A majority of Americans identify as religious and base their world-view on ancient texts that they regard as divinely inspired. As a consequence, many Americans have views that are devoid of critical thinking and scientific literacy. This is one reason why so many Americans reject evolution, equality for women and LGBTQ people, the reality of climate change and the fact that atheists are as moral as any other group of people. Our society and many individuals in society are harmed by these views. This may be changing however. Statistics tells us that an increasing number of Americans do not affiliate with any religion. Some religious groups are becoming more open to science and reason, but others are doubling down on their irrational beliefs. So while America may be trending in a secular direction, we have a very long way to go. Studies of secularization of some European cultures show that this process takes time. From very religious grandparents, to nominally religious parents, to non-religious individuals, there is typically a generational progression to a naturalistic world-view where science and critical thinking are viewed as essential for solving human problems. As the number of the non-religious increases, more children are raised in these families. Secular parents often feel that they do not have the support they need to raise their children free of ubiquitous religious influences. In order for the progression to a society based on reason to continue, it is imperative that we develop the resources that these parents need. Camp Quest is one of these resources.Camp Quest is an organization that provides summer camp opportunities for parents who want to reinforce their children’s exposure to science, critical thinking and humanist values, as well as the typical summer camp activities such as swimming, archery and campfires. David Diskin, President of Camp Quest West, will be the speaker at our Sept 3 event at the Glen Park library. David will tell us about Camp Quest; details about its programs, locations of its camps, volunteer opportunities and effects on the lives of children.
The Bay Area Humanists board believes there is no better way to insure a better America in the future than to help humanist families pass their values on to their children. The board, consequently, voted to donate $100 on behalf of our members to Camp Quest. This money will go toward the tuition of a child from a low-income family in the Bay Area, who could otherwise not go to the camp. The full tuition is about $600, so please help us give more. You can send a donation to PayPal (our e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org), mail us a check (Bay Area Humanists, P.O Box 14464, San Francisco, CA 94114-0464), donate through our Meetup site (look for the green “Chip In” button on the left of the page) or bring your credit card, cash or check to our meeting on Sept 3. (We’ll receive your donation after the event, since we cannot collect money in the library). If we want a humanistic world that values science and critical thinking, we need to be willing to support those who are working to bring it about. Please contribute as generously as you can.