so the full film can be made, you can donate here. (There are perks that come with certain levels of donation!)

I’d love to see the full version of this film. I’d love to show it to other people even more 🙂

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  • Does anyone else shiver upon hearing someone make the Pascal’s Wager argument? I literally shiver. There’s just so much wrong with it.

  • Trace

    ummmhhhh. I always have a problem with young people talking about “their” beliefs (or lack of). Oh well. I’ll wait to see the whole thing before I make up my mind.

  • Shannon

    Pascal’s Wager makes me giggle because my Grandma tried to use it on me and it always makes me think of that 😉

    Trace, it’s one thing if the kids are indoctrinated and told they *have* to believe or not believe, but other than that, kids have opinions of their own and I think it’s ok for them to express them. As long as the kids know that it’s ok to disagree with mom & dad and ok to change your mind 42 times, I think it’s no different from them declaring an opinion on anything else.

  • I’m reading Parenting Beyond Belief at the moment which is edited by Dale McGowan. I’m really enjoying it even though I don’t currently have any children – there many elements to bringing up a child that are discussed from different viewpoints, all of which have validity and are well thought through.

  • Looks awesome. I suspect there will be some backlash but I am glad the project is happening.

  • Canadiannalberta

    I can’t wait! So many people I know would benefit from this.

  • Trace

    “ok to change your mind 42 times”

    :)…good point. I still want to see the whole thing.

  • Nakor

    I’ve argued for a while that it’s most important to raise children without dogma, particularly without the dogma that faith is a virtue (sometimes) greater than reason. If a person is raised knowing reason and compassion and all those good things, even without faith they may have a religion of sorts (maybe Einsteinian religion, maybe deism, or maybe even a sort of theism). It’s probable, I admit, that most wouldn’t join an organized religion, as most of those are a little too absurd for someone to believe in without dogma, but it’s entirely feasible they would have a religion of some sort.

    The real problem with religion is the dogma. If you can separate the dogma from the religion, then religion probably would no longer be a problem at all; it could even become a good thing (for some). Even theists would know, without dogma, that reason takes priority. Nobody raised to trust in reason over faith would turn to fundamentalism, obscurantism, terrorism or otherwise; or at least, far, far fewer would. And dogma and preference of faith over reason both start during childhood.

  • I’d really love to go a day without seeing or hearing Pascal’s Wager… sigh. Still, looks interesting, and I wish them the best success.

  • John

    Hey – I recognize some of those kids… oh yeah… their mine!

    Ashley and Jason are awesome. They used their “vacation” to travel the country to get their interviews.

    I hope that we can do our part to put a stop to the lie told by many theists that “Atheists have no morals.”

  • JJR

    I wonder if this is related to the film project that was mentioned at the Houston Church of Freethought this morning…

    There’s another film project kicking off in Atlanta, GA looking at “Bible Belt Atheists”…that was featured on a recent episode of the American Freethought podcast…

  • inmyhead9

    I would like to see more of this film. I have small children and this really hits home for me.

  • Alexrkr7

    I know that these children’s parents are probably letting them make up their own minds but I still feel uneasy when children state their beliefs. It’s a knee-jerk reaction but still. Especially when the little girl said something to the effect of “you weren’t there”. I know she’s a kid and she can hone logic in as she gets older but I hate it when creationists use the same phrase with evolution. I’m sure this is to Christians what ‘Jesus Camp’ was to us, so you know, there is an upside. =)

  • John

    Hi Alexrkr7 – As an atheist parent I feel responsible for teaching my children about the world. There are many ethical lessons we teach including the value of honesty, generosity, and hard work, etc. I also teach my children that god is a myth. This is the truth and I have no reason to hold back the truth. Of course, they will decide what they want to believe, and I will love them with all my heart regardless.

    All kids believe something and they should feel free to share their thoughts with others… :^)

  • Slickninja

    Interesting topic but man, I’ll be the jerk who says it: this must be the absolute most shoe string budget, the motion graphics editor in me cringes. These days with the birth of the HD capable 5D and 7Ds, anyone with some DP skills can shoot broadcast quality.

    It’d be nice to see a bit of presentation to match the content. I hope the finalized product looks a little less rough.

  • Valhar2000

    I hope the finalized product looks a little less rough.

    Donate motherfucker!

  • Niels

    This link on psychological research with 1-year olds might provide some interesting information for this ideas your getting at with this documentary. It shows that 1-year olds already distinguish right from wrong.

  • I’m definitely donating! This looks like a fantastic film project, and I want a copy of that DVD.

    I always have a problem with young people talking about “their” beliefs (or lack of).

    I see where you’re coming from, but children who haven’t been indoctrinated do naturally have a lack of religious belief. I doubt many children younger than middle school could articulate it clearly, but the lack of belief is there. I wasn’t raised by atheists, but I was an atheist child. My parents never mentioned religion, so I never developed any theistic beliefs. At 7 or 8, I certainly didn’t understand religion and wouldn’t have been able to defend my atheism in a theological debate, but I did have a definite opinion that I had formed entirely on my own.

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