National Ad Campaign to Promote KidsWithoutGod.com on Buses and Online

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In an effort to strengthen and support kids and teenagers who don’t happen to believe in a god, the American Humanist Association is promoting its newly created website: KidsWithoutGod.com. This engaging resource offers a welcoming home for humanist, atheist and other non-traditionally religious kids where they can find information untainted by supernaturalism on a wide range of topics, including religion in public schools, science, discrimination, sexuality, and reading suggestions.


The various ad images being used can be found online here.

“Whether they already made up their minds to reject supernatural explanations, or are just questioning, it’s time to make available an online resource that’s built just for kids without God,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “These kids may be from traditionally religious families, or from families like that of President Barack Obama, whose mother was a secular humanist. KidsWithoutGod.com will be a friendly online community for kids who might be too shy to ask an adult directly what it’s like to be good without a god.”

Written By: American Humanist Association
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63 COMMENTS

  1. When I was a kid, we would have epic lunchtime arguments about Santa. I never believed in Santa because no one took the time time to impress upon me that Santa was to be believed in. I thought of him like Mickey Mouse, on TV and often portrayed with costumes. Every year I would have more kids on my side of the argument. Thinking back, this was a great exercise.  I have vivid memory of one of my friends making his argument against the existence of Santa, explaining the impossibility of the logistics involved in his trip, and the emotional believers clinging to the “he can do anything” argument. The believer kids got really angry. My favorite argument was there were no chimneys in the projects. How does Santa get down the hall? It was the 80s and any jingling white guy coming into our neighborhood would have been shot, which was a popular argument because it made us laugh.

    I’ve often wondered about the continuation of this argument, if kids even believe in Santa anymore, at least late enough to reach the age of argument.

  2. You’re not wrong. Here is the take on this story from some website called The Blaze http://www.theblaze.com/storie

    Some of the comments are a hoot. For example:

    PATTY HENRY
    Posted on November 14, 2012 at 1:10am
    WELL, we’re NOT on our own . WE have the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE with US. ! Know your stuff, people so you can gently speak it to kids: Darwin was never 100% proven – his theory – in fact this was a major scandal about the first of last Century. (Kind of like our Global warming)

    ANY child who really wants to know the truth only has to ASK GOD himself. That’s where atheists fall down and to the Atheists I would offer this: The one thing that our CREATOR, OUR LORD GOD ALMIGHTY really doesn’t seem to care much for is people who lead Children Astray – who harm “the least of us” … HE even says “It would be better that you had never been born” than have to face what you will face.

    There is nothing “IMAGINARY” about GOD ! The closer you draw to Him the more YOU will “see” and feel and know. Atheists cannot explain the creation or existence of the world. They are not smart enough to even begin to comprehend the amazing Force that is GOD. They (like us) use about 1% of their brain and their capacity for knowledge is so limited. They have no vision, but they sure have a lot of pride – thinking that somehow they are in control. I would hate to be any of them.

    Parents/ Grand Parents … it’s up to YOU to set the example of leaning on GOD, Trusting IN GOD, Praying to GOD. All of us who believe have hundreds of examples when GOD had shown us miracles. Poor, pitiful little atheists. You came to the dining hall but you missed the feas[sic]“

    …while others suggest that the Kids Without God people should perhaps be lynched:

    BODYBAG
    Posted on November 13, 2012 at 11:54am
    Anyone who did not understand the true nature of evil up to this point —- this is it.
    Targeting kids? Are there any parents here outraged to the point of hunting these people down in the streets?

    (the press release also notes that Disney and National Geographic Kids turned the ads down based on their content).

    Disney & NatGeo are no bastions of morality, however, even they know where the line is drawn”

  3. Katy Cordeth

    Some of the comments are a hoot. For example:

    With the wonders of indoctrinated thinking processes:  you to could achieve scientific ignorance, evolution denial, AGW denial, and have the chance to talk to your imaginary friend right throughout adult life! – just as these sad examples have done!

     

      They (like us) use about 1% of their brain and their capacity for knowledge is so limited. They have no vision, but they sure have a lot of pride – thinking that somehow they are in control. I would hate to be any of them.

     

    Taken out of context this beautifully illustrates psychological projection!

    Projection is the psychological phenomenon where someone denies some aspect of their behavior or attitudes and assumes instead that everyone else is doing or thinking so instead. It is usually seen as the externalisation of a person’s negative traits, placing blame on an outside force such as the environment, a government, a society or other people. – http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/P

  4. PATTY HENRY
    Posted on November 14, 2012 at 1:10
    Atheists cannot explain the creation or existence of the world. They
    are not smart enough to even begin to comprehend the amazing  Force that
    is GOD.

    For a moment there I thought she wrote:

    the amazing  Farce that
    is GOD.

    I think it’s important for children to have access to the right information especially with our inherent tendency to explain coincidences through supernatural agents. There is a real danger of replacing one set of superstitions with another.

    It’s also sad that the Web as one of the great inventions of the 20th century has ended up full of bronze age nonsense just because the ignorant have more time on their hands (not surprisingly) than the enlightened.

  5.  
    Katy Cordeth
       .. .. Here is the take on this story from some website called The Blaze http://www.theblaze.com/storie

    Some of the comments are a hoot. 

    There is a massive list of “straw atheist” comments from the pontificating deluded, who are mentally so  limited, that they have no concept of ethical conduct, unless it is fed to them as the cherry-picked dogmas of their biblical ignorance and  perceived Trroooo religion. 

    For many, atheists are (according to their narrow parochial view) “the followers of the anti-christ” who “deny” their personal pet god!

    As usual, they utterly confuse atheism with humanism, and have no concept of the diversity of views among free thinkers, or for that matter the numerous civilisations throughout history.

  6. What about “kidswithoutconcreteopinionsaboutanything[.]com”? We should protect the right of everyone (children especially) to have no concrete opinion, just as much as their right to believe or disbelieve with more certainty. The idea of making any idea (except, perhaps, generalities like logic, kindness etc.) look “cool” to children through active promotion seems distinctly shady to me.

  7. I’d probably not find the level of ignorance in those Blaze comments as hilarious if I lived with those idiots, but right now, I’m laughing my ass off.

    I still feel very sorry for anyone trapped amongst them, though.

  8. While I support what this site is trying to do, these ads in my opinion are petty. While I don’t think religious beliefs are free from criticism it should be done in a much more diplomatic way. I can see a lot of teens being turned off by this slightly antagonistic ad.

  9. Jim Doe
     I can see a lot of teens being turned off by this slightly antagonistic ad. 

     

    There are teens who are working at growing up – and there are those making determined efforts to retreat back into the fantasies of their infancy.

    The latter are also determined to drag as many other people as they can back with them!

  10. I think that ad compaigns that get peoples backs up by making the theme about intellectualisim rather than truth should be avoided. I think the tone of the above ad could be seen as condescending. If it were me I would start ( In a christian world ) with the holy book of genesis and all the dependent rhetoric in subsequent books and state simply the age of the earth , the age of intelligent life , the variety of intelligent life and say that these books can not be true , He Heres the archelogical studies. Heres how old these fossils are , heres how old these sediments are. Talk about Dinasours , the ice age , these facts make these books untrue. If these books are untrue then does that not mean they were written by man , making sh*t up , and if some of it is made up then does that not raise the probability that most of it is made up.

    Also set against this context of untruths children should be asked do they believe that the laws of physics were suspended for a short fraction of the earths age , when people could age to impossibly large numbers , when the supernatural leveled large cities , when people walked on water , duplicated fishes by paranormal conjuring and so on and so on. Set against proveable untruths can we really believe that all this happened , that for a fraction of the earths age that the supernatural was rampant and then mysteriously vanished when we could actually record such events.

  11. @Pauly I think that ad campaigns that get peoples backs up by making the theme about intellectualisim rather than truth should be avoided. I think the tone of the above ad could be seen as condescending.

    I don’t think the ads are aimed at the anti-intellectual “learn’t nothing” adults, who want to hang on to their mental religious crutch and emotional comfort blanket.
    They are not interested in truth or developing their intellect. They already have the universal (god-did-it) answer to everything!

    The ads are aimed at helping children develop without the brain deadening mental disablement of indoctrination.

     Teens acquiring the minds of adults, are clearly seen as a threat by adult sheeples with the minds of children!

    http://www.americanhumanist.or

  12. Pauly_
    Alan, I just feel that ‘imaginary friend’ sounds too much like a cat call

     

    Do you have another name for talking to a fantasy person? 

    Imaginary friends are well known in the psychology of child mental development. 

    “Imaginary friend”, is a proper scientific term. 
    We do not censor science because some of the deluded do not like descriptions of reality where childishness persists into adulthood! 
    Some people don’t like being descended from apes either , but they need to get real! Why pander to bigoted ignorance?

    Imaginary Friends: Any in Your House?
    Should parents worry about their children’s imaginary friends?  -  http://www.psychologytoday.com

    http://www.independent.co.uk/l

  13. Jim Doe:

    While I don’t think religious beliefs are free from criticism it should be done in a much more diplomatic way. I can see a lot of teens being turned off by this slightly antagonistic ad.

    Perhaps Jim could inform us of the diplomatic way of saying “there is no evidence for the supernatural”?

    Oh, and there were such, we can be certain that the Christians, Muslims and others would be the first to trumpet such evidence around the world!

    Okay, it’s too bad  Allah, Jehovah and Jesus had to meet in a boxing match to decide who was the “true” God! “Diplomacy” when it comes to such nonsense! Huh!  Bollocks to that, in my book!

  14. I was also an  ASantaist at a young age. Thinking about Santa played an important part in my thinking about God. I was trying to figure out why my dad played Golf every Sunday rather than going with us to church when it dawned on me that God was just another example of what I had figured out with Santa, it was a story that adults told kids in order to get them to behave.

  15.  I agree with you about the need to not just be nasty. There are some ads that have been posted here in the last year that I thought were just needlessly antagonistic. But I liked this one. Its kind of funny, without being nasty, and it makes a point that I think will resonate with a lot of kids.

  16.  I just had to defend my no Santa house rules with someone at work. They couldn’t imagine that I wouldn’t want to play in their reindeer games. “But Christmas is a tradition that is for everyone, what about your kids?” is the common reply. Yes true, I reply, but not for those who don’t want it. I hate the idea of lying to my kids about something so rediculous, it is a conspiracy by definition. Parents, teachers, politicians, friends, family,corporations and even members of other religions all play along to conspire against children. I don’t participate in conspiracies of deceit. Plus, I just about beat the living hell out of my parents when I found out how much they were lying to me. I was so embarrassed, I permanently lost any and all respect I had for authority. That usually shuts them up.

  17. Not sure, I had an imaginary friend as a kid as does my 3 year old daughter but I knew and she knows they are imaginary. Religious people don’t get the imaginary part. And it’s not just a friend, it is an overbearing, psychotic, ignorant and complete self absorbed friend born from brainwashing delusion. No one told me or my daughter who our imaginary friends were.

  18.  I really like your assessment and choice of words. It is a conspiracy of deceit.

    My grandfather who grew up in the depression made an astute observation, that rich kids got more and better stuff on Christmas. Children take note of this. When they return to school, some have new clothes and even toys to brag about. This implies that rich people were better, more moral, preferred by Santa. He raised his kids without Santa, also teaching them that the abundance for the holiday was from hard work.

    Such lies can do a lot of harm that people don’t normally calculate.

  19. aquilacane
    They couldn’t imagine that I wouldn’t want to play in their reindeer games.
    “But Christmas is a tradition that is for everyone, what about your kids?” is the common reply.

    Actually, if you want to be historically authentic, The mid-winter festival described as Xmas was the Viking Yule beer festival stolen by Xtians and one devious Xtian king in particular!

    The reindeer (and horses) were also associated with the Yule beer-festival – You can get more meat off one than off a turkey!

    Yule – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y

    The Romans also had the mid-winter orgy of Saturnalia!

  20. Jim Doe

    Actually this type of article on a new awareness campaign is often posted here and we all enjoy commenting on how appropriate is is or isn’t. Mostly the ads that are aggressive and or mocking get less approval than the kinder gentler sort.

    IMHO this series is on the friendlier side of the debate. True calling someones best friend “imaginary” isn’t a pat on the back but the other point that is made with these campaigns is that they are not aimed at converting the true believer more at the doubters and the unconvinced. The first paragraph of the article also says that the campaign is “to strengthen and support kids and teenagers who don’t happen to believe in a god.”

    I don’t think “imaginary friend” is too antagonistic for a group of atheist kids. In fact now that I consider it it’s religion that is very antagonistic. Try comparing this ad campaign to Mike Huckebees “supporting gay marriage and abortions in your presidential chioce will send you to hell.” It seems obvious that it will never be a fair fight and this is way nicer than anything the theists have ever said.

  21. Mr DArcy - 
    Perhaps Jim could inform us of the diplomatic way of saying “there is no evidence for the supernatural”?

    You make a good point.  If we look at some of the comments on links to Xtian sites, it is clear that the very existence of atheists and atheism is offensive to some.

    (Rival religions are also a well known cause of strife and wars.)

    The very idea that others don’t need religious mental crutches, emotional comfort blankets, or preachers to tell them what is real or  “right & wrong”, is just too much for their restricted indoctrinated world view to cope with! 
    It is also a serious threat to the patently irrational childish beliefs some of them hold.

  22. Grandpa will probably die unconvinced, having lived so much of his life reinforcing his beliefs. Sad as it is, I don’t think it’s worth the effort at that point. You’ll want to work on people who have a sizeable section of their life left ahead of them.

  23. Right, because kids don’t dig being petty and antagonistic.

    There’s nothing wrong with taking rightful pride in hard earned virtue. Atheist kids are pioneers who do have to fight in many regions. The cruelty of children is very strong in the area of religion. The pressure to commit intellectual suicide is immense. They are taught dumb is sexy, and the expression of intelligence can harm one’s social standing. Their corpus callosums are on fire. If a kid has the dignity to think independently, they are entitled to feeling right and to use precise, unapologetic language.

    If teaching children harmful absurdities is child abuse, then teaching them to tolerate that abuse is immoral.

    The pressure doesn’t just come from other kids. Teachers and other authorities have their ways of publicly shaming non-believers, passive-aggressive agenda pushing, all in the contexts of obligatory oaths praising god (Pledge of allegiance), capitulations to creationism, religious music, nativity pageants, and countless other compromises to the enlightened, secular spirit of our society.

    When I was a kid we were right to call racists idiots. I love hearing young people mock homophobia. It shames my generation. Evil should be despised, hated, and abolished. That’s why young people join the military and murder enemies. Calling god imaginary is not mean. It’s an unfortunately edgy truth, and if it makes a kid smile I’m all for it.

  24. The Santa Claus analogy is a good one. Many kids are told from an early age about this fellow Santa who gives them presents once a year if they’ve been good. They’re also informed that there’s a man called Jesus who loves them unconditionally and suffered for them because of his love. So far, so warm and fuzzy.

    Fast-forward a few years. One of these kids is talking about Christmas and Santa and his reindeer and whatnot when an older sibling or classmate says to him “Aw, you don’t still believe in that stuff, do you? It’s phooey!” The kid runs crying to his parents, who inform him that, no, Santa doesn’t really exist and they’re the ones who buy the gifts. He’s heartbroken, but consoled by the knowledge that his folks love him, he’s growing up, and he still gets prezzies on December 25.

    Contrast this with a kid who’s begun to doubt the existence of God. He goes to his parents, who, presumably with the best of intentions, haul him off to the family priest or pastor, an authoritarian figure who tells him that what he’s thinking is an abomination, God does exist, and if he persists with this nonsense, he’ll have to spend eternity being horribly tortured.

    It’s the exact same scenario played out in two different ways. The first one seems healthy: children’s imaginations should be nurtured, and magic is wonderful; and although it’s undeniably sad when one loses faith in something, the rewards, in this case, maturity, (almost) make up for the loss of innocence.

    The second is a perversion of this process. The myth is kept alive not because of the welfare of the child but for the purpose of retaining power over him, and his intellectual and emotional growth is retarded. Maybe religion can only survive by keeping its followers, and its clergy, infantilised.

    It would explain the weird preoccupation with sex Christianity, Islam and Judaism share, and why so many ostensibly intelligent adults who manage to hold down a job and file a tax return are so gullible when it comes to the lies fed to them by cynical politicians about climate change and their president’s place of birth and so on. Their critical faculties just haven’t been allowed to mature.

    Praise Omgomg!

  25. Santa is Jesus. They are not similar or analogous. They are the same. Both fly. Both punish and reward behavior. Both are omniscient. Both are benevolent. Both concepts demonstrate the inherent superiority of rich people (Calvinistic implication). Both are never seen but often reenacted. Both only reward those that believe. Santa is JesusLite for kids.

    This video gets into about a minute in:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

    I like your point about sex. That does describe my feelings, that they are not grown up. That’s where I feel lost in people’s concerns on things like homosexuality, marriage and monogamy as the only path for everyone, the rejection of nature, stigmas over rape and abuse, and anything having to do with love. It is childlike, but without the humility and curiosity.

  26. I’ve had the same reaction from people, even fellow skeptics and secularists, somehow not lying to your kid about Santa is seen as stealing the magic from their childhood. I really don’t get it. Trust is one of the most important things between a parent and child, why people want to mess that up almost from the beginning by telling their kids things they know are false just baffles me. In some ways I find it stranger than religion, at least religious stories are thought to be true by the people who share them with their kids. 

    I was always honest with my daughter. That never seemed to get in the way of her enjoying fantasy stories. In fact she was always an avid reader and she’s the one that got me into reading the Harry Potter stories. 

  27. My daughter, Elizabeth, has a fantastic imagination for a three year old. Imaginary friends, imaginary crocodiles, imaginary monsters are forever chasing us around the house. She doesn’t need me trying to convince her of another imaginary person. Elizabeth knows the difference. I’ve been annoyed, at times, with the imagination being put to use at the wrong time. I have actually asked her to—”stop talking with your friend, it’s dinner time!” She just looks at me like I’m an imbecile and tells me—”Daddy, I’m not really talking to a friend, it’s just make believe.”

    She’s too smart to insult with the lie of Santa

  28.  Regarding the video (and main website) that you suggested we watch-
    The last video titled Silver Shield at the 3:16 mark…….ahem,…..cough…….

    Although in all of the preceding videos there’s really no surprise where it’s going…

    The basic (and scary) Libertarian fix-it is a massive worldwide (non-military) revolt.
    Climate change is a farce.
    The whole world has “methodically” been “enslaving” the masses (there’s some truth to that- but it’s not methodical so much as it’s just human nature meets power).

    It’s mildly comforting and speaks of heroism on a biblical scale- in fact, Libertarian’s appeal is not too unlike religion. Those videos were littered with religious phrases and appeals. For the idealistic, there’s always a panacea to “fight” the conspiracy. It’s all very comic book.

  29. “Santa is Jesus. They are not similar or analogous. They are the same. “

    Its comments like that that make me want to distance myself from the “new atheists”. Its not just wrong but its so obviously wrong I hesitate to even refute it. Its like starting an argument with someone who thinks Obama is a muslim. 

    But I’ll refute it anyway.  Santa didn’t inspire much of the greatest art, literature, music, architecture, and philosophy of the western world. Jesus/Christianity did. Now when I say that that doesn’t mean I think Christianity is true or something we should continue to believe in.  I’ve been an atheist all my adult life and long before I read The God Delusion. But to say obviously irrational things about Christianity makes atheism just another special interest group who will vilify the ones they see as the enemy regardless of actual facts. I want no part in such a group. 

  30. Red Dog,

    Don’t hold my views against New Atheists or Brights. I’m neither.

    I would not attribute the great works of art to Xianity. Rather, such genius happened in spite of Christianity. Shall we attribute such great works to tyranny and despotism too?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

    I was never initiated into Xian culture, so as an outsider Jesus is indistinguishable from Santa, except Santa is kid-friendly, not covered in blood and the concepts simplified to coal and toys. I see no fundamental difference, though I’m sure initiates appreciate the subtle nuances between these mythical men, but that’s just confusion from indoctrination. Santa is a simple reformat for kids, in every way and for that purpose. 1Corinthians 3:2

  31. KRKBAB,It’s far worse than you describe. It’s not just Libertarian BS, it’s apocalyptic, survivalist, libertarian BS. I would not be surprised if there was Illuminati language or veiled antisemitism on their website (which I haven’t bothered to look at). All of that is irrelevant to the point I was making. Even Hitler’s clock is right twice a day.

    I also really liked the terrified kids being forced onto Santa’s gin-soaked lap, and parents gleeful as they do. Yeah, lotsa fun for the kids. Totally child abuse to deny them lap time.

  32. Looks like a really good and productive/efficient initiative not only creating such a web-page and its constituency but also promoting enlightenment for kids in their so important age of building moral and psychological stances and worldviews and in this way letting them have free access to illumination and scientific facts rather than to someone’s superstions. BUT. If you set forth in your article that ‘Whether they already made up their minds to reject supernatural explanations, or are just questioning…’ then you or even I would say WE (as I enrol myself to the ranks of those who has strong natural outlook and worldview) should be careful and cautious about naming the web-site as KidsWithoutGod because the process of social activism and as its consequence – wide social acceptance of brights should progress gradually to make the best of it otherwise there is going to be a big deal of confrontation which is not efficient. That’s why I suppose we should not be in a hurry in labelling kids rejecting supernatural explanations, and wider all those people who reject doxies in society strongly opposed to such a behaviour and probably it’s better to show some neutrality in our approach to illumination, show our community, becoming wider and wider each day, as impartial, equitable one and which is imposing nothing to nobody but just enlightening and showing objective facts in a manner of scientific thinking. This way I hope we are able to win a bigger deal of tolerance from harshly opposed society. I don’t mean to cheat anybody but just be more gradual and careful. And such a straightforward campaign may seem to many as an aggressive one which will lead only to escalation of opposition and new outbreaks of negative cross-labelling – in some way counterproductive strategy. Though sometimes our, scientifically thinking people, patience towards all that obscurantism seems to really have almost depleted and there is no wish to struggle with all those ‘petty-oriented’ people! :-) However still tolerance and progressive approach is the key, not a revolution (faulty practice).

  33. Santa gotta wicked little gleam, like he’s seen some shit, maybe too much time rolling with Strumweltpeter. He had an African slave, Black Peter (back when that was the thing to do). He helped Santa with carrying candy and beating children. Be good.

    It trips me out to think of candy as evidence that a little Black guy was running around your house last night, and decided not to stuff you a bag because you are good. Does life really need to get any weirder? Where I grew up we had a myth of Booty Freaky Freddy, who would sodomize little boys in the night. He had a helper too, but he didn’t bring any candy. I guess the moral of the story is lock your window. Maybe it’s my own cultural bias, but I don’t find that a harmful myth like Santa.

  34. sure, it’s full of Bronze Age nonsense, but it’s also full of enlightenment.  I’m 72 & was just pondering the full extent of my naievete of 60 and more years ago.  Kids today seem so much more mature.

  35. I was extremely naieve as a child 60-plus years ago, living, as I did, among other christian whites.  Kids these days are lucky that there are more disparate ideas floating around for them to explore.  Also there are far more non-white, non-christian notions to explore.

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