Atheists to believers: Leave the children alone!

When, in this Cif piece back in October 2008, we asked how the extra funds should be spent, one of the issues which came up repeatedly in the comments concerned the growth of of faith schools in the UK and the segregation of children according to their parents’ beliefs. Many of you felt strongly that children should be given the freedom to decide which belief system they wanted to belong to, if any, and that they should not have a religion decided for them. Commenter Finite187 wrote, “A campaign against faith schools would be good as a next step,” ciderpower said “You could address faith schools – religions want schools for the few, not for all” and 555555 asked, “How is this distortion of school education happening in this country?”

The atheist campaign team shared this point of view. However, rather than using adverts to try and campaign politically, we thought it would be more beneficial to try and change the current public perception that it is acceptable to label children with a religion. As Richard Dawkins states, “Nobody would seriously describe a tiny child as a ‘Marxist child’ or an ‘Anarchist child’ or a ‘Post-modernist child’. Yet children are routinely labelled with the religion of their parents. We need to encourage people to think carefully before labelling any child too young to know their own opinions, and our adverts will help to do that.”