The so-called “dino quiz,” pictured here, went viral last week after being posted online. The story was picked up and discussed in numerous nationwide media outlets. Even Snopes got in on the action, saying it was contacted by a man claiming to be the young quiz-taker’s daughter.
The speculation as to the document’s authenticity was finally put to rest a few days ago by none other than the multi-million-dollar young-earth creationist organization Answers in Genesis. AiG both named the school (Blue Ridge Christian Academy in Landrum, South Carolina) and defended the quiz (which is based on its own curriculum) in an April 30 article by AiG-U.S. President Ken Ham and Mark Looy. True to form, the piece is given the even-handed headline “Intolerant Atheists Viciously Attack Christian School,” followed by 1,500 words characterized by the irrational, martyrly drivel that the prominent YEC organization is known for.
The essay’s central point appears to be that any educational institutions that follow the perfectly reasonable public policy of A) maintaining the separation of church and state and B) teaching evolution, a concept “fundamental to a comprehensive understanding of all biological disciplines,” are “in essence, churches of atheism.”
Skim through it if you’re in need of a good laugh; just don’t make the same mistake I did — I almost choked on my coffee when I read this: “In a way, what is happening to this Christian school … should be a warning to all Christians: the atheists want your children.”
Seriously, guys? “The atheists want your children”? You just killed a good chunk of my brain cells and simultaneously inspired Stephenie Meyer’s next seven-part book series (not sure which is the more heinous crime). So, to sum up: According to AiG, atheists (whom K-Ham calls “anti-God people” in the article) are like the witch from Hansel and Gretel, André Linoge and the aliens from every B-movie ever made.
This is an honest question for any YEC readers I might have: How do you stomach this stuff? Or, better yet, how do you not see through it as a thinly veiled fear tactic, intended to bypass your reason and common sense and score easy points by playing off your deepest, most primal parenting instincts?
Let’s consider this for just a second. What would the atheists want with your children? Don’t answer right away. Think about it. To build an army of atheists, trained from a young age? To take over the country? The world?
I couldn’t figure it out. So I decided to ask an atheist directly. Here’s what he said.
Me: Mr. Atheist, could you please tell me what you and your kind want with our good Christian children?
Me: Egad! It’s even more diabolical than I imagined! But why? What’s your ultimate goal?
(Mr. Atheist had to think about this for a few moments.)
Atheist: I guess the ultimate goal is to teach kids how awesome science is at explaining the world. It’s also nice to see their little eyes go sullen when we prove that humans and dinosaurs never hung out. “Sorry Johnny, the only way a human will ever meet a dinosaur is through science. But that would involve a ‘Jurassic Park’ situation. And we know that ends badly.” Then they cry, which is always fun.
Me: I can hardly believe it — K-Ham was right the whole time! How long has this dastardly scheme been going on?
Atheist: For as long as there have been atheists, this has been our plan.
Me: Well, the jig’s up now, pal. But I still have one more question: Did you really think you would get away with it, that we wouldn’t find you out?
Atheist: Hey, be fair — we almost pulled it off. If only there wasn’t that meddling Answers in Genesis! Other than more than 100 years’ worth of scientific advancement, you can’t get much by them!
I hope you can see this dialogue, along with the claims in the AiG article presented above, for the jokes that they are. Christians, listen to me: Atheists do not want your children. Atheists do not care if your children grow up to be Christians, atheists, agnostics, Mormons, scientologists, crazy hippies or members of the cult of John Frum.
And let’s be real: Even if there were a massive atheist conspiracy to indoctrinate every child in America and make them little God-hating foot soldiers, what does it matter? Your children are people, remember? People, with hearts and souls and brains of their own, people who will ultimately be held responsible by God for their own actions, regardless of how many creationist books they read or don’t read. Yes, share with them what you believe, but don’t be afraid to let them think for themselves.
Jesus wasn’t. In fact, he said his followers needed to be more like them.
And just for the record, teaching kids about evolution does not equate to teaching them about atheism. It does, however, equate to teaching them about science.
AiG’s “Intolerant Atheists” concludes, like most everything on its website, with a link encouraging readers to support the ministry so its good work can continue. Honestly, I think this is really what AiG — with its guilt-laden article titles like “The Chasm is Widening: Are You on God’s Side?” — is about: They want you to be afraid, they want you to withdraw from the rest of the world and, more than anything else, they want your money.
I say, don’t let them win. Don’t give them a cent, and don’t let them make you afraid of the world. And please, for the love of all things good and awesome, don’t let them near your children.
Update: Several other Christian bloggers have responded to this same article by Looy and K-Ham, including James McGrath, of Exploring Our Matrix, and Joel Watts, of Unsettled Christianity. I encourage you to read their perspectives as well.