The Woodlands, Texas – A small band of outspoken atheists is planning to stage a protest at a yearly Christian homeschool convention this summer.
“The Nones,” a group of atheist activists based out of Dallas, recently posted a two hour-long Google+ chat video on YouTube, in which four members of the organization are seen expressing their consternation with Christian homeschooling. The video, entitled “Home School Abuse by Creationists,” was posted on Sunday, and has since generated hundreds of comments.
While the participants in the video claim that they do not want to suppress religious freedom, they repeatedly state that something must be done to monitor what is taught to homeschool students, especially in regard to science curricula. One of the chat participants, simply identified as “Sister Lilandra,” comments at one point, “There has to be some way to regulate [homeschooling].”
“I’m tired of the religious exemption that people get for doing behaviors that are immoral,” Lilandra states. “It’s immoral to me to teach your child that the earth is 6,000 years old.”
Lilandra also expresses her frustration that evolution is often not taught as fact in Christian homeschooling.
“You’re an ape and you’re an animal,” she claims. “And to deny that is ridiculous. You’re still one anyways!”
While The Nones group appears to see homeschooling in general as a “problem,” they are especially committed to opposing an upcoming homeschool convention this summer. The THSC Southwest Convention and Family Conference, hosted annually by the Texas Home School Coalition (THSC), will be held August 1-3 this year in The Woodlands, Texas. Already The Nones are making plans to speak out at the event.
Vic Wang, an atheist affiliated with both The Nones and Humanists of Houston, states in the video that they have already scouted out the venue where the convention will be held, and plan to “come out in force” during the event. Wang is trying to utilize local media outlets to spread their message.
“At the very least we are doing a protest,” he confidently asserts.
Stephanie Lambert, director of events for THSC, said in an interview that while there have occasionally been minor disruptions at THSC events in the past, they have never encountered any major disturbances, even though their summer convention normally draws over 6,000 attendees from year-to-year.
“We have never had an organized protest of THSC or any of our speakers,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Tim Lambert, president of THSC, voiced his take on the atheists’ objections. In an exclusive interview with Christian News Network, he said that the members of The Nones group clearly have a worldview that is opposed to Biblical Christianity, and “would like to keep Christian parents from imparting a Biblical worldview to their own children.” Lambert pointed out that these anti-homeschool attacks are nothing new.
“This is simply another front in the war against the fundamental, constitutional right of parents to direct the care, control and upbringing of their children,” he stated. “Over the last 25 years, we have seen different forms of such opposition from different quarters, but it always boils down to ‘parents should not have the right to teach their children because we disagree with what they want to teach.’ We, of course, could not disagree more.”
One of this year’s scheduled keynote speakers at the THSC convention is Ken Ham, president and founder of the apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis. Ham was directly mentioned numerous times by the atheists in the You Tube video, and on Tuesday he published a lengthy article in response to their comments.
In his article, Ham calls the video a “must watch for all Christians,” since he sees it as an excellent example of atheistic intolerance against Christianity. He further explains that these kinds of attacks are becoming more common in today’s culture.
“I believe this backlash is occurring during a time in American history that features a political climate that fosters increasing attacks on Christianity,” he writes. “Atheists have become much more aggressive against Christians, particularly this year. … Anything that smacks of Biblical morality or the Christian worldview is being aggressively attacked, even in the private arena.”
Ham closes his article with a call for Christians across America to spread the message—both about the upcoming homeschool convention and what he believes are remarkable levels of intolerance displayed by the atheists in the chat video.
“We have reached a point in America where a minority view like atheism is shaping how decisions are made in the culture,” he contends. “The minority is essentially dictating for the majority. So, let’s use this video chat by atheists as a tool to offer some practical teaching about those people who oppose the Bible’s messages.”
“We urge all Christians in Texas, not just homeschoolers, to attend this homeschool conference in the Houston area,” Ham continues. “Let’s get churches in Texas aware of this intolerance by atheists and publicly get out the word.”