Church Logic: Free Preschool Means the Government Is Anti-Christian

So I’m reading Lori Gilbert‘s excellent article about the Stockton Area Atheists and Free Thinkers and she mentions the reason one of the SAAFT members finally got fed up with her Christian church and left the faith…:

Others, including some members who asked not to be identified because of intolerance against those who don’t believe in a God, were later converts to atheism. One such woman was raised as a Catholic, “born again” at 13 and belonged to a fundamentalist Christian church until she was 28.

“That’s when they started telling us how to vote,” she said. “One lady stood up, this was during the Clinton administration, and she was talking about how there was a conspiracy on the part of the government to take children away from homes at a young age so they would not be raised in a Christian household. This was all about funding for free preschool. They considered this an effort to take children away at young age. I remember thinking, ‘You’re crazy.’”

Yep. That really happened. What I don’t understand — and what I presume never happened — is how so many people in that church could hear this woman’s rant and not a single one of them stood up to say, “No, you’re crazy.”

Then again, it’s not like any Christians do that when their pastors say something equally crazy about the Bible…

Something else to note: A couple of the group members interviewed in that article joined up because they saw this atheist billboard advertising the group:

Even if you think the majority of atheist billboards are poorly designed, they’re having a real impact.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Troy Truchon

    Ironically children were stolen by individuals operating under government authority from their families.. Except the children were Cherokee and Plains Indians, and  the child stealers were protestant Christians. The Catholics did it a hundred years earlier in California and northern mexico.

  • Annie

    Ironically, at least in my state, it is the exact opposite.  A few years ago, the state of Florida started a VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten) program.  Parents of pre-school aged children can choose an approved preschool of their choice for their child, and the government will pay for it.  This was an excellent move, I thought at first, as research has shown that children who attend pre-kindergarten do significantly better than their peers in elementary school.  It was a way to level the playing fields between socioeconomic groups as far as early education. But, the problem with our program is that there are no state-run preschools, so private preschools receive funding for each child they educate  in their VPK program.  I decided to look into which schools offer VPK programs, as many of our preschools here are related to and run by churches.  Many of the religious schools, like this one,   http://openarmscdc.org/about.html offer VPK, and also have  a curriculum that is laced with religious teachings.  I did contact the FFRF several months back, as I feel this is a violation between the separation of church and state.  I had brief contact with an attorney there, but never heard anything else about this. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lincoln-Bohn/100000348234817 Lincoln Bohn

    I live in the central california valley and I didn’t know that organization existed, I can’t thank you enough for leading me to them!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000516069262 Thomas Robb

    I can understand they are incensed at  free pre-school education.  They offer pre-k at a much lower rate or even free when compared to most secular alternatives.  This current situation allows them the opportunity to indoctrinate young people, especially in a vulnerable demographic.  

  • Anna

    My husband and I aren’t atheists exactly, but we’re raising our children secularly. It was very difficult to find a secular preschool, and we’ve ended up paying quite a bit more than if they went to a religiously affiliated preschool. Ultimately it’s worth it to us to make sure they’re not getting Sunday school stories mixed in with their counting and letters and social play.

  • BenFromCA

    To I Claudia:

    Same thought! Of course it’s an atheist holiday.  It’s a tongue-in-cheek poke at human credulity.  Aliens, ghosts, life-after-death – what could be better! [well, there is Halloween - not atheist, but still an atheist "poke fun" favorite]. In fact, I was thinking of celebrating by holding a church service.  I just couldn’t decide which “God” to worship.

  • http://www.summerseale.com/ Summer Seale

    I just wrote this on G+ while sharing the article and I figured I’d post it here as well:

    When it comes to people asking how it’s possible that half of Americans believe in the crazy shit that they believe in, such as the earth being 6,000 years old and that evolution is a lie, I usually have a very basic response which nobody likes to hear: Most home schooling is for Christian fundamentalists and they can teach their children whatever bloody nonsense they like to teach them.

    For decades, the fundamentalists have been taking advantage of our system and nobody paid attention. Because it was grass roots and exploited the system and our best nature. The fact is that they’ve been undermining the entire system for a very long time, starting with the lowest public office positions and at the earliest stages of childhood. If you read Dominionist “literature”, you’ll see that these plans were being discussed and promulgated throughout Christian churches in all of America since, literally, the last thirty years or more.

    And this is the result. These people live in an alternate bubble universe which most of us wouldn’t even recognize. Their daily lives, goals, aspirations, and views should be of no surprise when we think about it. And the sad part is that it will take just as long to wrench the country back to sanity as it took getting us into the insanity of it in the first place.

  • Anonymous

    (Note: I tried posting this comment there, but couldn’t log in for some reason, so I guess it goes here, where it does less good) 

    Maybe it’s just the wording, but it sounds like the article is saying “atheist” and “agnostic” are two mutually exclusive things when they’re not. 

    The vast majority of atheists are agnostic (i.e. ‘agnostic atheists’), even the outspoken ones like Dawkins and Hitchens described themselves as such. 

    Take me. Do I know, with absolute, 100% certainty that no gods of any kind exist? Of course not, just like I don’t know with 100% certainty that leprechauns don’t exist. That makes me agnostic, and the fact that there’s no evidence, no good reason to believe gods (or leprechauns) exist, I don’t believe they exist, and am thus an atheist. 

    Maybe it’s semantics, but it’s important.


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