A humanist group is sending a secularist text called ‘The Young Atheist’s Handbook’ to every secondary school in England and Wales.
The British Humanist Association (BHA), which campaigns for a secular state, claims to be distributing the book so that pupils can “encounter the full range of philosophies and worldviews” available to them.
‘The Young Atheist’s Handbook’ was written by science teacher Alom Shaha, who shares his life lessons based on “humanist principles”.
An extract from the book says: “I think the idea that it is immoral to not believe in God is perhaps the most insidious one that parents encourage to take root in the minds of young children”.
According to the 2011 Census, 33 million people identified as being Christian, compared to 15,067 people who said they were humanists, and 29,267 atheists.
Writing in a comment piece, Director of The Christian Institute Colin Hart said: “You could fit all the atheists into a place the size of Bolsover. For every 10,000 people only 14 will not believe in God.”
He added, “the Census does show that hardly anyone signs up to the full package of atheism”.
The BHA explains that the text addresses “the fallacies that have impeded humanity for centuries” and shows how to live a “meaningful life without God”.
The group is also offering schools lesson materials and videos to support the book.
Earlier this year, the Humanist Society Scotland urged the Scottish Government to change religious assemblies to a ‘time for reflection’ in schools, in order to remove “the religious exclusivity of the current system”.