DoctorE

Turtles all the way down

Atheist parents take on Christian ‘Good News Club’ with ‘Better News Club’

Posted by doctore0 on January 9, 2015

(RNS) A group of atheists in Rochester, N.Y., has bad news for the Good News Club, a Christian after-school club for children.

The group, consisting of atheists, humanists and skeptics, announced its own after-school program: a Young Skeptics club featuring science, logic and learning activities.

Young Skeptics is being sponsored by a volunteer-led group calling itself “The Better News Club.” Its members come from the Atheist Community of Rochester — the same group that offered the first atheist invocation before a town meeting in Greece, N.Y., after the Supreme Court ruled in May that public meetings could begin with sectarian prayers.

Both clubs are based at Fairbanks Road Elementary School in Churchville, N.Y.

The Better News Club and Young Skeptics operate under the assumption that “it’s more important to teach children how to make belief decisions for themselves, rather than accept claims presented to them without thinking critically about those claims,” according to its mission statement.

Young Skeptics is thought to be the first nontheistic after-school club for elementary aged school children founded as a direct response to the Good News Club. Kevin Davis, a Better News Club member, said the goal of Young Skeptics is not proselytizing for atheism.

“It isn’t atheism for kids; it doesn’t address debunking religion because they are little kids and we don’t want to use the same tactics as the Good News Club by telling them what to think,” he said in a telephone interview. “Our focus is on science-based critical thinking.”
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