Texas mother Deborah Mitchell has captured the attention of a
Christian philosopher after she blogged on a major media website
about why she raises her children without religion.
More than half a million people have viewed Mitchell's article,
entitled "Why I raise my kids without God," on CNN's Belief Blog.
Mitchell claims that if God is our father, he is not a good parent
because, as she writes, "Good parents don't allow their children to
inflict harm on others."
William Lane Craig, research professor of
philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, felt compelled to respond
due to the promotion of what he calls a new, "Godless
"I think that when we teach children that there is no God, we
thereby lead them astray into falsehood," he contends. "I think
that Christianity is true. Therefore, it would be the most horrible
form of childhood abuse conceivable to try to shield your children
from the love of God and eternal life."
Other concerns Mitchell lists about religion include God is a
bad role model, is not logical, is not fair, does not protect the
innocent, is not present, does not teach children to be good, and
teaches narcissism. Mitchell explains that she prefers to teach her
children to be good, not because God desires it or in obedience to
objective moral values, but for their own sakes -- so that they may
have greater self-worth.
"What could happen with her children is that they might grow up
and come to see through this sham and realize that this morality
she's teaching them, although nice, is really in fact baseless and
so reject it," Craig cautions.
"So the question here is not, 'How do you get your kids to do
good?' The question is, 'Is there a basis for objective right and
wrong on the basis of which we can affirm right and wrong moral
values for our children?'"
Craig claims Mitchell's push to eliminate religious belief in
the private sphere as well the public sphere is an "aggressive new
atheism" emerging in the U.S.
Mitchell's blog post and Craig's full written response to it can
be found on his website Reasonable Faith.