4 Reasons Christian Parents Need to Care More About Atheism
By Natasha Crain
Last week, the world’s first ever all-atheist TV channel officially launched. According to the press release, “Atheist TV brings consistent, quality, superstition-free programming for children and adults, on the air and on-demand, right from your regular television” (emphasis mine).
I saw a link to the press release posted in several Christian Facebook groups and watched the responses with interest. When I commented that this is a good opportunity for Christian parents to watch in order to better understand what atheists are saying to our kids, I was surprised by some of the responses.
One person commented that “we can’t fight every battle.” Several commented that they would just make sure it’s blocked from their kids. Others said there will always be non-believers, so we need to accept it and move on with teaching our kids the Bible.
While there is certainly truth there, I think these casual responses are missing an important point:
Atheism is not just one more possible challenge to our kids’ faith. It is THE most likely challenge today.
With this post, I’d like to raise awareness of why Christian parents should care so much about understanding atheist views and why we should proactively address these specific challenges to Christianity with our kids. Here are four key things you should know.
1. The number of Americans identifying as Christians is steadily declining, while the number of atheists and agnostics is steadily rising.
According to the 2012 Pew Forum survey of religious affiliations, the percent of Americans identifying themselves as Christian or Catholic has decreased 6% since 2007. Meanwhile, the percent of people who identify as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” has grown by 4.3% (the survey results group these together under the heading “unaffiliated”). When you look at the survey result graphs, you can easily see that the decline in Protestantism corresponds to an increase in the unaffiliated groups.
As the number of atheists and agnostics in America continues to grow, our kids will encounter their influence more and more. Atheists especially are often passionate about their worldview and are ready and willing to engage in discussions about the reasonableness of Christianity. Whether our kids are equally ready and willing to respond lies greatly on our shoulders as parents…
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