June 29, 2007
Summer Camps for Atheists
And you were worried about "Jesus Camp"?
While tens of thousands of kids head out to Christian camps, Camp Quest is offering an alternative for those who take their summer recreation without God. About 150 young people attend Camp Quest programs in Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, California, and Ontario, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.
The founder, Edwin Kagin, is legal director for the group American Atheists. He said the atheist camp was founded after the Boy Scouts barred atheists and gays from leadership roles during the 1990s. "We wanted a camp not to preach there is no God," said Kagin, "but as a place where children could learn it's OK not to believe in God."
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.