Atheist Summer Camp: Quest Northwest

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  1. jacharless profile image77
    jacharlessposted 11 years ago

    This made me laugh and grimace at the same time.

    "The best way to become an atheist is to study the bible".
    "The Camp rents a space from a Christians". {really? how ironic}
    "Flying Spaghetti Monster replaces signs with lord/god on them".

    Yahoo News Report Quest Northwest

    Seems the youth are being targeted/indoctrinated into being [nasty/sarcastic] atheists, like their parents, instead of being told to think for themselves, even though the parents proudly stated they want their children to learn to think for themselves. Kind of impossible to do when you're teaching them to be indoctrinated into atheism. That said, I do find it interesting the things the children said, because their children. They feel bullied by younger believers to accept their religion.

    But it exemplifies a point I've made here earlier: atheism is still religion/religious, just as a no-god version of religion versus the is-god version. "We don't pray to God, we pray to doctors and to the science that is going to fix them". So atheists do pray. Hmm.

    Great article.

    1. Ericdierker profile image48
      Ericdierkerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I have sympathy for these parents. It is really hard to teach children to think as opposed to "do as your told". It takes much longer. It requires hard thought and patience and consistency. And when you do that you end up having to question your own beliefs. And sometimes those are just "doing as your told." That is hard for an adult and combine with the stress of feeding your child dogma which you know is questionable is just too hard to bear. Throw in a spouse and the problem becomes insurmountable.

      Cool for me, I was born, bred and taught to question, and so there are no questions a child asks that stumps me, because if I do not know WE find the answer together.  I am Christian and I would have no problem sending my child to one of these camps. And I would demand my money back if they did not answer all of his questions.

      1. jacharless profile image77
        jacharlessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Eric, I like that last bit. Demand a refund if a question goes unanswered -from either vantage point !!!
        Although raised by an agnostic British naval intel father and orthodox christian Arabic artist mom, can say honestly the same. I was taught "How To" think not "What to" think and to exhaust every question and equally every answer.

        Problematic with these micro-communes, err, camps is there is really no free-thinking. It is biased indoctrination, based on elements brought in from  the outside -like religious bullying or secular disdain.


    2. A Troubled Man profile image59
      A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Here's some more quotes from the link...

      "All of my friends are Christian," he said. "Sometimes I do get bullied because of that, because I'm an atheist."

      The camp hosts different sessions, such as the Socrates Cafe, where campers are free to discuss anything on their minds, from the age-old question of "where do we come from?" to how to handle bullies who pick on them because of their agnostic beliefs.

      They think critically and question everything...

      I would like to maybe make a couple of friends that live near me that I could actually go to their house and have dinner, not have to pray before eating. ? I can actually be the same as them and not have their parents hate me or whatever because I'm an atheist."

      Funny how the quotes I just posted don't appear to agree with your assertions.

    3. twosheds1 profile image60
      twosheds1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      If you read the article, you'd see that they are NOT being indoctrinated. Quite the oppposite.

  2. Shadesbreath profile image79
    Shadesbreathposted 11 years ago

    I agree with you. I've felt atheism has become a religion, and said as much, for years.

    I think this camp is the same as sending your kids to a religious camp in terms of imposing a belief set on them. They try to make it sound like they are going to a "free thinking" camp that is focused on teach Socratic approaches to thought or maybe the scientific method, but if they really wanted to do that, they'd just send them to science camp. Why invoke religion by calling attention to its absence?

    To me this seems like a reaction to overbearing religion in our society, and feels like, when I read it, the beginnings of an even bigger rift being actively constructed. As a person who has little use for most of what religion has become these days, and one who remains pretty unconvinced that there is a magical being paying attention to us, I have to say I find that camp sad. Since when does NON-belief warrant a camp. Just don't believe. Why make a camp dedicated to what you DON'T believe.

    Or, if you must have a camp, just have a philosophy camp and teach kids how to think and analyze arguments, not some "Not That Camp" camp. Teach them the difference between ontology and epistemology and how to navigate between them. If you really want to give your kids the power and intellectual tools they need to make good decisions that are their own (which these people claim is the goal), don't pick sides for them. Teach them how to pick sides and trust them to come to as good a conclusion as yours is, regardless of whether it's the same conclusion or not.

    1. Disappearinghead profile image61
      Disappearingheadposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with what you are saying. This camp is not about free thinking at all. It has drawn the conclusion that God does not exist, and then indoctrinated the kids with their thought processes that came to that conclusion. It is no different from a Christian camp.

      If it was truely free thinking, it would at least call itself agnostic, show the kids a wide spectrum of information sources, and teach them how to read them, analyse them, think it through for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

      If God is who he says he is, he can reveal himself to those who genuinely seek objective truth.

  3. peeples profile image92
    peeplesposted 11 years ago

    We have camp for families who are not religious here also. Atheist, agnostics, Humanists, freethinkers. All the children gather for a camp and it does NOT teach them to not believe in God. It actually does the opposite. It teaches children to accept people no matter their religion or lack of religion. Outside of that there is really very little talk of any religion. It's a safe place for non religious parents to send their children without worrying if the people at the camp will try to "save" them or tell them how horrible their paents are. Maybe they need a Religious version of this to teach some of you Christians and other religious people to be less judgmental and not to generalize a whole group of people based on a few jerks you meet in a forum!

    1. jacharless profile image77
      jacharlessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed, a few apples can spoil the bushel, on both sides of the coin.
      But, seriously, camp of [this particular cluster of] atheism is a bit of a stretch. The funny of it, I found, was renting a Christian based campground to host such a non-Christian camp (obviously geared toward the adults present and not the children}. When, or if, I send my son to camp, I hope it only involves nature hikes, water sport, good, wholesome social interaction, competitiveness and loads of childish fun!


    2. Ericdierker profile image48
      Ericdierkerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      My children can go where they please and find other points of view exciting and educational. I think they know what a jerk is and can recognize someone as such.  If someone has raised a child that can be sucked in based on a charismatic theme park, maybe that could use a little camp guidance.
      Love as a religion will not let obsurdity blind it. On the other hand it is open and interested in others including their "religion". But a follower of love will not be taken in by a lack thereof. So I agree with you but give more credit to the children.

  4. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 11 years ago

    A camp dedicated to atheism? It does sound rather sad. Of all of the camps I went to as a child and all of the camps I sent my son to I don't think religion was a consideration, or a conversation. What do kids care about philosophical musings when there are canoes and smores? The parents need to grow up and stop pushing their beliefs onto their kids.

    1. jacharless profile image77
      jacharlessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed, the Platonic Picture or Grahams Law are not very exciting campfire stories nor a sing-along with Descartes. lol.

    2. peeples profile image92
      peeplesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed for once emile. The "atheist camp" my boys goes to has nothing to do with religion and shouldn't! Children are just that children. They should be having fun, playing, and not be lead into any belief or non belief in the process.

    3. Ericdierker profile image48
      Ericdierkerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Emile, let me interject on the thought that parents need to back off. Respectfully NO. Parents must push cognitive logical thought upon their children. Even if Christian. Parents must push the need to investigate, formulate and prognosticate. What the hell else are we to push?  Movies, materialism, religious fanaticism? I cannot count how many times a child has been left with mine to get what they got. We are not ashamed and we will not be denied our right to be true individuals, not beholding to any gov. or religious group. So I danged well do push it on my children to be the best that they can be.  A camp that helps that is alright by me.

      1. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        What does that have to do with pushing religious beliefs? That would be pushing them to investigate, formulate and prognosticate while insisting they came to the same conclusions you did. Which wouldn't be representative of individual thought.

        1. Ericdierker profile image48
          Ericdierkerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Where did you get that they had to come to the same conclusion as me. It is not the conclusion but the process to get there that I am talking about. Exposure to different views is paramount.

          1. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Yes, but when you label your camp an ' atheist' camp you are obviously pushing a belief. No different than if you went to a Pentacostal camp. Parents are obviously attempting to reinforce a belief they hold that they desire their children to agree with.

            My son went to a spelunking camp once. We aren't spelunkers. I wasn't pushing a belief in spelunking.  I've never been. It just sounded like fun.  See the difference?

            1. A Troubled Man profile image59
              A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              And, that belief is ... ?

              No, You were obviously pushing a belief, based on your logic above. lol

              1. profile image0
                Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                lol Whether you choose to call it a belief, or if choose to pretend (as the theists do) that you have a fact doesn't change facts. It simply shows a need to pretend to know something you can't possibly know.

                If you say so ATM. Considering your dogmatic approach to any opinion you have presented during our exchanges I wouldn't bother to attempt to enlighten you as to the difference between letting a child enjoy an activity and shoving a belief system down their throat. I suppose it is all the same to you.

                1. A Troubled Man profile image59
                  A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  Again, that would be the belief ...??

                  Uh, YOU'RE the one that says so.

                  No answer then, just another empty claim. Okee dokee. smile

                  1. profile image0
                    Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Ignoring the Obvious  might have been a great user name for you. You know exactly what belief I am referring to. The belief that you can claim knowledge of anything on a cosmic scale. I wonder if calling it a want system might be a better term for this all encompassing desire to know displayed by theists and atheists.

                    I'm beginning to wonder if I give you too much credit. Really? You honestly believe you presented a valid point? roll

                    If you consider spelunking a belief system then.....what?.....are there spelunk gods?....spelunk non after lives?.......entire philosophies built around belief in spelunking?...Universal spelunking laws?...'Thou shalt not break stalactites for they are beloved of the gods? What?? I'd love to know.

    4. kathleenkat profile image86
      kathleenkatposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Haha, I attended Vacation Bible Camp on several occasions for these two reasons: 1. It was free, and 2. I got to do art projects! And sing, and dance, and play water balloons, and hang out with friends...

      I would find myself zoning out during the 'teachings' parts. I don't think whether or not I had been Christian would have made a difference; someone lecturing in front of a room is boring, and no kid wants to go to school during summer vacation! They could have been lecturing Satanism for all I cared; as long as I got to make my lanyards and tie-dye tees I would be a-okay.

      Edit: And I STILL have my VBS birdhouse! Those were fun, nailing and painting my very own birdhouse...

      1. Uninvited Writer profile image82
        Uninvited Writerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I had a friend who was a camp counsellor at a Christian camp. I am sure you don't need me to tell you what they got up to at night (it was in the 70s smile ) I'm sure she lost her virginity there smile

  5. Uninvited Writer profile image82
    Uninvited Writerposted 11 years ago

    Why can't people just sent their kids to a summer camp where they will have "gasp" fun?

    1. Shadesbreath profile image79
      Shadesbreathposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      The ones who aren't (intentionally or not) trying to create a New World Order do.


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