According to the London Times, famed atheist Richard Dawkins has set up a "Christian-like" summer camp where 24 kids will get the chance to be atheists for life (his goal, not my words). According to the article, the kids ages 8 to 17 will enjoy standard activities (hiking, canoeing, that sort of thing) as well as lessons in "moral philosophy and evolutionary biology". They'll get some morning indoctrination, some afternoon swimming, and sit around the campfire singing John Lennon's "Imagine". The stated goal is to "encourage children to think for themselves".
Does this strike anyone else but me as odd? I certainly understand that adults would want to pass on to children their own beliefs. I absolutely get that people think they're right (if you didn't think you were right, you would change what you believe) and want to pass on to others what is right. I really have no problem understanding why an atheist would want to teach others to be an atheist. (Okay, I don't fully comprehend how an atheist can teach "moral philosophy" with no basis for morality, but, hey, that's his problem.) I'm not protesting Dawkins' camp idea. What strikes me as completely ridiculous is that indoctrinating children into atheism is anything approaching encouraging "children to think for themselves."
Come on, Richard (and the rest of the so-called "free thinkers). Be honest. You're not encouraging people to think for themselves. You're encouraging them to think like you do. It's understandable. You think you're right. There's no shame in that. But this whole nonsense that you're "free thinking" ("thinking for themselves") is really quite foolish. You don't want it. You don't teach it. You don't encourage it. If you did, then people who "think freely" into believing in Christ would be encouraged to do so. They're not, are they? No, I didn't think so. Please, Richard (et al), be honest. You're just as interested in inculcating kids with your view as Christians are with theirs. Oh, yeah, I forgot ... honesty is a moral value, something you don't actually have a basis to support. Never mind.