More nonsense from Dim to be knocked down.What exactly are atheists so scared about?
As I was leaving church yesterday, a nice chap called Andy called to see if I would go on Radio 2 to talk about a new billboard campaign enjoining us not to "label" our children with religious tags such as "Catholic child" or "Muslim child". Beside pictures of bonny toddlers (all white, as it happens), runs the tagline: "Let me grow up and decide for myself."
Andy said that the idea was that we shouldn't indoctrinate our young. I've no idea whether the word "indoctrinate" was his own, or whether he'd picked it up from talking to the British Humanist Association, which is behind the campaign. Anyway, my first reaction was this: chance would be a fine thing. I don't know if you've actually tried to indoctrinate a child, but outside of an Afghan madrassa or a Moonie temple I'd say you've got your work cut out.
Sure, a six-year-old will believe anything Daddy says. I could have told my children that the sea was made of wee-wee or that Tony Blair had a legal justification for invading Iraq and they'd have believed me. But by the time they've "grown up", or at least hit their teens, forget it. The most positive response you're likely to get from labelling them Christian, or atheist, or Communist, is "whatever". More likely are shrugs, or giggles.
And, anyway, who are these grown-ups who are meant to be doing the labelling? I've never introduced my children as "my pagan daughter" or "my atheist son". It's like that old joke about the Jewish mother: "Help! Help! My son, the doctor, is drowning!"
In the end, these humanists aren't worried about "labels" at all. What they want to abolish is children being brought up in any kind of faith tradition.
They might pretend that they're fighting political and ethnic labelling, but the giveaway is that they're using the same typeface, and indeed the same money, as for the literally hopeless bendy-bus campaign last January. You may remember its genius: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." The best that can be said for it is that it got people talking about God.
It's strange, though, that it isn't us, the faithful, who seem to be doing the worrying: it's all these neurotic atheists, humanists and secularists. Anyone would think they were trapped in 18th-century France or Tsarist Russia. When it's not our old friend, the celebrity atheist Professor Richard Dawkins, fund-raising for an uncertain and feeble proposition that serves largely to make Transport for London a bit better off, it's some other self-regarding personage thinking they're being frightfully daring by taking a pop at the Christian story, like an over-excited child shouting a rude word at the Christmas table.
[Atheist's lives revolove around their fear of God.]
When it comes to fear, Christianity is built on it. That's right, it positively thrives on terror.
There's a reason why Christians always refer to themselves as "god-fearing" - it's because they fear their invisible sky pixie more than they love him.