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Do Atheists Brainwash their children?
August 24, 2012
6:11 am
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greeney2
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As I read this explanation, they ascribe themselves to be "freethinkers", and send their kids to a summer camp rented from a Christian camp. They claim to study the Bible, and claim they are free to think for themselves, but replace any written words of "God or Lord" with fantasy terms, and program them in advance "God is Imaginary" even writing this all over.

How does that compute to freethinking, or deciding for yourself, if the seeds of doubt are drilled into them? They program to assume what they hear is false from the first look into the camp, so why would they deduct anything else after a stay. That is brainwashing, it is preprogaming the mind for the intended result, which is the disbelief in God, not the decision to Believe, based on the idea of freethinking, teaching the true stories of the Bible. If the camp is no more than this, teaching the kind of trash Spewed in the Imaginary God site, it is not giving children a truthful study of the Bible. They also say they pray to Doctors and to Science rather than to Pray to God.

This is all too familiar to this forum, and the claims Religions brainwash children, teach them warped ideas, while they use these tactics to decieve and engineer their results of atheism. If they are freeethinkers, why would they be afraid of sending them to the camp taught by the Christian who will teach the Bible, not distortion of it, and program their children to not believe in God with dishonest tactics?

This will be on Nightline tonight!

Atheist Summer Camp Is Heaven on Earth for Nonbelievers
By LINSEY DAVIS and ELIZABETH STUART | ABC News – 8 hrs agoRelated ContentAtheist Summer Camp Is Heaven on …
Most summer camps host kayaking, arts and crafts classes and campfires, but what makes Camp Quest Northwest different is that it is literally "beyond belief."

Located just north of Seattle, Camp Quest Northwest is a summer camp for atheists or children of atheists, self-described "freethinkers" or people not otherwise traditionally religious.

"We would encourage them to read, to go to church," said Chuck Wolber, one of Camp Quest Northwest's founders. "The best way to become an atheist is to study the Bible, and I definitely recommend the kids do that."

Watch the full story on "Nightline" tonight at 11:35 p.m. ET

The secular sleepaway camp rents the area from a Christian camp, so camp officials cover any signs saying "Lord" or "God" with masking tape, and replace those words with fantasy-like words, such as "Flying Spaghetti Monster," which they use to emphasize the imaginary nature of God.

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.

"It's amazing. I love it here," said a 9-year-old camper named Elle. "With certain people, you have to limit yourself or feel socially obligated. This feels nice to be here and not have to limit yourself and know you won't be bullied or hurt."

Camper Chandler Garry is like most 11-year-old boys, except he calls himself an atheist. He said he doesn't have an answer for why he doesn't believe in God, other than he hasn't seen proof that God exists.

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

Chandler said he has occasionally been curious about other religions, but he insisted that he came to his conclusion about God on his own, separate and apart from his parents, Matt and Karen Garry. Matt was raised Jewish and Karen was raised Christian, but now both identify as atheists and decided early on to raise their kids in a God-less household.

"We wanted to raise our kids to make their own decisions," Karen Garry said. "If our children decided they wanted to be Jewish, fine, not a problem. We would love them just as much as if they were atheist or whatever, Buddhist. We just wanted them to be good, happy people."

"It was always very important to me to teach them about the scientific method; if something is provable, you have a hypothesis and you theorize, find a solution for it," Matt Garry said. "It boils down to when someone is sick or very sick or hurt, we don't pray to God, we pray to doctors and to the science that is going to fix them."

At Camp Quest, religion, in some form, is often a topic of discussion, but here they believe more in talking about evolution and logic. They think critically and question everything, and they don't believe in God.

Several of the campers said they had been exposed to religion through family, and some said their parents had been raised in religious households, and then chose to become atheists.

"Some of my family is Catholic so I've gone to a wedding and a funeral," said a 13-year-old camper named Bailey. "I understand how they might want to believe in something like that, but I don't really understand it."

Other campers believe people use God as a catch-all explanation for life's events, but they still have questions.

"They don't really know, when they think about when [and] how they were here," Elle said. "They have to find something to explain why was the first human here on Earth, and their answer, their go-to is God, he made them."

Despite her young age, Elle arguably knows as much about the Bible as many of her peers but said God is something she would have to see to believe.

"Personally, I don't believe in him, but if he were to come down and do something really amazing, I would be able to accept that he exists," she said.

The majority of Americans still identify themselves as Christian, but a survey from the 2008 U.S. Census reveals that more than 34 million Americans consider themselves agnostic, atheist or to have no religion. That number has more than doubled since 1990.

The first Camp Quest started in 1996 in Kentucky with 20 campers. Camp Quest Northwest, which opened this summer, is the 15th Camp Quest location and this year, camp enrollment exceeded 620 campers, more than twice the number of campers than two years ago.

But Lisa Miller, a clinical psychologist whose research focuses on the spiritual awareness of children, said these Camp Quest campers, some of whom are as young as 8 years old, are too young to attend such a camp. In her experience, Miller said children who have belief and religion at home are healthier and that religion can be incredibly valuable.

However, several campers described Camp Quest as a support group of sorts and that this was a place where they are free to be themselves.

"I don't have any atheist friends or anything," Chandler Garry said. "So 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."

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August 24, 2012
7:05 pm
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greeney2
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Anyone else see the segment on nightline Wens night?

August 26, 2012
12:15 am
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at1with0
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Brainwash? Pretty strong word there.

"it is easy to grow crazy"

August 26, 2012
2:44 am
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greeney2
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Why is it a strong word for it? Did you see the Nightline segment on it?

August 26, 2012
2:47 am
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at1with0
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no

"it is easy to grow crazy"

August 26, 2012
3:24 am
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greeney2
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Why is brainwashing any different than using a term like mind control, they amount to the same thing?

August 26, 2012
4:39 am
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inja
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No they do not brain wash their children nor do religious people necessarily brainwash their children. People raise their kids based on what they believe truth to be and what truth is not to them.

If a 9 year old goes to a camp and is happy as a lark because no one questions him for not going to church or believing in Jesus as the Savior....good for the 9 year old. Life provides enough pressure and peoples expectations of others is just another burden many carry. I just think of my daughter and the pressures she has.....mostly non religious.....

However when my daughter was 8 years old she wanted to go to the church around the corner really badly. Her best friends father was an assistant pastor there and since her friend was there she was constantly bugging me to go. I will admit I always said no. This wasn't just a church this is the kind of church that believes it needs to fish for young souls and tries to reel them in by what ever means. Well she wouldn't let up and I think it was like 2 years later when I finally said...sure go ahead and attend their bible study with your friend. She came home saying.....NEVER AGAIN!!!! Her friends father I guess was shouting the name Jesus, and I am not sure anymore what all happened but she thought it was just aweful. Laugh

My daughter is not being raised a Christian because I am not one. But to me Christianity is part of my western culture and so I have found it to be important for her to know the stories and the understanding of what it means to be a Christian. She has her own personal relationship with God....having a background and foundation of spirit in her life was important to me. I am sure just as important as an atheist who finds it all to be rather hocus pocus.

If we want to use the word brain washing....all kids are brainwashed by their parents. No exceptions.

Truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction has to make sense.

August 26, 2012
7:26 am
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qmark
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I have my own church horror stories. :thumbdown:

However, a question came to mind.

"inja" wrote: But to me Christianity is part of my western culture and so I have found it to be important for her to know the stories and the understanding of what it means to be a Christian.

Can a non Christian help someone understand what it means to be a Christian?

August 26, 2012
8:35 am
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greeney2
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No too sure I agree all parents brainwash kids--no exceptions! Maybe you could elaborate, as to what you would regard as brainwashing, and what the spectrem of that would be.

August 26, 2012
4:45 pm
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at1with0
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Brainwashing connotes trauma-based conditioning (ie, torture).
I did not see the nightline report so I don't know if this is what some atheist parents are doing.

"it is easy to grow crazy"

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