By Jared Fields, Editor in Chief
Go to a Sunday school class around Abilene and notice the curriculum.
Depending on the age group, you will learn stories or study the Bible. However, in Palo Alto, Calif., a different kind of Sunday school class has begun.
It’s a class for atheists.
A recent Time magazine article says groups such as the one in California are forming to give atheistic parents a similar social setting to take their kids.
What I can remember from childhood Sunday school classes should be fairly common.
We learned popular Bible stories and tried to memorize things like the books of the Bible.
As I got older, Sunday school turned into Bible studies. While I’m not saying these serve no benefit, a Sunday school class could teach young Christians more than a deeper understanding of scripture.
There at the Humanist Community Center where people meet for class, atheist “Sunday school” involves singing, arts and critical thinking. Older age-group classes discuss how to be an atheist in a religious nation.
In the Time article, some said they want their children to learn how to defend their belief, or non-belief, especially if denouncing a belief in God or any “higher being.”
While the Harris Interactive poll and the Institute for Humanist Studies reports that 27 and 14 percent, respectively, of Americans claim no belief in any higher religious power, Christian Sunday schools could learn from the atheists approach to Sunday morning class.
Christians should learn how to logically defend their faith just as the atheists in Palo Alto have learned to do.
We need to learn more than just stories from the Bible. We need to learn why we believe what we believe.
Living with an atheistic roommate, I’ve had to think through responses about my belief with more of an answer than, “Cuz the Bible says so.”
Talking to people, you will find many confident in their opinion of America’s receding economy, the Cowboys’ chances at making the Super Bowl or President Bush’s blunders overseas.
But even at a private, Christian university, I rarely hear a Christian’s logical explanation for their faith.
I would enjoy hearing it more often, and to discuss believing in evolution or the Big Bang Theory as well as Christianity.
Until then, we need to re-examine our lesson plans, and take some lessons from the classes in California.