Education Newspaper Letters

The Difference Between Christian Education and Secular Humanist Education – Letter in the Courier

Sir, – Gordon Dilworth wonders what my reaction would have been if school pupils had been sent home with a book extolling the virtues of secular humanism.

Clearly he has been out of touch with education for some time — my children are regularly indoctrinated with secular humanism. He also has not read the Scripture Union booklet referred to, which was not an evangelistic booklet and merely mentioned that prayer might be helpful.

I realise that our atheistic humanists are sensitive souls and get upset at anything which questions their fundamental beliefs but perhaps they could learn from the Christian educational tradition, which is to encourage pupils to think for themselves.

If my children came home from school with the kind of atheistic humanistic propaganda suggested by Mr Dilworth, I would not insist that the book be banned, I would just encourage them to question and think for themselves.

That’s the difference between Christian education and Secular Humanist indoctrination!

Rev David Robertson. St Peter’s Free Church, 4 St Peter Street, Dundee.


  1. Precisely! Secular humanist neutrality is a myth. Many Christian authors encourage worldview comparisons and an open discussion of their differences and implications. It just so happens that many discover that secular humanism doesn’t answer the big questions adequately! Banning books and opinions betrays a lack of confidence and dumbs everyone down.

  2. David, do you really think anyone is buying your story that it’s really the group with fixed dogma that encourages free thought, and not the very movement naming themselves Free Thinkers?
    You must have a very low opinion of your readers to try to tell them black is really white…

    1. Brent, your faith is quite sweet…you think that just because people call themselves ‘freethinkers’, it means they are? Can I suggest that if you need to call yourself a freethinker, you probably are not. In terms of fixed dogma I have rarely come across such fixed dogmacity as you will find in the new fundie atheists. Jesus Christ on the other hand does set you free!

  3. I’d point out that many atheists want religious education in schools. The most powerful tools for making atheists are the OT, NT and Koran.
    David seems to only look for fresh meat to feed his base – and his base eats it up..,
    Unfortunately, David doesn’t always tell the truth or the whole story… :/(

    1. Many atheists do want ‘religious education’ in schools – as long as it is done from the atheist perspective! The most powerful tool for making people Christians is the Bible – which is of course why the militant atheists mock it, and then try to ban it….

      1. Does not Dawkins encourage people to read the bible in order to take it apart. I would encourage anyone to follow what Dawkins suggests. Many have come to faith in Jesus by starting out like that.

        It may very well be argued that Dawkins has done more for Christian evangelism than some so called “evangelists”.

      2. I’m not aware of many people who want to ban it. I think you find the Fred Phelps and Ray Comforts of atheism and respond to them.
        Try rising above the low hanging fruit, David, your religion should have taught you this much at least!
        I’m available for a serious discussion whenever you are ready.

  4. Yeah, that’ll be why your former children’s magazine makes absolute statements about god creating butterflies – critical thinking indeed!
    Wonder if my comment will be allowed

    1. Not quite sure what your problem is…if you believe that God is the Creator then you believe that he creates butterflies! At least we allow discussion about creation – unlike the militant atheists who want all discussion about creation banned from schools!

      1. Let me spell it out, telling kids god made something is not a discussion, but an absolute statement that prohibits discussion. Had you said that some believe this and others don’t and here’s why, you might have had an ounce of credibility. Imagine the outcry if a school published a magazine asking who made butterflies and the answer was “Allah”. Would that be considered debate?
        Also, if “militant atheists” did behave in such a way, the fact you tell kids what to believe is not excused.
        You strike me as someone who will look for the worst possible example in the opposition and tar everyone with the same brush. No wonder, you and the Westboro Baptists are both Christian – see what I did there? Need I spell out that I wasn’t actually equating all Christians to fundamentalists like you?
        Anyway, I just stumbled across this, so I’ll leave you with your bitter ways. It must be sad to hate a group as much as you clearly do. Life’s too short and too wonderful to hang about such a negative site as here longer than is needed. You should check out nice inclusive Christian blogs like Kelvin Holdsworth’s, or do you believe he’s off to hell for being human?

      2. ‘Dawkins’ – you should be careful about commenting on what you have just ‘stumbled’ across! There are several errors in your response:

        1) In schools we often tell children something…indeed that is the normal method of teaching.
        2) We are talking here about a booklet that was given to the children – until you have actually read it or know what is in it, you are not qualified to comment on it.
        3) The school did not publish the magazine.
        4) I would have no problem with children receiving a magazine saying that ‘Allah’ created. Allah is the Arabic word for God. If Muslims were helping in the school, or if it were a muslim school, I would not object…instead I would talk with my children about it and not seek to get it banned. Banning books is the mark of an illiberal society.
        5) I’m glad you agree that militant atheists asking for a book to be banned is a bad example…but it is certainly not the worst!
        6) In putting Westboro Baptists and Christians together you are only doing what your prophet- Dawkins, does. It is common tactic of the new fundamentalist atheists.
        7) You don’t know me, you don’t know what I believe, you have just stumbled across this blog and yet on the basis of the little you know and the little you have read you feel free to pronounce that I am a fundamentalist (could you explain what that is?) and that I am bitter…such judgementalism can only come from ignorance!
        8) I don’t hate a group. Not sure where you got that from but I suspect it does not matter what I say….you will believe whatever it suits your faith to believe. No one goes to hell for being human….they go to hell because they ultimately reject the God who has made them human. As Chesterton once said – ‘when we cease to believe in God, it is not long before we cease to believe in humanity’.

        Perhaps if you can get beyond the blinkers of your fixed world view, you might be able to engage meaningfully with those of us who disagree with you. Until then I suspect you will just write us off as bitter haters who can safely be ignored.

  5. Interesting that a comment about Dawkins is followed by someone with the handle “Dawkins”. I would encourage the skepticism about the “truth” of creation and butterflies. At least there is a dialogue about creation as a result.

    On the other hand when evolution is taught in schools is the same standard applied? is the expectation of “some believe this and others don’t and here’s why” met with the way children are taught? Is the same evidence required for belief in evolution as other forms of belief? For example Darwinian evolution from different kinds, say a fish to a bird. Where’s the repeatable and demonstrable evidence for that?

    Dawkins (Richard not the Dawkins here) makes the assertion that the bible is a work of fiction. Is that assertion “an absolute statement that prohibits discussion?” Just a thought.

    We wouldn’t want young people being indoctrinated instead of being encouraged at an age appropriate time to reason things through for themselves whatever the source of indoctrination may be, would we?

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