An atheist activist organization is targeting children in a new advertising campaign and website called Kids Without God.
The American Humanist Association (AHA), whose motto is “Good Without a God,” announced the launch of its campaign on Tuesday, which it states was “created to strengthen and support kids and teenagers who don’t happen to believe in a God.” The main focus of the effort is to drive children to its new Kids Without God website.
“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 association states.
“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,” Roy Speckhardt, the executive director of the American Humanist Association, said. “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.”
The website features cartoon-like characters that seek to teach children and teens morality apart from the moral Lawgiver. A section of the site called “7 Darwin Promises” outlines seven things that the association wishes to impart to children through the use of the character “Darwin the dog.”
“I promise to be nice to other people, just because it’s the right thing to do,” reads promise number one.
“I promise that I will always tell the truth and take responsibility for my own actions,” reads another.
Additional promises include taking care of the earth, thinking about the feelings of others and having good hygiene.
“With the plethora of websites geared toward teaching kids about Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, we’re pleased to add humanism to the discussion,” Speckhardt said. “Kids should know there’s another way to learn about morals and values—it doesn’t need to come from traditional religion.”
In promotion of its new website, AHA is spending $30,000 on an ad campaign to point children to the site. It states that advertisements are scheduled to appear on 140 metro buses in the Washington, D.C. area, which includes 20 king size exterior posters. Billboard space has also been purchased in Moscow, Idaho.
In addition, online banner ads will be placed on Cheezburger.com and Pandora, as well as Facebook, Reddit, Google and YouTube. Disney and National Geographic turned down the advertisements due to their content, as they read, “I’m getting a bit old for imaginary friends.”
Disney and National Geographic aren’t the only ones who are uncomfortable with the advertisements, however. Terre Ritchie, the executive director of CBH Ministries (formerly known as Children’s Bible Hour), said that there are many hurting and struggling kids across America that need hope — which is only found in Jesus Christ.
“So many kids are searching for hope in their life,” Ritchie said. “We just work so hard to get that hope out to them. … We feel that children are the most pliable in God’s hands. Their minds are not filled with everything in the world yet.”
“There has to be more to our faith than being a nice person,” she continued. “Knowledge of the Scriptures is going to tell us what good is. … When King Solomon wrote, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,’ [he was telling us that] if we’re going on an understanding without God, we’re not going to get far.”
Ritchie explained that CBH, which celebrated it’s 70th year in September, also reaches out to youth via print, as well as radio, in order to instill moral values in children through Scripture. One of their latest websites is called itoadu.com, which features an animated Costa Rican toad named Juan. Other sites include the daily devotional Keys for Kids and The Greatest Gift, which share the Gospel via video presentation.
“We’ve got 27,000 kids in this Bible study right now,” Ritchie said. “We’re doing everything we can to reach those children through these websites.”
“We have to do what we can. We can’t just sit back. We can’t be silent about it,” she concluded. “Because these people have money to put this out there in front of kids, they’re going to affect a lot of kids. [But], Christians nowadays are fighting as hard as we can with the funds we have to get [the Gospel] out there.”