Atheism And Children’s Books

Writers of children’s books tend to cast an air of innocence over everything. Instinctively, they understand (as we all do) that the world is far from what it should be. Rather than lying to children, they paint an ideal portrait of the world based on the ideal human which the child really is. It is a world where sunshine beams upon the landscape, all the creatures get along, and people usually avoid stepping on each other’s toes.

Although not all children’s authors believe in God (in fact many do not), all of them understand the need to paint a portrait that matches the innocence of their audience. Unconsciously, they attribute Edenic conditions to life on planet earth. And who among us would not wish the world to return to such a state?

Many atheists and skeptics do not believe in having children. In fact, in an atheistic world there is no need for procreation, and the procreative aspect of marriage is often bypassed. Educated men and women who have gotten past the concept of God declare that the “I” is final; that selfishness is merely a survival mechanism that helps push one to the front of the herd, thereby aiding the processes of “natural selection.”

But evolution vanishes when one enters the nursery. There, there is no need for an evolution because everything is perfect and harmonious. The mother duck guides her baby ducks across the pond while the poor lost kitten rides her back as it tries to find the way back home. This act of kindness represents the world as it should be. All evolution stops at that point because the end has been reached.

When Christians speak of Christ dying on the cross for the sins of the world, they are admitting, as everyone else does, that the human race has somehow fallen — if merely from a more noble and lofty ideal. When that degradation, however, is seen to affect our very nature as well as that of everything around us, we need something better than fiction to bolster our worldview.

The Scriptures speak of a coming time when creation shall be restored; when “the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cocatrice’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain” (Isaiah 11: 6-8).

To some, that may sound like a beautiful children’s story. But Christ said: “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18: 3).

Our need is to return, like little children, to dependence on God and His Son, and to belief in the promise of eternal life and restoration of the earth to its perfect and pristine state. The end may sound like a fairy tale. But no one — not even atheists — will argue that “the real world” isn’t in need of some renovation. We universally recognize this need whenever we open any children’s book. It is part of our very nature and cannot be explained away.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. “When Christians speak of Christ dying on the cross for the sins of the world, they are admitting, as everyone else does, that the human race has somehow fallen — if merely from a more noble and lofty ideal. When that degradation, however, is seen to affect our very nature as well as that of everything around us, we need something better than fiction to bolster our worldview.”

    Sorry, no atheists don’t agree with you and we know that there has been no silly “fall”. We have ideals and we rise to meet them; we haven’t fallen from them. The past was not some idyllic golden age where things were better. That was when the bible was written with a god that advocates slavery and slaves never seeking their freedom. It’s a god that has no problem in killing children for the actions of others. Why would I want to worship something petty and vicious like that? The author of genesis underlines just how nasty this god is with it either allowing Satan into the garden or being too stupid to keep it out. Then it takes a tantrum when two people that this god kept ignorant, didn’t do the right thing, something it knew they would do. Where’s the grace and mercy here?

    Christians can’t even agree on what morals or ideals their god wants, much less show that their god exist at all. Your religion is a fiction, and each theist makes it up in their personal image. There is no reason to think any of you have the one right version.

    Yep the world could use some improvement. We humans can do it, neither theists nor their gods needed.

  2. I think it’s human nature to like to place the blame on someone else for our faults. The frustration, though, can be understandable. The whole point of the Old testament was to show God’s anger towards sin. It isn’t till the New Testament that His attitude towards man changes. The Cross has allowed God to be gracious towards all mankind. Humans still get themselves into a heap of trouble.. but the remedy is available. Christ’s death on Calvary initiated a new day of hope for the world.

    Of course, God created man in His image, so we have free will. I think it’s allowable for even earthly parents to give their children a rule and see if they follow it. If they don’t, punishment is the inevitable result. How many times have we heard our own parents saying: “You asked for it!” Sometimes we don’t understand what is for our own good. But if we have good parents, they will try and keep us away from those things. It’s not because they are ‘meanies.’ It’s because they care.

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